Top 10 Best EDC Flashlights of 2024: Compact, Tactical, and Rechargeable Picks for Every Budget

A reliable EDC (Everyday Carry) flashlight is non-negotiable for use with firearms, survival, and preparedness. These flashlights are convenient tools and vital for ensuring safety and readiness in unpredictable situations. Whether navigating dark environments, signaling for help, or performing tactical operations, a high-quality flashlight is essential to any preparedness kit.

The Short List

  1. Thrunite T1s: Best for small pocket light with high brightness.
  2. Thrunite T2: Ideal for those needing powerful illumination and long battery life.
  3. Streamlight Wedge XT: Slim design with enhanced performance.
  4. Streamlight ProTac 2L: Tactical flashlight with versatile modes.
  5. Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA: Best for dual fuel capability.
  6. Nitecore Tini2 Ti: Keychain light with high portability and power.
  7. Cloud Defensive MCH: Duty-rated EDC Flashlight.
  8. OLIGHT Warrior 3S: Best rechargeable EDC flashlight with robust features.
  9. Thrunite Archer Mini: Best budget compact light.
  10. Surefire EDCL1-T: Reliable, high-performance tactical light.

What to Look for in an EDC Flashlight

Brightness (Lumens)

The lumen rating of a flashlight is a key indicator of its brightness. For EDC flashlights, the ideal range is between 100 to 1000 lumens. Lower lumens (100-300) are suitable for close-up tasks and indoor use, while higher lumens (500-1000+) are better for outdoor activities and tactical situations. It’s important to choose a flashlight that offers the right balance of brightness for your specific needs, whether for everyday tasks, emergency preparedness, or tactical operations.

Size and Weight

An effective EDC flashlight should be compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry in your pocket, belt, or bag. The size should not compromise its performance. A balance between portability and functionality is crucial. Smaller flashlights, often called “pocket lights,” are ideal for daily use, while slightly larger models can offer more power and longer battery life.

Battery Type and Life

Battery type significantly impacts the usability and reliability of your flashlight. Rechargeable batteries, such as lithium-ion, are convenient and environmentally friendly, offering long runtimes and the ability to recharge via USB. Disposable batteries, like AA or CR123A, provide the advantage of quick replacement in the field. Consider your typical usage scenarios and choose a flashlight with a battery type that best suits your needs.

Durability and Build Quality

Durability is paramount for an EDC flashlight, especially for those in the firearms and survival community. Look for water resistance (IPX ratings) and impact resistance. Flashlights from high-quality materials like aircraft-grade aluminum or titanium are designed to withstand rough handling and harsh environments. This ensures that your flashlight will remain functional when you need it most.

Additional Features

Modern EDC flashlights often come equipped with various additional features to enhance their versatility. Multiple lighting modes (such as strobe, SOS, and different brightness levels) can be extremely useful in tactical applications and emergencies. User-friendly interfaces, including easy-to-operate buttons and switches, improve accessibility. Advanced models may also offer features like magnetic tail caps, which allow for hands-free use, and programmable settings to customize the flashlight’s performance to your preferences.

Key Takeaway

Choosing the right EDC flashlight involves balancing various factors such as brightness, size, battery type, durability, and additional features. Considering these features, you can select a flashlight that best fits your needs and enhances your preparedness for any situation.

Top 10 Best EDC Flashlights

Thrunite T1s Small Pocket Light

The Thrunite T1s Small Pocket Light is a compact, ultra-bright flashlight designed for versatility and convenience. It features an SST40 LED that delivers up to 1212 lumens, with a beam throw of 184 meters. This flashlight includes several modes: Firefly, Turbo, and Strobe, along with stepless dimming to suit different lighting needs. A magnetic tailcap enables hands-free use by attaching to metal surfaces, while the dual-direction clip offers flexible carrying options.

Thrunite T1s small pocket light

The T1s is powered by a rechargeable 1100mAh lithium-ion battery, supporting easy USB charging for extended use. Despite its powerful output, the flashlight is lightweight at 1.46 ounces and measures just 2.7 inches in length, making it perfect for everyday carry. Its compact size and robust functionality make it suitable for various tasks, from outdoor activities to emergencies. The durable construction ensures it can withstand daily wear and tear, providing reliable performance whenever needed.

For more details, visit the Thrunite T1s product page.

Thrunite T2

The Thrunite T2 NW Black is a powerful, compact flashlight that delivers impressive performance and versatility. Equipped with a CREE XHP70 LED, it provides a maximum output of 3757 lumens, illuminating distances up to 158 meters. This flashlight offers multiple modes, including Low, Medium, High, Turbo, Strobe, and Firefly, with the Firefly mode providing up to 69 days of runtime. Its memory function allows users to return to their last-used mode easily, and a lockout mode prevents accidental activation.

Thrunite T2

Powered by a 5000mAh 21700 rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the T2 supports USB Type-C charging, ensuring fast and convenient recharging. Constructed from durable T6061-T6 aluminum alloy, it is designed to withstand tough conditions. The flashlight also has an intelligent temperature control system to prevent overheating and ensure safe operation.

Weighing just 87 grams and measuring 112mm in length, the T2 is lightweight and easy to carry. It features a convenient side switch for one-handed operation and a lanyard and holster for added portability. Ideal for tactical use, outdoor adventures, and everyday tasks, the Thrunite T2 NW Black combines high performance, durability, and ease of use.

For more details, visit the Thrunite T2 NW Black product page.

Streamlight Wedge XT (upgraded from the Wedge)

The Streamlight Wedge XT is an ultra-compact, high-performance EDC flashlight designed for convenience and reliability. It features a slim, ergonomic design that fits comfortably in the hand or pocket. A tactical push-button tail switch provides quick access to two modes: 500 lumens on high for 2 hours and 50 lumens on low for 11 hours. This flashlight is powered by a built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery, ensuring consistent performance.

Streamlight Wedge XT (upgraded from the Wedge)

The Wedge XT is USB-C rechargeable, allowing for fast and convenient recharging. Its durable anodized aluminum body is waterproof with an IPX7 rating, meaning it can be submerged in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. The flashlight is also impact-resistant and designed to withstand rough handling and harsh environments.

Measuring 4.25 inches in length, the Wedge XT is compact and easy to carry, making it ideal for everyday carry and tactical use. It includes a pocket lanyard and a USB-C charging cord for added convenience. With its robust construction and reliable performance, the Streamlight Wedge XT is a dependable tool for various lighting needs.

For more details, visit the Streamlight Wedge XT product page.

Streamlight ProTac 2L

The Streamlight ProTac 2L is a compact, tactical flashlight designed for high performance and versatility. It delivers up to 350 lumens of brightness with a beam distance of 159 meters. This flashlight features TEN-TAP® Programming, allowing users to choose from three operating modes: high/strobe/low, high only, or low/high. Powered by two CR123A lithium batteries, it offers a runtime of 3.25 hours on high and 35 hours on low. The ProTac 2L is built from durable anodized aluminum, making it impact-resistant up to 2 meters and waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes (IPX7 rated).

Streamlight ProTac 2L

Measuring 4.77 inches in length and weighing only 2.8 ounces, the ProTac 2L is highly portable and easy to carry. It has a removable pocket clip and a nylon holster for convenient storage and access. The anti-roll head design prevents the flashlight from rolling away when placed on uneven surfaces, and the tail switch allows for easy one-handed operation.

Ideal for various uses, including law enforcement, military, and everyday carry, the Streamlight ProTac 2L combines powerful illumination, durability, and user-friendly features in a compact design.

For more details, visit the Streamlight ProTac 2L product page.

Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA – Best dual fuel flashlight

The Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA is a versatile and compact flashlight that offers the convenience of dual-fuel capability, operating on either a CR123A lithium battery or a AA alkaline battery. This flexibility ensures you have power options in various situations. It delivers a maximum output of 350 lumens on high, with a beam distance of 160 meters, making it ideal for tactical use, outdoor activities, or everyday carry. The flashlight also features low (40 lumens) and strobe modes, catering to different needs. Its TEN-TAP® Programming allows users to customize the switch sequence to suit their preferences.

Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA - Best dual fuel flashlight

Constructed from durable anodized aluminum, the ProTac 1L-1AA is built to withstand tough conditions. It boasts an IPX7 waterproof rating, ensuring it can be submerged in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. Additionally, it is impact-resistant up to 2 meters. The flashlight has a nylon holster and an unbreakable pocket clip for easy carrying. Its push-button tail switch allows for one-handed operation, enhancing its practicality.

Ideal for various applications, from professional to personal use, the Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA combines reliability, performance, and versatility in a compact package.

For more details, visit the Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA product page.

Nitecore Tini2 Ti – Keychain Flashlight

The Nitecore TINI2 Ti is a sophisticated keychain flashlight crafted from premium titanium alloy, ensuring durability and a sleek appearance. It boasts a maximum output of 500 lumens, making it exceptionally bright for its size. The flashlight features a multifunctional OLED display that provides real-time information such as brightness levels, battery status, and remaining runtime. This display enhances user control and convenience.

Nitecore Tini2 Ti - keychain light

Powered by a built-in 280mAh Li-ion battery, the TINI2 Ti supports USB-C charging, allowing for quick and efficient recharging. The flashlight integrates Advanced Power Cut-Off (APC) technology, which ensures energy efficiency and extended battery life. Additionally, it includes two lockout modes to prevent accidental activation, enhancing safety during transport.

The TINI2 Ti’s compact, thumb-sized design makes it an ideal everyday carry item, easily attachable to keychains or stored in pockets. Its intuitive interface, combined with robust performance and advanced features, makes it suitable for a variety of applications, from everyday use to emergencies.

For more details, visit the Nitecore TINI2 Ti product page.

Cloud Defensive MCH – Dual Fuel EDC Light for Duty Use

The Cloud Defensive MCH (Mission Configurable Handheld) 2.0 is a highly versatile tactical flashlight designed for demanding situations. This model supports dual-fuel capability, meaning it can operate with an 18650 rechargeable battery or two CR123A batteries, ensuring flexibility and convenience. The High Candela (HC) version produces a powerful 1,400 lumens, providing intense illumination and a focused beam for long-range visibility. The Dual Fuel Pro (DF) model offers 650 lumens, balancing brightness with extended runtime.

Cloud Defensive MCH - Dual Fuel Tactical Flashlight

The MCH 2.0 is constructed with a robust anodized aluminum body, ensuring durability and resistance to harsh environments. It features a user-friendly tail switch for easy operation, even under stress. The flashlight includes multiple output settings, allowing users to adjust brightness levels according to their needs. Its compact design, along with a pocket clip, makes it convenient for everyday carry and quick access.

Additionally, the MCH 2.0 incorporates advanced thermal management to prevent overheating, ensuring reliable performance over extended periods. This flashlight is ideal for law enforcement, military personnel, and outdoor enthusiasts who require a dependable and adaptable lighting solution.

For more details, visit the Cloud Defensive MCH product page.

OLIGHT Warrior 3S – Best Rechargeable EDC Flashlight

The Olight Warrior 3S is a high-performance tactical flashlight designed for a variety of demanding uses. It features a cool white LED and a TIR optic lens that delivers an impressive 2,300 lumens of brightness and a beam distance of up to 300 meters. This makes it suitable for hiking, camping, self-defense, and law enforcement activities. One of its standout features is the visualized indicator interface, which includes 4-level battery and brightness indicators, allowing users to monitor the flashlight’s status easily.

OLIGHT Warrior 3S - Best Rechargeable EDC Flashlight

The Warrior 3S is equipped with a built-in proximity sensor that automatically dims the light when it detects nearby objects, preventing overheating and enhancing safety. This feature is particularly useful in close-quarters scenarios where high brightness could cause damage or discomfort. The flashlight offers a maximum runtime of up to 55 days on its lowest setting, ensuring long-lasting performance in the field.

The design includes a smoother strike bezel and a two-way pocket clip for versatile carrying options. Its compact and durable construction makes it easy to carry and use in a variety of situations. Additionally, the flashlight supports dual switch operation, providing tail and side switches for seamless mode changes and operation.

For more details, visit the Olight Warrior 3S product page.

Thrunite Archer Mini – Best Budget Compact Light

The ThruNite Archer Mini Black is an ultra-compact, high-performance flashlight designed for everyday carry. Featuring an SST20 LED with a TIR lens, it delivers an impressive 405 lumens and a beam distance of up to 87 meters. The flashlight measures just 3.26 inches in length and weighs a mere 34 grams, making it incredibly portable and easy to carry in a pocket or attach to a hat brim.

Thrunite Archer Mini - Best Budget Compact Light

The Archer Mini offers three modes: low, turbo, and strobe, all controlled by a convenient tail switch. This switch design allows for quick and easy access to the light’s functions, even in the dark. A unique feature of this flashlight is its hidden USB-C charging port, which is protected by a metal sleeve, ensuring durability and resistance to dust and moisture.

Additionally, the Archer Mini comes with a dual-directional clip, allowing users to attach it to various surfaces for hands-free use. Its robust and practical design makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, from daily tasks to outdoor adventures.

For more details, visit the ThruNite Archer Mini Black product page.

Surefire EDCL1-T – Best Overall EDC Flashlight

The SureFire EDCL1-T is a highly reliable and straightforward EDC flashlight, designed for users who prefer simplicity and efficiency. It features two output modes: high (500 lumens) and low (5 lumens), with no strobe mode, making it a no-frills flashlight ideal for serious tasks. The flashlight uses a Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens to produce a versatile beam that combines both throw and wide peripheral illumination. Switching between the two modes is extremely simple, fast, and intuitive, thanks to the dual-stage tactical tailcap switch.

Surefire EDCL1-T - Best Overall EDC Flashlight

Powered by a single 123A battery, the EDCL1-T offers a runtime of 1 hour on high and an impressive 45 hours on low. Constructed from high-strength aerospace aluminum with a Mil-Spec hard anodized finish, this flashlight is built to withstand the harshest conditions, ensuring long-term durability and reliability. The EDCL1-T is compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry, and includes a two-way clip for versatile attachment options, whether to your pocket, belt, or gear.

With its robust construction and user-friendly operation, the SureFire EDCL1-T is perfect for both professional and everyday use, providing dependable lighting in a variety of situations.

For more details, visit the SureFire EDCL1-T product page.

Using Your EDC Flashlight for Personal Defense

An EDC flashlight can be essential for personal defense, especially when traveling. A high-lumen flashlight can temporarily blind and disorient an attacker by shining the light directly into their eyes. This creates a window of opportunity to escape or prepare for further defensive actions. Regularly scanning your surroundings with your flashlight enhances situational awareness, helping you spot potential threats before they get too close.

Holding the flashlight in your support hand allows you to use your dominant hand for other actions, such as calling for help or deploying another self-defense tool. A sturdy flashlight can serve as an improvised impact weapon in close-quarters combat. Flashlights with crenulated bezels are particularly effective for striking an attacker, causing pain, and creating an opportunity to escape.

Integrating your flashlight with your shooting stance is crucial for those trained in firearm use. Techniques like the Harries or FBI hold help you maintain control of your firearm and flashlight, ensuring you are prepared for defensive scenarios in low-light conditions.

When traveling via commercial air, an EDC flashlight is often your primary weapon for personal defense. I’ve traveled overseas several times, and my EDC flashlight was my primary weapon at my final destination. A flashlight can pass through airport security seamlessly, making it a reliable and legal self-defense tool wherever you go.

Regular training with your EDC flashlight and understanding its defensive applications can significantly enhance your safety and readiness in various situations.

The Importance of Training with Your EDC Flashlight

Recently, I attended a Dynamic Handgun course where part of the training involved shooting in a no-light scenario. After a safety briefing, the lights in the indoor shooting range were turned off, creating total darkness where even a hand in front of the face was invisible. When the command “Threat” was given, we illuminated the target with our EDC flashlights in our support hand, drew our weapon, engaged the target, then reholstered and turned off our lights. This drill was repeated multiple times.

Learning from Real-World Experience

Through this exercise, I discovered the flashlight I used at the time was inadequate. While it illuminated the target, it lacked the necessary brightness for effective use in such conditions. This experience underscored the importance of dynamic training in revealing the practical limitations of your gear. Without this training, I wouldn’t have realized the deficiencies of my flashlight.

As a result, I upgraded to the Surefire EDCL1-T. Despite owning several Streamlight flashlights, including the ProTac 2L and Wedge XT, I needed a flashlight that was simple to operate, reliable in any condition, and proven in the industry. The Surefire EDCL1-T met all these requirements and proved to be the right choice for such demanding scenarios.

Training with your EDC flashlight in dynamic and realistic scenarios is crucial. It helps you understand the limitations and strengths of your gear, ensuring you are prepared for real-world situations. Regular practice, especially in no-light conditions, can significantly enhance your proficiency and confidence in using your flashlight effectively.


In this comprehensive guide, we explored the top EDC flashlights of 2024, each offering unique features and benefits tailored to various needs, from everyday carry to tactical use. The key takeaways for selecting an EDC flashlight include understanding the importance of brightness, size, battery type, durability, and additional features. 

Choosing the right EDC flashlight depends on your specific needs and preferences. The Surefire EDCL1-T is highly recommended for tactical use and reliability. The Thrunite Archer Mini is an excellent compact and budget-friendly option. If you need a high-performance rechargeable flashlight, the OLIGHT Warrior 3S stands out.

Investing in a high-quality EDC flashlight ensures you are prepared for various scenarios, from everyday tasks to emergencies. Selecting a flashlight that fits your needs enhances your safety and preparedness.

EDC Essentials for Urban Preparedness

EDC Essentials for Urban Preparedness

In a world where the unexpected is the only constant, urban dwellers must be prepared for emergencies ranging from societal unrest and riots to natural disasters. The Everyday Carry (EDC) concept is not just about having items on you; it’s about readiness for any situation. In this article, we get into the essentials of urban preparedness, emphasizing the practical and tactical advice from former CIA and military intelligence officers to ensure you are always prepared.

EDC Essentials for Urban Preparedness

Always have a watch

A reliable watch is more than just a timekeeper; it’s a crucial tool for any urban preparedness kit, as highlighted by the experiences of former CIA Case Officers operating in volatile regions like Africa and the Middle East. In high-stakes environments, the right watch goes beyond simply telling time—it becomes integral to maintaining a cover and executing precise operations. While traditional mechanical watches like the Seiko 5 Sports Automatic or Benrus Type 1-C are preferred for their reliability and lack of GPS or internet connectivity that could compromise security, modern technology also offers advanced alternatives.

The Garmin Fenix, for instance, combines the traditional robustness required for covert operations with cutting-edge features. Its GPS functionality can be turned off to maintain a low profile, making it an excellent choice for those who need flexibility without sacrificing operational integrity. The Garmin Fenix’s durability and discreet design make it suitable for casual and formal settings, ensuring it doesn’t draw undue attention while keeping the wearer prepared for any situation.

Communication: Ensuring Connectivity and Discretion

Maintaining communication lines without drawing attention can be crucial in an urban setting. The ideal EDC should include a smartphone with security features to protect data and location privacy. For additional security, especially in environments where electronic surveillance is a concern, carrying a Faraday bag to shield your phone when not in use is advisable. This protects against tracking and remote hacking attempts. Moreover, having backup power sources such as a portable battery pack ensures that your phone remains operational during prolonged emergencies, allowing you to stay informed and connected.

Communications for Urban Preparedness

RELATED – Best SHTF Radios for Disaster Communications

Real-World Application and Insights

Both former CIA and military intelligence officers stress the importance of a minimal yet efficient EDC, focusing on items that blend into the urban environment while providing tactical advantages. The emphasis is on practicality and avoiding unnecessary attention, a concept known as being a “grey man” in intelligence and survival communities. This approach not only aids in personal security but also enhances the effectiveness of your preparedness strategy by ensuring you can move freely and react swiftly without signaling your preparedness level to potential adversaries.

Blades and Tools

Blades: Essential for Versatility and Preparedness

A robust blade is indispensable in urban emergencies, combining functionality with discretion. The choice of knife should align with the legal standards of your area while fulfilling the needs for a range of potential scenarios, from utility tasks to self-defense. A preferred choice among intelligence officers is the Emerson CQC-7, known for its reliability and robust design. It offers a tanto-style blade with multiple cutting edges on a single blade, which is ideal for diverse situations.

Emerson CQC-7

Additionally, a multi-tool can offer multiple functionalities in a compact form. Tools like the Leatherman Wave provide various options, including pliers, wire cutters, and screwdrivers. These can prove vital in unexpected situations, such as repairs or quick modifications to urban infrastructure during a lockdown or curfew.

These tools must be carried, easily accessible, and well-maintained. The positioning of the knife, whether in a pocket or on a belt, should allow for swift access in urgent situations. Regular maintenance to ensure sharpness and functionality is also crucial, as a well-maintained tool is more reliable.

Real-World Application and Insights

The real-world use of these tools extends beyond personal convenience to potential life-saving interactions. For example, cutting a seatbelt in an accident or quickly creating an exit route through barriers during urban unrest can significantly improve survival outcomes. Former intelligence officers emphasize the need for “simple but effective” tools, reflecting their experiences in environments where even mundane items can become critical survival tools.

These recommendations from professionals who have operated in high-stakes environments underscore the importance of choosing practical, reliable, and unassuming EDC items. This approach ensures that your preparedness is comprehensive yet inconspicuous, keeping you ready yet under the radar in urban scenarios.

Handheld Flashlight

Importance of Lighting in Urban Preparedness

A reliable flashlight is essential in urban emergencies, where power outages are possible or navigating poorly lit environments becomes necessary. Flashlights serve not just as tools for visibility but can also be used for signaling and, in some models, as a means of self-defense due to hardened casings or crenelated bezels.

Choosing the Right Flashlight

The choice of flashlight should depend on several factors:

  • Lumens: High-lumen flashlights can illuminate larger areas and are crucial for any emergency kit. To ensure adequate visibility, a light reaching at least 600 lumens is recommended for urban use.
  • Durability: A robust, water-resistant construction is crucial for reliability in various weather conditions and environments.
  • Portability: Compact flashlights that fit easily in a pocket or can be clipped to clothing are ideal for everyday carry. Security professionals favor models like the Streamlight ProTac series or the Surefire Defender for their size, reliability, and additional tactical features.

Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA EDC flashlight

A flashlight isn’t just a light source; it’s a strategic tool in crises. The ability to blind an aggressor momentarily with a high-intensity beam or use the flashlight in conjunction with a weapon in low-light conditions are examples of tactical uses that can enhance personal safety. Moreover, the psychological comfort of having a light source cannot be underestimated, adding a sense of security and control in unpredictable circumstances.

Real-World Application and Insights

Former CIA and military intelligence personnel often highlight the role of tactical lighting in their operations, especially in non-permissive environments where maintaining low visibility is as important as clear visibility. For example, a discreet yet powerful penlight can be carried on a keychain or tucked into a bag, providing an immediate light source without drawing attention.

Like other EDC items, the choice of lighting should be influenced by practical experience and the potential scenarios envisioned. Field operations lessons suggest that a flashlight should be reliable, easily accessible, and capable of supporting various roles, from navigation to self-defense.

Self-Defense Essentials in Urban Settings

In urban environments where the risk of personal threats can be heightened due to civil unrest or criminal activity, having self-defense tools that are both effective and discreet is crucial. For those legally permitted, a concealed firearm is a significant component of an EDC. Firearms like the Glock 43x or Glock 19 are recommended due to their compact size, reliability, and the availability of standard self-defense ammunition like SPEER GOLD DOT 124 grain +P.

Self-Defense Essentials in Urban Settings


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Non-Lethal Alternatives

For individuals who prefer non-lethal options or are in environments where firearms are not permitted, alternatives such as pepper spray, tactical pens, or electronic stun devices provide viable defense mechanisms. These tools can incapacitate an assailant without causing permanent injury, offering an essential buffer in critical situations.

Choosing the right self-defense tool involves considering local laws, personal comfort and training, and the daily practicality of carrying and concealing the tool. Training is paramount; knowing how to use whatever self-defense tool you carry effectively can make a significant difference in a dangerous situation.

Real-World Application and Insights

Expert advice from field-experienced personnel underscores the importance of self-defense readiness. Former intelligence officers stress the principle of proficiency with any carried weapon—whether it’s a firearm, a knife, or a non-lethal tool. This proficiency ensures that in high-stress scenarios, the individual can operate their defense tool subconsciously, allowing them to focus on situational awareness and decision-making.

Operational training, such as force-on-force exercises that simulate real-world encounters, can provide invaluable experience. These training sessions teach individuals to react under pressure and make rapid decisions and critical skills for intelligence, military operatives, and civilians in urban environments.

EDC Essentials for Urban Preparedness
(Photo: RE Factor Tactical)

Cash and Identification

Essential for Flexibility and Emergency Situations

In urban preparedness, carrying various cash and essential identification documents is crucial. Cash allows for transactions when digital systems fail or when anonymity is needed. Identification is necessary for navigating checkpoints or interactions with authorities during emergencies.

Cash: Untraceable and Universally Accepted

Cash should be carried in various denominations to handle small transactions without needing change and in different currencies if operating in international urban environments. A minimum of $300 is advised, mirroring practices by intelligence officers who operate in unpredictable conditions. This ensures enough liquidity to handle immediate needs or emergencies without drawing attention.

Identification: Keeping Documents Secure and Accessible

Essential documents such as a driver’s license, passport, or local identification should always be kept in a secure yet accessible part of your EDC. In high-risk areas, carrying copies while keeping the originals secured elsewhere can prevent loss or theft. Additionally, a waterproof and fireproof container should be considered to protect these documents from environmental damage.

In an era of digital dependence, having physical copies of important documents and cash provides a fail-safe against cyber threats and electronic malfunctions. In times of widespread digital disruptions, these non-digital assets can prove invaluable.

Real-World Application and Insights

Former CIA and military intelligence officers highlight the importance of adaptability in urban preparedness. Carrying cash and identification aligns with legal requirements and enhances operational flexibility. This practice enables quick decision-making and movement, which is crucial in avoiding or mitigating threats during urban disasters or unrest.

In real-world crises, such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks, electronic payment systems and digital identification verifications may become non-functional. Cash and physical IDs allow for continued mobility and access to resources when most needed.

Medical Kit

Essential Components of a Medical Kit

A well-prepared medical kit is crucial for urban preparedness, especially during emergencies when immediate medical response might be delayed. The kit should include basic first aid supplies such as:

  • Bandages and gauze: For controlling bleeding and dressing wounds.
  • Antiseptics: To clean and disinfect wounds, preventing infection.
  • Tourniquet: For severe bleeding that can’t be controlled by bandages alone.
  • Pain relievers and necessary medications: Including over-the-counter painkillers and any prescribed medications that might be needed urgently.

Medical kit for urban preparedness

A full medical kit isn’t practical for true everyday carry, though. I recommend either an off-the-shelf pocket medical kit or building your own based on your skills and threat landscape.

The SWAT-T Touniquet is my absolute minimum for a low-visibility EDC carry. I usually pair it with a small pack of QuikClot Combat Gauze.

RELATED – Trauma First Aid Training: Preparing Yourself for the Unexpected

Additional Items for Urban Survival

Beyond the basics of a medical kit, certain miscellaneous items can significantly enhance your preparedness:

  • Durable gloves: Protect hands from sharp debris or when you need to move rubble or broken glass.
  • Bandana or dust mask: For air filtration in scenarios involving smoke, dust, or potentially harmful airborne particles.
  • Emergency contact information: Write it down, not just store it on a device, to ensure access if digital devices fail.

All items in the medical kit and miscellaneous category should be compactly packed but easily accessible. A small, waterproof bag or container can keep these items organized and protected from the elements, ensuring they are functional when needed.

Real-World Application and Insights

Experts, such as former CIA and military intelligence personnel, stress the importance of having a medical kit tailored to the specific risks of the urban environment. They recommend training in basic first aid and familiarization with all components of your kit. This enhances personal safety and enables you to assist others in emergencies, fostering a greater sense of community resilience.

In urban settings, where incidents like traffic accidents or public disturbances are more common, having a medical kit and essential miscellaneous items can significantly improve immediate response capabilities. These items also support being a “grey man” or blending in by providing self-sufficiency that avoids drawing attention in crises.

Conclusion: Embracing Urban EDC for Comprehensive Preparedness

In an unpredictable world, especially within the urban landscape where risks range from everyday accidents to extraordinary emergencies, embracing a well-thought-out Everyday Carry (EDC) is not just a precaution—it’s a necessity. The insights drawn from experienced CIA and military intelligence officers, combined with practical recommendations for urban preparedness, underline the importance of being physically and mentally equipped for whatever challenges may arise.

The Philosophy of Preparedness

Urban EDC is more than just a collection of items; it’s a mindset of readiness that prioritizes flexibility, discretion, and efficiency. It involves understanding the specific threats of your environment and adapting your gear and knowledge accordingly. This approach enhances personal safety and contributes to the community’s safety by ensuring you are a capable, self-reliant, and helpful presence in times of need.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation

The field of urban preparedness is ever-evolving, as are the tools and techniques experts recommend. Staying informed about the latest developments in gear technology, self-defense tactics, and emergency medical practices is crucial. Engaging with a community of like-minded individuals for shared learning and support can further enhance your preparedness efforts.

RELATED – Prepper Community: Strategies for Self-Reliant Survival Networks

Preparedness as a Way of Life

Ultimately, adopting an EDC mindset is about integrating these practices into daily life so that they become second nature. This integration ensures that the response is automatic and effective when faced with a crisis, maximizing the chances of safely navigating any situation.

This article combines expert insights with actionable advice to equip readers with the knowledge and tools necessary for comprehensive urban preparedness. Whether you’re just beginning to consider your EDC options or looking to refine an existing kit, remember that the best preparedness strategy is continually reviewed and adapted to meet the evolving challenges of urban environments.

Master Night Operations with NOX Dynamics Night Vision and Tactical Training

Master Night Operations with NOX Dynamics Night Vision and Tactical Training

NOX Dynamics was established in 2022 by a medically retired Navy SEAL. Operated by a team of former US Special Operations veterans, NOX Dynamics is dedicated to offering the highest caliber of night vision and tactical training in the industry. 

Their mission is to provide unparalleled instruction and access to top-tier tactical gear and share their profound knowledge and experience with those passionate about learning.

With a strong belief that private citizens should have unrestricted access to night vision and other tactical gear, as well as quality training, NOX Dynamics is committed to eliminating barriers and empowering individuals. 

They specialize in night vision technology, offering expert consulting services to law enforcement agencies and private citizens alike. These services include selecting appropriate night vision equipment, setting up helmets, and providing comprehensive training to ensure operational proficiency with NVGs and operating in low and no-light environments.

Night Vision (NVG) Expertise

NOX Dynamics brings unmatched expertise in night vision technology, leveraging the extensive, combat-proven experience of its team of former Special Operations veterans. Having utilized night vision technology in some of the most demanding operational environments worldwide, these experts now dedicate their knowledge and skills to training civilians and law enforcement personnel.

Master Night Operations with NOX Dynamics Night Vision and Tactical Training

Their training programs are designed to impart real-world tactics and techniques that Special Operations have used, offering an in-depth understanding of how to leverage night vision technology effectively during night operations. NOX Dynamics ensures that the same high-grade equipment used in special missions is now accessible to private citizens, providing them with the gear and expertise to use it safely and effectively.

The training encompasses practical, hands-on instruction, where participants learn to integrate night vision systems with tactical operations seamlessly. Trainees gain insights into helmet setup, navigation, and tactical movement under low visibility conditions, translating military skills to civilian and law enforcement applications. This approach not only enhances the tactical capabilities of participants but also ensures they can operate NVGs with confidence in any situation.

Night Vision Goggles Offered

NOX Dynamics also offers a variety of high-end NVGs, catering to different operational needs. Here’s a look at some of the models available:

BNVD 1431 MKII Dual Tube Articulating Night Vision Goggle – White Phosphor

The BNVD 1431 MKII Dual Tube Articulating Night Vision Goggle (White Phosphor) is a cutting-edge night vision solution designed for users needing durable and responsive equipment. This product uses Military PVS-14 optics, facilitating easier training and maintenance by being compatible with widely available accessories and tools.

The goggles feature state-of-the-art Gen III auto-gated white phosphor tubes offering outstanding visibility and detail. They incorporate a variable gain control for image tube brightness adjustment and an integrated infrared illuminator for enhanced night vision capability. Lightweight and robust, the BNVD 1431 MKII provides a solid build quality with an articulating eye pod design, making it a versatile choice for a wide range of night environments.

L3 BNVD-1531

The L3Harris BNVD-1531 is an advanced binocular night vision device that expertly combines features from the well-established AN/PVS-15 and AN/PVS-31, providing enhanced capabilities in a compact and lightweight form. Ideal for extended missions where fatigue reduction is critical, the BNVD-1531 boasts an ergonomic design with a significant weight reduction compared to older models.

It includes adjustable diopters, manual gain control, and individually rotating monoculars for optimal operational flexibility. Additionally, it features an integrated infrared illuminator, enhancing night vision capabilities. The device can be used in various configurations including helmet-mounted, head-mounted, or handheld, ensuring adaptability to diverse field conditions and is maintainable with minimal equipment.

AN/PVS-31A Binocular Night Vision Device (BNVD)

The AN/PVS-31A Binocular Night Vision Device (BNVD) from L3Harris is a state-of-the-art, dual-tube goggle using white phosphor technology to provide superior situational awareness and image clarity. Designed in collaboration with Special Forces operators, this device features a low-profile, ergonomic design that enhances comfort and reduces head-borne weight, making it ideal for extended missions.

The AN/PVS-31A is favored by elite units for its balance, reduced weight, and the ability to maintain a natural stance during use. It significantly improves the user’s operational performance by optimizing the system’s center of gravity, which is critical during dynamic and demanding field conditions.


The EOTECH BinoNV-c is a state-of-the-art night vision goggle that adheres to the rigorous MIL-SPEC standards (MIL-STD-810G), ensuring robustness and high performance for tactical applications. It features one of the industry’s most advanced and compact bino housings, which helps minimize silhouette and provides full articulation, allowing for independent tube adjustment and folding.

This design makes the BinoNV-c exceptionally suited for special operations forces and SWAT teams. With better depth perception compared to single tube systems, it facilitates effective mounted and dismounted navigation and interaction with the environment. The BinoNV-c operates on a single AA battery, with the option for an external battery pack, enhancing its operational flexibility during extended missions. This goggle’s cutting-edge capabilities and ergonomic design make it a preferred choice for rigorous field applications where reliability and performance are critical.

L3 Harris GPNVG-18

AKA Quad nods, Panos; The L3 Harris Ground Panoramic Night Vision Goggle (GPNVG-18) is designed to significantly enhance situational awareness and operational capabilities by providing an expansive 97-degree field of view. This panoramic view, substantially wider than the typical 40-degree systems, is achieved through specialized optics that amalgamate images from high-performance Mil-Spec Unfilmed White Phosphor image intensifiers.

These factory-standard devices come with a one-year warranty and a lead time estimated between 60-90+ days. The GPNVG-18 units include a CR123-powered battery pack, with the option to use the PVS-31 cold weather battery pack for additional versatility. Furthermore, L3Harris offers service support for these goggles even after the warranty period, ensuring long-term reliability and maintenance support.

The following goggles are ranked based on cost, operational features like weight, ease of use, field of view, and specific enhancements that benefit tactical operations.

Ranking and Recommendations

  • Budget: PVS 14 monocular w/ ELBIT Gen 3 White Phos.
  • Good: Act In Black DTNVS (Dual Tube Night Vision System)
  • Better: L3 (BNVD) – 1531 
  • Best: L3 (BNVD) AN/PVS31a

To purchase the above night vision goggles, visit the NOX Dynamics sales page.


Master Night Operations with NOX Dynamics Night Vision and Tactical Training

Combat Medical Training

In addition to Night Vision and Tactical training, NOX Dynamics offers advanced combat medical training, a program available to some of the most elite units in the military. While the specifics of these trainings are discreet to maintain operational security, NOX Dynamics provides courses that address complex and critical medical scenarios encountered in high-risk environments.

Their instructors, who are former 18D (Army Special Forces Medics) and Navy SEAL Special Operations Combat Medics (SOCM), bring a wealth of real-world experience to each course. They deliver comprehensive training in Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC), preparing individuals for a range of medical emergencies.

Their passion for saving lives drives the quality and intensity of each training session, ensuring that every participant is equipped with the knowledge and skills to perform under pressure and save lives.


NOX Dynamics is a leader in providing advanced NVG solutions and tactical training. 

Whether it’s through their meticulous selection of NVGs for sale, their comprehensive training programs in night vision and combat medical procedures, or their consultative services for law enforcement, NOX Dynamics ensures that their clients are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary for superior operational performance.

Nox Dynamics Night Vision Training

Survival Fitness | Prepare Your Body For The X

Survival Fitness | Prepare Your Body For The X

Prepare your body for the X? What the hell is this guy talking about?

You’ll commonly hear the phrase ‘get off the X’ within the military community, especially special operations. The X represents ground zero when engaged in combat or a fight for your life. In the military, we were trained to do whatever it took to get off the X quickly to reduce the chance of casualties and injury. 

However, while you’re on the X, your body needs to deal with the stress and chaos of the moment. You may need to navigate obstacles with 60+ pounds of gear, carry a wounded brother, or traverse an unknown distance to get to safety.

Outside of the military, you can think of the X being a street fight, home invasion, or active shooter situation. No matter the situation, your body needs to have the strength and stamina to deal with it, create space, and break contact (aka run). With strength comes confidence and that may be just enough to get you through.

Turn away if you’re not prepared for that fight in the right way. But if the fight is happening anyway and there’s no way to avoid it, go down biting, screaming, punching, kicking and anything else you can do to cause harm. Always pick your battlespace, prepare your defenses and have a way out if need be.“ – Frank McRae (Former Army Special Operations)

Understanding Survival Fitness

Survival fitness is an evolved form of functional fitness, distinct from traditional bodybuilding or powerlifting routines. It is specifically designed to cultivate both the physical and mental resilience required to handle unpredictable situations effectively.

At TacSkills, survival fitness is incorporated into the Retraining Program, focusing on enhancing situational readiness through a blend of range training and tailored physical conditioning.

Led by Ray Vawter, the program prioritizes exercises that are highly relevant to the demands of tactical roles, rather than conventional gym workouts. This approach ensures that each training session directly contributes to building the strength, agility, and endurance necessary for real-world operational scenarios.

This method of functional training is crucial for tactical athletes who must perform at peak levels in diverse and challenging environments, aligning perfectly with the strategic goals of the TacSkills Retraining Program.

Survival Fitness | Prepare Your Body For The X

The Foundation: Physical Preparedness

Survival fitness at TacSkills is fundamentally about achieving a superior level of physical preparedness. This encompasses not only traditional attributes such as strength, endurance, flexibility, and mobility but also incorporates explosiveness or power. These elements are integral to ensuring that you’re fully equipped to handle the challenges you may face.

Explosiveness, in particular, is essential for rapid, intense actions that are often required during tactical operations. This quality, combined with robust strength, provides the muscular power necessary for quick, decisive movements. Endurance builds the stamina needed to sustain performance under prolonged stress, while flexibility and mobility contribute to the body’s overall ability to move with agility and recover from a wide range of physical activities.

In the TacSkills Retraining Program, these physical capabilities are developed through a series of scientifically designed exercises that target each area with precision. This holistic approach to physical training ensures that all facets of fitness are enhanced, making survival fitness a comprehensive regimen that prepares participants not just to meet, but to exceed their expectations.

Carrying a load across varied terrain is a true test of one’s fitness” – Bill Rapier 

Nutrition and Recovery

Nutrition and recovery become more important the older we get. Aside from that, the whole purpose of this is to be prepared for the unexpected. You cannot do that if you’re injured.

We’re not going to get into the weeds of diet, but what you put into your mouth greatly affects your physical well-being and your ability to get strong and remain strong. Aside from diet, hydration is critical. Ensuring that you’re drinking enough water each day is critical to maintaining a high level of human performance. 

There are also several camps when it comes to recovery. Ask 10 different physical trainers and you’ll probably get 10 different answers. The key here is to listen to your body. It will tell you when it needs rest.  

Practical Applications and Training Recommendations

Practical training recommendations drawn from these insights include incorporating a mix of cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and mental toughness exercises into a regular fitness routine. Ruck marches, strength training circuits, endurance runs, and scenario-based drills can all contribute to a well-rounded survival fitness regimen.

Survival Fitness | Prepare Your Body For The X
workout at the gym with dumbbells.

TacSkills Retraining Program

The Retraining Program at TacSkills, masterminded by Ray Vawter—an expert in tactical fitness currently serving in the U.S. Army—is a highly specialized fitness regimen developed for tactical athletes, such as military personnel and police officers. This program is uniquely designed for those who have strayed from their peak physical condition, aiming to reinstate their former fitness levels using advanced, science-backed retraining methods, specifically tailored to their strenuous roles.

Ray Vawter, who has a solid history of designing effective training regimes during his time at Hard to Kill Fitness, and has extensive hands-on experience on the gym floor with a diverse clientele, leads this program. Renowned for his contributions to tactical fitness, highlighted in articles on SOFREP and, Ray also holds prestigious credentials as a Master Trainer and Tactical Conditioning Specialist from the International Sports Sciences Association.

The core of the Operational Retraining program lies in its scientific approach to fitness, utilizing retraining science to establish the optimal rate of progressive overload. This method ensures participants reach their fitness targets quickly and safely, minimizing the risk of injury. Additionally, the program exclusively emphasizes exercise selection that aligns tightly with the specific demands of tactical fitness, rather than adopting generic powerlifting or hypertrophy programs. This focus guarantees that all training adaptations are perfectly matched to the goals of tactical athletes.

Survival Fitness | Prepare Your Body For The X

Designed to accommodate those not currently in top physical shape, the program progresses at a considered pace, respecting the body’s current thresholds for effective workout volume and recovery. By prioritizing exercise safety and specificity, the program not only facilitates rapid improvements but is also designed to fit seamlessly into the busy schedules of participants, efficiently aiding them in achieving their fitness and operational readiness objectives.

Ready to reclaim your peak performance? Click here to begin your transformation with TacSkills’ Retraining Program

Conclusion: The Importance of Survival Fitness

The importance of survival fitness cannot be overstated. It’s about preparing oneself to face and overcome challenges, whether they be in the wilderness, during a crisis, or in daily life’s unexpected situations.

By adopting a holistic approach to fitness that includes physical conditioning, mental toughness, proper nutrition, and recovery, individuals can equip themselves with the tools necessary to not only survive but thrive in any situation.

Survival fitness is a lifelong commitment to preparedness and resilience. Through diligent training, mindful preparation, and the willingness to push beyond comfort zones, anyone can achieve the level of fitness necessary to confidently face the uncertainties of life. It’s not just about being ready for the extremes but also about cultivating a body and mind that can adapt and excel no matter the circumstance.

Best Rifle Drills For The Shooting Range

Best Rifle Drills For The Shooting Range
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Tyler J. Urchuck, front, a rifleman with Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and a native of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, performs a speed reload on his M4 carbine during weapon manipulation drills aboard the USS San Diego (LPD 22), Sept. 30, 2014. The 11th MEU is embarked with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and deployed to maintain regional security in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jonathan R. Waldman/Released)

Rifle drills at the range are paramount for shooters aiming to refine their skills and elevate their performance. The effectiveness of a training session largely depends on the selection of drills that not only challenge the shooter but also reinforce and expand upon basic shooting principles. 

The best approach to range training eschews the idea of merely meeting set standards, which often leads to a plateau in skill development. Instead, a dynamic regimen that emphasizes continuous improvement and adaptation to new challenges ensures steady progress. A comprehensive drill regimen includes exercises that cover a wide spectrum of skills, from accuracy and precision to speed and tactical awareness. 

By engaging in a variety of drills, shooters can effectively monitor their advancement, fine-tune their techniques, and consistently push the boundaries of their capabilities. This methodical approach to training ensures that every session at the range is a step towards becoming a more proficient and adaptable marksman.

6 of the Best Rifle Drills

  1. D.O.P.E. Drill
  2. 50M Carbine Marksmanship
  3. 200M Carbine Marksmanship
  4. Man Card Drill
  5. 1-Reload-1 Drill
  6. Throttle Control Rifle Drill

Before you can run these drills, you need to have your AR-15 zeroed properly, otherwise, you’re wasting your time and ammo. 

For combat-effective accuracy, the two best types of zero are the 25/300 zero and the 50/200 zero.

Let’s start with the 25/300. This is a great option if you’re going to be shooting at distance more often than not. If you’re going to be engaging targets out to 300 or even 500 yards, then this is the zero you want. If you’re using an optic with a BDC reticle, this is the better option for that too.

If you’re more concerned with closer engagements and want a quick point-and-shoot from the muzzle to 200 yards, then the 50/200 zero is your best bet. With this option, you’re impacting point of aim/point of impact from the muzzle out to 200 yards. The spread across those distances is roughly 2 inches. Because the spread is so minimal, there is no need to use a BDC reticle; all you need is a good red dot paired with a magnifier (a magnifier helps with target ID out past 100 yards).

Best Rifle Drills For The Range and Tactical Training

D.O.P.E. Drill

The D.O.P.E. (Data on Previous Engagement) Drill is a 25-round course of fire designed to enhance shooting accuracy and consistency. This drill is especially useful for law enforcement and military personnel aiming to perfect their carbine fundamentals. It involves firing at a target, the AHT Diagnostics Target, from various distances to receive immediate feedback through shot splits relative to distance.

This feedback helps operators self-diagnose weaknesses and adjust accordingly. Essential elements for the drill include an AHT Diagnostics Target, distance markings, a suitable weapon (rifle or pistol), a 25-round magazine, and a par or shot timer. The main objective is to achieve 100% A-zone accountability from different distances, emphasizing rapid, accurate shots to improve cold performance on demand.

50M Carbine Marksmanship

This drill focuses on enhancing the shooter’s accuracy and precision with a carbine at a distance of 50 meters. It involves engaging targets to achieve tight groupings. The 50 Meter Marksmanship drill is beneficial for solidifying the fundamentals of marksmanship, including sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control, providing a strong foundation for more advanced shooting skills.

200M Carbine Marksmanship

Aimed at challenging the shooter’s precision and control, this drill involves engaging targets at a longer range of 200 meters. It tests the shooter’s ability to accurately estimate distances, adjust for environmental factors, and maintain control over their weapon system. This drill is ideal for developing long-range shooting skills and enhancing overall accuracy with a carbine.

Man Card Drill

The “Man Card” Drill earns its place among the best rifle drills to practice at the range due to its rigorous standards that challenge shooters to perform under pressure, simulating a high-stress environment. This drill, encompassing both rifle and pistol components, demands precision and speed, with a series of tasks including shooting from various positions and transitioning between firearms within tight time constraints.

Designed for cold shooters to demonstrate first-round accountability, the drill emphasizes the importance of sound fundamentals and proficiency. At a distance of 25 yards, participants target the C-zone of a steel or IPSC target, with success hinging on strict adherence to par times and accuracy requirements. This drill not only tests shooters’ capabilities but also highlights areas for improvement, offering a realistic benchmark for those aiming to enhance their shooting under stress, akin to real-life scenarios.

1-Reload-1 Drill

The 1-Reload-1 drill is centered around enhancing the shooter’s reloading efficiency under time pressure. The sequence involves firing one shot, performing a speedy magazine change, and then firing another shot.

This drill is crucial for improving weapon handling skills, particularly the ability to perform fast and efficient reloads. It also incorporates accuracy elements, as the shooter must ensure that both shots are on target, making it an excellent exercise for combining speed, precision, and weapon manipulation skills.

Throttle Control Rifle Drill

This drill is designed to teach shooters how to adjust their firing speed based on the size of the target, thereby improving the relationship between shooting speed, accuracy, and target size. Starting from either a high or low-ready position, shooters engage three vertically aligned targets at varying distances (typically between 7 to 15 yards).

The targets vary in size, usually a small (3-inch), medium (6-inch), and large (9-inch) circle, requiring the shooter to modulate the speed of their shots according to each target’s size. The drill emphasizes the ability to quickly transition between targets of different sizes, making precise shots on smaller targets while maintaining the capability to speed up for larger ones. It’s an excellent practice for mastering throttle control—knowing when to speed up or slow down shooting based on target acquisition and accuracy demands.

Head over to the Tac-Skills store now to find all the range gear you need to tackle these drills and qualifications

Best Pistol Drills For Indoor Range & Tactical Training

Best Pistol Drills For Indoor Range & Tactical Training
U.S. Marines, stationed aboard Parris Island, participate in a M18 pistol range on Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., Dec. 6, 2022. The routine training enables Marines to maintain proficiency in marksmanship and close combat. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Bradley Williams)

Whether you’re a beginner looking to master the basics or a seasoned shooter looking to refine your tactical skills, this article has got you covered. 

We’ve curated a collection of pistol drills for indoor ranges and more advanced drills and qualifications for outdoor ranges. 

Each drill aims to enhance precision, speed, and overall shooting performance, from the Baer Standard Drill to the challenging Air Marshal Qualification.

Indoor Range Drills

Most people only have access to indoor ranges, so the following pistol drills are designed more for that, so you can work on your accuracy. These are also great for beginners to start with as you work your way up to the tactical shooting drills.

Baer Standard Drill

The standards target drill is all about measuring your skills right off the bat in your training sessions, and again at the end. The catch? You shoot it cold, with no warm-up shots, because let’s face it, real-life situations don’t come with a rehearsal. Kick things off at 5 meters; it’s a sweet spot for starters. Once you’ve got the hang of it, challenge yourself by stepping back to 7 meters, or even 10 meters. Remember, if you miss, it’s game over. Every shot counts, and you’ve got to own every bullet that flies. Speed is key here; clocking in at 9 seconds or under means you’re on the right track.

Here’s the drill: start with your hands off your pistol, just hanging by your sides. On cue, draw and light up one of the 6″ x 3.5″ rectangles with 5 rounds, then swing over and do the same to the other rectangle. Next up, hit a slide lock reload and take on the center circle with 3 rounds. You’ll want to start with a 10-round mag, then switch to a 3-rounder, keeping a full mag ready to rock after the drill.

If you’re running this at an indoor range, you’ll more than likely have to substitute drawing from the holster with shooting from a low ready. Mag changes might be another restriction, so do the best you can within the constraints of the range rules. When I run this at my local indoor range, I drop the mag into my hand, set it down on the table in front of me, and reload another full mag.

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Phase 5 Drill

The Phase 5 Drill is spread across five targets—or “phases”—with a total of 50 draws from your holster and 50 shots to fire.

Here’s the lowdown on how this drill plays out: Start at just three yards away from your target. Nail it, and then feel free to run the target to 5 or 7 yards to up the ante. You’ll set your shot timer to 2.5 seconds. When that buzzer sounds, it’s showtime.

You’ll complete each phase with 10 rounds. Target #1 is a larger circle where you’ve gotta land all shots without breaking the line. That’s the deal for targets #1, #2, and #3—draw, fire one shot, and make it count, ten times for each. 

By the time you square off against target #4, you’re aiming for a tiny 2” circle, where a shot that breaks the line is now considered a pass. And that rule holds for the grand finale, Phase 5, too.

Speaking of Phase 5, brace yourself—it’s a challenge. Ten small 1” square targets, each demanding a shot under that relentless 2.5-second timer. Here, too, breaking the line with your shot is a pass. 

Slip up on a phase by not landing a shot within the target and you’ve gotta rerun that phase, no moving ahead until you get a pass.

As with the previous drill, you’ll need to substitute drawing from the hoster with shooting from the low ready. 

Don’t have a shot timer? Just run through the drill as is, focusing on safety and accuracy. Speed can wait until you’ve got your accuracy dialed in.

Another great aspect of this drill is that it can be done with a single box of 50 rounds. Well, that’s assuming you pass each phase the first time; no pressure.

William Drill

The William Drill is very similar to the Bill Drill, except you’re slowing it down quite a bit. With the Bill Drill, you’re running flat out as fast as possible. That drill is great for learning recoil management, but that’s not what we’re after with these drills; we want accuracy.

NOX Dynamics

So the William Drill is ‘pumping the brakes’ on the Bill Drill.

Kicking things off from the holster at a solid 7 yards, the moment you hear that shot timer, it’s game time: draw and fire five shots right into the high center chest of your target, followed by a shot to the head.

That headshot? It’s the deal-breaker. Only shots landing in the top-scoring zone of the head are considered a pass. If we’re talking about a USPSA target, you’re aiming for nothing but A’s. And on an FBI QIT target, you need to nail that specific box. 

With this drill, you don’t need a shot timer to run it. Run through the drill a few times to get your accuracy down, then incorporate a shot timer. Likewise, at an indoor range, you’ll more than likely have to run this drill from the low ready and not your holster.

Tactical Pistol Drills

These drills require shooting at a faster pace, drawing from a holster, and engaging multiple targets, which disqualifies most indoor ranges. The following tactical shooting drills will require an outdoor training facility.

Bill Drill

The Bill Drill, created by Bill Wilson (and sometimes mistakenly attributed to Bill Jordan or Bill Rogers), is a fundamental shooting exercise designed to enhance a shooter’s speed without compromising accuracy. 

Conducted at a range of 7 yards with a standard IPSC target, the drill begins with the shooter’s gun holstered and hands in the surrender position. It involves firing six rounds as quickly as possible, aiming to achieve six hits on the target.

This drill focuses on teaching sight tracking, recoil management, proper visual reference, and trigger manipulation. A critical aspect of mastering the Bill Drill is learning to track the front sight through recoil, allowing the shooter to fire the next shot as soon as an adequate sight picture is reacquired, without waiting for the sight to stop moving or achieve perfect alignment. 

The objective is to maintain speed throughout the drill, with the front sight in constant motion until the exercise concludes. Safety protocols are emphasized due to the inherent risks of firearm training, and the drills are intended for informational purposes, recommending personal responsibility and caution.

Bill Drill Version 2

This version of the Bill Drill starts with a single round to the target, followed by 2 rounds, then 3 rounds, all the way up to six rounds. 

This course of fire is very similar to the Phase 5 Drill where we start with a single round and don’t move forward until we’ve mastered each round.

FBI Qual

The FBI updated its pistol qualification course in 2013 to better reflect scenarios a field agent might face. 

The revised course includes shooting from 3 to 25 meters, incorporating both strong and weak hand shooting, as well as shooting from behind a barricade and concealed positions. This is a significant change from the older standard, which involved shooting at distances up to 50 meters. 

The qualification consists of a 60-round course of fire, all aimed at one QIT-99 target, with each round counting as one point. Agents must achieve a score of 48 out of 60 to pass, while instructors need a score of 54.

The qualification is challenging, requiring precision, skill, and focus, but with the right training, it’s achievable. It serves as a valuable tool for law enforcement officers and civilians carrying concealed weapons, aiming to improve their shooting skills and preparedness.

Air Marshall Qual

The U.S. Air Marshal Pistol Qualification (Qual) is designed to meet the unique requirements of Air Marshals, focusing on high accuracy within the confined space of an airplane. 

The qualification involves shooting from concealment, using a compact firearm like a Gen 5 Glock 19 or a P229. Participants need 30 rounds of ammo, at least two magazines, a concealable magazine carrier, and safety gear. 

The course is scored on the FBI QIT target, with a maximum score of 150 points and a qualifying score of 135 points. The qual is entirely conducted at seven yards to simulate the limited space inside an aircraft, consisting of several stages that test different shooting skills, including drawing, double tapping, finding rhythm, reloading, engaging multiple targets, and shooting after movement.

Each stage has specific time constraints, emphasizing the balance between speed and accuracy. The qualification is challenging but provides valuable training for close combat scenarios, making it beneficial for concealed carriers looking to improve their skills.

RE Factor Tactical Kill Card Challenge

The RE Factor Tactical Kill Card Challenge is a drill designed to push pistol shooting skills to the limit, focusing on speed, accuracy, trigger manipulation, and reloading efficiency. 

Participants who complete the challenge under the set conditions will receive an exclusive RE Factor Tactical Challenge patch, which cannot be purchased and is only awarded based on demonstrated proficiency with video proof. 

The challenge is performed at a distance of 5 yards and involves a sequence of drawing and firing on the Essentials Target

The Drill: At the buzzer, the shooter will draw and fire two rounds to the #1 circle, reload, fire four rounds to the #7 rectangle, reload, and fire two rounds to the #12 rectangle.

Successful completion requires finishing the drill in under 7 seconds without any misses. 

This test of shooting ability is not just about hitting targets; it’s a comprehensive assessment of a shooter’s capabilities and a rite of passage for those dedicated to mastering pistol marksmanship.


Head over to the Tac-Skills store now to find all the range gear you need to tackle these drills and qualifications

Men, Train With Your Spouse: A Case For Women Gun Classes

In today’s world, safety is a paramount concern that touches everyone, regardless of gender. 

However, when it comes to personal defense and home security, the conversation often skews towards men, leaving women out of a crucial dialogue that directly impacts their safety and confidence. 

We aim to shed light on the importance of gun classes for women and encourage men to support their spouses or significant others in pursuing firearm education and training.

gun classes for women
(Photo: Rev-Tac)

RELATEDMost Popular Defensive Pistol Classes

A Personal Journey: From Skepticism to Readiness

Several years ago, my wife and I enrolled in a pistol shooting course. The initial phase of the multi-day course focused on basic pistol shooting skills, conducted on a square range. As we stood side by side, firing at paper targets, I noticed my wife seemed somewhat disengaged, almost bored with the repetitive nature of shooting at inanimate objects.

However, the course’s dynamic shifted dramatically two days later when we delved into the basics of Close Quarters Battle (CQB). The instructor, acknowledging the presence of female shooters, set a scenario that resonated deeply with many of us, especially the women. He painted a vivid picture: “Imagine you’ve just put your baby down for a nap and you’re downstairs doing laundry. Suddenly, you hear the sound of glass breaking followed by the unmistakable noise of someone moving around inside your home. Police are minutes away. What do you do?

It was a defining moment. I watched as something clicked in my wife’s mind. The scenario, so closely aligned with a mother’s instinct to protect her child, transformed her approach. She was no longer just a participant in a shooting course; she was a mother, a protector, ready to confront any threat to her child’s safety.

This experience was a revelation, not just for my wife but for me as well. It highlighted the undeniable value of firearm training that goes beyond the mechanics of shooting. It’s about preparing for real-life scenarios, understanding the gravity of the responsibility that comes with firearm ownership, and recognizing the capability within oneself to protect and defend.

The Importance of Firearm Training for Women

Firearm training goes beyond the basic mechanics of shooting; it’s about instilling confidence, awareness, and preparedness in potentially dangerous situations. For women, these classes offer more than just self-defense skills; they provide a sense of confidence and independence.

gun classes for women
(Photo: Rev-Tac)


Here’s why gun classes for women are not just beneficial but essential:

  • Personal Safety: In an unpredictable world, knowing how to defend oneself is invaluable. Gun classes teach women how to handle and operate firearms safely, giving them the tools they need to protect themselves if the situation arises.
  • Home Security: Understanding how to safely clear your home is a critical aspect of personal and family safety. Women can learn tactical skills that could be vital in ensuring the security of their loved ones.
  • Confidence Building: By mastering a skill that is often perceived as male-dominated, women can boost their confidence and assert their capability in all areas of life.
  • Community and Support: Gun classes provide a supportive community where women can share experiences, learn from each other, and build relationships with like-minded individuals who prioritize safety and empowerment.

Training Together: The Power of Shared Learning in Firearms Training

When it comes to firearms training, the notion that courses are gender-specific is a common misconception.

In reality, most firearm training courses are designed to be inclusive, offering valuable learning experiences for both men and women alike.

It’s highly encouraged for couples to train together, not only as a means of developing individual skills but also to strengthen their partnership through shared learning and understanding.

gun classes for women
(Photo: Rev-Tac)

The Benefits of Co-Ed Training

Training together can have numerous benefits, fostering a deeper sense of trust, communication, and mutual respect. Here’s why attending non-gender-specific courses as a couple can be a game-changer:

  • Enhanced Communication: Learning together facilitates better communication about safety, strategies, and home defense plans, ensuring both partners are on the same page.
  • Mutual Support: It provides an opportunity for both partners to support each other’s learning process, celebrate progress, and navigate challenges together.
  • Shared Understanding: Couples gain a shared understanding of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and how they can effectively work together in potentially stressful situations.
  • Increased Confidence: Training together boosts confidence not only in one’s own abilities but also in their partner’s capabilities, reinforcing the team dynamic.

CQB Classes: A Popular Choice Among Women

Among the myriad of courses available to firearm enthusiasts, Close Quarters Battle (CQB) classes stand out, particularly for their appeal to both men and women.

These classes are not just about learning to shoot; they’re about mastering the skills necessary to protect and secure one’s home from potential threats. This aspect of CQB training resonates deeply with women, offering them practical, real-life skills for ensuring their household’s safety.

CQB training, with its emphasis on tactics and techniques for home defense, offers invaluable skills that are directly applicable to real-life scenarios. It’s this practical application, coupled with the empowerment of knowing you can effectively defend your space, that makes CQB classes a popular choice among women.

This approach to training ensures that participants are not only skilled but also ready and confident to act when it matters most.

Rev-Tac CQB

Seize this unique chance to dive deep into Close Quarters Battle (CQB) tactics, open to civilians for an in-depth learning experience! Law enforcement and military personnel are also invited to sharpen their skills, add new techniques to their tactical arsenals, or simply get more practice.

Our team of instructors consists of special operations veterans with extensive real-world experience in room-clearing operations.

Instead of live ammunition, we’ll be using non-lethal, force-on-force tools to make sure the principles of CQB are not just taught but thoroughly ingrained in your memory!

For more information on this course visit the Rev-Tac website.

Green Eye Tactical CQB Fundamentals

The CQB Fundamentals Course actively teaches you the essentials of room entry, offering you the foundational skills that Tier 1 Operators learn during their Close Quarters Battle (CQB) training. They focus on the core fundamentals and a deep understanding of tactics to establish a strong foundation for your advancement. Given the importance of time and safety, this course primarily focuses on rifle handling. By the end of this course, you’ll have a solid grasp of CQB principles and the specific tasks involved in clearing rooms. This sets the stage for you to move on to more advanced training in CQB, Home Defense, Active Shooter scenarios, and beyond.

For more information on this course visit the Green Eye Tactical website.

Coyne Survival Schools Civilian CQB

This course focuses on using firearms in close quarters (indoors) for home defense, specifically tailored to meet the needs of civilian homeowners looking to protect their families. Unlike the traditional Close Quarters Battle (CQB) training designed for law enforcement and military, we’ve adapted these top-tier techniques for civilian use. Our training takes into account the realities of home defense: avoiding friendly fire, operating without a trained team, likely not wearing body armor, and handling situations that often occur at night.

Throughout the course, you’ll engage in force-on-force exercises. We supply Glock brand airsoft/green gas pistols that mimic real guns, complete with recoil, along with face protection. This setup allows you to practice shooting at moving, resisting targets without the need for live ammunition, ensuring the course remains fully interactive and safe. There’s no need to bring your own firearm; everything you need for training is provided.

For more information on this course visit the Coyne Survival Schools website.

Rev-Tac Home Defense: Use Of Force and Scenario Training

For those who want something a little different than traditional CQB, but still want to know how to defend and clear your home, this course stands out as one of the BEST investments you can make!

Ask anyone who has attended this class… your adrenaline will be pumping as you “defend” your home with a high-quality air-soft handgun. Then after your scenario has finished, our retired federal attorney acts as the judge, and your peers act as the jury to determine if you were justified in your use of force. Our end goal is to keep you and your family alive and keep you out of jail! This training is priceless and allows couples to come up with a plan for their home, and how they are going to respond to an active threat.” – Tim Grover @ Rev-Tac

For more information on this course visit the Rev-Tac website!

A Joint Journey to Safety and Confidence

Firearm training and home defense represent a collective commitment to safety, confidence, and preparedness. 

Training together allows couples to enhance their skills, deepen their understanding of each other, and foster a secure, supportive environment at home. 

This journey requires dedication, practice, and mutual support, but together, you can lay a foundation of knowledge, skills, and confidence that enriches every aspect of your life.

Remember that this journey not only strengthens your skills but also your partnership. Whether starting out or seeking to advance your abilities, the journey is more meaningful and rewarding when shared.

Let TacSkills guide you to the perfect training opportunity in proximity to your locale. Commit to your professional growth today, and ensure you are learning from the best in the field.

Engaging Content Creation: The TacSkills Advantage for Firearms Marketing

TacSkills is the premier destination for clients in the firearms and tactical training industry seeking firearms marketing services

At TacSkills, we’re not just about offering services; we’re about creating a vibrant community where professionals and businesses converge for mutual growth.

Our team of industry experts provides comprehensive solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients, leveraging cutting-edge technology and fostering strategic partnerships.

Engaging Content Creation: The TacSkills Advantage for Firearms Marketing
A student assigned to the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, who is in the Special Forces Communications Sergeant course, practices using a PDA-184 computer and an AN/ PRC-117G satellite radio during training at the Yarborough Training Complex at Fort Bragg, North Carolina August 29, 2019. The training qualified students in the satellite communications module which trained them to be proficient in installing, operating and maintaining a satellite communications link. (U.S. Army photo by K. Kassens)

From securing a prime spot in our map database for instant visibility to our dynamic Course Schedule page, TacSkills is your go-to resource for tactical training opportunities.

We also offer strategic website ad placements, expertly written content and social media posts, website optimization, and SEO solutions to boost your online presence.

But that’s not all. TacSkills also provides website-building services, ensuring your site is not just a digital presence but a powerful tool for business growth. For those seeking to make a visual impact, our content and video editing services transform raw footage into compelling narratives and professional-quality visuals.

Firearms Marketing Services

Map Listing and Course Schedule

Map Listing: Instant Visibility and Targeted Exposure

Secure a free, premier spot in our map database for immediate visibility among civilian students, military service members, and law enforcement departments. Our curated map ensures your business is put in front of the right audience, providing targeted exposure to those actively seeking professional training companies. This exclusive placement positions your company prominently, ensuring it stands out in relevant searches and captures attention instantly.

Firearms Marketing Services

Course Schedule: Dynamic, Live Resource for Tactical Training

Our Course Schedule page is a dynamic, live resource for firearm enthusiasts, military personnel, law enforcement departments, and businesses seeking tactical training courses. By featuring your course schedules here, you elevate your marketing strategy on a platform that’s a central hub for the community. This continually updated page offers strategic visibility, fosters community engagement, and provides targeted marketing opportunities, positioning your courses for success on our interactive website.

firearms marketing services

Website Ad Placement

Seize the opportunity to put your company in the spotlight and significantly boost your training revenue. Your business gains an edge by securing prime advertising space on TacSkills, connecting industry enthusiasts with the best training providers throughout the United States.

Why Advertise with Us?

TacSkills is the go-to destination for individuals seeking quality training courses, with over $180k in potential training revenue generated last month alone.

Advertising with us means placing your ad front and center, ensuring unparalleled visibility among a highly engaged and relevant audience. Leverage this chance to stand out and make a lasting impact in the competitive training industry.

Social Media Brand Mentions

This service is led by a team of industry experts who bring a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding of various fields, ensuring that every post is insightful and resonates with the intended audience.

This service includes creating engaging narratives tailored to communicate your brand’s message effectively. 

By leveraging this expertise, Tac-Skills positions your company as a leader in the industry, creating narratives that not only tell your story but also ensure it reaches and impacts the right audience. 

Additionally, the content is created for maximum visibility, showcased on Tac-Skills’ Instagram and LinkedIn, reaching a broad and engaged audience across multiple platforms. With a proven track record of highly engaging social media posts, Tac-Skills delivers results that drive engagement, brand recognition, and business growth.

Featured Articles | Sponsored Posts

Unlock the power of compelling content with TacSkills, where our industry expertise transforms your brand narrative into a captivating story.

At TacSkills, we pride ourselves on our team of industry experts, known for writing articles that not only resonate with your audience but significantly boost your company’s visibility.

Our content is meticulously designed to not just tell your story, but ensure it reaches and impacts the right audience.

Why Choose TacSkills for Your Written Content?

Our team is not just a group of writers; they are seasoned industry experts who bring an in-depth understanding of your field to every article.

This expertise allows us to provide insights and perspectives that position your company as a thought leader, setting you apart in the industry.

At TacSkills, we don’t just write; we communicate. Our content is tailored to engage your audience, weaving your brand’s narrative into compelling articles that resonate and leave a lasting impression.

We understand that the right content can elevate your company’s presence. Our approach ensures that your story is not only told but is heard by the audience that matters most to your business.

Choose TacSkills for content that empowers your brand, engages your audience, and elevates your industry presence. Let us help you turn your company’s story into an impactful narrative.

Website Design and SEO Services

Website Building: Customized, Professional, and Strategic

At TacSkills, our development team excels in creating websites that not only attract traffic but also bring the right audience directly to your doorstep.

We understand that your website is a key asset for your business growth, and we are dedicated to making it as effective and impactful as possible.

Our process is characterized by clear communication, ensuring you are always in the loop, and each website is uniquely tailored to reflect the distinct nature of your business.

Strategic Collaboration for Optimal Results

Our approach transcends conventional methods. We’ve mastered the art of strategic collaboration with developers, ensuring that your online presence not only thrives but expands organically. The key benefits of working with us include:

  • Tailored Strategies: Recognizing that no two businesses are alike, we customize strategies to align with your specific goals. This ensures a targeted approach that truly resonates with your intended audience.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation: The digital world is ever-changing, and so are our strategies. We constantly monitor performance metrics, adapting to shifts in the digital landscape to refine our approach. This ongoing process ensures sustained and growing organic traffic to your website.

Targeted SEO Research: Elevate Your Online Visibility

Enhance your digital footprint with our SEO services. We conduct in-depth keyword research and fine-tune your website to align with Google’s priorities, securing your spot in top search results. Our SEO services include:

  • Strategic Keyword Research: Our team conducts comprehensive research to pinpoint the keywords most crucial to your business, ensuring your website targets terms that your potential customers are actively searching for.
  • On-Page Optimization: We pay attention to detail, optimizing every aspect of your website to boost search rankings and user experience, ensuring that each element contributes effectively to your overall SEO strategy.

Content and Video Editing

Captivate Your Audience with Exceptional Editing

Our team goes beyond mere editing; we create visual masterpieces that captivate and leave a lasting impression. Whether it’s commercials, advertisements, YouTube videos, or other media assets, we are dedicated to bringing your unique vision to life with a flair that resonates with your audience.

Editing Services: Transforming Raw Footage into Compelling Narratives

Our video editors are storytellers. They skillfully transform raw footage into compelling narratives that connect with viewers, ensuring each project becomes a memorable viewing experience. We take pride in our ability to craft stories that genuinely resonate with your audience.

Our team specializes in color grading, seamless transitions, and other professional editing techniques to enhance the overall appeal of your content. Every edit reflects the high quality of your brand, ensuring that your media assets not only look stunning but also align perfectly with your brand’s identity and values.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your brand. Visit our services page now and discover how TacSkills can take your brand to new heights!

Best Ear Protection For The Shooting Range

The noise level of a 9mm handgun typically reaches around 160 decibels, a level high enough to cause irreversible hearing damage if no ear protection is worn.

In comparison, a 5.56 caliber rifle with a 16-inch barrel produces an average noise level between 166 and 171 dB. Even with the use of a suppressor, these levels drop to about 135–145 dB, which is still dangerously high for unprotected ears.

With that said, you should aim for ear protection that delivers a noise reduction rating of at least 22, although a noise reduction of 30 is desirable if you’re shooting larger caliber firearms. 

Best Ear Protection For The Shooting Range
Senior Airman Anjelo Pool, 341 Missile Security Operations Squadron, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, participates in the Nuclear Advanced Designated Marksman course March 16, 2022 at Camp Guernsey, Wyoming. NADM is the initial qualification on the M24 and M107 weapon systems and teaches counter-sniper skills with the same weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sarah Post)

Based on that criteria we chose the Safariland Liberator as the best ear protection for the shooting range.

Now, let’s dive into our list of the best ear protection for shooting.

Summary Of The Best Hearing Protection

Why Trust Tac-Skills

Our team has nearly 20 years of combined military service and over a decade in the shooting industry. 

We’ve seen brands rise and fall and learned the hard way what works and what’s just hype. Our advice comes from real experience – from being in the field and the industry for years. 

So when you read our articles, you’re getting more than just tips; you’re getting hard-earned wisdom that you can trust. Trust us, we’ve been there.

best ear protection for shooting range
FORT DRUM, N.Y. – Nancy L. Vause, a hearing conservation consultant with U.S. Army Public Health Command, assists a Soldier from 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), with properly fitting hearing protection before the start of a live fire training event near Fort Drum, N.Y. Aug. 22. Soldiers from 2-22 Inf. participated in a hearing conservation and protection study conducted by USAPHC to measure the impact firing a large weapon system has on hearing as well as measuring the effectiveness of properly fitted hearing protection both before and after firing the weapon. (Photo by Warren W. Wright Jr., Fort Drum MEDDAC Public Affairs)

Best Ear Protection For The Shooting Range

Best for Indoor Ranges: Peltor Sport Tactical 500​​

When it comes to indoor shooting, ear protection is non-negotiable. Among the plethora of options, the Peltor Sport Tactical 500 ear muffs rise to the top, distinguishing themselves as the best in class. Their exceptional performance is attributed to several key features:

Advanced Sound Technology: These ear muffs utilize innovative 3M SMART technologies. This means they not only dampen harmful gunshot noises but also amplify low-level sounds like conversations. This is particularly beneficial in an indoor range where communication and situational awareness are crucial.

best ear protection for shooting range

Comfort and Fit: Designed with ergonomics in mind, the Tactical 500s are lightweight and have comfortable ear cushions, making them ideal for prolonged use. The adjustable headband ensures a snug fit, essential for effective noise reduction.

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): With an NRR of 26 dB, they provide substantial protection against the loud, reverberating sounds typical of indoor ranges.

Bluetooth Connectivity: This feature sets the Tactical 500 apart. Shooters can connect their devices wirelessly, allowing them to take calls or listen to music without compromising on protection.

Durability and Battery Life: These ear muffs are built to last, with a robust design and long battery life, ensuring they stand up to regular use at the range.

RELATED – Most Popular Defensive Pistol Classes

Best In-Ear Electronic Hearing Protection for Shooting: AXIL XCOR Digital HearPro Wireless Earbuds

The AXIL XCOR Digital HearPro Wireless Earbuds are a top choice if you’re looking for an in-ear type of ear pro. This is due to several impressive features:

Advanced Sound Filtering: The XCOR Digital HearPro Earbuds are equipped with state-of-the-art sound filtering technology. This allows them to precisely block hazardous shooting noises while enhancing ambient sounds. Shooters can hear range commands or converse with peers without removing the earbuds, ensuring continuous protection.

best ear protection for shooting range

Wireless Convenience: These earbuds eliminate the hassle of wires, offering unparalleled freedom of movement and comfort. This feature is particularly beneficial in shooting scenarios where unencumbered movement is key.

Customizable Fit: The AXIL earbuds come with multiple tip options, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit for a variety of ear sizes. A snug fit is essential for effective sound isolation and protection.

Long Battery Life: They boast an impressive battery life, crucial for extended sessions at the range. Shooters can rely on their consistent performance throughout their training or recreational shooting.

Durability: Designed for the rugged demands of shooting environments, the XCOR Digital HearPro Earbuds are both water-resistant and sweatproof, making them a durable and reliable choice.

Best ear protection for hunting (Over-Ear): Walker Razor Bluetooth Quad​​

When it comes to selecting the best ear protection for hunters, the Walker Razor Bluetooth Quad stands out. These ear muffs are not just about hearing protection; they are about enhancing the hunting experience. Here’s why they are the top choice:

High-Fidelity Sound: The Quad’s four high-gain omnidirectional microphones provide crystal-clear sound quality. This feature is crucial for hunters who rely on sound to track game.

best ear protection for shooting range

Advanced Noise Reduction: With a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 23 dB, they efficiently block out the harmful noise of gunshots, while allowing for softer sounds to be heard. This balance is essential for safety and awareness in hunting environments.

Bluetooth Connectivity: The integrated Bluetooth technology allows hunters to connect with their devices seamlessly. This means they can take calls or listen to music without removing the protection, maintaining continuous safety.

Comfortable for Long Use: Designed with comfort in mind, the Walker Razor Bluetooth Quads have a slim, low-profile design and soft ear cushions, making them ideal for long hunting sessions.

Durable and Weather Resistant: Recognizing the rugged conditions of hunting, these ear muffs are built to withstand tough outdoor environments, ensuring reliability and longevity.

Best for Kids: Walkers Youth Folding Muff

Ensuring safety for young enthusiasts is crucial. The Walkers Youth Folding Muff is one the best options for kids, offering a blend of safety, comfort, and effectiveness. Here’s why:

Designed for Young Ears: Understanding the sensitivity of young ears, these muffs are specifically engineered for children. They offer a high Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 23 dB, which is vital for protecting kids’ hearing in the loud environment of a shooting range.

best ear protection for shooting range

Comfortable and Adjustable: Comfort is key for kids, and these muffs deliver. They are lightweight and have padded headbands, ensuring they can be worn for extended periods without discomfort. The adjustable design means they can grow with your child, providing a lasting fit.

Durable and Portable: Recognizing the active nature of kids, the Walkers Youth Folding Muff is built to be both sturdy and easily portable. The folding design makes it convenient to carry and store, perfect for on-the-go families.

Safety Colors: Available in bright, visible colors, these muffs are not only appealing to kids but also enhance safety by making them more visible to adults at the range.

Kid-Friendly Design: The overall design is user-friendly for children, with easy-to-operate features, ensuring they can be used independently by older kids.

Best tactical ear protection: 3M Peltor ComTac V Tactical Headset

Designed for demanding tactical environments, the Peltor ComTac V headset offers a combination of features that make it the preferred choice for professional shooters and law enforcement personnel. Here’s why:

Enhanced Communication Capabilities: The ComTac V features advanced sound amplification and noise-canceling microphones, facilitating clear communication in dynamic environments. This is crucial in tactical situations where coordination and clarity are key.

best ear protection for shooting range

Superior Hearing Protection: With a high Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), it provides excellent protection against the hazardous noise of gunfire while allowing situational awareness.

Adaptable to Various Environments: It is engineered to perform in diverse environments, from indoor ranges to outdoor tactical settings. This versatility is essential for tactical users who operate in varied conditions.

Durability and Comfort: Recognized for its rugged build, the ComTac V can withstand harsh conditions without compromising on comfort. The ergonomic design ensures it can be worn for extended periods, a necessary feature for lengthy operations.

Integration with Tactical Equipment: It’s designed to integrate seamlessly with helmets and other tactical gear, making it a practical choice for the Military, Law Enforcement, and other professions requiring this level of communication.

Check out Comm Gear Supply for a variety of tactical ear protection options.

RELATED – Top Tactical Carbine Courses To Take

Best All-Around Ear Pro: Safariland Liberator

The Safariland Liberator next-generation headset combines unparalleled audio clarity with robust protection, making it an ideal companion for any shooting range environment.

best ear protection for shooting range

Key Features of the Liberator HP 2.0

  • Multi-Mode Adjustability: It features groundbreaking multi-mode adjustability, including Active Noise Reduction (ANR), Active Noise Cancellation, and a hybrid mode combining both. This adaptability ensures optimal auditory protection in varying shooting scenarios.
  • Three Distinct Hearing Modes:
    • Enhanced Mode: Filters out loud impulse noises like gunshots while allowing speech and environmental sounds for situational awareness.
    • Move Mode: Provides complete auditory isolation from external noises, perfect for focused shooting.
    • Clarity Mode: Blocks all external sounds except speech, facilitating clear communication.
  • Slim and Durable Design: The headset boasts slim, scratch-resistant earcups, engineered with advanced sound barrier technology for effective noise insulation without bulkiness.
  • High-Definition Audio: Equipped with high-definition speakers and enhanced electronics, it delivers crisp, clear sound quality.
  • Comfort for Extended Wear: Comes standard with gel ear seals, ensuring maximum comfort during prolonged use at the range.
  • Dual Fuel Battery Compartment: Versatile power options, running on either 2 AAA batteries or a single CR123 battery.
  • Extended Battery Life: Offers an impressive 160-300 hour runtime, varying with the selected mode.
  • Impressive Noise Reduction Rating: With an NRR of 26dB, it provides excellent protection against the high-decibel sounds typical of shooting ranges.
  • Proudly Made in the USA: Designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA, ensuring top-quality craftsmanship.

The Safariland Liberator HP 2.0 sets a new standard in hearing protection for shooters. Its advanced features cater to every need, from enhanced situational awareness to complete noise cancellation. This headset is designed to offer the best in comfort, functionality, and protection.

RELATED – Send It! The Best Long Range Shooting School for Precision Training


When it comes to choosing the best ear protection for the shooting range, it’s clear that different scenarios and preferences call for different solutions. 

From the high-tech capabilities of the Walker Razor Bluetooth Quad for hunters to the 3M Peltor ComTac V Tactical Headsets, each product offers unique features suited to specific needs. 

The Safariland Liberator stands out as the best overall choice for all-day comfort, balancing effective noise reduction with ergonomic design. 

Whether you’re a tactical professional, a recreational shooter, or introducing young enthusiasts to the sport, selecting the right ear protection is crucial for safety and enjoyment.

Send It! The Best Long Range Shooting School for Precision Training

Does the thrill of long-range shooting intrigue you?

Mastering long-range, precision shots and blending seamlessly into the surroundings is an undeniably cool thought.

It’s a skill that captures our imagination, often sparked by military books and movies showcasing the deadly skills of these highly trained marksmen.

Send It! The Best Long Range Shooting School for Precision Training
A U.S. Soldier, attending the Mountain Warfare School, conducts a high-angle range sniper course for qualification during the Mountain Rifleman course at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, Jericho, Vt., April 14, 2016. The purpose of the Mountain Rifleman Course is to train snipers and squad designated marksman a combination of mountain specific skills and angle marksmanship fundamentals. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Brace)

If you find yourself being drawn into this world, you’re likely wondering where to begin. What are the best long-range shooting schools for honing your skills?

Whether you’re a beginner or looking to refine your skills, we’ve got you covered.

Key Takeaways

  • Boost your long-range shooting accuracy by attending top schools like Gunwerks, Wolf Precision, and Thunder Beast Arms, which offer cutting-edge methods and personalized training.
  • Mastering specific skills is crucial for long-range shooting; learn wind compensation, range estimation, and how to adjust for environmental factors to elevate your shooting precision.
  • Invest in the right equipment and choose a professional training facility with expert instructors to significantly impact your long-range shooting performance and success.

RELATED – Pumps Precision Rifle Training Course Review

Best Long Range Shooting School For Hunters and Marksmen

Today, we bring you a comprehensive list of the best long-range shooting schools, each offering a unique approach to mastering this exciting discipline. Here are some of the top schools:

  • Gunwerks Long Range Shooting School
  • Wolf Precision’s Long-Range Shooting School
  • Thunder Beast Arms Corporation Long Range Shooting School
  • Pumps Precision
  • Rifles Only
  • K&M Precision Rifle Training
Send It! The Best Long Range Shooting School for Precision Training
U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. David P. Mortensen, a Scout Sniper Instructor with the Marine Scout Sniper School, Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-East, assists students as they conduct a known-distance course of fire at Hathcock Range, Stone Bay, Feb. 8, 2016. Students will fire various known-distance courses of fire in order to familiarize themselves with their weapon systems. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by SOI-East Combat Camera, Cpl. Andrew Kuppers/Released)

These institutions promise to elevate your shooting skills to great shooting, allowing you to engage targets with ease, and boost your confidence in a whole new way.

Gunwerks Long Range Shooting School

Gunwerks Long Range Shooting School, known as Long Range University, stands out as a premier destination for long-range shooting enthusiasts in the United States. This pioneering school is dedicated to the art of the perfect shot, particularly in hunting scenarios, ensuring that success is the only outcome worthy of pursuit. With a modern approach to long-range training, Gunwerks offers a unique and efficient learning experience, enabling shooters to achieve greater capability in less time compared to other training programs.

The school’s curriculum is designed around a building block approach, encompassing three levels of classes (L1, L2, and L3) that progressively enhance a shooter’s skills. These classes cover everything from long-range ballistics, advanced ballistics and wind, to mountain shooting. The training strategy interwoven throughout these classes not only improves shooting skills but also enhances the ability to function under pressure, extending the range and conditions under which an ethical shot can be taken.

Gunwerks also offers specialized clinics focusing on shooting system readiness, long-range muzzleloader techniques, and field marksmanship. These clinics are tailored to refine specific aspects of long-range shooting, ensuring comprehensive preparation for any hunting scenario.

The instructors at Gunwerks Long Range University bring a wealth of experience and expertise. They include lifelong hunters, former military snipers, and expert marksmen, all dedicated to imparting their knowledge and skills to students. The school’s philosophy emphasizes ethical hunting, teaching shooters to recognize when a lethal hit is assured and when it’s better to hold fire.

Gunwerks’ Long Range Shooting School is more than just a training ground; it’s an immersive experience that combines skill development with ethical hunting practices, making it a top choice for anyone looking to master long-range shooting in the United States.

Wolf Precision’s Long Range Shooting School

Wolf Precision’s Long Range Shooting School, established in 2009, is one of America’s oldest and most esteemed long-range shooting schools. Located in Johnstown, PA, the school offers an exceptional learning experience for both beginners and advanced shooters. Celebrating over 17 years of excellence, Wolf Precision has established itself as a leader in long-range shooting education, emphasizing quality instruction and material.

The school is renowned for its small class sizes, limited to just five students per class, ensuring personalized attention and a close-to-one-on-one training experience. This approach allows for more in-depth coverage of subjects, answering questions, and ensuring that each student leaves with a profound understanding and appreciation of long-range shooting.

The courses at Wolf Precision are professionally run and cater to a diverse group of students, including men, women, and younger shooters. The school maintains high standards of safety and professionalism, creating a comfortable and secure learning environment for all attendees.

Jamie Dodson, the instructor with over 15,000 hours of experience in training, teaching, and personal practice, leads the school. His expertise covers a wide range of skills, from training and teaching to rifle building and R&D, making him one of the most knowledgeable instructors in the field. The curriculum includes a comprehensive range of topics, from range safety and rifle maintenance to advanced shooting fundamentals and wind reading.

Wolf Precision’s Long Range Shooting School is unique in its approach, focusing on real-world shooting conditions and providing a book with all class subjects, materials, and formulas for students to take home. The school also offers the option to use school rifles and equipment, allowing students to focus solely on learning the art of marksmanship without the stress of equipment preparation.

In summary, Wolf Precision’s Long Range Shooting School stands out for its experienced instruction, small class sizes, and comprehensive curriculum, making it a top choice for anyone looking to master long-range shooting.

Thunder Beast Arms Corporation Long Range Shooting School

Thunder Beast Arms Corporation (TBAC) offers a next-generation training program for practical long-range rifle shooting. Their comprehensive field courses are designed to cater to shooters of all levels, from beginners to national-level competitors, and even Special Operations Snipers. The training is conducted in a real-world precision shooting environment, enabling students to engage long-range targets under various conditions.

TBAC’s training approach is multifaceted, focusing on three key aspects:

  1. Physical Shooting Skills: The program begins with the fundamentals, building a shooter’s ability from the ground up. This includes setting up an ergonomically correct rifle and developing a stable and durable shooting position, crucial for real-life scenarios where shots are often not taken from the prone position.
  2. Data Management: Students are taught to obtain a reliable zero and collect accurate data. The course emphasizes constructing a precise and easy-to-use data management system adaptable to every environmental condition, ensuring no shot is missed due to incorrect elevation correction.
  3. Environmental Correction: The course goes beyond the science of environmental correction, teaching the art of reading wind and other factors. With ongoing expert coaching and a low student-to-teacher ratio, students are continually challenged with changing firing points and environmental conditions, fostering the development of well-rounded, capable shooters.

RELATED – Precision Rifle Build on a Budget

The primary instructor, Brian Whalen, brings a wealth of experience, having trained various groups including Special Forces, SWAT Sniper Teams, and civilian students. His expertise ensures that the training is not only comprehensive but also relevant to current real-world scenarios.

TBAC’s training program is unique in its hands-on field approach, expert instruction, and focus on practical, real-world shooting skills. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to enhance their long-range shooting capabilities in a variety of environments and situations.

Pumps Precision

Pump’s Precision Rifle Training, led by Chase Stroud, offers a unique and specialized approach to long-range rifle shooting. Stroud, a member of David Tubb’s team G2 Precision and a former member of the Applied Ballistics Extreme Long Range Shooting Team, brings a wealth of experience to his training programs. With a record of 8 major match wins and numerous top finishes, his expertise in extreme long-range (ELR) shooting is exceptional.

Best Long Range Shooting School

The training at Pump’s Precision Rifle Training is focused on pushing the limits of long-range shooting, with an emphasis on achieving impacts beyond 2 miles, and even extending to 4 miles. This level of training is rare and highly specialized, catering to shooters who are looking to challenge themselves in the ELR discipline.

Stroud’s achievements include being one of the first to shoot beyond 2 miles in 2010, and he has since been at the forefront of advancing the limits of long-range shooting. His coaching has led service members to top finishes in the International Sniper Competition and has helped numerous individuals achieve significant long-range impacts.

In addition to the training packages, Pump’s Precision Rifle Training also offers custom load development, entertainment packages, and third-party testing and consultation services. These additional services provide a comprehensive approach to long-range shooting, ensuring clients not only learn the skills but also have access to the best equipment and ammunition for their needs.

Best Long Range Shooting School

Pump’s Precision Rifle Training stands out for its focus on extreme long-range shooting and the high level of expertise offered by Chase Stroud. This training is ideal for those looking to seriously engage in or improve their skills in the ELR shooting discipline.

Rifles Only

Rifles Only, a renowned long-range shooting school, offers a diverse range of classes designed to cater to various skill levels and shooting interests. Their courses are meticulously structured to provide comprehensive training in precision rifle shooting, making them a top choice for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

The school’s curriculum includes a variety of classes such as:

  • Precision Rifle I & II: These courses, offered in both Texas and New Hampshire, are designed for shooters looking to enhance their long-range shooting skills. Priced at $1,400 in Texas and $1,450 in New Hampshire, these courses offer in-depth training in precision shooting.
  • Precision Rifle I – 2 Day: A shorter version of the comprehensive course, this 2-day class in Texas is priced at $600 and focuses on the fundamentals of precision rifle shooting.
  • Specialized Clinics: Rifles Only also offers specialized one-day clinics in Texas, such as the Mover Clinic and Alternate Position Clinic, priced at $120 and $100 respectively. These clinics are designed to focus on specific aspects of long-range shooting, providing targeted training for students.
  • Rimfire Academy: A 2-day course offered in both Texas and Colorado, priced at $400, this academy focuses on rimfire rifles, offering unique training opportunities for shooters.
  • High Angle Precision Rifle Training: This specialized course in Colorado, priced at $1,400, teaches the skills needed for high-angle shooting, a critical aspect of long-range precision shooting in mountainous terrain.
  • Field Craft Course: Priced at $1,600, this course offers comprehensive training in field craft, an essential skill set for practical long-range shooting in various environments.

Rifles Only’s approach to training is focused on providing hands-on, practical experience in real-world shooting scenarios. Their courses are designed to challenge and develop the skills of shooters at all levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners. The school’s commitment to quality instruction and diverse course offerings make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their long-range shooting skills.

K&M Precision Rifle Training

K&M Precision Rifle Training stands as a beacon of excellence in the realm of long-range shooting education in the United States. With a motto of “Smart – Fast – Precise – Lethal,” K&M offers an unrivaled training experience that combines classroom learning, practical exercises, and rigorous assessments. Catering to shooters at all skill levels, their courses are designed to push boundaries and expand comfort zones, fostering confidence in both professional marksmen and dedicated enthusiasts.

The training at K&M is rooted in real-world experience, leveraging up-to-date techniques and a respectful approach to teaching. Their diverse cadre of instructors brings a wealth of knowledge from various fields, including Special Operations, Law Enforcement, Military Sniper Instruction, and top Civilian PRS Competitors. This unique blend of expertise ensures a broad perspective and the highest quality of training available.

K&M’s flagship Shooting Complex in Finger, TN, provides a tactical and practical environment unmatched by other courses. The facility is purpose-built to offer the most efficient and professional training, making K&M a preferred choice for precision rifle training.

Notably, K&M instructs more precision rifle shooters than any other non-government entity in the nation. Their instructors, who actively practice and compete, are nationally ranked higher than any other training agency. This commitment to excellence is evident in their training programs, which incorporate the latest tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) from both competitive and tactical arenas.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced shooter, K&M Precision Rifle Training offers a comprehensive and challenging environment to hone your skills, making it one of the best choices for long-range shooting education in the United States.

Wrapping it Up!

These schools excel at merging discipline, skill, and an in-depth understanding of ballistics.

Long-range shooting is more than hitting distant targets; it’s a blend of science, mental acuity, and physical control. The featured schools are not just training facilities; they are crucibles where the art of precision shooting becomes a way of life.

For enthusiasts beginning their journey or seasoned shooters wanting to refine their craft, these shooting schools offer a unique platform for growth, fostering a community where precision is paramount.

Embrace the challenge, refine your skills, and join the ranks of those who master the art of the long shot. In the world of precision shooting, every round sent downrange is a story of dedication and excellence.

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