There are a lot of ways to carry shotshells on your person and frankly, most of them stink. They vary from elastic bandoleers to rectangular chest rigs with a bunch of elastic loops sewn to them. I suppose they all do the job of carrying the ammo, but few, if any, of them actually support fighting with the shotgun. That is why I was so excited to try the Detachable Shotshell Carrier Pouch MKIII (DSC Pouch) from S&J Hardware.
Understanding the Potential
To understand the beauty of the DSC Pouch, you have to understand the beauty of the DSC or Detachable Shotshell Carrier. Other manufacturers call them shotgun cards or other names but the principle is the same. They consist of elastic loops on a semi-rigid, Velcro backing. They can be affixed to the side of your shotgun with adhesive backed loop Velcro.
They work extremely well because they are easily swapped. They allow you to carry multiples and swap them as they are needed. You can mount the spares anywhere you have loop Velcro: on your chest rig, on your plate carrier, on your backpack, or in a dedicated pouch like the DSC Carrier. When you exhaust the shells on your shotgun, tear off the old one and slap on a new one.
The DSC Carrier takes this idea to a new level. it organizes and presents the shotgun cards in way that keeps them compact, out of the way, but easily accessible. The DSC Carrier represents the shotgun card concept taken to fuller potential.
How it Works
The DSC Pouch has several important features that make it work. It really does more than just carry the shotgun cards. it actually organizes them in a way that allows the user to reload from the pouch much like they would with magazine pouches.
The clamshell opening design has 3 loop Velcro fields so it can hold 3 shotgun cards: 1 on the exterior and 2 inside. When it is closed, only 1 shotgun card (the one on the outside) is accessible. The pouch is closed with a zipper and has a large pull tab that is lightly secured via Velcro at the top of the pouch. Each shotgun card holds 6 shells so the entire pouch holds 18 shells in about the same amount of space as a double M4 magazine pouch.
The user can deplete their shotgun’s shotgun card and tear it off. Then they reach for their DSC Carrier, tear off the exposed shotgun card, and install it in place of the depleted one. By placing one card on the exterior of the pouch, the DSC Pouch basically supports what amounts to a speed reload with a magazine fed firearm.
If the user then depletes that shotgun card, they can grab the pull tab at the top of the pouch and pull down. This tears the DSC Pouch open. The front of the pouch can hang completely clear of the back of the pouch allowing easy access to 2 additional shotgun cards.
I mounted 2 of them to a High Speed Gear AO Compact Chest Rig. I found that they worked best with a little space in between them and I used that space to mount a tourniquet with an OC Tactical CAT Trap. The result is a compact chest rig that can be used to keep a shotgun in the fight for a long time.
These pouches are well made and priced right at $60. They come with 3 shotgun cards which normally cost $12-20 a piece on their own. It even comes with the adhesive backed loop material you need to mount the DSCs on your shotgun! This is a concept that is well realized and well executed. I haven’t seen a better solution for carrying and organizing shotgun shells in a way that presents them for a “reload”.
These DSC Pouches are exactly what detachable shotgun cards have needed to realize their full potential.