There is nothing like waking up Christmas morning and getting that perfect gift, but shopping for the gun enthusiast in your life can be a little daunting. If you aren’t one yourself, you may find yourself unsure about what to get them. While I’m sure they would appreciate a lightly used M1126 Stryker ICV, or pickup truck full of FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles, I say we take a look at a few things that might be less, shall we say, high-profile.
Hey, guns don’t make good tools for much else except being a gun, so ammo is essential. Don’t worry about getting the wrong load, as long as the caliber matches. I’ve never seen a shooter turn down free ammo. Just remember what they plan to use the ammunition for. The ammo I take to the range to plink with isn’t usually the same ammo I take hunting. It certainly isn’t the kind I use for defense. I feed my AK the crummiest ammunition I can get my hands on since it makes little difference to the AK what it shoots. As long as it says 7.62×39 on the side of the box, that thing will cycle absolutely anything I shove down that magazine. My Kahr PM9 however, stays perfectly clean all the time, and the high dollar defensive ammunition is gingerly loaded into the magazine so I know it is going to feed correctly, should I ever have to defend my life with it. One thing to keep in mind, many shooting ranges don’t allow full metal jacket ammunition, so if your shooter likes to go to the local range to turn money into smoke and noise, you might give the range a call and see what kind of ammunition they allow.
Like any hobby, shooting has an unspeakably large supply of accessories and supplies that go along with the sport. Take a look at your shooter’s stash and see what they bring with them to the range. If they are sporting a cheap pair of foam earplugs as hearing protection, you might look into getting something a little nicer. It’s easy to spot a noob at the range just by looking at his PPE. Shooting glasses may be something to look at too. Firing a gun without eye protection is not only dangerous, it’s foolish. A good shooter has at least two pairs of decent glasses to take to the range. Regular sunglasses can work okay if you are shooting outside, but indoor and evening shoots can be almost impossible if you can’t see what you are doing.
Ah, yes. The one thing many shooters spend more money on than guns. Reloading magazines while at the range is a waste of time, not to mention it is extremely boring. Reloading one magazine at a time on a busy day at the range and you may notice glares from those folks who are waiting behind you to get a lane. I like loading a bunch of mags before I leave the house and throw them into my range bag. This cuts down on wasted time and I can practice combat reloading. Some firearms take several different kinds of mags, just make sure the model and caliber is the same. I’ve had people try to shove their .40 caliber magazine into their 9mm handgun and wonder why it won’t fit.
Whatever you decide to get your shooter this holiday season, remember that ammunition and safety gear is always a good bet. An added bonus, ammunition and magazines fit nicely into stocking that are hung from the chimney with care. Have a merry Christmas everyone!