Kit Up 2011 Tactical Must Haves

Kit Up 2011 Tactical Must Haves: Any guesses on location?

First of all, I want to thank everyone for making this a great last half of the year for me.  Since I’ve taken over Kit Up it has been a blast.  The fellas and I enjoy writing on here tremendously, and what makes it even better is that we have such a great group of people that engage with us on here.

If you haven’t noticed by now, we really only feature Kit we believe in and that we would use ourselves.  We often get requests to feature substandard stuff, but we just don’t go there.  If it sucks, why tell you about it?  We would rather just focus on stuff we trust as good kit.

So as we wrap up this year I wanted to give you our Kit Up tactical “must haves” for 2011.  This is a very focused list and very personal to me.  I also asked the guys to chime in and they’ve given their two cents as well.  I hope you enjoy this years Editor’s picks, me and the guys (and Laura) wish you Happy Holidays! Enjoy, and let us know what you think via the like button!

Oh yeah, check out the Prize Giveaway & Scavenger Hunt Laura put together for you guys.  It will post 12pm EST, get some! -Brandon

Brandon’s Picks

The Emerson Commander BTS $239.95

Kit Up Tactical Must Haves: The Emerson Commander

Kit Up: The Emerson Commander

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve had my Emerson

for five years and it’s still going strong.  The patented “wave” function allows you to draw the blade from pocket with instant opening.  Faster than any auto and a bad ass blade.

 

Arcteryx Woolie Toque $50.00

Kit Up Wool Beanie

Kit Up: The Wool Beanie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A wool beanie is a must have for any operation (Desert or the Mountains of Afghanistan) in my opinion.  A wool beanie has saved my a** on more than one mountain top far from home. Arc’teryx makes some of the most technically advanced outerwear in the world (look for more reviews soon).  Here, they’re keeping it simple with a 100% wool toque.

 

Swarovski SLC 42 Binoculars $1999.00

Kit Up Swarovski Binos

If Money is No Object! Kit Up: Swarovski Binos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can I say, you get what you pay for with most things.  With optics, it’s all about reduction in light transmission loss and Swarovski is among the best. You’ll have them for the rest of your life.

 

London Bridge Trading Company Load Out Bag $382.50 (ask for a Military discount!)

Kit Up Load Out Bag by LBT

Kit Up: LBT Load Out Bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every person needs a bag that just gets it done. This  is a bag from London Bridge Trading Company (Made in the USA) that answers the mail for sure.  We did a post on this recently and you can Click Here to check it out.

Light My Fire FireSteel Scout Fire Starter $12.95

Kit Up Fire Starter

Kit Up: The Light My Fire Scout Flint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is essential Kit.  If you’re alone in the damp cold woods and need fire this will get it done.  Also a great addition to any survival kit. I have this in my personal Go Bag.  At $12.95, you can’t beat this with a stick…well, maybe.

Suunto X10 Military $649.99

Kit Up Suunto X10 Military

Kit Up: Suunto X10 Military Watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, just to set the record straight.  That lame piece of crap Luminox that claims to be the “Official Navy SEAL” watch, it’s all BS.  We may have ordered a few for test samples (their claim to fame) and soon threw the batch over the side of the ship for good reason—they suck.  The only watches we have been issued in the Teams are Rolex, Rolex variants, Casio G-Shock and the Suunto.  The latter is a modern day bad ass.  If you can’t afford a Rolex Submariner then get yourself one of these and never buy a watch again. With built in GPS, Barometer, Compass, and everything else, you can leave the Luminox where it belongs, in the purse.

 

Zamberlan Trekker Hiking Boots $225.00

Kit Up Zamberlan

Kit Up: Zamberlan Trekker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, easily the best boots I’ve ever owned.  When I was a new guy M-60 gunner in Golf Platoon, these boots held up to the harshest of punishment and are still taking care of me to this day.  You will not be disappointed with anything Zamberlan.

Nemo GOGO EX Tent $329.95

Kit Up Nemo GOGO EX

Kit Up: GOGO EX Tent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you wondered who makes some of the best tents in the world, look no further.  Nemo has been taking care of the SOF community in recent years and they make some bitchin tents.  This one is a personal favorite and will not do you wrong.

 

NightForce Optics NF 3.5-15×50 $1599.99

Kit Up Night Force 3.5_15x50

Kit Up: Night Force 3.5-15 Power Scope

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, you guys asked about optics, so here you have it.  Need a good piece of glass for your semi-auto or bolt action rifle?  The best bang for your buck is surely the NightForce series. While there are superior optics on the market in my opinion (Swarovski, Schmidt&Bender, Zeiss, etc), none can touch NF when it comes to durability and price point.  When I was with the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Cell, we pushed hard to get these into the inventory.  You can’t beat the illuminated reticle (where they made their name) for low light or night urban ops.  More than one bad guy has taken a dirt nap thanks to NF.

Arcteryx Combat Jacket $349.00

Kit Up Arcteryx Combat Jacket

Kit Up: Arcteryx Combat Jacket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone needs a go-to jacket.  This light weight combat jacket is minimalistic in nature and will keep you warm and dry when it counts.  Arc’teryx is making the most technically superior outdoor apparel on the market these days.  It’s the choice of Tier One units and there’s a reason for that….

Princeton Tec Remix Pro $59.99

Kit Up Princeton Tec Remix Pro

Kit Up Pick: Princeton Tec Remix Pro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We recently posted about the Princeton Tec Charge, a great piece of Kit developed in partnership with some tier one units.  The only feedback we have on the Charge is , smoothe the edges and recess the light and maybe add a draw string to convert it into a headlamp.

Every operator needs a good headlamp.  If you’ve ever lived in an FOB then you know what I mean.  The good people at Princeton Tec sent us a Remix and this light rocks and is a must have.  There are other great light companies out there, but Made in the USA counts in my books.

SureFire G2ZX Combat Light $115.00

Kit Up G2ZX Combat Light

Kit Up Pick: G2ZX Combat Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like a good headlamp, another must have is a tactical light that can literally light up the room and blind adversaries.  SureFire has be doing this for a long time.  In my opinion, they continue to make the best weapon lights, and for the money you can’t beat the G2ZX.

From Glock: The Glock 17 $599.00

Kit UP Glock 17

Kit Up pick: The Glock 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Glock is a combat proven trusted pistol.  It’s become a “woobie” of sorts for its reliability. That, and you can’t beat the price which drove the choice.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my H&K but for the money you can’t go wrong with Glock.  I recently purchased the 19 for conceal carry but the 17 would be my number two overseas because of the longer barrel.

Peltor: The Peltor 6 $159.00

Kit Up Peltor Ear Pro 6

Kit Up pick: The Peltor 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to hear what your friends are saying without losing your hearing? Then get a pair of these for the range.

Galco concealable belt holster $99.95

Kit Up Concealable Holster

Kit Up pick: Galco Concealable Holster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Galco makes great leather products for just about anything that goes bang in the handgun category.  They’re a personal favorite and I carried the USP .45 and G17 holsters (rotated) in Iraq as concealed options.  Everyone should have one.

Oakley Infinite Hero “Plaintiff” Shades $160.00

Kit Up Infinite Hero Shades

Kit Up Pick: Infinite Hero "Plaintiff" Shades

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every operator needs a good pair of “eye  pro”. And no reason not to look cool.  Not only are these bad ass shades, they are part of Oakley’s Infinite Hero program, a great cause that I was just talking about with Jason Kenitzer at Oakley. Jason, tell the guys at Oakley we said what’s up and keep up the kick ass work.

Comments from the guys….

From Jack Murphy

This year I had the opportunity to get my hands on a number of new products and reflect on some of the better ones that I’ve used in the past. Overall, I’ve been very satisfied how military equipment continues to evolve, although I am still very disappointed at the lack of creativity shown by many weapons manufacturers and how slowly the firearms industry accepts new innovations. That said, the best seller on Black Friday this year was gun sales on the civilian side, so I suppose we can be grateful for that!

 

My buddies back in SOCOM are pleasantly surprised that SOF units are getting back to their roots as light, highly mobile, and maneuverable strike teams and unconventional warfare units. When going tactical ultra-light, I still say that you can’t go wrong with the Mayflower UW rig. I know troops are using it overseas at this very moment and they have very good things to say about this piece of kit. The UW rig has everything you need (well, except a pouch for a water bladder) and nothing that you don’t.

 

Even though I had some criticisms with the cut of the pants, I would still pack my PenCott Badlands uniform into a duffle bag when heading overseas. There are more than enough redeemable features to warrant taking the pants down to the sew shop and having them altered yourself to meet your specification. Badlands is an amazing pattern that seems to change as you move from one background to the next, or as you step from the shadows into the sunlight. I don’t know how they do it but they need to keep doing it!

 

I’ve only been playing with the Princton Tec Switch light for a couple days now, but I would already substitute this for lesser flashlights that I’ve carried in combat in the past. I’ll do a direct comparison to two other helmet mounted lights in the future, but suffice to say that the Princton Tec light resolved a couple of different problems found in similar products. I especially like the various mounting options, as it can be mounted on your kit or helmet and can also be used as a gun light on your carbine. I wouldn’t use this as my primary weapon light, but in an emergency it would serve its purpose. For EPW searches (don’t give a s**t what the current politically correct term is) this light is spot on.

 

30 years from now the public is going to find out about some hair raising operations that our troops conducted deep in enemy territory when the FOIA requests start getting approved. If I was heading out into austere conditions, behind enemy lines, and in a small team or even as a singleton operator, I would want one knife above all the others that I’ve used. The 10-inch Grayman Sub-Saharan is the real deal. More like a Gladius than a knife, I’d leave my wimpy Benchmade knives back at the FOB and roll with some serious metal.

 

On those aforementioned deep reconnaissance patrols, you are also going to need a serious ruck. The Alice pack served its purpose but is obsolete. The Molle ruck sack came with a instructional video tape on how to use it… Do I need to say more? Tactical Tailor’s Malice Pack is great, but if you want the Rolls Royce of rucksacks, you need to go with Kifaru. The Kifaru’s ZXR is hands down the best pack I’ve ever used, and I’ve done a lot of rucking from the Middle East to Central America.

 

Last but not least, I want to follow up on David’s suggestion about oral rehydration tablets. I highly recommend those as well, but let me take it one step further. Go to the PX and buy yourself some of those Airborne tablets that are supposed to square you away when you’ve got a cold. I’m here to tell you, the vitamins and whatever else in those tablets will square you away even more when you’re hungover! So the morning after St. Patrick’s day when you are running from the back of formation and puking your guts up behind an ICU-90, remember to dump one of those Airborne tablets in a glass of water and drink up!

 

From David Reeder

There aren’t a lot of things I can add to the list the others haven’t prepared, but here are a few things I would want on my Christmas list if I was about to deploy (or, if New Jersey was overrun with zombies and we had to take it back).

First, weapon lights, specifically my M3. There are several that I find acceptable for a long gun, but I want my very own Streamlight M3 for my pistol. I know there are others you might think are better, but I’ve had mine for about a decade and it has never failed me. In fact, at RAFO Masirah in ’01, it vibrated off the rail of my GUU during an ATV patrol on the SW side of the cantonment area (had it on my rifle then because someone jacked my Surefire when it was racked in the armory). Three months later, after they’d moved things around and were putting in new Hescoes and moving the tent lines, I no kidding scuffed it up out of the sound while I was doing post checks. Took it to the armory, blew it out with an airhose, wiped out the bezel and interior with a soft cloth and put it back together. Good to go, same battery, 3+ months buried in the sand (and it even rained twice in there). Note: I’m eventually going to look at some other pistol lights, so if you have some suggestions I’m all ears.

Second, holster: I don’t think there is any way you can beat the G-Code SOC holster for fit and modularity. I love mine, and I’m astounded so few people know about them. [Note: Dave will be doing an article about the G-Code shortly. -Brandon]

Third, SAR Eclipse: As you know from my previous posts and my bio, I’m an abseiling, HAHO, going downrange snake-eating doorkicker from way back. I’ve been on missions to places they don’t even have names for, never allowing geographic and political boundaries to stand in my way when it comes to the defense of my country. When I’m not playing X-Box 360 and writing fiction, though, I don’t get outside the wire much. Even so, I carry a SAR Eclipse. In all seriousness, whether you’re running convoys or doing SAR work, or you’re on a manhunt in the Cookson Hills on behalf of the District 27 Drug Task Force, as light as this is, why wouldn’t you carry one?

Fourth, knives: Three. One plain looking DDR Gunhammer in a TIE scabbard on my (rigger) belt, one Medford fixed blade and a very banged-up old Benchmade Triage (in orange, so I can find the damn thing if I drop it) hooked inside my pocket. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m a Gurkha, I just have different knives for different reasons.

Fifth, I would throw Oral I.V. in several different places in my kit along with the other standard medical goodies. If they don’t come in handy, you can at least use them after the morning you get hammered with a bunch of bearded German guys who later turn out to be KSK with way more tolerance for booze than you (not saying that happened Christmas Eve 2001, it’s just an example).

Sixth and lastly, if I thought I was going to be able to mooch about looking cool and staring wistfully off into the desert sunset in front of even reasonably attractive NGO females, I would wear my Yates Cobra CQB Belt, because it looks as good as it performs. In the interest of looking tacticool and impressing women who probably wouldn’t even speak my language (or have all their teeth), I would also probably wear my Polarized Shears.

Merry Christmas, especially to Chad, Raymond, Chap and my other friends who’ll still be there this Christmas. You boys come home safe, and make sure your face doesn’t wind up on that wall.

From Bill Janson

Here’s some stuff I couldn’t live without!

Raven Concealment Phantom Holster
Trusty old Surefire 6P
Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 (My absolute favorite kicks, wore them all 3 years in Bagh … not the same pair)
My Glock 17
iPhone Magpul Case
Oakley Gascan
Northface Beanie
Waterborne Watch Strap
Peltor Ear Pro (6s or ComTac’s)
Sam Adams Winter and Copenhagen

I guess there’s a lot I can’t live without!  Merry Christmas! -Bill

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom T December 9, 2011 at 5:28 am

Great website, full of useful and practical information for everyone. It would be cool to see some of your favorite MADE IN THE USA products as well.

Keep up the good work, and thank you for your service.
tt

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Nick December 9, 2011 at 5:52 am

Great list guys! Thanks for all the hard work and info…

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mpower6428 December 9, 2011 at 6:09 am

excellent post.

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LineOfDeparture December 9, 2011 at 6:25 am

Brandon,
What do you guys think of the Suunto Core?

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Brandon Webb December 9, 2011 at 6:26 am

Anything Suunto is good in my opinion. -BW

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Jack Murphy December 9, 2011 at 7:24 am

I'm on my second Suunto Vector. Killed the first one but that was after four years of hard use, parachute jumps, combat patrols, backpacking in the jungle, accidentally taking it SCUBA diving in Costa Rica, drunken mishaps, ect… I'll have to check out the Suunto Core one of these days.

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Kyle December 9, 2011 at 7:32 am

I just ordered me a new Emerson CQC-7, the commander alright but I'm a much bigger fan of the 7, to each his own

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Brandon December 9, 2011 at 7:48 am

Kyle-
You can't go wrong with Emerson brother. -BW

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Jack Murphy December 9, 2011 at 7:52 am

Another interesting bit about watches, I've known some guys who were issued real deal Rolex watches so that they could use them as barter items if they ever had to E&E. Kind of a boondoggle if you ask me, but the concept is sound.

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Brandon Webb December 9, 2011 at 10:11 am

I've got mine!

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Mathieu December 9, 2011 at 10:37 am

Great article, thanks for all the time and effort!

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T-9 December 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

The Emerson Commander is sweet. Question: why do you prefer it over the CQC-7? Ergonomics?

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Brandon Webb December 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm

personal preference…anything Emerson is pretty solid.

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T-9 December 9, 2011 at 10:44 am

Buy 10 knock off rollexes at the local suque. The locals don't know the difference.

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Lance December 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

Great picks I love the watch Brandon. and the cold weather Beanie.

But a Glock !!! No way a 9mm round Id go with a Beretta 92FS that compatible with the M-9. For a better all around pistol a .40 or .45 caliber Glock would be better.

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T-9 December 9, 2011 at 11:40 am

I think someone posted here earlier that handguns and caliber are like whatever you have in the hooch to open the beer with: whatever works.

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Brandon Webb December 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Two words: Head shots!

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T-9 December 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I'll leave the headshots up to you tier-1 guys. Us AF dudes just point and empty the mag. Then we run.

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AGL Bob December 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I've had a Suunto Observer for 5 years now and still love it but the original bands wear out quickly.
As far as knives – Chris Reeve Sebenza.

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Mike December 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm

@Brandon Webb: Were Rolex watches issued to all the SEALs?

My father was a recreational spearfisherman in the mid '50's (he dove with a rebreather before he knew all the risks). He said barracudas worried him and he felt like a fishing lure with his shiny diving watch.

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John December 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Guys – just commenting as an interested bystander, that is a darn cool post.

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Brandon Webb December 10, 2011 at 6:34 am

Thanks John.

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David K. December 10, 2011 at 6:22 am

I'll have to pick up a Suunto if I ever manage to kill my 5.11. I DO like the 5.11's built-in ballistic calculator, though…

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Paul December 10, 2011 at 10:36 am

WOW I was surprised that the Suunto X10 made your list. I HAD one and it was crap ola! Not accurate and the battery was terrible. Don't get me wrong Suunto Vector is awesome, I have 3, but the X10 (ugg) terrible.

Frog Lube, THANKS for the sample! 1 out of the three tubes made it. Kinda fun to watch the mail dudes at police & fire HQ wonder if it was something ah bad (???).

Anyway, thanks for the info.

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Brandon Webb December 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Let me know what you think of the FrogLube….one reader already said he's a believer!

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SleepyDave December 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Any suggestions on a pair of pants? I'm looking for something that isn't just another pair of 5.11s.

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Brandon Webb December 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm

A good pair of Walls always works! I can't stand 5.11's

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LineOfDeparture December 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I've been sporting the Suunto Core for a few months now and its pretty good for us guys with smaller pockets. There has been trouble with the compass but replacing the battery fixes all problems. A great watch under $300! S/F

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M1 December 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Joubert wouldn't be caught dead in Oakley.

And heck — Joubert still digs the Luminox he peeled off…

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Henrik December 12, 2011 at 10:22 am

Glock is the only pistol I trust. it is the AK of autos imo.

I don't like everything about it just like i don't like everything about the AK. but they were both designed with the Kill Your Darlings approach (=skip the traditions and just make firearm that does one thing and does that thing very well i.e. launch bullets).

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hamchuck December 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Jack, your Grayman Sub-Saharan is an interesting choice. What's your opinion on tactical tomahawks? Have you seen them used much? I'm deploying later this year (my 2nd) with my AH-64D company, and I'm looking at RMJ Tactical's S13 Shrike. I figure it would be more effective than the issued breakout knife in case I have to hack my way out of the cockpit, or into one for somebody else. But if it comes to that, it's the other uses, both utility and combat, that I'm really asking about.

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Jack Murphy December 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I think the idea of a combat tomahawk is a little outlandish but when you are talking about any kind of edged weapon it will be a weapon of last resort on today's battlefield. I'd prefer a blade that can reach some major organs (mostly the lungs) if it came to that. As far as looking for a dual use tool, like something you might want or need for recovery operations, I don't really have a lot of experience in that area other than some basic familiarization training. Are there any examples of pilots or aircrews having to hack their way out of the cockpit? I suppose it's a possibility, but you should look into consulting with some PJ's or even your local fire department for some clarification.

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hamchuck December 13, 2011 at 5:31 pm

I don't deny it's outside the box, but I think you'd agree that sometimes it leads to interesting things… and sometimes not, like maybe now. Oh well–I like trying. I can't honestly think of any recent cases of anybody hacking their way out of a cockpit, but I can think of a few where it may have been a useful capability. The front seat of an Apache, especially, is plenty awkward enough to get in and out of even when a guy's able-bodied. Good idea about asking a PJ or a local FD. I have a buddy who worked airfield crash rescue. For combat, I admit my case is more theory than anything else there too. Still, I was thinking that a good quick swing with a 'hawk might be suited for somebody relatively untrained in anything not involving a firearm. Dumb brute force over technique, that sort of thing.

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Jack Murphy December 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Hmm, that's an interesting point actually. Bubba-clubba might be the way to go for someone with minimal training!

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hamchuck December 13, 2011 at 9:19 pm

What was that line in "300" when those non-Spartan Greeks ambushed the Immortals? Something like, "amateurs–they make a wonderful mess."

Swede December 14, 2011 at 1:08 am

Many countries have issued Rolex watches for their military. Especially back in the 60's when they still where priced as tools and not jewellery.
A Rolex cost around $200 in the mid 60's. A 1965 USD had 7,02 times the buying power as 2011 USD has so in today dollar value the price would be would be $ 1.400.

The coolest IMO is the all black 5513 "desert sub" issued to the Rhodesian LI and South African Recce Commandoes.

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Jspon December 14, 2011 at 6:28 am

Anyone have any suggestions for a good Range Bag?

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Rambro December 14, 2011 at 9:53 am

My guess for the pic location is AUSA convention at the con center in DC

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Joe Tisdale December 14, 2011 at 10:28 am

What kind of battery life do you have with it?

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jake December 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm

G17 with a few modest upgrades is the best (barrrel LW/sights Mepro/tungsten guide rod glockmeister), for my size it's great for conceald carry. Any available vital shot is good for me beggers can't be choosy, so long as it Deanimates the attacker.

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Chris December 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Yes, Brandon, thanks for the Froglube…. Neither of my two tubes made it through the hands of our friends at the US Mail, but I appreciate the effort…. I was laughing as I opened the mailbox to the minty scent, and wonder what the USPS folks must have thought it was….

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Chris December 14, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Guys, if you like the Swarovski 8 x 42, you should check out the new 10 x 50 or 12 x 50 Swarovision binoculars. I have a great pair of 10 x 50 Steiner binoculars that I've used for more than ten years, and I have never seen anything from anyone that was significantly better than they are, until I used a pair of the Swarovski 12 x 50 for a day. They are just ridiculous, and, though it pains me to say, I bought a pair. They were that good.

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Hammer27 December 15, 2011 at 7:37 am

Are you sure you'd be able to get a decent swing in when you're inside a cockpit? Getting in I can definitely see an advantage but I don't know about getting out.

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hamchuck December 15, 2011 at 8:41 am

Better than with the issued breakout knife, I'd expect. Even if I can't do much more than snap my wrist–wounded, constricted, whatever– the momentum of the head should be enough to break the side plexiglass. It's like the difference between driving a nail with a hammer instead of a rock. Also, the length means more leverage for prying. The trick is where I'm going to wear or stow it; I'm still thinking on that.

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Max Ordnance December 15, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Re: the Princeton Tec Remix Pro headlamp; Where can you find the version with all the HS/LD accessories (NVG Mount, etc.)? I have only found a plane jane with headband only on the web.

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Max Ordnance December 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Never mind, the mil version is the Princeton Tec® Remix® Pro Tactical MPLS™
It is available at US Cavalry.com amoung others.

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Max Ordnance December 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Just FYI, every commercial airliner in the sky has a "crash axe" secured in the cockpit. After 9/11 many a co-pilot flew with it in his lap until the Federal Flight Deck Officer program authorized trained individuals to fly armed.

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Max Ordnance December 15, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I bought a Rolex Submariner in 1977 at the Navy Exchange in Rota, Spain for $260, no tax. I still have the receipt. Nine years later, I bought one of the first GMT Master IIs for $1,200 + tax. What are they now? $6,000?

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Pat December 15, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Question from a civilian:
Cool info for outdoors activities in general. Many thanks. I have a question, perhaps the answer is obvious. I am a materials engineer and have been putting some thought over the years towards the gear y'all use in the field. With regards to the Arcteryx; I think its made from polymer yarns. Is that a risk to soldiers in the field from flash-sources of heat, and fire? Would melt onto the skin, leaving a far nastier burn than cotton or wool would. Is that a real risk?

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Paul December 17, 2011 at 11:19 am

Love the FrogLube. Gotta find it here in Boise!

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Gage December 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

+1 for the MADE IN THE USA idea.

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USMC6591 April 18, 2012 at 6:59 am

No one appreciates perfection more than me. We all love high end stuff and I realize this was a "Best of" list, but, with the exception of the Glock what I see it mostly a collection of overpriced stuff being sold on huge margins to take advantage of the recent and current willingness to pay too much for good stuff. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear the old refrain – how much is your life worth – and it's little more than an empty excuse to spend too much.

I survived 30 years on government issue with few occasions when I felt justified in replacing issue equipment with personally purchased items. If it's for civilian use and you can afford it, do as you wish but the qualifier often seen about 'when in the Stan' is bunk for my money.

A small business owner myself I understand the forces behind the market and pricing products, however, too often today I feel that some companies are over pricing because they perceive a clientele that doesn't know any better and will not demand a fair deal. My wife was in the garment business for 35 years, I understand labor, special machines and material but $350 for a jacket still seems like a jam to me. Good knives are available all day long for half the price or less and another $350 for a fancy parachute bag?

From an M-14, 1911, KBar and metal canteen to an M16A2 and M9 (and yes I preferred the 14 and 45 despite the weight) I found a little ingenuity and imagination takes the place of large chunks of dough most of the time. Of course, if one has cash to burn and the unit allows personal gear….

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johnmunfo February 5, 2013 at 6:27 am

good sidearm choices cant go wrong with the mk25 ive shot a variety of handguns and wow something about that 226 its just sweet when broken down the lower almost matches glock i think it has the functional reliability of glock but accuracy of a 1911 but my opinion

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Broken Spring in Ply April 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Your style is so unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.

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Geoff Whitaker July 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Editor,
1) as a correction..when I was in the Teams we were issue Casio Pathfinders.
2) Looking for a new watch…my Suunto Xlander gave up the ghost…how are those garmin jobs? Also, all the post I read are rating the Core over the X10 because of durability…thoughts?

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