8 Perfect Holiday Gifts for the Shooter
Tom McHale 11.23.15
Got a firearms enthusiast in your life who you need to buy some holiday gifts for? Check out some of our picks in this list—they’re sure to appreciate just about any of them!
Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster
When you buy clothes as a gift for someone, you have to know their size, and it can be embarrassing to ask for that information. When giving a gun holster, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask (if you don’t already know) what type of gun they carry. In any case, Alien Gear offers a lifetime shell exchange program, so if your giftee changes guns in the future, they can request a new holster shell to fit their new handgun.
On the exterior, it looks sorta like other hybrid holsters with a large back panel and polymer shell to hold the gun. When you peel back the layers, you’ll find a steel panel inside that provides support. The body side is made of neoprene, the stuff wetsuits are made from. That means that it’s not only comfortable but helps keep moisture away from your gun. I tested an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 with an exceptionally large handgun, the FNX-45 Tactical, because I wanted to see whether the new support benefits lived up the hype. It handled the double-stack .45 ACP monster with ease.
You can order the Cloak Tuck 3.0 direct from Alien Gear for $43.88.
Hornady Lock-n-Load Classic Kit
People ask me all the time about how much it costs to get started reloading ammunition, and it’s always kind of a hard question to answer. That’s because reloading, like woodworking, can be done with very few tools. However, the more specialized tools you add to your collection, the more efficient you can be and the better the quality of the output.
The Hornady Lock-n-Load Classic Kit contains everything you need to reload pistol calibers and straight-walled rifle calibers. The only thing you’ll need to buy, besides the consumables like powder, primers, and projectiles, are the dies for your specific calibers. To expand your capabilities to include bottleneck rifle calibers like .308 Winchester, you’ll need a case trimmer, but everything else is already there.
The kit includes a reloading press, powder dispenser, powder scale, powder funnel, loading tray, powder trickler, chamfer and deburring tool, and a handheld priming tool. Most importantly, the kit includes the latest version of the Hornady reloading handbook that contains thousands of proven and safe reloading recipes.
The bottom line? If you have a special someone on your gift list who wants to get started reloading, this kit will make it possible.
It’s currently on sale at Cabela’s for $269.99.
LaserLyte Reaction Tyme Targets
We all know that dry-fire practice is the most effective way to improve shooting skills. The bummer is that it’s exceptionally boring to do, so very few people invest in regular dry-fire practice time.
Here’s a way to make it fun. The folks at LaserLyte have developed a variety of reaction targets that respond to laser hits. I personally like the Reaction Tyme targets because they help you develop hit or miss speed. The targets have two modes, a reaction time drill, and a simple hit or no hit indicator. In reaction time mode, the target will light up at random time intervals, and you have three seconds to get a hit that is confirmed by an audible beep. If you use two targets, they operated independently and randomly, so it makes for great target transition practice. In the basic mode, any hit on the target is rewarded with a beep and flashing light so that you can practice at your own pace.
LaserLyte makes dedicated practice guns that you can use, but I like their Trainer Pistol Cartridges. They resemble an actual cartridge for common calibers like .380 ACP, 9x19mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP and fit in the chamber like one. After removing real ammo from your magazine and chamber, insert the Trainer Pistol Cartridge. The hammer strike activates a laser beam that fires through the bore of your pistol. It’s a great way to practice safely at home with your real gun.
Leupold VX-3 Riflescopes
The first and last 15 minutes of official daylight are when the big bucks play, so Leupold has focused (see what I did there?) on making optics that make the best of those low-light conditions. Every extra minute that you can clearly see your target and the reticle improves your chances of bringing home big and elusive bucks.
Leupold has long been known as a top choice for hunters and shooters who want and expect the best. Their Xtended Twilight lens technology is specifically engineered to optimize light transmission of the light waveforms most likely to be present during early morning and twilight hours.
The VX-3 scopes are available in three finishes and multiple reticle options on the inside.
Find a full assortment at Cabela’s starting at $399.99.
Crimson Trace has a new set of Lasergrips for the classic Smith & Wesson J-frame family. Available in both red and green laser configurations, the LG-350 family not only provides a fast, low-light sighting option, they also help tame that snappy recoil of lightweight .38 Special revolvers.
Since you can’t mount a reliable laser sight on a soft and smooshy surface, Crimson Trace makes this grips out of two materials. Harder polymer side panels that contain the battery; electronics and the laser itself are bookended by Shock-Stop soft rubber sections on the front and rear of the grip. The difference in felt recoil is significant, so your giftee is getting two benefits—improved sighting and more controllable shooting.
These run $319 direct from Crimson Trace.
Uncle Ted’s Defensive Handgun Ammo
What happens when The Nuge and the Godfather of Boom! get together in a bar? They decide to make ammo. There’s a new line of hunting and defensive ammo coming out from rocker and Second Amendment defender Ted Nugent and ammo maker Mike McNett, founder of DoubleTap Ammunition. Deemed American Defender and American Hunter, the new line encompasses the most common handgun and rifle calibers for now. Knowing Mike’s propensity to tinker, and the fact that DoubleTap now offers nearly 400 unique loads, you can count on a lot more coming.
As just one example, consider the 10mm handgun load, Uncle Ted’s favorite handgun caliber. This one launches an 180-grain Sierra JHP bullet at a smokin’ 1,250 feet per second from a Glock 20. If 10mm isn’t your cup of tea, check out the 357 Magnum, 45 ACP +P, .40 S&W and 9mm +P.
Find more information at www.tednugent-ammo.com.
Proper Gun Tools
I always like the idea of gifting things that people would rarely buy for themselves. If you own a gun, you need proper gun screwdrivers and such. Regular screwdrivers butch up gun screws and make gunsmiths faint all over the country. Gun-specific tools are ground with flat edges so you can tighten and remove gun screws, like the ones on grips, without tearing up the beautiful exterior.
Ruger Go-N-Heavy Folding Knife
If you want your friend or relative to make that shocked “I can’t believe you got me this!” face, then consider one of the brand new Ruger Knives. If you want to go big, check out the Go-N-Heavy folder. It sports a five-inch blade, but that makes it smaller than it really is. In the world of “pocket” knives, this one is pretty epic.
Check out the other custom designer knives. You’ll find an assortment of fixed-blade and folding models, most of which are inspired by iconic gun designs.
See more models at ShopRuger.com.
Need more gift ideas for the shooter in your life? Visit Cabela’s Christmas Sale and check out gifts just for shooters here!
Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. This article was produced in cooperation with Cabela’s.