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Buying Military

When we purchase lots of genuine US Military Surplus the condition of the surplus items will vary depending on what the government is offering for sale at that time. The quality of the surplus items we receive from the government will also vary from shipment to shipment. Since no two pieces of gear are alike when it comes to condition, we sort and grade them in “ranges” of quality.

We do our best to give honest, accurate ratings to our merchandise. As each person’s perception of quality may differ, we have listed for you how we define each level of condition in our rating chart.



These military items appear to have never been used. They will be crisp and clean with no rips, tears or stains.  These items may or may not be in packaging or they may or may not come with tags.

For new items, please be aware that many genuine military items do not come in individual boxes. Why? The government buys in bulk.


GRADE 1   EXCELLENT:  Light use, little wear

Items in the excellent range will be used, but will show minimal use. They look as if they were issued but only used for a short amount of time. All components are fully functional. They may show light wear on their hardware (zipper pulls, snaps, buckles, etc.); may have minimal fading, or scuffs from storage.  They will not have any holes, tears, stains or other such defects.


GRADE 2   VERY GOOD:  Some wear, no damage

Items in the very good range will show more use than the excellent range; however, will still be in great shape. All components are fully functional; but items in this range will show more wear in their general overall appearance than those in the excellent range. Items will show wear on its hardware such as paint rubbed off zipper pulls, snaps or grommets and scratches on buckles. Items may have some fading.  There may be government markings or a soldier’s name or other writing.  NSN tags could be wrinkled, torn, worn, faded, or missing. Some items may not have a "US" due to fading or vinyl lettering coming loose. Items may have some dirt or dust from use or storage, but most likely can be cleaned. There will not be any holes, tears or other such defects.


GRADE 3   GOOD:  Normal wear

Items falling in this range are used and will show signs of use and are serviceable with plenty of life in them. In some case these items may need some minor repairs or show signs of having been repaired.

We grade items in the “good” category typically when (1) they show enough wear and use that we don’t feel they qualify for Grade 1 or Grade 2, yet there’s nothing wrong with them and they are fully serviceable and have a lot of use left in them; or (2) they have some kind of minor flaw or defect that disqualifies them from Grade 1 or 2, but can be easily repaired. This may include minor sewing, a patch, replace a buckle, etc.

Surplus items in the “good” category might have some of the following: small holes, small stains, tears, fading, dirt from use and may need a washing, government markings or a soldier’s name or other writing, duct tape or tape residue, fraying, NSN tags could be wrinkled, torn, faded, or missing, patches or other signs of repair, wear on its hardware such as paint rubbed off zipper pulls, snaps or grommets and scratches on buckles. Some items may not have a "US" due to fading or vinyl lettering coming loose. Zippers will be functional.


GRADE 4   FAIR:  Well used or heavy wear, some damage or flaws, but has life left in them

Items in Grade 4 generally are in need of a little TLC and will be a bargain! With some repair work, they will be good to go and have plenty of life left in them.  They could have the characteristics defined above in Grade 3.  In addition, they will have some reparable holes or tears. Items may need a piece of hardware replaced such as a buckle, strap, barrel lock, cord, etc.


GRADE 5   SALVAGE:  Damaged items in need of repair or used for parts

Items in Grade 5 will need some moderate repair to be serviceable or can be used for parts.



Buying genuine US Military

  • Be advised that it may be against the law to export certain military items outside the US.
  • It is common for genuine military equipment to not come with instructions. Soldiers are provided these items from the central issuing facility and then are trained on the use of the items. Therefore, instructions are generally not printed for the items.
  • DRMO Stamping: Sometimes an item may have a “DRMO” stamp. DRMO stands for the Defense Re-utilization and Marketing Office. This Government stamp does not mean the merchandise is defective. This stamp is used strictly to keep track of Government inventory. We can make no guarantee that any specific item will or will not have this stamp. It’s just a part of dealing with genuine US military surplus.



The descriptions above are a general guideline to give you an idea of how we sort and grade our really great military gear. The above in not an all-inclusive list, but just to provide some examples.  Please see each individual item for additional details.   Got a question? Just give us a shout.  Click here.