Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Shooter


Okay, I refused to post anything about Christmas before this week. The stores are bad enough breaking out the Christmas stuff before Halloween. But as we approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s time to get some Christmas gift ideas for your favorite shooter out there for everyone to ponder.

If you’re one to get out in the crowds and shop the stores, you can shop at the local gun shops, or you can hit places like Wally World, Bass Pro Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Academy Sports. There are lots of other stores, but you get the idea. The firearms industry is booming right now and retailers want a piece of the action.
If you don’t like fighting the crowds, there are plenty of places online to shop for your favorite shooter. And for those looking to drop some hints, some websites allow you to create a wishlist that you can email to all your friends and family. 
It helps if you know a little about the person you’re buying for, especially when it’s a shooter. It helps to know what kind of guns they have, their calibers, which ones they shoot and don’t shoot, and other gear they have or don’t have.
Here are some ideas that any shooter would be happy to get:
Ammo in his or her favorite flavor – Whether it’s personal defense ammo, or just something to take to the range and plink with, we love to shoot and we always need more. Depending on caliber and quantity, you can spend anywhere from $3 and up.

Everyone needs ammo. Lots and lots of ammo.
Gun magazine subscriptions – Check your local newsstand. There are magazines geared towards pistol, shotgun, and rifle shooters as well as just shooting in general. These tide us over between range visits. If you’re all about green, you can even get them as electronic subscriptions. These can run from about $12 to $25 a year.
Gun organization memberships – These are relatively inexpensive ways to get your shooter involved in preserving the sport and even their freedoms. Some organizations to consider are the National Rifle Association (NRA), my favorite Georgia Carry (GCO), and The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). For competitive shooters or those like me that aspire to be, there is the US Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), and for you Glock fans there is the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF). There are dozens out there to choose from. Memberships can range from $15 to $50 a year.

Various shooting organization and range membership cards
Range membership – These are more pricey, but we will get good use out of them. Memberships can range anywhere from $100 a year and up depending on the benefits. I once belonged to an indoor range that gave members head of the line privileges for lane use, 10% off anything but guns in the store, and no range fee for lane use. That was a $200 membership and I got that back in less than 6 months. If your shooter frequents a specific range, chances are they will love a membership there (if they’re offered).
Guns – This is a very risky area to get into as far as gift giving. Guns are very personal. We all have different tastes when it comes to guns. What feels good to me, may not feel good to you, so if you’re looking to get someone a gun, you need to fall back to the extreme basics, like .22 rifles or you have to know exactly what someone already wants. You can spend anywhere from $100 on up.
Targets – With all this shooting, we need to be shooting at something, whether it is paper targets or steel. Commercial outdoor ranges usually restrict targets to paper or steel, i.e. no glass bottles or cans. Clay targets are great for everyone. They can be thrown for the shotgunners, or mounted on holders down range for plinkers. Stationary steel targets are nice at outdoor ranges because they don’t have to be reset. On a busy range, nobody likes for the line to go cold too often, so steel is great for this. Paper targets are good for indoor or outdoor ranges. There are hundreds of different kinds to choose from ranging from bullseyes to zombies. Targets can range from $0.50 a piece for paper to $300-400 for some steel targets. If you’re buying steel targets, make sure you buy for the appropriate caliber. Some are designed for .22 rimfire only. Shooting them with a .308 or even a .223 rifle will end your fun real fast.
TacStrike 1/4 size steel targets
(Photo courtesy of TacStrike Steel Target Systems - www.tacstrike.com)
DVD’s – There are tons of training DVD’s out there for various topics, including safety, marksmanship, personal defense, hunting, and even gunsmithing. These can range in price from $15 to $50 each, and more for box sets.
Gift possibilities for shooters are endless. Learn what your shooter likes and does, then go beat the street or surf the web for that ideal gift. Don’t be surprised if the gift is out of stock and has to be backordered. The firearms market is booming right now and everyone is buying. If you can only get your item by having it backordered, you might want to give your shooter a raincheck. If that’s not an option for you, keep searching and don’t lose hope. 

And when all else fails, there is always gift certificates. Many websites have them, including TacStrike (shameless plug in hopes someone will buy me one of these).

Happy hunting and be safe.

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