Train Like You Fight: Choosing the Right "Uniform" on the Range - ITS Tactical

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Train Like You Fight: Choosing the Right “Uniform” on the Range

By Jeff Gonzales


I’m often surprised when we have students show up to a Concealed Carry class and they aren’t able to effectively carry concealed. While frustrating, it’s easily correctable.

Editor’s Note: Can you guess what equipment Jeff is concealing in the photo above? Leave your answer in the comments below and the first closest answer will receive one of our new EDC Trauma Kits!**Update: Congratulations to Jeff S. who’s guess was closest to the actual concealed equipment in the photo above! Jeff is concealing two guns as well as two spare mags and a knife.**

Your Sunday Best

I get it, folks don’t want to get their nice clothes all jacked up by wearing them on the range; leaving them dirty, greasy and even damaged through hard use. I do it all the time and can promise you that the clothes I’m sporting aren’t cheap, but they’re what I wear on a daily basis.

Circling back to an old mantra, why wouldn’t you want to train the way you intend on fighting, including how you conceal? There’s so much value to be gained from working through an intense training class as it relates to your gear. The clothes you pick to carry concealed are no different.

The Eagles Eyes in the Class

One of the best parts of our class is the peer review. This time allows your fellow classmates to provide insight into your setup. It can be surprising when someone knows what they’re looking for, but many times their honestly helps to refine your carry loadout.

I chuckle lightly when I see someone post a picture on social media about how well they can conceal their loadout. Think about it this way, do you honestly think anyone is going to post an unflattering selfie online? Even if they do get feedback, it’s not as valuable as someone standing right in front of you providing feedback. On top of that, why would I post to the world that I’m “concealing?” Yeah, that’s a bit mind boggling.

The Bad Type of Uniform

We’re creatures of habit and while some people claim to do it better in real life, I have my doubts for the majority. There’s a uniform of sorts that you can expect from the tactical community, it may not be one you’re used to seeing, such as a military or police uniform, but the purpose is the same.

To help people understand this a bit better, here’s how I define uniform; presenting an unvaried appearance of surface, pattern or color. So, if you show up in your cool kid tactical pants, wearing an assortment of other tactical gear, you’re blending in great on a range. How does that help you to blend in to society and your everyday environment though?

The Good Type of Uniform

Many times, a tactical loadout from head to toe doesn’t really help; this goes back to my point on habits. Instead, I encourage people to wear to these classes what they wear in their daily lives. It has to be safe, so please no speedo’s and flip-flops, think of not just range safety, but eye safety as well.

Take a moment to itemize the parts of your day that you spend outside your home. Then drill further down to what’s socially acceptable to wear, because the last thing you want to do is stand out. You want to blend in or look uniform. So if you’re in an office setting, I encourage you to hit up Goodwill and bring some cheap slacks, shirts and even a sport coat to the range.

It does you no good to develop techniques for equipment you’re not going to use, especially items that when used could compromise your mission. Don’t pass up an opportunity to validate your gear.

Contest Time! Guess all the equipment that Jeff is concealing in the photo above and leave your answer in the comments. The first closest answer will win one of our new EDC Trauma Kits**Update: Congratulations to Jeff S. who’s guess was closest to the actual concealed equipment in the photo above! Jeff is concealing two guns as well as two spare mags and a knife.**

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Jeff Gonzales was a decorated and respected US Navy SEAL, serving as an operator and trainer who participated in numerous combat operations throughout the world. He now uses his modern warfare expertise as President of Trident Concepts, LLC., a battle proven company specializing in weapons, tactics and techniques to meet the evolving threat. Bringing the same high-intensity mindset, operational success and lessons learned from NSW to their training programs, TRICON has been recognized as an industry leader by various federal, state and local units. Organizations interested in training with TRICON can call 928-925-7038 or visit for more info.

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  • Debra Pagan

    Couldn’t agree more!I have one son fresh out of the Army and another son wanting to join the Navy…….makes sense that why would you practice and drill with tactical equipment when you only intend to conceal carry….:)

  • N Peek

    Firearm (Glock 43)
    Knife (Benchmade or Cold Steel)
    Light (Surefire or Nitecore)
    FA/Trauma Kit (ITS of course)
    Can’t tell if he has a watch on or not, so possibly a watch.

  • DHutch

    glock 19, emerson folding knife, surefire light, EDC trauma kit
    …he’s wearing a watch, something chunky so maybe a g-shock or something like a Sinn u1?

    • DHutch

      +1 extra mag, of course

  • Gerald Wallace

    A rifle down the pants, a handgun in the belt line and mags in the pockets?

  • GeraldWallace

    Rifle down the pant leg, handgun in the belt line, mags in the pockets and maybe some concealed Kevlar on the torso..

  • JHavard

    Glock on the appendix, flashlight in the vest pocket, watch, probably a knife, wallet and pen and paper somewhere…

  • Randall Mckenzie

    3 grenades,2 sticks of dynamite and a grenade launcher?

  • Todd Mustapich

    Midget hookers ?

  • Kevin Zuniga

    Knife, lock pick set, a Glock 19, and a small trauma kit.

  • Bart Horcha

    1911 and spare mags

  • birchbarkoutdoors

    Glock, strider knife tricon fixed blade, spare magazine, small sure fire flashlight, folding knife.

  • Gus Gonzales III

    IWB appendix-carry kydex holster, Glock 43, two spare (fully loaded) Glock 43 magazines, Surefire flashlight, folding tactical knife, SWAT-T tourniquet

    • Jeff Hight

      What holster do you use?

    • Gus Gonzales III

      OWB Raven Phantom for a Glock 42.
      I have to work up to IWB appendix carry – years of sedentary lifestyle gave me a thick midsection I am working off bit by bit.

  • Jerrick

    Glock 19 appendix carry, spare magazine, Tricon fixed blade knife, watch, wallet, writing instrument, keys, ITS trauma kit of some iteration

  • Guy Arancio

    glock IWB, x-mag, knife, flashlight, keys, wallet, phone, watch, sun glasses, compact trauma kit. WIN ATTITUDE

  • Jeff S

    Tricon Glock 19, AIWB, 1:30, single mag–left side/vertical, folding knife, left pocket, pen, wallet, watch (G-Code), ankle holster, with mini glock, g27, and a Surefire light,? Titan?

    • robhenderson

      @Jeff S  Congrats Jeff, your answer was the closest to Jeff’s actual carry, as he’s concealing two guns as well as two spare magazines and a knife. Only one magazine off! 

      Shoot us an email to [email protected] with a good shipping address  and we’ll get your EDC Trauma Kit shipped out!

  • Jeff S

    Oops! Add a cell phone and the Shaaaaades!

  • Jeff Hight

    i wear dress pants, shirts and boots 98% of the time so that is what i range in. zero tactical clothing.

  • Tesuro B. Randall

    I don’t know why some guys go to the range all “jocked up”! Are they prepping for another 1992 L A. Riot? Join SWAT or the military if you want to dress like that. The SHOT Show guys love to take your money!

  • lurker

    Here goes: Keys, Phone, Wallet, sig p239, notepad, pen, folding knife.

  • Daniel Green

    glock 19 in a vanguard iwb, emerson CQC, trident concepts/strider fixed blade, surefire

    • Daniel Green

      or all that subbed with a glock 43 in an incog.

      The rules didn’t state a limit on entries

  • stincky1

    Agreed.  People should be thinking more Gray Man and less full-battle-rattle.  There are some great tips on here for just that.  Also, if you IDPA or something similar, shoot what you actually carry.

  • Phil

    Jeff is concealing one pistol, one knife, one spare magazine for pistol, one flashlight.

  • WitchDoc

    Jeff is probably rocking a TRICON Glock 19 and KKM precision bbl, with one spare mag, INCOG appendix holster (MAYBE one of JM Custom Kydex TRICON Carry Packages), surefire light and a blade of some sort, maybe a Strider, and I guaranty he has at least ONE cigar on him!  Hooyah!

  • hutchnate

    a ukulele, finger cymbals, harmonica and 1 no 2 mouth harps.

  • fbo391

    Jeff have a .9 smith &Wesson with two extra clips on vest left side

  • Shawn Sherel

    IWB Smith 686 Plus

  • ConkleDwayne

    Glock 43

  • Conor_dane

    Glock 26 with 1 extra mag on the left side

  • gschoelles

    More often than not they come with inadequate holster and or belt

  • Ajax_Of_Telamon

    Glock 26 in Galco ankle holster, spare mag IWB … oh the looks I get!

  • Tim

    He looks just like the kind of guy that would be sport’n some black lace thong panties with a matching bra. In all seriousness, why does he look like he should be on the Megan’s Law web site…I mean who wears a vest? Is he a bar tender, male stripper, man whore…what’s up with the vest?

    • Strych9

      @Tim Lots of people rock a vest. With a jacket in formal situations and without in semi-formal. I do it all the time. Not only does it provide you with a few other pockets it looks good and the ladies love it. That look is how I married way, way above my pay grade. Just don’t go full 1930’s with the fedora. 

      People think they look good in cheap off the rack slacks, shirt and tie. They do compared to jeans and t-shirt. However, that outfit looks sloppy when someone walks in the room in a vest or 3-piece that’s been measured and cut for them. 

      Further, if you pick the right colors a vest makes your CCW pistol in a shoulder holster disappear even if your coat is open. I rock a full sized .40 steel 941 Jericho in a Falco Roto-Tilt shoulder holster with a number of my suits and even with the jacket open you can’t see it unless I pull the jacket back to completely uncover the gun.

  • KileWinfrey

    Your attire should depend on the course you’re taking and what you keep with you. Are you at a CCW course? Then yeah wear your CCW gear. Are you at an active shooter or carbine course? Where is your rifle kept? If you’re like me it’s in the truck with your plate carrier and outer belt, so that is what you should train with.

    Don’t forget med kit and training either, if you’re going to walk around with the ability send lead you need to have the ability to catch some as well.

  • cdennisg

    Yes to all this. Wearing a suit 90% of the time. I carry accordingly which does not include any full-sized pistols with extra magazines, bags of quick clot, or a tactical vest and smoke grenades. Instead its a .25 pocket gun or if feeling particular frisky, a j-frame.

  • I really like this concept. Most of us don’t go around in Tac Gear all day. Why train at the range in it all the time? Train in your everyday CCW clothes, your church clothes, or “work” clothes. Great post.

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