Yesterday I introduced you to Coye Knives as part of Small Business Saturday, part of my plot to introduce Kit Up readership to small LE- and veteran-owned or veteran-supporting business. Today I’ll ask you to take a look at F3 Tactical of Chantilly Virginia.
Located in the are of Route 50 and Highway 28 (Dulles Airport region), F3 Tactical is a family-owned affair whose ‘public face’ is US Army veteran Jimmy Smith. Jimmy spent 10 years in the Army and then Army Reserves , mostly as a grunt but also as an MP. His business partner is his sister; his brother-in-law is also a former grunt. His father is a veteran, his brother with the Regiment.
Interestingly, it took a while to pry all that out of him. He’s hesitant to talk about all the veterans involved in the business. “As a family and a business,” he eventually explained, “we don’t ever want to seem like we’re…capitalizing on our veteran status…don’t want to really say we’re vets and…be exploitive. It’s more of our focus to say were supportive of veterans.
Located relatively close to Quantico, Ft. Belvoir and Andrews AFB, F3 Tactical serves a large local LE community as well as military personnel, and Jimmy often makes trips to local installations to talk or show gear. F3 Tactical is a brick and mortar store and is about 7 months old. They do not yet have a significant on-line presence with store. “We keep a lot of high end gear in stock,” Jimmy says, “and provide a place where you can put your hands on it, try it on, etc. We want our brick and mortar to be perfect before we go on line.” F3 carries a number of different brands, including Velocity Systems, Mayflower Research and Consulting, Blue Force Gear, etc. They often supply personnel who are prepping deploy and frequently take care of contractors who fly into Dulles, get kitted up and fly back out.
One of the difference between F3 Tactical and some other ‘supply depot’ type retail locations is their emphasis on training. “We are really…pushing the community to not just own firearms but to train with then,” Jimmy explains. “We’ll kit people out,we’ll point them in the direction of good instructors and good ranges…really help people get into the lifestyle. We want to promote good people doing good things with their weapon system and of course provide good gear.”
Among the training institutions they work with are Victory First (they sponsored the first class Matt and I have been writing about), Magpul Dynamics, Innovative Defensive Solutions, Practical Firearms Training and EAG Training. They’ve established a good relationship with those guys are able to tell customers, “We trust these guys,we’ve trained with them.”
“We’re pretty careful who we endorse,” says Jimmy, “but training is very important.”
If that’s not enough to warrant your attention and business, you should also keep an eye on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/F3-Tactical-Inc/194913677278897) because they frequently sponsor veteran oriented events.
They also have a shop dog that comes to work every day, which automatically elevates them by like eleventeen percent or something.
F3 Tactical online at http://www.f3tactical.com/index.html.