Blog

8 Best Civilian Tactical Training Courses

8 Best Civilian Tactical Training Courses

The purpose of civilian tactical training courses are to teach civilians how to prepare for dangerous situations.  Tactical training courses are hosted by professional-grade specialists.  Core tactical subjects include hand to hand combat, close quarter combat, and weapon proficiency. The skills needed to defend oneself include basic safety for handling weapons, how to fire them, and how to resolve weapon malfunctions such as jamming.

8 Best Civilian Tactical Training Courses

Civilian tactical training takes the same shape as some military training courses.  It ranges from the basics of handling firearms to advanced close quarter combat techniques, advanced driving, physical conditioning, and mental toughness.   These are the leading tactical training courses available to civilians.  

1. Ronin Tactics

Ronin Tactics offers tactical training to law-abiding civilians.  The skills they teach help regular men and women to better defend themselves and their families.  Skills include both defensive and offensive lethal techniques.   Courses are available for teams, groups, and corporations.  Specific courses center around pistols, carbine rifles, shotguns, a precision gun course and edge weapons (knives).

2. Green Eye Tactical

Green Eye Tactical was founded by Eric Dorenbush, a former U.S. Special Operations Operator.  With his extensive combat experience, Eric has adapted his modern and combat proven techniques into tactical training courses available to both law enforcement, military, and civilians.  Courses teach tactical skills for pistols, rifles, and close quarter combat.  In addition, Green Eye Tactical offers courses in marksmanship, concealed carry tactics, land navigation fundamentals, vehicle tactics, and small unit tactics.  

3. Tactical Response

Led by James Yeager, Tactical Response offers a wide range of courses for civilian tactical training.  Founded in 1996, the sole purpose of their organization is to provide the highest end firearm and tactical training to law-abiding civilians.  Course offerings include: active shooter, advanced fighting pistol, advanced fighting rifle, advanced fighting shotgun, immediate action medical, and many more.

4. SIG Sauer Academy

SIG Sauer has been a major firearm manufacturer since their formation in 1976.  Since 1990, the SIG Sauer Academy has offered advanced training courses that cover trauma management, team building, bullets and vehicles, low light pistol, and more.  With over 140 acres in New Hampshire, their indoor and outdoor facility offers over 110 courses to both professional operators and civilians.  

5. 360 Tactical Training

Based out of Houston, Texas, 360 Tactical Training is devoted to firearm and tactical training at the highest level for both pros and civilians alike.  Their focus is teaching reality based skills which work with our natural reactions to stress in a fight.  Civilian tactical training courses include: pistol training, rifle training, shotgun training, carbine rifle training, AK-47 training, livefire civilian response to active shooters, close quarters carbine, and more.

6. Solutions Group International

The SGI tactical training course for civilians offers a variety of tactical skills.  They offer these courses to the general public and are taught by the same instructors who train military and law enforcement operatives.  Their tactical training courses are designed to teach the fundamentals of combat marksmanship and improve overall chances of survival in a violent encounter.  Courses include hand to hand combat, pistol, rifle, shotgun, advanced vehicle evasive response, trauma care, and much more.

7. Team O’Neil Rally School

Tactical skills for civilians don’t end at knowing how to handle firearms, they extend to tactical driving as well.  While the courses focus on rally driving, the concepts of high speed maneuvers translate into useful skills.  Their government courses are restricted to Department of Defense members, but you’re hard pressed to find a better group of instructors to learn advanced driving skills from.

8. GoRuck

In addition to firearms and driving, tactical skills should include physical fitness and mental toughness.  The GoRuck Challenge has become an event that gathers those that are serious about survival.  With both 2 day and 3 day events you’ll be able to immerse yourself in mountaineering, first-aid and survival.   A major cornerstone to survive is your ability to move quickly and evade in an active shooter situation.  

Blog

“The Sound of Freedom”

Citizen Armor is proud to help eradicate child trafficking by being Freedom Fighters with the Child Liberation Foundation . The Sound of Freedom movie is a pivotal step forward in ending the suffering of children all over the world.

“The Sound of Freedom” is the real life story of people fighting child trafficking.  According to the Child Liberation Foundation, “The Sound of Freedom” It tells the tale of brave individuals who fight to eradicate child trafficking.  As much as “The Sound of Freedom” is a thrilling movie it also helps raise awareness of human trafficking issues.  The movie is scheduled to be released in 2020 and is aimed to do more than simply entertain, but help change the world.

How Does “The Sound of Freedom” Change the World?

“The Sound of Freedom” is set to help change the world, how might you ask?  In today’s world we need reminders of issues.  We have days dedicated to appreciate our mothers, fathers, birthdays, and holidays.  These days draw attention to things that matter.  “The Sound of Freedom” draws attention to an issue that matters to all of us, the trafficking of children, especially for sexual exploitation.  The movie will help raise awareness in the modality of entertainment.  It isn’t an easy issue, but it needs to be a conversation so that change will take place worldwide.  

There are currently over 5.25 million children enslaved in child trafficking.  A large percentage of those children are being exploited sexually.  They are also being forced into hard labor which is dangerous.  This is a conversation that needs to be on the forefront until it is eradicated.  “The Sound of Freedom” is aimed to help do just that, get the conversation going among more people.  This helps raise awareness and raise funds to fight against traffickers.  Funds are also allocated to help eradicate the demand for child trafficking.  This takes the form of adjusting how people objectify other human beings and promoting increased legislation against human trafficking.  Funding is also used to actively find child trafficking rings, raid them, liberate children, and prosecute traffickers.

“The Sound of Freedom”

“The Sound of Freedom” features a star studded cast including Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, Manny Perez, Bill Camp, Gerado Taracena, Eduardo Verástegui, and many more.  Click here for a full cast list on IMDB.  In preparation for his role Jim Caviezel shadowed operatives in the field.  During this experience Caviezel witnessed a child rescue operation in Latin America.

Armor Technology

UL752 Bulletproof Glass

There are 8 levels of UL572 bulletproof glass.  Citizen Armor focuses on Level 2 and Level 5 of the UL572 standard.  Level 2 is rated to stop handgun rounds, while level 5 is rated to take a single rifle shot.  This standard of bullet resistance is relevant for both vehicle armor and building armor.  The UL752 rating system helps understand ballistic protection levels for glass. 

Truth In Bulletproof Terminology

The truth is that no product is 100% bulletproof.  Each product is bullet resistant up to different levels of threats.  Products are designed, tested, and designated into categories of ballistic performance.  The Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) sets forth the UL752 Standard for Bullet-Resisting Equipment.

UL752 Ratings Do Not Allow Spalling

The UL752 specifications do not allow for spalling.  Spalling is the deformation and fragmentation of a material such as glass after an impact.

“1.2 As used in these requirements, the term “bullet-resisting” signifies that protection is provided against complete penetration, passage of fragments of projectiles, or spalling (fragmentation) of the protective material to the degree that injury would be caused to a person standing directly behind the bullet-resisting barrier.” –  standardscatalog.ul.com

To be certified as UL752 compliant each product must be tested to offer absolute protection.  If a product spalls after impact and the shrapnel that could injure occupants of a building or vehicle it will not pass as a UL752 certified product.  

UL752 Level 2 Specifications

Level 2 is designed to withstand the impact of .357 magnum jacketed lead soft point projectiles.  This level also protects against the 9mm and .22 caliber projectiles.

UL752 Level 5 Specifications

Level 5 is rated to stop a full metal copper jacket 7.62mm rifle with a lead core. This means it is also designed to stop the ever popular 308 Winchester.

UL752 Ratings Are Not Always Rankings

Ratings,, follow a system of levels that build upon one another.  For example level 2 being superior to level 1 and so on.  The UL752 system does not always work this way.  

For levels 1 to 3 each progressive level is superior to the others.  Once a product is rated above these levels the standard varies.  Just because something is rated to withstand a level 8 threat it doesn’t mean it meets the standard for level 7 automatically.  It is important to evaluate the level of expected threats and install the right type of bulletproof glass product. 

Contrary to expectation, the UL752 system isn’t a matter of rankings but rather a way to describe products. This helps you, the consumer, choose the right type of bulletproof glass product for your application. 

Get Armored With Citizen Armor

Let us help you choose the right bullet resistant glass for your vehicle or building.  We specialize in providing the protection you expect for commercial buildings, guard booths, civilian vehicles, armored transport vehicles and more.  

Blog

What Is A Bulletproof Vest Made Of?

What Is A Bulletproof Vest Made Of?

Bulletproof vests are made from a variety of high tensile strength fibers.  What is inside of a bulletproof vest depends on the manufacturer.  Manufacturers of bulletproof vests use various high strength materials, such as aramid fibers, carbon nanotubes, polyethylene and graphene microfibers. These fibers are combined into layers to increase the ballistic properties.  The polyethylene used in bulletproof vests is an Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE).  UHMWPE was originally developed to be used in replacing steel belts in tires.  This makes it a great material for bulletproof vests due to its strength and hydrophobic properties.  We’ve come a long way since the first bulletproof vests were made of silk.

Vests made with UHMWPE are not only waterproof but offer cost effective ballistic protection.  There are 5 levels of ballistic protection recognized by the National Institute of Justice. The levels are IIA, II, IIIA, III, and IV.  The lowest level of protection is a level IIA.  As the level of protection a vest provides increases up to level IV so will the quality of the materials, the weight, and the cost of bulletproof vests.

Level IIIA is currently the highest level of protection available in a soft body armor product.  Soft body armor is often preferred as it allows for a wider range of motion and weighs considerably less than hard armor plates.  This level of bulletproof vest is able to provide protection from virtually any handgun round.

Higher levels of protection such as III and IV are achieved with hard armor plates and are typically restricted to law enforcement and military units.  Common materials for these armor plates include steel, ceramic, and UHMWPE polyethylene.

Citizen Armor uses the cutting edge technology of Protek Armor.  Protek™ Graphene Armor features the industry leading performance of graphene microfibers which produce lightweight and ballistically superior soft body armor. 

Blog

Who Invented The Bulletproof Vest? 

Who Invented The Bulletproof Vest?

The bulletproof vest was invented by Casimir Zeglen in 1893. 

The focus of inventing the bulletproof vest came after the assassination of Carter Harrison Sr. Zeglen. He was a Roman Catholic Priest of a parish with over 40,000 followers in Chicago.  He collaborated with Jan Szczepanik to improve the initial design of the bulletproof vest in 1901. Although there has been debate about Szczepanik’s role or possibly the original inventor of the bulletproof vest, most sources agree that the modern vest was invented by Zeglen.

Patent US577999 Bulletproof fabric, from Casimir Zeglen
Patent US577999 Bulletproof fabric, from Casimir Zeglen

Bulletproof Vest History

The first recorded mention of bulletproof armor seems to be around 1538.  It was in this year that Francesco Maria della Rovere commissioned Filippo Negroli with manufacturing a bulletproof vest.  While history makes no mention of Negroli producing and testing his bulletproof vest, there are records of a version of bulletproof vests being tested as early as 1561 by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II. 

The Role Of Silk And Bulletproofing

In 1881 George E. Goodfellow made note of how silk “had significantly reduced the penetration of one of the bullets“.  Following this discovery, Goodfellow started trying to understand how silk could be used to protect people from bullets. He fabricated a vest that was made from 30 layers of silk. As much as he pioneered the use of silk in bulletproof materials, he returned to being a devoted physician.

This research laid the foundation for Zeglen as he fabricated and tested a bulletproof vest made of silk.  The major difference between using silk fabric and Zeglen’s design was the custom sewing methods utilized to make a higher performance ballistic fabric.

Modern Bulletproof Vest Advancements

As with all technology, bulletproof vests have improved over time in design.  Higher performance ballistic materials have been developed that protect better, are lighter weight, and last longer.  The most recent advancement in bulletproof technology is the use of graphene microfibers. Citizen Armor vests with graphene microfibers are tested to NIJ level IIIA, and are more flexible and lightweight than other soft body armor.

Blog

What is a MOLLE vest?

What is a MOLLE vest?

A MOLLE vest is a tactical vest that is designed for the harshest conditions, roughest terrain, and situations where one must be tactically proficient.  MOLLE stands for “Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment”  It is pronounced like the name Molly and is a favorite with tactical forces and self defense enthusiasts the world over.  

MOLLE is so popular due in large part to it’s modular nature.  It allows a vest wearer to choose which gear they will carry and exactly where on their chest rig it will go.  If a wearer of a MOLLE vest is left handed they can set their weapon, flashlight, radio, or canteen in the most comfortable position possible.  Military, law enforcement, private security, and even fire departments utilize MOLLE in their gear.  

How a MOLLE vest works

MOLLE works by stitching heavy-duty nylon fabric panels into tactical vests, rucks, and backpacks.  These durable loops offer great flexibility for operators to attach equipment in the places that work best for their needs.  

Most MOLLE attachments use the SlickStick system.  It threads through the MOLLE loops to align the way you wish, and then snaps in.  Depending on the size and type of MOLLE pouch, holster, or other equipment there may be multiple attachment points.  Most of the MOLLE gear has webbing on each side of the equipment, such as on the vests or belts. The Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) provides multiple points for attaching gear on the rows and columns of the webbing.

MOLLE attachments

Depending on the application, a MOLLE vest wearer can choose their chest rig configuration.  Keeping the most mission critical gear front and center improves speed and reaction times. 

  • Sidearm Holsters – traditionally military and law enforcement has relied on MOLLE for sidearm carrying.  However with increased instability a lot of regular citizens are choosing it
  • Ammunition – an empty firearm is an expensive paperweight, so ammo on your chest rig keeps your most vital tools right where you need them 
  • Flashlights – knowing where your flashlight is for fast access is key, day or night. 
  • Radios – Whether you’re a prepper, regular citizen, or armed force, staying in quick communication is a key to success.
  • Pouches – pouches offer flexible cargo for any application
  • Canteens – staying hydrated is necessary for survival and staying alert
  • First-aid kits – to be able to treat injuries in the field
  • D-Rings –  for gear attachments and slings

 

MOLLE Setup

Tactical vests for civilians don’t have standard operating procedure guidelines like military or law enforcement. You’re free to choose what gear you’ll have on your chest rig and where it goes.  It is a best practice to only choose the most essential gear for your MOLLE vest.  Not only does too much gear get confusing, but it adds weight and reduces mobility.

Step 1 – Choose your gear

A good way to choose what gear ends up on your MOLLE vest is to categorize your gear.  Think about what you need frequently, need sometimes, and might need.  It is also important to configure your chest rig in a way that meets the application requirements.  

Say you’re interested in a MOLLE vest for a SHTF situation.  You’re going to want to have a knife, first aid, ammunition, and a sidearm holster.  You may also choose to add a flashlight to your MOLLE vest as you never know if it will be light when threats come.  

MOLLE is also a great asset for people who are prepping for natural disasters.  Having fast access to gear to take care of injured and the yourself is mission critical.  The primary attachments for medical response to natural disasters includes first aid equipment, water, a radio, and any other gear that you’d rely on in an emergency.

Step 2 – Lay it out on your MOLLE vest

The layout of your equipment on your MOLLE vest should reflect what you will need most.  Consider what type of emergencies you imagine you’d put the vest on for and what you will need in those situations.  Whatever you need the fastest access to and will use most needs to be at the most natural points to access.  For example, if you are considering a MOLLE vest for tactical applications, you’ll want your sidearm holster and ammo to be unobstructed.  In addition, you will want that equipment to be in the most convenient spots.

Step 3 – Secure your gear on your vest

Use the sticks or straps that come on your MOLLE attachment accessories.  You will thread the straps or sticks through the heavy-duty MOLLE loops in the positions that work best for you.  Once they are in their stations, ensure they are completely secure.  The last thing you need is an equipment failure in a crisis.  Fortune favors the prepared, so make sure you are.

Step 4 – Training Your Muscle Memory

A major key to being proficient with a MOLLE vest is to practice using it and wearing it.  Use it in the field and practice with your unloaded weapons and equipment to train your muscle memory.  Then you’ll reach faster without having to search and find what you need.  When we are faced with fight or flight we need our instincts to be second nature.  It should be second nature while wearing the vest to be able to hit a radio key, access your sidearm, or grab a flashlight.

MOLLE Vest Care

Improper cleaning or use of ballistic panels can result in serious injury or death.

A MOLLE vest or any tactical vest is an investment; an investment in safety and being able to protect yourself or potentially others.  Taking care of it so it is ready when needed is a big deal.  You should store it properly and wash it correctly if you are using it often.  Doing so will extend the life of your MOLLE vest and ensure it is in good condition to provide what you need.. 

Storing Your Vest

These steps help maintain vest protective properties and prolongs vest life by protecting from environmental factors such as sunlight, UV light, moisture, etc.

  • It is best to place your vest flat in a carry bag
  • They should be stored in a dry cool place when not being used
  • NEVER allow your ballistic pads to be folded for storage
  • Avoid storing your vest in excessively hot, cold, or humid conditions

 

Washing Your Vest

  • Remove the carrier straps and ballistic panels
  • Never wash the carrier straps with the carrier
  • Hand-washing is best but the GENTLE cycle with a mild detergent is ok
  • Wash the straps by hand separately
  • Allow the carrier and straps to air dry or machine on LOW HEAT
  • NEVER use fabric softener or bleach
  • NEVER dry clean
  • NEVER iron your vest
  • NEVER use deodorizing sprays such as Lysol or Febreze
  • NEVER wash the ballistic panels
  • ALWAYS monitor the condition of your MOLLE vest for excessive wear, loose stitching, or tears.

 

Armor Technology

How Much Does Graphene Armor Cost?

How Much Does Graphene Armor Cost

Graphene armor costs start at $99 dollars but can go up to over $1,000.  The cost of graphene armor depends on the type of body armor you are wanting.  Graphene microfibers are used to make bulletproof backpacks, inserts, binders, and of course bulletproof vests.

“Layers of carbon one-atom thick can absorb blows that would punch through steel. Recent tests suggest that pure graphene performs twice as well as the fabric currently used in bulletproof vests, making it an ideal armour…”. – According to newscientist.com.

Graphene Armor Cost by Product

Graphene microfiber is simply superior to carbon nanotube technology.  This type of armor costs a little more but is higher performance hands down.  In fact the NIJ no longer allows manufacturers to have armor made with carbon nanotubes to be tested.  

Vests

Graphene armored vests cost between $645 and $1,126.  The cost of these graphene vests vary depending on how much coverage they offer.  In addition they can be purchased as a standard option or an elite option that is more durable and has a longer warranty.

The least expensive graphene vest is called the T-Shield Vest.  It starts at $645 dollars for the standard armor option. It is concealable and covers your vital organs such as kidneys, liver, heart, and lungs.  

The most expensive graphene vest is the SHTF Vest and it starts at $754 dollars.  It’s wraparound armor design covers more of your body.  It wraps around your sides to cover more threats.  It also offers a MOLLE system so you can strap on any items such as mags, pistols, radios, or other tactical accessories.

Other graphene vests include the Civvy Vest, Civvy Female Vest, which start at $649 for the unisex option and $734 for a vest customized to fit a woman more comfortably.

Bag & Backpack Inserts

The least expensive graphene product is a bulletproof insert.  They start at $99 and are used for armoring many types of bags.  When most people say they want a bulletproof backpack, they are thinking of inserts.  The cost depends on the size and armor level purchased.

  • Small (7×10”) Graphene Inserts start at $99 dollars
  • Medium (10×13”) Graphene Inserts start at $139 dollars
  • Large (11×15”) Graphene Inserts start at $179 dollars

Measuring the bag or backpack will help concerned consumers choose the right size for their bags or backpacks.

Convertible Bulletproof Backpack Vests

A convertible bulletproof backpack vest costs $1,200 for the standard armor configuration.  It is a wraparound body armor solution that is as concealable as it is effective.  It’s rapid deployment system takes you from just carrying a backpack to having front, back, and side body armor in just 2 seconds.  With the elite armor option, $1,524 dollars, it is made with more durable materials and has a longer warranty.  

Binders & Notebooks

Binder and notebook costs start at $249 and go up to $399 dollars.  For school age children and college students the standard armored 3-ring binder notebook costs $249 and has an elite option for $359.  There are executive armored binders made with leather and have a more professional executive appearance, they cost either $299 or $399 depending on if you want a standard or elite armor solution.

What Is Graphene Armor?

Graphene is made up purely of carbon atoms which are configured in hexagonal arrangements.  These layers are structured at a scale of 1 atom thick.  It is famous for its ability to conduct electricity and heat with impressive efficiency.  Due to graphene’s impressive qualities it is being researched for a wide variety of fields.  They include energy storage, electronics, biological engineering, medical treatment, photovoltaic cells, and of course armor technologies. 

SHOP