Let’s face it: If you’re a 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 at length about how she doesn’t 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 due to my former career as a photographer, which is another profession with pretty specific gear needs, so I learned how to drop broad hints to my family and friends about what I needed/wanted and how to buy for me.
I also know that some people 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. This list is just some suggestions for your list that don’t involve going into a gun shop or dealing with calibers and cartridges, but are nice gifts that the gun lover in your life will probably love.
- Flashlights: 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. If they need something bigger, I like the Pelican 2360 rather than other higher-priced lights because it kicks out enough light to be useful but takes plain ol’ AA’s over expensive lithiums. This mean you can get replacement batteries on the moon if you need them, and if want lithium, it’s still an option.
- 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 Leatherman Micra is in my pocket 24/7. My favorite, though, is a trim little SOG multitool that opens quickly and easily.
- Gear Bags. This doesn’t need to be some camouflage combat-ready tactical ready bag: Even a Maxpedition
man-pursemessenger bag will be appreciated by the shooter you love.
- Binoculars. Some useful and something you can get just about anywhere. The general rule of thumb for binos is you want a camera manufacturer’s brand name on it, as they 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 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.
- Rangefinders. If your loved one ones have a rifle, they’re going to need to know the distance to the stuff they’re shooting at, be it paper target, steel gong or four-legged critter. Laser rangefinders have dropped in price to where you can buy one for the same price as a really nice meal out on the town, and the money your loved one saves in ammo with this little gadget can be spent on said meal.
- Organic Gourmet Beef Jerky. Because beef jerky, that’s why.
- 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 Landsharks to help them stop and start quickly on the shooting range.
- Smartphone Apps. There’s apps out there for competitive shooting, for precision rifle-shooting, for hunting and for training. Chances are one or more of them will be useful to the shooter in your life.
- Time. Print up a nice “gift certificate” good for a weekend of shooting. Shooting is a time-intesive sport, and giving them a few days to do it in means a whole bunch.
- Movies. I have a few suggestions for movies that a gun nut might like, but be advised that none of them are what you might call a chick flick. There is a time and a place for period romance film, (ask me how much I like Emma Thompson in “Sense and Sensibility” sometime when no one else is around), but that’s not usually when there are guns on-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? And if you’re new to the site, feel free to stick around or give me like on Facebook.