Best Gifts to Give in 2012: Suggestions for Your Shooting Enthusiast


Have you struggled to figure out what exactly to get that special shooter in your life for the holidays? Look no further than my gift guide below for four great suggestions for gifts to give to a firearms enthusiast in 2012.

Franklin Armory XO-26: For the person who has everything ($1,079.99)

Look over at that shooting lane, it’s a pistol…it’s a rifle….no, it’s a Franklin Armory XO-26. Franklin Armory figured out the perfect configuration for a firearm to not be classified as a “pistol”, “rifle”,”AOW”, or “SBR” by the ATF. With that being said. many states would still consider it a pistol (which is makes transporting it easier if you have a concealed weapons permit). The XO-26 and XO-26b be come with a 11.5” barrel and a vertical fore grip. Noticeably absent is the traditional AR stock, but in its place is a comfortably padded buffer tube. As you can imagine, the XO-26 comes in a variety of calibers including 5.56 NATO, 6.8 SPC, 300 Blackout, and 7.62x39mm. After having some extensive range time with one I can confirm that this is a very fun gun. Even with its relatively short barrel it is incredibly accurate out to at least 100 yards. I would recommend this gun for anyone you know who seems to already own every AR out there.

Hi-Point pistol: The stocking stuffer ($150+)

Do you have several loved ones who you were thinking about gifting firearms to this holiday season? Do you also have a budget that doesn’t allow you to give all of your friends and family a new HK USP? Then a Hi-Point pistol might be the perfect stocking stuffer. Hi-Point offers there pistol in two different frame sizes and four different calibers (.380 ACP ,9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP), which can all be had for under $160 if you find the right deal. The .380 ACP and 9mm models are built on a smaller frame so they can even be used as a concealed carry gun, but their weight does not really lend themselves to such a use. I personally own a 9mm, .40 S&W, and a .45 ACP model and for the price I can’t really imagine a better gun. They are all very accurate, especially the .40 S&W, and solidly built. They may not be the lightest or most attractive guns, but they go bang every time and with all the money you saved buying one you can afford a few hundred more rounds of ammunition.

Sig Sauer P290 RS: Keep you and your loved ones safe ($570)

The number of individuals in the United States with concealed carry permits has gone up dramatically in the past few years. In response, manufacturers have begun to offer a wider variety of sub compact pistols. One of my favorites has been the Sig Sauer P290 RS. The P290 RS is an updated version of Sig’s innovative P290. The “RS” stands for restrike; the P290 is a DAO 9mm with restrike capability, which means that the slide does not have to move for the trigger to be reset (which can be very important in a defensive carry gun). The P290 RS would be right at home in even the smallest pockets or tightest clothes. At just over 5.5” inches long, 4.1” tall, and 1” wide the P290 RS is easily concealable. Also, the diminutive Sig weighs in at a scant 20 ounces while still managing to feel sturdy and substantial in your hand. The P290 RS also comes with two magazines, one six-round and one eight-round single stack. After carrying one for the past few months I think the only complaint I would have is that I did not buy the optional integrated laser sight. I would recommend the Sig Sauer P290 RS for anyone considering a small and ultra-reliable 9mm carry pistol this holiday season.

Smith & Wesson Range Jacket: Keep warm at those cold outdoor ranges ($250)

The Smith & Wesson Range Jacket is an all-around great every day jacket in addition to being an excellent coat for a shooter. The Smith and Wesson Range Jacket is a medium-weight jacket suitable for all but the coldest temperatures. It features a unique S&W patterned liner, which gives it an more attractive look than some other options. The Western-style jacket is also not “too Western” as to make you look out of place in a trendy urban setting, which is a plus. The water resistant cotton canvas has an aged look for extra style points. As far as being a shooter’s jacket there are left and right chest concealment pockets with integrated holsters. While wearing mine I was able to conceal two compact pistols without any visible indication. The two large exterior pockets have internal spaces to hold ammunition and other shooting supplies. There are also fleece-lined hand warmer pockets just under the two large exterior pockets. Pockets built into the sleeves have hidden zippers. Overall the jacket would make an excellent gift for anyone who carries concealed or is an avid shooter. Overall it’s the little things that make this jacket great, from the gun hammer zipper pulls to the attractive revolver blueprint liner.

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