Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Made In USA!’ Category

FirstSpear Friday Focus – OEM Partner Series: Shaw Concepts

Friday, December 20th, 2019

It’s Friday and we have another edition of the FirstSpear OEM Partner Series where we take a look at a new company FS has partnered with and the equipment they build for them. Today we are checking out a great up-and-coming American equipment company, Shaw Concepts and the RAID Pouch.

Why was the RAID developed and why did you choose the Tubes system?

The RAID was developed from the lack of a good IFAK that could be easily removed and reattached. Most IFAKs on the market come off easily but once used don’t offer the user an easy way to pack up the contents and reattach the pouch. Some just dump out their contents, leaving the user to pick up their trash and just stuff it in their pockets or dump pouch. The RAID started out as a solution to this but proved itself to also make a great general utility plate carrier hanger pouch as well. The idea to use the FirstSpear Tubes came from my experience with the Tubes on the AAC I owned. They’re easy to connect and disconnect and they are short in distance from end to end making them fit well in the slim space between the plate carrier and RAID Pouch, something not many buckles can do well, which made it a simple choice. The ease of connecting with one hand without seeing it made it idea for lowlight and night time operations as well and that’s the sort of work our target customer base does.

Why did you choose FS manufacturing?

Once some of my designs caught a bit of traction and I found myself unable to fulfill the demand on my own sewing equipment I started looking into OEM options. FirstSpear turned out to be one and I was already familiar with their products and quality since I used their AAC Plate Carrier. I contacted them and to my surprise they answered and were willing to help and easy to work with.

Why is American manufacturing important to Shaw Concepts?

I fundamentally believe in American Exceptionalism and that as Americans it’s our responsibility to pioneer continuously. I also believe in taking care of fellow Americans and American Industries first. Most of us hate how much of what we use is made overseas and now that I’m in a position to choose to make things here or abroad I prioritize American manufacturing. Plus I get a sense of pride in seeing the ‘Made in the US’ tag on some of my products. I hope this shows in the quality of my products and the values of my business.

Why was Shaw Concepts started?

Shaw Concepts was started due to a lack of satisfaction in the gear offerings of the industry. Time and time again I found myself wishing for a particular piece of gear tailored to a certain purpose or just made well with the user’s comfort and use in mind. I found myself designing gear I wish I had and even making some early creations out of sea bag canvas with the help of my unit’s riggers. From there I started making things for fellow recondos around the barracks and coming up with new products like the RAID Pouch. I started an instagram (@ShawConcepts) for my creations; not planning for too much to come of it but people online and around the barracks were really impressed with what I came up with so from there it just kind of grew.

www.shaw-concepts.com/product-page/raid-pouch

Predator Tools Model 25, The Raven

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

If you’re looking for a made in the USA spade, check out the Model 25 from Predator Tools.

Made from temepered Chrome-Moly 4130 Aircraft quality steel, the Raven features a double serrated edge on the blade.

If the Raven isn’t what you’re looking for, Predator Tools has a full line of digging implements.

www.predatortools.com/products/model-25-raven

Kitanica Mk VI – Now With Side Zips

Sunday, October 27th, 2019

We’ve been writing about Kitanica for over 10 years and we still live their dedication to innovation and American manufacturing. So when Chris Cronin told us they had added side zips to their Mk VI jacket, we told him we were going to pass the word.

Yep, it’s expensive, but you’re buying American craftsmanship.

www.kitanica.net/Mark-VI-p

Danner Light – 40th Anniversary Edition

Saturday, October 26th, 2019

Forty years ago, Danner introduced the first boot with a Gore-Tex liner, the Danner Light. This 6″ boot combines the latest Gore-Tex liner with a full grain leather and 1000D Cordura upper for durability in Black and Timber colors.

The classic Danner stitch down construction incorporates a Vibram Kletterlift outsole. Inside, there’s a removable Ortholite footbed for comfort.

Be prepared, these boots are bomber so the 61 oz per pair weight shouldn’t surprise you.

Made in USA.

www.danner.com/danner-light-40th-black-timber

GORUCK Workshop – The American Waterproof Jacket

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

GORUCK has expanded their clothing line with the cadre-approved American Waterproof Jacket.

It’s made in Spokane, Washington, by K-L Manufacturing who have created specialized clothing for US special operators for decades. Back in the 90s, real cool guys were issued lightweight Black Gore-Tex jacket, also manufactured in Spokane but by Adventure Tech. While those were simple designs, this model has a lot more features.

Features:

• Tough & technical jacket made from ToughShield Fabric that is waterproof, windproof, and fully protective from any weather
• Full zip front with lock down waterproof zipper to keep weather out
• Reinforced hood with hidden adjustable elastic hem
• Two exterior front pockets with waterproof zippers
• Interior chest pocket with waterproof zipper
• Two Interior map pockets
• Internal inspirational quote from General Patton
• Subtle GORUCK logo on bottom seam
• Made in the USA
• Comes with the GORUCK Scars Lifetime Guarantee

When you look at the price, remember, it was made in the USA.

Available in any color, as long as it’s Black.

www.goruck.com/the-american-waterproof-jacket

US Defense Industrial Capabilities Report

Monday, July 1st, 2019

Last week, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition in conjunction with the Sustainment and Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy released a report entitled, “Industrial Capabilities” which covers the entire defense industry for the year 2018.

In general, as you can imagine, the state of industry isn’t as great as we’d like. For the past several decades we have abdicated our industrial capability writ large to foreign nations. While we have retained quite a bit of our capability to produce defense articles here in the United States, it relies on a vast supply chain, and much of that is what is missing here domestically.

Of particular interest to SSD readers is the section on soldier systems. As you are probably aware, due to the Berry Amendment, which dates back World War Two, all textiles purchased by the Department of Defense must be manufactured in the United States from materials of US origin. While there has been a resurgence of commercial demand for clothing made here in the USA, the vast majority of our domestic textile capability exists to service the military.

While this niche fares pretty well, each year the capacity dwindles. Unfortunately, some of this is caused by lack of interest. Much of our textile supply chain is privately held by family owned businesses. As those operating these businesses reach retirement age, the younger generations are reticent to take up the reins. Those companies who manufacture clothing and individual equipment for the government operate on very tight margins. What’s more, the military is notorious for buying in spurts causing feast or famine cycles which are difficult to manage. Many feel the headache is not worth it. They’ll either sell the company off, or just close it altogether.

The report specifically call out this issue:

Evident industrial base risks in the soldier systems sector include single sources, capacity constraints, foreign dependency, market fragility, and diminishing manufacturing sources and material suppliers. The case studies below illustrate examples where the risk of permanent capability loss is enough to potentially warrant government action.

Erosion of U.S. Textile Industry

Between 1995 and 2009, the U.S. textile industry suffered a historic contraction, and Asian markets now dominate global textile supply. U.S. manufacturers are at a competitive disadvantage in workforce and raw material costs and availability. DoD is reliant on single sources and foreign sources, and competes with commercial demand for adequate production capacity.

However, clothing and individual equipment are just part of the soldier systems portfolio. The report also goes on to specifically address batteries:

Erosion of U.S. Rechargeable and Non?Rechargeable Battery Industry

Characterized by irregular demand proportional to operational tempo, the military battery industrial base is diminishing. Military-unique requirements can depart from commercial demands in size, quality, safety, power density, weight, and environmental ruggedness. Lack of stable production orders has resulted in lost capability and capacity, increased surge lead times, workforce erosion, and inhibited investments by remaining suppliers. Surge-capacity-limiting constraints occur at several points along the value chain, from raw material to final battery assembly.

Another issue of concern is our “Own the Night” advantage.

Foreign Reliance for Essential Night Vision Components

U.S. military “night vision” systems are enabled by an image intensifier tube, a vacuum-sealed tube that amplifies a low light–level scene to observable levels. The Department is reliant on foreign capabilities to supply image intensifier tube core glass and gallium arsenide photocathodes. Core glass is DoD-unique, and demand is very low compared to commercial glass production; the foreign sole source manufactures the core glass in batches based on demand, every few years, to replenish a U.S. buffer stock. Gallium arsenide allows for a more efficient conversion of light to electrical energy at extremely low light level, so by adding gallium arsenide to the photocathode, a brighter and sharper image is achieved. Gallium arsenide supply risk is considered reduced as the number of global suppliers has increased over time, though available suppliers remain foreign.

The reports also mentions the merger of two Night Vision manufacturers, stating “INDPOL (Industrial Policy) is examining whether the merger could result in a loss of competition, create single source dependence, or constrain capacity.”

Overall, it’s refreshing to see these issues addressed at this level. Hopefully, the Homeland Procurement Reform (HOPR) Act we mentioned last week will be enacted into law. The increased demand on the domestic clothing industry will help fill capacity and provide more predictable demand.

The story isn’t all bleak. While the investment tends to be from multinational corporations, we are seeing some investment in new textile infrastructure here in the US, thanks to increased productivity, due to automation, as well as ever increasing labor costs in China. For example, South Korea-based Youngone recently opened a brand new factory in El Monte, California to support Outdoor Research. Other businesses are opening new, or refurbishing elements of the supply chain in the Carolinas.

1620 USA – Operator Cargo Pant

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

1620 USA started life as Made in USA workwear brand, but like others in this space realized that some of their customers were military and law enforcement members who had chosen their clothing for both low viz assignments as well as off-duty wear. They’ve responded by creating some clothing more tailored to that crowd.

The Operator Cargo Pant is made of 4-way stretch Tweave and integrates low profile pockets as well as double knees.

Features:
– Gusseted crotch
– Durable water/oil/stain repellent finish
– Low profile cargo pocket with bellow and two way flap
– Extra-large zippered back pocket with angled top for ease of entry
– Left hand watch pocket compatible with XL size mobile device
– Military-spec shank button
– YKK zippers
– 3/4″ wide belt loops
– Modern fit

Fabric woven in the USA | Pant sewn in the USA

Available in Grey or Khaki, waists 30-40.

www.1620usa.com/collections/fall-2018-collection/products/operator-cargo-pant

Sierra Designs – California Collection

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

At Outdoor Retailer we found out that Sierra Designs is launching a new clothing collection which is not only Made in the USA, but in California, where the brand is located. There are several factories there specializing in clothing and bag production. It’s great to see more and more products being made here.

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The line will include everthbg seen here as well as other items. There are both men’s and women’s styles along with packs and bags.

Releasing later this month.

sierradesigns.com/california-collection