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Review - S&S Precision Skeletonized Magazine Retention (SMR), Dust-E & GRT Webbing Adapter

Updated: Jun 20




History of S&S Precision


S&S was founded in 2007 and is owned by veterans, a factor that weighs heavily on their

designs, manufacturing and end products. Their products are made for use by Military Units, Federal Government and Law Enforcement Professionals. The expanding company employs various engineering and technical specialists and their products are shipped worldwide.


For more info - visit S&S Precision website.



Why S&S Precision?


S&S Precision is one of the core manufacturers of equipment used throughout SEAL Team and it's easy to see why with the variety of products on offer (tactical weapon accessories, torches, gear retention and much more) along with their proven track record of reliability and affordability. SEAL Teams own Bravo utilise S&S Precision equipment on their 1st and 2nd Line Gear. The equipment used is transferable, from one loadout to the next and suits a multitude of environments that Bravo operates in. I've previously covered a raft of S&S Precision gear;


S&S Precision V-Lite Multi-Mode

S&S Precision Manta Strobe MS-0015

S&S Precision Gear Retention Track & Holster Extender, Belt Adapter and Webbing Adapter


and continue to look for new kit used by Bravo that S&S Precision supply. Magazine retention systems are one area that multiple manufacturers can provide solutions for and throughout the seasons the teams preferences showcase their individualities. One piece (or two, or three depending on which of Bravo you're trying to emulate) of kit used is the S&S Precision Gear Retention Track Webbing Adapter (GRT WA), Skeletonized Magazine Retention (SMR) and the SMR Dust-E. 1B9 HAYES, 2B9 PERRY, 3B9 QUINN and 5B9 REYNOLDS are the four that continue to use these items / a mixture of these items through the seasons.



There are a number of accessories available for the GRT and can be found on the Gear Retention Track & Accessories page of the S&S Precision website. The magazine retention solution I'm focussing on in this blog is where it's attached to the 1st Line Gear as the last / backup magazine once the primary magazines are used. Endeavouring to replicate a screen accurate loadout I followed the S&S Precision equipment in Tan. This was due to the fact that the Tan variant fitted better aesthetically when used with AOR2.


Product details


Herein lies the product descriptions from the website;


Gear Retention Track Webbing Adapter (GRT WA)


The GRT™ Webbing Adapter provides a MOLLE/PALS compatible attachment platform for GRT™ accessories.

  • MOLLE/PALS compatible adapter

  • Occupies two columns and two rows of webbing

  • Available in Black and Coyote Tan

  • Patent # US D724484, CN 201430064564, EP 002430959-0001, EP 002430959-0002 (additional patents pending)


Skeletonized Magazine Retention (SMR)

  • Rigid Magazine Holster

  • Polymer 5.56mm Magazine Holster

  • Magazine Retention System

  • GRT™ compatible mounting system


SMR Dust-E


The SMR™ Dust-E attaches to the bottom of the SMR™ with a simple, yet secure snap fit. The installation process takes seconds. The Dust-E makes sure that dust and debris do not get lodged into the magazine.


Packaging exterior


The Gear Retention Track Webbing Adapter (GRT WA), Skeletonized Magazine Retention (SMR) and SMR Dust-E are all packaged in clear plastic tough bags with the S&S Precision product sticker on the front detailing product colour and Product Number (P/N). I purchased the Coyote Tan versions of the products (black is also available) therefore as seen, the P/Ns are GRT-WA001CT, SMR-001CT and SMR-DE001CT. On the rear of the bags are the 'Made in the USA 757' stickers which reference a collective of small businesses based in the Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA region.



Product exteriors in detail


Gear Retention Track Webbing Adapter (GRT WA)


The GRT WA provides versatility in that it can be fitted to MOLLE or PALS platforms, taking up only 2 columns and 2 rows of webbing. This Webbing Adapter allows the user to attach to it a multitude of S&S Precision products such as the; Holster Extender, SMR, Grenade Launcher Holster etc. It's manufactured using a strong and durable polymer that is rugged, easy to install and is minimal in nature. Primarily the intended purpose of the GRT WA purchased is to fit it to the 1st line and have the SMR, the Trifecta Connecta or Holster Extender fixed to it.




GRT WA measurements


Height 10.9cm

Width 7.2cm

Depth 1.4cm


The GRT WA weighs a total of 42g.












Skeletonized Magazine Retention (SMR)


The SMR is purely designed to house a 5.56 magazine. In it's purest form it is lightweight, flexible and minimalistic.




SMR measurements


Height 9.3cm

Width 7.7cm

Depth 3.5cm


The SMR weighs a total of 37g.













SMR Dust-E


The Dust-E comes in two parts; the frame and the lock. In addition to the two parts, a small operators sheet is included detailing how to fit the frame and lock together correctly onto the SMR.



The Dust-E by itself could potentially be used as a solution when storing magazines in the rack, however its purpose is to be used in conjunction with the SMR.



Dust-E measurements


Frame


Height 2.6cm

Width 3.2cm

Length 7.2cm


The Dust-E Frame weighs a total of 21g.










Lock


Height 1.9cm

Width 3.1cm

Length 7.6cm


The Dust-E Lock weighs a total of 10g.


Fitting GRT WA to molle belt


The fitting of the WA to molle or in the example below, a molle belt is easy, however due to the material of the WA and being new it is tough to fit, but once fitted is completely stable and there is no wobble or slippage at all. The WA takes up 2 columns of molle and part of the design allows 2 hooks on the upper part of the WA to hook tightly onto the molle loop stitching.


The larger WA section first needs to be fitted to the molle belt first and the hooks need to be caught on the molle stitching. The lower section of the WA is trickier to fit and does catch the belt material if not fitted correctly. Once fitted the WA is immovable and is a solid base for any attachments.



Fitting SMR to GRT WA


This is a simple and quick process. In the 1st image below, the rear of the SMR can be seen on the left hand side. The rear has a raised platform with grooves on the left and right which are designed to lock into the grooves situated on the GRT WA. To fit correctly, the rear of the SMR must be placed onto the front of the GRT WA, some force is required pressing down whilst simultaneously pulling the SMR from the top of the GRT WA to the bottom. As this equipment was new, it was stiff, however over time and use and only being manufactured of dense polymer it's likely to wear down and be easier to install / uninstall. Pull the SMR all the way downwards until an audible click is heard and the SMR cannot be pulled upwards. In the 3rd image below looking at the rear, the GRT WA tab at the top bearing the S&S Precision logo can be seen sitting above the top of the SMRs raised platform and is shown locked into place. The total weight of the GRT WA and SMR together is 79g.



To uninstall the SMR, the tab mentioned above must be pressed down with force from the front and the SMR simultaneously pulled upwards.


Fitting Dust-E to SMR


Following the instructions on the supplied operators sheet, this process again is quick and easy. The Dust-E frame is turned sideways and inserted into the SMR. Once sited in the middle as in the 3rd image below, it can be rotated upwards with the feet to the bottom. Next the lock can be attached by lining up the 4 pegs into the 4 holes on the bottom of the frame as seen in 5th image. The lock further has a clip on each end as highlighted in 6th image which clip into two grooves on the side of the frame. Press both together until you hear an audible click and it is then secured in place.



To uninstall the Dust-E I found it was best to use a small flat headed screwdriver and to gently press between the clip and rubber foot as shown in the first image below. A firm press inwards and a push upwards will disengage the clip. Copying this process on the other side will then disengage the lock from the frame as shown in the third image and the lock can then be totally removed followed by the frame.



Fitting SMR & Dust-E to GRT WA


With the Dust-E fitted to the SMR, the SMR can using the technique mentioned above be attached to the GRT WA thereby completing the magazine retention system. The total weight of the GRT WA, SMR and Dust-E together is 110g.



SMR


The below section initially covers the use of the SMR loaded with a magazine and then shows the SMR fitted to the GRT WA.


The magazine used is a Magpul PMAG30 Gen M3 loaded with 5x Magpul 5.56x 45 (.223 Remington) dummy rounds.


As mentioned above, as the SMR is new the outer vertical arms are stiff and the interior vertical rubber pad that guides the magazine in and forms a part of the retention was not worn. Of note is that when removing the magazine which did again require pressure, beware of fingers getting trapped / pinched between the SMR and ribs on the PMAG. Inserting the magazine did require exerting pressure, pushing the magazine downwards until it was approx 4mm from the bottom of the SMR (shown in image 3). As demonstrated in image 4, the magazine can be fitted either way depending on shooting hand. The last 3 images show the SMR fitted to the GRT WA and it can be seen that the SMR remains low profile, at only 4.5cm depth from the rear of the GRT WA to the top of the SMR.


SMR & Dust-E


The below section initially covers the use of the SMR & Dust-E loaded with a magazine and then shows both fitted to the GRT WA.


Once the Dust-E is fitted, inserting the magazine is identical to that mentioned above. The design of the Dust-E as seen in these images demonstrates how it encapsulates the top of the magazine, protecting the top rounds of the magazine, the feed lips and the interior of the magazine from debris. The 4th image close up shows how tightly the Dust-E fits around it, remaining approx 1mm gap between magazine and Dust-E. The final 2 images show the SMR & Dust-E fitted to the GRT WA. As above the SMR remains low profile, at only 4.5cm depth from the rear of the GRT WA to the top of the Dust-E.



Testing


Testing is an integral part of the blog reviews to show you how the products stand up to abuse in the environment, further helping you with the decision of whether to purchase the items or not. The SMR package was no exception. In order to conduct the testing I used the Magpul PMAG30 Gen M3 loaded with 5x Magpul dummy rounds and tested when loaded into the SMR by itself and then with the Dust-E fitted. The test was conducted when dropping the equipment from waist height simulating a disconnect from the belt line.



SMR


The SMR is a simple and effective magazine retention option. Due to it's 'skeletonized' nature care needs to be taken if dropped onto a surface.


Dry ground (grass) - no noticeable ingress of debris or material into magazine.


Wet ground (grass) - some debris or material (vegetation) stuck to top 2 rounds in magazine. Water droplets also coated top rounds. Nothing would stop magazine functioning correctly.


Dry ground (mud) - some debris or material (mud / stones) stuck to magazine.


Wet ground (mud) - debris or material (mud / stones) did enter the magazine due to force of impact. Checking and unloading of rounds would be required before magazine is used.


Sand - due to fine nature of sand it did ingress to the 3rd and 4th round in the magazine which could cause issues to the magazine and rifle if used without checking.


Water - did fully penetrate the magazine as expected, but did flow out when removed. Magazine should be usable but with rounds and magazine cleaned at first opportunity.


  • Dislodge of top seated rounds possible if dropped and corner of magazine impacts ground first.

  • Rounds need to be checked for correct seating prior to loading and firing.

  • SMR and magazine should be checked for hairline cracks or damage if dropped to prevent failure at a critical moment.

  • Proper cleaning and maintenance of equipment will prolong durability.




SMR & Dust-E


The SMR & Dust-E combination provide a formidable element to protect your magazines and top loaded rounds.


Dry ground (grass) - no ingress of debris or material into magazine.


Wet ground (grass) - no ingress of debris or material into magazine.


Dry ground (mud) - no ingress of debris or material into magazine.


Wet ground (mud) - debris or material (mud / stones) did enter the edges of the Dust-E with the solid particles held there. Some slight ingress of water into the base of the Dust-E touching the top seated round in the magazine.


Sand - due to fine nature of sand it did ingress into the Dust-E slightly but again did not impact any rounds other than the top seated one.


Water - did penetrate the magazine as expected, but did flow out when removed. Some water residue remained in the Dust-E when removed from the water as no drainage hole was provided.


  • Risk of dislodge of top seated rounds reduced if dropped due to Dust-E encapsulating the top of the magazine.

  • Rounds need to be checked for correct seating prior to loading and firing.

  • SMR, Dust-E and magazine should be checked for hairline cracks or damage if dropped to prevent failure at a critical moment.

  • Proper cleaning and maintenance of equipment will prolong durability. If dropped in mud or water, removal and cleaning of Dust-E essential so as to not let it hold water.



Thoughts and opinion


1st Line Gear is important to have correctly set up. One item that should be on the 1st Line Gear is a 'last magazine' as a last resort. Everyone's 1st Line Gear is personal and will feature pouches, holsters and other accessories to suit them and their mission and environment.


Overall I like the SMR with its simple design and lightweight. When combined with the Dust-E it becomes a solid piece of kit which is hugely preferable to the SMR on its own due to the fact that the magazines are solidly protected with the Dust-E fitted. A standard fabric pouch will and can collect debris in the bottom if not cleaned regularly and therefore this quick release magazine solution is a step above other solutions.


Finally the choice comes down to requirements, environment, budget and use. What do I require from my magazine pouch on my 1st Line Gear? Will I be operating in a maritime environment, a desert or in a temperate location? How much do I want to spend on equipment that will be affordable, reliable and designed to last? Is it an item that I will be using every single day and be subjected to abuse or used once every so often? It's certainly worth asking several questions before making a purchase.


I for one am happy with my choice having purchased the full package, not only for it to be a reliable magazine system, but also replicating Bravos loadouts. I would certainly recommend this system as something different from the standard magazine pouches available on the market and as always, if you spend the money to buy tried and tested gear you have less chance of it failing you when you need it most.


The GRT provides a number of different accessories and solutions (standby for another review soon of another GRT linked piece of equipment...) These accessories can be found on the Gear Retention Track & Accessories page of the S&S Precision website along with a whole host of other equipment.


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Final Note

I am not paid for my blogs by the manufacturers or companies that I purchase my items from. I am not offered freebies to promote a product. These blogs are purely written from my own experience in truth to help advise and inform others who may wish to purchase the items or understand more about them. If I am sent a freebie to review this will be stated at the beginning to make you aware.

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