Gift Ideas for the Gun Nut in Your Life

 

2360-000-110_MediumLet’s face it: If you’re a shooting sports enthusiast gun nut, you’re not easy to buy gifts for: Try explaining to your wife that yes, those magazines for an AK are wonderful, but you own an AR, not an AK. She’ll say “It’s just one letter, what’s the big deal?” and then go on about how she doesn’t actually own six pairs of black pumps, she owns one pair that’s black, one’s that ebony, one that’s jet, one that’s deep charcoal, one that’s…

Where was I? Oh yeah; gun gift ideas.

I’ve had a fair amount of experience with this sort of thing because of my previous career as an advertising photographer. I learned to drop subtle (and not-so-subtle) hints to my family about what specific items I wanted for Christmas, because If I didn’t drop hints, they’d end up buying me 20 rolls of 24-exposure VR-G 100, and photographers can always use more film, right?

I didn’t have the heart to tell them I’d shoot two or three rolls of color negative film a year, but I’d shoot my weight in Fujichrome 100 each month. But it’s the thought that counts, right? This is why I’m not including ammo on this list, because we shooting sports enthusiasts gun nuts tend to be pretty specific about such things and know exactly what works best for us. We’re finicky and we know it, and we want everyone to be happy on Christmas morning.

Especially us.

I also know that some people who just don’t like guns and don’t want to deal with them at Christmas time, and that’s cool too: That discussion needs to happen, but the holiday season probably isn’t the time nor the place. Here are some suggestions for your list that don’t involve going into a gun shop or dealing with calibers and cartridges, yet are still nice gifts for the gun lover in your life.

  • Flashlights: This is pretty much a no-brainer. If they’re into guns, chances are they’re into flashlights as well. If they don’t have a pocket flashlight, I recommend the Streamlight Microstream for price, size and power. It’s so small, there’s really no reason not to have it with you all the time. If they need something bigger, I like the Pelican 2360 over other higher-priced lights because it kicks out enough lumens to be useful but takes plain ol’ AA’s instead of expensive dedicated lithium batteries. This means you can get replacement batteries for your flashlight on the moon if you need them, and lithium cells are still an option if you want the extra power and battery life.
  • Multitools. Another no-brainer. We like our gadgets, and we like to be able to fix them when they break. I’ve carried Leathermans for decades (literally) and a TSA-compliant Leatherman PS is in my pocket as I type this. My favorite, though, is a trim little SOG multitool that opens quickly and easily and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
  • Gear Bags. This doesn’t need to be some camouflage combat-ready tactical ready bag: Even a Maxpedition man-purse messenger bag will be appreciated by the shooter in your life.
  • Binoculars. Very useful and something you can get just about anywhere. A good rule of thumb for inexpensive binoculars is you want a camera manufacturer’s brand name on them, as camera makers know how to make clear optics at a decent price. Something more than 4x power and less than 12x is fine, and the higher the ratio between the first number (power) and the second number (size of the front lens), the easier it is to see through and the better it is at night. Something like these Nikons would be a good balance between size, power and clarity.
  • First Aid Kits. Because stuff happens whether you own a gun or not. Adventure Medical Kits have all the essentials and are priced right. Be sure to buy two: One to give as a present and one to keep for yourself, because you are going to need a Band-Aid this year, I guarantee it. If you’re worried about something more traumatic than scrapes and cuts, there are many trauma/gunshot wounds kits available to deal with what might happen on the worst day of your life. I just ordered three (one for my car, one for the house, one for my range bag) Pocket Trauma Kits from Rescue Essentials because they’re compact, priced right and they have all the gear you need to deal with the bad things in life.
  • Rangefinders. If your loved ones have a rifle, they’re going to need to know the distance to their target, be it paper, steel, or a four-legged critter. Laser rangefinders have dropped in price to where you can buy one for the same price as a nice meal out on the town, and with increased accuracy, the ammo savings your loved one will have with this little gadget can be spent on said meal. Win-win.
  • Boots/Shoes. Just because guys don’t spend hours in a shoe store doesn’t mean comfortable feet aren’t important to us. There’s a whole bunch of good, comfortable hiking/outdoor boots to be had if he/she is a hunter, and if they compete in practical shooting, they’ll need something like a pair of Nike Land Sharks to help them stop and start quickly on the shooting range.
  • Time. Print up a nice “gift certificate” good for a weekend of shooting. Shooting is a time-intensive sport, and giving someone a few days to themselves to throw rounds downrange means quite a lot.
  • Movies. Here’s a few movies that just about every shooting sports enthusiast gun nut can agree on, but be advised that none of them are what you might call a “chick flick.” There is a time and a place for a period romance, (ask me how much I like Emma Thompson in “Sense and Sensibility” sometime when no one else is around), but that time and place rarely has guns on the big screen.
  • Gift Certificates. When all else fails, head down to Cabela’s or Bass Pro or Gander Mountain, buy a gift certificate and let them decide.

Okay, shooters, what did I miss? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

Published in Culture, Entertainment, General, Guns
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  1. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    NRA membership?

    • #1
  2. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    • #2
  3. Mountie Coolidge
    Mountie
    @Mountie

    Bore snake, dental picks (complete set), solvent (gallons of it), a gazillion cleaning patches of various sizes, a nice aluminum cleaning rod, 3 in 1 oil by the ton.

    Ok, so I have a clean gun fetish.

    • #3
  4. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    A Prius with a Hellfighter and roof mounted weapon is how I roll

    • #4
  5. Maureen Rice Inactive
    Maureen Rice
    @MaureenRice

    I can just picture rolling up the Ave, in the U District, with this beauty mounted on a Prius. No jaywalker would be safe.

    • #5
  6. jmelvin Member
    jmelvin
    @jmelvin

    Kevin, I am highly disappointed in you. If you have AR’s and your wife buys AK magazines then it means it’s time to add some AK’s to your collection! Don’t go taking those magazines back, silly.

    • #6
  7. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    jmelvin: If you have AR’s and your wife buys AK magazines then it means it’s time to add some AK’s to your collection!

    I’m cross-eye dominant, so I shoot long guns left-handed.

    AK’s and me ain’t exactly on speaking terms…

    • #7
  8. jmelvin Member
    jmelvin
    @jmelvin

    I shoot left handed too, but have yet to have a problem. Feel free to send me any gift AK’s you might get if it makes you feel better!

    • #8
  9. Dan Hanson Thatcher
    Dan Hanson
    @DanHanson

    I’m a bit of a flashlight nut. My current favorite is the Fenix LD22. Three hundred lumens on two AA batteries, or 90 hours at 5 lumens. The perfect flashlight for a toolbox or emergency kit. In low power mode with a red filter it’s perfect for astronomy as well. You can work around the scope in the dark without ruining your night vision.

    I always carry a small single AAA pocket flashlight as well. Get one with a really low power setting. Mine has a .5 lumen mode that’s ideal for reading a theater program in the dark, shining some light on small print to make it readable with older eyes like mine, etc. I find myself using it constantly. you don’t realize how useful a small flashlight is until you carry one all the time. It also has a high power mode that shines at 110 lumens for 75 minutes. Amazing for a single AAA battery. I keep mine on low power, and only change the battery once a year or so. At the low power setting, the battery lasts for over 100 hours of use. The new Cree LED’s are amazing.

    For binoculars, 7×50 is about all the power you want unless you are using a tripod. I have a pair of 10 X 70 astronomical binoculars, and they are pretty much useless without a tripod or monopod.

    Another good gift for a shooter is a spotting scope. I use a Celestron C90, which is a great spotting scope for long distances. Also great for planetary astronomy or for long distance bird watching. It’s a little too bulky for general spotting, though.

    • #9
  10. Stephen Dawson Inactive
    Stephen Dawson
    @StephenDawson

    Yes, Heat! I must have used it a hundred times in equipment reviews. It is without a doubt the best gunfire sound in the world of movies. And it wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar at all, including Best Sound. Which shows how clueless the academy is.

    If you want to give your home theatre — especially your subwoofer — an even greater workout, go to the airport cat-and-mouse near the end and turn it up loud. Caution: structural damage may result.

    • #10
  11. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    FWIW, I made some other suggestions here: http://ricochet.com/archives/gifts-for-the-shooter-in-your-life/

    • #11
  12. Dan Hanson Thatcher
    Dan Hanson
    @DanHanson

    The reason Heat sounds so good is because you’re hearing the actual gunfire sounds.   It’s normal in Hollywood to record gun battles on film,  then to dub in the sounds of gunfire later along with the dialog,  ambient sound, etc.  I guess it’s really hard to capture movie-quality  gunfire audio ‘live’ – probably too much dynamic range.   Anyway,  apparently they tried to do that for Heat,  but everyone realized the original live recording was just much better, so they used it.  Great choice.

    Heat is my pick for one of the best gun battles ever filmed.

    • #12
  13. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Eustace C. Scrubb:NRA membership?

    NO!!!!! The NRA is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you want to give a membership to a Gun Rights advocacy group that isn’t going to stab us in the back by backing Dems and giving numbers to the Party of disarmament then try this one:

    https://www.gunowners.org/

    You will never see these guys endorsing Harry Freaking Reid no matter who the GOP candidate in the Nevada senate race is. (I know officially NRA didn’t endorse Dirty Harry, but they might as well have.)

    • #13
  14. Pony Convertible Inactive
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    Mountie:Bore snake, dental picks (complete set), solvent (gallons of it), a gazillion cleaning patches of various sizes, a nice aluminum cleaning rod, 3 in 1 oil by the ton.

    Ok, so I have a clean gun fetish.

    No aluminum cleaning rods.  As you clean, the hard metal particles that you are trying to clean from your barrel will imbed in your cleaning rod, essentially turning it into a file.  Use a steel rod.

    • #14
  15. Pony Convertible Inactive
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    Robert McReynolds:

    Eustace C. Scrubb:NRA membership?

    NO!!!!! The NRA is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you want to give a membership to a Gun Rights advocacy group that isn’t going to stab us in the back by backing Dems and giving numbers to the Party of disarmament then try this one:

    https://www.gunowners.org/

    You will never see these guys endorsing Harry Freaking Reid no matter who the GOP candidate in the Nevada senate race is. (I know officially NRA didn’t endorse Dirty Harry, but they might as well have.)

    The NRA isn’t perfect, but I firmly believe that without them, I wouldn’t legally have my guns.  They are worthy of our support.

    • #15
  16. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    An 80% AR lower so you can build one of your own….

    • #16
  17. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    Pony Convertible: The NRA is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    GOA is good, but they are not on the anti-gunner’s radar. It’s not Larry Pratt on the cover of the Daily News, it’s Wayne LaPierre.

    That should tell you who Bloomberg is actually afraid of.

    • #17
  18. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    Dan Hanson: The reason Heat sounds so good is because you’re hearing the actual gunfire sounds.

    Technically, it was blanks, and blanks tend to be louder than real ammo, but that made the effect even more awe-inspiring.

    Michael Mann tends to get the bang-bang right in his movies. He sent James Caan to Gunsite to train for “Thief” and had Jim Zubiena, one of the first IPSC shooters ever, as a consultant on “Manhunter” and “Miami Vice”.

    Yes, that WAS his draw time in “Calderon’s Return”.

    • #18
  19. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Kevin Creighton:

    Pony Convertible: The NRA is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    GOA is good, but they are not on the anti-gunner’s radar. It’s not Larry Pratt on the cover of the Daily News, it’s Wayne LaPierre.

    That should tell you who Bloomberg is actually afraid of.

    The NRA has done great things and they do continue to carry on the fight. But when they refuse to endorse a candidate who barely, and I mean barely, lost to the guy who ran the caucus of the Senate dedicated to disarming us, then I can’t see how there wouldn’t be some serious push back from the members. Sharron Angle was not a perfect candidate by any stretch, but an endorsement by the NRA might have been enough to bump Reid off in 2010. I ceased being a member after that, and now associate with GOA.

    • #19
  20. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Mountie:Bore snake, dental picks (complete set), solvent (gallons of it), a gazillion cleaning patches of various sizes, a nice aluminum cleaning rod, 3 in 1 oil by the ton.

    Ok, so I have a clean gun fetish.

    Not sure why you need a cleaning rod at all if you have a bore snake.

    3 in 1 oil just isn’t very good gun oil.  Hoppe’s No. 9 is far superior, and I’m told a dab behind your ear can have positive effects in other realms of your life.  Breakfree is clearly better still.  We went through gallons of it in the military.  But IMO an even better and much less expensive alternative is – get this – automotive ATF for oil, and food grade Lubriplate SFL-1 as a grease.  I understand that many people prefer SFL-0, but I’ve never been able to find it in less than a five gallon bucket.  So unless you’re really into cleaning, probably stick with SFL-1 unless you live in a really, really cold climate.

    But I’ve left petroleum-based materials behind.  I recommend Froglube for everything.

    Be sure to add Q-tips and pipe cleaners to your gift list.

    • #20
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