We all know “that” guy. He’s got the dark sunglasses. The multicam clothing. The Khyber Pass inspired beard. He carries a backup gun. And his backup gun has a backup gun. He’s tough. He’s tactical. And more and more he’s an object of derision.
It’s the onset of fatigue fatigue. After being inundated for years with images of “operators” breaching doors and scooting down darkened hallways with night vision gear, the shooting public has taken a deep breath and realized that maybe they don’t need to wear body armor while making a milk run to the grocery store.
We’re seeing the backlash on social media. Shooting instructors who are grounded in reality, like Dave Spaulding, are calling B.S. on the hyper-tactical trainers who have a hard time differentiating between the gear and skills needed to take down a terrorist commander versus everyday carry in the suburbs.
This new perspective is manifesting itself in more subtle ways as well. Take Blackhawk, for example. The company made a name for itself with duty gear that was engineered to survive in combat.
Blackhawk’s civilian clothing reflected that orientation very strongly. The clothing screamed “tactical” and if you saw someone wearing it, you could pretty much assume they were carrying a gun.
But Blackhawk recognized that there’s a growing desire among shooters to tone it down a bit…and look good in the process.
The company hired Jamie Lindberg, an apparel industry veteran, who has breathed new life into Blackhawk’s clothing line, which debuted this spring.
The shirts and pants are a refreshing change from classic tactical fare. They look like normal clothes, but have a lot of functionality built into them. The fabrics feel comfortable against the skin but still have texture and drape in a way that helps prevent concealed guns from printing. They’re also breathable, durable, and come with Teflon coatings that add water repellency.
The buttons on some shirts conceal snaps that can be ripped open to gain access to your sidearm in a hurry.
Best of all, they are clothes you’d actually wear even if you weren’t trying to conceal a gun. You can wear them at the range, while fishing, to work, and out to dinner.
Looks like Tommy Tactical just got a much-needed makeover.