SOE Micro 12 Gauge Rig Review

When things go bump in the night are you ready?

We did an article on how pistols are great to shoot your way to your rifle. What about when you get to your shotgun or rifle? Chances are you don’t sleep with your Blue Force Gear on. So where do you put your sidearm, med kit and extra ammo when rushing to investigate the sound of broken glass? Do you have time to don an entire chest rig in the middle of the night?

The SOE Micro 12 Gauge rig works perfect for these types of encounters.

12 Gauge Micro Rig
12 Gauge Micro Rig shown with pink stitching to highlight how dense the stitches are on this durable rig.


  • One Size Fits all adjustable straps
  • Genuine 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon
  • Loops for 24 Rounds of 12 or 20 Gauge
  • 4 Velcro quick access panels
  • 1 Large pouch with Internal Velcro
    • Designed for VOK kit (IFAK but smaller)
    • Magazines for Sidearm
    • G19 with Light mount (tight fit but accessible)
  • Comes configured in Left or Right hand variants
  • Additional MOLLE straps on the outside edge of the large pocket
  • Stretch loops on bottom of the large pouch
  • Large back map pocket

There is an AK/M4 variant that is also available using mag pouches instead of ammo cards.


The kit is designed to operate as follows. 12 rounds of 12 Gauge on the front 2 cards. When those are spent you peel the cards from the velcro and the drop free to hang from the kit, optionally you can set it up to drop completely free and away. You can then pull the reserve card from the pouch and it drops onto the heavy-duty velcro. This gives you 24 rounds easily accessible. It also allows for you to run multiple types of ammunition in the various cards.

The larger pouch is designed with a velcro insert to hold your VOK tight. A VOK is a mini IFAK kit designed by SOE. We have spoken over and over about the importance of having an easily accessible trauma kit. If you receive an injury you are going to want the supplies you need on hand not  in the upstairs bathroom or in your car.
I would highly recommend either buying the VOK and putting it in the large pouch or at the very least put a bandage and combat gauze in it. You can strap a tourniquet to the MOLLE on the side of the large pouch. An emergency flare or in my case a flashlight fits very nicely under the large pouch.

Alternate Set-Up Option 1

My personal plan calls on a 2 person defense with my wife protecting our children while I go and deal with any situation. In this case I have her set up with a side arm, 410 shotgun and a blow out kit. As such I carry a tourniquet on me only and have it attached to the large mag pouch.

Here is a secret though. If you move 2 card over to the edges of the velcro you can place a third card on the front Velcro. This lets you fit a M4/Ar-15 mag in the back pouch. So you can actually carry 18 rounds of shot and two 30 round  m4 mags.
If you keep this rig near you configured as I mentioned you have the ability to transition between weapons based on what is closest to you.

This leaves the large pouch available for a sidearm. I keep a holster that works with my Glocks inside. This way I have a backup weapon available to me and a place to store it as I am likely not to have pants. Imagine 240Lb’s of hairy 248 Shooter with a SOE Micro rig strapped to his chest and either a AR-15 or Shotgun but no pants. Yeah the ultimate in mental warfare that is likely to send all but the most battle hardened running for the way they came in.

Alternate Set-Up Option 2

Another great way to use this is for Skeet and Trap shooting. If you want to go out and have some fun with your buddies but are not a fan of the FUD’s style shotgun gear bring along this bad boy. With 24 rounds on cards and the large pouch accessible you can easily carry 50 rounds. With one reload at the half way point you got yourself a good 100 rounds of fun in and you looked cool doing it.

Alternate Set-Up Option 3

I have to give credit to John Willis from SOE for this one. If you enjoy spending time with your dog but don’t enjoy all the crap you have to bring for a day out such as  water, snack and do-do bags then look no further. The 12 Gauge micro rig works wonderfully as a dog pack complete with tactical biscuits.

Buddy of SEO gear is ready for a walk in the woods.
Buddy of SEO gear is ready for a walk in the woods.

American Made Quality

This is from SOE Gear so it performed as expected. Roll around, pull at it, yank at it, beat it up and it comes back asking for more. This is quality operator level gear Made in the Mother F%^&*ing USA!!!!!!!! That is their motto minus the language filter not ours.  There is no doubt John and the SOE team knows what they are doing.

This is not a company that caters to the tacticool mall ninjas.  SOE makes quality gear for the professional who relies on this gear in combat. Be it contractors, our men and women overseas or the LEO’s here at home, people who need gear for their job go to SOE.

Everything is top-notch from the 1000 Denier Cordura to the ultra tight and thick stitching as well as the heavy-duty Velcro. This is not sweatshop grade airsoft knockoffs from the Philippines or China.  This is true, American Craftsmanship, with quality original materials.
As with all SOE gear it is labeled as “Bombproof” and backed by a full lifetime guarantee if you break it then send it back to him and it will be repaired or replaced for free.

Performance Test

Unfortunately we did not get a chance to run this at a shotgun class yet. We are looking for a good class in our area to correct that and will update the review when we have.
That one test aside we certainly did put it through the ringer. I have personally been wearing it around the house fully loaded 8-11 hours a day for the last 30 days. While this is not a light piece of gear especially loaded above capacity as I have in my Alternate Option 1. That said even when pushed past capacity it has given me no issues. There has been zero pulling of stitches or signs of wear.

We have been pulling shells out of the holders as well as reinserting them several times a day. The elastic is showing no signs of wear or stretching. The shells have gotten a bit easier to put in so it is possible they have stretched slightly or we are just getting muscle memory on how to put them in and take them out. However there is no sign of the elastic loops getting overly loose or losing their grip.
We have pulled at and yanked on the attached cards. These things are firmly attached to the rig and it would take a man much stronger than me to separate them. I love that there is buckles however that allow you to decide if you want the ammo strips to not be attached or not. This allows for mission specific configurability.

The height of the rig is fully adjustable with the standard straps. This allows for easy reach and placement of the ammunition optimal to each person regardless of size or arm length.
The one negative we have found is the standard straps suck for long-term usage. What do you expect though any strap like this would suck if you wore it 8 hours fully or over loaded. The good news is that 99% of you would not wear this a fraction of the amount of time that I have so far. The better news is for those of you who would there is an option H harness upgrade available that makes this rig much more comfortable and allows for the attachment of a Hydration Carrier.

Video of SOE Belts Micro-Rig in Action

Most of the videso show people running the straps improperly. I like this video as it actually shows it set up properly.

Where to Buy

SOE has launched a new site You can find the Micro-Rig here:
The H Harness is available here:
While you are there be sure to check out the Combat Cocks!


Charles is the editor for 248 Shooter a midwest based gun news and gear review site as well as Online Content Director for On Target Magazine. He is an avid student taking classes from top tier trainers around the country. Charles shares his love for training as well as experience and opinions on some of the most talked about gear and products used by competitive shooters, military, leo and civilians.