Be aware that many websites and retailers are advertising: “Military Style”, “Military Grade”, “Mil Spec” and will use other similar military style wording. This is designed to trick us consumers, to avoid letting you and me know that the items are simply not Genuine Military Issue or fake military surplus!
Beware of FAKE Military Surplus
There are many companies who use misleading words like “Military Style”, “Military Grade”, “Mil Spec” in an attempt to fool us.
I had purchased a stainless steel “Military style” GI cup from a retailer on the internet. When the cup arrived, it was made of some suspicious metal with a sparkly grey powdery coating. This was definitely not stainless steel, and I’m not sure it’s even safe to drink from it.
To make matters even worse, there is a label on the bottom that says “Made in China”. I’m pretty confident that our military supplies are typically made in the United States of America.
Here is a side by side picture of a genuine stainless steel G.I. Cup, beside a Chinese knock-off version.
Made in China, shoddy construction and sketchy looking materials/coating, that’s 3 strikes. This cup in non-usable for me!
Luckily for us there are ways to identify real military surplus.
Identifying Genuine Military Surplus
Military products are identified by a label on some articles such as fabric (ponchos,etc,). The label is silk-screened directly on the fabric.
|The NSN label contains:
If you don’t see at least the first three items listed there, then it is a very good chance that it’s not military.
Now there are exceptions. For example, you can’t put a pretty silk-screened fabric label on a stainless steel GI cup that will end up exposed to heat and fire.
Military quality usually exceeds similar products of commercial quality. Military grade tends to look and feel very rugged.
For example, on genuine US Military Surplus “Army” boots you can see the thread stitching. You can tell that it’s military and will last forever. if the stitching on the soles appears to be molded into the rubber, it’s commercial grade and the stitching is only decorative, and probably won’t last nearly as long.
We’re not saying that anything that is not true military surplus is or is not good. I am sure there are “Military style” items for sale that are amazingly awesome. If you are looking to buy genuine military surplus then be aware that fake military surplus is out there, and do some checking to ensure you are getting legitimate military surplus!