In our 3rd installment of Personal Gear Evolution we will continue our quest for data. The important thing here is the philosophy behind why people use what they use or do what they do. You can collect data, then use your critical thinking to help you determine whether something might be right for you. After all, knowledge is one of the best tools you can possess.
In this installment I had the opportunity to interview Uptomyassinbrass aka Jon. I discovered him on Instagram. Hes a pretty down to earth guy who has set out to share what he enjoys with the world and, in his own words, “promote the Second Amendment in a positive light.” Hes a damn cool guy who does many things and has branched out to both Youtube and has his own pod cast.
At the end of the day Jon is a regular guy like most of us. While he doesn’t have military or leo experience, he is a hunter, has training, and competition under his belt. All of which is incredibly valuable experience. When I asked him about his experience he elaborated by saying, “I’m a civilian who grew up hunting, then ventured into pistol shooting because I wanted to carry around the age of 18.” He then followed up by saying, “I went through the basics once, got my permit, and then did a few classes on my own.” Jon mentioning that he continued his training and even redid some training with family to help them feel more comfortable.
As stated earlier, Jon has done some competition as well. Since he is a hunter, F-Class competitions are where he started. From there he branched out into other things such as USPSA, which he mentioned as being his greatest teacher thus far. Either way, he just enjoys getting out on the range and like many of us, does it as often as humanly possible.
I have got to say, I love Jon’s overarching philosophy. He was blunt about it and its damn refreshing. “My philosophy with gear is that everything is protected by the second amendment. Own everything you can as long as you can afford it.” He firmly believes that as civilians, we should exercise our rights and his content often promotes that point. You’ll see him rocking some very Gucci gear. Its not uncommon to see him rocking Gucci guns, nods, armor, and all other manner of kit.
Our conversation got more dialed in and serious from there though. Jon went on to say that you need to remember that everything is situational and/or mission dependent. “Don’t always listen to the gun bunny that tells you option A is always better.” He stressed that different gear works for different situations. Essentially, don’t get tied down to one method. The more tools in your tool box the better. This would go for technique and gear.
With all that said, Jon stressed one vastly important point. If you own a piece of gear, train with that piece of gear. “If you don’t train with what you have, it will be worthless when you need it the most,” Jon said. Training with your EDC gear is also huge as it is most likely the stuff you will have to use. By EDC gear, that could mean anything from your gun to any medical gear you might carry.
Like a lot of us, Jon’s gear has gone through a progression. He made some very solid points about progression and evolution of gear like, “Its all personal preference. You need to get out there and run it to know.” He mention starting with a padded belt that didn’t have an inner or outer belt. He said that now anything not attached to his pant loops is a no go. That is a good example of something that you’d probably have to experience to understand.
Jon went on to say that other major things have changed as well such as the plates that he runs in his plate carriers. He has went away from coated AR500 plates to composite armor. In fact, he specifically mentioned that Spartan Armor Systems plates are what he is currently running and that he has been very happy with them. Jon highly recommends saving up for higher quality lighter weight plates instead of going cheap.
We talked a bit about how he used his gear and like a lot of us, he tends to draw magazines from his belt first. This led to the discussion of re-indexing magazines. For those of you not privy to what this means, re-indexing your magazines is the practice of taking a magazine and moving it to the position easiest for you to reload from. Jon runs Esstac pouches so that he can re-index more easily. Running pouches that don’t stay open can often make re-indexing hard, which is where kydex pouches like the Esstac’s come in. They stay open, yet have good retention. Jon did mention that he does prefer a pistol transition to a reload.
Where to start?
Not every one is tactically minded. There are a lot of people out there looking to take responsibility for their own safety or are looking to get into some form of competitive shooting. I asked Jon how he would recommend getting started. “If you only have $500/$600, then buy a LEO trade in Glock, a good holster, and a good belt. Then buy as much ammo as possible to train.” He followed up buy saying that you should buy enough of your self defense ammo to verify that your gun will function reliably with it. Jon also mentioned that its best to buy once and cry once. Look for gear from US companies that have high quality standards. He specifically talked about avoiding any airsoft gear, non-coated steel plates, and similar sub par gear.
After that Jon recommends seeking out training. Good training. He said to steer clear of flashy IG trainers and to make sure to get training from reputable trainers. There are some on IG, but don’t fall for the flashy sexy stuff. Vet the people you want to train with. This is something that I whole heartedly agree with.
I asked Jon what he would recommend next and he went on to say medical gear and tourniquets. Not just one tourniquet, but multiple. He specifically recommended C.A.T. tourniquets. A pocket medical kit like the Live The Creed EDC kits are also something he recommends. As Jon said before, training and knowing how to use what you carry is important.
I had a lot of fun interviewing Jon. Hes a cool down to Earth guy that firmly believes in exercising and protecting our 2nd Amendment rights. Its pretty awesome to see some one who holds such strong beliefs and actually advocates for running crazy gear if you have the means. If you want to run Gucci tactical gear, do it. Its your right. Hes also got a pretty reasonable approach for new people to looking get into every day carry.