Tactical Response Bags

While we still have the tried-and-true duty bag to carry our daily duty gear bag, we now have options for our packs and bags that allow us to better blend in with civilians should the need arise. You may not want your bags to scream “cop” if you try to keep a low profile when you are off duty, maybe you don’t want your bag to scream “gun” if you are heading to the range or traveling, or the duty assignment requires a bag that allows you to fit in with your surroundings.

BLACKHAWK! is leading the way in answering these needs with low-profile and special gear bags. The Diversion Bag series is BLACKHAWK!’s true low-profile series of bags. This series of bags look like gym bags, tennis bags, camera cases, and even one looks like a skateboard or snowboard bag. These bags are available in grey with blue, black or red, depending upon the model. While these colors may seem everyday and drab, BLACKHAWK! chose them for that reason. Through research they found these are the most common colors of athletic gear bags.

Unlike sports bags, Diversion Bags allow you to conceal firearms in plain sight; securely while giving you fairly quick access. The bags will accommodate firearms up to 29 inches long and easily fits a M4 with the upper removed from the lower. These bags can fit a precision rifle if it can be broken down into 29-inch sections. Manufactured from 420 velocity nylon, these bags are tough as nails, water and stain resistant, and padded to protect your stowed gear.

The Racquet is a great travel case. It allows the officer to pack a folded rifle on one side while stowing two 30-round magazines, two magazines, and a handgun in carriers that attach with hook and loop backings. When packed like this, it takes up less area than a standard single case for an M4 and it looks very touristy when on the road.

The Range and Workout make ideal cases when heading to the range or on the road to a training center because they do not draw attention from fellow travelers when going in and out of hotels. The Range has exterior pockets on the main body, one of which stows up to eight magazines in removable carriers while the other side has a padded pocket to carry a handgun and admin pockets for pens, cleaning brushes, and other gear. Both of the end pockets are padded and can carry a full-size handgun. The main body is spacious and can carry large items such as hearing protection, pistol rugs, boxes of shotgun shells, and you can separate this space with two removable dividers.

The Workout can be used to carry large range gear such as rain gear, hydration bladders, towels, AR magazines, and of course, a M4 broken down. If you don’t carry other gear, two M4s will fit in the removable padded dividers. These two bags will equip you for a call-out or training session and you will look like you are just headed to the gym.

Another advantage of the Diversion Series is the color scheme. For either an individual or team, these bags can be coded for easy recognition for the team or gear they hold. With the entire series being available in the same color schemes, you have instant identification without the need for bag tags or “inventory” lists.


Go Bag

If you need to organize gear in your patrol or personal vehicle, Go Bags are an excellent option.


The bags are rectangular in shape and fit well behind seats, stack neatly in the trunk or into larger gear bags. What sets the Go Bags apart from other bags is the number of removable dividers that secure and sort everything from your medical gear, crime scene materials, firearms parts, Hazmat gear, or even administrative equipment like batteries, cameras, etc.


My “Brick” Go Bag now is my vehicle trauma bag. The outer pouches are large enough to hold chest seal, decompression needles, tourniquet, EMT scissors, and other major trauma gear so it is right there when needed. The interior dividers separate other first-aid materials from band-aids to soft splints; keeping it all handy and secure, for those non-immediate life-threatening injuries. The Brick has several carry handles and a cross body shoulder strap should you have to carry your gear farther than just to the curb or to a house. With its rectangular shape, the Brick fits securely between the seats so there is fast access when it’s needed.

The Go “Box Mag” Bag is designed to carry magazines of all sizes and shapes; essentially a bag to keep you in the fight should you run out of your basic load. Many folks may joke about the need to carry an extra half-dozen AR magazines or a dozen handgun magazines; until they are needed. Over the last decade or so, we can find many cases where there have been true “movie”-style shootouts and the officers discharge hundreds of rounds.

Like the Brick, the Box Mag is a rectangular dual-zipper close bag with several dividers to secure magazines or other gear. The Box is big enough to hold a bunch of 20-round AR magazines and/or a couple of boxes of 25 shotgun shells. This means you can easily pack various boxed less-lethal rounds to support your less-lethal launcher, i.e., various rounds for the 37mm or 40mm launcher.

This bag will also make a good bag for your TEMS Medic, thanks to the three sided zippers. With this versatility, you need a way to identify the contents, so BLACKHAWK! provides a removable identification tag. Lastly, since this bag is meant to support operations, it is built to carry, either with handles or removable backpack straps.

The last of the Go Bags we looked at was the Ammo Box. This bag is designed to give the carry capacity of 50-caliber and 30-caliber caliber machine-gun ammunition boxes. What that means is you can carry over 1,000 45 ACP rounds in the 50 BMG Ammo Box Bag and more than a thousand 9mm in the 30-caliber Ammo Box. The upside is you can do that without the weight of the box.

You need not worry about the bottom of the bag giving way under the weight of the ammo; the carry handles wrap the reinforced bottom. Like other Go Bags, there is a removable identification tag. Limited only by your imagination or physical capacity of the bag, the Ammo Box Bag is ideal for packing and storing your odd-size and heavy gear.


Under the Radar

BLACKHAWK!’s last new bag is the Under the Radar Series. These bags and pouches are designed to prevent your electronics from being scanned. Zero Trace® signal-blocking technology lines these bags and pouches. In this day and age of ID and information theft, Under the Radar prevents your gear from being scanned or phished by unauthorized personnel.

While your duty electronics may be encrypted (your tablet, smartphone or laptop), are you sure the encryption cannot be defeated? Are your personal electronics, credit cards, passport, identi-scan IDs secure? Most likely the answer is no; Under the Radar can protect your electronics and various RFID-equipped cards simply by putting them in the appropriate pouch or messenger bag.

BLACKHAWK! has pouches to fit your various-sized handheld devices and messenger bags to fit laptops up to 17 inches. When on the road, I store my credit cards and smartphone in one, especially when going through the airport or malls. These pouches and bags will defeat electronic scanning to help keep your agency, personal and financial information secure.


The downside is you will have to take your phone out of the pouch to check calls, e-mail and text messages because these signals are blocked too. I prefer the security of having my phone in my Under the Radar pouch and missing a call when en route over having all the information on my smartphone being easily hacked.

This coverage of carry duty and personal gear is but a few of the bags BLACKHAWK! offers to meet you or your agency’s needs. From personal experience, I can tell you these bags are durable, versatile and have survived numerous road trips. BLACKHAWK!’s bags kept my firearms and gear where I stowed them and my M4’s optics never required zeroing.

Scott Smith is a former USAF Security Policeman and IDPA/USPSA competitor. He can be reached at hpshooter@lycos.com.

Published in Law and Order, May 2014

Rating : Not Yet Rated

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