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Quick question on current commercial field gear


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Hey guys, do Spec Opp's or others still have the option to use commercial gear. I came across Condor MOPC gear that is set up for soft armor or plates. The rig has most of the tactical items strapped to it. I was just wondering who the market is for this stuff, other than me.

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It's usually deferred to commanders at the unit level, and by no means limited to the Special Forces community. Every victor unit I've been in has authorized private-purchase gear to varying degrees

 

It is also extensively used by law enforcement, reenactors, paintballers, airsofters, and wannabes...I have long said that in the future, the only private-purchase gear of any value on the collector market will have to be documented to a veteran/part of a group

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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Brig, That's mostly what I thought. I have some older USMC gear with the Navy custom's tags, duct tape with units and names and paper shipping tags on them, but it seems to me it wouldn't be hard to fake those things. In the future collectors will be in for allot of home work and research. Yours David

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Condor is pretty cheap and on the low end. I'm sure it is used to some extent by those in the military, but it is also quite popular with airsofters due to its low price.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a thousand pictures!

"I read that in war bad things happen, Ain't that the ************* truth" -1st Lt Mike Scotti

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In as far as names of civilian made gear like back packs. I have commercial items that were worn by deployed USMC troops around 2005-2010. They include London Bridge, Black Hawk, Eberlestock and ISAP. The smaller strap on gear comes from a wide list of makers. A few years back a seller at the swap meet had gear from a Scout Sniper. I bought the packs but couldn't get the smalls. The guy had sooo many items from so many companies that were never used still in the factory packaging. I picked up a Navy Corpsman's full and complete field gear that deployed to Iraq in 09. The only thing that was issued was his Marine Corpsman pack. Everything else he wore was from other civilian medical supply company's. In researching that, I found combat medics were allowed to put together gear as they saw fit. That's why I asked.

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Blackhawk was hugely popular in the Marine Corps via unit purchase, as well as private-purchase. It was fairly affordable. Guys with a little rank on their collar (higher paychecks) and gear-queers also used a lot of Diamondback. SpecOps was a crappy budget brand available at the PX, but often bought due to the low pricetag, particular outside the infantry. In my experience, grunts are a little more willing to pay more for their gear...they knew they would use it, unlike guys who may never leave the FOB, and we tend to consider it an investment in our lives, not an expense.

 

But...even if they go for a decent brand, they still tend to buy the lesser priced items. Prime example is the Blackhawk paratrooper drop holster...had a strap for the pistol grip so it wouldn't fall out in a jump, and took the pistol off safe when you drew. I hated it...thought it was a safety hazard, and guys never knew what to do with the pistol grip strap. But it was $50 rather than the $100+ a Safariland or Serpa cost. I invested in the Serpa the week it came out, a few days before my first deployment in 2005...15 years later and I'm still using the same one....

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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NSN is true for unit purchases, the days if waivers is gone...but I haven't heard that IRT private purchase

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Brig, Since the draw down would it be fair to say most gear carried by Marines is issued gear? I know a guy who was (still is?) a private contractor after his time in. His gear from being a private contractor is not the same as what he wore during his time in. For one thing its all black and it's all about fire power and comm's. It's very mobile and light weight. If you don't mind me asking … how did you set up your gear? Another friend was a LRRP in Desert Shield/Storm. His gear was set up for extended stays deep in Iraq before the advance. By his recollection he could be out two weeks at a time and according to him they had pre staged resupply they could hike to.

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It really depends on the command and what they'll authorize. There was a lot of Blackhawk and Bugout branded stuff available in the PXs in Iraq. From what I hear now a days is that most of the stuff you are authorized to buy has to have a NSN associated with it.

I was typing out the question when you answered it. Thanks!!!

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The Marine Corps finally started issuing pouches that are almost the same as the private purchase, since everyone was buying it, anyway. Originally, units had either the LBVs with MOLLE pouches, or the even earlier one with permanently sewn-on pouches. The LBV pouches were tri-color woodland, and we were wearing the new coyote tan interceptors....so we started buying the tan pouches. Now that they're issued, you see very little private purchase gear, with the exception of GP pouches. Most guys in leadership billets have a privately purchased GP pouch, as the Marine Corps doesn't issue anything similar. Same for smoke grenade and popup pouches...they're not issued, so some guys will buy them.

 

How I wore my gear depended on the mission and the tour...my usual rig during combat deployments...

 

-Iraq (first trip)...issued interceptor vest with 5 Blackwater double mag pouches, issued IFAK, 2 Blackwater hand grenade pouches, 3 Blackwater triple 40mm pouches, Blackwater gasmask Flak pouch, Blackwater camelback hump, unknown brand private purchase smoke grenade pouch, and (mid-tour) an Army issued (believe outside purchased) dump pouch, private purchase Blackwater GP pouch. Also, a Blackwater pistol belt with a Serpa drop holster, and a Blackwater leg paddle, Blackwater NVG pouch, 5 private purchase pistol mag pouches (can't remember the brand), and a Blackwater double rifle mag pouch, as well as a SpecOps knife scabbard with my KABAR in it, and two issued but obsolete 40mm pouches that held 6 rounds per. An additional pistol mag pouch for my Gerber. I also wore Blackwater knee pads, which were unit purchased, and had a Blackwater buttstock single mag pouch. Unit purchased motorcross gloves, issued ESS glasses. Typical combat loadout 12 rifle mags, 5 pistol mags, 1 frag grenade, 18 40mm grenades.

 

-Iraq (Round two)...Scaled down version of first tour due to mission changes...biggest difference was I worse a private purchase Spartan vest. 3 Blackwater double mag pouches, issued IFAK, 2 Blackwater hand grenade pouches, 1 Blackwater triple 40mm pouch, Blackwater gasmask Flak pouch, Blackwater camelback hump, unknown brand private purchase smoke grenade pouch, unit purchased dump pouch, private purchase GP pouch. Also, a Blackwater pistol belt with unknown maker private purchase NVG pouch, single mag pouch private purchase, as well as a SpecOps knife scabbard with my KABAR in it, and an additional pistol mag pouch for my Gerber. Private purchase Blackwater knee pad and unit purchase motorcross gloves, private purchase sunglasses. Typical combat loadout 7 rifle mags, 3 40mm.

 

-Afghanistan...issued plate carrier with 3 Blackwater double-mag pouches, private purchase IFAK pouch, 2 Blackwater hand grenade pouches, private purchase smoke grenade pouch, Blackwater smoke grenade pouch, Blackwater popup pouch, Blackwater GP pouch, Blackwater radio pouch, issued hydration pouch. Also a Blackwater pistol belt with dump pouch, private purchase NVG pouch, issued 152 black gear pouch, unknown brand mag pouch for my Gerber, SpecOp scabbard with my KABAR. Private purchase Blackwater gloves and private purchase Oakleys. Typical combat loadout 7 rifle mags, 2 hand grenades, 1 popup, 1 or 2 smoke grenades.

 

Might be missing some stuff. definitely caribiners, always at a minimum one on my belt and one on my flak. As you can see...vast majority was private purchase

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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Brig, What time frame was this? How did you decide this was the gear was you would carry? What would you put in or on your pack. I assume a first aid kit?, maybe a 2 quart canteen?, rope or para cord?, A GPS? compass? maps? comm's? were MRE's stripped down? etc. Details are what gets lost to time, Yours David

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Brig, What time frame was this? How did you decide this was the gear was you would carry? What would you put in or on your pack. I assume a first aid kit?, maybe a 2 quart canteen?, rope or para cord?, A GPS? compass? maps? comm's? were MRE's stripped down? etc. Details are what gets lost to time, Yours David

Some was SOP, some was just paranoia of running dry in a gun fight...I didn't even mention what was in the assault pack

 

Tour 1...2005-2006...the war was still a war and not this police-action hearts and minds thing quite yet, so I was paranoid of going winchester on ammo...typical combat load of the time was 6 rifle mags, I doubled it. You use to be able to buy mags at the PX, this was before all the gun laws tightened and now you need a letter from the CO authorizing you to buy them, which is usually only to replace ones you may have lost. Mid-tour we received a threat of gas attack, so from that point on gas masks had to be on us at all times like during the invasion. I hated it bouncing against my leg so invested in the gas mask pouch. I also hated the straps of the camelback cutting into my shoulders so I invested in the camel back hump...camelbacks had only been an issued item for about a year so they didn't have the pouches out yet, those didn't come out until years later when we switched from the ILBE pack to the new ruck. I was a boot at the time so didn't rate a compass, and commercially purchased GPSs were godawful expensive back then...the only guy who had sprung for one was our squad leader and I think he said he spent around 600 bucks on it.

 

Tour 2...2006-2007 (I waived my dwell time and was back in theater 90 days after returning from my first tour. both were also extended). This was Baghdad, mostly external security outside the embassy compound, so I didn't need as much ammo. Typical loadout was 7 mags and I largely stuck to that. I also had a 21" collapsible asp tucked into a pouch in case a protest at the gate turned riotous...never had to use it. But I did once kill a fly with it Mr Miagi style.

 

Tour 3...2011-2012...Typical loadout was 7 mags, I was a section leader which meant my Marines were my weapon so I wouldn't be doing as much shooting, so I didn't see a need to go excessive on this either. I had a compass issued and had bought a commercial Garmin GPS...it was originally 900 bucks with all the bells and whistles, but I got it at a Black Friday sale the day before I deployed for around 250-300...awesome investment, but I still use it as a backup to a compass, not primary

 

I always field strip my MREs. Typically in my assault pack I carried rations, two canteens and E-Tool strapped to the sides, extra batteries, a headlamp with red lens filter, 550 cord, multiple pairs of socks, weapon cleaning gear and lube. After that it was mission dependent...maybe a ranger roll for sleeping, extra mags if we were doing remote ops, air panel, flexi cuffs, camie paint. I always have a protractor and map pens in my GP pouch as well as extra batteries, a notebook and map, signal mirror, maybe a whistle for a signal plan. Other odds and ends.

 

Copenhagen in my top left sleeve pocket with my kill card, which has since been replaced with ZAP tags.

 

I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff. It was a lot of stuff, and loadouts varied mission to mission. If it was a local patrol we traveled light, if we were on a multi-week patrol base op we backed heavy and lived out of main bags.

 

Unfortunately most of my pics were lost, that's the problem with digital photos is viruses and accidental wipes, but here's a couple photos of me during my first tour kitted up...the photos without gloves were the same ambush, you can see we had to sit for hours in an irrigated field and the gloves got soaked, started doing a number on my hands so I dropped them. I'm on the left in the photo of us holding 40mm after a successful ambush, you can see we're filthy soaked...

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And a couple photos my second tour...

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-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Oh, yes, I also camouflaged my weapon my first tour...I still have some of the painted mags...I used a double-clamped mag as my primary, the clamps had been gifts to us from the Israelis when we went through their Counter Terror School in 2005 a few months before going to Iraq..

 

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-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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