Following the Korean War, the U.S. Military figured out that a lot of its gear was... archaic. On top of multiple belts and a weird hanger hook system that made things dangly, it wasn't customizable by the individual man. It was largely ok, but it needed an upgrade for the times.
Enter: the M56 gear.
This is the "Case, Small Arms" for that gear which is a long way to say "pouch". At the time, the U.S. Military had two main Rifles in service, so it was key to have a pouch that could handle both types of ammo.
The idea behind the Small Arms Case was that it could handle two magazines for the M14 Rifle or two bandoleers for the M1 Rifle. Or even grenades! It comes with two loops that can carry grenades, which you hilariously aren't supposed to use as such.
The little hook on top connects to our suspenders to keep the pouch upright and also serves to add more points of contact to the belt for your suspenders. Doing so balances the load better.
This was used clear through the Vietnam War, and the odd M56 pouch shows up in photos of the invasion of Iraq when we were using everything we could.
This pouch will hold 2 metal 7.62NATO Magazines each. Or it will also fit 2 or 3 20 round M16 Magazines, but you may want to put a sock in the bottom to grab the shorter magazines better.
The first pattern one here has an eyelet in the pull tab and a stiffener in the front. The second pattern omits those.
100% Cotton Canvas construction, brass or steel hardware, steel clips.