When it comes to mission specific gear, there's much to choose from in the way of daily duty gear, raid shields, EOD gear, and rappelling harnesses. But what about a true pack for your rifle? Yes, we have drag bags or padded carry bags, but is there a bag for duty use that allows you to hump a tactical rifle or carbine? The answer is yes. Eberlestock manufactures a variety of models to meet your personal or mission requirements.
I chose to examine the Gunslinger II (GSII). This "upgraded" version of the original Gunslinger has MOLLE strapping, dual zipper access to the main pouch, and a lid with a padded pouch for a GPS, small binoculars, or spare glasses, in my case.
What is most unique about the GSII's lid is the organizer in its main pouch. There are two pouches for AR-sized magazines, a clip for your keys, and a slot for your dope book or notepad. This pocket keeps all of your clerical material organized and out of the way.
While the GSII allows you to sort and carry a substantial amount of gear, the way your long gun is packed is what really sets this pack apart from others. First off, the GSII is designed to fit you comfortably. Its built-in frame and padding allow air flow across your back to reduce heat and perspiration. This shows the GSII is designed as a mountain pack first. Second, it will accommodate submachine guns the size of an MP5 up to a full sized semi-automatic precision rifle such as an M1A, with optics, magazine, and bipod attached. When viewed as a whole, you can see this is not just a bag with a weapons carrier built into it but a pack designed for your long gun.
I found that the GSII pack fits well and is easy to use. Eberlestock operates on the "keep it simple stupid" theory. This pack does not require a 50-page instruction manual on how to adjust it to fit you or your rifle, the heavy-duty compression straps are virtually indestructible, and it does all this while protecting your rifle and gear.
If you serve on an SRT unit, as a military sniper, or on an SAR team-really any unit where you need to be mobile while packing a long gun-the Gunslinger II is for you. It allows you to securely carry your weapon and gear and have your hands free.
I have become a fan of comfortable functional gloves on and off duty. The problem with most gloves is they do not give the wearer tactile feel. This is a problem when shooting, frisking a suspect, or feeling for objects hidden in vehicle seats or bulky clothing.
EOTAC's Vickers Glove is a refreshing change from what many other companies refer to as "operator" equipment. It was designed with substantial input from Larry Vickers. Having spent his adult life and military career as a Special Forces operator and instructor, Vickers knows what a piece of equipment should be. And this understanding is evident in the gloves' construction.
EOTAC Vickers Gloves
Smart design elements include light padding on the back of the hand and reinforced finger knuckles. Also, the web between the forefinger and thumb is reinforced so these gloves can be used to fast rope in a pinch. A combination of kidskin and Nomex protect your hands in fires or when moving sharp objects. While the kidskin provides great tactile ability, the index finger is sewn in such a way that you can cut the finger tip off for trigger control if you prefer.
I found the EOTAC Vickers Gloves to be comfortable and durable. I have worn them shooting and for clearing heavy brush from the fence line at my range. EOTAC's Vickers Gloves will protect your hands on and off duty, in any condition.
Scott Smith is a former federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs and a contributing editor to POLICE.