2023 Tactical Games at GTI Load Out – "Pay to Play"

Patrik O
by Patrik O
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.

Patrik O
Patrik O

-Former Army Photographer / Videographer -Current Aviation Student -Future in debt due to Firearm collection

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12 of 21 comments
  • T243 T243 on Oct 13, 2023

    See below ;)

  • T243 T243 on Oct 13, 2023

    15 pounds PlateCarrier, empty? Let me get this straight: LVL4 Borosilicat Plates +
    Carrier + Pouches weighs less than that. So I can not even use what I
    really carry and own, but need to downgrade to something heavier? So, when I roll up with my FirstSpear Strandhögg, LVL 4 Standalones, and 2 Qore Ice Plates,
    I am definitly the heaviest PC, but still not allowed because the weight I carry is water? Lol.

    Anyways: As mentioned before by other users, these events are DANGEROUS and no one in his right mind would attend them.

    We got something similar in Europe in Poland or Czech: Actually you can watch PolenarTactical running one of these events.

    But be prepared, its such an embaressment when I watched the video: You will see people thinking they are Tier1 Speartips, doing stuff they teached themselfs 2 sessions, going to hurt themselfs.

    Just as example:

    The event features High Angle Intervention, requiring one person to belay another premate, and than vise versa.

    All fun and giggles, until you see them "work": They are totally in a rush against the clock, not proficient with their skills,
    use wrong gear (f.e. no self-blocked/assisted devices but a simple figure 8 while belaying a person in full gear 200pounds+), all while performing
    fundamental safety risks like releasing the safety hand from the
    standing rope "just" to switch grip or draw more rope. Typical beginners move you see in every gym: And as soon as I spot them, I am as far away from them as I can because these people are not careful but take everything light headed and dont see the serious responsibility they carry. BTW, I am the best belayer in the world and released the standing rope maybe twice in my life in the first 2 days of training - since then, not one single time again.

    My post would get too long if I mention all the different stages and tasks
    they did. But if you check the footage from such events yourself, and
    you are an advanced user with one or two disciplines, you will start
    to see why all this "posing" show is the worst and has nothing to do
    with a competition against other, slow pace trained users that got proficient by experience and therfor fast.
    They all rush, j3rk triggers, dont see that its first and foremost a event rendered by safety and not by winning, so they will sooner or later cause some death on such event.

    And than there is IR/Laser flagging... just to mention another NOGO.


    Nope - I will NEVER attend such event in my entire life and feel like its some kids showing off against other kids. No professional would ever attend.

    I rather go for a scuba diving, skiing, kiting, paragliding or multi-rope climbing trip, within its respected disciplines, where you will encounter enough dangerous
    civilians who do alot wrong for the same, light headed reasons. So, no need to have some "prepared civilian" who got a rifle hanging from his shoulder or a magazine inserted into his sidearm when he is climbing ontop of being careless.

    Last but not least:

    10k and than this noob gear? Lol. Every serious LARPer got better stuff to walk the Catwalk at an event. And they actually do "this" in a Force2Force environment every weekend for less than $350 entry fee.


    • See 9 previous
    • B Rad B Rad on Oct 18, 2023

      @T243 What disorder do you have? Your autism alone is impressive but there's something else going on here.