All posts in Tactical Gear

Rothco Jackets for Fall and Winter 2017

There are several product lines we have recently picked up that our customers asked us to start carrying.  While we are very cautious about what kinds of inventory we stock, there is something that we really liked about the Rothco outerwear that we really liked.   We recently found out about another regional Army Navy store closing down and to be honest, there really isn’t much opportunity to acquire military surplus clothing like there use to be. So many of these stores try to pick up modern military production clothing and the profits aren’t just there. Rothco Jackets like Rothco MA-1 Flight Jacket is only $36 and gets people through most of the fall is a light windbreaker.  Everyone has a variation of the M-65 jacket and Rothco is one of them.   They do a good job of  making vintage military jackets.

The only negative we’ve gotten so far is that Rothco could do a better job of putting better quality zippers on their jackets.  The Rothco Jackets that we sell the most of are the Soft Shell jackets, there are considerable differences in the weight and tactical or concealed carry applications so do some research into what works best for you.  The Rothco A-2 Leather Flight Jacket is an outstanding version but on the much higher price.  With all of the options you might consider, Rothco hits at a much more reasonable price point for wear and tear clothing.


Tru-Spec Mens Tactical Boot Cut Trousers

There are tons of tactical pants to choose from, but there are not that many we can say are good for everything.  We’ve been around long enough to see companies come and go, but as much as we have have our preferences, not everyone will be happy with just one brand.   We’ve done a brutal analysis of various tactical clothing companies, from Rothco, Tru-Spec, UnderArmor, 5.11 Tactical and Vertx.   Every brand has there own targeted market, but we’ve seen many people tend to lean towards the lower profile clothing because if you can wear it more, you are going to use it more.  Sometimes just a chance of color on a style makes the difference in your perceived profile.

Tru-Spec makes a quality product and is worth looking into, but they have a few duds from time to time.  With how competitive the tactical clothing industry is, price points and quality control is where it is at.  My personal preference in the Tru-Spec product line is towards the Tru-Spec (what was the Gunny Signature Series Boot Cut Pant) and is now called the Tru-Spec Mens Tactical Boot Cut Trousers, these have deep hand pockets for pocket carry, and larger knife pockets and makes a great EDC carry pant.  I do find that if you are carrying a sidearm on the strong side you might have issues with using the designed knife pockets which is why many other companies move pockets towards the front, like the 5.11 TDU pants and the Propper Kinetic Pants do, I wish Tru-Spec would design things like these but they still have some good stuff.


Kimber Pepper Blaster II what’s so different about this?

Pepper Sprays

Kimber Pepper Blaster II

There’s a very short and simple answer I have for  you, people often get sticker shock and think “I don’t need to spend almost $40 on pepper spray” but when I explain to them the difference between key chain pepper sprays and a Kimber Pepper Blaster, well, put each one in your pocket or purse, then pull it out and point it at your threat, they realize that they did not know which directly the keychain pepper sprays were pointing until they looked at it.   A handgun is suppose to be an extension of your hand, it should be easy to point, a bottle or cylinder shaped object is NOT easy to point.   I’ve also been around enough deployments of pepper spray to know how sloppy they can be, and often there is blow back.

There are levels of self-defense, sometimes a flashlight can do the job, verbal defense, less lethal, and lethal.   For civilians, I highly recommend something like the Kimber Pepper Blaster II over any stun gun.  Lots of women come in our store looking for stun guns, but we recommend those for Father’s to give to daughters on Prom Nights or for College Dating, training with a weapon that you have to get up close and personal with is more of a liability than something that shoots 112 MPH and I can attest that they can shoot 13ft.  It gives you more of a splatter than a stream, which also makes it much easier to hit your target.   Also the velocity of the Pepper Blaster makes it hard to dodge.   The shelf live of these is 5 years and spending less than $80 for 10yrs of less lethal defense is not expensive.   I also highly recommend these has something anyone with a CCW should ALSO carry.


Turtleskin gloves and how you are suppose to use them




After several years of working in the Private Security field and dealing with Law Enforcement, one thing we have learned it many people don’t understand how to use their products or gear properly.  I’m reminded of a Clint Smith quote in one of of his Rifle Training videos about “not rackin it, and slapping it, Vietnam style” in reference to the proper way to drop a bolt on an AR.   Guys come in here thinking you can use molle pouches on a belt and then come in complaining how it’s not working and we’re like “its for a molle vest not a belt” and we get an “oh”.    Frisk Gloves are meant for frisking,  Turtleskin Gloves are meant for need protection and slash resistance, not shoveling the snow or going to the shooting range.   They should have a shelf life much longer than latex gloves, but don’t expect them to last forever, remember body armor usually is expired in 5yrs for a reason.

The most popular seller in the last 4 years are the Turtleskin Bravo Gloves, these have more of a patrolman’s glove and are very lightweight and easy to shove in your pockets without a lot of bulk.   There are some other gloves out that customers have told us about but we’ve done extremely well with Turtleskin Gloves.   This company makes space suits so puncture resistance is something they really care about.   Just like most Level II and Level IIIA body armor these gloves are resistant, not stab proof.   You still have to know how to search properly and know all of the angles of your hand and they way things can be hidden in pockets.  We offer bulk discounts on these as well as department discounts based on volume


What’s the difference between various Combat Shirts, Tru-Spec Combat shirt versions

There are always new materials and fabrics coming out that have improvements in stretch, flame retardants or breathability.  Cotton is always very good for breathability which is why t-shirts and jeans and t-shirts and shorts are not going to go away in hot climates, but they have their drawbacks.  One of the major issues with all cotton products is that always shrink to some degree.  65%/35% polyester/cotton clothing won’t shrink so much, but there area always quality control variations depending on the brands.  We are often asked what the differences are between Rothco Combat Shirts, Tru-Spec Combat shirts, 5.11 Combat Shirts and Condor Combat Shirts.  There are plenty more out there but we know that not everyone is going to drop $100 or more on a shirt.

There is a huge crossover market which many of the products we sell, but we don’t always sell the most expensive products and we always avoid going to low on quality.   The first thing I’d have to say when looking for a combat shirt is the Tru-Spec Combat shirts that outsell any other type are the 1/4 Zip Combat shirts.  If you are wearing body armor you are going to wish you had that feature when you are sweating up a storm.   There are several military units that are actually issued these shirts in Multicam so you know they have a very high approval rate.   There are big differences in the layout of the sleeves from brand to brand, pocket patterns and fit, so this is  something that people either dislike, or it closes the sale.   The Multicam 1/4 Zip Combat shirts are sold in either a Polyester/Cotton Ripstop or a Nylon/Cotton Ripstop.   There is a Standard Combat Shirt, Winter Combat Shirt and the new Urban Force TRU combat shirt. The main reason is that some military and police forces want they nylon/cotton material for added flame resistances, Tru-Spec demos this on a youtube.


Ring’s Blue Guns are they still needed for training?

We’ve been around long enough to know that we can trust that Ring’s molds their plastic guns with outstanding quality.   I recently spoke to a firearm instructor that told me we need to carry airsoft because it’s better than blue guns.   Well, I told him that Airsoft isn’t really the thing you should be bringing into a classroom because people still need to wear eyewear.   Ring’s Blue guns are still relevant to the industry because you can do demonstrations and training with optics, weapon mounted flashlights, and firearm safety without fear of pellets flying at you.   Anyone that has been around firing ranges long enough can tell you about all of the accidents that could have been avoid with better training.

Whether it’s holstering and un-holster, training to use a light on a handgun, it’s always best to teach people in a classroom before going to a range.  Recently there was an incident at a range where someone had a piece of hot brass go down their shirt and they reached for the hot brass with the loaded gun in their hand to retrieve it and ended up discharging the handgun and shot a person standing behind them.    When people are new, they don’t have the muscle memory to be safe, I will never move someone to a live fire range without knowing that they are ready.    It is also a fact that Ring’s Blue Guns are highly sought after by holster makers, and we all know from SHOT SHOW that there are always new models coming out every year.


Lots of options for Hearing Protection on the range or on the job














There has been some big changes in the the way people use and wear hearing protection.  Now that suppressors becoming more and more common, the need for hearing protection with high decibel reduction is going down.   You still do have to watch your ears with certain calibers because you may not know that you are doing damage if you go with something rated low.   Every once in awhile we get people that I normally consider outside the industry, like drummers and construction workers that pick up the foam ear plugs or the Sonic Protectors that Surefire produces.   Not everyone likes to have those heavy headphones on, and anyone using eyewear (which you should) finds out real fast how uncomfortable they are together.

People often ask about the electronic Hearing Protection from Peltor but I find that better for firearms instructors or training instructors.   If I was going to get a best recommendation, I lean heavily towards the Surefire Sonic Defenders.  With the Sonic Defenders, you have color options, size options (you have to measure the inside of your ear with a ruler) and ear canal depths, Once you have your size down, you’ll never go back to foam ear plugs.   And if you really aren’t interested in that and just want the foam ear plugs, just get a jar of them (usually about 100) for usually under $30 and it’ll last you a long time, sometimes that’s a good option for people like me that are always bringing novice shooters to the range that don’t have their own gear.   Sometimes children have trouble with those so junior size hearing protection is the best way to go.


Are Cold Steel Knives dangerous weapons or are they useful tools?

cs_logo_whiteCold Steel KnivesI’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but sometimes we need to remember, that with all of the stupidity in our society, that all those dangerous looking Cold Steel knives or any other tactical knife that you see on a tactical store, or hunting store website, are probable already in just about every household in the Country but with a slightly different handle or blade.  Any knife can be used for something productive, or something destructive.  How many people keep an axe in the shed, but having a Tomahawk in your car makes you a nutjob.   If you do some research you’ll find that many of the Tomahawk or Axes that we sell are actually considered rescue tools.  Any of your leftist anti-gun friends notice that many building keep an axe on the walls of buildings, RIGHT NEXT TO THE FIRE ALARM.  Gee, I wonder why?  So you can break down a door or a wall and save your life?

I recently got back from a Boy Scout Troop meeting where 11-16yr old boys were being shown all about the types of knives and how to hold, carry and deploy them.   God Bless America!   Cold Steel Knives can be use for cutting seat belts and pulling people from burning vehicles, it happens more than you think, and that guy you see carrying a knife with him, EDC, might be the one that saves someone.   I’ve even heard of people rescuing dogs that were being strangled on leashes or even a female that pulled a blade and held off a potential rapist.    You always have to balance your EDC knife with what is legal in your State so don’t get carried away and keep it out of sight.


Camping, Hiking, Survival and Training with Camelbak Hydration Packs

Camelbak Hydration PacksIt’s funny working in this industry and selling products that you already own,  I haven’t used my Camelbak Hydration Pack for several years but dug it out of the closet to use it on a family hiking trip, I forgot how much these actually hold and it beats having to carry a water bottle everywhere you go.  Due to the way these are designed, the weight of the water you are carrying disperses over your back and you hardly notice it if you get the right size.  With a recent warm up here in Pennsylvania, we went right from Winter into Summer weather and got hit with a surge of people that needed Hydration for training coming up.   It seems the National Guard have something going on and everyone in the area found out where to go to get Camelbaks.

One thing we noticed that we are planning on doing in the coming weeks it to start bringing in the cleaning kits and Elixir tablets because A) People don’t know how to clean Camelback Hydration Packs and B) People always put the wrong products in them.  If you use anything with sugar in it you risk damaging the anti-microbial lining that runs along the inside of each pack.   There isn’t really much to maintaining these and thanks to the Youtube videos we attached to each product, just watch and learn.  Another common mistake in picking out the Camelbak packs is that people often buy too small of a pack, the CamelBak Stealth 70 oz/2L Mil Spec Antidote is probable the top seller and after that you can go up to a 3Liter  Camelbak ThermoBak 3L 100 oz Mil Spec Antidote Long if you think you need it.  Small means running out sooner and on those hot Cambing, Hiking or Training days, you’ll wish you had more


Trijicon MRO Red Dots, which mount should you buy? Absolute, 1/3 or Low Mount or Bobro QD mount?

Trijicon MRO Red DotsTrijicon MRO 2 MOA Red DotTrying to find the right optics for hunting, target shooting or whatever else is already a chore, but it can all be messed up if you buy the wrong mount.  We don’t stock a lot of mounts in our retail store because there are so many options out there, price point, material, right heights, that it’s too much of a guessing game because there is a such a diversity of gun owners.  Sticking with just the New Trijicon MRO red dots, many people ask us which mount they should buy or which one is better.   It’s just like the question, which one is better, Aimpoint, Eotech or Meprolight M21, it’s whatever your eyes prefer.

I’ve never had a problem using a fixed iron front sight on my AR15 and using an optic, sure I lose some visibility, but like asking what you should do if a skinny guy was hiding behind a tree and you couldn’t see him, which optic is better. just move around the tree and  you’ll see him. With the Trijicon MRO Red Dots “If you feel the need” to have your iron sights pushed down to the lower 1/3 of your optic, just get a 1/3 Co-witness mount, your field of view will be higher with less obstruction of your field of view and then you’ll have to transition down to your irons if need be.  I can tell you that we sell about 80% more of the absolute co-witness mounts, whether it’s Bobro mounts or Trijicon Mounts.

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