My Top Rated Tactical Gear List Recommendations

I’ve received a few emails asking for different recommendations for gear for my private training courses. To save time emailing everyone back and spending more time at the range, I’ve gone down my top rated tactical gear list for my basic pistol course and have given guidance where possible. The tactical gear you choose comes down to personal preference, budget, or if you’re military or LE, your department. In the end, the decisions you make could be the difference between life and death, so choose wisely. If you find something better, don’t be afraid to switch, just make sure you train using that gear before you need to use it to defend your life or those you need to protect.

A fully functioning and practical handgun chambered in 9mm, .40 cal, or .45 ACP.

  • I’m a fan of the Glock in 40S&W, but this is far too subjective a topic to give any recommendations. If you have a gun you carry most of the time, then that’s the gun you should bring to the course.


Magazine pouches

  • I use a lot of different types of magazine pouches depending on how I’m carrying and what I’m wearing. If it’s just on my gun belt, I like the solid Kydex pouches. If I’m wearing body armor and using the pistol as my secondary weapon, I go with nylon pouches with Velcro flaps from Voodoo Tactical.

Cleaning kit and tools that are compatible with the weapon system.

  • A basic cleaning kit is all you need. I use Frog Lube, so my kit is pretty small. Bore brush and rod, nylon cleaning brush, cloth, and of course…Frog Lube. If you forget something, I’m sure we can get your gun cleaned up.

Range clothing (Build Intel Package: Check weather)

  • As with any outdoor activity, layers are best. I recommend long pants and long sleeves since you’ll be on the dirt. I’m not holding any uniform inspections, so whatever you wear is fine as long as you’re comfortable. No banana hammocks before 5 p.m.!

Chris Sajnog honing his skills at the shooting range.

Brimmed headgear (i.e. baseball style)

  • You’ll never see any serious shooters on the range without a brimmed hat. FACT: It keeps the sun out of your eyes, your eyes can then dilate, and you can see your target and front sight post better.

Ballistic Eye Pro with Clear lenses for night ranges

  • These don’t need to meet ANSI Z87.1-2003 Industrial Eyewear Impact Standard, just something that will keep stray pieces of brass from taking out your sighting system. I wear a few different pairs of wrap-around styles from Oakley’s. You were doing night shooting, you’ll need a clear set of lenses.

Ear pro (electronic preferred)

  • Next, in my top rated tactical gear, I use Noise Canceling Peltors so I can communicate on the range. These are not required and simple foam earplugs work just fine. I’ll have some on hand.

Appropriate footwear

  • I don’t care as long as it’s not flip-flops. My favorite pair right now is the Keen Targhee II Mid boots.

A minimum of 5 working magazines

  • Make sure you label your mags with an identifying mark and number. Check to make sure they work.

Note-taking materials

  • If you’ve got a range book, bring it. If not, why don’t you have a range book! Hopefully, you’ll learn something during the course and it’s good to have something to write it down on.

Chris Sajnog's new rules notebook

Flashlight with Spare bulbs and batteries

  • I’m a Surefire fan simply because I’ve had cheaper brands break on me. Their prices are ridiculous, but they work. Check out our article on tactical lighting.

Food and Water

  • We’ll break for lunch, but you probably will not have time to go anywhere. Need to feed the machine!

Gloves (optional)

  • If you wear gloves when you shoot, then you should wear them during the course. I wear the basic Mechanix gloves and have also been working with a pair of leather Under Amour. If you don’t wear gloves, they’re not needed. Check out this article on shooting glove reviews for guidance.

Knee and elbow pads (optional)

  • I don’t like or wear these. I think you have to man up at some point. If you can’t, then by all means, bring your pads.

Good attitude

  • Remember, you’re coming to our course to learn. If you already know everything, then just save us both some time and send me your money and stay home. If I tell you something different from what you’ve learned before, just try it and see if it makes you shoot better before you say, “That’s not what my granddaddy taught me “. If not, you’ve learned something that doesn’t work for you. My only goal is to make you a better shooter by the time you leave, not show you how good I can shoot or make you shoot like drones.

Remember, gear is a very personal choice. I’m sure you could talk to ten other Navy SEALs and get ten other top rated tactical gear recommendations for each piece of gear that I like to use, and that’s fine…good even. This gear is what works for me; in the places and conditions I’m currently shooting. If yours were different, I would expect some of your choices to be different. If you have any questions, just post them below and I’ll answer the best I can. See you on the range!

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  1. [quote]Knee and elbow pads (optional)
    I don’t like or wear these.  I think you have to man-up at some point.  If you can’t, then by all means, bring your pads.[/quote]

    Thank you!

    Love your sight by the way!

    1. Helpful info. Fortunate me I found your site by chance, and I am stunned why this twist of fate did
      not came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

  2. My friend and I are having a disagreement about the “double tap”. According to the news outlets, UBL was killed by a shot in the chest and a shot in the head. The media calls it a “double tap”. However, Ive been taught that a double tap was 2 well place shots in one particular area not one shot in the chest and other somewhere else. Was UBL’s double tap a botch because both shots werent in one place? could you shed light on this matter? thanks in advance

    1. Marvin – The media’s use of the term “double tap” is just to add drama to the story portion or the portion they can control….like it needed anything added. The facts alone on the intel, training, surveillance, and the actual action on objective (or assault) was plenty.

      The double tap, or what Chris teaches is really called the “controlled pair”. That’s actually the accepted term military and LE operators use. Very rarely will you hear someone in these communities say “double tap”. Controlled pairs are two well-aimed shots fired in rapid succession in a single impact area with the desired result being the “keyhole” (successive shots in the same hole).

      In the case of the killing of UBL, I wouldn’t call that a controlled pair, I call it justice! Even though I’m certain the shots were fired in relatively rapid succession and exactly hit the areas the SEAL was shooting at, the operator would have had to shifted his weapons system along with the associated focal shift of his eyes back to whatever optics system he was using with his NVGs, then take that second shot. I’m sure it was fast, but not as fast as a true controlled pair. And I wouldn’t call the shooting a “botch” because both shots weren’t in his chest or head. The end result is that UBL was dispatched by an American, with an American made rifle, and with two American made 5.56mm rounds!

      Controlled pairs are about getting that second shot off as quick as you can manage the recoil from the first shot, acquire your sights/sight picture, and keyhole that follow-on round. Remember the media are storytellers and “double tap” sounds much cooler than “two shots fired”. I hope this solves your disagreement and your buddy and you had a little wager on the line! – PJ

      1. When you shoot someone in the killzone and it hits something vital, like an aorta or spinal column; they drop fast…like before that second shot gets there. With a good first shot, people don’t stay standing and follow-up shots often times miss the target. The fact that #2 ALSO hit it’s mark is a sign of mastery!

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