With Christmas rapidly approaching and person on your list that is a gun owner, do your best to stay away from ties, gift cards to your local steak house, and funny T-shirts. Get that range rat something they actually want!
Here are a few suggestions for that gun-liking person in your life that won't break the bank.
Want to hear them squeal like a prepubescent girl at a Justin Beiber concert? Get them a few boxes of thier favorite ammo. While in the past this may have seemed a little weird, if you can be that special person that scores them a couple bricks of 22 (which is now unfortunately starting to tick back up in price) or a snazzy box of .40, you just edged your somebody else out of the will. Of course, make sure you get ammo they can use, so you will have to do your research before you buy.
If the person on your list has an AR platform, consider picking them up a spare lower parts kit. Sure, they likely don't need one at the moment, but nice complete kits start at about $50 and run to about $100 if they have a better trigger group, etc and they can always use it in their next build, as emergency spare parts, or to swap out items in their current rifle. Besides, with the way things are politically, these are always good investments.
Yes, if are a gun guy/gal, they probably already have one or three of these, but you know what, these things never go bad and never go out of style. Who knows, it could replace the worn out kit they have been silently suffering with for years.
Shooting Glasses and muffs
Again, they most likely have a set of both that they use, but the thing about 'eyes and ears' is that they break, get worn out, and just plain get left behind. I have lost (or loaned and never gotten back) many more sets of muffs and glasses than I have ever destroyed. Stay away from the super cheap $5-$10 sets, as they tend to be more or less disposable, but mid-grade specs and ear pro will last a surprisingly long time and be effective.
To take those cleaning kits, shooting glasses, earmuffs, ammo and other essentials to the range, you need a bag. Visit your local gun shop or sporting goods dealer and browse what they have. If your gift recpient is a hunter, lean towards camo patterns, if not steer towards basic black or gray. Look for a bag about the size of a medium toolbox, with a reinforced bottom and multiple pockets. You want to test it and make sure it will hold 20-30 pounds of ammo if needed and can do this by asking a clerk if you can put a weight or a half case of shotgun shells in it briefly (so they don't think you are shoplifting).
If an adult male in the U.S. owns a gun, he probably owned a knife first. Odds are he carries one on a daily basis or would if he had a nice one. Stay away from made in China/Pakistan junk and flashy large blade knives with overdone engravings, inlays, and pimp markings. These are made to be sold to people who don't know anything about knives. Gerber, Kershaw, Buck, Victorinox, and Benchmade make good durable blades at affordable prices among others.
For intended recipients over 40, Case, Barlow and shell-puller style knives often have a special place in their memory bank and a new (or good vintage) one will be treasured. It's ok to get a plain or simple knife that is well made. They will appreciate your common sense selection.
According to a study conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation released earlier this year, the group found that more women are owning guns and going hunting than ever before. Further, the fastest growing segment of this group are women 18-35.
With that in mind, remember your female friends and relatives who hunt, shoot, carry a gun for defense or have something Hoppes scented in the nightstand. Moreover, don't be condescending and stay away from pink unless they specifically mentioned liking the color.
Of course, if you are a member of the forum, you likely know all of this, but if you don't already they here you go. The biggest problem I have this time of year is resisting the urge to pick up a bargain or two of my own in my shopping.
With that in mind, please feel free to share this list with those who aren't so like-minded and add any additional suggestions to the comments below.