I am sick of "Tactical" "Combat" and "Assault"


January 9, 2003, 12:59 PM
Time to vent. It seems that I can't read a gun mag without these words used to decribe a product. What the heck is the difference between a "tactical" pocket knife and a regular pocket knife. How about the difference between a regular pistol and a "combat" pistol. I guess if you paint something black, then you're tactical,and can charge more. The only difference between "combat" boots, and "tactical" boots is that one is black. I still havn't figured out an "assault" pocket knife yet.

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January 9, 2003, 01:06 PM
I just bought a tactical combat assault Martini-Henry.

It must be so, as (unlike the devices currently advertised as such) it was used to tactically assault half the known world in combat... ;)

Dean Speir
January 9, 2003, 01:16 PM
It seems that I can't read a gun mag without these words used to decribe a product. This should afford most critical thinkers some small insight into just who publishers and editors consider their target readership!

"Tactical" became a gunzine (and law enforcement periodical) buzzword about a dozen or so years back. (The other hot chat back then was about "subsonic" handgun ammo.) "Assault" and "Combat" enjoyed a certain cachet in the early-to-mid '80s, but then because too dangerous to continue bandying about even in the pages of gunzines… hell, even the reasonably good gear manufacturer, "," decided it was in their best interest to change their name to something more "PC" by the time the '90s arrived.

It is the tenor of the times that "Assault" and "Combat" are once again used freely and without fear, wouldn't you say? ;)

January 9, 2003, 01:20 PM
Tackycal = 20% cheaper to produce due to rough finish and 20% higher price because traffic will bear it. :D

January 9, 2003, 01:34 PM
(The other hot chat back then was about "subsonic" handgun ammo.)

Did that bug you as much as it did me? The last straw for me was "Subsonic 10mm Auto" which, when you think about it, makes only slightly more sense than "Subsonic .357 Magnum"... ;)

January 9, 2003, 01:37 PM
Yeah, it's like almost every piece of computer software is now a "Pro" version. Everything is "Something Something 9.0 Pro" and I'm even seeing this on games now. :rolleyes:

Marketing people, go figure...

Joe Demko
January 9, 2003, 01:39 PM
I'm sick nigh unto death of the phrase "high-speed/low drag" and calling various gun-toters "operators."

Dean Speir
January 9, 2003, 01:53 PM
Did that bug you as much as it did me? Made me freakin' nuts, because with the virtual endorsement of the FBI, and the way that "subsonic" was bandied about the gunzines for several years, it was clear that a whole slew of people actually thought that the "subsonic" attribute suddenly turned pistol rounds into hand-held particle-ionazation beams.


Fackler, at the 1987 Wound Ballistics Seminar in Quantico, is probably responsible for the bulk of that, but then as influential as he is, he can't be blamed for the lack of critical-thinking skills of the rank 'n' file firearms community.

January 9, 2003, 02:01 PM
I'm sick nigh unto death of the phrase "high-speed/low drag" and calling various gun-toters "operators."

Hey I resemble that remark!:mad:

Actually I am sick of people being so annoyed by words, and the obviously emotional reactions to them.

Isn’t that what the ANTIS do? React emotionally to something.

“Oh no! “Its an ASSUALT rifle, it must be BAD. Lets ban it!”

What do you want to do ban the words tactical, assault, and combat.

I thought whining was better left to the ANTIS!


January 9, 2003, 02:05 PM
Words don't bother me, but as an avid fan of the Mother Tongue, the misuse of them really gets up my nose.

Certain colloquialisms, however, are (when used in their proper context) rather humorous.

I have a tactical sheet of construction paper at home: It's black, and I paid three times the going rate for brown construction paper to get it. ;)

January 9, 2003, 02:20 PM
Sometimes those words can help. In the PRK for example, "sniper rifles" are politically incorrect.

So my .308 Savage 10FP, with Tasco 10x42SS mil-dot and Harris bipod that can put 5 holes in less than 3/4" at 100 yards is a "tactical" rifle (or to really muddy the waters it's a "sport utility rifle":D )

Of course anyone who actually sees it thinks "sniper rifle" but it's just a label, right?;)


pale horse
January 9, 2003, 02:45 PM
My GF asked me what the difference was between the tactial model she saw in a gun rag and one that I had. I told her that it was painted black and had tactial painted on it and cost 50 dollars more. She just laughed. So now its an ongoing joke "Its not tactial enough for my." when she asks if I like it. A buddy of mine picked up a folding skinning knife and ask me what I though and I said it was not tactial enough and my GF whopped me on the arm and laughed.

I have tried to make my 1911 less tactial by coloring the letters in with a crayon, white in color, so I look less cool on the range. I told the owner of the range about and she just laughed in disbelief and then I showed her and she rolled her eyes.

January 9, 2003, 02:52 PM
Please, anyone, correct me if I'm wrong. It's called MARKETING. They know their target audience.

El Tejon
January 9, 2003, 02:52 PM
Feh, just another word for fighting and fighting is what guns are all about. I have a lot of other things to get worked up about, like SIG v. Glock.

Personally I've never been "tactical" and the only "high speed/low drag" thing I do is throw a Starbucks cup in the trash from across the room. At most, I was operational (on a good day--a while ago), but talking on the phone and typing is the epitome of strategic.:D

January 9, 2003, 03:29 PM

Elmer Snerd
January 9, 2003, 04:04 PM
I wonder when other companies will start doing this. Imagine the money to be made by painting something flat black, calling it "Tactical", and jacking the price up by a third... then imagine the ensuing hysteria.

"New for '03: It's the Ford Festiva Tactical-- the 'Speciial Ops' subcompact!"

"It's the Oster XL17-- the Tactical Blender!"

"Wanda Higgins was arrested today for possession of a Tactical high-capacity rapid-fire sniper streetsweeper 'Assault' cheese grater."

January 9, 2003, 04:11 PM
The only difference between "combat" boots, and "tactical" boots is that one is black.
You know, in my limited experience all combat boots are black, unless they're meant to be used in the desert or arctic.

January 9, 2003, 04:24 PM
That Marlin or Winchester haven't marketed a "tactical" lever action. I mean think about it. Black polymer stocks, a nice red dot, maybe a shell carrier on the buttstock...flashlight on the forend.

Actually it might be kinda cool. I have seen one done by an aftermarket company that looked pretty cool.

Truely I bet they would make some money by doing this.

January 9, 2003, 04:34 PM
"Tactical" costs 300-500% more. Thats about all.

January 9, 2003, 04:41 PM
At least in shape. I'm sort of round, with no sharp corners. Yup, dropped out of an airplane, I'd have about as much wind resistance as a soft ball.

January 9, 2003, 04:42 PM
Agreed, I too am sick of this craze.
Just today, I bought a Tactical Combat Pen to prepare reports with. :neener:

It's just a name to jack the price up with.

January 9, 2003, 04:54 PM
While we're at it...I'm sick of "Politically Correct" and "Don't Go There"

January 9, 2003, 05:02 PM
1911 sometimes upsets me too.

Lets ban it.


Shooter 2.5
January 9, 2003, 06:25 PM
"Endorsed by the Navy Seals" or if it isn't, just a stock picture of what appears to be Navy Seals.

"X-treme" Come on, it's an object and just lays there. It's the user that makes it happen.

"A "No Compromise" gun group" Yeah, sure, whatever.

January 9, 2003, 06:31 PM
Feh, just another word for fighting and fighting is what guns are all about.

Yessiree, especially those Tactical Perazzis. When you fight with those, your clay enemies don't stand a chance! :eek: ;)

January 9, 2003, 06:39 PM
How 'bout ..

...combat toilet paper?
...tactical tooth brush?
...assault belt buckle?

January 9, 2003, 06:40 PM
One thing worth bearing in mind is that the mall ninjas and the newbie CCW crowd come to the whole gun scene berift of knowledge, or precident. They know what they read in SWAT, or Guns&Ammo.

Savy marketers are hired by business men in the firearms and related gear industy to help make a profit. Thats what 'bidnez' is all about. The marketing panders to this audiences lack of knowledge and lack of background in the subject.

I don't worry about it, and I dont read the gun mags. I don't buy tactical crap, heck, I don't even wear camo when hunting. I guess taking a lot of deer wearing jeans and Woolrich shirts ruined me.

January 9, 2003, 06:50 PM
are so sensitive to the term, that the next buzzword for firearms will be simply "hunting" models. Which, if you really think about it, is what tactical weapons are all about...:scrutiny:

Navy joe
January 9, 2003, 06:54 PM
Mannlicher, I don't wear camo for the deer, the Woolrich works. I wear camo for the hunters. I feel sooo much better when I'm just not seen at all.

HS/LD I dunno, it's not the words themselves that annoy most, it's how they are used to appeal to people that for lack of a better word are posers. Said posers then bandy about those words to:
1. Impress women
2. Impress friends
3. Appear cool
4. Appear tactical

3+4 = tacticool

The guns and nylon pouches are no better, they just sell better to people who are legends in their own mind. The fact that people with that restricted of a thought process own guns disturbs me.

Again, This whole thread reminds me why I will never buy anything advertised by Pyramont, no matter how neat the product may be.

Bob Thompson
January 9, 2003, 06:56 PM
For anybody that remembers I believe marketing created from Winchester the Black Talon pistol bullet. Hollywierd portrayed it as a cop killer "will go through a bullet proof vest like a hot knife through butter" and the antis jumped on that with full assult to ban it as just that. Winchesters marketing pulled it from shelves only to bring basically the same bullet back as the Fail safe and the antis were satisfied. What a difference a word or two make.

January 9, 2003, 09:31 PM
Just a few ideas as to what's going on.

"Meatball marketing"--yea, "tactical // black // ninja // etc" is cool! Let's go with it.

"Halo marketing"--you know our stuff is good because an unnamed government agency uses it. Our product can be soaked in chicken manure for years and still function properly.

"Me, too, less five" marketing--I got what you want, we just charge 5% less. We sell direct and cut out the middleman.

"Everyone else is doing it so we have to do it" marketing--we gotta have tactical // black // ninja // etc. because everyone else has it.

These strategies are off the top of my head. All have one common characteristic: They all ignore the environment in which products are sold. Anti's spent years figuring a way to harass and destroy the gun industry in the US. Now we have a series of lawsuits filed claiming the gun industry incited violence by virture of is marketing. This tactic was developed in the tobacco suits which proved to be successful. Litigation attorneys now apply the same tactics to gun manufacturers. Know what? I think they'll be successful at some level.

Meanwhile, gun types are oblivious to the impending assault. If I ran the marketing shop at some of these manufacturers, I'd be bustin' buttons to change the focus.

January 9, 2003, 10:13 PM
/***Newbie rant on ***/

I have been in the habit of explaining to an anti or a fence-sitter that the 1994 "Assault weapons ban" redefined an "assault weapon" - that which was previously defined as "select fire" is now defined as "evil looking".

None of the "assault weapons" named in the ban are actually assault weapons - they (assault weapons) were already impossibly difficult to obtain (or at least pay for) since the NFA of 1934.

So, I tend to believe that some marketing dweeb insisting on tagging the term "assault" on my SEMI-auto is doing his or her utmost to insure that the 1994 ban does NOT sunset gracefully - I mean, just look at all that "assault / tactical / sniper" stuff that's out there. Sarah and Tom gotta be loving this.

Anyhow, being bent on being part of the problem rather than part of the solution, I have recently placed an order for an "assault" flashlight.

Don't believe it? check the following for a description...


Spec Ops? Assault?!

When it (the flashlight) shows up, should I like it as much as I think I will, I'll start looking for a "tactical / spec ops" sheath and maybe even some "mil-spec/ tactical" batteries.

/***Rant off ***/

January 9, 2003, 11:07 PM
I mean really. Whose gonna buy a gun that is advertised as having a "user friendly" cocking action with a "maintenance free" magazine and "ergonomic" "machine washable" pistol grips in your choise of "pastel" or "dayglo" colours?? I'll settle for my ole' tactical-black-combat-full-auto-armour-piercing-pistol-grip-folding-stock-high-capacity-extended-magazine-multi-barrel-suppressed-bayonet-lugged-law-enforcement-assault-Remington-870-turbo!!!
(with a compass and a thing that tells time from the sun in the stock...)

Freedom in theSkies
January 9, 2003, 11:26 PM
C'mon now Autolite, you can't have one of those...You'll shoot yer eye out.:neener:

January 10, 2003, 02:40 AM
There are alot of firearms described as "sporting", "hunting", or "target".

Whats wrong with describing guns made for fighting?

January 10, 2003, 03:35 AM
Let me try to interpret:

Tactical = 50% markup; Skunk will buy it.
Combat = I saw a picture of someone using it while he/she was wearing camo
Assault = We like it, but we don't think the leftists will like it.
Subsonic = we have no clue the speed of sound, and we venture to guess you don't either, so we will insert this word (as per recommendation of the marketing team) in hopes that it sells more guns/ammo.
MilSpec = a guy behind the gun counter who claims he was in 'Nam before, had used it.
Hunting = I saw a picture of said item next to a deer before
Sport = overly laddened with extras that you don't need but we want to sell you
Target = something you bought which won't help you shoot any better and is money spent that you otherwise could have used on real training which WOULD help you shoot better

Any and all of these words, when used; also means you can't own it in Australia, England, or the PRNJ.

There, now are we all clear?

January 10, 2003, 03:52 AM
All Clear :)

Double Naught Spy
January 10, 2003, 11:20 AM
The sad thing about tactical, combat, and assault is that nobody even seems to know what they mean anymore. I would add to that CQB or CQC for close quarters battle or combat. If a term gets used in a wrong manner long enough, the newer use becomes another accepted definition or valid use. Buying anything called "tactical" doesn't mean it is or that you are. As well as I understand it, tactical is all about application and as such, just about any product can be used in a tactical manner.

I am sick of hearing "one ragged hole," "tack driver," gun evaluations that are glowing that say things like "I have over 600 rounds through my gun and it has been flawless. I would not hesitate to reccomend this gun to anyone," etc. I would be more impressed with one smooth hole. No one ever drove tacks with a gun, right? As far as glowing evaluations, if the gun has less than 5000 rounds through it, it is still pretty much brand new in terms of mechanical wear and tear and so glowing reviews below that level really aren't telling us much other than the gun isn't screwed up.

January 10, 2003, 01:35 PM
Some folks view this wording as having some real meaning. I was talking with a USMC Scout/Sniper night before last who is getting ready for the Mid-east (originally scheduled to sail on the 1-13) who said he'd been running all over town upgrading his gear since USMC issue was cheap and not very "tactical." It addition to 4 gilly suits he mentioned getting a new canteen cover, socks, and gloves. He said most of the gear in his 22 man platoon was similarly upgraded.

January 10, 2003, 03:09 PM

does this qualify as tactical?

January 10, 2003, 03:18 PM
i dont think so.... a lot more gear could be strapped on, maybe 5 more magazines, a folder, flashlight, spare batteries for the flashlight, a leatherman, portable cleaning kit, hydration system, and at least one of them should have a long rifle of some sort, or at the least a shottie.
the bodysuit is just the base for being tactical. just like long underwear is the base for preparing a stint in cold weather. :neener:

January 10, 2003, 03:24 PM
Someone mentioned tactical lever guns...heres one for ya


Barrel length, 14 3/8 inches, stock cut off at the pistol grip, big loop lever, ghost ring sights, chambered in 457 magnum, Laser Light mount attached and a Insight Technologies M6 laser/illuminator attached.

January 10, 2003, 03:41 PM
Don't like how them CZ muzzles are sweepen their tender parts. :eek: But are they tackycal, oh are they ever!!!

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