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Modern Gear. Real, Fake or What?


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#1 [email protected]

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 01:44 PM

what are your opinions of second run modern gear?

 

to be clear I am talking about items made to or close to original spec by the original company but for a dealer after they had stopped making the original items and not second gen items that were later production and/or open purchase items sold to both military and civilian customers. 

 

for example lets say chest rig that was open purchase meaning anyone could buy one but they were heavily used by lets say NSW at that time. then they stopped making them years ago and they become collectable. so a dealer orders a run of them today from the original maker with the intent of selling them to collectors. its made to spec by the original maker but is it real, fake or what?

 

 this is something that is happening more and more as more collectors get interested in OEF/OIF and some items are getting very hard to find or unrealistically inflated. I know this has happened with items as far back as the civil war and I thought it would be a good topic and also interesting to see other perspectives on it. also the above is just an example, its actually happening with a number of items but chest rigs seem to be the most common that I see. personally I would not consider it original, more of a reproduction then anything but that's just my take on it. 



#2 Ronny67

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 01:56 PM

Most of this modern gear is available commercially. Most operators buy commercial stuff to use down range. My rule of thumb is if it was used by a vet than it is collectible. Provenance means more in OIF/OEF collecting than WWII in that regard. 



#3 Brig

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 01:59 PM

I have thought often about how the mass volume of private purchase/unit purchase gear will affect the GWOT collectors. It is certainly not reproduction, as it is period made and combat used gear. It is not, however, official issue. I think it would be near impossible to call oneself a GWOT collector and not accept this type of stuff, as it was used, I'd argue, by the vast majority of troops. Most guys I served with in Iraq had at least one non-issue piece of kit

 

The military originally turned a blind eye on it, largely. I remember in 2005, we were all issued those horrid LBV's with the permenantly sewn pouches at a terrible angle, that had to be worn over the FLAK. A ton of us went out and bought Blackhawk Industry mag/frag pouches. A few weeks after I spent ridiculous dollars on my own, our unit made a large purchase of them through Blackhawk with unit funds and we all received them as unit issue. And we were required to return them when leaving the unit, they were reissued, and stayed in circulation.

 

We received our first dump pouches in Iraq in 2005. Another unit issue item purchased outside of official channels, as well as motor cross gloves. No one knew what the heck they were for, and we'd done so many hundreds of mag reload drills with the mag pouches, we were hesitant to accept them. We hung them on our gear because we were told to, but they largely remained rolled up or used to tote around those liter and a half bottles of Haji water.

 

My holster, leg rig, GP pouch, and 40mm pouch were all private purchase items, as well, that deployment

 

In 2006, we were told we could buy our own Flaks as long as they weren't plate carriers, but actual flaks, and could accept the kevlar inserts of our intercepters. I wore a Spartan I FLAK on my second deployment, and unissue SWAT boots. And it was covered with non-issue pouches by Blackhawk and Diamondback.

 

After that deployment, orders started coming down that only issue Flaks and boots could be worn, the Commandant pushed this as part of his intent to stop Marines from spending their own money-the Marine Corps issued everything we needed. This was about the time we started seeing official government issue mag/frag pouches that were obvious copies of the Blackhawk pouches we all were wearing for years. By the time I was in Afghanistan, it was mostly the old salts who were still wearing private purchase stuff from their Iraq days...and this was just what wasn't be issued. Pop-up pouches, admin pouches, etc. The GP were mostly content with their issue stuff and never bought their own

 

To this day, however, many guys in leadership billets still buy their own admin and GP pouches...pouches we aren't issued.

 

So, I think the collector has to accept this gear. However, because it is still being made and anyone can buy it and rub dirt on it and call it combat used, I think the future of it as a collectible is going to greatly depend on it being found in a group, coming directly from the source, and photos of it in wear will be great bonuses. Because of this, very little of it will ever likely command high prices



#4 dave peifer

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 02:38 PM

i have sought groupings from oif/oef since 2003 and have aquired well over 100 groups directly and only from the veteran.it's great to be able to fully document these groupings from the vet.i see all kinds of gear out there but only by from the source,i think the safest way...............dave



#5 BagmanL6

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 02:52 PM

Ben - I think it is what it is so to speak.  Provenance means a lot but if you move it along the "I got it from an SF guy" means less and less as it passes down the line.  I think most guys who collect this stuff can tell what was used down range and what wasn't.  Could be why the advance collectors are going with painted, and or modified gear with tight provenance.  Without that its "just a pouch" so to speak.  

 

What will be interesting in years is when collectors argue about an item because X item was never issued by X Service (USMC, USA, etc.)  Well technically that is correct because it wasn't purchased by say Marine Corps Systems Command for Infantry units and wasn't a line item on the TO/E.  However if a Battalion buys a certain weapons sling for everyone carrying an M-4 isn't it "issue" to the Marine that receives it? I worked for a company selling gear after I retired and I can tell you a lot of units bought a lot of items and issued it out to their people.  Battalion Commanders at one time had a pretty good amount of OEF/OIF funds for just such purchases.



#6 Brig

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 02:59 PM

 Battalion Commanders at one time had a pretty good amount of OEF/OIF funds for just such purchases.

I think an accurate estimate would be 'bookoo'



#7 nkomo

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 03:12 PM

  I had actually heard about this exact thing today while on Facebook, Ben.   If I read it correct, a certain large gear company in Virginia Beach area will remake a specific type of gear if there is a minimum order placed.  The airsoft crowd is all over this right now and I'm not exactly how I feel about it as a collector.  In my opinion, these ARE reproductions and I would not own one in my personal collection.  I guarantee these second run pieces of gear will be sold as first run, combat used pieces by unscrupulous sellers in a short period of time.  A lot of gear that is sold right now on Ebay (and even some of the forums) that is advertised as combat used, have only been used in airsoft "tacticals".

 

  Like the others have said, provenance will be everything for the collectors who specialize in this time period of militaria.  It is a nightmare right now trying to determine if something is soldier used or airsoft used.  With the advent of the second runs of gear, this will only muddy the collecting waters even more.  Just my thoughts.


Edited by nkomo, 12 March 2016 - 03:18 PM.


#8 [email protected]

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 07:25 PM

I think an accurate estimate would be 'bookoo'

 

the GWOT Wad lol, that was back when they had the use or lose thing going. I remember my command  ordering all kinds of junk trying to burn up about a million bucks in GWOT cash before the end of the year. they even bought Oakley sunglasses for extra duty to use a safety glasses when cutting weeds. 

 

Knomo nailed it, me and a friend of mine were talking about this the other day. he does a lot of the face book stuff and knowing him he probably brought it up over there.

 

just touching on provenance, its good to have but with NSW, CCT, AFSOC, ODA, CAG, SF ect gear you cant always get it. the vet may be unwilling to tell you or you got it third person with no info but it doesn't mean that you cant get provenance. a lot of common stuff like currant Blackhawk for instance is pretty much just a pouch or a pack without provenance but a lot of high end modern gear was specifically ordered by a unit, team or group and some makers will tell you if it was a order made by NSW or someone or if it was commercially available if you call them up and ask. some items like eagles DG-MLCS kit was only available to NSW. some stuff will be marked on the tag like Crye's combat uniforms marked Army or Navy custom, they were not commercially available. anything in real DIG2, AOR1, AOR2 was only available to the military. sometimes like with some of LBT's stuff it will say right on it NSWDG for Naval special warfare development group and eagle just put DG on some stuff meaning the same thing. its not a sure thing that a item marked Army Custom was in fact issued out to a soldier or a NSWDG marked vest was owned by a devgru member as if the item was not in a restricted camo pattern it still might have been over run that was sold off as surplus commercially. some other ways to spot GI used from Airsoft is moon dust, real simunition stains, real heavy wear consistent with someone living in an item for a long time, kill numbers on a worn item that was frequently used by SEAL's. I could go one but I am sure I have made my point. provenance isn't everything, its good but its not the only thing that can tell you an item was GI used.


Edited by [email protected], 12 March 2016 - 07:29 PM.


#9 nkomo

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 07:36 PM

 

 

just touching on provenance, its good to have but with NSW, CCT, AFSOC, ODA, CAG, SF ect gear you cant always get it. the vet may be unwilling to tell you or you got it third person with no info but it doesn't mean that you cant get provenance. a lot of common stuff like currant Blackhawk for instance is pretty much just a pouch or a pack without provenance but a lot of high end modern gear was specifically ordered by a unit, team or group and some makers will tell you if it was a order made by NSW or someone or if it was commercially available if you call them up and ask. some items like eagles DG-MLCS kit was only available to NSW. some stuff will be marked on the tag like Crye's combat uniforms marked Army or Navy custom, they were not commercially available. anything in real DIG2, AOR1, AOR2 was only available to the military. sometimes like with some of LBT's stuff it will say right on it NSWDG for Naval special warfare development group and eagle just put DG on some stuff meaning the same thing. its not a sure thing that a item marked Army Custom was in fact issued out to a soldier or a NSWDG marked vest was owned by a devgru member as if the item was not in a restricted camo pattern it still might have been over run that was sold off as surplus commercially. some other ways to spot GI used from Airsoft is moon dust, real simunition stains, real heavy wear consistent with someone living in an item for a long time, kill numbers on a worn item that was frequently used by SEAL's. I could go one but I am sure I have made my point. provenance isn't everything, its good but its not the only thing that can tell you an item was GI used.

  Exactly.



#10 RedLegGI

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 09:37 AM

This topic has been catching a lot of light recently. I think the gear produced today, second run as you say, is indeed legit gear but not 'original' so to say.  I also agree with everyone who's posted about buying and using gear available from the PX or whatever source as either a replacement or as 'gucci' gear to have.  The PX on FOB Warhorse had an aisle full of BLACKHAWK gear for sale in a variety of colors and camouflages.  A lot of it will come down to what came in a lot/grouping as to its attributation.

 

The second problem is also mentioned and that is Airsofters/milsim.  These kids playing war are absolutely after this stuff whether they find it brand new, or used they want it and will use it..  You'll start to see gear at some point that looks 'good' but has never been anywhere except an airsoft field.  This has happened in the past as well when kids go to surplus stores or raid dad's stuff, but I think our version is going to be a bit more intense and devastating.



#11 [email protected]

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 10:27 AM

the milsim/airsoft kids are a problem but I see it as a limited problem not a disaster. its a problem with preserving gear as they (like you said) will and do use anything they can get and money doesn't seem to slow them down. a lot of them do raid dads stuff or find good stuff at flea markets and the like but I have also seen them drop some major cash on there load outs, some even spend thousands of $$ on load outs to "play army" so the stuff being collectable wont stop them. that being said its a problem with preserving items and for provenance with lower end items like Blackhawk, tactical tailor and the like and most camo painted helmets are probably going to be a lost cause without rock solid provenance but for the higher end tactical equipment and uniforms its less of a problem because these items are easier to figure out where they came from originally. for instance a WW2 M2 Dbale helmet is still highly collectable for what it is even if its not tactical marked and not named. I know what you are going to say, but ben that's because its a GI issued item only used by elite units and airborne. well yes in theory but the fact is later in the war you see them being used randomly by everyone even support and non combat folks, didn't J have one named to a nurse? i would be surprised if she did the D-Day jump. the fact is that people want them because some were used by elite and airborne units even if this one wasn't and they are hard to find. now some of you will probably say there you go again, its rare but only compared to the 22 million other helmets made during that time. they probably made 100,000 M2 helmets. things like the early gen LBT-1961A AF in tan with black buckles they probably only made less then 5,000 of and virtually all went to NSW and other SOF outfits. in fact I have never found one that the guy said he was just some joe that walked in LBT's pro shop and dropped $300 for one back in 2002 when comparable rigs were selling used for $50 or less. so like I said low end stuff will be affected buy provenance and kids but the high end stuff will be affected far less. I remember a WW2 militaria collector putting it very well (rare stuff will always be rare, its the common stuff that may not stand the test of time)  



#12 RedLegGI

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 11:43 AM

I think that one of the things about painted lids is that a fake is easy to spot.  There are people out there making them but there is no one on the level of an easy_green in our field yet.  Most just look like brand new off the shelf stuff, painted and thrown on ebay as 'SF DELTA CAG..." whatever.   There are exceptions out there to this like one of my lids that I got vet direct. It has been down range multiple times, but was repainted its last trip so it has the fresh paint.  The only reason I bought it was because I asked the seller if he knew anything and he was more than happy to tell me a bit more about it and where he'd been.  One of the problems with helmets now is people want a painted lid, but don't know how to identify one as being legit by its characteristics.



#13 [email protected]

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 12:10 PM

your absolutely right about most of them being easy to spot for now although I did hear some member of the AP forum tried to make a go at being the easy green of modern helmets so someone already tried it. 

 

for now most of the real down range used painted lids are easily spotted but I have a feeling in the future this is one area provenance will count a lot as unlike gear people are constantly updating parts on helmets as they use them and although moon dust is very hard to get out of gear its pretty easy to blast it off a helmet with a hose and a lot of vets do. my wife cleaned her helmet and replaced the pads, cover, camo band and chinstrap when she came back from Kuwait in 2009. you would never know to look at it that it had been down range.

 

the other problem is with the tacticool crowd, airsoft/milsim kids running them and even copying unit specific camo pattens & styles with the same paint they used on originals not more then a couple of years after the originals using pictures of real helmets as reference. I would imagine in 20 years a painted helmet with no provenance would be under even more scrutiny than a WW2 airborne lid or a ARVN ranger pot.


Edited by [email protected], 13 March 2016 - 12:10 PM.


#14 RedLegGI

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 02:24 PM

your absolutely right about most of them being easy to spot for now although I did hear some member of the AP forum tried to make a go at being the easy green of modern helmets so someone already tried it. 

 

for now most of the real down range used painted lids are easily spotted but I have a feeling in the future this is one area provenance will count a lot as unlike gear people are constantly updating parts on helmets as they use them and although moon dust is very hard to get out of gear its pretty easy to blast it off a helmet with a hose and a lot of vets do. my wife cleaned her helmet and replaced the pads, cover, camo band and chinstrap when she came back from Kuwait in 2009. you would never know to look at it that it had been down range.

 

the other problem is with the tacticool crowd, airsoft/milsim kids running them and even copying unit specific camo pattens & styles with the same paint they used on originals not more then a couple of years after the originals using pictures of real helmets as reference. I would imagine in 20 years a painted helmet with no provenance would be under even more scrutiny than a WW2 airborne lid or a ARVN ranger p
 

 

Yeah there is at least one known faker out there who was bold enough to post helmets for sale here.  It was kind of an odd situation where some of the M1 guys were like "whats the big deal".  We had to point out that it would be like us saying "What's wrong with easy green."

 

I think gear cleanliness comes down to the individual soldier and their unit's SOP.  I was never told to clean my helmet or pads or any of my gear until I prepared to clear CIF.   Moondust is one of those things you're dead on about. If a faker would like some, they can scrape it out of my lungs lol.  The changing parts of the helmet as well will be something that will drive guys nuts.  I got issued my helmet, four years later I had the same one without any changes except the addition of a tan rhino mount we got on deployment (never had a mount before deploying, no one in the battery did).   So during that time I'm sure there were new chinstraps, padding, etc that would have been issued.  One of my helmets is dated '01 and the guy kept it his whole career and its kind of a time capsule with little updates here and there.  Its going to be interesting with new collectors coming in.



#15 Sgt. BARney

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 09:54 AM

I think the same questions can be applied to USMC Ka-Bars.  The actual USMC marked Mark 2 knives (manufactured by KaBar and several others) during World War 2 are a highly sought after item.  KaBar began producing them again in the mid 1970's and continue to do so today.  A circa 1970's KaBar is definitely not the same as an authentic WW2 KaBar, but there are a lot of 1970's KaBars that went to Beirut, Grenada, Somalia, Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  If you're looking for combat carried equipment these modern KaBars might be great knives to have, especially if they were in a theater that really interests you.  I was in the Marines from 1979 to '83 and just about every guy in our unit had a KaBar type knife (mine was stamped "US Ontario") that we bought ourselves.  Ours weren't issued, but they were carried in service. Mine looks real salty, right down to a C-rat lid duck-taped to the sheath where the knife point wore through, but it was never in combat.  So lots of choices for the same item - period of manufacture, era of use, official issue, carried in peace time, carried in combat, mint condition or salty?  Personal preference I guess.

 

This forum recommends that a collector should specialize.  Couple that with the old gunshow advice that you should never pay extra for the story, and maybe that helps (?).



#16 bheskett

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 10:02 AM

I also have noodled on this subject quite a bit.  I get it from the vet whenever possible.  But in reality in ten or fifteen years it will be a mute point.  When going after WWII gear many of us go after mint unused gear.  But can we really be sure if it made it to the military or straight to surplus market? 

 

Just my 2 cents

Bob



#17 [email protected]

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 07:52 PM

lol so I see a pattern developing here :rolleyes:. ok I think a big problem is that a lot of you collect earlier militaria and I get the confusion. it took me a while to understand this as well so I will try to explain it without sounding like a gear nerd.
 
so lets say you have what you think is a WW2 USMC camo helmet cover but you want to be sure. well you don't look for a makers mark but the item its self. for a USMC cover you first look at the fabric. if its original it will be made out of army HBT, then you look at the shape of the pac man, then the stitching on the seam to see if the beach side is chain stitched or not. from these things you can tell if you have a original cover or a repo. now lets talk about WW2 gear. you have an item that you don't know if its good or not and there is no one to help. its not tagged or marked and its something you are unfamiliar with, what do you do? well a lot of use smell it first (I know its sounds funny but I have even done this my self) then we look at the fabric and the Hardware. lets say it has talon rippers, not a sure sign of it being WW2 as they were used post war but its a start. now lets say it has United Carr snaps. well united carr started marking everything post WW2 DOT so if its not WW2 its probably real close. lets say its got a lot of zinc buckles. bingo, zinc was used as a substitute metal for steel and brass buckles during WW2 and pretty much only during WW2. now its not exactly the same for modern gear but its not far off.
 
first off your higher end GWOT gear is almost all berry compliant which means that not only the item but every part of the item down to the snaps and buckles have to be 100% US made. for quality control reasons most plastic buckles and parts are date marked. ever see the little round star thing with a number in the center on a plastic item? the 2 digit number in the center is the date and if its a date like 06 it will have an arrow telling you which way to read it so you know its 06 and not 90. US made snaps on tactical gear are almost always maker marked and typically black brass although they may be painted or plastic coated on the exposed side. high end gear is well built and made out of good fabric.  I could explain the difference  between 1000D 500D 330D and so on but it would take forever and  bore some of you to death so I am not going to. outfits like eagle, LBT paraclete and most of the other makers of high end gear were pretty consistent in the types of hardware they used and because of the volume of gear they made its a safe bet that the item was made within 12 months of the latest buckle date you can find on it. now when I say consistent I don't mean that they never changed, they did. but you can use that to date an item as well as pretty much everything they made during that period of time will also have the same buckles and snaps. LBT has changed there label a number of times over the years and items can and are dated by that. eagle did not change there tag as much but they did change it and most of there DOD contract gear has a date on the tag and BHI changed there tag almost as often as LBT. these tag changes happened with virtually all major gear makers to some extent. so for high end stuff its pretty easy to figure out when it was made if your collecting it and know the subject. now your PX stuff is a different story. not all of the PX stuff is berry compliant and a lot of the buckles are undated, most of it is made from lower quality parts and fabric and even the colorfasting on a lot of it is bad. look at the Vietnam made Blackhawk gear, it turns orange from UV exposure and a lot of the PX stuff in ACU turns purple then pink after UV exposure. did guys use the stuff? yes but most of it was available commercially and a lot of the GWOT collectors I know would not be that interested in it unless it had provenance or was an period item that was used heavily like some of the Blackhawk tactical vests. also for the topic at hand not a lot if any of the low end gear is being second run made. now you may wonder how to spot airsoft/milsim junk from stuff that was actually used. well if you mean items that a individual soldier used you cant. that guy may have seen something at Walmart that he thought he could use and did but most people collecting GWOT are trying to find the higher end gear, painted helmets, experimental items, communications items like headsets and PTT, raid modified uniforms and fully patched DCU's, gear made by makers like LBT, eagle, Allied, Paraclete and so on. the point is PX bought gear is not what most of use are looking for.      

Edited by [email protected], 14 March 2016 - 07:56 PM.


#18 bheskett

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 05:26 AM

Ben

 

I think I get where yo are going with this.  How do we tell in the years to come the knock off stuff from overseas and lower end stuff not made for the military in the U.S.  This could be a problem for those that don't get the knowledge base of materials used.  As you point out the plastic hardware is usually date stamped or molded for the better gear while the knock off stuff is not.  I think it boils down to the collector doing their homework.  Many of us can feel the difference between and repp cartridge belt and a good one.  It may be as simple as just experience and getting ripped off a time or two as we all have in our collecting lives.  

Great thread

Bob



#19 [email protected]

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 09:24 AM

Ben

 

I think I get where yo are going with this.  How do we tell in the years to come the knock off stuff from overseas and lower end stuff not made for the military in the U.S.  This could be a problem for those that don't get the knowledge base of materials used.  As you point out the plastic hardware is usually date stamped or molded for the better gear while the knock off stuff is not.  I think it boils down to the collector doing their homework.  Many of us can feel the difference between and repp cartridge belt and a good one.  It may be as simple as just experience and getting ripped off a time or two as we all have in our collecting lives.  

Great thread

Bob

 

agreed, sadly I thank just about every collector has paid for there education in that way :(.

 

one of the major draw backs in collecting modern gear is that we don't have the knowledge available in the way that it is for other areas of collecting. if you collect M1 helmets or Bayonets there are tons of books and web sights you can go to for info. I have not seen a single book or collectors guide for tier 1 modern gear. there are some books out there that cover gear like  MOLLE II and the other common standard issue TA-50 gear used by most conventional forces but none that go into any real detail the way it is covered for other areas of collecting. most OEF/OIF gear collectors had to learn by what they remember seeing or in some cases using, talking to vets, looking at pictures, talking on forums, asking the actual gear manufacturers and then connecting all the dots. the other thing that I have noticed in this field of collecting is that there is less openness between a lot of collectors then in other areas. I remember when I collected TR and axis stuff years back that I could go to pretty much any collector or even dealer for that matter and they would tell you everything they knew about it. a lot of the modern collectors I have met in person at shows or other places I was hunting gear have been very tight lipped about what they know. I have even had other collectors pull me aside at shows and the like and tell me not to educate newer collectors. this is mostly a problem because a lot of modern gear collectors are also part time dealers and they don't want a buyer to know that the item they are trying to sell is very common or of low value and by the same token they don't want the guy that just found a rare item to know what he has as it might make it harder to get. I think this is only a temporary problem as once some half way good reference books or collectors guides come out we will see less of that.    
 


Edited by [email protected], 16 March 2016 - 09:26 AM.


#20 RedLegGI

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 08:27 PM

 

agreed, sadly I thank just about every collector has paid for there education in that way :(.

 

one of the major draw backs in collecting modern gear is that we don't have the knowledge available in the way that it is for other areas of collecting. if you collect M1 helmets or Bayonets there are tons of books and web sights you can go to for info. I have not seen a single book or collectors guide for tier 1 modern gear. there are some books out there that cover gear like  MOLLE II and the other common standard issue TA-50 gear used by most conventional forces but none that go into any real detail the way it is covered for other areas of collecting. most OEF/OIF gear collectors had to learn by what they remember seeing or in some cases using, talking to vets, looking at pictures, talking on forums, asking the actual gear manufacturers and then connecting all the dots. the other thing that I have noticed in this field of collecting is that there is less openness between a lot of collectors then in other areas. I remember when I collected TR and axis stuff years back that I could go to pretty much any collector or even dealer for that matter and they would tell you everything they knew about it. a lot of the modern collectors I have met in person at shows or other places I was hunting gear have been very tight lipped about what they know. I have even had other collectors pull me aside at shows and the like and tell me not to educate newer collectors. this is mostly a problem because a lot of modern gear collectors are also part time dealers and they don't want a buyer to know that the item they are trying to sell is very common or of low value and by the same token they don't want the guy that just found a rare item to know what he has as it might make it harder to get. I think this is only a temporary problem as once some half way good reference books or collectors guides come out we will see less of that.    
 

 

I feel like you're 100% right on the modern reference guide on gear and what not.  Most of the guys I talk to who collect gear generally start the conversation with "I got this off of a guy who was with X doing X while deployed to X".  The next most common starter, for me at least is, "Look at this piece of gear, can you help me look up pictures and see if you can spot it in use?" (my google foo is pretty decent lol).  Its kind of rudimentary at the moment, but you're right on at the sources we have available.

 

You're also right in that there is some information held tight in the community.  Now as for dealers, I'm not sure as I don't really have the kinds of experiences you've had.  Most of my stuff comes from surplus stores or ebay so I don't generally get that interaction.  I think a lot of the tightness is for two reasons.  Firstly its because a lot of the rarer stuff is being looked at, and is, in the process of being copied.  Close friends have shown me some of their stuff that has been copied and by no fault of their own.  Secondly I think there is a problem with collectors for a couple of reasons.  One reason would be being ungrateful when people take time to help, verify something or answer a question.  I've seen many posts where a question is answered in depth, and no "thank you" is ever sent.  It really discourages people to help someone who doesn't have the common courtesy to be polite.  A second thing would be the close minded or the "I know everything" crowd.  I think we can all agree this type of collector is in every field, but I notice it quite a bit more frequently in OEF/OIF and it gets rather annoying.  I don't collect gear, but if you want to educate me I'm a sponge because I see stuff that doesn't interest me, but it may interest someone else and subsequently pick it up.  The collector who is a brick wall with closed ears is the antithesis of any good collector.  Both these types drive people nuts because with both populations being heavy in OEF/OIF you never know what kind of person you'll deal with and it jades you after a while.

 

This thread has really turned out quite nicely and with good discussion all around. I'm glad you posted it :D
 



#21 [email protected]

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 10:57 PM

this has been a fun thread and I hope it keeps going, I don't think I have spent this much time on a thread in over a year.

 

you got a good point there and one I did not take into consideration. most of my experiences with other OEF/OIF collectors has been at gun shows and surplus shops in the VA beach area and in the area around Ft Bragg NC and both of these are highly competitive areas for collecting and dealing modern gear so it probably is less a problem in other parts of the country.

 

you are also dead right about folks not showing a lot of appreciation in this field when helped, but think about it for a minute. from what I have seen (and this is just my point of view) when collecting in ww2 - Vietnam era gear you typically are dealing with a much more mature group of people. my observation is that most of these collectors are between 30 to 80 years old and most are ex military. they understand core values and mutual respect for others, even if the other person is difficult to deal with or totally wrong about something. in our area of collecting the average age seems to be between 14 to 40 and I would say over half of them are under 21 and have no military experience or even real job experience for that matter. so you find you self dealing with a lot of collectors that lack any life experience and have different values from the rest of us and in some cases a total lack of respect for the items in there collection like the airsoft/ milsim folks. I personally feel leading by example is a good strategy and I try to show even the most novice collector the same respect that i would show anyone when dealing with them in person or one on one over a forum. it doesn't seem to be all that effective most of the time but you have to remember that these younger collectors will eventually mature and because of there interest in this field at a young age they are far more likely to develop good values if they see others displaying them and this should lead to them becoming better members of the collecting community down the road. of course as a father and being ex Army myself my point of view is probably affected by that a lot .  I will say there is no way around it being nerve racking sometimes and i can see it being easy to loss interest in helping someone that nether seems to care they are being helped nor helps you when you are stumped by something and everyone eventually needs help ID'ing something or maybe just a second opinion when buying something.

 

also have to agree with you about the "experts" in OEF/OIF collecting you are right about them being in every area of collecting and also right about there being more in this area of collecting than some others. most of us have learned that you never stop learning and if you think you know everything then you probably know very little. in this area of collecting it is even more so as new things are brought to light every day and a lot of the information is passed person to person or within the collector / dealer community. I spend most of my free time reading up on this area of collecting, looking at reference pictures and talking to vets when i am able as well as dealers and surplus shop owner and have done so for the last couple of years and i still learn something new almost ever day. but like you said listen to what other folks say and soak it up like a sponge. pretty much everything we know is something we read or something that we were told by other people. if you don't listen and don't look you cant learn and if you think you know everything you would probably not do a lot of either.



#22 nkomo

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 11:45 AM

  I think you both nailed the reason why people are so tight lipped about gear.  For myself, I have had several people use the pics I have posted of my gear on the forums to make reproduction pieces.  I have been contacted on numerous occasions by people asking for close up pictures, exact measurements, pics of the tags, etc.  Come to find out, they were making reproductions for the airsoft crowd,  They were not marking their pieces as reproduction in any way.  The quality is good enough to fool future collectors.  I refuse to be a part of something like that, especially if it is going to hurt collectors in the future.

 

 With that being said, I try to help others as much as possible.  Many times I don't get a thank you, but like you all have said, many people weren't raised the same as me, so I cut them some slack.  

 

  What I won't tolerate is my knowledge being used to screw someone else over.  I had a "collector" a few years back who came to me asking my advice on painted helmets.  I told him what I knew, but come to find out he took that knowledge, was manufacturing painted helmets, and selling them on Ebay as original.  He wanted my knowledge to make a better fake.  

 

 I am in no way an expert and I am always learning as well.  


Edited by nkomo, 17 March 2016 - 11:56 AM.


#23 Brig

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 01:17 PM

One reason would be being ungrateful when people take time to help, verify something or answer a question.  I've seen many posts where a question is answered in depth, and no "thank you" is ever sent.  It really discourages people to help someone who doesn't have the common courtesy to be polite.  

 

 I will say that I have been put off from helping a lot of the OIF/OEF collectors for reasons in this arena. We know that in WWII and Vietnam collecting and such, there are a few scumbags out there who chase the hearse and contact widows after reading obituaries. In the OIF/OEF realm, it is often collectors contacting the vets/service members directly.

 

I normally don't mind the inquiry if I have any gear to unload, but I don't appreciate military aged males who want it "only if it was combat used" sometimes this question if followed by "especially with blood stains". I've had this happen several times, and a couple of times offered extra gear/etc, that had not been combat used. They proceeded to insist I sell my combat used stuff-a time or two while I was in Afghanistan still using all my combat used gear! My response to a few of the more arrogant ones was to tell them to feel free to ask their local recruiters about how they could obtain combat used gear of their own. I haven't seen any come through the pipeline.

 

I can't imagine how WWII vets must feel after potential decades of this pestering, which is why I would NEVER solicit a veteran of any war for his stuff. I know how sentimental that stuff can be



#24 dave peifer

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 02:20 PM

i have operated a flea market stand here on saturdays for the past 30 years.i have a small sign stating "buying military items any period,any country"i am suprised by the amount of people who have stuff from the family or their own service time that didn't realize there is a market for their items.i've had people tell me "i wish i had known this 2 weeks ago,we just threw a lot of this stuff away"i look at it as saving items that would otherwise been discarded.as far as oef/oif goes i feel this needs to be saved and documented as much as any other war we have been involved in...........dave 



#25 [email protected]

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 03:13 PM

 I will say that I have been put off from helping a lot of the OIF/OEF collectors for reasons in this arena. We know that in WWII and Vietnam collecting and such, there are a few scumbags out there who chase the hearse and contact widows after reading obituaries. In the OIF/OEF realm, it is often collectors contacting the vets/service members directly.

 

I normally don't mind the inquiry if I have any gear to unload, but I don't appreciate military aged males who want it "only if it was combat used" sometimes this question if followed by "especially with blood stains". I've had this happen several times, and a couple of times offered extra gear/etc, that had not been combat used. They proceeded to insist I sell my combat used stuff-a time or two while I was in Afghanistan still using all my combat used gear! My response to a few of the more arrogant ones was to tell them to feel free to ask their local recruiters about how they could obtain combat used gear of their own. I haven't seen any come through the pipeline.

 

I can't imagine how WWII vets must feel after potential decades of this pestering, which is why I would NEVER solicit a veteran of any war for his stuff. I know how sentimental that stuff can be

 

good point, and that is a real problem in this line of collecting, I fact I heard a certain well know seller was banned from going on navy installations because he was bugging SEAL's to death trying to get them to sell him their gear.




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