All posts in Blackhawk

Blackhawk Lightweight Tactical Pants shortage?

Blackhawk Tactical PantsWe have been a stocking dealer for a great many tactical clothing companies because we know that much of this industry is about preference and what the Mission at hand.   We get lot of Law Enforcement that stop in our store because they are going to the range for training and all that is required is “black pants” primarily because they know they might be doing a lot of knealing in dirty environments and if they were wearing anything but Black pants, they might be stained for good.  Most of the pants we sell have some type of knee pad inserts although I don’t really find many of them to be all that practical, you just have to make sure you pull them out before you wash them  otherwise the foam inserts will break down much quicker.

We have been big fans of Hatch knee pads although Blackhawks Neoprene knee pads are very popular.   Recently it has come to our attention that a major production change has occurred and these  Blackhawk Tactical Pants and much of their clothing is now being moved to Puerto Rico.   Although that is not continental United States, its nice to hear things like this and it’s also a long list of companies from Proper, Original Swat Footwear, ATS Tactical Gear and others that have been moving manufacturing out of China and  Asia, hopefully this reset in manufacturing over the last several years will stabilizing the availability and prices and we have even see companies like 5.11 increase prices since the whole Asian monopoly on manufacturing has hit everyone.


Evaluation of various Tactical Clothing Companies 5.11, Vertx, Tru-Spec ect.

Multicam Combat ShirtMulticam Black PantsTruSpec jacketsTactical Softshell JacketsCCW VestsConcealed Carry Shirtstactical pants Tactical Vests12yrs ago everything was very different and 5.11 Tactical was pretty much the only brand you would see in a gun shop or tactical store but not so much anymore.   Just by looking at the number of “likes” 5.11 tactical has on Facebook is pretty telling as to how big and widely accepted they are but not everyone needs to tow the brand names like they are a Rock Band they need to follow.  There are so many material differences, fit differences, quality control and features each product has that sometimes it just comes down to tactical clothing preferences, season changes can also make you decide on a different brand because some tactical shorts just don’t up to what you desire.   I personally find Tru-Spec tactical pants and tactical shorts to be an easy option to go back and forth between Winter and Summer Clothing because the pockets are exactly the same.

In extreme temperatures like we had this past Winter in Pennsylvania, lightweight tactical pants like Blackhawk lightweight pants and anything 100% cotton ripstop or the 65/35 Polyester cotton ripstop were not warm enough and more people were switching over to the Woolrich Elite Series cotton canvas pant, the Tru-Spec cotton pants and the Vertx all cotton with 2% Lycra pants.   Everyone is different with their tolerances of what they can handle but sticking to only one Tactical Clothing company and not only sticking to one brand has helped Rogue Elite gain more customers.  Finding the right fit is something you can do when you know you can drive an hour to a store and check your sizing or ask questions and be shown all of the features.


Been there, done that was tactical clothing

tactical clothing This is a niche market but it appeals to a very hardcore group of people.  Much of it is preference driven whether it’s Condor tactical vests, molle gear or Vertx product line.   The costs of jackets could be from $89.99 to over $400 depending on what features and quality you want.   We all remember what it was like to shop in an Army Navy store and buy surplus military gear, especially those of us that remember the fall of the Eastern Communist Countries and all of the stuff that was sold off in military depots.   Some of that was cool to have, but the smell had to be washed out and most of it was in the BDU category and not a lot of features like some of the newer tactical clothing companies like 5.11 Tactical or Tru-Spec make.

We’ve seen various companies take adventures in making certain tactical pants but the quality was never there.  Only hardcore clothing companies have been able to cut into the tactical clothing market and that is only about a  half dozen companies that still make user friendly and quality shirts, pants, shorts, vests and jackets.   Tru-Spec makes some new jackets that are knock offs of the old M65 jacket but once you put it on and feel the brand new quality, you’ll know why it was time to update or clean out  your old jackets especially if you  are concealed carry holder.  It seems Woolrich Elite Series Tactical has been sold off so that’s another Fail for the tactical clothing world but you never know when someone has a new design that catches everyone’s attention.


Tactical gear for yourself or send your spouse for a gift certicate

Philadelphia Police SuppliesIn this industry, it is so technical that it’s very rare for someone  in the Law Enforcement community to send someone in to shop for them.  We get a lot of last minute buyers when someone finds out they got moved to a SWAT Team or recently got hired to be a  Police officer in the Delaware County, Chester County or Philadelphia Police Department.  Usually customers come in in waves, after Graduations at the Philadelphia Police Academy or the Delaware County Police Academy.   Recently we started getting customers from the Montgomery County Police Academy Training Center.   Each week we’ve been setting up 1 or 2 Police Departments for their Clothing Allowances and logistically speaking, the customers are glad we are here in Delaware County so they can walk in and walk out.  Shopping for tactical pants, shirts and body armor is something that people want to do in-store and not online.

Our 1500 sq ft Broomall, Police Depot and tactical store is in the heart of Delaware County in the Broomall Industrial Park.   We are a stocking dealer for many in the region and we are a good source for Philadelphia Police Supplies from tactical boots from the Original Swat Footwear company, Tru-Spec, 5.11 tactical, ATS Tactical,  Streamlight Flashlights like the Stinger and Strion, which are rechargeable flashlights that the vast majority of Upper Darby, Marple Township and even the State Police are using.  We stock many of the handcuff and Safariland products that new Police Officers will need for their duty gear.  CR123 batters are something we need to keep in store at all times because most local places that sell them are 50% more than what we charge.


New tactical pants for this Fall? How about lower profile pants?

tactical pantsIn 2013 we saw the launch of the Tru-Spec Simple Tactical product line and considering how well it has sold so far I expect that there will be a womens line and possible a few more colors.   The Simple Tactical product line is basically a mild tactical pant that probable has 40% fewer pockets if you compare it to 5.11 or other Tru-Spec tactical pants, namely the 24/7 series.    That’s a really nice pant for $39.95 and sometimes you can get them cheaper especially during the 1,2,3 sales that Tru-Spec has done atleast 2x’s.   Some people don’t like particular waistbands and the Simple tactical is more stretch.  You will notice that those will be tru to your waist size and you won’t be able to stow gear is pretend you are really a smaller waist.

This year we took on a few 5.11 products which we normally stayed away from but now that Woolrich Elite Series Tactical is no longer making their product line, we brought in the 5.11 covert Khaki 2.0 which is a good improvement over the regular Cover Khaki.   These pants are now the least tactical pants we (looking that is) and after washing an wearing I didn’t notice any of the shrinkage that so many of our customers complain about.  I guess 5.11 put a little more quality into their white color tactical clothing.  We’re still testing out various types of shirts to see if we can find anything anywhere near as nice as the Woolrich Elite Series concealed carry shirts.   We really missed that product line.


A very successful year in Delaware County

philadelphia police supply storesThis year was a very successful year for us in the Delaware County area in launching our tactical store and we double the size of our business in the first 6 months.  People are still finding out about us via word of mouth whenever they need a new holster, police boots or even just Ambulance companies hiring and people  needing to get a pair of pants.  Much of the product line we stock in our store is for people to checkout instead of buying it online.  Duty gear like handcuff keys and various police belts are things that people in the Law Enforcement industry lose or wear out over time and are always in need of.    Police vests, tactical pants, uniform pants, belts, hydration unites, SWAT team bags are things that are always wearing out and need to be replaced.

We’ve learned there are so many types of handcuffs, swivel and hinged doesn’t always narrow it down, some are different weights and types of metal.  The items we have brought in this year are the Safariland lightweight handcuffs and in our region there are no Philadelphia Police Supplies shops around here and many of our Law Enforcement Officers are very happy to see a business like this open up.   Tactical vests, body armor are all things people need to be sized up on and this is something that has to be done right so that there are fewer returns.   We stock a large number of Blackhawk serpa holsters, safariland products, pepper spray, mace, tasers, batons, police badge holders and more and more duty gear.


What tactical pants work for you?

blackkhawk tactical pantsI’ve been wearing Tru-Spec and Blackhawk pants for almost a year and my tastes have changed dramatically.   I started out with the Tru-Spec 24/7 Series pants but had a few issues with my wallet being kicked out of the ID pocket and it started to bother me so much I re-considered wearing the Blackhawk Tactical pants.  I normally carry pepper spray in the front pockets of my Woolrich Elite Series Tactical pants and my Eotac pants but only Blackhawk and 5.11 tactical had a pocket that was similar to the platform that I was use to.  I attempted to get into 5.11 tactical pants several times but have gotten so much negative flack and proved it myself with several wear tests that it’s hard for me to even have a 5.11 tactical product in my clothing rotation.

The Tru-Spec 24/7 Series pants may not work for you but the quality is defanitely there.  I would defanitely say that the Blackhawk tactical pants that I’ve been wearing for 4 months now have grown on me.  I wish the side cargo pockets were about 2 inches deeper and I wish they had an ID pocket in the seat area on the left side.  If Blackhawk Warrior Wear did that these might become my favorite tactical pants.   I will be making my switch to tactical shorts in a few weeks after an unseasonable cold Spring.   I’m not sure that here in Pennsylvania the Poly Cotton rip stop pants will be comfortable in 100F weather but I will definitely be posting  about various tactical pants and tactical shorts.


You carry a firearm and have to think about Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer apparel, here’s some suggestions

tactical apparel It looks like Woolrich Elite Series Tactical is no more and the clothing has been drying up for some time now.   They never seemed to be able to move on and market their products after Backyard outfitter ceased marketing their products.    Even after all of these years of selling things that competed in the market against the 5.11 products, we still have customers coming in and bashing the 5.11 product line as having sub-par quality control.  It’s one reason why we don’t stock their clothing in large quantities.   Much of the fabric shrinks or falls apart and we don’t want to deal with the customer complaints for tactical pants, tactical shirts, tactical vests or jackets since this happens so much.   They are truely a monster of a company but there are better quality products out there for less money.

Finding shirts that fit you is something you are going to have to try out for yourself, the Blackhawk and Tru-Spec product lines have very good quality control, but sizing and fit are going to be different.  Everyone asks us how the cut is and every shirt and even some styles are cut differently.   TruSpec tactical apparel has uniform and tactical shirts as well as concealed carry shirts and the fabric, lightweight and ultralightweight tactical shirts are very different.  The gunny tactical line gives a different angle to the product line and the Tru-Spec 24/7 Series clothing and the Tru-Spec Simple Tactical clothing is going to really cut into Blackhawk and 5.11 tactical market just based on quality control and price points.


Somtimes our style of tactical pants changes for a reason

tactical pants Lately I have been carrying different gear with me at work and during classes.   Recently I was on a road trip and re discovered ankle and shoulder holsters and forgot what it was like to carry in those positions while driving 8hrs in a day.  There are plenty of reasons to consider ankle carry holsters but they are really meant for backups.   One thing I have noticed with various tactical pants is the cut of the pants near the ankles.  Not that I think people need bell bottom pants but this is something to seriously consider when you are carrying in this position.  Some styles of pants will not give you the movement you need and you will end up with your pants riding up on you.

When it comes to carrying handcuffs and batons, wallets and other paperwork, you are going to see huge differences in the types of pants out there.  Call me an old timer but I still don’t have Vertx tactical pants in my wardrobe although in 2013 I plan on getting some.   I have found I have learned to love the  Blackhawk lightweight tactical pants because they are holding up very well to all of the useage I have given them and the only negative I have so far are the lack of a left side wallet or ID pocket.   The pockets are a little too  deep for a wallet and I often feel like I lost it because it’s about 2-3 inches lower than it normally would be.   It’s not just about the material like 100% cotton ripstop or 65/35 poly cotton ripstop.


Some new observations about tactical pants after a plane trip

Blackhawk tactical pantsThis year I had to do some business trips and I was in and out of cars, hotels, motels and airplanes for several days.   I had the new gunny boot cut tactical pants with me, Woolrich Elite Series Tactical Chinos, Tru-Spec 24/7 pants, and the Blackhawk lightweight tactical pants with me.  I figured this would  be a good time to force myself to try them out because normally I don’t like to switch up my gear.   I always had a flashlight with me and if I wasn’t wearing the Tru-Spec pants I had to find another way of keeping track of where it was so I knew it was always there when I needed it and knew that it didn’t fall off or get lost.

Well, after a long plane trip, I was won over by one of my lease worn tactical pants and that’s because I found the pocket placements to be very useful for what I was doing at the time.   The 65%/35% polycotton ripstop pants from Tru-Spec were very similar to the Blackhawk tactical pants that I was wearing on the plane trip but the leg pockets with the sidezip were very useful while being in the seated position.  I used these pockets for tickets for my flights and it was much easier to access than my hand pockets.  I never really thought about this until I was sitting there drinking a beer and was about to check what time my next flight was.

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