Welcome to our tactical gear glossary page. If you want to get a solid grip on military and survival gear lingo, you’re in the right place. We’ve all been there – getting tripped up by the technical terms, TLA (three-letter acronyms), and slang in this field. But that’s what this glossary’s for. This is your roadmap to understanding the real talk of the tactical world. No fluff, just straight-up knowledge. Consider this the ultimate tactical and military gear dictionary.

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Assault Rifle: A selective-fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Popular models include the M16 and AK-47, both renowned for their reliability and widespread use in various military conflicts.

My favorite backpack (at the moment):

5.11 Rush 24 Tactical Backpack

Glossary | gear gunny
My favorite backpack (at the moment):

5.11 Rush 24 Tactical Backpack

I’m really into the 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Backpack for its versatility and ample pockets that keep my gear organized. The durable build handles my active lifestyle well, and it fits comfortably. And even though the water bottle pockets are a bit snug, they secure my bottles just fine.


Bayonet: A blade that may be fixed to the muzzle of a rifle, primarily used to stab an opponent in hand-to-hand combat. Its design ensures a firm attachment, preventing it from dislodging during combat scenarios.

Bolt-Action Rifle: A type of firearm where the bolt is manually operated by the opening and closing of the breech with a small handle. Known for its accuracy, it’s a preferred choice for many marksmen and snipers.


Camouflage Netting: A net used to conceal military forces or equipment from observation. Made of durable materials, it mimics the surrounding environment, providing an effective visual shield against detection.

Combat Boots: Sturdy footwear designed specifically for soldiers, offering protection, durability, and ankle stability. Their design ensures comfort during long marches and rugged terrains.

Combat Knife: A fighting knife tailored for military use, essential for hand-to-hand combat situations. Its sharp blade and ergonomic grip make it a versatile tool in the field.

Canteen: A durable water container used by military personnel in the field. It’s designed for easy portability, ensuring hydration during prolonged operations.

Claymore Mine: An anti-personnel mine that releases shrapnel in a specific direction upon detonation. Positioned strategically, it can counter enemy advances effectively.




Flashbang Grenade: A non-lethal grenade that produces a bright flash and loud noise to disorient adversaries. It’s commonly used in urban warfare and hostage rescue operations.

Flak Jacket: A protective garment designed to shield against shrapnel and other fragmentation. While not bulletproof, it offers significant protection in explosive scenarios.


Gas Mask: A protective mask that prevents the wearer from inhaling airborne pollutants and toxic gases. Essential in chemical warfare or toxic environments, it ensures the user can breathe safely.

Ghillie Suit: A type of camouflage clothing that resembles the background, such as foliage or sand. Snipers often use it to blend seamlessly into their surroundings.

Grenade Launcher: A firearm designed to launch grenades farther and more accurately than by hand. It provides soldiers with the ability to deliver explosive payloads over a distance.


Hand Grenade: A compact explosive device thrown by hand. It detonates after a short delay, causing damage to nearby targets.

Helmet: Protective headgear that shields military personnel from impacts and projectiles. Made of tough materials, it’s a crucial piece of equipment on the battlefield.




Kevlar Vest: A bullet-resistant body armor made from strong synthetic fibers. While not entirely bulletproof, it significantly reduces the impact and penetration of bullets.



Machete: A broad blade used either as an implement or in combat. Its versatility makes it useful for tasks like clearing vegetation or close-quarters combat.

Mortar: A short-barreled, muzzle-loading artillery piece that fires shells at low velocities. Often used to deliver indirect fire against enemy positions from a concealed location.


Night Vision Goggles: Optical devices that produce images in low light conditions. Essential for nighttime operations, they provide soldiers with a clear view in near-total darkness.



Paracord: A lightweight nylon rope initially used in parachute lines. Due to its strength and flexibility, it’s a favorite for various survival and tactical applications.



Rations: Pre-packaged food supplies for soldiers in the field. They are nutritionally balanced to sustain soldiers during prolonged missions.

RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade): A shoulder-fired weapon that launches rockets with explosive warheads. Effective against armored vehicles and fortifications.


SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile): A missile launched from the ground to intercept and destroy aircraft. Its sophisticated tracking systems can lock onto fast-moving targets in the air.

Sidearm: A compact firearm, such as a pistol, carried as a secondary weapon. Useful in situations where a primary weapon might be impractical or unavailable.

Sleeping Bag: A warm, insulated bag for sleeping, especially in outdoor or rough conditions. Designed for compactness and insulation, it ensures soldiers can rest in challenging environments.

Sniper Rifle: A precision-engineered rifle tailored for long-range shooting. Fitted with a telescopic sight, it allows marksmen to hit distant targets with high accuracy.


Tactical Backpack: A rugged backpack designed for military operations. It has multiple compartments to organize and carry gear efficiently.

Tactical Vest: A wearable vest that provides storage for equipment and ammunition. It’s designed for quick access to essential items during combat situations.

Trench Shovel: A compact tool used for digging, especially useful in constructing defensive trenches. Its design is optimized for portability and efficient digging.

Tripwire: A thin wire or cord set up to trigger an alarm or explosive device. It’s a defensive measure to alert soldiers of enemy movement.




Walkie-talkie: A portable two-way radio for communication over short distances. Essential for coordinating movements and relaying information in the field.

Watchtower: A tall structure that offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area. Often used for surveillance and early warning against potential threats.

Water Purification Tablets: Chemical tablets used to disinfect and purify untreated water. They ensure safe drinking water in environments where clean water sources are scarce.

Wire Cutters: A tool designed to cut through wire barriers, including barbed wire. Essential for breaching obstacles in combat zones.





Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Gear Gunny is a military survival and defense website that provides a wealth of resources for crossbow hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and aspiring archers. Here are some answers to the most common question we get.

The word "tactical" refers to something designed for a specific purpose, especially in situations that require quick decisions and actions. Think of it like strategies or maneuvers in a game of chess. So, if you hear someone mention "tactical gear" or "tactical approach," they're basically talking about equipment or methods that are meant for specific tasks, usually in high-pressure or combat-related scenarios.

There's no law that says civilians can't buy or own tactical gear. This could be anything from flashlights, backpacks, to even certain types of body armor. However, it's always a good idea to check local regulations because some specific items might have restrictions or require permits, such as fire arms and knives.

While civilians can own this gear, wearing it in public can raise some eyebrows. In some places, it might even be illegal to wear military uniforms or imitations if you're not a part of the armed forces. Not to mention, it might give off the wrong impression or cause unnecessary panic. So, while it might be cool to own, it's probably best to think twice before strolling around town in full tactical attire.

If we're talking general popularity, tactical flashlights are super common. They're durable, powerful, and versatile—great for both everyday use and those unexpected emergencies. Other items like tactical backpacks, knives, and boots are also pretty popular among enthusiasts and professionals alike. It really boils down to what specific task or situation you're gearing up for!