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Day zero of my adventures in Arizona testing out Crimson Trace’s Lightguard weapon lights. I’ve arrived in Phoenix, gathered my things, and checked in to my room. Trijicon is already here; accompanying rumors of retro-fitting our pistols with their newest night sights. Galco’s set to unveil a new (IWB?) holster that’s compatible with weapon lights. As this is my last “pre-go-time” post, here’s a quick check list of the gear and gizmos I’ll be employing over the next four days…

Before departing for the desert, TTAG reached out to Allen Forkner of Swanson and Russell, the PR folks for Woolrich clothing. Woolrich? The company that makes socks so wooly they bleat when you slip on your boots? Didn’t my Grandfather wear that stuff? Yes and yes. Grandpa’s gone to the great gun range in the sky, and Woolrich’s built on their heritage to create a new line of apparel for gun-toting civilians: Woolrich Elite Series Tactical. I’ll be wearing an evaluating their Lightweight Operator pants and shirt.

I turned to Manassas Guns and Ammo Warehouse for a pair of 5.11 Advance boots. Even if I could have scored free footwear, I don’t like to experiment with mission critical equipment. No matter what a maker claims, you never bring a brand new pair of boots into the game. As the Brits say, no foot, no horse. I also picked up a 5.11 belt, a good foundation for any holster.

Our CrimsonTrace host Iain Harrison recommended knee pads and shooting gloves for the week’s events. After talking with Tony in Blackhawk! media relations, I secured two sets of gloves and two different styles of knee pads. I’ll be spending two days testing Blackhawk!’s Neoprene Patrol Gloves, and two days in their Hot-Ops Ventilated Gloves. Supporting these (and protecting my aching knees) will be a pair of their hard-shell Advanced Tactical knee pads, and a pair of their soft Neoprene knee pads. I’ll switch back and forth between the two as appropriate.

The folks at Smith Optics have provided me with a pair of their Aegis Deluxe shooting glasses. I’ll have clear, smoke, and amber lenses for day and night shooting.

Pro Ears threw me a bone in the form of a pair of their Pro Tac Slim Gold 28db rated active ears and a 33db rated pair of their aptly named Ultra 33 passive ears. I’m already impressed with the garage-testing on the Pro Tac Slims. I slammed things around, revved a motorcycle engine, and made quite the ruckus without flinching once.

We load up for Gunsite at 9:30AM local time today (Monday). Batteries are charged and memory cards are clear. By the time I’m back to the room, it’ll be 1:00AM EST. Check for updates shortly thereafter, including YouTubery of Gunsite’s fabled training grounds. Meanwhile, thanks for reading. I couldn’t do it without your interest and support.

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Ben is an aspiring gun-writer caught up in the pursuit of playing with firearms for a living. He spends his days grinding his way up the corporate ladder and wishing for 5pm. His nights.. well the details of how he spends those are private.. His childhood dreams of chasing "bad guys" for a living met the unfortunate reality of student loans, bills, and promotion potential. Ben resides in the Northern Virginia area and enjoys long walks.. to the range. Ben is always on the lookout for new article ideas. Have a firearm you want reviewed? A product tested? Your suggestions are welcome!


  1. Well you are going to have a much better day at “work” today than I will!

  2. Great gear, but you should try Under Armour’s new boots-I have a painful heel spur and they are completely painless and lighter than my wallet after a divorce proceeding…

  3. If you’re wearing boots, and they’re not Kenetrek’s, Schnee’s, or Sorel’s, then you’re doing it wrong.

    (Danner’s are probably OK.)

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