tacticool operator (noun) 1. One who operates an AR-15, AK-47 or other gear in a manner to emulate the actors seen in movies like “Blackhawk Down.” 2. A mall ninja. 3. The neighbor who sees a quad rail and shouts, “challenge accepted!”
Everyone likes playing with a new bit of gear, and for gun folks there are a lot of shiny things to catch our attention. As we approach Christmas, I offer this tongue in cheek list of gifts to consider giving.
If you are charged with buying a gift for that tacticool operator in your office or family, consider these suggestions. If you are that mall ninja, feel free to print off this article, liberally apply a highlighter and slip it into your spouse’s things. All of the suggestions are real, though the manner in which they are presented is intended to be light-hearted.
9. Shemagh: For the uninformed, the shemagh is a traditional Middle Eastern scarf that has sort of become an ascot for special forces. No “real” operator should be without one. They are relatively inexpensive and available in a wide range of colors, so get enough so the operator in your life isn’t seen wearing the same color two days in a row.
8. Beard trimmer: To be a true operator, one must have a tactical beard. But, to fit into normal society with all of the sheep, one must keep his facial hair trimmed neatly. So, a great beard trimmer can make a superb Christmas gift. Definitely go cordless.
7. NRA membership: Every operator needs to belong to the NRA. I don’t agree with everything they do either, but we agree on most things, and they have the most pull in DC when it comes to gun rights. Buy the operator in your life a membership. Annual memberships start at $25 and include a magazine subscription, insurance coverage and more.
6. A survival knife: Every operator needs a great survival knife, and fortunately, there are plenty to choose from. For an inexpensive, yet surprisingly good, survival knife, take a look at the Bear Grylls survival knife from Gerber. Normally, I have found that gear attached to a personality tends to be inferior to other options on the market. However, I found this kit was better than I thought it would be, and for a general purpose survival knife, it performed quite well.
5. Tactical flashlight: You can’t kill the enemy if you can’t see him, right? It makes sense to carry a flashlight. And, if you are carrying a flashlight, you better get one bright enough to melt flesh from zombies. The ProTac HL flashlight from Streamlight will probably do just that with 600 lumens of power.
4. Training: Everybody knows that to be a true operator, you need some high-speed, low-drag training. Since Delta isn’t able to take time out for personal training, consider something a little more low key, but just as powerful. Anyone who uses a firearm for self-defense needs to know the answer to “When can I shoot?” So, go sign up for Massad Ayoob’s MAG20 class. You will get a much better understanding of what you can and can’t do, plus prepare you and your family for the aftermath.
3. Camo clothing: Ok, every operator has to have camo gear, and it must be in the latest style. MultiCam is so yesterday. Many operators are now favoring the Kryptek patterns, though there are other options on the market. Getting in front of the next camo trend can score serious cool points in the tacticool operator world.
2. Red Dawn: The original, not the disappointing recreation. The Russian/Cuban invasion made a lot more sense than the North Koreans getting froggy and hitting the land of Starbucks.
1. Anything from Barrett. Want a semi-automatic .50 BMG rifle with an included ballistic computer? They’ve got you covered.