6 Made-in-the-USA: best gifts by veteran-owned companies
The quality of made-in-the-USA products has earned a trusted reputation in recent years. While overseas manufacturing boasts lower costs, increasing instability of distribution lines by political unrest has caused shipments to at times be delayed for months or cancelled. Buying American directly helps the economy by supporting veteran-owned companies that provide quality items or services. The ability to adapt and overcome that is honed in the military can help veterans excel in their own goals after active service. These are the best gifts by veteran-owned companies for your veteran.
Best knife of 2022 by Benchmade
Everyone has to go to the field while on active duty and while amenities differ greatly depending on the size of bases from patrol base level (PB) to forward operation bases the size of cities (F.O.B.). There is always gear to unload and unpack. Having a knife or multi-tool with a knife is invaluable but I don't want a huge one jumping around in my cargo pocket. As Marines we sometimes just run somewhere just because it's PT. I really didn't like when the bigger kinds of knives hit against your knee. When it comes to spontaneous PT, you don't want to have bulkier things in your pocket. I just want a sharp, lightweight, heavy duty knife for when I need to open a box of MREs. The Benchmade 575-1 Mini Presidio II Knife is the way to go on this one.
Best weapon sling of 2022 by S2 Delta
I've always had a preference for a sling that can clip out easily if it gets caught in something. People don't realize how many wires there are in urban combat that pose a hazard. Additionally, in other field training exercises there may be areas where the vegetation is extremely thick. Having a sling that allows you to keep positive control of the weapon that can be deployed or undone and back quickly makes patrolling for long periods of time over long distances on foot less annoying so the war fighter can focus on the mission. The S2 Delta is that sling and it even has other weapon attachments for sale.
Best civilian use sleeping bag by Mountain Hard Wear
I always liked using my own sleeping bag for two reasons: space and comfort. When I finally get to grab some shut eye after a day full of who knows what on the fire and maneuver ranges, I want to be warm and on a cloud. I still used the issued waterproofing so I looked uniform with everyone in the BIVOUAC area but also keep that essential camouflage because the only down side to this one is that it does not come in a tactical color. It is rated for 0 degrees in freedom and the vertical design of the opening flap prevents the down from flopping over to just one side of the bag preventing cold spots. I like the Mountain Hard Wear for cold to mild winter training.
Best neck gaiter for field use of 2022 by BUFF
When I enlisted and I was issued a desert neck gaiter it was like inventing fire to me. I was from Jersey and everyone wears scarves, more people wear gaiters now than they did in the 2000's. The most frustrating thing about cold weather is not the cold itself but the wind chill of a sharp flurry across your face constantly. Eye pro, check, neck gaiter, check. I take them off if we're on the move though, warming layers are not a good idea on humps. What I've always liked about the infantry is that as long as an item was tactical and you had the issued items on you, you could wear anything you liked. There is a lot of freedom when it comes to being a grunt. Pack light, freeze at night.
Best bores snake for weapon cleaning of 2022 by Hoppe
I liked cleaning my weapon regularly for the simple reason that it would be easier to turn in my weapon later at the armory. It was a chaotic place in military purgatory because you could not leave unless it was cleaned properly. You're daily responsibilities are not on hold. You still have to do everything else on the training calendar. I've seen Staff NCO's get denied by an E-3 armorer until they got it right and then accept a private's weapon immediately. I used a combination of the issued patches and a bore snake to keep my weapon clean. Cleaning your weapon with the Hoppe's boresnake also helps you be productive during hurry up and wait so that you won't have much time to wait at all when returning your weapon.
Best speed loader for the annual rifle range by Tactical Development
As a grunt on the annual rifle qual I noticed that I preferred to used a speed reloader because it was easier to keep count of the rounds in my mags. The greatest difference between fire and maneuver ranges and the annual rifle range when it came to ammo was economy of rounds. During qual, one will use every round to score rounds on a target. Every bullet impacting center mass are points critical to a Marine's promotion cutting score. The biggest benefit of speed loaders is not so much the seconds they buy but the comfort that allows one to focus on more important things like breathing, bone support, and trigger control. I just want to count out my mags, load them, Your fingers will thank you for using one in cold weather too. The Mage Feeder is a good one because it is collapsible so I can throw it in my assault pack moving between firing lines.