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5 Types of Combat Gear

Combat Gear is the clothing and equipment operators wear when they’re in hostile territory. It includes items like gloves to protect hands from abrasions and cuts.

It also includes gun belts designed to hold ammunition in compartments. These belts are a big upgrade from the crisscrossed straps used to carry muskets and bayonets.

Armor Plates

Armor plates are the protective components that stop bullets and other threats in combat. They can be created from a variety of materials, including ceramics and polyethylene, but are typically crafted from steel for military purposes. They can also be reinforced with kevlar to increase their effectiveness in a variety of situations.

Plates can be rated for different threat levels, with the most common being NIJ level III rifle plates. These plates are designed to prevent 6 spaced hits from rifle ammunition at speeds of up to 2780 feet per second.

The other main type of body armor is soft armor, which comes in flexible panels and protects against reduced threats like pistol caliber ammunition. These are less effective than hard armor, but they can be more comfortable to wear as they move with the user. Most of these soft armors are NIJ level II or below, while others may have a higher level rating or be certified for specialized use.

Pistol Belts

Unlike a regular belt, gunfighter belts are built for the weight of pistol holsters and ammunition pouches, plus handcuffs, flashlights, chem lights and a sidearm. They’re also designed for durability and stability.

The best gunfighter belts will be stiff enough to prevent sagging and twisting, and they’ll feature loops for lanyards so that your equipment isn’t accidentally flung out of the way when you turn or move suddenly. They may even include a padded inner belt for comfort on long days of movement.

Some gunfighters get tempted to fill their battle belt with everything they own, but you’ll be happier if your setup is a minimum-capability system that can handle what you’re likely to encounter in real combat. A small IFAK is good, as are one or two GP pouches, and a dump pouch to stash partially and fully spent magazines. You should also include a medkit, including a tourniquet that’s COTCCC-approved. This is especially important if you’re prone or sitting for a prolonged period of time.

Magazine Pouches

Combat Gear pouches can be found in a wide range of sizes, designs and shapes with each type offering different pros and cons. For instance, a Kydex mag pouch is very stable and versatile but can dig into your waist while para-cord designs are low in profile and allow you to carry other equipment besides magazines like radios and grenades.

Some mag pouches are designed specifically for a certain magazine while others have an adjustable retention mechanism that can accommodate both single- and double-stack magazines. The latter option can be a good choice for LEOs or anyone who wants to carry multiple calibers for EDC and duty.

Flapped mag pouches store the magazines in a soft flap and offer good protection. However, they can get bulky when storing more than one magazine and require that you move them off to the side to avoid getting in your way while moving. Bungee secured open top magazine pouches offer a slimmer alternative but don’t provide as much protection from the elements.

Low-Visibility Kit

In the midst of a chaotic battle, life-saving trauma kits need to be quickly accessible without risk of being snagged on weapons or other gear. That’s why the folks at Phokus Research Group created a kit that fits in the negative space behind body armor and is virtually undetectable to the user.

It’s designed for use with a tactical vest and includes all the necessary contents for point-of-wounding treatment of penetrating, blast or other traumatic injuries. A clam shell platform of small rip stop nylon provides the interior organizational space, and an easy-open zipper grants rapid access to the equipment needed for survival in hostile environments.

A special version of the kit is available for use with a shield carrier and includes the same content but in a more compact package that allows the operator to fit it in an ankle holster or other pocket-sized spot. The kit can also be used as a belt sleeve for those missions where snag risk is paramount.

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