fathers day gifts gun shooter
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Father’s day isn’t far off. What are you getting dear old dad? If he’s a shooter, there are lots of options that are perfect for him (or any gun-lover on your gift list).

Obviously, a new gun is always a good gift, but that can get complicated and it’s difficult to nail down, unless you know exactly which one he wants.

Instead, let’s keep it simple and focus on some great gifts ideas that any gun lover would enjoy and you can easily buy online or at your local gun store.

Courtesy Amazon

Is dad still toting his guns to the range in their plastic clamshell cases that came from the manufacturer? That can be a pain. Plus, he needs to carry his eyes, ears ammo and other items, too.

How about a new range bag? You can find one at virtually any price point from this ultra-affordable Lyman bag (above) . . .

Courtesy Vertx

…to something fancier with more features like this excellent Vertx B-Range Bag.

As always, ammunition makes a great gift for literally every shooter you know.

Federal Syntech Ammunition
Courtesy Federal Premium

You can never go wrong with a box (or even a barrel) of range ammo to keep your favorite shooter’s gun happy and well fed.

Another item that’s great in any shooter’s range bag is . . .

Real Avid Pro Range Tool gun
Courtesy Amazon

The Real Avid Gun Tool Pro-X can save a range trip with any one of its thirty tools including Torx, Allen, Phillips and flat head drivers and bits. It even has a removable magnetic LED light to help you inspect your barrel and runs about $45 retail.

Courtesy Brownells

Every shooter needs a place to store his stash of gun food, too. That’s why an ammo can (or four) is always appreciated. They come in all sizes and are priced from about $15 on up.

Credit: Otistec.com

One of the best cleaning and maintenance accessories is an OTIS Ripcord. They make cleaning your barrel an absolute breeze. The Ripcord was developed for use by soldiers in the field, eventually also becoming popular with competitive shooters. The quick and dirty version is it has weights on both ends. You drop one end through either end of the barrel and tip up or dow, gravity gets a weight to the end and then you pull.

The Ripcord is made with a flexible cable, with a molded helical rubber core in the middle and Nomex fabric wrapping everything but the brass ends. Nomex is more heat resistant than even nylon fabric, able to take temperatures up to 700 degrees.

The helical rubber pushes the fabric evenly into the grooves, so pulling the cord gets far more carbon and other debris out of the bore. If so desired, the weights are tapped so you can attach a patch or a brush for deep cleaning, though those are extra.

That said, the Ripcord makes barrel cleaning ridiculously easy and only costs $15, so if you wanted to get someone a very practical gift on the cheap, there you go. They’re made for shotguns, rifles and pistols of most calibers.

Wilson Combat magazine. Credit: wilsoncombat.com

Here’s one for the 1911 shooters out there: Wilson Combat magazines. Quality magazines are one of the most critical components of the 1911 system as they are the most common failure point. (Granted, that’s true for pretty much all semi-auto pistols.)

Wilson Combat makes some of the best 1911 pistols on the market. They also make some of the best components and their magazines are second to none in quality.

My 1911 (not a Wilson…not rich enough yet) chronically failed to feed with the factory magazines. I got two Wilson 920 series magazines (their cheapest, at $19 per) and it’s run perfectly ever since.

Prices and capacity vary, but you can get into the 7- and 8-round magazines for around $20 each on the low side and $24 for 9mm magazines.

Speaking of magazines, that SIG or H&K owner in your life would probably also appreciate a spare mag or two as a gift because darned if they aren’t ridiculously expensive. For that matter, anyone with a semi-auto could always use another one. Magazines are always a great gift for any gun lover.

You know what else is always a great gift for any shooter: targets. Everyone needs something to shoot at at the range, but which ones to get?

If they shoot competitively, getting the gun lover in question some NRA, IDPA or IPSC targets are a good idea, of course, and cost effective.

IDPA Target from ActionTarget.com. Credit: actiontarget.com

For instance, the above IDPA cardboard target can be had for as little as a buck a piece, depending on how many you buy. And with some cheap sticky pasters, you can use them again and again.

Or you can get the paper version for about $.35 a pop. But those are rather mundane, aren’t they? How about something that’s actually fun?

Double Mag target by Birchwood Casey. Credit: birchwoodcasey.com

A good entry-level reactive target is the Birchwood Casey Double Mag Target. It won’t break the bank at just under $40, but can also challenge the shooter. A steel tube chassis and two ⅜” thick steel paddles (one 3-inch and one 4.25-inch paddle) spin with every hit. There’s a foot rest that makes use easy; you just push it into the ground and go.

Does your favorite shooter have an AR rifle?

To sharpen shooting skills even further, some fantastic 21st century tools have emerged. One of the best, without doubt, is the MantisX system.

MantisX system. Credit: MantisX.com

The MantisX training system is a sensor array that tracks movement, keeps time records as well as other data. If you want to accurately diagnose shooting problems or fine-tune it, it’s one of the best tools as it brings data into the equation. The sensor array pairs with the MantisX app for a smartphone or tablet.

Use is pretty simple; you set up a target of some sort and start the app. You do a bit of dry firing and the app tracks all movement including before, during and after the trigger press. This will tell you how the gun is moving while you squeeze the trigger and therefore what areas you need to work on. The program tracks progress, will show you split times and even has shooting drills for you.

Unlike many dry-fire systems, however, MantisX can be used for dry-fire and live-fire sessions as the sensor array attaches to the rail on many firearms. If you don’t have a rail, you can obtain special magazine base plate adapters that will let you still attach the sensor array to your pistol. It starts at $150. While it won’t replace professional instruction, it gives you far more information than many instructors.

There are, of course, SO many other great gifts for gun lovers. This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list by any means, but just a few ideas to consider. Any great gun gifts that you’ve gotten? Tell us about it!

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    • Just bought myself one a few months ago. I do not know how I got along with out it for over 50 years. Something that is so simple but is so damn good.

      I also switched up to the Bore Snake a few years ago. Works like it had to.

      • Bore snakes are easy on the barrel too. In my rifles it’s nice to be able to thoroughly clean without worrying about scratching or wear.

  1. All semi-autos fed with detachable magazines can have magazine issues. All of them.

    You would not believe how many FTF issues I diagnose as being a problem with a detachable magazine – 1911’s, AR’s, M1A’s, M1 Carbine (especially the Carbine) etc, etc. And you would not believe how much push-back I get from some gun owners on the issue of it being the magazine. “But I just bought it!” or “It’s never been a problem before!” or “I don’t need to spend those big dollars on those fancy-pants magazines!” and on and on.

    Oh, and my favorite: “I’ve been using those magazines just fine for the last 40 years!”

    Yea, that’s my favorite. Any spring replacement? No. Any cleaning? “You don’t have to clean magazines!”

    If I were an unscrupulous SOB, I could invent some cock-n-bull story that they have an issue with their barrel, chamber or action, and that I need to do lots of work to their gun to make it feed. I could be making hundreds of dollars per magazine-issue case that comes through the door. Instead, I get a bunch of bitching and complaining from people that a) their magazines are just fine, and b) I don’t know what I’m talking about, because it must be something more complicated (and expensive to them).

    Ever wonder why gunsmiths become acerbic? Listen to the magazine arguments with gun owners, and wonder no longer.

    Quality magazines are a sure-fire winning gift. Really. You might even be giving me an indirect gift if you give someone a high-quality magazine, and after they’ve used your gift, they realize that there’s a reason to use quality magazines.

    • DG-After a previous conversation we had on shotguns and needing them to LAST if used for Trap/Skeet, etc. I decided against a cheap O/U. Can’t afford a really high dollar O/U. So for various sporting situations I added a 20 guage Montefeltro to my safe for Father’s Day.

    • Yep. Had problems (FTF) with my Springfield Champion. A good friend recommended Wilson Combat mags. Problem solved. Now, if I could only shoot better (Haha).

  2. Forget the trinkets, Ammo and lots of it. I have a feeling we’re going to need it.

  3. Agree complete with the Otis Ripcord recommendation. Bought one for quick range cleaning this year. Works well dry, I actually prefer it over the Boresnake.

    • On the recommendation of you folks on this thread, I will order a couple of the Ripcords to try them out. My .22 bore snakes are just about worn out anyway…

      • I bought a Ripcord kit on clearance last year. It works fine, but then again, so do Boresnakes.

        • My boresnakes for shotgun, rifle and handgun work just fine. Except I have trouble with my .22s. The boresnake, maybe it’s just the one I got, is a really tight fit and a struggle to pull through. And it’s a problem on rifles and pistols.

  4. A good FIREARMS Driver and Bit Set. Right tools for the Job. Correct sizes and bite on fasteners. Always sad to see a gun marred from slipped tools of fastners beat to hell.

    Throw in a set of Punches and a hockey puck too. Tell Pops to drill a 1/2 hole in the center of the puck. Use it as a non-marring backstop while he punches the pins out and into the hole.

  5. You know those cheep to make, but sometimes priceless, home made “coupons”, I.e. “the recipient of this coupon is entitled to a free dinner and movie”. How about ask the kids to make Dad, anytime use coupons for:
    – Dad can practice unholstering and dry fire in the garage for 1 hour.
    – The kid will learn gun safety and dry fire from Dad for 30 minutes.
    – The kid will help prepare for a trip to the gun range or hunting.
    They say our childern (son/daughter/nephew/neice) are our path to immortality, but they are also part of our future gun rights.

  6. Tried an otis ripcord on a new .22lr pistol, got so stuck in the barrel I had to tie it to my bumper and put my weight into it to remove…(Yes it was the right cal ripcord) Went back to a boresnake, no issues…other than using a rifle length snake on a pistol.

    Ripcord was damaged in process and went right in the trash…if there was any damage to barrel I don’t know.
    Probably a one off event, but I can’t trust them now. Have had many boresnakes and all have been great.

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