That last time I saw stats for the average number of gift guides any one of us receives Thanksgiving week through Cyber Monday it was something like 123,487. Well, at least that what it feels like to me each year. That, and the procrastination common to many of us, is what leads me to publish the annual SHWAT™ this week.
The Official SHWAT™ Shop – SHWAT™ Outfitters $4.95 +
Why not give SHWAT™ for Christmas? Come on now, you could have some fun that…! Given that we have our own line of SHWAT™ branded swag, and a whole lot more non-SHWAT™ (but exclusive to us!), we hope you don’t throw stones at us for thinking our SHWAT™ is better than…. Okay, a PWS rifle would be better, and it’s our number one recommendation, but could buy 200 SHWAT™ stickers, 50 assorted (exclusive!) tee shirts or even 25 hoodies!
PWS MK116 PRO $995
Typically our top tier gift suggestion is something super crazy over the top, something that we’d all love to get and give. This year, we’re going a different route. Let me put it this way: We discovered that Hawaii hunting in both aspirational and attainable. It’s not cheap, but it’s not nearly as expensive to do as you’d think. It is remarkably unique.
So when picking a gun to suggest, we settled on a Primary Weapons Systems MK116 Pro. Not coincidentally, we carried PWS rifles while hunting in Hawaii. Ours were 308 guns, and more expensive than the MK166 Pro we’re suggesting.
PWS builds piston ARs, and they are great to shoot, super reliable. The beauty of the MK116 Pro is that you get the PWS system for right at a grand. A .223 Wylde chambered 16″ gun, the barrel is 416 Stainless Steel, Button Rifled. You’ll find some nice furniture and upgrades including a Radian Raptor™Ambidextrous Charging Handle. Look for a full review on this gun in the future, but for more on our PWS experiences, take a look here.
Grayboe Ridgeback Stock $799 +
While I’d seen the birth of Grayboe stocks, I’d never actually gotten one until this year. We’ve published both a review and an installation video on the Grayboe Ridgeback stock and here’s the summary. It’s not the lightest stock, but one a recent day of filming and shooting the otherwise stock Remington 700 rifle was everyone’s favorite. The ergos are fantastic, and while it’s not lightweight it makes for incredible shooting manners. Grayboe also has bottom metal and other things to upgrade the Ridgeback and their other stocks. This is a surefire way to upgrade a Remington 700, a gift that could last generations.
Scalarworks LEAP/07 Mount $399
When putting together the Hunting in Paradise series (which you’ll read about into 2020!), I needed mounts for the Sig Sauer BDX scopes. I needed mounts that weren’t fiddly, that I could quickly mount when I arrived on the Big Island of Hawaii. The scope would need to be level and ready to go when my plane landed. No, I don’t put scopes on rifles and then trust them to gravity as they get tossed around. I hand carry scopes.
Enter Scalarworks. I’d seen them online and was certainly intrigued, but I’d never used one of their mounts. They sent out three mounts, and you know what? I like them a lot! They deserve a full review and honestly some more testing, but here’s the deal for now. The “Level Drive” lets you level the scope in the mount before you ever worry about putting it on the rifle. It’s instant. It’s simple. That feature alone should make anyone smile. The LEAP mounts are also light weight and quick detach.
TENACITY-72 – Three Day Support/Specialization Backpack $224
Soon you’ll get to know Josh Harmsworth of Kona Hawaii. Josh was one of my hunting partners on the Big Island and will soon be listed among our Pro Staff. He’s sold on the Elite Survival Systems Tenacity-72 pack. I’m not surprised, I’m sold on Elite Survival as you can see from the numerous reviews I’ve done spanning a number of years.
We’ll publish Josh’s full review later, but here are a few of his thoughts I’ve lifted for this Gift Buyer’s Guide… A bag with the capacity of a trekking pack, but with the accessibility of a suitcase, the comfort of your favorite pair of sweatpants, but the looks of rugged spec ops outfit. I mean, what else could you want in a killer backpack? A freaking designated, padded, laptop pocket?! Done. It’s got that too.
Gracefield Fleece by Peacemaker Industries $99
We’ve never had anything quite like this on our list before, but when it comes to repeatability, this head to toe fleece kit from Peacemaker nails it. A couple of weeks ago we had something like sixteen inches of snow and some cold temps. About that time I received this fleece set. The Gracefield fleece pack comes with a watch cap, quarter zip top, pants and socks (and two tee shirts, but those are nearly as exciting).
Forgive me as I depart from our typical tactical vocabulary here. These are so soft and comfy! And REALLY warm. And even cushy. They don’t look stupid, either. My 18 year old wants to steel them from me. Oh, yeah, they fit very well when organizing ammo in a chilly industrial basement. There, warm fuzzies and bullets all in the same two paragraphs!
Viking Tactics VTAC Slings $39.95 +
For more years than SHWAT™ has been in business I’ve used Viking Tactics slings. They are ridiculously rugged and very easy to use. Pull a tab and cinch them tightly for walking, stalking, managing gates or bad actors. Pull the corded buckle and loosen the sling for comfort, rifle deployment etc.
And in terms of a great company, well, I met Kyle Lamb, founder of Viking Tactics a few years ago. We’ve stayed in touch through texting and a phone call here and there. May I just suggest you check out this video?
I know I’d love getting any and everything on this list! From $5 to $1000, I can get behind every one of these. So whether you’re shopping for you or someone else, we hope this proves helpful. Merry Christmas, everyone!