> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Project 590A1: Esstac Shotgun Card Sidesaddle

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4/17/13

Project 590A1: Esstac Shotgun Card Sidesaddle


For the Project 590A1 shotgun, I've added a patch of industrial Velcro to the left side of the receiver and attached an Esstac Shotgun card. When empty, the shotgun card can be peeled off and a new one slapped in its place.

The elastic shell loops on the Esstac card are quite tight, which means they have great retention and a firm grip on the shell. But, that also means they can be a bit difficult to load the shells onto the Shotgun case. and a bit slow to retrieve. They should loosen up well with use, though. I doubt they will be as fast as a kydex type material, but they are pretty good.

Running a shotgun is a lot about managing your ammunition and regularly topping off. The shotshell cards are excellent for this--fire one, load one; fire two, load two.When the card is empty, slap on a new one and continue.

The shotgun cards are $15 a pop, so you can pick up a few for what you'd pay for a decent conventional side saddle. And install takes all of about 5 minutes--cut Velcro, add to receiver and then let the adhesive set.

The cards will also fit in most magazine pouches--I've run mine in my Costa Leg Rig, where they work quite well. The Leg Rig's mag pouches, at least, oddly had some loop strips on the inside, which needed to be removed/covered, else the shotgun card's Velcro hook would latch on and make drawing the shotgun card quite difficult.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the system. If you're planning on running a sidesaddle for reloads, this is probably the best way to do so.

The Shotgun cards are available from SKD Tactical or direct from Esstac. Industrial strength velcro can be found at your local hardware store.

14 comments :

  1. Are there any concerns about potential adverse (e.g. corrosive) effects of the adhesives on the shotgun surface?

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    1. I'm not concerned about that, no.

      If I removed the velcro, I'd expect some clean-up that would need to be done, but I think the adhesive eating through the parkerized finish and then through the receiver would be unlikely.

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  2. I'm curious why you went this route for having shells on your gun as opposed to a hard plastic sidesaddle setup? I have a sidesaddle on my Mossberg 590 and am very happy with it.

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    Replies
    1. When the side saddle is empty, you can remove and add a fresh one, versus having a useless and empty side saddle.

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    2. I guess that makes sense. I just have other means of carrying shotgun ammo. And I feel that if I hear an unfamiliar "bump" in the middle of the night that the shells in the gun, in the sidesaddle, and in the speed-feed stock should be enough.

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    3. Certainly a bad day is the 16 rounds of 12 the 590a1 carries between the gun and saddle aren't enough. Really, it's most useful for training and running drills. And zombies.

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  3. I think the cards are the way to go. The replacement factor is significant so you can just slap a new one on and keep reloading the same way vs transitioning to some other carrier/ pouch/ bandoleer. Also I like that they can be removed if needed/ desired. In case you want to take the 590 skeet shooting or something.

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    Replies
    1. I did some informal skeet shooting with buddies a couple weeks back, and the Esstac cards let me stay topped up with ammo while friends were constantly having to refill their pockets.

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    2. Nice, Mostly the reason I dislike the big plastic ones is they are pretty bulky and permanently attached. This way if for whatever reason I wanted to have the gun go back to it's normal width just slip the thing off and stick on an IR flag or whatever to keep the velcro from grabbing stuff and rock on.

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  4. I just can't stand velcro, although its hard to avoid in the tactical world. As annoying, loud, and ugly as it is the stuff does thing nothing else can.

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  5. That is a helluva good idea. The original Side Saddles were canvas loops, then the present synthetic material. One caution not often mentioned - the fore arm may require replacement or mods when mounting these. I found that out the hard way - Duh! Took me a week to find one that worked.

    I would recommend when placing these cards on receiver, to have fore arm fully retracted to rear, to be sure it does not prevent the gun from being loaded. Velcro is loud and gathers crap and dust, but this idea is sound. I would keep the dump bag of loaded ammunition around anyway.

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    Replies
    1. As long as you don't slap the Esstac card on in too forward a position, there is no interference with the forearm/pump.

      Even better than a dump bag full of loose shells would be mag pouches full of shotgun cards.

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    2. Yes sir, but that is the point - placing that card is crucial to operation of a pump action. Having some type of index (think night time where vision is greatly impaired) is important - you sure don't want to find out that your pump cannot be cycled when you really need it.

      I really do think this is a good idea, just needs some care is all I'm saying.

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    3. Agree - the edge of the receiver provides a good index point. You can also angle the card however you like, which could help avoid interference. And, even with some overhang, the card is still just stiff nylon, so it flexes out of the way, too.

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