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I was reading through an online forum when I caught the name of a U.S. based company that made gear for the military, law enforcement, and civilian shooting markets. What had caught my eye was a poster's comments about a .308 magazine pouch he had bought from this company. Located in Oceanside, CA, BDS Tactical makes all kinds of tactical gear....especially the kind you see on our troops serving in the Afghanistan.
While I'm not a very "tactical" kind of person, the magazine pouch looked like it was worth investigating as I had been looking for one for training drills. While I wasn't in the market for a full blown assault vest, a weekend sale on the BDS web site made the mag pouch a good buy. I poked around the site and found another pouch to go with it to help take the edge off the $8 shipping fee. So, with $28 worth of gear in the shopping cart, I checked out and waited for my items to arrive via USPS.
About a week later, after receiving several e-mail updates indicating the "build status" and then a final shipping confirmation of my items, I came home from work to find a BDS package in my mailbox.
After dinner, I opened the package only to find it contained a "Tactical Mission Arm Band" (above photo). SAY WHAT? Where the heck is my .308 magazine and utility pouches? After a little investigative work, comparing the shipping invoice with my e-mail order confirmation, it was obvious what happened....my name somehow got associated with another person's order. I sent an e-mail to BDS customer service apprising them of the mix-up and requesting what they needed me to do. Before turning in for the evening, I had a return e-mail from BDS promising they would check into the problem and get right back to me.
After about 9 days, I got an e-mail....another "build status" e-mails, telling me my order was in the planning stage. I sent an e-mail to the customer service contact and asked what was happening, as I'd not heard from him as promised. He informed me that my order was being processed again and that I should keep the order shipped to me by mistake.
It took a couple more weeks for my order to finally arrive. During this time, I inquired as to the delay since my first order had arrived in about a week. BDS indicated they had received a sizable deployment order for a group heading to the sand box and so my order was competing for resources. When all was said and done, my order showed up in my mailbox with the correct items in it. Although it took nearly a month from when I first placed my order, it was basically a non-issue for me. I wasn't in a hurry and given the government gear was for our servicemen that were shipping out to Afghanistan, waiting certainly wasn't a problem. BDS did a pretty good job of keeping me informed thereafter and we had several nice e-mail exchanges near the end where I got some additional info about the company and their support of the troops heading overseas. And hey....I got a Tactical Mission Arm Band for free. Now I just have to find a suitable mission where I can wear it! LOL!!!!! In summary, BDS owned their mistake and corrected it in a professional manner. Mistakes happen and it's how they are handled that sets one company apart from another. BDS did a good job, in my opinion.
Here are the two items I ordered, the utility pouch and the .308 magazine pouch (mag not included). A close check of the stitching shows an excellent job. The seams are straight and well formed. A generous amount of hook and loop material, when needed, is used. The mag pouch has a riveted drain hole in the bottom. The utility pouch does not....which makes sense, as one wouldn't want to lose any small parts from it. Since small items wouldn't be carried in the mag pouch, it makes sense to have one in it.
The flip side view again reflects the quality of work exhibited by the folks assembling these items. BDS Tactical has a complete line of gear that is fully MOLLE compatible. BDS has their own snappless modular attachment system called StackerLok which works very nicely, as I found out. You can see the attachment straps on the back of both the utility and magazine pouches. Did I mention that the stitching really is first rate.
This is my 5.11 RUSH 24 backpack that holds all of my equipment for precision rifle shooting. My pack is literally covered with what is known as PALS webbing. I attached the magazine pouch to the webbing on the side of the pack. The fit is excellent....nice and snug. There is no way the mag pouch will detach itself from the pack once the straps are woven back and forth through no less than 4 attachment loops and locked in place. The BDS StackerLok system works very well....and with no hardware. It is both simple and elegant.
I'm on the BDS mailing list now and have noticed they have sales several times a month. I'll keep an eye out for any other good deals that might come along. Who knows, maybe I'll get more tactical as time goes on. <grin> If you are looking for some well designed gear, check out the product line at BDS Tactical....but don't blame me when you credit card gets a new balance!