Jones Tactical is widely know for making some amazing belts. In fact, in the April 2011 issue of SWAT Magazine, Pat Rogers says that Rich Jones makes the best belts that he has ever used. That is high praise for a gear maker. However, Jones Tactical is more than just belts. I was recently given the chance to review two products that Jones Tactical makes that are geared toward first aid: the MOLLE Shear Sheath and the Tear Away Panel.
The overall quality of both of these items is great. Both items came with the MALICE Clips that would be necessary to mount them. The materials are all top notch. The designs show attention to detail and experience. The stitching is straight and beefed up where it should be. In fact, the Jones Tactical motto could be “When in doubt, add more stitches!” Every stress point that I could think of has been reinforced with additional stitching. That inspires confidence.
MOLLE Shear Sheath
Medical shears are a very handy tool to have in your individual first aid kit (IFAK). They allow you or the person who may be working on you to clear clothing away from the area of the wound in order to access it. The problem is that many IFAK pouches do not provide a very accessible option for carrying medical shears if they even fit in the pouch at all. The MOLLE Shear Sheath solves that problem by providing a secure, low profile way of carrying the shears that is not dependent on the size of your IFAK pouch.
The sheath only needs one MOLLE column to mount and is narrow and flat enough to be mounted behind your IFAK pouch. Many IFAK pouches use a MOLLE set up that is 3 columns wide but the center column is left open. This open column behind the pouch can provide the space needed to mount shears using the MOLLE Shear Sheath. It can be a little bit of a pain to use the retention strap when the sheath is mounted behind another pouch.
The MOLLE Shear Sheath itself is made from webbing that is folded over onto itself and then stitched down. It appears to be triple stitched the entire height of the pouch except for the bottom which is reinforced even more to accommodate the flared end of the shears. This thing is bomb proof. You can tell that attention was paid to how the shears would be retained. There is a strap that can be passed through the finger loop of the shears and affixed to the pouch via hook and loop material. The webbing is also doubled over at the opening which creates a very stiff opening that really keeps tension on the shears. Even without the retention strap, this pouch retains the shears very aggressively. These are the little touches that come with an eye for detail.
Tear Away Panel
A well stocked IFAK should be a part of any shooter’s range gear. They are especially important for soldiers, law enforcement, and shooters in carbine classes. The best way to guarantee that you have your IFAK with you when you need it is to have it physically attached to your gear. However, depending on where the IFAK pouch is mounted on your gear, you may find that it is difficult to access the contents of the pouch. Even well designed and well located pouches will be easier to access if you can remove them from your gear.
Those access issues are easy to solve with the Tear Away Panel. You can mount your IFAK to your gear and then quickly remove it should the need arise to use it. This is handy in situations where you have to treat yourself or someone else. It is much easier to work out of a clam-shell pouch that is laid out in front of you than a clam-shell pouch that is still attached to your gear. It also allows you to hand off your IFAK to someone else if the need arises.
The Tear Away Panel is sized to fit the vast majority of IFAK pouches which need 5 rows and 3 columns to mount. I tested it with pouches from Battlelab (Diamondback Tactical), TAG, and HSGI. I am a big fan of the HSGI Bleeder pouch which is only 2 columns wide. It will fit on the Tear Away Panel with a column of MOLLE webbing to spare. This spare webbing can be used to attach a tourniquet or, since Jones Tactical is a custom shop, they can build a Tear Away Panel to suit any pouch.
The Tear Away Panel consists of two parts that are attached via hook and loop material. The backing is mounted to your gear and the pouch is mounted to the front of the Tear Away Panel. Once everything is mounted, the user needs only to pull the large handle to release the pouch. There is a large surface area of hook and loop material so it is unlikely that pouch will detach until the handle is pulled. If you are concerned, I found that a simple webbing strap with side release buckle could be passed behind the Tear Away Panel and around the pouch to serve as cheap insurance that the pouch wouldn’t detach until you wanted it to. I suspect that a retention strap could be added to the design for a fee if you think you need one.
You will find the Tear Away Panel can be useful for more than just IFAK pouches. If you have an admin or utility pouch that you use to organize items that you carry often the Tear Away Panel will allow you to easily move that pouch between different bags or pieces of gear. You could even purchase multiple panels to allow you the flexibility to move from one pack (or chest rig/plate carrier) to another. That beats having to empty the pouch every time you want to transfer the items. The backing piece has the loop side material so it can be used to mount shotgun shell carriers, loop backed pouches, or even patches.
I found both items to be very well made. The fingerprints of a gear maker who has been around the block a few times are all over these items. From the simple and clever way the Shear Sheath’s opening is constructed to the extra stitching to support the large surface area of the hook and loop on the Tear Away Panel, these items will serve you well for a long, long time.
Disclosure: These products were provided to me for review, free of charge, by Jones Tactical.