What is Army Surplus?


Our troops need many items to ensure their comfort and safety while they train and defend our country. Over the years, these items have been regularly replaced to ensure they have the utmost quality that they deserve. Once the old items are out of commission, they’re sold at auction to savvy entrepreneurs and then placed at army surplus stores for the general public to purchase.

Occasionally, the military orders too much of one item, and while they tend to hold them to replace damaged items issued to our troops, some are sold brand new to the public. However, most of what you find in an army surplus store will be used or even outright damaged.

This mass distribution is relatively recent, happening after WWII. Each time the US goes to war, mass amounts of goods are contracted and issued, and after WWII ended, many shops opened up with the items for sale once our troops no longer needed them. This benefited both the US Government, as they didn’t need to store the items any longer and could make a little money back, as well as the average seller since the price for bulk purchase at auction is very low.

What type of items can be found?

Most of the items available are outdated uniforms, such as shoes, jackets, and pants. Other goods found are tents, gas masks, and ammunition cases, but occasionally something else worthwhile will pop up. The great thing about authentic army surplus is that these items are relatively inexpensive and very well made, even if they are a bit limited in color.

Since the surplus leans towards all military equipment, it’s not uncommon to find radio parts issued by the Navy and fatigues from the marines. However, if you’re looking for specific components, you might need to source them from several different places.

Why would someone buy army surplus?

Nearly every item issued to our military is made within the US by companies that have been open for many years and remain reputable. This ensures quality and often results in technological advances that aren’t yet available to the public.

As previously mentioned, this stuff is built to last, and many people use them for everyday activities. Campers, hunters, and certain professionals use the items to outfit themselves for business and pleasure. Ammunition belts and cases are quite popular for hunters, while campers use the tents and storage equipment. Police officers and security guards have also been known to buy the gear they need for a fraction of the cost when purchased brand new. In addition, both preppers and paramilitary members use these surplus stores to build their caches.

If you’re interested in purchasing:

If you want to explore the world of army surplus, you can do so online and in person. There are many army surplus specialty shops throughout the US, and even more items are available in marketplaces online or through private sellers. Beware of fakes, however. They won’t be a super expensive mistake, but they won’t last as long as a genuine military issue.

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