TTAG’s Inaugural Badass Moms Mother’s Day Gift Guide

The carbine love of my life: the Axelson Tactical Black Pearl. If I were to recommend a long gun, it’d be this one.

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Mother’s Day is upon us yet again and with it comes the avalanche of Mother’s Day Gift Guides, Mother’s Day Must-Haves, and Best Guns for Mothers. Here’s the thing. Here at TTAG we – well, I’m speaking for myself, here – don’t go with the stereotypical flow. This isn’t exactly a gift guide, it’s more a suggestion for the badass woman in your life.

Yeah, these are all 10mms. I love them. Find out exactly what your badass mom wants before hitting your FFL.

Guns and Things that Go Boom

Yes, this is where I’m supposed recommend a gun – preferably something brand new from a known manufacturer. Instead, here’s a suggestion. Unless the badass woman in your life has specifically told you what gun she wants, don’t do it. Do you know exactly what she wants? Awesome. Go for it. Otherwise, either get her a gift certificate or simply take her to your local FFL to do some shopping.

If you’re dead set on getting her a gun without any feedback from her I’m likely to reach through this monitor and slap you upside your head. Don’t do that. I absolutely understand the desire to get someone involved in guns but please, do it right. Take newbies somewhere with solid rental options or find a well-armed friend willing to let their guns be tried out. Don’t steer them towards a .380 ACP or snubnose .38 Special; at the least, go for a 9mm.

Of course, you could always buy some Tannerite. Nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like blowing away a beaver dam.

My favorite outfitter: Spike Box. Yes, I am aware the image is flipped.

An Actual Hunt

Treat her to a hunt at an outfitter offering fair chase hunts and good company. Make sure you know the guides are friendly and the acreage plentiful. Over the years I’ve been to quite a few different outfitters across the country and I do have a favorite: Spike Box Ranch and Hunting in Benjamin, Texas.

The Spike Box is a working cattle ranch that also offers hunting for deer, hogs, doves, and the usual predators like coyotes and bobcats. I try to hunt there every year – more than once a year when I can swing it – and highly recommend them. The hunting manager, Tyler Pounds, has become a great friend and the guides I’ve hunted with are awesome as well. Ronnie Ainsworth – no relation, guys – is a phenomenal turkey hunter and Dusty Stevens is dedicated, persistent, and funny as hell. I’m just saying, they rock.

Sure, you can stay in your home state. It’s certainly more cost effective. There are good outfitters all over the place, just decide on your game or predator of choice and hit Google. My personal requirements for an outfitter are pretty simple. I want a free range, fair chase location – I do not hunt high fence (we can fight about that in a future column). Lodging should be clean but need not be fancy and meals should be substantial and tasty.

Dove poppers? Backstrap? Steak? Yes, please. Guides should be personable and relaxed; I may or may not curse a blue streak and have a wicked, sometimes sick, sense of humor. Although I do try to bite my tongue on work trips it’s fantastic when your guides will let loose with you. When I go on a hunt, I’m there to have fun hunting. End of story.

(There are some incredibly beautiful lodges and high-end outfitters out there. If that’s what your other half prefers, more power to you. Just do me a favor and make sure they’re still fair chase.)

Spike Box website here, Facebook here

Euros and mounts of all kinds make excellent gifts. No, the spider isn’t a real Euro.

Taxidermy

You know how much this costs. My heart would absolutely skip a beat if someone gave me the gift of a Euro. Consider a certificate for a future hunt if your family does public land deer in the fall. This is the gift that keeps on giving because it is wonderful to look at your finished mount and have all those memories come rushing back. My house may look like an ode to dead things, but it makes me happy.

Gruntstyle’s Beautiful Badass tank is a personal favorite.

Clothing

I felt some pressure to include clothing items, so here goes.

Some of the coolest shirts in the industry can be found at Gruntstyle.com. And when you check it out and think, hey, I’m not seeing what she’d like in the women’s section, head on over to men’s. Quite a few of my Gruntstyle shirts were either ordered purposefully from the men’s section or swiped from guys I know (I have no shame). They have everything from tees to fleece joggers to tank tops – I wear their Beautiful Badass tank to yoga on a regular basis. There’s even a selection of Dolman tops and cardigans if your wife/mother/whoever isn’t the type to enjoy snarky-themed tops.

If you were expecting me to espouse the joys of women’s concealed carry clothing, you came to the wrong place. Although there are a rare few out there that are nice, most of what’s being marketed to women falls under “oh God anything but that” or “wow, that’s dangerous”. In order to carry concealed, some women do need to go up a size in jeans. Those aren’t CC jeans, though, they’re just the usual brands. Allow me to take this opportunity to state that carrying on body, not off, is always best and that belly bands slow down your draw significantly (and typically limit you to micro pistols).

Gruntstyle’s website here and Facebook here

Jeremy Valentine, owner and founder of Valavian Knives, crafts badass blades and sheaths.

Edged Weapons

It isn’t just firearms I love, I like knives, too. Folding knives, fixed blades, love them all. I have dedicated hunting knives, skinning knives (Havalon for the win), folders for pocket carry – the list goes on. If you want to go all out for Mother’s Day, consider a custom knife. Yes, they cost more, but they’re well worth it.

A company by the name of Valavian Edgecraft happens to make some seriously breathtaking knives and axes. Valavian is owned by Jeremy Valentine – a guy also known as Boulder because, let’s face it, Jeremy is somewhat large and imposing in a “you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” way – and based in Oregon. Jeremy is also an artist and makes sheaths with unbelievable detail. As you can see, I’ve been repeatedly impressed by some of this work.

Sharp stuff is cool. We all need sharps. Even if you don’t hunt, edged weapons come in handy for opening packages, cutting vegetables, and threatening that bitchy cheer team mom. Well, okay, maybe not the latter since it’s technically against the law. But you get the idea. Jeremy is a skilled craftsman and has been featured in Blade magazine and is currently showcased in Fiocchi ammunition’s annual catalog. Check him out on Facebook and Instagram.

Valavian Edgecraft Facebook here and Instagram here

The Fun House at Gunsite has it all from unexpected assailants to tricky corners. It. Is. Awesome.

Training

You cannot go wrong with training. Shooters need training, it’s just reality. There is always something to learn. If you can possibly afford it, head to Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona. Anyone claiming Gunsite is overrun by Fudds who don’t teach modern methods is clearly butthurt over either not being invited there on a media trip or flat-out can’t afford it (it is pricey).

It takes time to afford these things, I know that. But it’s worth it. Their 250 class is excellent for your first trip; they have fricking amazing shoot houses, cool ranges with obstacles and fake rooftops to shoot over, and they will make you work. When you go to Gunsite, you go to train hard.

Until you can save your pennies to get whipped into shape by Ed Head or one of the other Gunsite instructors, go somewhere local or semi-local. Take the time to be sure the instructor is truly qualified and teaching what you need. For example, someone in need of basic pistol instruction won’t benefit from intermediate shoot-and-move drills and someone looking to work on CQB won’t get much out of basic pistol. All gun owners serious about carrying should also take force-on-force and medical classes such as those offered by Dark Angel Medical, which brings me to my next point.

Gunsite Academy website here and Dark Angel Medical here

Tourniquet

Get her a tourniquet. She should have a TQ at home, at the range, and in her med kit in her car. No med kit? Get one. TacMed Solutions has some nice IFAKs and supplies; they can get you squared away in no time. But first, get a TQ. For both of you. It’s the gift that’ll keep on giving when it saves a life, and since you can’t schedule almost bleeding to death I suggest getting one sooner rather than later.

TacMed website here

Patriot Patch’s March 2018 Patch of the Month

Patches

Is she a patch junky? (I totally am.) Check out Patriot Patch. Their “Make Your Own Damn Sandwich” patch has accompanied me on multiple out-of-state trips and their Patch of the Month Club is killer. Consider their monthly option instead of just getting her a single patch. That way she’ll receive a monthly reminder of just how cool you think she is.

Patriot Patch’s website here

BRCC coffee, a Gunsite mug, and Unicorn cereal. What could be better?

Coffee and Coffee Holders

Mugs, that’s it. Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) keeps the gun theme going and tastes good, too. They have all kinds of roasts and even sell K-Cups for those with Keurigs. And yes, they do have mugs. That said, I was going to say to look for a unique mug. Sometimes cool ones pop up as ads in my Facebook feed – I’ve been successfully marketed to for three mugs at this point – but you can find them all over. Or you could buy a really big mug when you make that trip to Gunsite; theirs easily holds sixteen ounces of coffee with room to spare.

Black Rifle Coffee Company website here

Flowers

I like flowers. There, I said it. Most of us do although there are varying degrees of flower love and some of us – ahem, me – despise certain types such as carnations and lilies. If the badass in your life doesn’t like cut flowers maybe she’d like a new hybrid tea rose for the garden or a hydrangea to plant by the front walk. The thorns on roses make decent deterrents when planted under and around windows; climbing roses are even better.

Hanging plants are also an option. If you have cats, take a moment to make sure your selection isn’t toxic since they’ll probably attempt to eat it.

Above All…

Remember her. Even when she says Mother’s Day isn’t a big deal and not to worry about it. Most of us don’t expect parades in our honor or diamond jewelry, despite what the commercials claim. We just want to be remembered and thanked. Show the badass mom in your life some love. Let her know she is appreciated. And if you do get her a gift, make sure it’s something she’ll actually enjoy.

And Now, a Note

A quick note from one mom to the others. It’s exhausting being a mom. From sleepless nights – which appear to be permanent, I might add, because we worry when they’re older, too – to cuts and broken bones to bad breakups, there’s no shortage of pain. But there are beautiful moments, too. My daughter is amazing whether she’s boxing, painting, or shooting her 1911. In the hardest of times, remember the beauty. It’s always there, you just need to look.

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at TTAG to all the badass moms out there.

comments

  1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Happy Mothers Day Kat.

    1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      Thanks, Tom. I always write multiple Mother’s Day gift guides each year and I thought it might be nice to put together something more realistic.

      Well, I tried…lol

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Tried and succeeded.
        Though for my 93 year we led mom, I’ll stick to flowers. Since she’s blind, she enjoys the aroma.
        Now for the GF…. hmmm…

  2. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

    Happy mother’s day, some solid picks

    1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      Thanks Joe!

  3. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

    Stopped reading at “badass”.

    1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      Felt left out, huh?

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        *snicker*… 😉

      2. avatar Just Sayin says:

        * B O O M *

        (mic drop)

      3. avatar Gutshot says:

        I think you should write all of the TTAG articles from here on out, and write all of the comments also.

  4. avatar dlj95118 says:

    Hey Ma’am! Some of those pictures are flipped.

    …ho…ho…ho…ho…. (smiles)

    Kinda wished my dear wife had more interest in things firearms. She has a nice SP101 from Ruger that she actually wanted…buuuuuut…the interest never really kindled. Maybe when we’ve relocated to Idaho (and can practice in our back yard) she’ll pick it up.

    Happy Mothers day to all!

    1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      Yeah, everyone does have different interests. Sometimes you can find a way to get someone interested who wouldn’t otherwise be. Different types of guns – handguns versus rifles, lever action versus AR – or hunting , plinking, whatever. Good luck!

  5. avatar Mike says:

    Happy Mother’s Day Kat,

    My favorite part of your article is, remember the beauty, it’s always there you just have to look. So true Kat, I do believe that goes for everything in life, good and bad. Just like spreading love my friend it surely will multiply.
    You see if you don’t invite the negativity over for tea it just won’t have any reason to stay around.

    Blessings Kat,
    Mike

    1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      Thank you, Mike, I appreciate it.

  6. avatar samuraichatter says:

    Alas, most chicks just that aren’t into guns. Yes, there are some but come on. Gun chicks get so much limelight because they are so uncommon. No hate here I am thankful for them; I wish there were more. But there are simply not that many of them . . . and even when they are into guns it ain’t to the same level. You can’t keep alot of guys from guns even when they are not supposed to have them. Loads of convicted felons have guns and the overwhelming majority of them are male. Young dudes who cannot legally purchase guns like “badass” royalnonesuch

    https://www.youtube.com/user/royalnonesuchshow/videos

    build there own (he is old enough to buy guns now including handguns). Heck, guys who can legally purchase guns build there own. How many gun manufacturers are female? Where is the female John Browning or Eugene Stoner? How many women know what quadrangle buckshot is or the side arm of the Soviet Union during WWII. Loads of dudes don’t know either but the difference is like 5% of the population vs. .05%.

    Good advice – do not buy her a gun. Give moms attention, love, and respect on Mother’s Day. Flowers usually work too 🙂 Get her what she really likes. Its probably not a gun but that is OK. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

    *P.S. How many females would appreciate a flamethrower as a gift? How many dudes would orgasm at the sheer badassery of a woman in your life giving you a frick’n flamethrower for any occasion? I know I would and I would be bragging about it for the rest of my life. Yeah, men and women are different.

    1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      Oh, dude. Are you offering a flamethrower? Because I would take a flamethrower in a heartbeat.

      We’re out there. I’m not the only ballistic geek and obsessed hunter out there. And you never know when your girlfriend or wife might take casual interest to the next step and get serious about guns.

      That said, speaking as one of the rare female writers in the industry, I do wish there were more of us. And I wish people would pay attention to ability instead of getting excited over boobs. Just saying. Skill over gender for everyone concerned. I may have gotten a bit sidetracked there…

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