The Undeniable Popularity of Duty Gear and Firearms

Jan. 10, 2017

Two card stock forms can be found somewhere in this issue. Fill these out and circle the corresponding number of the advertisement you’d like more information on or which product published within these pages spiked interest.Each January we take a look at the previous year (December to October/November issues) and tally-up your “votes.” You’ll find 2016’s the Top 20 most requested products here.

Historically items that you store on your duty belt tend to take trend. While 2016 has been weird, we can count on interest in duty gear as a mainstay—a belt found itself popular. In the end, firearms, firearms accessories and duty gear count for over half of this year’s items alone.

Aside from firearms and the like, you’ll find two knives and a one of those clever tools that manage to fit multiple screwdrivers, openers, and wrenches in various sizes in a single handheld device you can hang on your car keys.
Rounding out the group are a first aid kit from Sirchie, a coat with 30 pockets, boot insoles, a badge collection to hang on your wall or gift to—say—a well-deserved captain. Our four-legged partners also received their worth of notoriety, as Northwest Territorial Mint earned a spot with a quite elegantly designed K9 Tribute coin. I found it most surprising that only a single flashlight made the top products. Not surprising is this one boasts a 4,000 lumen maximum output.

Let’s take a look

I spoke with Law Enforcement Technology Firearms Tactics mainstay Lindsey Bertomen, a retired police officer who teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, Calif. He had some experience with a good number of the items on the list.

“When it comes to carrying a handgun,” he says, “it is very important to have a good leather product.” The year’s most inquired product, Bigfoot Gun Belts’ Untamed Steel Core Leather Belt Series attempts to accomplish just that. They took two layers of English Bridle leather and sandwiched a spring steel core inside. Available in both 14- and 18-ounce belts, the company reports they provide “handgun owners with a strength rarely seen before.”

“This [steel core] prevents the telltale tilt of the beltline for which many other products can’t accommodate,” says Bertomen.

It seems minimizing your presentation is something SCOTTeVEST took to heart as well. After moving on from their original Alpha jacket with 33 pockets and away from a knife pocket that ended up tearing sleeves too often, they put together the Enforcer jacket for the low-profile law enforcement market. I took this jacket on review personally and with all its advantages I’ve been able to find only one single flaw: it’s too warm for the summer and too cold for a frigid winter leaving about a half a year for a comfort zone.

I understand reader’s interest in the jacket. The pockets are organized to near perfection and balances a bunch of weight with ease. The company even has an ongoing challenge for travelling customers. Bring your jacket through airport security—save your luggage and shoes they say it’ll be one of the easiest experiences you’ll have.

“[With bullets,] the new trend has been to go lighter, faster,” suggests Bertomen. G2 Research is attempting to accomplish this by providing a lead-free solid copper bullet. The MSRP suggests $41.99 for a box of 20. The company owns-up to this cost, “this is no low-cost plinking round.” A quick search found a box of 9mm for just under $33—its no wonder they were out of stock at the time of this writing.

Offering a couple of observations, Bertomen says that the “cartridge is extremely lightweight, and designed to expand very quickly in the target. Rather than using a simple hollowpoint, it has pre-scored areas so that sections of the bullet peel back like petals.”

Any fan of Glock—and I’m betting a good amount of LEPN readers are—who has walked the miles of SHOT Show in the past few years might have taken a glance at CAA’s RONI. If you’re unfamiliar, it basically takes your handgun and puts it into a long-gun presentation without disassembly. All you do is—to share a term from the computer world—plug and play. (Note: I don’t agree with “play” here. We all know this is no toy.)

The kit increases stability, magazine storage and accessories, says Bertomen. “Of all the law enforcement assignments that could put this tool to use, this is ideal for a school resource officer,” he adds.

On Ruger’s Redhawk, Bertomen had this to say: “I have never seen a Redhawk fail, ever.”

“The Redhawk has been one of the flagship revolvers in the Ruger line for 35 years, and this is the first time we have produced a Redhawk capable of shooting both a revolver caliber and pistol caliber from the same cylinder,” says Chris Killoy, Ruger President and COO. “Customers will not only find this revolver to be attractive, but also very utilitarian for a number of shooting applications.”

Bertomen says that the DeSantis Intimidator 2.0 scabbard holster can handle both concealed carry assignments as well as range training where you “might draw and re-holster 100 times in a session.” We aren’t able to print the full list here, but DeSantis is well-known for adding new fits to current holster models. According to their website, the Intimidator 2.0 currently fits 59 different models from Browning, Colt, Glock, Kimber, Para Ordnance, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, and Springfield Armory.

Find these and the rest of the popular products of 2016.

About the Author

Jonathan Kozlowski

Jonathan Kozlowski was with, Law Enforcement Technology, and Law Enforcement Product News from August 2006 to 2020.

As former Managing Editor for Officer Media Group, he brought a dedicated focus to the production of the print publications and management of the online product and company directory. You can connect with Jonathan through LinkedIn.

Jonathan participated as a judge for the 2019 and 2020 FOLIO: Eddie & Ozzie Awards. In 2012, he received an APEX Award of Excellence in the Technology & Science Writing category for his article on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in police work, aptly titled "No Runway Needed".

He typically does not speak in the third person.

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