Finding a gift that I or any other shooter will use and appreciate isn’t rocket surgery—it is just a matter of thinking about what might make that escape from life we call a range trip more pleasant. Here are five of my choices to make your life a touch easier.
1.) A High-Quality Cleaning Rod
One pretty easy solution is to take a look at their cleaning kit—do they have a nice cleaning rod? If not, fix that immediately. I appreciate the high-quality cleaning rods that I have had given to me over the years more than any other single item that supports my shooting addiction. Not only does it keep my bores in wonderful shape, but also it makes cleaning much less of a chore because the rod lets the brush or patch turn with the rifling, unlike a lot of the cheaper ones on the market. My choice here is a nice John Dewey cleaning rod, I really feel like they make the best ones on the market for rifle and shotgun cleaning. For pistols, I prefer the Pro-Shot pistol rods; they fit in a cleaning kit nicely and are built like a tank.
2.) Quality Electronic Muffs
Or how about hearing protection? Ya, hear me? I am a huge fan of electronic muffs that allow me to have a conversation with others while on the firing line. There is nothing more annoying than having to constantly yell so that your shooting partner can hear what you are trying to say. Not only are you able to hear others talking, many times the electronic muffs are a bit more comfortable than the standard “can” style of muff. An added bonus is that you don’t look like you belong on the set of some 80’s police movie as the up and coming rookie going through the academy with his geriatric looking muffs. The Howard Leight Impact Sport muffs have been my range companion for years, with features like auto shutoff and an auxiliary line in the Impact Sport is pretty feature packed. I also really like the low profile that the muffs have, keeping bulk to a minimum.
3.) A Great Set of Backup Earplugs
Expanding on the hearing protection front, another choice would be some high-quality earplugs. I discovered the Surefire Sonic Defenders several years back and fell in love with them. They offer a nice secure fit that sits in your ear almost flush so that your plugs don’t get in the way of whatever you are doing. Many of the current models have a newly added detachable lanyard so that you don’t lose them. At $15 to $20 per set, they aren’t cheap, but I will kiss a pig if they aren’t worth it.
How about targets? I never have enough. Not only are they the perfect gift for a shooter, but they are pretty cheap too. Paper bullseye targets come in at under $2 per package for the cheap ones making them a great choice for a small gift to go with a larger gift like a gun. Even some of the reactive targets like the self-healing Duraseal targets from Champion are a great choice. They will last for many range outings and provide great feedback when you score a hit.
5.) Shooting Rests
Something that took me several years to discover was a necessity is a good set of shooting rest bags. Nothing is worse than going all the way to the range and trying to use their crappy wooden block for support, or worse, having no rest at all. There are several front and rear bag sets that you can snatch up for as little as about $15 for the pair—making them a bargain. Caldwell in particular has a great option that you can get for a great deal. The shooter in your life will really appreciate being able to get set up in a good, solid shooting position without marring the finish on their stock with a weathered old wooden block.
This post originally was run on The Shooter's Log - http://blog.cheaperthandirt.com/christmas-ideas/