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Don’t you just love these lists? They’re fun to read and critique what someone else chooses to include. And exclude. They’re fun to write cause you get to blue sky about all the cool stuff you’d like to have or would recommend to someone else if they’re dumb enough to ask you for advice. Fun to write unless you’re following an overachiever like Leghorn who already hit a large portion of the stuff I woulda listed. Oh well. Not being as ambitious as our fast-posting claim jumper, I’ll be collapsing some of the categories and keeping it to two items per. Submitted for your approval…


  • Hoppe’s No. 9  Christmas is for the classics and nothing’s more classicer than a bottle of Hoppe’s. Great for dissolving bore gunk, freshening the air in a musty room or as an emergency after-shave.
  • Glock Speed Loader  OK, you should probably get a speed loader to match the kind of gun you actually have, not necessarily a Glock. But I have one to load Glock 33-rounders for my Sub-2000. I’d have bloody stumps instead of thumbs without mine.

UNDER $25:

  • Gerber Clutch Multi-tool  Not gunny enough for you? Well think again, bunky. I have one of these handy little buggers on me almost all the time and have used it plenty while shooting. The needlenose-like pliers are great for pulling a jammed FTE. The Phillips head works for tightening down a loose scope screw and the flat blade works great adjusting the cheap-o BSA site on my son’s Henry .22.
  • Shooting Gloves:  I’m a trap shooter and get out in all kinds of weather. I slipped on a pair of Bob Allen gloves when my son and I shot a couple of rounds on Wednesday. Kept my digits warm, but I still had a good grip and trigger feel.

UNDER $50:

  • Boyt Shell Pouch  If you shoot trap or skeet and don’t like to wear a vest (like me) get yourself a nice two-section Boyt pouch. They’re made of heavy green canvas with nice leather trim.
  • Wilson Combat 1911 Magazine  It’s simply impossible to have too many magazines. Or bullets. Or guns. And quality magazines are a great place to invest a little extra money.

UNDER $250:

  • Vortex StrikeFire Red Dot  A friend has one of these and they’re mighty nice. Bright, well built and the battery lasts forever. If KelTec ever gets their Sub-2000 quad rails in stock, this is what I want to mount on it.
  • Ammo You can pick up 1000 rounds of Federal 115 gr. FMJ for about $235. Is there anything else that will make you a better shooter quicker?

UNDER $1000:

  • Glock 19 Gen 4  I’ve never owned one of the Austrian wonderguns but have a serious jones for one of these. They fit my dainty hand better than a 17 and I like the new grip angle better. Oh, and reliability’s always a plus, no?
  • Ruger Mini 14  I don’t own a rifle that shoots anything bigger than 9mm. I probably should. The Ruger’s a classic, it’s more than accuate enough for my needs and I’ve loved shooting them when I’ve had the chance.


  • Krieghoff K-80 Trap Combo  Did I mention I shoot trap? OK, good. These beauties will make any shotgunner drool. It has an over single barrel and a separate double bore for…well, doubles. Or skeet. Or clays. No, it won’t make me a better shooter but dayum, they’re purty. And all for only $12,000.
  • Barrett 82A1 I have no earthly need for a .50 cal. But who says I have to? I just want the fun of shooting one of these babies, reaching out and touching a target at 800 yards. It’s still a great country.

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  1. +1 on the Krieghoff. I hadn’t shot a shotgun in 40 years when a friend took me skeet shooting this summer and let me shoot his Krieghoff with the 20 ga barrel inserts. I “almost” couldn’t miss, so I think it would make you a better shooter. We also shot one round with the 28 ga inserts and I still hit about 20 of 25. That is an amazing gun!

  2. Great list though I have to offer a less specialized and more charming alternative to the Krieghoff – so long as you aren’t a competition trap shooter or not totally dedicated to the “heads-up” rib. Having worked two summers for an importer of nineteenth and early twentieth century double guns and having handled contemporary Krieghoffs, I would suggest that a skeet shooter or upland hunter would be better served by doing a bit of research on the classic English makers.

    $2000-$6000 dollars will get you an antique English gun ranging from a plain Jane boxlock to a case-colored and ornately engraved sidelock. Each will have loads of aristo-cred, will likely be lighter and handier, and if well-maintained in her past she will still shoot flawlessly.

    I see Krieghoff as a miracle of marketing. They have nothing over Greener, Webley Scott, Churchill, or Richards to say nothing of the enduring élite darlings Purdy, H&H, and Boss.

    • +1
      I was looking for some classic European names in the no limit category. You also have Perazzi and AYA for doubles though they aren’t English; they’re Italian and Spanish respectively.

  3. +100 on the Mini-14.I bought mine in ’99 and it has been nothing but an exemplary firearm. It’s been good for regular hits on Wyoming prairie dogs out to 150+ yards with my handloads of W748 and Hornady’s 55 gr V-Max. Anything based on the Garand/M-14 platform is good to go in my book and reliability has borne this out. Get a good Hogue overmolded stock for it and you’ll never regret either purchase.

    The Leatherman Skeletool is an outstanding gift in the $35 range. I love mine and use it all the time.

  4. I’ll bite:
    “Barrett 82A1 I have no earthly need for a .50 cal. But who says I have to? I just want the fun of shooting one of these babies, reaching out and touching a target at 800 yards. It’s still a great country.”
    If you want a 3 MOA rifle. For the fun of it (yes). Reaching out to 800 yds (a .243 can do it too). There are so many fiddy cal rifles why pick a barrett (unless for the glam and semi auto)? or was it precisely for that?

  5. You are going to have to remove the Glock 19 GEN 4 from your list. I regret to inform you, but somehow Glock has screwed them up royally. Glock has been replacing Recoil springs, ejectors, and extractors, with only mixed success. Until they get themselves straightened out, you should only be recommending GEN 3.
    Anybody interested should search the youtubes for some high speed video of GEN 4s effing up.

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