Guns and Gear

2023 Tactical Games at GTI Load Out – “Pay to Play”

Having just gotten back from my first-ever Tactical Games event, I wanted to put together a write-up on all of the gear I used down at the GTI in South Carolina. I will also be including the prices of all of the gear that I utilized as I feel like I spent a lot of money just to compete at this event. Also, please keep in mind that this was my first event, and I will be doing a follow-up article on lessons learned and how I would tackle my second go around at the GTI Tactical Games. Also, all prices will be MSRP aside from the pistol and ear pro.

If you are unfamiliar with what the Tactical Games, they provide a platform where competitors can test their skills with firearms and physical movements. One of the nice things about the Tactical Games is that it does not matter if you are military, law enforcement, or a civilian who is a gun enthusiast, you can compete.

Entry Fee – $350

The price of entry to a Tactical Games event is typically $350. This is just to get your name on the list at the event. And obviously, the entry fee covers a lot of the logistical costs for the company that puts on the games. There are a lot of moving parts and pieces, so it makes sense that the entry fee is relatively expensive, in my opinion. The only extra you’ll get is a T-shirt from competing.

Travel Fee – $380

Next, you will need to get your way to the event. Whether you live close by or far away, there will be some travel costs incurred. Personally, I had to fly from Maine down to North Carolina, and then me and my buddy who was competing with me drove the rest of the way to South Carolina to the event. All in all, this was about $300 in travel expenses for my plane ticket and for the fuel we used to get from point A to point B. We also had to get two nights at a hotel together so add another $80 for lodging.

The next thing to consider is your ammo. Pretty much all non-full metal jacket types of ammo are acceptable at the tactical games. And they recommend that you bring a minimum of 250 rounds for your rifle and for your pistol. I was lucky enough to be able to have my ammo delivered to my friend in North Carolina and this meant I did not have to deal with flying with ammunition. Given the wide range of prices on ammunition, I’m not going to state a specific cost for this section.

Another small thing to consider as well is the price of flying with your firearms and all of your gear for the event. I’m lucky enough to get free checked bags from most airlines being that I am in the military so I did not have to pay for any heavy or oversized bags. But this is a cost that you need to consider if you are not military or if you fly with an airline that does not grant perks like this.

The Rifle 

Rifle – $2100

My rifle of choice was my Type-A 14.5 inch Pro Forged AR-15. This is my primary AR at the moment, and I was not going to spend thousands of more dollars to get a lighter system just for this one event.

Optic – $2000

Leupold was kind enough to send me a MARK 5HD 2-10X30 M5C3 FFP TMR for me to use at this event. While this added a lot of weight to my rifle, it also added a lot of capability. While I did not pay for this scope, it would cost around $2000 if I did purchase it.

Muzzle Device – $250

The Tactical Games do not allow any compensated muzzle brakes so I had to throw a Surefire Worden on my Surefire Warcomp to make it legal for the competition. Add another $250 for the Wordon.

Magpul Grip – $25

Weapon Light Plus Switches – $600

A SureFire M640DFT-PRO weapon light added some weight to the front of my rifle but also added a very powerful light. In hindsight, I definitely did not need this for the event, nor did I need the DS-SR07 Switch but I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into and wanted to have it just in case.

The Pistol

Pistol with Optic – $800, Holster – $100

I purchased a SIG P320 X Full a couple of months back from a friend of mine, and that came with a Delta Point Pro on top of it. All I had to buy in addition to making this pistol ready for the competition was a sturdy holster from ANR Designs 

The Plate Carrier 

Carrier Setup – $490

My plate carrier of choice was my Cry Precision JPC 2.0 with an A&A Tactical, LLC SEACU-Cummerbund with First Spear Tubes with an A&A Tactical, LLC SEACU-Placard V2.  Overall this is a very lightweight and adaptable PC setup.

Average Plates – $105 

For legal competition weight for your Plate Carrier with no magazines is a minimum of 15 pounds. Unfortunately, the steel plates I wanted to use from 5.11 did not show up until the day after I left for North Carolina so I opted to use some of my ceramic body armor plates. These did not weigh enough on their own so I duct-taped some bags of sand to the front of each plate to get my weights right where I wanted it. I would recommend against doing this and there are plenty of companies out there that make weighted plates for exercising and events like this. I would recommend something like the Jacked Rabbit Flexible Trainer Plates. 

The Belt 

Belt Setup – $461

The belt I put together for the competition is an absolute Frankenstein of different products. There is a Double Pistol KYWI Pouch, TT SGL PI MAG POUCH MCL, Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE) Pouch, Medium GP Pocket, Base Belt, MAVERICK BATTLE BELT D-RING, CUBL – CANTABLE UNIVERSAL BELT LOOP WITH QLS 22 RECEIVER PLATE.

Other Equipment

Ear Pro – $300

For hearing protection, I wanted to be able to passively listen to any commands that I was going to be given while at the competition so I decided to rock my Peltor Hearing Defenders 

Footwear – $140

My footwear of choice was my Solomon Speed Cross trail running shoes because obviously if I wasn’t wearing the most tactical footwear possible, I was doing myself and my country a disservice.

Magazines $200 

For the tactical games at GTI, you need to have five pistol mags and five rifle mags. While the rifle mags are pretty cheap, the P320 pistol mags from SIG are certainly not.

Some optional extras, but certainly very useful:

Total Cost – $9131 (Without Ammo)

That is my full gear load out aside from pants and T-shirts from the tactical games at GTI. I will be making a follow-up article on lessons learned and what I would do differently next time at this particular event so if you enjoyed this, please be on the lookout for that article coming soon.

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