Gift guides galore come out this time of year, for good reason too! Do you have that special someone in your life that has “everything”? Not really sure what to get them? If the family member or friend that you’re tasked with getting a gift for happens to be involved in the shooting sports and or hunting, the good news is there’s no lack of doo dads or accessories out there to procure.
First and foremost, know thy shootist. Is your recipient into a certain discipline? Do they favor competition pistol shooting or would you more than likely find them shooting empty cans at the quarry? This is a question worthy of answering to better be able to understand the needs and wants of the person. Hopefully you’ll already have a solid idea about what they’re into because if your shootist is anything like me, they probably don’t shut up about what they’ve got going on or are into. Just sayin’. If your intended target is new to the firearms world, then you’ve got more options. Armed with the knowledge of what the individual in question is all about (and may already have), here are some suggestions.
Note: Any brand names mentioned are not being mentioned for commercial purposes. I have not received any incentive to mention certain products in this rundown.
- A multitool – Just about every sportsmen or shooter would have a quality knife that they carry or keep handy. Many of us would have a multitool too. If someone does not have a multi tool, this is a good thing to bring to the range or have in the field. Many-a-time I’ve remedied some interesting situations with the use of a multitool MacGyver style. In fact, I once used a multitool on a sail boat to assist in cutting a ring off someone’s finger when they jammed it. Quality multitools can be found at hardware stores, outfitters, and of course online. Two brands that I’ve relied on are Leatherman and Gerber. Some companies make shooting sports specific tools. If you think those will fulfill the need, go for it. Otherwise, a general multitool that has a decent cache of options will generally suffice.
- Targets – Depending on where your recipient shoots and what discipline they’re into will dictate what kind of targets would be appealing to them. There are a whole host of targets out there that can be challenging and or entertaining. Different “splatter” targets could be fun or even hostage situation ones. There’s also an entire myriad of steel and reactive targets on the market. Some of these options might be the way to go.
- Ammunition – This might be “boring” but, eh, if someone gave me a case of ammunition for the holidays, I won’t scoff at that. I once got a case of shotgun shells for a birthday present and was more than happy to receive them.
- A new firearm – This is a tricky situation due to Federal law, but one can purchase a firearm for a loved one. The best way to go about it is to just get the recipient a gift card for the gun store in where the firearm would be purchased from. That’ll also leave some wiggle room for the recipient to pick a specific model etc.
- Range time – Does your shootist have a membership to a range? Or are they constantly bouncing around to different facilities? If there’s a new awesome facility that opened up close by, consider getting them some range time and or a membership there.
- Training – Shooters should try to take at least one class a year to brush up on things and expand their skillset. Find some training that they might be interested in. A class might also be a good group activity, keep that in mind.
- A “guntry” club experience – The days of facilities being dominated and run by by overweight men spitting tobacco juice into an empty bottle with “girlie” magazines in a restroom that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since the Bush administration (you pick the Bush) are coming to an end. Ranges and gun clubs are changing for the better, and part of that comes an experience of “the concierge”. Shooting destinations are popping up that are also resorts. Consider a “shooting” trip or vacation for the person you’re tasked with getting a gift for. If they’re a family member or close friend, this is another situation where it could be a fun group activity. Consider is a spa weekend.
- Books – If the person you’re looking to buy a gift for would appreciate a book, well, there are plenty. If there’s a topic or sport they’ve recently gotten into, then look for some new material that’s out there on the subject. Super shameless plug for us Bearing Arms writers…but, Cam, Tom, Ranjit and I all have books out there for purchase.
- Gun cleaning “stuff” – Consumable items like gun oil, solvent, patches, and rags are always needed. If you can do some snooping, find out what system the person likes to use, and get a few cans or bottles or bundles of those items. If they already have two cans of oil in their cabinet, they’ll be happy to have a 3rd to carry them through the next year or years.
- An ultrasonic cleaner – This would go under the “gun cleaning ‘stuff'” category, but it’s deserving of its own line item. An ultrasonic cleaner is great for cleaning both firearm parts and used brass. If your person is into reloading, they may already have one. They may not. None-the-less, these devices that come in a multitude of sizes do help make short order of cleaning things.
- A magazine loader – There are a number of different magazine loading aids out there on the market. The best that I’ve laid hands on is the UpLULA® loader. They’re worth every penny.
- Quality flashlight – Your shootist might already be one of those “Semper Paratus”, always ready, kinda people, but a quality high lumen flashlight is a great tool to have around. At the range or in the field it has countless uses. A good light makes component and firearm inspection easy and will aid in locating an item if one gets dropped on the ground. Like a multitool, a flashlight is useful in many stations in life and is handy to have.
The sometimes stressful task of trying to find a gift for someone in your life does not have to consume you. This list will hopefully aid in getting the thought juices going, at a minimum. If there’s nothing on that list that’ll fit the bill, I hope you’ve come up with other ideas because of it. All kinds of other accessories like bags, holsters, etc. can be looked into as well. Be creative in your thinking, do your research, and you’ll certainly find the right gift. If all else fails, there’s always gift cards and cold hard cash. Happy shopping!