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What to buy Dad for Father’s Day when guns and ammunition are hard to find.  

With everything going on in the world, between mass hysteria about the end of the world as we know it due to infectious disease, civil unrest, government tyranny, murder hornets, and a good old fashioned lack of Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper, how on EARTH are we expected to celebrate one of the biggest gun and gear buying days of the year?

That day, of course, is Father’s Day. And dear old Dad taught you a lot of what you know and deserves at least one day of respect and recognition. Since I’ve had a lot of folks ask me over the years what would be a suitable Father’s Day gift for a gun-loving Dad, here are a few things that I’ve recommended that could help you with your Father’s Day shopping this year.

Ordinarily, Father’s Day is a pretty easy holiday to handle over at the gun counter. A week to ten days beforehand — right about now — folks begin to come in and ask for help and it usually goes something like this (since I have some very loyal regulars):

Customer: I’m shopping for something for my dad, but I’m not sure what to get him.

Me: Let’s start here: who’s your dad?

Customer: My dad is (insert name here).

Me: Oh! I know him. Yeah, he just bought (insert item here) a few months ago. Let me show you what would pair well with that.

If we don’t know the targeted Dad, we’ll typically suggest stuff like ammo, magazines, etc. Things that literally every gun owner can always use more of.

But right now, in the midst of the biggest gun buying surge we’ve ever seen, a lot of the traditional options are no longer viable due to price increases, low stock or just good old fashioned bottlenecks in the supply chain.

Fear not, gentle reader. We’ve got some workarounds for you.

Let’s start with the basics.

Guns and Ammo: These are usually great gifts, but right now the selection on guns is nothing short of terrible and the selection and availability of ammo is even worse. In the good old days (2019), we could tell customers to just grab the old man a brick of .22LR ammo, an ammo can of XM193 or a case of Speer Lawman 9mm. Or, if we really wanted to splurge, we could spring for that GLOCK 43X he’s had his eye on or the new Springfield Hellcat OSP.

But we can’t really do that right now. So what can we do?

Hank’s 1st Gift Idea: Magazines

And not the kind you find in the waiting room of your dentist’s office.

Every gun owner always needs more magazines. As I write this, although retailers have run out of most guns and ammo, magazines are still in plentiful supply in most places. Even some weird, harder-to-find stuff is generally in stock.


Get Dad some some good magazines for that GLOCK, SIG, HK, or FN that he enjoys shooting the most. That’s affordable low-hanging fruit, and since most states don’t restrict magazines, most local and online retailers can get you squared away without waiting in long lines for a background check.

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Hank’s 2nd Gift Idea: Gear and Tools

Tools and gear are usually fairly persona decisions, but there are a few standout items that everyone likes and needs.

Allen Range Shooting Bag
Courtesy Palmetto State Armory

A good range bag for dad to schlep all of his gear to the range is always a welcome item. Even if he already owns one, a second one frequently comes in handy for toting extra ammo, ear protection, targets, etc.

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Ammo ammunition can
Courtesy Brownells

Ammunition cans and other ammo organizers are another item that’s always appreciated and gun guys can never have enough of.

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Leatherman multitool
Courtesy Brownells

Every shooter should have a good multitool in their bag or pocket when they’re at the range or in the field. It can mean the difference between continuing a fun day of shooting or having to scrap it and head home if things go wrong.

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Hank’s 3rd Gift Idea: Reloading Supplies

The mob of all those new gun owners doesn’t know how to reload ammunition. At least not yet. During past firearm sale surges we’ve seen, there were tons of gun owners who were buying massive quantities of primer and powder. Their purchases were attributed to fear of legislation shifting against gun owners. For YEARS we couldn’t find a steady supply for primers or powder and the primer manufacturers curtailed their retail sales because, simply put, they needed the primers and the powder to manufacture their own product.

This time is different. There’s still tons of stuff available. As long as you practice some common sense pp don’t crack open an eight-pound container of Hogdon Titegroup while enjoying a cigar — you’ll be fine.

CCI primers reloading
Courtesy Natchez Shooter’s Supply

Sneak in and take a few high-resolution photos of dad’s MEC 600 or his Dillon 650. Bring the photos to your local reloading retailer and we can make sure you’re buying the right components. I’m sure the salespeople will get a kick out of the kids and their Mom buying primers and powder for Father’s day.

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Hank’s 4th Gift Idea: Bullet Glasses

Gun company swag — t-shirts, hats, etc. — are always in stock if that’s what your Dad wears. But if he also likes to bend an elbow after a long day at the range . . .

BenShot Bullet Glass
Courtesy Amazon

I’ve always thought these were cool and I’m betting dear old Dad will, too.

BenShot bullet glass
Courtesy Amazon

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You may want to pair one of these glasses with a bottle of Bulleit bourbon or rye.

Hank’s 5th Gift Idea: Prank Your Dad

We talked briefly about the lack of firearms available due to heavy demand. This sets up for a great opportunity that most people wouldn’t think of, and admittedly I can’t take the credit for this one.

Yesterday a young man and his sister came in and told me they were shopping for a Father’s Day present. They couldn’t have been more than 15 or 16 years old, and NORMALLY I would be wondering what on Earth they’re doing in my store since we can’t legally sell them a firearm or ammunition.

They asked me for a gun box. Not a storage container with a lock or a hard-sided GLOCK-style plastic clamshell box. They wanted a cardboard box that a gun normally comes in. Preferably one with a gun company logo on it. I had to ask why.

Well, money has been tight in their household, so instead of getting the old man a gun, they wanted to prank him with a gun box and put some handmade presents in the box. We were all smart-aleck teenagers at one point, so I got a big laugh out of it.  So did all the other dads waiting around for their background checks to clear.

I went into the back and found some old cartons that we keep lying around for shipping firearms back to repair centers or distributors, etc. I managed to scare up an old white and red Ruger SR1911 carton that was perfect and gave it to them on the house. I jumped on Ruger’s website and told him to put about 39 ounces of ballast into the box to make it seem realistic. Once again, the kid was way ahead of me.

The kid had already done the math for the weight of the gun, the manual, the magazines, the lock, the etc, and knew how he was going to distribute the weight. I’m not impressed by much, but I was impressed.

Want to prank your old man like those kids are doing?

smith & wesson pistol box case
Courtesy Brownells

Brownells sells this Smith & Wesson pistol case for $17.99. Just be sure to put something he really wants inside on Father’s Day.

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Hopefully, these tips made your shopping a little bit easier. What are you picking up for your dad this year?


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  1. I wish my Dad was still here so I could give him a Fathers Day gift. Please everyone cherish your Dad. Tell him anything you need to before its too late… Happy Fathers Day Dad…I love you

    • William Walker, you are so right. We typically don’t fully appreciate what we have until we don’t. Dad’s been gone 13-1/2 years, and he gets smarter every year. Man of few words, but very wise. Man of great strength; the bull among bulls. And, stronger faith. Love you; miss you, Dad. See you again.

    • Yep, lost my dad fifteen years ago, the older I have gotten the smarter I realized he was. The best gift I get from my daughter is just her time, though she lives close enough that she can come by far more often than just Fathers Day.

  2. My kids prank me all the time. I sometimes know when it’s Father’s Day, Christmas or my bday. Something of mine will come up MIA a few weeks before hand.
    Then I get my favorite something for the occasion. Used, broke in, and perfect.

    • Tom in Oregon, you are lucky you get it back. My boys typically keep or lose my stuff!! Replace; borrow; Lose; Repeat. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Hahaha.
        Yeah. That happens too.
        Then it’s time for the next model, or upgrade!
        Win, win!

  3. I’m already taking care of Father’s day. We’re going to the UP soon, I’m hitting up Rapid River Knife Works. Might even get something for my dad, haha.

  4. Hank,

    I like most of your articles – well written, informative with a touch of tongue-in-cheek…that said, receiving additional magazines is a great thought…have you tried to find any Sig P365 12-round mags in the last 5 months? Scarcer than hen’s teeth!

  5. Here’s an idea of what to get your Dad for Father’s Day:

    Go spend the day with your father.

    • Good plan. My dad lives 4 states over. Not going to happen at this time, he is coming up for deer season to hunt with my daughter.

  6. Father’s Day huh? About all I would trust either son with is a gift certificate. Which I got at Christmas(Cabela’s)-I mentioned it! My 45 year old son sent me $200 out of the blue after the Wuhan lockdown. Good son’s…my dad’s been gone a long time.

  7. Lost Dad last September. An empty chair at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mom’s birthday. Everyday. Katherine usually spends holidays with her husband’s family. Hoping John and I go offshore fishing with Mike that weekend. It will be a manly 72 hours. Firearms, knives, hunting and fishing stories. Grilled steaks and fresh fillets. Copious amounts of cold beer. That’s what I want for Father’s Day.

    • “Hoping John and I go offshore fishing with Mike that weekend. It will be a manly 72 hours.”

      Ever gone out on one of those west coast overnight boats out to the middle grounds?

      • Geoff, been to the middle grounds. Spent the night. The Lump out over Venice, LA too. Never on a charter boat. Always fish private boats. Don’t fish, or hunt, with strangers.

  8. Father day gift has been sitting on my dresser for a while now. Fresh ground coffee and some kind of sauce? I forgot what it is, but its quite good, and expensive.

    • +1 for hug.

      Although being 30+ makes that awkward, if I were a teenager, I’m sure he would definitely take it.

  9. No firearms, but my daughter just bought me a Malinois pup for Fathers Day. Picking him up in the morning. It’s a good feeling when your kids feel/show that you really weren’t such an A-hole after all.😆

    • I hope she also got you a few sets of new shoes and some furniture after your new pup destroys everything you own. 😄

      • Just got back to Tahoe from Prineville. Luckily I had plenty of empty water bottles for him to chew on. Like a little four legged piranha!

  10. Allow me to chime in. Young people — millennials etc. — move out of your mom’s basement, get a job, stop acting like a d!ck, and at least pretend to be the man your dad always wanted you to be. And grow the fvck up.

    Okay, that’s more than one gift. But you will finally make your dad happy that he didn’t drown you at birth, because he hasn’t felt that way in years.

  11. Smoothbore
    With 2 barrels
    Horizontally related
    Somewhere between 20 and 36 gauge

    Yeah, a great Fathers Day.

  12. Interesting idea! Give your father a good watch, such as the seiko solar chronograph, I’m sure he will appreciate this attention. And most importantly, be sincere in your intentions, do not expect anything in return. And you will definitely make one more person happy on this planet. Give your loved ones joy!

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