This guide is a work in progress, it is a guide we will come back to in the future. Why? well, police agencies work with a budget and their own SOP’s which means its totally up to them what equipment they use. I’d imagine you’re reading this guide to get inspiration for an airsoft loadout or something and yes, we can help you get something close to what the SWAT teams use in the movies but getting an accurate loadout on a SWAT loadout will be hard.

What does SWAT stand for in the police?

You’ve probably seen the United States SWAT teams in Hollywood movies before. SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. This specialized team is a law enforcement unit that incorporates military equipment and special tactics to assist local police in tricky situations like bank robberies, drug heists or any hostage situation. They look pretty bad ass

What do SWAT teams respond to?

Normally police departments will call in SWAT teams if they need additional support to control /resolve a situation. The Incident Commander will request SWAT to help with any barricade/hostage episodes or suicide interventions. SWAT teams will also be asked to help with high risk warrants too. If a suspect is believed to be well armed or has been involved in a serious crime in the past and could therefore be a significant threat to the lives of the public and police, SWAT will be called. If the suspect is in a position of advantage and regular officers would have a hard time advancing safely, SWAT will be called.

What weapons do Swat use?

The SWAT loadout changes depending on the situation. They have a lot of flexibility between departments, this makes it pretty hard for us to show you an exact loadout. However the rifles and weapons SWAT use are pretty similar. SWAT teams use a wide variety of weapons, this is because every situation requires a different tactic or gun. I’ve listed most of the common submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns and snipers below.

  • 40mm Pump
  • Baton 36
  • Rifle AR-10
  • Barrett m82
  • Rifle Car 9mm
  • Rifle HK416-14
  • Rifle M4
  • Rifle Remington 700
  • SCAR
  • Sage 37mm Gas Gun
  • Submachine  MP5
  • Shotgun Benelli M42
  • Shotgun Remington 870


SWAT Bear Truck. 

File:LAPD SWAT Rescue vehicle front.jpg - Wikimedia CommonsFile:LAPD SWAT truck - 1.jpg - Wikimedia Commons


What camo colors do SWAT teams wear?

Again, because each department gets different funding each agency has completely different colours / camo’s. Some will have a multiglam and ranger green loadout whereas others will have something like an OD green w/ ranger green loadout.

Oakland Police Academy graduates first class in four years - Los ...

Below you’ll find some SWAT teams from various counties:

Tulsa SWAT

The Tulsa PD Swat Team Needs Your Help!

Anaheim Swat

Man surrenders after 9-hour standoff with police, SWAT in Anaheim ...


What kind of gun does LAPD SWAT carry?

The LAPD swat are typically armed with a Benelli shotgun and a Colt AR-15 Rifle. As a sidearm they use a Kimber Pistol or a Glock 17 9mm handgun. They will also have a submachine gun such as a Heckler & Koch MP5. SWAT Snipers will use a modified Remington 700  or even a Barrett m82 in some cases.

What pistol does LAPD SWAT use?

LAPD Swat will use a Glock 17 9mm handgun.

What rifle does LAPD SWAT use?

LAPD Swat normally use an M4 carbine or MP5/10 submachine gun.

What rifle do SWAT snipers use?

SWAT Snipers are highly trained and typically use the Remington 700P which is a bolt action sniper. They have also been known to use a .50 caliber sniper called the Barret M82. Swat teams also might use an M14 which is a semi automatic rifle.

Why do SWAT cover their faces?

SWAT teams are faced with challenging situations against some elite criminals. Criminals who may want revenge. Criminal Organizations would likely call a HIT on these teams if they knew the identify of the members. So for this reason, SWAT teams wear fire retardant balaclavas to protect their faces and their identities.

How big is a SWAT team?

The very first SWAT Unit had 15 four men teams. These members volunteered from other roles but had specialized experience or were in the military before they joined the police. Each four man team would spend long periods of time training for the time when the police needed a SWAT unit. In the 80s, three LAPD SWAT supervisors went to Europe to learn and train with elite military groups such as the GSG-9, the french GIGN and the elite of the elite, the British SAS.


Equipment Guide

SWAT Tactical Vests

Again, this is a work in progress and we’re not actually members of SWAT or have ever been members of SWAT.

If you want to replicate the loadout of SWAT, you will need a good tactical vest.


For Airsoft – I’d recommend a Condor M.O.L.L.E. Modular Chest Rig which is a pretty cheap option.

If you want a proper vest though, look at TacTec Plate Carrier by 5.11. However


Check out our tactical vest guide here.



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