You may or may not be aware that my day job is in the tactical gear design and production industry. Because of that I get lots of samples of new buckles either via mail or trade shows such as SHOT Show. Back in 2019 I received a few samples of the Three Dimensional Side Release (3DSR) buckle. I looked at it and tried to thank of a good use but at the time nothing came to mind. I forgot about it until it was rediscovered in a drawer at my shop. A very well thought out design and while reexamining it I wondered to myself why I hadn’t seen other gear-makers using the 3DSR. It has some great properties and the only conclusion I came up with was simply that nobody knew about it. So, here is me doing my part. If you are not aware of the 3DSR then consider yourself informed.
Features and Stats
- 300 lbs load capacity.
- Squeeze really well in your hand due to shape (easy to release).
- Will release when overloaded instead of breaking.
- Releases fairly easily under load.
- Fragmentation Resistant (info below)
- NIR (Near-Infrared Reduced).
- 1″ webbing interface.
This is probably the most impressive part. This buckle isn’t made from the traditional acetal polymer that you usually associate with other like components. The manufacturer calls it “shatter proof” and was originally developed for USMC/ARMY pack frames and is supposed to keep its physical properties down to -40 degrees. The image below shows one of the buckles that has been shot by a 5.56 round at 20 meters (test not conducted by 30MC). You can see that the round passed through the buckle while it was mated together. The buckle pictured was still operational after taking the damage. An accidental disengagement of the 3DSR is unlikely as you must squeeze both sides to release.
As I stated before I am not exactly sure where this buckle would be used to the greatest effect in the “tactical space”. Perhaps in the should straps of plate carriers or even a on-riggers type of gun belt. It seems a bit wide to be used as a quick detach element on a rifle sling.
There you have it. The 3DSR. I promise to not take four years to report on an innovative components I come across, next time.
Most resellers of the buckle have it listed as an ITW Nexus product but I don’t believe that is the case. The confusion probably came from the fact that Fastening Systems distributes the buckle and they are largely associated with ITW due to the volume of ITW components that they ship.
I receive nothing from your purchase of this item. A simple google search revealed a few places where the 3DSR is available.