With Christmas just days away the next snowy corner, those reluctant (and possibly worried) shoppers among us may still be searching for just the right gift. Here are nine solid ideas for the gun owners and shooters on your list. The best part? Each of these presents will fit inside a Christmas stocking – tactical, of course – hung by the mantle without maxing out the credit card.
This is something of which every shooter cannot seem to have enough. Boxes and boxes. Ammo cans full. And the more guns, the more varied types of ammo are needed.
Classic lever-action shooters might appreciate Hornady’s LEVERevolution ($25-$45/box). Defense handgunners can load up with some Winchester PDX1 Defender rounds in numerous chamberings from .380 Auto to .45 Colt. I’ve been impressed with its PDX1 .410 loads packing both flat discs and BB sized shot in each shell ($12-$15/per 10).
Though steep in price, they certainly tear up a paper target. In the apocalypse-surplus vein, bulk ammo and additional magazines are always welcomed gifts as well.
Speaking of tearing up targets, this is a growing market. Every shooter needs a target and plain old paper has largely fallen by the wayside. Though I still neither understand nor appreciate the whole zombie apocalypse, Birchwood Casey’s Darkotic line of splattering targets feature not only walking-dead inspired versions ($12.50/pack), but also some pretty badass animal targets as well.
It’s hard to hit any target without good optics. As a hardcore hunter, I’d never be sad to see a nice scope in my stocking. For something outside the norm are two newer gifts. While neither is a necessity, they sure are nice.
Shotgunners might like to try out the Burris Speed Bead, a small holographic red dot, which mounts inconspicuously between the receiver and rear stock. Many field hunters find the Speed Bead allows the gun to mount and line up on target more quickly and accurately.
Pistol packers would prefer a Sightmark reflex sight like the Mini Shot ($96) or Mini Shot Pro ($145). The company makes Mini Shot mounts for most popular service pistols. Sightmark also offers reflex optics for rifles and shotguns, with a special niche in the competition shooting market.
4. Gun Safes & Accessories
No gun owner wants to think about the damage of fire, water, theft or plain mis-handling. That’s where gun safes come in and the majority of gun owners own a safe of one form or another. While a full-size safe is not only too big for a holiday stocking, good ones carry an equally hefty price tag. If a smaller version is in your future, you could do worse than these GunVault Biometric single-handgun safes ($199-$289).
If long guns are your thing and your regular safe is bursting at the seams, check out the many products from LockDown. Their products, available at many retailers including MidwayUSA will help maximize the space in your safe, from vault anchor kits, lighting, dehumidifiers, handgun racks and hanging door-organizers.
5. Reloading Supplies
If someone on your shopping list has dedicated a corner of the home to reloading, odds are good they will always welcome some new equipment. Midway USA sells two-and-three die sets for just about caliber imaginable. ($25-$65). I’d also never turn down a bottle of my favorite powder, box of bullets or brass.
This is a great chance to buy a kit for those interested in getting into reloading as well. RCBS makes a great Rock Chucker Single Stage Press Kit ($290) for brass while the MEC Sizemaster ($240) line is a solid choice for shotgun presses, though the size and weight of these gift-options will certainly pull the stocking down from its mantle.
6. Gun care products
Gun owners are – or, in my opinion, should be – somewhat anal about cleaning their babies. One of my favorite products is the G-96 line of solvents, oils and treatments – especially their Gun Treatment and Crud Buster. The guys at my local gun shop love the stuff so much they’d like to have a dip tank full for stubbornly grubby gun parts.
All shooters have cleaning kits, but not many have one as portable and complete as the packable kits from Otis. They offer specialized cleaning systems ($35-$150) geared toward everything from 3-gun competition, hardcore hunting (which includes tools for rifle, pistol, and shotgun), modern sporting arms, military, law enforcement and yes, even zombie hunting.
7. Basic gunsmithing tools
Let’s face it. Most shooters are not professional gunsmiths, yet gun enthusiasts often need the right tools to complete simple repairs and adjustments both at home and on the range. Here are two nice options.
If you’re thinking more compact, the Leatherman MUT was designed specifically for military, law enforcement and civilian shooters. With 18 tools in one, the MUT tucks neatly into a MOLLE holster with its bonus scope wrench. MUT tools ($120) are practical enough for everyday use, and of course carry the Leatherman 25 year guarantee.
8. Hearing protection
All shooters, whether or not they want to admit, need hearing protection. The better model earmuffs are low profile and have electronic high-decibel shutoff while still allowing the shooter to hear normal voice tones.
Many competitive clay shooters I know use custom molded inside-the-ear plugs. While these are often custom made, do-it-yourself kits like the ones made by Radians are available in your choice of colors ($12).
9. The ultimate stocking stuffer
If that special someone on your wish list was on really, really good behavior this year, pistols, revolvers and other small guns fit just fine inside Christmas stockings. Trust me, I’ve checked this out just in case Santa wants to leave one there for me. Certainly an actual gun might be a little pricey, but a great substitution is, of course, a chocolate semi-auto pistol ($30) by Chocolate Weapons (and it comes in a case!). Just imagine the excitement of seeing a pistol case in the Christmas stocking.
Whatever your choice, remember that gun enthusiasts are just that – enthusiastic about guns. So almost any shooting-related gift will bring a twinkle to the eye of your firearms lover this holiday season.