I’m always looking for guns and gear that give you a little more than your money’s worth, and I’ve brought this recession-proof mindset to my installment of the TTAG Holiday Firearms Gift Guide. Let your conscience and your wallet be your guide, because I’m not even suggesting anything over $300 this year.
Suggested Holiday Guns: Any and All.
What answer were you expecting from me? Any gun makes a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus gift for a gun guy (or gal), as long as its not a complete piece of garbage. My personal budget-conscious favorites are the $300 Stevens bottom-ejecting shotgun, and Classic Arms’ $300 Saiga straight-stocked AKs (chambered in 5.45×39, .5.56×45, and 7.62×39.)
Be aware of federal and local laws when gifting a firearm: if the recipient lives in another state it’s probably best to order the gift gun online and have it delivered to the recipient’s chosen FFL holder. Alternately, you can give them a large-denomination gift card (and a picture of the suggested purchase) and let them handle the purchase themselves. This last may be the best option if the recipient lives in a douche-bag jurisdiction like California.
$50 and under:
Coast Tactical LED flashlight
Help a street thug perform an impromptu imitation of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Blinded By The Light’ with the aid of a Coast tactical LED flashlight. Their proprietary LED lens elements put out almost 100 lumens of light, for over 100 hours, using ordinary AAA batteries. They’re also waterproof and shock-resistant (I’ve tested these claims myself) and they mount neatly into standard 1″ flashlight or scope rings. Street price is just under $50, but lapolicegear.com has a few left for $25.
$25 and under:
Blackhawk reinforced dress belt
If your friend or loved one wears a gun, they should wear a reinforced gun belt. I’ve worn a Blackhawk reinforced dress belt myself for almost two years, and have discovered that it’s nearly indestructible. It is also impervious to warping or twisting from not-quite flat midriffs, so it makes you look a little thinner than you really are. $25 from various online retailers including lapolicegear.com. Be sure to order at least 2″ oversized to accommodate holsters, paddles or IWB ordinance.
Kershaw folding knives
Kershaw has made first-rate cutlery for decades, and Big 5 almost always has a selection of their folding knives for $20 or less. They feature exotic steel blades and positive locking mechanisms, along with razor-sharp edges straight from the factory. Mind your recipient’s local knife laws, because some localities limit pocketknives to blades of 2.5″ or 2.75″ instead of the typical 3.0″, and some jurisdictions consider Kershaw’s nifty ‘assisted-opening’ knives to be illegal switchblades. Such laws are the purest bullshit, but legal hassles don’t make thoughtful holiday gifts so be careful.
Spare magazines (h/t to Foghorn)
If you have a semi-automatic firearm, you can (almost) never have too many magazines. I own at least two dozen assorted magazines for my shootin’ irons, and Joe Grine owns at least a hundred ‘don’t you dare call them clips.’ Luckily for our TTAG Secret Santas, magazines for most common guns are cheap and widely available. If your friend or family member has an AR, Glock or AK in their gun safe, a few spare mags in the stocking will surely bring a smile.
If your lucky beneficiary is a revolver shooter, get them a brace of Safariland speedloaders for their favorite wheelgun. The Safariland’s push-button operation is far quicker and more foolproof than the cheap and clumsy HKS rotating-star design.
Caution: Ordinary-capacity magazines (more than 10 rounds) are prohibited in douche-bag jurisdictions like California, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Instead of guns or gear this Holiday season, give those poor unfortunates the gun gift that keeps on giving: bus or airline tickets to a better state.
$5 and under:
We all know how effective a shotgun is as a home-defense weapon, right? And we’ve all got a home-defense shotgun, right? Good. All those shotties love buckshot, and every holiday stocking is happier with a five-round box of #00 (or #4 for lower penetration) non-magnum buckshot in it. Anything over 2.75″ and anything that says ‘High Velocity’ is literally too much of a good thing (flying lead) and too much of a bad thing (recoil) at the same time. Stick with the cheap normal stuff, and your friends and your wallets will thank you.
Back in law school I stuffed my shooting buddies’ school mailboxes (including Joe Grine’s) with 5-round boxes of #4 buckshot, discreetly wrapped so as not to alarm the vegan/fair trade/PETA/Earth First! Law school hippies. They loved it, and so will your lucky friends.