Enhancing Performance with Gear: Guest Editorial by Dan Brady

Once again I would like to call the reader’s attention to Dan Brady and his thoughts on skill development and gear. Enjoy! -Dave Spaulding

Enhancing Performance with Gear

My daily kit has evolved over the years and will likely continue to evolve. The explosion of combatives
Enhancing Performance with Gear

My daily kit has evolved over the years and will likely continue to evolve. The explosion of combatives products that have hit the market in the last five to ten years is staggering. However, in keeping with our philosophy and last couple blogs about mindset, training and specific pieces of gear, I will reiterate this is about ENHANCING performance with your gear. You cannot buy your way to combative readiness. It takes a concerted effort at learning and training your mind and body.
One of my closest friends is an FBI agent and firearms trainer. He has more guns, holsters, magazines and ammunition of various makes, models and calibers than I could possibly name. What he uses , carries and teaches with on a daily basis works extremely well for him BUT it is because of his extensive training, experience and mindset that makes him an extremely formidable adversary with any weapon.

I have found your gear will evolve with your experience as you go armed throughout life. I have found out that there is a lot of crap being sold out there and not everything that is pricey is worth the coin you’ll drop on it. Chances are good though, that gear you can stake your life on isn’t going to be cheap. So the ultimate question here is: What gear is important? The answer is: Mission drives necessity. It depends on what you do every day. So a basic load is going to be different for me as a cop than my buddy Dr. Derek who’s a toxicologist (and an amazing defensive shooter BTW) I get asked every other day, “Hey I’m buying a gun. What should I get?” I ask in return, “What are you going to use it for?” Let’s go over some basics.


Anyone choosing to go armed should probably have this as a daily minimum. I’m not going to make specific recommendations but rather give you questions to ask yourself when figuring out what is going to work for you.

Pistol and Holster are inseparable. Is this combination reliable? Will this combination fit my body and style/ mode of dress? Will it cause the gun to “print” through my clothing? Is it instantly accessible regardless of body position? Will this combination cause wear and tear on my clothing? Is my belt and waistline up to the task of handling this combination? Will this holster hold my firearm securely even under abnormal circumstances? Will this combination hold up to the use and abuse I plan on putting it through?

Ammunition. Most important question: Will this ammunition fire and feed reliably in my pistol? The only way to answer that question is to shoot at least a few hundred rounds of that ammunition through your gun. This process will cost you a good bit of money. Has this ammunition been used in any actual shootings with documented results? I will remind everyone here that 10% ballistic gel is not living breathing human tissue fueled by rage and narcotics.

Flashlight. Is it bright enough for what I want it for? Will I attach/ detach it to or from my weapon? Where will I carry it? How long will it run? Is it easy to use?

Knife. What do I plan on using it for? Where will I carry it? Is it easy to sharpen? Will it hold an edge?

This is just a basic list of questions. There are undoubtedly criteria I have missed that might be very specific but important to YOU. My only rule of thumb for buying gear is: If you buy cheap, you’re going to buy twice. Do some research but don’t take internet gossip as gospel. Whatever you choose to use as daily defensive tools, train with them. Put yourself and these life saving implements through some adverse conditions so you have no doubts about the ability of either when the wolf pounds on your door.