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  #1  
Old 09-27-2012, 9:11 AM
SGGear SGGear is offline
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Default Popular Duty Gear

Hello everyone,

I m starting a new business selling uniforms and equipment for police/security officers and I was hoping you can give me a hand. Which is the most popular brands that officers in YOUR department like to use? I need to purchase inventory and there are so many brands out there. Its hard to pick which brand I should offer to my customers. If you have the time, please answer the questions below. Thank you!

(Make and Model - please list more than one if you have to)
Firearm :
Holster :
Duty Belt :
Pouches and Accessories :
Uniforms :
Shoes :
Baton :
Flashlight :
Knife :
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Old 09-27-2012, 9:19 AM
SoCalDep SoCalDep is offline
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This is my recommendation for starters for the LA/SoCal area...

(Make and Model - please list more than one if you have to)
Firearm : Beretta 92FS/ S&W M&P9 / S&W 4006TSW-CHP / Glock...there's others, but those are the big ones.
Holster : Safariland 6280/6360 with and without lights...carry drop shanks too
Duty Belt : Bianchi Accumold and Accumold Elite in Nylon, Basketweave, and plain
Pouches and Accessories : Bianchi
Uniforms : 5.11 and/or cheaper BDU style pants, other depends on dept regs.
Shoes :
Baton :
Flashlight :
Knife :
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2012, 10:21 AM
SGGear SGGear is offline
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Thanks for the reply. How about Uncle Mikes and Blackhawk for duty belt/pouches? I thought they would be one of the popular brands out there.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:04 AM
SoCalDep SoCalDep is offline
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Never used Blackhawk duty belts. Uncle Mikes are ok, but too thin, gear flops around if you use the Bianchi accessories, which are the best, I've found.
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2012, 7:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGGear View Post
Thanks for the reply. How about Uncle Mikes and Blackhawk for duty belt/pouches? I thought they would be one of the popular brands out there.
Uncle Mikes duty belt gear is complete ****. Pretty much bottom of the line gear that doesn't hold up and looks cheap. Better suited for very low budget security companies and not law enforcement. The gear is uncomfortable, looks terrible and is unsafe since it isn't reliable.

The Blackhawk stuff is ok but not great. Most guys I know dislike it. My agency started issuing it since it is a cheaper option than Bianchi which we had been getting issued. It is larger than Bianchi gear and lasts no where near as long plus it is more uncomfortable due to its size (pushes into your sides/back/etc). Most of us all opt to pay out of pocket for Bianchi gear since it is quality and we know it will not fail us plus it is more comfortable.

I use Blackhawk for their Serpa Holsters, vest carriers and other tactical gear but not day to day patrol gear. Many federal LE agencies utilize the Blackhawk tactical gear and holsters.

In addition I would add..

-Streamlight & Surefire Flashlights
-ASP & Monadnock Batons
-Chain and Hinged Cuffs (S&W, Peerless)
-Danner, 5.11 and Bates boots


5.11 gear at least around here is mainly popular with the "tacti-cool" crowd. Pretty much the kind that like to look like mall ninjas. The stuff does fly off the shelves though and is pretty high quality stuff. I don't know any departments that use it as issued uniforms but a lot of guys use 5.11 Taclite pants and other gear out at the range and off duty.

Check your area PD's as well to see what is and isn't issued which will help you target what products to buy. A lot of departments and agencies issue gear and require that you use their issued gear (for liability reasons), while other places give you free reign to wear what you want.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:58 PM
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We are mandated 5.11 gear in Class d (BDU) and "flying 'something'" (not wearing the class c currently or I'd look) for our class c. Our leather gear is all Aker.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:48 AM
tyrist tyrist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGGear View Post
Thanks for the reply. How about Uncle Mikes and Blackhawk for duty belt/pouches? I thought they would be one of the popular brands out there.
Popular among security guards because it's inexpensive, not so much with cops due to their cheap construction. Bianchi is far superior as far as nylon gear goes.
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Old 09-28-2012, 1:01 AM
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Thanks for all the input! You have no idea how much this is helping me right now. This will not go unrewarded. Thanks again.
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Old 09-28-2012, 6:44 AM
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My suggestion... go to Tom's Uniforms in Alhambra, Greenwood's in San Bernardino, and the LAPD Academy Store in Elysian Park. Take notes on what you see. Talk to the guys on what they want and sells most in the stores. We can tell you what we like, but we represent one buyer... maybe two if we have a friend whose preferences are known to us.

What you see in the stores represent sellers' experiences and the workers see a lot more buyers than we do.

That being said... Bianchi, Uncle Mike's, Safariland, Leather Man, Aker, etc., are all good makers of duty gear.

Remember basketweave, real leather or synthetic, is going to be your main stay because almost every department either mandates or allows it as a base setup. Nylon is allowed as optional almost everywhere but still not going to be your mainstay. Buy safe and conservative, that sells in LE. The fancy uncommon gear may be cool but you will be lucky to move that stuff.

We all complain that we can't find cool gear, but how much volume is in it for a store to risk being the one to order and hold the inventory until a cop goes to buy that one strange piece of gear? Have a good connection to your supplier so you can do special orders and deliver on time when that happens.
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  #10  
Old 09-28-2012, 8:50 AM
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It seems like most stuff has been pretty well covered, but I would like to add a couple of things.

When it comes to collapsible batons; I think Peacekeeper batons are better than ASP or Monadnock by leaps and bounds.

Streamlight and Surefire both make great flashlights and I have nothing but good things to say about both. Another option in this market is Pelican. I haven't used it personally, but they are standard issue for Sac PD, and I haven't heard any complaints from anyone I know.

I will have to echo previous responses that Uncle Mikes is pretty much garbage, and I wouldn't waste my money on something that might barely be adequate for airsoft use.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:12 AM
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I'd look into Magnum boots as well. As far as knives go it pretty much hit and miss as to what people carry. I always liked cold steel in the past, but lately their folders have not done much for me. 5.11 makes some top notch jackets. A good deal of what you want to have really depends on where your shop will be. Gotta agree on the uncle mike's gear, it seems quality went out the window when they moved overseas.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:27 PM
SGGear SGGear is offline
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Thanks again for your feedback.

I would like to stock every brand thats been named on this thread, but its hard to find ONE distributor that carries them all. I can use multiple distributors but my funds are limited and I cant afford to split the order and expect additional discounts off their reduced prices. I have to place one big order with only one distributor and see what I can get.

As of right now, I found a distributor that carries the brands listed below. These are the brands I tend to carry as of now. Please keep in mind that I am going to try and offer products that may appeal to security/police officers with low budget as well.

Belts: Bianchi, Blackhawk, Uncle Mike , Gould & Goodrich, Aker
Holsters: Safariland, Bianchi, Blackhawk, Uncle Mike, Aker
Pouches and Accessories: ASP, Bianchi, Blackhawk, Gould & Goodrich, Aker
Batons: ASP, monodock, (Cant find peerless on their list)
Handcuff and restraints: ASP, S&W, Safariland
Flashlights: Streamlight, maglite, (Cant find surefire on their list)
Knives: Benchmade, Spyderco, SOG, Coldsteel

This is just the beginning, I will add products as my business grows.

Can anyone tell me which defensive spray is popular? Also, do most officers carry Traffic safety equipments (cones, traffic safety lights, reflective vests, etc) in their trunk?
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Old 09-29-2012, 7:08 AM
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Saber Red is pretty popular when it comes to OC and any other version of OC. Having been hit with it, I can vouch for it's absolute effectiveness lol.

Stick to the smaller size cans and the fogger/mist type of OC not the gel. Most departments don't issue the tall belt size cans anymore. The compact ones work well and fit on the belt better in terms of comfort.

Also, check with local departments to see if OC is issued or not. Most places I have worked or have friends that work, you have to use the department issued OC and if you want to get your own, it has to be the same brand/type etc for liability reasons.

I would also recommend looking into getting a variety of baton end caps to sell once you decide what types of batons you will be selling. These are usually a hot item and are relatively cheap for you to pick up. I use a Hindi end cap. ASP, Monadnock, Hindi and a bunch of other manufacturers make a variety of different styles of caps which come in handy for weapon retention and practical use.

Last edited by HisOwnHero; 09-29-2012 at 7:12 AM..
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:59 AM
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Maybe I missed it, but what county is the store being established in? Surveying local officers on what they are required to buy vs. what they are issued / mandated to use is a good place to start.

Concur with the brand recommendations above however, finding out what is and is not allowed by departments in your area first should help you control your initial inventory buys better.

ETA: Might consider Kershaw and CRKT over Cold Steel in the knife and tool category.
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Old 09-29-2012, 2:02 PM
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Why poll officers? It doesn't give you a complete picture of overall demand. Like I said, it's business, conduct some commercial espionage. Go to other stores in the area and find out what they carry. They've done the research for you.
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  #16  
Old 09-30-2012, 1:15 AM
SGGear SGGear is offline
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Thanks for the information. I Appreciate it!

I apologize for not being clear in the thread. At this time, I will only be selling online. I have done research on local departments and officers, but I need to expand my research and choose the brands that are most commonly used among police/security officers everywhere. I am also researching online retailers such as Chiefs.com, Galls.com, etc.. to see what items they carry but I also wanted to hear from the officers here. For those that gave me input, they have helped me greatly and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

As for my background.. for over 10 years, I have worked for a manufacturing company that has produced quality uniforms to some of the largest uniform distributors in the U.S.. I can't tell you who our current clients are but our past clients include Lion Apparel, Fechheimer, and Liberty Uniforms. With our current clients, we are producing over 1,000,000 pcs of uniforms annually. The business has been very successful; however, with the economy right now, our clients are constantly demanding us to lower our standard. For example, they want us to reduce the number of stitches per inch (12 is our standard but they want 8), use cheaper finish (different finish is cheaper with customs), use cheap fabric (chinese mill), use non fused collar, no collar stay, reduce velcro sizes, reduce tack stitching, reduce thread strength, ... and the list goes on. I have gotten tired of their request.

Early this year, I decided to make my own brand of uniforms and sell directly to the public. My mission will always be to focus on quality and customer service but at the same time offer products that will meet my customers demand and budget. Most of my products are still in production right now, but they will be available for sale by the end of this year. For starters, I am producing basic police uniform shirts, pants, and outerwear jackets (5 styles). I hope to add more products such as BDU pants, polo shirts, Duty belts, etc.. Additionally, to increase my customers shopping experience, I will be offering products such as Safariland, Bianchi, Streamlight, etc..

Once everything comes together, I will provide you a link to my site. I will have a vendor forum here on Calguns as well. Til then, I thank everyone here for helping me out.
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Last edited by SGGear; 09-30-2012 at 1:24 AM..
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