Best of the best, worst of the worst.
This section of m998.com is intended to be an informative treatise on the various dealers of tactical military equipment that you may encounter on the internet. Outlined here are my personal experiences with these dealers and can be regarded as first-hand encounters. I have e-mails to back up the negative experiences that are available upon request. Please do not waste my time with frivolous requests. I have absolutely no monetary interest in any of the parties below. My experiences relate only to my status as an extremely satisfied (or dissatisfied) customer. Now, to the good part...
Dealers in which I have 100% confidence:
Tied for first place is Tactical Tailor. The folks that run this company are A1, first-rate individuals. I'm afraid I don't know their names as they always sign their "TT" [presumably for "tactical tailor". Their products, also, are first-rate and you will not find better-manufactured tactical nylon products ANYWHERE. I have ordered their Modular Assault Vest (MAV) and First Responder Bag and they are both excellent products. They will accompany me on my Search and Rescue (SAR) missions. Lifetime guarantees on their equipment except normal wear and tear or modification. Another thing that's great about their gear is the fact that they primarily utilize PALS attachment using their very tough, durable MALICE clips. It's the same attachment used on the MOLLE system. I used to prefer Eagle Industries equipment but until they join the rest of us in the 21st century as well as producing equipment in a timely fashion, I will not buy from them anymore. Tactical Tailor is definitely the way to go.
Craig Coley is one of the nicest folks one could hope to meet. He is very willing to help new folks with radio equipment problems, in particular, those encountered with the Bendix-King handheld radios. He has helped me with this many times and is always eager to do so. A great fellow.
Dealers with good products but horrible customer service:
None in this category at this time.
Dealers which you may want to avoid like the plague:
Eagle IndustriesHere, we have Eagle Industries.
Just moved Eagle down here because they have apparently decided to ignore the Berry initiative and move almost all of their manufacturing OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, thus TAKING AWAY JOBS FROM AMERICANS! I will no longer do business with Eagle nor will I buy any of their overpriced garbage, which is exactly what it is now.
They offer a lifetime guarantee on all their products and their items are generally very well-made, despite the fact that they offer little to no equipment with MOLLE- compatable PALS webbing attachments. That's the good news. Here's the bad: Back in late 2000, I had placed an order with them for some fairly common items. They were not special colors or left-hand specific models. They failed to provide my order in a timely manner. They had no explanation for why it took a few months to finally ship the rest of my order.
Well, I decided to take a chance with them again and order a range bag. Keep in mind that this bag is not conducive to carrying through caves in Afghanistan. What they told me when I originally ordered was that they were blaming their backlog on the crisis in September and that it would be months before they caught up on the backorder on the range bag insert. I essentially told them that was bullshit and that a soldier doesn't carry things like that in the field. I pointed out that I had placed an order FAR before September 2001 and that it took months to fill. I also pointed out that it was sickening to attempt to blame their gross mismanagement on the tragedy this year. I was so disgusted with this excuse that I was going to put up a website about this experience if I had not received the bag by the final deadline I gave them. Since I ended up receiving the bag on time, that website remains undeveloped and will remain so for the rest of the year (unless I order something else and they attempt to blame their ineptitude on this tragedy again).
By the way, Hey Eagle -- it's 2004 now and I DON'T THINK NATICK IS GOING TO GO AWAY ANYTIME SOON. Why don't you get with the program and rework your tired, old ALICE designs?
usn - usual suspect network (idiotic forum)
Don't join this group of fools and DEFINITELY do not pay good, hard-earned money for one of their god-forsaken "memberships". They are nothing more than a herd of half-witted monkeys that go around flinging poo...the forum equivalent of that, anyway.
They're just a vile, disgusting group of extremely thin-skinned people that get really angry when someone shows up one of their "paid" dealers so-called "work" (overpriced garbage). I'm glad to be rid of them. All they do is post on there about how bad their life is, how they just carelessly lost or broke/damaged some priceless knife (so that other people will pay to fix their mistake), and about being mall ninjas. Pointless, stupid chats is all they have there. Nothing an intelligent person would find interesting at all, in the least, whatsoever.
IkeaIt has nothing to do with tactical gear, but maybe I can save you a migraine or two. If you buy from Ikea, don't count on receiving any hardware with your furniture anytime soon if it's not in the boxes.
London Bridge Tactical Equipment
These people used the infamous "there's a war going on" excuse with me. I informed them I'd already heard that excuse from others for a LONG time before 9.11 and I am not buying into it. If they cannot keep up with production demands (at $40+ a pop for a friggin' notepad cover, for instance), they have MANAGEMENT issues that have NOTHING to do with any war. They need to FIX the management problems and quit using the War on Terrorism as a convenient excuse to mask their production issues. I've heard the same crap from Eagle. Now everyone wants to use it.
Oh, and they charge $40+ for a notebook cover. For that price, my order should have gone to the front of the line and they should have HAND DELIVERED it to me. He tried to tell me it was a one-off item that they don't produce them all the time -- especially since I ordered it in Woodland Camo. I asked him what difference that made since he told me he didn't have any in stock at all (zero, none) to begin with and he said, "Yes, that's my point."...Geez...these people are dim. As far as I'm concerned, anyone that uses this excuse can talk a long walk off a tall cliff. Stop it, now.
FIX YOUR PRODUCTION ISSUES AND QUIT USING T.W.A.T. AS A CRUTCH BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT MEET DEMAND. IT'S SICK!
FedEx GroundFedEx Ground only delivers Tuesday through Friday and they do not state this anywhere I can find either on their website or elsewhere. This isn't some mom and pop business, people...this is a division of FedEx and it's about time they act like it. Mondays are not holidays and if they cannot deliver on regular business days like EVERYONE ELSE, it's time to switch to Airborne / DHL. I won't be using FedEx Ground anymore -- they are unreliable.
This guy sells military manuals and other books on eBay. You are well advised to avoid this person.
Thankfully for tanner's storefront, Polaris has managed to piss me off even worse. They think it's
a good idea to mark up their shipping 200%. I ordered an item that weighs less than a pound which
UPS says should cost $9.55 to send 2nd Day Air. Polaris charged me $20.00. Maybe you
guys will think twice before you rip off on shipping charges like that next time. 200% markup
without any explanation is rape. I called these assholes and they flatly refused to give me any
explanation of why they charge 200% over what it actually costs other than, "oh, it's just built
into the shipping and handling charges that way." What that really means is, "We're just greedy
and want more money so the only way we can justify it is to hide it under shipping and handling
charges." You'd better be careful who you piss off with extremely inflated shipping charges next
time; the person you piss off just might have their own top-level domain and provide their own hosting so
you can't bitch and whine and get the page removed. :-)
Do not order from Tanners Storefront unless you want them to make you very, very angry. I'm not putting a link
to their page because I don't want to encourage you to go there. You will be disappointed with your
order. You can do a search for it yourself if you really want to risk ordering from them. It took
them literally weeks to fill an order for something they supposedly had in stock and the female portion of
tanner's was a rude, class-A bitch. The gentleman I spoke with there was quite a bit nicer. Don't
bother calling their home phone. The female will answer and treat you with a high degree of contempt
for interrupting her daily soap opera fix. She is a total bitch. There's just no other way to put it.
It would behoove you to just avoid dealing with this person. Like Forest Gump says, "You never know what
you're gonna get." If you buy something from him, you are not by any means guaranteed that it works or
that he's even checked it as he may claim. Here is what happened:
Linger likes to fabricate stories in his own mind that do not reflect reality...fantasies, really. He accused me of doing something that did not happen because he was embarrassed that he sold me defective equipment. I hadn't paid for it yet and he tried to claim that I never notified him the equipment was defective AFTER I did the following:
1) ...Called his house IMMEDIATELY after I got home the same day I picked up the worthless junk and tested it. I left a message with a family member that it didn't work (Nicely, even! I gave him the benefit of the doubt, at first!)
2) ...Called AGAIN and left a message on the answering machine to the same effect!
3) ...THEN...I left him a genuinely polite e-mail at his "publications" business e-mail address which I *know* he received because I got back a confirmation from it saying it'd been read.
By the way, he claims on his "publications" page that he doesn't have any "inventory" of radios and equipment, but this is a lie...many of the listings on that page are for his crappy equipment. It's certainly some sort of tax shelter scheme. Use your own judgment. I will attest that every statement here is true and am willing to do so under oath. I don't take that lightly and that is how serious I am about this matter.
He tried scamming a friend of mine in California. By some cosmic coincidence, my buddy asked me if I knew this slug and I told him I did. The slug had sold my friend some defective radios but had told my friend that they worked fine (surprise, surprise). Those radios were trashed inside and out. The serial numbers had been ground off of them (indicating that somewhere along the line, they were not obtained through legal channels) and they were inoperative. I called up the police and after months of my friend trying to recoup costs for fixing the radios, the slug finally paid up after due persuasion from the police. What a jerk.
Cummings Rigging Works
This is also not a dealer of tactical military products, but may be of common interest. Ed Cummings attempted to tell me I ordered the wrong product from him when I repeated what I wanted (exactly) to him no less than 15 times during my phone conversation with him. Because of his incompetence and being unfamiliar with the product line, he ordered the wrong product from the manufacturer (a $900.00 mistake for him) and attempted to place the blame on me so he wouldn't have to take responsibility. He also threatened to withhold my main canopy from me if I didn't remove my web page about what happened. He ALSO left a nasty message on my local drop zone operator's phone telling them not to listen to me. We all got a good laugh out of that at his expense. Sounds like someone running scared to me.
To make a long story short, I had my attorney contact him and outline the finer points of felony theft and I received all of my order on time except the container (the $900 mistake) which Jump Shack, the manufacturer, absorbed. Jump Shack even let me use the wrong container until they had the correct one in my hands. Cummings could take a few hints from Jump Shack in customer service. With that sort of blatant lack of attention to detail, I know I will NEVER get him to pack my reserve for me, but that's just me.
Austin Amateur Radio Supply
Some folks reading this are likely hams. Also, some military folks use modified amateur radio equipment
for communications on military frequencies (i.e. MARS, MP's, etc.) so this may interest you. Here is the whole story.
Check often for future updates to this website!!
This page was last updated 21 JAN 08.