I’m already done with my holiday shopping, so some of these items are recommendations based on what I have already bought for others. Some are items I have asked for, and others are items that I know make great gifts. This year I made a strong effort to only buy items that are 100% made in the U.S.A. Enjoy!
- Cleaning Supplies: Nick and Dan have already mentioned this, but I’ll add to it. I love getting and giving cleaning supplies, especially items I haven’t tried before. Currently, my favorite general purpose cleaner is MPro-7, which was actually part of a MPro-7 Cleaning Kit that I got as a birthday gift. Not only are all MPro-7 products made in the U.S.A., they are designed to have a reduced environmental impact.
- Gerber LMF II Survival Knife: This is one of the items on my list to Santa this year. I’ve opened it and inspected and from what I’ve seen so far, this is a great fixed-blade knife that will suit any camper, backpacker, hiker, or hunter. The LMF II Survival Knife is made in the U.S.A., as is the Gerber Prodigy that I’ve used for some time. The LMF II carries on Gerber’s tradition of making wonderful knives at an affordable price.
- Magazine Subscription: I love magazines and even though I’m working on my Master’s Degree, I probably read more in magazines than I do in text books. My favorite parts are the articles that go over firearms of historical significance or rarity. I also like the articles that cover a gun that I could only dream of, such as a replica 1874 Gatling Gun.
- Hoppes BoreSnake: I love quality cleaning rods (see below) for cleaning at home, but at the range or in the field, nothing beats the speed and efficiency of Hoppes BoreSnake cleaning ropes. With just a little MPro-7 Cleaner in front of the brushes, and some MPro CLP after the brushes, only a quick pull is all that is needed to remove all the crud from a barrel.
- Montana X-treme Cleaning Rods: Nothing makes cleaning rifles more enjoyable than the proper equipment. I’ve used numerous types before and I’ve found that the best ones are one-piece carbon fiber or coated-steel. For less than $50, the Montana X-treme Cleaning Rods are great gifts.
- Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs: I’ve tried expensive (really expensive) electronic muffs before. None of them compare to the sound quality, fit, durability, and battery life as my Howard Leight Impact Sport Muffs. I especially like these because they attenuate sounds >82db, as opposed to muffs that “cut off” at high sound levels. That means loud sounds are softened and not cut off, allowing you to hear the RO or clang of steel at a match. These are great for first-time and new shooters because they can clearly hear what you’re saying and you don’t need to scream every command or training instruction.
- Galco F.L.E.T.C.H. OWB Holster: While not as difficult as finding a well-fitting IWB holster, I tried many models of OWB leather holsters. The best I’ve found are the F.L.E.T.C.H.-series of holsters made by Galco. Cut from the top 2% of the finest, “Number One” grade, U.S. vegetable tanned steer hides, the Galco F.L.E.T.C.H. holsters are then hand-molded to the specific firearm for a perfect fit.
- Maxpedition FatBoy Versipack:With 2 kids, ages 4 and 8 months, I can never have too many pockets or places to store things. When my “Diaper Dude” gets stuffed, the overflow makes it into my Maxpedition Versipack.
- MGM IPSC Full-size Steel Target w/Base: A few of you may recall, but I did a write-up on this a few months back. Although the list price is a hair over $250, order over the next few days and save 10%. The MGM Target ships directly from the factory in less than a week.
- Ammo, ammo, ammo: Winchester makes some of the cleanest, straightest-shooting ammo out there. See my first recommendation in the next section, but before you do, stop by Brownells.com and pick up a 500-round case of .45ACP for less than $250!
- Springfield XDm .45ACP: Now that we’ve “cooled down” to the 70’s and 80’s here in Phoenix, I’ve put my XDm(3.8) .40S&W away for a few seasons. So far – 4000 rounds, two-dozen matches, and carried on a daily basis without a single hiccup.
- CMMG AR-15/M16 6.8SPC Upper Receiver: I don’t own a 6.8SPC yet, but I want one and the one I want is the CMMG M4LE. Hard Chrome lined chamber and bore with a 4140 Chrome-moly vanadium steel barrel that has been W.A.S.P., treated and will stand up to heavy use for a long time. The 4-groove rifling has a 1 in 11 inch twist rate, designed to stabilize the 6.8 and ensure accuracy.