It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house, tactical training junkies and hog hunters alike are thinking about wish lists.You’re right, that doesn’t rhyme, but either way, you’ll soon hear the tune of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” everywhere.  So while tactical aficionados, hog hunters and gun guys and gals of all stripes are always looking for the next must-have item, Christmas is the occasion for this Top 15 tactical gear picks.

Here at Special Hog Weapons and Tactics™, we’ve used and tested virtually everything on the list.  As you read through the Top 15  list, we’ll give you our thoughts first, then what the manufacturer has to say about their product. Be sure and post what you’d like to get on our Facebook wall, and then share this list with all the right people!  Enjoy!

1 – SHWAT™ Gear!  Hat plus T-shirt – $38.75

SHWAT Tee ShirtThere’s only one way to start this list:  You’ve been asking for it and now it’s here!  No hog hunting kit is complete without the coolest hat and shirt out there.   WARNING:  You may cause instant envy wearing SHWAT™ SWAG.  Seriously, while a SHWAT™ founder was on a NV hunt in South Texas,   a Special Forces Operator offered $25 cash on the spot for the prototype hat our founder was wearing.  Be a part of the SHWAT™ Team, get yours now!

2.  DRT Ammo – Starting at $18.00

If you’ve kept up with SHWAT™ you know we frequently use DRT ammo and that it works!  We’ve done gel tests, recorded them on high speed video, and it’s pretty cool stuff. It’s high tech ammo at a medium tech price, available in 380, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .223 Rem, .30-06 Sprg, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .300 WSM.  Giving (or getting) the gift can really bring home the bacon!  Not to mention that when you enter SHWAT as the discount code at checkout, you get 10% off.

DRT lead-free projectile is a revolutionary round. Powder core technology has been around for a while. However current examples on the market have little to no accuracy and limited frangibility. DRT is the first company to figure out how to stabilize the bullet in flight to achieve high accuracy and full dispersion of the powdered core in the wound cavity creating extensive Terminal Ballistics.

The high density frangible bullet has tremendous centrifugal force when entering the animal and upon penetration the core turns to powder in its original composition. The powder distributes itself uniformly in the wound cavity, so there is no waste of energy. The impact lowers the blood pressure of the animal instantly causing terminal shock.

DRT Ammo is a true penetrating yet frangible bullet.

3 – APALS – $44.00

If you’ve ever left a dead hog for later recovery only to spend too much time searching for it in the dark, or if you’ve been concerned about where your hunting partners are in the dark, or perhaps you just wanted to mark a location, these are for you.  What exactly is an APAL?  It’s a super small LED light, available in a number of colors, white, and Infrared.  They are housed in a small adhesive strip, and they blink very brightly.  Made for the battlefield, they are tough and reliable enough for any use.  We have used these on numerous occasions to mark down hogs in the dark for later recovery.  We think they are a real asset and pretty cool, too!

APALS® were designed by military operators searching for a low cost, ultra reliable, long lasting combat identifier. APALS® enhance your battlefield situational awareness giving you the ability to safely monitor the movement of friendly forces in a dynamic environment. With visible light and True IR capabilities, the APALS® increases combat leader’s confidence in low light and no light situations. From Close Air Support to Urban Combat and Movement, APALS® greatly improves soldier’s and airman’s ability to engage hostile forces while reducing the risk of fratricide. Completely submersible and dustproof, the hermetically sealed APALS® are intended for use in the worst possible conditions, from the searing heat of the desert to the frigid waters of the harshest seas. With more than 35 hours of run time, the disposable APALS® will meet the most stringent mission requirements.

  • Can be seen from up to 1/4 mile.
  • Runtime: 35+ hours.
  • Modes: Fast Strobe / Slow Strobe / Steady On / Off
  • Heavy Duty Adhesive Back holds tight to any surface wet or dry
  • Waterproof / Dustproof / Shockproof

4 – Crossbreed Holsters Instructor Belt – Starting at $64.50

We have been using Crossbreed Holsters products for years.  They make an excellent product for a fair price.  The Instructor belt is a favorite of ours.  It’s a simple idea done right.  Tasteful and tactical at the same time, it is a quality belt that makes carrying a sidearm easier and more comfortable whether you carry inside or outside the waistband. The best part of these belts is that they work exceptionally well. The second best part is their ” two-week try it free guarantee and lifetime warranty”!

CrossBreed Holsters is proud to offer an addition to their already outstanding belt selection. The new Instructors Belt offers the same quality as the original gun belts and the recently introduced Dress Belt.   The Instructor Belt offers a clean, buckle-less design intended for comfort and a sharp, professional appearance. The “sturdy, but not too stiff” Instructor Belt provides you with even weight distribution of your gear, ensuring stability and comfort. Add the basket weave option, and you have a belt that will look just as good out on the town as it does on the range.   The belts is made of two layers of top grain cowhide.  These two leathers are then stitched together, cross grain from each other, using recessed stitching to provide protection to the stitching from surface abrasions. The finished belt is 1 1/2 inches wide and just under 1/4 inch thick. The final result is a thick, strong belt offering superior support for the gun and holster while being supple and flexible for comfortable wear.  The Instructor belts are also available with the Velcro-Kit which includes a strip of loop Velcro stitched to the back of the belt and a pair of our V-Clips and hardware for use with our SuperTuck holster. This combo results in TOTAL concealment and very good stability. If you are looking for a top quality gun belt to wear to the range and that is discreet enough for every day wear, this is the belt for you. Crossbreed belts will match or exceed the performance of any belt currently on the market, and of course they come with our two-week try it free guarantee and lifetime warranty.


Ever find an add-on gadget that just makes something work better? An after market item that integrates so well you conclude the product’s original design should have included your new device? This is one of those.  In our opinion, every AR patterned rifle should have one of these Selectors.  It’s a quality piece of kit and it just makes the gun work better.  A must have, and it’s priced well enough to fit lots of budgets.

Battle Arms Development – Ambidextrous Safety Selector – Short Throw (BAD-ASS-ST) for the SPECIALIZED 45° MARKED AND MODIFIED AR-Style Lower Receiver in Semi Auto (Lower receiver will available from, AXTS, and Spike’s Tactical). 

The Levers are detachable and interchangeable on both sides for maximum flexibility and user preference.  There are a total of (6) Lever Designs and (36) Possible Lever Combinations!  The BAD-ASS-ST is a must have for the “South Paw” and Ambidextrous Shooters! Each Retail Package Comes With:


(2) LEVERS – CHOOSE ANY (2) LEVER COMBINATION from the following 5 lever designs:  

  • THIN



(1) T10 TORX L-Key

Precision CNC Machined from Solid Bar Stock Steel! – MADE IN U.S.A. – PATENT PENDING


Need to see the hogs in the dark but on a budget?  This light can help.  Green light is widely regarded as being less offending to hogs and other varmints than traditional white light.  No, it’s not used by Special Forces, but it won’t break the bank, either.  SHWAT™ writers have put down hogs in various places with this light.  Maybe one could end up in your stocking this year.

This system mounts on almost all rifles and includes ALL the popular mounting options in a single kit. This includes a 160 Lumens Green LED light, a clicker tail cap and pressure switch, a rechargeable battery and charger, a 1″ scope mount, a 30mm scope mount AND a picatinny rail mount. The battery life is 7+ hours with a full charge and will easily illuminate out to 200+ yards…turning your rifle into a very inexpensive near-night vision set-up. Because Nite Hunter uses LED, our system easily handles sub-40 degree F.


7 – Gunfighter Phantom LT Top & Phantom LT Pant – $174.90

A SHWAT™ favorite, we really like the black Vertx apparel to blend into the night.  For those of you who think it can’t matter what you wear after dark, you ought to read our review on this gear.  It’s high quality, comfortable and has just what’s needed without going overboard. It’s available in a variety of color options, but not Santa Claus Red and White.

Top – Immediate Action The Gunfighter series was designed in cooperation with SWAT operators interested in a clean, functional approach to a high incident tactical uniform. The aggressive patterning of the Gunfighter facilitates the freedom of movement without the added bulk and weight of traditionally patterned BDUs. Gussets, articulation and the microfleece lined stand up collar combine to provide the Gunfighter with remarkable comfort. Fabric – 6.5 oz. mini rip-stop 65% polyester/35% cotton blend. Additional Features – Stand up collar protects neck from slings and flying hot brass – Low visual profile zippered bicep pockets provide fluent access to contents – Loop Velcro™ patch on both upper arms for Unit patch – Clean comms wire pass through with Velcro closure – Intuitive Velcro™ wrist closures




  • World-class design and functionality with articulated knees, crotch, rise, and waistband for a great balance of comfort and mobility

  • Concealed zippered pocket on right side bearer plus back pocket credential flap to defend your valuables

  • Multi-purpose cargo pockets for duty item storage

  • FABRIC:  65/35 Polyester/Cotton
  • WEIGHT/WEAVE:  6.5-oz., Mini Rip-Stop



  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Machine washable
  • Deep dye for maximum color retention
  • Intelli-Dry™ technology:            
  • Liquid repellent on outer surface
  • Moisture wicking next to skin
  • Stain resistant

8 – The Liberator-Quick Draw AR-15 Gun Case – $175.00

Do you love quality gear? Unique gear? Functional Gear?  Well, this case is all that, and more.  Since getting one, it’s literally the only single rifle case one of the SHWAT™ Founders uses.  Plus, you might well be the only one rocking this piece of gear if you take it to your next tactical training class or hog hunt.  Green, like Christmas and envy, will be the color of the day.

The Liberator’s discreet appearance is confusing at first glance, “Is it a guitar or tennis racket case? What is it? Surprise! The Liberator’s low profile and discreet appearance allows you to carry your gun undetected.

The Grip-Zip-Draw system separates this case from all other AR-15 cases and its stout, robust design will accommodate even the most tricked out AR-15. The Liberator-Discreet AR-15 Gun Case is designed to be the ultimate in access ready concealment solutions. 

The versatile 3pt Utility Strap allows for storing your AR-15 discreetly. Attach to your vehicle’s headrest, hang in the closet or sling over your shoulder for easy transporting.

  • 28” Extra Large YKK zipper with dual pull tabs
  • Exterior Fabric- Cordura
  • MOLLE attached Double Down Case
  • Utility strap and 3 D rings for Seat or Closet Storage

9 – Danner Striker™ II GTX® Uniform Boots – $190.00

In the cooler, wetter weather often found this time of year, you want a comfortable waterproof boot that won’t let you down.  Here’s a great choice.  We think these boots look good and wear even better!  These make the kind of gift that makes someone smile each time they put them on.  These boots really were created for the high speed low drag guys, and we’ve found them to be another great choice for the tactical hog hunter, too.

Boot Details

  • 100% waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX® liner is engineered to keep your feet dry and comfortable – even in extreme conditions
  • Full-grain leather can be easily polished and is preferred by those in uniform and on special tactical teams due to its durability and ability to be cleaned quickly
  • 1000 Denier nylon upper material is extremely resistant to abrasions, tears, and scuffs, improves breathability, and dries quickly
  • TERRA FORCE™ X Lite platform provides lightweight, durable traction, heel-to-toe energy transfer, side support to enhance maneuverability, and protection from arch overwork and fatigue
  • Extended sizes available for women or those with smaller feet
  • Danner TFX® Lite outsole is an oil- and slip-resistant outsole that gives you grip, traction and stability without the weight
  • Nylon shank
  • 8″ height
  • 48 oz


10 – Daniel Defense Lite Rail – Starting at $225

Daniel Defense rails are widely accepted as top tier equipment for any AR pattern rifle.  Having used the Lite Rail on multiple guns, in multiple lengths, we think it’s a great choice.  Why?  They are rigid, light weight, and are a lot easier on your hands than some competing rails.  Pick the length you want from Pistol to Rifle Extended to free float your barrel and add the accessories you love.

The AR15 Lite Rail™ features the patented “Bolt-Up System” which provides modern flat-top upper receivers with a continuous, uninterrupted upper rail platform and allows for simplified alignment to the host weapon upper receiver. The battle proven “Bolt-Up System” is also used on the renowned Daniel Defense RIS II (selected by SOCOM for the SOPMOD II program). Every component of the AR15 Lite Rail™ has been meticulously assessed, thoroughly shot and tested, improved upon, and manufactured tough enough to become a bench-mark in AR rail systems. The Ar15 Lite Rail™ is specifically designed for those who demand peak performance.


11 – Wilson Combat Tactical Trigger Unit, Single Stage, Semi-Auto – $269.95

What’s one of the first things to get upgraded on an off-the-shelf AR?  The trigger.  This is hands down, one of the best!  On our factory tour, we saw first hand what goes into the making and testing of these triggers, and one SHWAT™ Founder has lots of trigger time with one.  We can’t speak for Wilson Combat, but we think this upgrade will make any AR owner smile more, Christmas or otherwise!

The TACTICAL TRIGGER UNIT (TTU), an all-new modular trigger unit that can be easily installed in any AR pattern rifle by the end user in less than 1 minute without tools or even removing your selector.

Exclusive Wilson Combat® Engineering Has Created a Truly DROP-IN Trigger Unit With an Ultra-Crisp 4# Trigger Pull That Does Not Require Any Fine Tuning or Adjustment By The End User.

  • Simple, 1 Minute Drop-In Installation
  • NO Adjustment Screws to Ever Shoot Loose 
  • NO Loose Parts to Misplace, The TTU Is a Totally Self-Contained Trigger Module
  • All Components Are Precision CNC Machined and/or EDM Cut From Solid Bar Stock
  • Hammer, Trigger and Disconnector Are Manufactured From Virtually Indestructible H13 Steel and Heat Treated For Maximum Wear Resistance
  • Hammer, Trigger and Disconnector Pivot on Hardened Steel Bushings So NO Wear or Stress Is Imparted on Your Receiver Pin Holes or Pins
  • Positive Trigger Reset Guarantees a Quick Follow Up Shot on Target
  • The Unique Hammer Geometry Enhances Reliable Ignition With Military and Surplus Ammunition of All Types
  • Wilson Combat® Exclusive 1911 Style Half-Cock Notch Makes The TTU The Safest AR Trigger on The Market and Allows The TTU to Meet or Exceed Military Specifications For Drop Safety
  • Bullet Proof® Design Is Engineered and Extensively Tested By Shooters For Shooters


When hunting in low light or needing something for self-defense, we all want simple, effective, reliable tools.  And we’d really like it if our tools were really cool, too! We’ve tested this unique vertical grip in the fields of hog warfare, and it’s all of the above.  This grip combines the important roles of vertical grip, visible laser and white light into one solid device with no wires to get hung up on you or your other gear.  Very nice!

Crimson Trace® presents the MVF-515 Red; a revolutionary, patent-pending concept that combines three tactical tools for your AR style rifle into a single modular package. With a rock-solid 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum hard-anodized tang as the foundation of the foregrip, the unit also features a red laser sight and a 150/200 Lumen-LED light module. The laser and light are instinctively activated as you hold the weapon, and activation switches are ambidextrous. This allows operators to select the light or the laser individually or simultaneously. Both laser and light functions are programmable with three illumination modes to select from including: independent momentary, strobe or constant beam. A master on/off switch permits complete shutdown of either laser or light. Being a modular unit, users may separately purchase a green laser module for direct replacement. The MVF-515 Red won the 2010 Academy of Excellence Award for “Self-Defense Product of the Year”.

13 – Eotech EXPS3 – $639.00

SHWAT™ was born with an Eotech mounted on a AR15 in the wheat fields of West Texas. As long time Eotech users, we are excited to have our hands on one of the latest designs.  One of the fastest 1x optics on the market, it’s proven itself and used daily by hog hunters and some of the most elite warriors around the globe.

Eotech has done it again by making the best even better. Offering true 2-eyes-open shooting, a transversely mounted lithium 123 battery, and 7 mm raised base offering iron sight access, the new Extreme-XPS (EXPS) features easy to adjust side buttons and an adjustable, locking, quick detach lever for easy attachment and removal.  Average battery life at brightness level 12 is roughly 500-600 hours. Side buttons, NV compatible with an adjustable, locking, quick detach lever for easy attachment and removal.  Shortened base only requires at most 2 3/4 inch of rail space.



14 – TNV/PVS-14 L3 Gen3 OMNI VIII – $3,055.00 — $3,525.00

When you really want to see it all in the dark, you need night vision. There are countless NV options available, at a wide variety of price points from companies that are proven, as well as vendors that are here today and gone tomorrow.  TNVC has been a heavyweight in the NV game for long time.  With this Gen3 Auto-gated Night Vision monocular, you get the unique options for your finish:  Black, Flat Dark Earth (FDE), or MultiCam™.  Vanity?  Maybe, but this is a Christmas list!

The PVS-14 is the standard-issue night vision optic serving US forces on the front lines of the Global War on Terror. Its phenomenal versatility makes it the premier choice for Law Enforcement Professionals as well.  PVS-14’s can be mounted on helmets for hands-free use, behind weapon optics, or simply as a handheld device.  As a monocular, the PVS-14 provides Gen 3 night vision aid to one of the operator’s eyes, leaving the other to retain its natural night-adapted vision.  This is important when changing light conditions in the field cause the user to go back and forth between aided and un-aided vision.  Military and Law Enforcement operators need the ability to instantly switch between night vision and white light as the situation develops.

The TNV/PVS-14 is a U.S.-made Generation 3 night vision monocular based on the standard issue AN/PVS-14.  Professionally-trained and experienced technicians assemble the TNV/PVS-14 according to U.S. Military guide lines, using factory-new parts and hand-selected image intensifier tubes.  TNVC offers all TNV/PVS-14’s in several kit configurations to make sure end users get everything they want, while not paying for accessories they do not need.  All TNV/PVS-14’s are backed up by a full five-year system and tube warranty from the date of purchase.


If you have the budget and want to go all out for a tactical hog hunter, this may be your ticket!  Having used the Nighthog (or NITEHOG??)thermal unit on multiple occasions, we can say that this is one of the best ways of spotting hogs or other animals you might want to see in the dark.  Not only have we used it for spotting, we’ve used it as a weapon mounted thermal sight to take hogs, and we’ve taken advantage of the built in camera to get some cool pictures in the dark.

The TUSKIR384 sets a new standard for thermal weapon sights. It provides high resolution thermal performance for a variety of platforms, is built for real field use and will withstand weapon shock from long range calibers such as .308/7.62, .338 Lapua, .300 Win Mag, .375 H &H, .450 Bushmaster, and more. The TUSKIR384 is perfect for border patrols, first responders, advance teams, pro sporting staff, and other discerning sportsmen and shooters.

Are there dozens of other things that could be on this list?  You bet!  These are just a few of our favorite items.  We’ve used most of them and found them to be excellent products for hunting, training or just a day at the range.  Whether you carry a gun while doing your part defending America’s freedom, or simply want the coolest gadget to impress your friends, there’s something on this list for you.  If we left your top choice out, let us know in the comments or post it on our Facebook wall!

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