The Perfect Gifts for Shooters can be a challange to find, let Thomas Conroy make his best recomendations.
Manasquan, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- ‘Tis the season for making your list and checking it twice. And if you’re reading Ammoland, chances are high that you might need to shop for a few gun enthusiasts, shooters or hunters on your “nice list.”
While it might seem simple at first – gun stuff, duh – it can actually be quite complicated, especially if you, yourself are not into the shooting sports as much.
While it is possible to buy a gun for a shooter, going that route does have its pitfalls. First, there are the potential legal entanglements of buying a gun for someone else, as shown by a recent Supreme Court case.
Second, lots of gunnies tend to be rather particular when it comes to the guns they want, and often have very specific makes, models, calibers or other features in mind. In most cases, if you really want to buy someone a gun for Christmas, it’s best to just give that person a Brownell's Gift Card , and let him or her go buy it, instead.
However, if you want to preserve the fun and suspense of a secret gift waiting under the tree, here are a few ideas for good Christmas gifts for the gunnies in your life.
And if you’re the gunnie, you’ll want to accidentally leave this article open on a computer where Santa might happen to see it. 😉
But here are my Top Five Christmas Gifts For Shooters:
5) High Quality Cleaning Kits
No matter what kind of guns the shooter on your gift list likes, the simple fact is that those guns will have to be cleaned at some point. Some shooters tend to skimp a bit when it comes to cleaning supplies, and often buy themselves the inexpensive prefab kits available at various big box retailers. One way to get a shooter a really neat, yet still practical gift is to give a nice cleaning kit. As a starting point, check out the Otis Cleaning products available at firearms specialists like Brownells.
For example, the Brownells Otis Elite Cleaning Kit for Every Gun will clean all rifles, shotguns and handguns from .17 caliber up to 10 gauge, and conveniently stores in a range bag or gun case.
The other benefit of something like the Otis 750 is that even if you don’t know exactly what caliber or size guns that special someone has, this kit will clean them all, no problem.
All guns require ammunition to work. And every shooter loves to get free ammo. Buying a shooter ammo for Christmas is never wrong. While I would be okay with receiving a really nice cleaning kit for Christmas, I would grin a lot more if I ripped off the gift paper and found a big box for fresh ammo instead. Getting the guns dirty is always a lot more fun that cleaning them!
If you decide to get ammo for the shooters on your shopping list, you’ll need to make sure you know exactly what caliber or gauge to buy, which might take a little extra research. Be sure to check your state’s laws regarding ammo purchases. In most locales, buying ammo is still as simple as visiting a nearby sporting goods store. In the vast majority of states, it’s still also easy to buy ammo online, and have it shipped to your home.
The best part about ammo is that after huge demands dried up most supplies a year or so ago, most popular calibers are back in stock and easy to find, except for .22 LR. 🙁
3) Range Bags
All shooters need good, sturdy range bags to carry all that ammo and those cleaning kits, along with magazines, hearing protection, targets, staple guns, bug repellent, sunscreen, and all the other sundry and miscellaneous things we end up needing at the range, or in the field. I know that I never seem to have quite enough range bags for all my shooting gear.
Brownells Signature Series Shooting Bags are some of the most durable and classy-looking range bags out there. Made with high-quality materials and featuring YKK zippers, these bags would make functional, attractive gifts that could be enjoyed for years.
Your Aunt’s fruitcake might also last for years, but nobody will want to keep it around that long, and probably won’t enjoy it as much, either.
2) Firearms Training
All shooters, no matter our experience or skill level, benefit from professional training. Plinking at the range is not training. Actual training involves a visit to a well-qualified professional instructor.
Buying someone training is at the higher end of gift giving. Good training isn’t cheap, but it can be quite literally transformational – completely unlike that package of orthopedic dress socks your weird Uncle gives you every year. Giving someone you love a good training class could actually save that person’s life, or help that person acquire knowledge and skills that last a lifetime, a truly precious gift.
One of the best-known, highly regarded training experiences is Gunsite’s 250 Pistol Course. It’s five days long, and costs $1,585. That sounds like a lot of cash, but if you were thinking about buying a gun for a gift, that’s about the same price of a Kimber Super Carry Pro 1911 or a POF AR-15 style rifle.
Badlands Tactical near Grandfield, Oklahoma may not be as famous as Gunsite, but they offer top-notch training classes that are not quite as expensive. Their Basic Precision Rifle and Advanced Phase I courses are particularly good. If you decide to give the gift of a training class, do your research, and look for reviews and comments from previous students, both good and bad. Then make the most informed decision you can.
Especially if you are shopping for a brand new shooter, one of the best gifts might be a basic NRA course. These courses typically last only for one day, and are designed to give rookies a good grasp of firearms safety and shooting fundamentals. Check this website to see a list of NRA-certified instructors in your area, and what courses and disciplines they offer.
1) NRA Membership
If the shooters on your list aren’t NRA members, well, they oughta be – that is, if they’d like to be able to keep on owning and shooting their guns. A yearly membership is only $35, but can be found for only $25 several places on the Internet. That’s cheaper than one box of nice .44 Magnum cartridges.
You get your choice of magazine: American Rifleman, American Hunter, 1st Freedom, or Insights for junior shooters, or no magazine at all if you prefer.
One of the weirdest reasons I hear gun owners give for not joining the NRA is “I don’t want to get all that junk mail.” Well, you can send one email and ask to be put on the “Do Not Promote” list. After that, you won’t get extra mail from the NRA, but you’ll still get all the benefits of membership while doing your part to protect and preserve our gun rights.
The fact that semi-automatic rifles and pistols and normal capacity magazines were not banned by Congress in 2013 should be a reminder of just how powerful and important the NRA really is. If only 10% of all American gun owners were NRA members, we could get any law passed that we wanted.
If you’re already a member, great job! Maybe you need to upgrade to a Life Membership for Christmas?
So Get To Shopping!
So if you want to get a gun enthusiast something for Christmas, but don’t want to actually buy a firearm as a gift, take a look at all the other things that shooters need or want: cleaning kits, ammo, range bags, more training, and membership in the biggest, most-powerful pro-gun organization on the planet.
With just a little research and thought, you too can give a gift that will make somebody you care about almost as happy as Ralphie when he opened the box containing the Official Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle, with a compass in the stock.
Thomas Conroy is a writer and gun enthusiast who lives in the Midwest.