Geardos? (courtesy teamspartan.com)

Over at npr.org (of all places), Ben Brody offers The (Almost) Definitive Guide to U.S. Military Lingo. We learn the definition of “geardo,” which rhymes with “weirdo.” It’s a soldier who spends an inordinate amount of their personal money to buy fancy military gear, such as weapon lights, GPS watches, custom rucksacks, etc. Generally refers to a soldier with little tactical need for such equipment.” So are you now or have you ever been a geardo? And if so, do you/did you enjoy drinking the tacticoolaid? [h/t SS]

124 Responses to Question of the Day: Are You A Geardo?

    • Honestly this have never been a real problem for me as I am more of a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy. I just need a good basic, solid setup for my weapon system at hand and have not found this to be costly. But, of course, YMMV…

  1. Does it count if I have a hard time passing up a Smith & Wesson top-break revolver with pearl or ivory grips? Or any original grips? Or any other brand top-break?

    • Nope. There’s nothing at all wrong with your habit. Collecting guns, especially S&W revolvers, is the noblest pursuit a man can engage in.

      • Thank you! So I can forget about the 12-step plans and “intervention” stuff. Now all I need is another safe …

        • Well, I did make it to the S&W Collector’s Association meeting in Boise last year, but that was more like an alcoholic going into a bar with a bunch of friends. I really needed a drool shield – there were probably $7-&10 million in S&Ws in that room. Three days of total immersion in every kind of S&W imaginable, and a few I didn’t know existed.

  2. Former geardo. After tacticooling my first pistol and shooting my subsequent ones about the same level of accuracy with practice I decided fancy do dad’s need no home with me unless they actually serve an extra purpose from basic equipment (or are a great deal around the same price of basic equipment).

  3. The training I’ve done with genuinely “real deal” former SF guys has reinforced the concept: the right tool for the right job, nothing more and nothing less.

    Collecting all the cool toys and gadgets is fun, but ….

    In the real world, the real operators put their focus on mastering their weapon platform, they stick with it and regard it as a means to an end, not an end in itself.

    • Makes a lot of sense for operators.
      Let’s not exclude mall ninjas though. Im One of the guys who got into guns from playing call of duty kind of games. I have my serious ccw and defensive tools which are all about business.
      But I also have a lot of FUN playing around with attachments. Because guns. It’s not necessary, it’s nota serious attempt to be tactical or improve anything. It’s just to make thinks look bad ass

      • I have a dream of putting multiple vertical foregrips on the various rails of my AR. Stretch goal is multiple optics at different offsets. If i’m not careful, i’ll turn it into a multi-thousand dollar physical incarnation of an Onion article. But when does it stop being satire?
        He who fights with mall ninjas should look to it that he himself does not become a mall ninja. And when you gaze long into tacticool the tacticool also gazes into you.

    • Agreed – I think the answer to the original question depends on the reason for choosing the gear. Given adequate research and good judgement, I think upgrading equipment that may help keep you alive is a damn good idea. Spending good money on poorly designed or shoddily made gear for the simple reason that it’s new or cool looking, while it may help keep the gun-goods industry solvent, is not going to help you remain unperforated, though.

  4. Yeah, I confess that back in the day, when I was shooting bullseye competitions, I was a geardo. But I was young and impreshionable back then, I’m smarter now (and have less money he he he).

  5. I have actually been called “Geartarded” once. As a joke, I took my Keltec PLR-16, installed a laser/light combo, forward folding bi-pod, 100 rnd C-MAG, single point sling and a Gen1 Night Scope. It was a small slice of awesome.

  6. I don’t buy a bunch of the accessories, but I do buy a lot of cool guns, so what? I also spend a ton on my track car, does that make me a poser?

    I figure every man needs a hobby and if a guy wants to spend a ton of his money on shit he will never use at 100% its capability so what? My tires cost $2000 a set and last 6 weeks but I admit I don’t leverage even 90% of their capabilities.

  7. I’m a 1911 guy, & love me a leather shoulder holster or some other mess that goes with that. But the tier alpha ninja thing hasn’t had appeal since I got outta high school.

  8. Nah, not really. I spend my money on the basics: guns and ammo. I probably need to get more “geardo” as I am about 4 pistols behind on holsters and I don’t have slings for all my rifles. That’s about as far as it goes for me. I’d rather spend my money on actually shooting than accessories.

    • I’ll second this.

      I shoot weekly IDPA unsanctioned matches. They keep asking me why I don’t get classified and the answer is sending IDPA $40. A couple trips to the range is more appealing to me then an email that lets me be classified and shoot in the monthly matches I cannot abandon my young family to attend anyway.

  9. No. I put rubber grips on my model 10. I have an uncle mike’s pocket holster for my j frame. I have nylon holsters for my model 10 and Mak. I don’t even own a mag pouch.

    Oh yeah, almost forgot my Sigma. Nylon holster for it too. No lasers, weapons lights, no surefires. About as gadgety as I get in my gerber multi tool that lives in my range box. Which is a cheap plastic walmart tool box.

  10. I am ashamed to say I own a drop-leg holster. I bought it at a gun show when I was up in Virginia visiting a buddy, and it served me well the next day when he had a bunch of his coworkers out to his place for a range day. At the conclusion of that range day, it got wrapped up and put away, and it hasn’t been used since. But I do still own it.

    But that’s really as far as it goes. I don’t have unlimited funds, so the stuff I buy has a reason, and not a fantastical made-up one.

    • Eh no problem with Drop legs I just bought a drop leg last month, for my HK Mark 23 that I had for 4 years and have enjoyed every moment of it. I used it hunting last month of course no other holster fits the gun so I had a good excuse :).

  11. Other than 5.11s (they are really comfortable) definitely No. I spend too much just trying to find “the right” holster, an endeavor in which I know I am not alone. And being a minimalist by nature, I have no interest in all that crap.

  12. The most tacticool thing I have ever bought was a Texas Weapon Systems mount for my AK. I switched back to the original sights, I like them better.

  13. I like buying fun accessories to play with, but when it comes to real use, its just the functional basics.

    For example my bedside gun is a SIG 226 Mk25 with a TLR-1 light. That doesn’t stop me from trying out every piece of crap I can stick on a picatinny when I’m having fun at the range.

  14. I have TLR-3 night lights on my house shotgun and my nightstand gun in case I get scared of the dark, but that’s it for me. No camo clothing or tactical vests or anything.

  15. Let me say this about that, I am NOT a geardo. (in Richard Nixon’s voice)

    Meh, I usually have a flashlight, a tiny Swiss Army knife (the smallest that is available), and a spare magazine. I almost always carry the flashlight and the knife in my pocket and I usually carry my spare magazine on my belt. I would say that means I am not a “geardo”.

  16. In the electric-guitar world, “geardo” equals a person with a bad case of “GAS”: Gear Acquisition Syndrome.
    To answer the original question – no, I buy ammo instead.

      • The tape hurt my ears ’til I put level III plates on the sides and top, and made a sorta-helmet-thing out of it.

        • We all know level 3 won’t even stop .17cal BBs….you need to upgrade to dat hybid level 12A……just cut up a dragonskin vest and apply to face with copious amounts of saran-wrap, and don’t worry about ventilation holes that stuff is plenty breathable for you.

  17. Yup.
    I have night sights on any gun I might shoot at night.
    I have a gen 3 night vision scope for my AR for hunting yodel dogs.
    I don’t have mag pouches for a couple of guns that have mags. I don’t have holsters for a couple of pistols.
    Yet.

  18. Incrimental, my dear. I got a gun, hoping I would never need to use it in self-defense. I got the chest harness holding 4 banana clips, hoping I would never need to use it in defense of the town.

  19. Are you serious? On this site you are asking about need?????? That is the anti’s argument. Need has nothing to do with it. I’ll buy whatever I want. Because I can. AND it pisses my ex-wife off. It probably pisses Pelosi off also. That is just extra bonus points.

    • Simmer down there, Timbo. It was just a friendly question. Everybody here’s got an item or two or five that they admit they own with a little embarrassment. It’s actually fun to be a little embarrassed sometimes.

      • Matt in FL,

        No embarrassment here. Geardo, gear queer, gear whore… They all apply to me. I blame it on 10 years in the military. I wasn’t the guy who bought brand new gear for everything; I was happy with issued gear and hand-me-downs. However, if there was something particular that made my life or job easier I didn’t mind buying it. Now that I’m married and have my first kid everything dealing with guns has slowed down, but I’m still looking ahead for what new gun or piece of gear I’d like to buy. If I won a ridiculous lotto jackpot I would become a full on mall ninja.

  20. I’m an AK guy. Of the Sonny Puzikas school of thought (minus the shooting the friendlys part…). We do not put anything on our rifles besides a sling.

    That said, after I “built” (moved pins, slapped upper into lower, replaced pins) my first M-4 pattern carbine length Right Angle – 15 rifle, I decided to do an 1A build specifically specifically so I only use irons and am not tempted to spend hundreds of Christmas present dollars on reflex sights (and I thought it would fun – for historical reasons – to have an example of the American’s response to the AKM).

    • AK guy here too. I’ve put modern quad rails on the fore end for a tactical light (since i do night time carbine courses) and a QD Sling mount. Optics wise, I use a Kalinka Kobra in proper fashion. Otherwise, black poly stock and steely mags.

    • Same here.. AK guy too, and I don’t own any AR at this point. When I do build one it’s going to be an M16A4 clone with iron sights. I just want to have an iron-sighted AR not weighed down by a ton of shit attached to it, and will probably be doing some longer-ranged irons shooting with it.

  21. Recovering geardo, my rifles get lighter and lighter as time goes on. I now have a bunch of lasers and bipods sitting in the closet, with bits and pieces of never worn body armor and uninstalled rail sections to keep them company.

  22. One could say that of any sport. WHen it comes to benchrest there are bench rest accessories and customization and then there is ACCESSORIES AND CUSTOMIZATION. I believe I am a couple steps and a couple grand away from totally Geardo in that sport. I still can’t bring myself to spend 800 dollars on a front rest among other things. They call it “buying your points” in the circles I run in.

    On the other side of things. There is much to be desired in the basic equipment issued to our soldiers. Many guys I know ended up upgrading their gear in the sandbox or at least customizing it to make it work better. That doesn’t make them a geardo, just keeps them alive and comfortable.

  23. Nah.

    Even in the military, if you are a combat troop you understand that you will have to carry all that crap.

    If it doesn’t provide a great benefit you don’t really want it.

  24. I’m only a geardo when it comes to my incredibly cheap Hi-Point 995TS carbine. I like to put equally as cheap Tacticool accessories on it, because I like the irony of pimping it out with equally as cheap accessories.

    I bought a pistol bayonet for $3 last year, it looks hilarious on it.

  25. I am definitely a gear collector, but mainly backpacking/camping stuff right now.

    Gun-wise, I prefer a minimalist approach.

  26. My gearheadedness was something I had to learn (and acknowledge) about myself over time.

    In my early thirties I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars before I figured out that I liked gathering all the different, shiny gear waaaay more than I liked actually rock climbing.

  27. Not really a geardo. I spend my spare mony on standard capacity magazines and reloading components. Getting everything needed for 3 gun competition is not cheap either.

  28. No, I prefer to spend my extra money (when I have it) on ammo. When I go to the range with my friends they laugh because my AR doesn’t have a single rail and I carry my extra mags in a WWII satchel bag my grandfather left me (I figure if he could carry it throughout the Pacific, it should work for what I’ll need it for).

  29. For me there is the practical world and the gaming world. My SHTF carbine is barebones: EOTech, BUIS, extended charging handle – done. No quad rails, no free float, no vertical grip, no espresso maker. My game carbine – oh, Lord. MTAC, free float, BAD lever, muzzle brake, and on and on. Same is true for other gear. Real world – simple slings and holsters. Game world – ‘load 2’ chest rigs, coupled AR mags, 48 rnd extensions, etc.

  30. No. I recognize the need for things like holsters, mag pouches, and vests, especially if you own any sort of defensive rifle/pistol or are into shooting sports that revolve around those things.

    On the other hand, I don’t own a single Magpul product (AK guy), don’t own any 5.11-esque clothing, and don’t see any need to use the tactical jargon or lingo in every single conversation with another gun owner.

    I don’t get guys that dress every single day like they’re a PSC in the Middle East.

    I had a brief moment where I was straying into that territory unintentionally. I walked into the Seattle passport office last February to apply for a lost passport. I’m 29. I had a thick beard, a buzz-cut, a cupped-brim OD green baseball cap pulled down tight, a pretty nice cobalt blue Columbia jacket, boots and jeans. Just normal stuff that I wear when it’s cold out. The first thing the passport office security guys asked me when I asked them what part of the office to go to, was if I was going to be traveling on military orders. I sort of chuckled a little and realized what I looked like at the moment. The only thing I was missing was the keffiyeh.

    I once met up to do a trade with a guy who was not military, but our brief 15-minute meeting was a non-stop wall of tacticool acronyms and catch phrases. I felt like I had just sat through a tactical lecture session with Travis Haley an hour after he downed a bottle of No-Doz. I never want to be that guy.

    And a funny little story: a few years back I was in my LGS, and a young guy walked in with an AR that he wanted to trade in. He showed it to the counter guy, and it was just littered with accessories. Everybody in the store just stopped dead in their tracks when the kid flipped a switch on the rifle, and the whole full-length handguard lit up with flashing blue LEDs. He seemed to think this was some sort of selling point. Never seen any thing like that before or since.

  31. NO!
    1. Buy a quality gun.
    2. Buy a quality holster.
    3. Get some quality training.
    4. Practice, Practice, Practice.
    STOP WASTING MONEY!

  32. I’ve got a drop leg holster (holds an M9 better than the holster on our survival vest which looks like it was designed for a 1911) and a Suunto watch.

    Does that make me geartarded?

  33. So let me get the TTAC nomenclature straight
    ##############################
    If it is a soldier – we call them a geardo
    If it is a citizen – we call them a mall ninja
    if it is a police officer – we call him a nazi storm trooper
    ##############################

    Sounds about right

  34. But I, being poor, have only my dreams…

    A few years ago, mostly due to financial concerns, my mindset changed to practicool over tacticool. I stopped dreaming about owning every firearm glamorized by movies and forums. For me every firearm has to have a role to fill and accessories kept to a minimum.

    Weapon Lights, Night sights, Optics, slings/holsters, mag pouches/ ways to carry ammo, all seem more practicool than tacticool to me.

  35. Being a poor college student at present, my default answer is “no.”

    If I had the money to burn, yes, yes I would be. This is because so long as I can afford it I shouldn’t have to choose, and dat’s cuz ‘dis is ‘MURICA! 😛

  36. Its not politically correct, but the actual term is “Gear-Queer” not the more friendly “geardo” which I have never heard before. Gear-Queers show up in theater with what looks like a blackhawk catalog attached to their rig. Unbeknownst to them, it is 120F everyday and they are going to be conducting two 15 click foot patrols daily for the foreseeable future. It doesn’t take long to figure out that all you really need is a radio, ammo and a shit ton of H20 on your back. Everything else is superfluous and will get you heat stroked and put your team in danger while they decide whether or not to medevac you out or leave you behind for being stupid.

    No offense intended for the use of the word “queer.” It only refers to someone who is “odd, or deviating from the norm, eccentric, etc.”

    • Funny story about that…
      Had a specialist once that must have spent his entire reenlistment bonus on BlackHawk! and 5.11 tac gear.
      Less then two weeks in- he was down to two camelpaks, standard ruck ( oddly worked better then what he had), food, and ammo. All the thousands of gear just stopped showing up to formation.
      When asked about it, he’d get a pissed look and walk away…

  37. No, I don’t do the tacticool thing. I stuff my extra mags in my pockets.

    My most tacticool piece of kit is my sling on my AR which is convertible from two to single point. Usually I just buy leather combloc slings but I sprung for something nice for the AR.

    I buy good guns, the best optics you can because a cheap optic is just a PITA, and than shoot the heck out of them. Getting it dirty doesn’t bother me either, that’s why you buy good stuff.

  38. I could be, if I had the money-

    fortunately I learned my lesson on a couple things-
    testing things out one at a time, as below, that were a waste of time,

    until I realized KISS applies,
    and $$$ spent in basics, then training first, including getting in better shape, is a far better investment than gear.

    1. cheap truglo red-dot in a saddle mount for 870- that lasted about 10 shots, before breaking inside.

    2. knoxx stock recoil reducing tacticool thingy that slapped the crap out of my face, and basically did nothing on recoil- which isnt that big a deal anyway on a .12ga for a big guy.

    3. Crimson Tace laser that didnt work for squat and got in the way of point shooting and basics for the pistol.

    4. Eotac semi-tacticool vest that looks stupid and “shoot me first” and when compared to a basic Columbia fisherman/photog vest, doesnt do any more.

    5. Danner USMC desert boots that didnt hold up as well as basic Timberland hunters boots.

    6. Couple of tactical dvds that were a waste of time.

    Couple hours of one-on-one with a good trainer for each of pistol, rifle, and shotgun saved me thousands in ammo and hundreds of hours, correcting and avoiding bad habits I picked up on my own.

    Thanks to some good advice here from senior hunters, smiths, and LEO/MIL, I have been able to restrain myself from doing more harm to the pocket book. Also got some really good advice from a couple trainers- highly recommend you seek someone out with experience, and long practice working with newbies, if you are one, like me.

  39. Yeah, I like gear and like to ‘kit out’ my stuff.
    I’m certainly not an ‘Operator’, nor a pretend-to-be-Operator.
    It’s just a hobby and I like to complete my builds – which to me includes upgraded components, optics, a light and cleaning kit. No GPS watches, laser range finders, custom rucksacks, etc.
    If that’s a ‘geardo’ or a ‘mall ninja’, then as my girl says; what ever.
    To me it’s fun, so why take the fun out of the fun.
    All of the Anti-Tacticool people make my roll my eyes almost as much as the Tacticool people anymore. Some people are so afraid to be called Tacticool, that they won’t run anything without a Fixed Front Sight Gasblock and an A2 grip (which I swear was invented by Feinstein to dissuade new AR enthusiasts). I could care less what you call me and I could care less if some people want to be goofy and load up their rifles with ‘backups to their backups to their backups’. If that’s fun for them, then let em roll with it. I might snicker a little, but hey, it’s a free country (sorta, for now…) – and sooner or later they will probably look at themselves carrying a 15 pound rifle and be like ‘wtf am I doing’?

  40. I also have special terms for special people. For example, anyone who worries about what other people do with their own money is called an “A$$HOLE.”

  41. Some friends and I were on a fishing trip. We were sitting around the fire talking about my new boat and what it needed.
    One fella talked about wives and how when they get a new dress, they HAVE to get matching shoes, purse, belt, earrings, necklace, etc…
    They call that stuff “accessories”.
    So we made up a new word that night. After I needed fish-on rod holders, a fish finder, stereo, live-well, nets, more rods, and other tackle. Those things are called
    “Necessaries”.

    So an optic, mags, drag bag, reloading equipment, reloading room, work bench, tools, beer tap, cigar humidor…. Well, my friends, these things are “necessaries”.

  42. Nothing wrong with being a geardo IMO, what is bad is if one thinks that they are somehow a real deal soldier just through buying a bunch of gear. But I mean how is buying lots of gear one doesn’t need any different than buying lots of guns one doesn’t need, or buying multiple cars one doesn’t need? (if I was rich, you can bet I’d have multiple exotic sports cars and other vehicles, for example).

  43. Geardo, NO. Have I put a rail system on an AK that I have never used? Yes…But I do have plans to put the red dot on my AR onto the AK so it will eventually be used.

  44. Every once in a while I see a peace of kit that really gives me an itch, but then I think to myself, “what are you going to look like hauling that around?” In most cases I realize that the equipment is gong to make me too conspicuous and, therefore, blow my OPSEC; so I don’t bite.

    I try to run as low a “tactical-footprint” (a term I just made up) as possible to try and blend and to look like your average, every day, Joe about the business district. Rather than thinking a particular peace of gear is going to save my life, I favor the school of thought that my brain and my body are what are most likely to win the day. Therefore, I tend to focus on the essentials, get very familiar with them, stay in shape, stay discrete, and stay aware of my surroundings.

    So I guess I can be a bit of a geardo, as long as the gear is stealthy, which, as demonstrated by the photo above, isn’t often.

    The most devastating strike is the one you never see coming, and you tend to see mots geardos coming from a mile away. They look like big ‘ole round hay bales with all their Multicam draped over their bellys. 😉

  45. Rule #1: if you do not immediately know an item’s purpose, you don’t need it.

    Rule #2: just because it has jack bauers face on it doesn’t mean he carries it.

    Rule #3: if you remove the lime green zombie biohazard symbol, would you still want it?

    Yes, I am a geardo stemming from being a gun geek and in the Army but I have to be a bit more discerning to avoid going broke.

  46. I dunno. I prefer having a silencer, light and (target) sling on my guns, optics too sometimes. Does that make me a geardo?

  47. I enjoy taking carbine courses because I can shoot in ways not allowed on my public range- I am a vet and have had all the cool stuff my rich uncle could give me including a company of M1 tanks, six 120 mm mortars, and a radio that can call in all kinds of nasty death from things that fly- so gear does not impress me.

    I show up with a good belt and holster for my pistol and two mag holders- one for my pistol mag one for my carbine mag. I wear running shoes, jeans or shorts (I do admit that the 5.11 shorts are the best I have ever owned and just picked up 3 more pair) and always a t-shirt from the local bakery my buddy owns with his logo “Cupcakes Fix Everything” on the back. I get all kinds of odd looks from the mall ninjas and storm troopers with their moral patches and multi-cam outfits and plate carriers (w/o plates). I love watching their faces as they get out shot by an OFWG rocking a cupcake t-shirt and running a “hobby grade” bushmaster or DPMS AR and a stock Glock 17 gen 2.

  48. I have nothing against geardos that don’t take themselves seriously. It’s the people that act like spending hundreds-thousands kitting out a gun makes them an “operator” that annoy the piss out of me.

  49. I don’t even own a holster for every pistol I own. Heck, my two guns I switch between for daily carry shared a holster until a couple of weeks ago.

  50. I have an ALICE pack and an Enhanced Tactical Loadbearing Vest (former USGI) with an ALICE pistol belt, butt pack and canteens (this is my SHTF gear). It was cheap, and USGI, and I saw no reason to buy the fancy new chest rigs and plate carriers. Then when I tested it the darn thing the canteens beat my hips to smithereens at any pace faster than a slow walk.

    Now I’m waiting for the right time to get a BDS Tactical rig with an integrated hydration pouch carrier.

    First gotta get my basic AR built (parts and 80% are on the way). Stage 2 of AR build is practical attachments (Aimpoint PRO, quad rail, vert grip, light).

    Then gotta figure out how to exercise my privilege of buying a handgun in HI.

  51. I’m in law enforcement. It’s a tax write-off, and you can never have too many bright-ass lights and things that hold stuff.

  52. My tools reflect the space I work in and the job at hand. Do I have a small accumulation of tools that I no longer use or that did not satisfy my needs?
    Yes
    Why is this relevant?

  53. When I was in I could barely afford to buy food. I did buy a Craftsman wrench and screwdriver though. Do I qualify?

  54. I’m reminded that when Audi Murphy was in Sicily he was known to pack a 1917 45 revolver, a brass knuckle trench knife and some times, both an M-1 Garand and a 1903 Springfield

  55. I dress as casual and as anti-mall ninja as possible and save my money for guns, ammo and cleaning supplies. No one knows I’m into guns until I either mention it (to an increasingly smaller group of people these days) or see me at the range, and I like it that way.

    All my rifles have the stock irons, though someday a low power scope may go on one of my Henrys. My 870 has a cheap side saddle on it and may eventually get a tactical light since it’s my home defense piece. That’s it.

  56. On my budget the gear would have to pretty awesome to rank above my gun wish list or more ammo. Nothing against fun extras myself, but they’re luxuries.

  57. LOL! I had to scroll WAAAY down!

    I’m an ‘Old Schooler.’ Before I buy anything gun related I research that item thoroughly. RARELY do I have the latest or greatest. Some of that is just budget. MOST of that is having been around a few, OK more than a few, years and seeing fads hit my hobby…..I learned to NOT buy the latest or greatest or the most advertised!

    MY shotguns are older than most that read this…..tactical…..NEVER fail.

    My personal rifle! AK…in .223…both collector’s items now. NORINCO….the best.

    My GLOCK G21…1ST gen. Colt 1911 pattern highly customized by me.

    Lately a BG380…..REALLY like it!

    XDs….tweaked and LOVE this pistol!

    However, IMHO spend time on the Shooter….the weapon is a tool. I have hammers and vice grips older than you too!…Hell! I have hammers older than me! LOL!

    Spend your money…OK..I do….but don’t waste it! Buy bullets and range time. Photo ops are BORING!

    • Regarding that AK, how is mag availability? I read about some conversions to make them take AR mags a couple years ago.

    • I would think owning an AK would be an indication that you’re more of minimalist, not the other way around.

      You don’t usually see the AKs being turned into Whizz Bang Wackmaster 5000 rifles like the ARs.

  58. Old soldier here. In the infantry, having a lot of attachments on your weapon is the sure sign of a fobbit (one who never leaves the FOB). The guys outside the wire every day use their tools too much to carry anything extraneous. We were issued a host of weapon lights, laser pointers, grips etc. Some guys bought more. I played with all the stuff, but within a week, I was down to a bare M4 with an ACOG sight and a PAC-2 laser (which I was required to carry to mark for air support). The other sign of a working weapon? Lots of duct tape and 550 cord roping everything to it. Ties Downs, privates! Do it!

  59. Some gear is absolutely necessary, most is not.

    A good holster for a carry gun and a quality belt, if you carry on your waist, are a must. But, tacticool rail lights, stippled grips, trigger jobs, and the latest, hyper sonic, death-ray ammo are not.

    Slings are very important on rifles and shotguns for defensive use, slings allow you to use your hands without losing positive control of your weapon (e.g., grab your kids, use the phone, open doors.) However, all kinds of crazy muzzle devices, optics that cost more than the rifle, and having every inch of rail space occupied are probably unneeded.

    Having gear is great, as long as it has a practical purpose.

    Also, if you have a lot of back ups to practical things that’s a good thing. Having 3 flashlights in your truck isn’t overkill, or being a geardo, it’s being overly prepared for a practical situation.

    One more thing, what the deal with all the drop leg holsters? Those things look cool, but are seriously uncomfortable. Try to run with one of those things on and a full size weapon in it. And, I don’t mean casually jog, I mean f^cking run for your life like someone is shooting at you, it will slow you down considerably.

    Let alone trying to lugging 2-3lbs of mass low on your thigh while moving around all day, it gets old, quick. And, that’s before you start banging your gun around on things as you walk past them. Just my opinion, if you like them, good on yah, I think they’re worthless.

  60. when I got my 1st shotgun I went straight to shotgunworld’s photo galleries and began my unfortunate obsession with accessorizing my weapon with the fancy doodads. good thing my Benelli M3T (yep the folding stock version) was incredibly hard to find stuff compatible to it. everybody I envied at the time had some Mossy or 870 that looked like the latest and greatest magpul creation. don’t get me started on that art of tactical shotgun dvd…

    somehow I bought into the vibe that if I didn’t have a laser, light, red-dot, diagonal grip, shell carrier, and whatnot, my shotgun sucked.

    3 years later, I’ve grown up a bit and settled for a velcro shell carrier and a maglite LED and sling. I no longer wanna slap a rail on it. dammit, I really wanted a rail on that seven pound weapon.

    if it had rails to begin with, guess I’d be super broke by now.

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