Gifts for your Gunner, Part III, the $100 Range

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We debated creating a “money is no object” gift list, but it basically became a hunt for the most expensive items out there. Holland & Holland weapons, Wilson Combat custom pistols, and loads of custom work festooned the list which was basically just a showboat list. Yes, I (and we would contend that most readers as well) would enjoy the best goods money can buy, but most of us (this writer included) do not have the means.

So, the challenge was to find gifts that would balance being fun, useful, and reasonably priced. Given budgets, we thought $100 range would be a rough idea for gifts where the person mattered more than the price (but the price still had to be a consideration).

Without further ado, some gifts above the $50 range (again, in no particular order):

  1. Double-Alpha ShotMaxx Timer

As a competitive shooter, carrying around the box timers has always been a bit of an issue. Combine that with practice for competition has almost always been on a public range, there has been little ability to actually time a stage without having extraneous shots ruin the test.

The SHOTMAXX Shot Time is a personal time that can track shots by the recoil through the wrist in its personal mode. It can do it the old-fashioned way as well, but as a personal timer, its hard to beat.

They retail for about $150 and can be picked up through MidWayUsa and other outlets. 

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Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2014-09-15 20:54:31Z | | Lÿÿÿÿ

  • 4 types of Start delay options
  • Par setting
  • 2 kinds of beep sounds + silent activation
  • 10 levels of digital sensitivity adjustments + a customized Airsoft mode
  • Filter to eliminate echo’s on indoor ranges
  • 12/24 clock display Date display
  • Lap capable stopwatch
  • Programmable alarm
  • A handy 3min and 5min countdown tool for RO’s wanting to time walkthroughs
  • Counts shots based on recoil as well as sound
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Functioning watch

2. Smittybilt GEAR Car Seat Cover

Outside of the fact that the SmittyBilt is utterly practical (acts as a seat cover and adds storage to your vehicle), it is overly tactical. Available in both bucket and bench-seat configurations, the 600D cover is suitable for use and abuse. I’d suspect it can handle Marine abuse and maybe even kids.

For those looking for other uses, there are numerous other configurations of covers including tailgate covers, overhead console covers, etc. Check out Amazon for details. Prices range from $30

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3. Impromptu Tactical Pen

Its tactical and a pen! How much more could one want? Okay, it useful for a myriad of tasks on top of creating a grocery list like glass breaking, etc.

Details below. They retail for $62 from Gerber

  • Ruggid and reliable design in all our products
  • Can be used in various military, hunting, survival, tactical, industrial and outdor situations
  • All producdts are field tested
  • Rugged, machined steel body and stainless steel pocket clip keeps this pen handy
  • “Rite in the Rain” ink cartridge works in all conditions, inside and outdoors
  • Reliable push-button mechanism deploys ball point mechanism
  • Integrated glass-breaker tip features tempered steel and is designed to get you out of trouble
  • Made in the USA

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4. DIY Paper Submachine Gun

This is the gift for someone not wanting anything practical, but tugs at the heartstrings of the hooligan in all of us. Available from Firebox, the paper card replica of the Heckler & Koch MP7 A1 is complete with picatinny rails, removable magazine, and an adjustable stock.

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The build is not for the faint of heart, but if the recipient liked (or still likes) Legos, it may be right what the gift doctor ordered. 

 

5. Tactical BBQ Apron

The personal equivalent of the tactical car seat cover, covering an apron with Molle opens up a plethora of possibilities to maintain tools critical to the precise preparation of meat.

Retail is pegged at $30, but specials have it at just $19.99. To get to the $100 limit, buy a charcoal grill. Th

6. Decorative Firearms Prints

Breaking away the practical and into the decorative, X-Ray Gun Prints sells their (ironically) CAT Scans of modern firearms. Options include the AK-47, AR-15, 1911, AUG, SCAR and more.

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The prints range in options from a simple frame to glass covered, and more. Prices start at $49.95 and go up from there on Etsy. 

7. MuzzleShot & BattleMug

Back to the theme of practical and ridiculous, BattleMug is an all aluminum billet machined mug for $189 to the $149 “Combat Cup” and the Battle Shot. Then, there is the MuzzleShot, the Bullet-Shot, and Claymore Flask. 

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If the machined prices are a little steep, they do have a $45 polymer version of the original aluminum design. 

8. Steel Targets

Paper targets are useful, but sometimes no where near the amount of fun. There just is no report from the shot hitting the target and only a visual mark if an expensive splatter target is used. Then, the splatter target is (practically speaking) a one-time use only target.

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Not so with steel. Options for targets vary across the board from man-sized IPSCs (retail is about $250) to the myriad of small pistol steel targets well below a $25 each.

MGM Steel is a great place, with a Holiday target special but don’t forget to find some foreign-made deals on EBay too.

9. JP Enterprises Silent Capture Spring

JP Enterprises really hit the nail on the head with the Silent Capture Spring system. Its utterly fantastic (I own one) and am slowly moving all my rifles to the system.

Prior to owning one, it was a product that I was not sure I needed. Like many, I thought the “mil spec” buffer system was sufficient (it was), but the Silent Capture System has made shooting the AR more pleasure-able, with spring kits to fine-tune the gun and the complete and total removal of the “spring twang” sound in the stock.

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If your recipient is an AR shooter, they will appreciate these immensely. Optics Planet has a good special on them at $132.95

10. Spotting Scopes

Casual shooters often are ill-equipped to head out to the range and zero their rifles. When I first started, I remember having to wait for a “cold range” to go down and check the target, which was a 1/2 hour affair, per adjustment.

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Suffice to say, I wasted a lot of time before investing in a solid spotting scope (not the FireField I reviewed previously, though it did work). Even in the last two years, prices on fine spotting scopes has dropped drastically and around $150, one can pick up well-known brands. (Bushnell is just $119).

Optics Planet is a great source, especially with their robust reviews. 



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Griz

    Oh, good. No lubes, or other gifts flying under Santa’s gaydar. I’m surprised to not see AR lowers, if Anderson’s weren’t $50 I would be interested in one of those comedy themed Spikes’ lowers, like the Pirate version lgs has one for $99. If someone draws me for Secret Santa I like 1,6, and 9 from the above list.

  • Riot

    The tac bbq one is pretty funny

  • Spencer

    My wife bought me one of the xray gun prints (the 1911) for my birthday this year. It is cool, but it is pretty damn blurry. For the money, and for the effort that he says he puts in to getting them to look perfect, I was extremely disappointed.

  • Lance

    or just a bunch of Mags!!!

  • M

    I noticed a lot of people have more guns than sights and most can’t afford “investment” priced sights (aimpoints, elcans, trjicons, etc) for all of them.

    I think a Bushnell TRS-25 or primary arms red dot are cheap and usable gifts hovering around the $80 zone.

  • Major Tom

    Give your shooter the best shooting gift of all: Ammunition.

    .223, .308, .30-06, 7.62x54R, .30-30, the list is endless, buy 100 bucks worth of ammo (or close enough approximation) and give that.

    It’s more useful than a paper-mache MP7.

  • Graig Bodingnton Jr

    Wilson Combat is cute mention at the top of the article, but is somewhat shortsighted and ‘budget-minded’ for the discerning 1911 connoisseur. Besides that everyone on the block already owns a Wilson pistol LOL.

    If you have more coin and want to stand out, I’d suggest you move SVI to the top of your imaginary list. They are truly a league above and beyond any other 1911 made. Their base pistol starts at only $3800, and each one is test fired to produce LESS THAN 1.50″ group at 50 yards. Your pistol will also be one of only a couple other dozen made within a year by SVI

    • Lonnie

      I am not a competition shooter so I am more than satisfied with my very reliable Springfield and Rock Island 1911A1s. Either one puts rounds in the “X” ring at 25 meters. I paid less than $1000 for BOTH! That other $2800 buys a LOT of ammo, which to me is MORE important.

  • Rick5555

    Tubb’s makes an excellent buffer spring for an AR. It cost $25 and total removes any sounds the normal springs make in the buffer tube. As well as, you;ll never have to replace the spring. It’s guarantee to have 250k full compressions….spring moving back and forth. The spring also lessens the recoil impulse too…not that a 5.56 AR produces much recoil. If you need to further fine tune your buffer system. Then you can begin to mess with buffer weights. I run a Spike’s Tactical T2 buffer (about 4.-4.4 oz) with the Tubbs Spring on all my AR’s. I’ve never had an issue with either carbine or mid-length gas systems. Just runs real smooth…with a NiB BCG.

  • Glenn

    When is the last time anybody saw a vehicle with a bench front seat ?