It’s that time of the year again, folks. Between Black Friday and Christmas, we see massive amounts of NICS checks, knives bought, and magazines loaded. My family doesn’t watch football over the holidays, we shoot guns, and as a gun guy, I like to think I know what makes us tick.
If you’re looking for gifts for the gun guy or gal in your life, I might have a few ideas for you: some involving guns, others knives, and some for training. I also tried to find a variety of gift ideas at a range of prices. To be clear, I’ve received no money to suggest these items, and these are the items I own and enjoy.
An 80% Lower
Wanna gift an AR lower across state lines or in a state with UBCs, but also want to avoid the hassle? Well then an 80% Lower is the way to go. This is a gift you give to someone who is handy with tools and likes DIY projects.
Polymer 80 AR lowers are affordable and the easiest to mill and will be appreciated by any AR guy or girl.
A Year’s Subscription to Panteao Productions
Training can be expensive and we can never get as much as we’d like. Panteao Productions is well known for their video-based training tools. They’ve opened up a Netflix-like streaming service with a year’s subscription for $99.
I’ve used a few of their DVDs in the past and found the content to be very well done, well-produced, and easy to understand. They partner with some excellent trainers and instructors, including Mas Ayoob, Louis Awerbuck, Kyle Lamb, Pat McNamara, and many more. Topics cover just about everything from different platforms, and even gunsmithing.
The Bushnell TRS 25 Red Dot Sight
It’s hard to find optics for under a hundred bucks that aren’t absolute junk, but somehow the Bushnell branded TRS 25 makes it happen. The $55 TRS 25 is a compact sight with a built-in Picatinny mount. It has a 2 MOA red dot and 11 different brightness settings.
It’s not an Aimpoint, but it holds zero well, is durable, and well-suited for both plinking and hunting. Personally, I can’t afford Aimpoints, EOTechs, and other others for all of my guns, and the TRS 25 fills the void for my fun guns.
Phalanx Defense Stealth Operator
It’s hard suggesting holsters for people. With so many different kinds of guns out there, how do you recommend just one rig? The Stealth Operator from Phalanx Defense is a quasi-universal holster made of polymer. It fits over 150 guns and comes in OWB, IWB, full size, and compact models. I have both the full size and compact models and use them quite a bit.
The compact model fits everything from a Walther PPS to a GLOCK 17. The full-sized model offers more protection and a closed bottom, and it fits guns like the GLOCK 17, the CZ P09, and Walther P99. These holsters have a posi-click retention feature built around the trigger guard. These are made in America. I‘ve used one since 2016, and it’s never let me down.
Blue Force Gear Vickers Sling
These are my all-time favorite slings and have been for some time. I still have my original USMC-issued model and since then have purchased the One sling, an AK sling, and the Medic version. Every one of my Blue Force Gear Vickers slings is an impressive piece of gear.
These slings’ claim to fame is the pull tab that allows for rapid adjustment of the sling’s length. Loosen it up for mobility, tighten it down and let it go to use both your hands. It’s sweet and straightforward and rock-solid reliable. I used them on rifles and shotguns of all size and shapes.
Walkers Razor Slim Electronic Muffs
The Walker’s Razor Slims were the first set of electronic ear protection I ever used, and since then, I’m all about electronic hearing protection. These days I’m using Peltors and blasting Wu-Tang Clan from my phone via Bluetooth while shooting, but the Walker’s sit in the range bag for a reason.
They are comfortable, durable, tough, and very affordable. These muffs provide good protection for an indoor rifle range and allow you to hear range commands, instructions or even make small talk. They’re perfect for training classes since they let you hear to what you are paying the instructor to say.
MTM Tactical Mag Cans
Got tons of magazines lying around? If you want to organize them into a convenient and compact package, the MTM Tactical Magazine cans are for you. These are durable plastic ammo cans lined with foam with cutouts to store rifle or pistol magazines.
5.11 EDC PL 2AAA Flashlight
Oddly enough, I find it weird to suggest such a small penlight, but after owning it for almost two years and using it almost daily, I have a ton of confidence in it. I got this light as a gift myself and have been surprised at how well it holds up. The 5.11 EDC PL 2AAA flashlight is an IPX-4 rated for splash resistance, it runs for almost 5 hours, and has 107 lumens of power.
This little light is a dependable, pocketable EDC addition for the person who needs a light. Which is everyone. The 5.11 penlight is ultra-handy and very small. I hate full pockets, and this light takes up minimal space.
Gerber Key Note Keychain Knife
The Key Note is a teeny tiny blade that’s downright adorable. The Key Note is the size of a key fob and has a short 1.5-inch blade with a sharp angle to it. It’s excellent for low profile knife carry, or as a backup that you can leave on your key chain.
While it’s small, most of my EDC tasks hardly require much more than this. It’ll open boxes, cut through cardboard, cut paper, rope, string, tape, etc. without issue. Sometimes the little guy is more than enough.
Birchwood Casey Dirty Bird Battle Targets
For nine bucks, you can get eight Dirty Bird reactive targets by Birchwood Casey, reminiscent of a famous name brand board game. These targets give you several ships in different orientations with varying amounts of targets on each.
The target is split in two, and you get to try to sink each other’s ba….naval ships. This is a fun plinking game that both kids and adults can play with the old .22 LR rifle or handgun.
Snap caps are generally name brand dummy ammo that is perfect for training purposes. It allows safe practice and demonstrations of basic gun functions. They can be used for more advanced training with malfunction drills and reloads and everyone needs them in a couple of calibers.
Safariland 2-Round Shotgun Shell Holder
If you hunt, shoot skeet, or do almost anything with shotguns, this little two-shell holder is a cool little piece of gear. I keep one loaded with slugs in case I need to swap ammo out.
It’s a well made, simple little piece of gear. A few of these will give you a full reload on the belt for tactical scenarios and are perfect for training purposes. I’ a shotgun guy so a shotgun based gift is perfect for me.
Hexmag AR-15 Magazines
Primary Arms is selling 30-round AR-15 Hexmags for seven bucks during their winter sale. I own a couple of Hexmags and have no complaints. They feed and function well. I might not use them for duty use without further testing, but for the range, they’re perfect.
At this price, I’m buying a few for the box I keep in case more Democrats get elected.
Wildcard Gift – Polymer 80 GLOCK Frame
ED: When this article was written the Polymer 80 Frames at Brownells were sub 100 dollars and that sale is now over. The frame is now well over 100 dollars but is still a great gift.
Giving a gun can be tough, depending on your state and background check laws, but most states make it simple to build a weapon. It’s also a hefty bit cheaper to build a firearm versus buying a firearm. Polymer 80% lower frames come in various sizes and allow people to build their own Generation 3 Glock.
I’ve built mine and adore the little guy. It’s a fun project, and it takes minimal tooling to finish. Brownells has a deal on Polymer 80 frames with their exclusive, aggressive texture for under $150. It’s a fun and awesome gift thats both a thing and an experience.
Trying to cover everything in the gun world in a single gun gift guide isn’t easy to do. If you have any good suggestions, let us know about them in the comments, along with the price, and why it’s a good gift. Until then, have a merry Christmas, a happy Chanukah, a joyous winter solstice, a fabulous Festivus or whatever else you may celebrate.