Shipping out to Iraq? Got your shopping bag ready?


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IntrudEd
March 1, 2005, 03:09 AM
Gotta friend shipping out to Iraq soon, and I want to make her a care package for her deployment. First on the list is new mags for her M9. But, where to get 3 of them for less than a C note. Also I want to send some good gun lube, I had heard of a good dry lube called something like Militex or Militon? Any info on this would be helpful. Also, this would be a good thread for suggesting items to buy for those deploying or and their friends and family.

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saltydog452
March 1, 2005, 07:51 AM
My son appreciated good socks, Corn Starch, a good hydration unit, lip balm, good sunglasses, and two Beta 'C' mags.

salty.

molonlabe
March 1, 2005, 09:00 AM
Here is a link to a message I posted a couple months ago and we found it helpful. You can get the springs to repair the issue ones.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=110693

Seems our boy will be attached to the Marines. 2/2 in Ramadi. Heart of the Suni Triangle. Now I know how my parents felt when I went to Vietnam.

ktd
March 1, 2005, 05:50 PM
CDNN should have some 92 mags, both OEM, LE marked, used, contract, etc.

As far as lube, the Militex I am familiar with is a thick oil, and is highly recommended by a lot of my competition buddies for slides and barrels.

Myself when I was over there I used CLP or RemLube (that was all I could get). I think routine maintenance is more important than what you use (as long as it is decent), every night I checked for grittiness (easy to do when you have to clear you sidearms when you get on post), and cleaned and relubed as necessary. ymmv. According to one of my armourer friends (and confirmed through some other thread done by someone sand testing various lube conditions), sandlogging an over-lubed (dripping wet) pistol was better than running it dry.

I would add an LED headlamp (Petzl Tikka retractable is my choice), basic hygiene stuff (nail clippers are very nice), a sewing kit (with heavy thread and mil buttons), and a Leatherman. Next time I am taking an MP3 player with 5000 songs on it. Otherwise, depending on where you are, you can get almost everything else at the PX if you are going to a major base.

k

Steve Smith
March 3, 2005, 08:21 AM
After having spent several months in a tent in Iraq, I will tell you that the Petzl Tikka isn't all that. When used a LOT the switch becomes unreliable, and the white-only light is an annoyance to others. Wal-Mart has a cheaper and better model that has a switchable light filter (red) and has a better off/on switch.

ktd
March 3, 2005, 01:26 PM
That is true enough about the Tikka, the switch is somewhat annoying, though my new ones seem better. I really meant the Tikka as a very compact backup light. Now that I think about it, for most walking around at night I just used my NVGs, it was easier as I would already have them on!

You can get filters for the Tikka, though I lost the lens for mine. Even with occasional use it was pretty battered at the end of my trip, so maybe a cheaper unit would be better. I still use mine though. At the time I got it it was pretty much the only deal in town for LED lights.

k

cpileri
March 3, 2005, 01:47 PM
XXXXX,
Here’s the list of things your Brother-in-law will want to take/replace with him. It is not all inclusive, and some items may be issued by his unit if there’s a special need.

Head: Helmet- issue Kevlar is OK, a new sweat band and liner can be helpful to allow air to circulate under it
Eyes: forget the crappy issue ones. Get a Wiley X sunglasses/goggles combo like the Wiley X CQC tactical goggle which is helmet and night vision compatible
Mouth: dust protector like Spec Ops Recon Wrap and/or several bandanas or handkerchiefs
Lips: lip balm with sun protection factor, it melts in the heat, so a sealed tub may be best
Neck: sunscreen, high potency – your sister will have to include more in his weekly/monthly care packages since he will apply it daily

Chest: A mimimum of Level III+ NIJ rated KEVLAR (i.e. aramid) ballistic vest: no other material than Kevlar!! All the others have failed and the companies are being sued for making a bull???? product. Make sure the vest is ALSO rated for fragmentation such as the NATO QR- FSBE Tac Vest or this one: http://www.bulletproofme.com/TACTICAL_Body_Armor.shtml#OTV
AND…
The Armor Plate that is NIJ rated to stop MULTIPLE hits from rifle fire, and the carrier needed to attach it. Steel plates are heavy but the Polyethylene plates lose their strength in the heat! The total for all the armor alone will be over 1000 bucks. Small price to pay to save a loved one’s life.
__________________________________________________________
Armor info from a site that rates the stuff:
The following conclusions are offered:
-- AVOID Zylon! Perhaps when Toyobo institutes improved manufacturing processing Zylon will become an outstanding armor material, but at this time, Zylon is NOT an acceptable vest material option. The Zylon vests while thinner, definitely demonstrated significantly greater backface deformation compared to equivalent threat level vests of made of woven p-aramids or laminate materials. Again, given the poor performance of laminate vest materials against contact shots, my personal choice is to go with an all woven Kevlar or Twaron vest.
n LIMIT laminate materials, like Spectra, in soft body armor applications, as they do not provide as much protection against contact shots as woven p-aramids and they are subjectively less comfortable to wear.
n when the officers directly asked Mr. McCarthy which vest he would wear himself, he replied that he would use the all Kevlar “Silver” package from Armor Holdings, not the “Gold” or “Platinum” packages that make extensive use of Zylon and laminates. In fact, Mr. McCarthy stated the “Silver” package is what his son wears on duty. If the “Silver” package that was observed is accurate, it appears to be primarily woven Kevlar, with a few middle layers of Kevlar laminate Gold Flex. Based on yesterday’s testing, the more affordable “Silver” package appears to offer significantly better protection than the more expensive “Gold” or “Platinum offerings from Armor Holdings (ABA/Safariland).
--USE vests made of proven woven p-aramid fibers like Kevlar and Twaron. These vests continue to provide adequate protection many years past their warranty period.
-- Each officer and agency must decide if they desire a thinner, more “wearable” vest or a slightly thicker vest that provides better protection against both non-ballistic, blunt trauma injuries that can occur in hand-to-hand confrontations, MVA’s, and industrial accidents, as well as better protection against certain types of ammunition. This is an individual choice that depends on expected threats types and wear environment.
My personal preference is thicker, level IIIa vests (with additional hard armor inserts, as needed) for uniformed Patrol and Tactical environments and thinner, level II vests for discreet wear in other situations.





Chest (cont.): sweat away shirts, several (Under Armor Heatgear brand)
Also a backpack, for personal gear, green with hydration (camelback) optional, and MOLLE compatible but otherwise his choice.

Arms: Shirts as above, sunscreen. Issue BDU blouses are good. Indiglo Watch.
Hands: gloves are his choice depending on the type of work he does, but some guys use them simply to prevent sunburns. Go with thin leather Kevlar lines gloves or lese Kevlar lined fingerless ones. Not rubber or latex, they melt and don’t breathe in the heat
Legs: BDU pants are good, get a better belt- maybe a pistol belt.
Feet: get the BEST boots possible that are still regulation. NO steel toe or steel soles, they set off magnetic explosives. No holes that can let sand in, pay for a ‘complex’ ventilation system. Socks: Wigwam Ingenious Boot Socks, several pairs. No cotton: wool or synthetic only. Replace laces with paracord or appropriate color.

Other: Sweat Proof neck pouch or water wallet
Sewing kit, and prescription meds, toilet paper if he has room! And have more sent in care packages!
Water purifier filter and/or a purifier canteen (Press-2-pure), and optional iodine tabs

Make sure he gets his issue frist aid kit, if not I can get a list of recommended items.

OK, he knows he can’t bring his own backup gun. People do. But not officially. Still, the issue weapons are plagued with malfunctions so he should bring a few things to help make sure his weapon works when needed:
-FACTORY, or Asian contract factory, Baretta M9 15-rd magazines, smooth any internal burrs. 2 will easily fit into a BDU cargo pocket and just keep that to himself. He knows he can’t bring his own ammo either. Those FMJ 9mm bullets zip right through the skinny dudes we are shooting, though. So unofficially the BEST anti-personell 9mm round is the 9mm 147-gr Winchester Ranger ammo factory labeled RA9T- accept no substitute. Winchester Ranger SXT is NOT the same thing. But any good hollowpoint is a step in the right direction hypothetically of course.
- Factory (Colt, or Armalite or Bushmaster, or gov’t contract) M-16 223 magazines with the green followers. Yes, there is a recommended ammo for these. I can find out if he likes. Hypothetically.
- Dry-Lube (molybdenum disulfide in an evaporating base): you don’t want grease and oil attracting sand.
- Condoms, to put over the muzzle, duct tape to hold it down. In a pinch, he can fire right through the rubber. Saran wrap to keep the action clean.
- Straight blade knife, like a Kabar or issue M16 bayonet. Sharpening stone.
- Leatherman/gerber tool
A laptop computer with internet hookup. I forget is they use DSL or what, he can check.
Tweezers, a superior pair, not good, not great; superior. Like the Silvergrippers.
Toenail clippers.
Sandals, wwaterproof- he will want alternate and well ventilated footwear for the shower and off times. Don’t forget suncreeen on the feet if he does that!
LED hand held light for carrying.
Clip on LED for reading at night.
Fun reading, magazines- have you rsister send monthly with care packages.
Paper, pencils.

That’s all for now. Here’s a source for the ammo: I have some from him and he is totally reliable, fast shipping, and fair. Here’s his ad:

“I have the Winchester Ranger ammo available in the below listed calibers. Ammo is brand new and the handgun ammo is in 50 round boxes and the .223 rifle ammo is in 20 round boxes. Prices are plus UPS shipping. When contacting me concerning the ammo I will need quantity you are interested in and your zip code and I will furnish you with a total. Money order or cashiers check as payment please. No Paypal.

RA380T - 380acp 95gr - $21.00
RA38110HP+ - 38 special 110gr+P+ - $18.50
RA9T - 9mm 147gr - $18.50
RA9TA - 9mm 127gr+P+ - $18.50
RA40TA - 40s&w 165gr - $20.00
RA40T - 40s&w 180gr - $20.00
RA357SIGT - 357sig 125gr - $21.00
RA45T - 45acp 230gr - $22.00
RA45TP - 45acp 230gr+P - $22.00
RA223R - .223 55gr soft point - $10.00

Contact me direct at jwkpatrick@yahoo.com if interested.”

Here are some posts from huyg who have been there and what they wanted in their care packages:
“Ground Starbuck's coffee and filters
Socks
Gun, Outdoor, and porn magazines
Copenhagen
Home-baked cookies
Cards or posters from supportive Americans for the Operations Center

Lip balm
Cortaid cream
Foot powder
Lamasil
Toothpaste and brushes
Nail clippers
Tweezers
Bandaids
Captain Morgan's Rum concealed in an Listerine bottle”

“The PX in Baghdad sucks.The CD selection was nasty. No Blues. DVD's? Great, if you have a US-format system that works on 220v, or batteries. Otherwise, see the kids outside for the bootlegged Euro-format versions. The tourist trash seems to be made just about anywhere else.”

“A co-worker was called up by the Guard (Kuwait) and this is what me and some of the other co-workers send him and others in his unit.

Carmex lip balm
Deodorant
tooth brushes
tooth paste
foot and body powder
socks

What I personally send for him every few months is three rolls of Kodiak and a phone card.”

“cheap LED lights (red)
Nice, soft American T.P. (good packing material too)
Powerbars
sugar-free gum
cookies, chips and assorted other pogey bait
tobacco products (not for him, but as thank-you's for his troops)
a paperback book here and there
current family photos

I even mailed him a toilet seat, because their's kept breaking.

I also did his gear shopping for him and would send that over as well - just don't list anything juicy on the customs form, as the good stuff has a tendency to get "lost" apparently. Max Grip NT nomex gloves become "socks" for the paperwork.”


Good Luck to him!
XXXXX

Spreadfire Arms
March 4, 2005, 07:47 PM
don't know how viable this is but a contractor i met who just got back from the sandbox advised three "hot" items he found were easily used as items to barter with amongst others to get what they needed in the event they found they needed to get something that wasn't in their care package, or can't be sent to them:

1. SureFire or other quality handheld lights
2. Wiley-X sunglasses
3. Benchmade, Spyderco, or other quality knives

another Army enlisted soldier advised me that while he was there he had a line on bottles of Jack Daniel's (don't ask me how) and evidently that commands a very high trade value.

i guess the best thing to do is to pack a few things that your loved one can use to barter for things you didn't think of?

ktd
March 4, 2005, 08:24 PM
For barter material I took about every cheap and old knife (but still decent) I had and gave them out pretty freely, it paid me a lot of divedends down the road. Bartering is more of a contractor thing, though the gate guards always appreciated things like snacks and gatorade. Just being nice to people and acting somewhat competent will make a huge amount of difference.

Alchohol was readily available at the duty free shop at the airports, I do not know if that changed with the handover. That was also a welcome barter material, though you have to be somewhat careful who you share it with.

When it comes down to it, everyone's situation and needs and available resources are different. You just gotta go through everyone' else's lists and ask yourself, does this make sense for me and do I have enough room? Do not take stuff just because someone says everyone else takes it, after all situations change constantly and you only have maybe four duffel bags. In the end, it is better to be resourceful than to take everything with you, at a moments notice you could lose all your stuff and end up wearing shorts and combat boots for the last month of your tour. Everyone called me the crocodile hunter after that, but within a couple of days I had re-acquired enough new stuff to be comfortable again (except I could not find any jeans).

k

ktd
March 7, 2005, 02:33 PM
Forget to add some obvious (to me at least) stuff for the soldier,

lots of brown shirts
lots of underwear

your own personal supply of
90mph or 100 mph tape (duct tape)
and 550 (para) cord

k

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