Christian Beekman is a columnist for Task & Purpose. His main focus is on defense and national security topics, particularly in regard to individual warfighter equipment and training. In his free time, he plays and writes about games, and tries to stay active by playing airsoft.
Vintage military surplus small arms have always been popular among the shooting community. Small arms from both world wars are old enough to classified as “curio and relics” by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, making them easier to obtain. In particular, weapons pivotal in U.S. military history like the M1 Garand and M1903 Springfield still command interest from gun owners; and the Garand can even still be purchased directly from a government-sponsored program.
Most names for tactical gear and apparel don’t really stand out, but this featherweight jacket from Fenton, Missouri’s FirstSpear sports the intriguing moniker, “Wind Cheater.” After some extensive use, I’ve discovered why.
When it comes down to it, magazines are arguably the simplest mechanism in any firearm; a box with a spring and a follower that feeds bullets into the chamber. But as AR-15-pattern rifles became the standard for military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters alike, the world of AR-15 mags got a little more complicated. Today, not only are there numerous aftermarket magazines for the AR-15, but also a whole host of modifications and accessories for the mags themselves.
Traveling is cool, but most travel gear really isn’t. Cramming your stuff into a cheap suitcase inevitably leads to disaster when that thing bursts open at the airport or on the plane. Rolling luggage is stymied by curbs and stairs; having to hand carry your supposedly wheeled bag quickly loses its luster. Luckily Triple Aught Design, a longstanding name in outdoor apparel and nylon gear, has released the Meridian Transport Case in order to ease your travel woes. The Meridian is expensive at $425, but it may be the last travel bag you’ll ever buy.
Concealed carry has increasingly become a major focus in many parts of the tactical gear industry. There’s large market for holsters, belts, magazine pouches, and others items built for the context of everyday carry. One niche that has seen many new products is off-body carry: bags or packs that are designed to conceal a firearm. Tactical Tailor, know for its military-oriented nylon gear, has entered the concealed-carry area with the aptly named Concealed Carry Sling Bag. While its design is focused on the off-body concept, the bag has plenty to offer those with or without firearms to carry.
The softshell jacket is the new face of military outerwear. If the classic M-65 Field Jacket was an icon of the Cold War, then softshells are the post 9/11-era symbol of tactical function. There are so many companies pumping out softshells these days, complicating the decision when it comes time to buy.