When researching tactical gear you will run across garments (clothing) claiming to be NIR Compliant. What does that mean? NIR stands for Near InfraRed. It is the wavelength of light from 780 nm to 2500 nm. It is not visible with the naked eye. But, it is visible with various kinds of night vision devices (NVDs), including tactical night vision goggles (NVGs). NVGs work on the amplification of ambient light (Image Intensification or I2 technology)- but can utilize Near Infrared light also. It is important to note that Image Intensification devices are different than thermal vision devices. Thermal vision devices use the difference in temperatures of objects and their backgrounds to provide a view in the dark (or daytime!). “NIR Compliant” gear will not protect against your actual heat signature. NIR compliant gear minimizes NIR reflected light – not the emission of thermal (hear) IR! If you are trying to obscure your heat signature – wrap yourself in a space blanket, mylar blanket – or other blanket intended to “preserve body heat.” NIR compliant gear will minimize your Near IR [Read more…]
What is the Advanced Combat Helmet? The Advanced Combat Helmet, or ACH, is a military helmet that is used in active combat zones. Development of these helmets began in 2003. United States Army Soldier Systems Center, U.S. Army Special Operations Command and U.S. Army Research Laboratory worked together to create this helmet. It is currently the standard issue helmet for all United States ground forces. The Advanced Combat Helmet is based on the MICH (Modular Integrated Communications Helmet). This helmet is an upgraded version of the PASGT (Personal Armor System for Ground Troops) and it offers more advanced ballistic and impact protection for the wearer. The PASGT, sometimes called the K-Pot, has been in use since 1983. It is also made of Kevlar. The ACH is also lighter than the helmets that came before it, making it more comfortable for the long periods of time that troops are required to wear them. This coupled with the increased amount of padding as well as waterproof padding makes the helmet easier for soldiers to wear in the field. Waterproof padding ensures that [Read more…]
The 2019 version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was revealed this week – and quad tube Night Vision Goggles are going to play a prominent role in the gameplay. When you are assuming the role of “Tier 1 Operators” night vision goggles will be available – you can shoot out lights and then surprise your opponents. You might be wondering – are these devices real? And why 4 tubes? That’s what we’ll talk about here. What sort of Night Vision Goggles are these depicted in the game? I’m not sure – they don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen. There’s not quite enough detail to be able to tell. The gameplay segments seem to have a different model than the pre-rendered cinematic sequences. Here’s one of the pre-rendered parts of the game. Are these some new super-secret SEAL gear? I doubt it. If there is a new model, they wouldn’t be allowed to use it in the game, I’m sure. But, it is realistic to depict these devices as they are used in the game. After all, quad tube [Read more…]
Let’s talk about thermal imaging for night vision, sometimes called thermal vision devices. What is thermal imaging? Thermal imaging lets you use an electronic device to “see” temperature differences. Infrared radiation (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than that of visible light. That means you can’t see it with the naked eye. It is invisible. And this sort of infrared radiation (heat) emanates from every object and the surrounding environment. We call it “heat” but every object has a temperature – even very cold objects – and therefore some amount of IR radiation. So, with the right electronic sensors we can create a visual image based on these heat differences. Here’s some of the gear we are going to look at Further, the differences in the temperature of objects in their environment are usually quite drastic – so you can actually get a fairly decent view. When might this be handy? Well – there’s lots of things you can do with thermal imaging – like detecting temperature hotspots, remotely measuring the temperature of equipment, detecting [Read more…]
Let’s talk about eyepro (or eye pro) – Eye Protection. We’ll look at some options that are affordable, but good. We’ll look at safety glasses meant for tactical use – meaning shooting – or being shot at. All these will meet the minimum standards for impact protection as required by the US military. Here’s what we’ll look at: Oakley Ballistic M Frame 2.0 Shield Sunglasses You’ve heard of Oakley – and these are good: Why are these popular? They offer mil-spec ballistic protection. They are z87 rated – it’s stamped right on the frame. With minimal visual distortion. The lenses and nose pieces are interchangeable. For example, you can swap out the lenses for clear – if that’s what you need. Made in the USA. OK, they look good too. Please note these are NOT polarized though. ESS CrossBlade ESS is a division of Oakley, and they make the . The manufacturer calls these “ballistic eyeshields”. They are made in the USA, and are Z87.1+ rated. These include advanced ClearZone Anti-fog coatings plus two different sized lens and nosepiece options [Read more…]
Living off the grid is becoming more commonplace these days, with more than 18,000 families choosing to live off-grid in the U.S. alone. Toughing it out in the wilderness without modern comforts is no easy task, however, especially for those who want to live the nomadic lifestyle. If you’re living off the grid in an RV, taking proper precautions may save you from having to spend any nights without food, water, or shelter. There are several simple modifications that you can make to your camper to create a safer, more comfortable home. Install a Water Filtration System The most critical resource in any off-grid scenario is water. We can only survive about a week without water. Even after a couple of days, the effects of dehydration can set in, including: A decrease in energy levels Headaches or migraines Confusion and dizziness Drastic fluctuations in blood pressure Stiff joints Seizures When you’re living off-road out of your RV, you never know when an emergency might strike. If you find yourself stranded and your water supply dwindling, it’s a good idea to [Read more…]
Let’s talk about tactical comms setups. What’s the essentials that you need? You’ll need a radio, an electronic headset (ideally with noise cancellation), and a push to talk (PTT) switch of some sort. Best Comms Headset The is an “operator” quality tactical headset. The 3M Peltor ComTac III Electronic Headset has it all, and a boom mic for use with a radio. First of all – this is a noise canceling electronic headset. Thanks to the dual mics it picks up all ambient sounds and quickly shuts off to protect you from gun shots (or loud industrial noises). These meet DA PAM 40-501 Army Hearing Conservation Program requirements. They are popular with the military and LEOs. Two AAA batteries will give you approx. 500 hours of use. It includes a radio jack (and a boom mic) – which is what makes this a comms headset vs just an electronic ear muff. This headset will work with various bump and ballistic helmets with a high cut shell. Want a streamlined in-ear headset options? This would work with an ACH (Advanced Combat [Read more…]
Let’s look at the best tactical headlamp. Why a tactical headlamp? Because it gives you bright light, when you need it, in a hands free fashion. It is a lot more convenient than a flashlight – because you don’t have to hold it. What’s more, today’s models with LED bulbs are incredibly bright, lightweight, and have great battery life. There’s more than one way to see in the dark (the other is Night Vision Goggles – but those are very expensive. Here’s the models we’ll review. Whether you are working on a car, night trail running, road side repairs, camping, GORUCK challenge events, or on a mission – a head lamp can help make you more efficient. A headlamp with long battery life should be considered a bug out bag essential. What should you look for in a headlamp? We’ll talk about that next. Features of the Best Tactical Headlamp The best tactical headlamp will have an LED bulb, not an old school xenon or incandescent bulb. Why? LED is just better – in just about every way. For one, [Read more…]
Ranger Panties – what are they? These are minimalist running shorts, with roots in the military. They are short (after all these aren’t “longs”). They are comfortable. They can be very revealing. But, it’s all about the comfort. By the way, these products contain some of the most entertaining questions and comments on all of Amazon. You are doing yourself a huge disservice if you don’t click through and check them out. Seriously. Here’s the products we are going to review. Let’s take a closer look at the best ranger panties. What can you do with these? Anything. Rucking, running, hiking, marching, squatting, PT – ranger panties do it all. As long as you aren’t too modest… We recommend OD Green. This gives you a legit look and military feel. Black is a versatile color – and it flies under the radar. Of course your brilliant white thighs will probably counter that… Hi viz options are available as well. You will inevitably see a pair of these at any 5K or distance run. So, you might as well grab a [Read more…]
Let’s talk about the best ear protection for shooting. We’re going to look at all the technical features you would want in a pair of passive earmuffs or active noise reduction headsets. Passive ear muffs require no batteries and protect your ears against most loud and intense sounds. But, Active Noise Reduction headsets are available that are more pleasant to use – especially for long durations. These are great for wear all day on the job site – or on a mission. Those Active Noise Reduction headsets protect your ears just as well as passive devices too. Here’s the products we’ll be reviewing: Let’s dive right in and look at “ear pro”. Tips for Ear Protection for Shooting Before we start, let’s make sure you understand the basic terminology related to hearing protection. Here’s some things to look for in the best ear protection for shooting. In the year 2019, there’s really no reason to use old-fashioned ear plugs and passive earmuffs. Active Noise Reduction is cheap and plentiful – and it works great.
Let’s look at the best shooting targets for 2019. These durable targets make shooting practice fun. How so? Because these tough steel targets make a sound when you hit them. They add some challenge and variety to any outdoor shooting range. They also sound good. Just remember: Never shoot steel core, steel jacket, solid copper ammo, or magnum rounds at these shooting target. Do not shoot metal shooting target with BB’s, pellets, or air soft. They don’t have enough force to splatter and will ricochet! Do not shoot closer than 100 yards with a rifle and 10 yards with a handgun. Do not shoot a caliber larger than .308 at these shooting target. Always wear eye and ear protection while shooting at targets. Here’s the products we’ll be looking at.
Let’s look at Plate Carrier Placards. First of all, what is a PC Placard? It’s a modular front panel meant to be quick attached (or detached) to the front of a plate carrier (or “PC”). Why modular? This let’s you quickly and easily swap load-outs. For example, you can have a placard for the range, one of low-visibility, and another for patrol. You might also be able to swap between a chest rig and a plate carrier – depending on your needs for the day. First of all, you’ve got to find one that is compatible with your Plate Carrier. There are a variety of attachment options include: “G hooks”, side release buckles, and other attachment methods – some of which are proprietary. Here’s what a G hook looks like, in case you don’t know. Most of these placards are roughly three M4 mags in width – or about 6 MOLLE columns. Placard for London Bridge Trading Plate Carriers As one example, here’s the . You can see this has room for 3 M4 mags, plus 3 pistol mags – [Read more…]
Let’s look at tactical notebooks. What’s a tactical notebook? It’s a tough notebook made for field use – like in the mud, rain, or desert heat. And to use a tactical or field notebook – you’d better have a tough pen too. Here’s the products we are going to cover today. Features of the Best Tactical Notebook First of all, most of these will have a “window” or protective polycarbonate sleeve for displaying maps and checklists through the cover of the notebook. And because it is a notebook – you will be writing with a pen, pencil, dry erase marker, or grease pencil – so look for elastic pen loops – to secure all those writing instruments. Also handy is having a mesh pocket – so you can keep track of loose items. Convenient sizing – most will fit in a cargo pocket. These will also fit in the admin pouch, sleeve, or pocket on a Plate Carrier, such as the Crye JPC. Tough tactical or field notebooks are great for hikers, search and rescue personnel, hunters, squad leaders, and [Read more…]
Team Wendy makes tough milspec gear – and their ballistic helmets are some of the best. The Team Wendy EXFIL Ballistic Helmet is a popular choice for a protective helmet. First off, let’s be clear – this is a ballistic helmet, not a bump helmet. What’s the difference? About $700. In all seriousness ballistic helmets are meant to protect you from high speed projectiles and fragments – something a bump helmet doesn’t claim to do. The helmet discussed here provides ballistic protection to meet the NIJ Level III-A standard (according to NIJ STD 0106.01/0108.01). It also provides blunt impact protection (ACH Blunt Impact Protection requirements per AR/PD 10-02). Let’s take a closer look at this outstanding piece of tactical gear. First off, the EXFIL Ballistic Helmet is made with a hybrid composite shell, and features a unique CAM fit retention system – that you can adjust with one hand. The high cut shell is made from polyethylene and other fibers in a proprietary composite matrix. By the way, these are NOT ACH style helmets (Advanced Combat Helmet). Those models have [Read more…]
Let’s look at the best bump helmet that you can pick up in 2019. What is a bump helmet? A bump helmet is protective gear worn to protect your head and skull. A bump helmet in particular protects you against bumps, falls, and similar impacts. Basically, bump helmets stop your head from hitting the sharp corner of things. A bump helmet is NOT a ballistic helmet. A ballistic helmet may protect you from a range of high speed projectiles. That’s not what a bump helmet is for. Why would you need a bump helmet? First off, for tactical operations and law enforcement there is obviously a need for a bump helmet. But, bump helmets can be useful for recreational activities too – like whitewater rafting, skateboarding, kayaking, rock climbing, and more. Or, how about: caving, ziplining, and rock scrambling? All those things require a good bump helmet. Bump helmets are also used in Search And Rescue (SAR) operations, particularly in mountaineering situations. They are also a popular accessory for airsoft, LARPing, and MilSim. We’ll look at the best bump helmets [Read more…]