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Now that Nick, Dan, Chris, Patrick, and Ryan have gotten their wish list out there, Santa probably only has some pocket lint and dud .22’s left for me. I’ve tried my best to remain in the realm of sanity and also keep it to things that I have actually owned or put my hands on. But it wouldn’t be a gift guide if it didn’t have some wish list items sprinkled around. Pictured above is my grandpa who bought my first piece of Christmas gun gear, a Bushnell 3-9 power scope for my Ruger 10/22.


Hoppes #9 – I’m pretty sure nobody has had this on their list yet (wink, wink). Seriously, there can’t be enough of it in the house and the uses are endless. I’ve considered brushing my teeth with it.

Trigger Pull Scale – I have the RCBS model and absolutely love it! If you have someone who does any sort of tweaking (i.e. everybody), this is a great tool to have around.

Gold Bond Hand Sanitizer – It can’t all be gun stuff here. This gel/lotion is amazing for killing pathogens while keeping your hands silky smooth. Look, I’m a man, but hunting animals means coming in contact with blood and occasionally fecal matter. I also have a delicate lady friend who doesn’t want to be mauled with leathery cave man hands. Kill the bacteria and keep people from recoiling in shock when they shake your hand.

LED Flashlight – I don’t own one, but I want one really bad. Aluminum case, on/off button, and waterproof. Please, please, please.

UNDER $25:

AccuSharp Knife Sharpener – I keep one in my truck at all times. Field dressing and skinning deer can wear out an edge quickly on even the best knives. It’s great to run this a few times over the blade to renew the edge and keep working. It will never replace a good honing on a stone, but it will get it close enough to get the job done.

Soft Gun Case – I picked one of these up during my last trip to Cabelas. It is not the thickest padding in the world, but it will keep your guns from getting scuffed up and will conceal them from prying eyes. They are normally $12.99, but Cabelas is selling them online for $6.88. Buy 3!

QuickClot Pads – I own them, but have never used them (knock on wood). I keep them in my truck, my motorcycle bag, and my shooting/hunting bag. Along with some medical tape, you can rest easy knowing that your loved ones have some powerful tools at their disposal to keep blood inside the body where it belongs.

Magpul Gear – Specifically a new pistol grip. I don’t own one, but I hate the current grip on my AR. And almost everybody owns an AR by now. So if someone you love owns a gun, assume that it’s an AR, and buy them some Magpul stuff.

UNDER $50:

.22LR Ammo – Everybody also owns something chambered in .22LR. Buy as much ammo as you can find for $50. You know, 500 rounds or so. Even if you buy the wrong ammo for someone, they’ll still shoot it.

Shooting Stix – I have eyeballed these on every trip to Cabelas and I still haven’t bought them. This is way easier than having a bipod on the gun and will help the hunter in your family steady his shots.

Slings of any type – You can actually pick these up for less than $50 but if you can, go nuts and get one with shell holders and all kinds of cool stuff. The small things in life add up. Either you don’t have a sling, or the one you have is completely worn out.

Nice Rifle Ammo – $50 may just barely buy two boxes of good rifle ammo, but it shows a ton of thought and compassion when you buy someone some really good quality ammo. My Ruger eats Winchester Ballistic Silver Tip like a fat guy at a Vegas buffet.

UNDER $100:

Duluth Trading Company Pants – I’ve been bugging my family for weeks now to buy me jeans from Duluth. They have pants made from fire hose material and jeans with a flannel lining. I love indestructible clothing.

Deer Corn – If your state allows it, you can use corn to bring deer to your stand. I sure would love it if someone would buy me $100 of corn. Warning, it isn’t easy to wrap a container of corn. Maybe just a bow?

Exploding Targets – My soon-to-be father-in-law bought some of these a few months ago and won’t stop talking about them. The videos he and his buddies took were hilarious (and laced with profanity thanks to the huge explosion). Probably not the best thing to have at your local indoor range (or anywhere else you don’t own). However, if your loved one has access to private land, be a hit for the holidays and make their holiday season go boom.

UNDER $250:

A Leupold Scope – I have the Rifleman 4-12 x 40mm which was just bit over the $250 threshold. However, the 3-9X can be had for a touch over two bills. For a “set it and forget it” scope, it kicks major ass.

Chris Reeve Nyala – I’m in need of a really nice skinning knife. I have another Chris Reeve knife, which you’ll read about in the next category. If the craftsmanship of the Nyala is anything like the Sebenza I have, I’ll need to make it mine.

Savage MKII FSS – What better present to accompany the brick of .22LR ammo under the tree than a quality bolt-action gun to shoot it? I have a Ruger 10/22 that set me back less than $250 as well. Either way, buy somebody – anybody – a .22LR rifle this season.

UNDER $500:

Chris Reeve Sebenza – I was lucky enough to receive the big version of this knife from a dear friend as a graduation present. It is absolutely gorgeous and built to last. I’ve used it for cutting up boxes, field-dressing deer, underwater in both fresh and saltwater, and to do any of a hundred knife duties. It’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but like your daddy’s lever action .30-30, it will be around for the long haul.

NFA Trust (maybe) – Getting the paperwork done for less than $500 depends on the lawyer, but I want some Class III goodies. However, I ride motorcycles, go outdoors, eat red meat, use a charcoal grill, and shoot guns. I’m not exactly low risk so I don’t want to burden my family with my toys if I should pass in an untimely manner.

Silencer/Suppressor – Speaking of Class III schwag, get the paperwork in order for a loved one and pay for a new suppressor for their .22LR goodies. AAC makes two that cost less than $500 and Nick will vouch for their quality.

Game Camera – It’s been awhile since I have used one, but prices have come down and there are even some you can connect to the internet via 3G card. Reconyx makes one that has gotten great reviews, and if the sample pictures on their website are to be believed, this is a super high quality piece of gear. If we have any wealthy benefactors, or if the Reconyx marketing people are reading, please send me one. I’ve been really good this year. Really.

A Hog Hunt – The boys over at JagerPro put on a good show for just a touch more than $500/night. I’m specifically mentioning them because I’m headed out to Georgia early next year for just such a hunt. Look for some articles in the next few weeks as I interview Rod about their particular style of wildlife management. If you want to spend less than $500 (and you probably do), look in your area and on Craigslist for some one-day hog hunts. Texas is full of them.


Armalite AR 15 – I have owned one of the M15A4 models for about two and a half years and have been extremely pleased. Their craftsmanship and attention to detail is top notch. Once I upgraded the trigger, I got a gun that shoots sub MOA all day long.

National Match M1A – I am absolutely in love with the look of this gun and would be absolutely over the moon if she found her way under my tree.

Remington 700 SPS – Stupid Farago putting this thing in my hands when I did the Eliminator scope review. I never should have sent it back. I should have had a tragic, uh, boating accident. Yeah, that’s it.

Krav Maga training, CHL class, and high end IWB holster – I’ve been feeling a little left out with all these TTAG writers with their concealed licenses. Here I am as the lone Texan on staff and I don’t even carry. It is on the list for 2012 once I shuffle the money and time to make it happen. Articles and hilarity to ensue.

Les Baer Custom Carry – If I’m going to carry concealed, I’m going to do it right. I’ve been jonesing for a Les Baer gun for quite some time, and this would provide the perfect excuse.

I’m sure as soon as I post this, I’ll think of 40 more things that need buying. In the interim, I hope this list helped you or your loved ones do some holiday shopping!

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  1. “Here I am as the lone Texan on staff and I don’t even carry.”

    You knew this was coming. I’m envious of you. I don’t have a judge in my pocket and am not a politician (the only way you can carry in Joisy). And here you are not carrying. ARE YOU MAD SIR?
    Any hoot Merry Christmas.

  2. Believe it or not – I’ve found this the most informative & practical of all of these lists so far.
    I’ve been an EMT (long out-of-date), an American Red Cross instructor, and have 20+ years as a leader of various BSA units – and somehow didn’t know about the QuickClot product! That is definitely going in my high-adventure first aid kit.
    I like many of the other suggestions as well. Good job

    • There are some pretty nasty videos out there of medical teams using these on test pigs to show how effective they are. Glad you got some value out of the guide. Always good to get a virtual pat on the back. Thanks!


  3. Not bad.
    Have to ask where you buy your 22lr ammo. $50 for 500 rounds would be outrageous.

    +1 on the Krav Maga

    • Agreed, +1 for Krav. Next best thing to CC. Just be careful picking an instructor; there’s been some hub-bub in the states about uncertified instructors or others inflating their resume.

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