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Old May 1, 2005, 12:13 PM   #1
Metellus
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Wearing BDUs 5.11?

Other than suffering the ridicule of being a "mall ninja" by TFL members is it appropriate to wear BDU pants and 5.11 vest for a casual stroll through the woods or going to the movies?

Isn't a large part of deterrence how one looks? BDUs are tougher and as if not more comfy than jeans. The 5.11 vest does a great job of concealing the hip holstered firearm. Plus I haven't been mugged while wearing that. But I have been mugged when wearing my suit and talking on a cell phone at the bus stop (learned my lesson the hard way). Coincidence? I think not.

Then again I can see the mall ninja comparison. As someone who has trained in various martial arts for over a decade I chuckle to myself when I see a guy wearing his karate gi proudly showing off his white belt. If any of you hardcore military folks chuckle at me for wearing a 5.11 vest then so be it.
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Old May 1, 2005, 02:14 PM   #2
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I think I'm with you. I've been separated from the military for about 20 years, but I was thinking that a couple of pair of 5.11 pants might be kinda comfortable and functional, too. I'm not really trying to create a certain look. I guess I can put up with the snickers from some that I run into, if they feel the need.

One of the benefits of getting a little older that I have discovered is that (much like my dad) I'm getting to where I really don't give a damn about what some may be thinking about my appearance, as long as I'm comfortable, clean and fairly neat.

Heck, maybe the teenagers are laughing at me because I'm wearing jeans... ok.

Last edited by Relayer; May 1, 2005 at 03:29 PM.
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Old May 1, 2005, 02:16 PM   #3
BatmanX
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Hay, I am 27 and I have no shame in wearing something that is comfy that maybe isn't "cool". I am WELL beyond the trendy years.

/edit: When I was at the shooters show last month, I was trying on all the 5.11 stuff. I think it is nice stuff. My body size (slim) doesn't allow for a comfortable carry, so the inside the shirt/vest/jacket works nice for me.
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Old May 1, 2005, 02:31 PM   #4
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If any of you hardcore military folks chuckle at me for wearing a 5.11 vest then so be it.
I think you just answered your own question.
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Old May 1, 2005, 03:09 PM   #5
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Have you walked through any of the major chain stores lately? BDU-type pants with zippered pockets and cargo pockets are filling a surprising number of racks, made from many different materials, some of which appear to be pretty sensible and durable for a lot of activities. Many of them make the 5.11's appear a bit more 'pretty boy', too.

All kidding aside, 5 years ago I only saw BDU's on the range, in the locker room and, of course, at the gunshows. Nowadays, I'm starting to feel a bit conspicuous wearing my black jeans ...

Those thigh cargo pockets on many of the different styles of pants appear nicely proportioned and designed for my 642 in its cloth pocket holster, BTW. I may have to reconsider my jeans ...

What'll it be next?
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Old May 1, 2005, 03:54 PM   #6
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On the Navy's Retired List of Regular Officers sixteen years TODAY, with no inclination to where utilities -- yes, that's what the Navy and Marine Corps called them in the O-L-D Navy -- except for hunting and other true field work.
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Old May 1, 2005, 08:49 PM   #7
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Well, I'd wear BDU's again, for hunting and range work and all...and honestly, as comfortable as they are, I'd wear them around the house, as well, as long as the sheep and turkeys don't laugh too hard at me...hmm...clothing sales at Ft. Lewis isn't that far away!

On the other hand, what I'd really like would be if I could get some of the old starch 'em till they stand up fatigues. I loved those things. I think the Army did the wrong thing, doing away with them. We should have ADDED the BDU, not replaced the fatigue uniform. That way, when we needed battle dress, we could wear it, when we needed a fatigue uniform, we could wear that one!

Ah, well...wasn't my call them, and isn't my call now...
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Old May 1, 2005, 10:33 PM   #8
Terry Twit
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Who cares... I wear tan BDU pants or 5.11s almost every day. If someone has a problem with that, I guess it's their problem.
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Old May 1, 2005, 11:14 PM   #9
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I have wondered about the vest thing when and IF Kansas ever gets CCW.
But recently I read where the BG's have started calling a 511 style vest a "shoot me first vest".
Which brings up another question, Has anybody ever heard of some group whose "telltale sign" are a rolex watch & 511 style vest?
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Old May 2, 2005, 12:11 AM   #10
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Fishing Vests!

I belong to a firearms training assoc: a big one, 8000 plus strong, several years ago I was in a Banana Republic store in Buffalo? Not sure now, but the Photographers vest, or Safari vest was popular with the bus and coach drivers in Europe, I had seen them there first, well sale on!! $29.95 so being self employed, and "WORK" clothes were tax deductible I bought 4 of them, two tan, one blue, one green, a kind of washed out green.

When one of my fellow board members saw my vest "Going fishing?" giggle giggle (he wears them now!)

My first 511 Pants, Royal Robins, I bought on a visit to the FBI in Quantico, I think 15 years ago? loved them, still wear then near every day, love the pockets, the Magazine pocket? Well Cel phone pocket now, not vests so often, love my Florida and jean shirts now.

The old Mother in Law, now passed away, saw the pants in London UK two years ago "Eye Michael you can’t wear them pants, all the kids are wearing them" telling her I had wore them for years did not appease her!
Tip for your vest wear, iron on jean patches, iron one on each side, inside, stops the gun and magazine from wearing holes in it, plus blocks the lumps and bumps.
Be Safe, Mike H.
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Old May 2, 2005, 05:59 AM   #11
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There is usually not a week that goes by that I do not wear a pair of 5.11 pants to work. They are comfortable and look just fine. Keep in mind I work in a office (actually a fabric covered box called a cube) that business causal is the accepted standard.
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Old May 2, 2005, 06:10 AM   #12
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The pants are fine.

Vest? That screams "I have a gun" and hence the term "Shoot Me First Vest."
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Old May 2, 2005, 06:55 AM   #13
STEVE M
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I think it depends on the rest of your dress. Someone wearing a vest with

dress pants, polo shirt and oxfords looks like their hiding something. When I

wear my vest I look like I just got back from hiking or camping (probably did

too!) Really, you just need to make your concealment garment look like it fits

with the rest of your wardrobe.
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Old May 2, 2005, 07:52 AM   #14
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You know, I think that the only people that know of 5.11 vests as "shoot me first" vests are people that are in the law abiding gun community. Do we really think that the average criminal knows when he goes into the bank or wherever to hold it up that he needs to look for the guy with the vest first? Do we really believe that the criminals are on the net researching concealed carry clothes so that they can better identify us? I think that's a stretch and a gun range myth.

The only time I've ever seen a guy wear one in public, was in a grocery store. The thing that caught my eye first was not the vest, but the way he had his head up checking for everyones hands just like I was. He certainly didn't have "victim" stamped on him.....now isn't that the image we're trying to portray anyway, leave me alone I won't be your victim!? He just looked like a more aware than average middle age man at the grocery store.

Now if I were a criminal, and I did know about the 5.11 vest, what I would have thought was, hmm....., that fellow might have a gun and know how to use it, AND, he seems to have seen me as soon as I saw him.....might ought to try somewhere else for my stickup.

As for the pants, I don't care to wear camo unless I'm doing something woodsy. However, Cabela's and others sell BDU pants in several other colors. Their practical, comfortable, and in style. Well ironed, they'd pass for a nice set of khaki's. I wear them all the time.

Maybe the proper term should be an "I'm going to shoot back vest".

And, no, I don't own one but probably should.
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Old May 2, 2005, 08:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
You know, I think that the only people that know of 5.11 vests as "shoot me first" vests are people that are in the law abiding gun community. Do we really think that the average criminal knows when he goes into the bank or wherever to hold it up that he needs to look for the guy with the vest first? Do we really believe that the criminals are on the net researching concealed carry clothes so that they can better identify us? I think that's a stretch and a gun range myth.
You're right. There are no criminals with internet access or magazine racks at the local Wal Mart.
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Old May 2, 2005, 08:44 AM   #16
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You're right. There are no criminals with internet access or magazine racks at the local Wal Mart.
Having taught in a juvinile correctional facility, I believe most people give the gang banger type of criminal way more credit than they deserve. They are not nearly as sophisticated as TV and the movies imply. In fact, if they do know much, it's because they saw it in a movie or on TV. And they believe what they see there is real and the way it is. Illiteracy is rampant.

Naturally one of the things they see on TV is how "bad" they are and how "smart" they are (you know, that street smarts stuff). They believe they are that smart. While there is such a thing as street smarts, most of these children ain't Einstein. Most are scared kids, trying to fit in. The unfortunate part is who they try to fit in with and what is required to get there.

On the internet access, a few that stayed in school long enough to learn a little bit can navigate the web, if they had a functioning computer (and some do). Most of them didn't pay any more attention in computer class than they did in reading and then all they wanted to do was gain access to ****.

In rural areas especially in hunting or fishing season which is essentially all the time (varmints, you know), BDU's and the vests are extremely common. Wearing them may tag you as "Bubba", but there's lots of Bubbas out there. If it fills your need for inconspicuous concealment, who cares?
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Old May 2, 2005, 10:27 AM   #17
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It's a 'tactical diaper vest'! With 3 under 4, it is very useful for bottles of milk, spare hankies, teething toys, hotwheels, snacks, diapers, cellphone, pda, gps, keys, Fox OC, whistle, etc...Oh, and it helps cover up the .45 on my hip!
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Old May 2, 2005, 10:50 AM   #18
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Okay Greenfurniture, I'm not saying that the average criminal doesn't have internet or magazine rack access. I'm just saying that they probably don't pay attention or more importantly go researching such things in order to be better prepared for their life of crime.

I'm also willing to bet that they don't read the "Mens Health and Fitness" column in the Playboy mag either.

Probably don't read up on the concealed carry clothing articles in the gun rags either cause those clothes aren't real popular with the "in" crowd and much like the Playboy, they're looking at the cool pictures and don't get far from the captions.

I'll take it even a step further, based on my limited experience with a local small town police force, which is limited to idle chit chat with a few that I run across on a casual basis, I'll bet that a large percentage of LEO's wouldn't recognize a 5.11 vest if they saw one.

That's just my OPINION, and I'm sure it's not worth two cents. But now that it's been brought up, I think I'll start asking around the next time I run into some. "Hey, have you ever heard of a Royal Robbins 5.11 Tactical vest?" "Could you describe one in enough detail to distinquish it from any other vest??"

Better yet, how about some of our distinguished LEO's that visit this board do a casual survey of their coworkers, those that don't visit gun websites and shoot only when it's time to qualify, etc., and see what they come up with.
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Old May 2, 2005, 10:51 AM   #19
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Fashionable Annie

I wear woodland-colored BDU pants almost always at home. At the range they go smartly with my Kalashnikitty t-shirt.

Street people seem to avoid me. I wonder why.
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Old May 2, 2005, 10:52 AM   #20
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+1 to what 20cows said. While you should not underestimate your potential opponents, he's spot on with most of his observations. I worked in juvie corrections when I was an undergraduate crim student, and 99% of those little idiots, even the worst offenders, were about as well-read as my dogs. If it wasn't in Lowrider or in a Dr. Dre album they didn't know a thing about it.

You're worrying about the situational awareness of twits like this:
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Old May 2, 2005, 11:43 AM   #21
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Now thats a pic I haven't seen in a while. Seriously, the pants and vest don't make you a mall ninja, its when you combine those elements with a belt that has no more space on it because of all the lights and extra mags you carry around, and all the other "tactical more in look than function" goodies.

If you are wearing the clothes for comfort or function, you fall outside of mall ninja territory. However, if you wear it all simply to look badass, then we can all laugh at you.
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Old May 2, 2005, 12:19 PM   #22
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Just when I thought the ICYHOTSTUNTAZ was dead!
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Old May 2, 2005, 11:17 PM   #23
Metellus
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changing fashion

i think 15 years ago a 5.11 vest and bdu pants would garner more attention but recently a friend of mine (a young woman who only buys "fashionable" clothes from "fashionable" stores) bought a pair of black bdu pants that even had ripstop stitching for $80 from a "fashionable" store. I told her that you could get the same thing for $20 at the army surplus store but she wouldn't be caught dead in such a store.

I haven't run into anyone who thinks I carry a handgun just because I wear a 5.11 vest and bdu pants. Society has gotten used to the look. I think it started with the first desert storm when lots of music bands started wearing bdus. Also, the average citizen is unaware of concealed handgun permits and simply don't think people have guns.

In fact I'd wager that the average citizen would suspect a person wearing loose gang style clothing would have a gun more than a person wearing a tan 5.11 vest with black bdu pants.
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Old May 3, 2005, 03:19 PM   #24
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I love my 5.11 pants and shorts. Very comfortable, and they don't look too out of place with a polo shirt or a sweatshirt. I think the 5.11 pants don't scream "tactical" as much as BDU's. I am one of those women who doesn't usually carry a purse so the pockets come in handy. I don't have a vest, you don't see many girls wearing them, but I can see how useful they'd be.
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Old May 3, 2005, 03:20 PM   #25
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My favorite pair of trousers are OD green utilities.... comfy and lotsa pocket space.
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