What is “primary” equipment?

  • Surefire Damaged
    SureFire, LLC.

I’m often asked questions about gear/guns. Usually it’s, “What do you think of product x”. Sometimes I have direct experience with the product and can convey my opinion, but many times, due to the large accessory/product industry that we have I simply don’t have experience with an item. However, what I can say is this.

Is the item a primary use item, or will it be on a primary gun?

This seems to put people off at first because the thinking is different from what a lot of people are used to. Now, I’m not ex military, nor am I a LEO. But are my requirements different? Absolutely not.

Just like the soldier or the cop, I need my equipment to work the first time and every time. Does this mean I need a $500 flashlight? No. But it does mean I should be looking at who makes the $500 flashlight and see if they have a similarly well constructed light that is more tailored to the civilian market.

I see a lot of people go with brand X or Y instead of something known to be good. I’m using flashlights and/or weapon mounted lights for this comparison. People figure they won’t be crawling through the mud or wading through water with their firearms. This may be true for a lot of us, but what happens when that earthquake hits, or that tornado? How about all the flooding we saw on the East coast recently? How many people bought lights that weren’t water proof because they aren’t special forces?

Now, I’m not a mall ninja, but that doesn’t mean I can get away with crap gear. Spending the extra $50 or so on a flashlight can literally mean having light when you need it or wishing you did.

Personally? I want to be able to find my kids at night when a disaster hits. I don’t have time to hope someone else brings better equipment.

Moral of the story? You don’t have to buy what the military uses. But you should take into account that during an emergency your use patterns may be very similar. Spending the money on quality lights, and other gear pays for itself in peace of mind alone. Primary guns and primary gear should be quality gear. Want to put a Tasco scope on a secondary AR or rifle? Go for it, but that primary gun should have something that isn’t sold at Walmart.

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Greg Ryman is a certified NRA instructor and RSO. He is also a California DOJ Certified Handgun Safety Instructor and a Certified Glock Armorer. Greg has been shooting for over 20 years and is the owner of Ryman Tactical.

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