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Web Extra: The 2009 Grunt’s Gift Guide


You Asked For More? Here You Go

By John Connor

Got a favorite grunt? Make sure to keep ‘em supplied with gear they need to help keep ‘em safe and get ‘em back home. This is all “Certified, tested ‘Good-2-Go Gear’ and get our Handgunner stamp of approval.

sparten blades

It’s rare when a new knifemaker gets it right the first time, but two retired Army Special Forces
NCO’s did when they founded Spartan Blades. After long careers of using and cutting, they
knew exactly what’s needed in a military knife, and executed their concepts superbly. Check
out the tech details and see their entire lineup at


SureFire’s original Aviator tactical light has become almost iconic among combat troops,
and now it’s even better. Introduced late in `09, the new A2 LED Aviator is even more powerful,
flexible and tank-tough. The bright white center LED is a 120-lumen blazer, and secondary LED’s
are available in different colors including NVG-compatible green.

extreme outfitters

The High Gear Axis Desert watch is a wealth of on-demand info in a rugged, non-reflecting design: Military time, altimeter, barometer, digital compass and more. Get a bargain price on it at While you’re there, get yourself an Infidel Flex-Fit cap bearing a subdued US flag and a stern, rather rude warning in Arabic to those who may wish to burn it…

Diamond Back Tactical

When the first mortar rounds fall or tracers come streaking into your perimeter, response has to be instant. The Battlelab E & E Bag holds everything a soldier needs, neatly and securely, ready for a sprint to the sound of the guns. Lots of troops think it’s the ultimate “go-bag,” and yours will too. There are too many features to list, from mag pouches right down to interior straps to hold chem-lights, so check it out at There’s Ranger Green or ACU for Army, Coyote Brown for Marines


Brownells knows firearms tools, and their MultiTasker M16 M4 AR15 Tool is a terrific one; a compact toolbox in a heavy duty 1000-D nylon pouch. From carbon scrapers to bits and driver, they’ve got all the critical bases covered. This is a gift that comes with braggin’ rights.

Rite In The Rain

“RiteInTheRain” products should be called “RiteInTheRain/Mud/Monsoon/Grease/Beer” gear.
Their writing kits, like this handy pocket sized 935T-KIT are the military standard anywhere regular
paper turns to mush. Check the many styles at It even comes with a
non-smudging field pen, but if you want to give a “lifetime” writing instrument, well…

Wilson Combat

The Wilson Tac-Pen is both a fine writing instrument and a last-ditch weapon, made from Armor Tuff-coated, hard anodized 7075 T-6 aluminum alloy. Precision machined and perfectly sculpted, it’s a gift that says “We’re betting you’ll be around for a long, long time.” See it under Wilson Tactical Knives at

Almar Knives

Discriminating professional soldiers are sure to appreciate this redesigned classic — Al Mar Knives’
SERE Operator; faster, more agile, with a completely new sheath system. Also new is the more compact-sized Mini SERE Operator; big enough for tough jobs, sharp enough for any job.


A few years ago, the Sidewinder military multifunction light from Streamlight quickly established itself as a combat necessity. Now with even more power and functionality in an even smaller case, the Sidewinder Compact uses C-4 LED technology to deliver powerful performance.


The CQD Mark I Type E from BLACKHAWK! is a heavy duty battle folder, featuring a carbide glass breaker, a seatbelt or webbing cutter and a tough AUS-8 blade with a strong button-lock mechanism and secondary safety. Bargain priced and battle-ready, find it at


The Sitka Gearslinger is a multi-position backpack, go-bag, weekender and all-things-holder ingeniously designed by Maxpedition into a form any grunt will enjoy. Lots of thoughtfully laid out pockets, super-tough fabric and all the right military colors make it an easy choice at


In fast-moving combat, sometimes you need glare-cutting lightweight ballistic glasses and sometimes dust-defeating protective goggles. The Jake models by Wiley-X deliver both in one package thanks to their removable Facial Cavity Seal and fog-free Top Down Ventilation system. Offered in a variety of frame colors and lenses, including new Light Adjusting lenses.

cj weapons

The military has nothing that cleans the M16’s chamber and bolt lug recesses even remotely as well
as the unique Chamber Maid Kit and Star Recess Kit systems by CJ Weapons — but they should.
You can make up for that deficit. Check it out at

sentry solutions

And finally, please go to for tech info on Sentry Solutions products. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, many M16 and M4 malfunctions can be blamed on grit, dust and carbon buildup. Judicious use of Sentry Solutions products can reduce or eliminate weapon malfunctions due to lube and fouling problems, and that can save lives. I recommend bundling their Armorer’s Kit, a Knife & Tool Care Kit and a Marine TUF-Cloth. This stuff works, folks.

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  1. Eric E Johnson says:

    Mr. Connor-
    Thank you for such great articles, but I have an unrelated request- You at one time published a list of support groups for our wounded and injured- I have been a supporter of Wounded Warriors almost since inception and now want to expand my meager support to additional groups- Your recommendations would be greatly appreciated- Thank you for your time-
    Best regards to you and yours
    Eric E Johnson
    PO Box 770011
    Eagle River Alaska 99577-0011

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