Scenarios: You’ve yet to figure out what to give the shooter, hunter and/or adventurer. Or, I just described you and you might want to pass along hints to your favorite procrastinators. We know you get a million promotions going into the holiday season so we waited until the push daily BUY THIS RIGHT NOW messages subsided a bit. These are personal picks from the SHWAT™ team. Let’s start with over the top package. Here we go…!
Desert Tech SRS-A1 Covert
You want to make an impression? There’s a Lexus commercial playing now telling us to give the gift that keeps on thrilling. Sure, it keeps thrilling …until it’s traded it in four years from now. Save a bundle and give a gift that will be treasured for generations: a Desert Tech SRS Covert precision rifle. Pick a caliber for the Christmas present, but remember that you can give caliber conversion kits for years to come! Your $5,000 Desert Tech SRS Covert starter kit seems like a steal in light of the Lexus price. You can hunt with it, compete with it, defend with it. As a bullpup, it’s super compact. As a precision rifle, it’s better than I am and I can run .5 MOA with it. Learn more about the Desert Tech SRS-A1 Covert from my time with it.
Is there an aspiring (or even accomplished?) long range hunter or precision rifle shooter on your list? Check out the Nightforce B.E.A.S.T. (Best Example of Advanced Scope Technology). I wish I could properly tell you just how amazing the glass is in this 5-25 power scope. One of the issues with variable higher magnification is a loss of contrast and resolving power. Any pro photographer can tell you that. The B.E.A.S.T. was purpose built for the U.S. military to address that challenge. It’s also one of the brightest riflescopes on the market. With 60 MOA of adjustment, you can rest assured that it will work at distance ranges with virtually any rifle cartridge on earth. Price is just shy of $3800, so while it’s more scope than you’d want to invest in for a 60 yard AR-15 hog hunt, it might just be best optic you’d ever give to a long range hunter or shooter.
Not sans clothing, but beyond it! Some of my Pacific Northwest friends have been touting the incomparable apparel put out by this American maker for a while. To appreciate the value of Beyond Clothing gear you need to understand what it actually is, and isn’t. It isn’t typical tactical gear, or typical hunting gear. It is survival clothing. I have a closet full of tactical and hunting apparel and none of it compares to the Rig Light Backcountry Pant and Action Shirt from Beyond Clothing. These lightweight pieces are a part of the Axiom layering system. I don’t have space for a full review here, but the technical fabrics, cuts, fit and Lupus Camouflage pattern all add up to something special. The pants typically retail for $312 and the shirt for $267 though you might catch a killer sale from time to time. As a side note the Lupus pattern was designed by Orion Design Group partner and SHWAT™ Pro Staffer Kelsey Gonzales. That gives an extra cool factor to this gear in my book!
Trijicon AccuPower 3-9×40
When it comes to magnified optics, it’s hard to go wrong with a 3-9 power riflescope. For at least a couple of generations, this has been the go to field optic for hunters. The 3-9x magnification range is versatile enough for close encounters and those that will stretch most hunters’ skill set. Some similar optics make moving through the magnification range more of an effort that it should be. In case of the AccuPower scopes, you just grab the speed lever and go. That’s a win. The AccuPower line from Trijicon uses battery power to illuminate the reticle. I mounted one to my 5.56 Tavor and heartily endorse it. It has an MSRP of $695, but I found it all over the web for $595. Here’s my full Trijicon AccuPower 3-9x40x scope.
Smith and Bradley Watches
Is it time to give a watch? If so, consider Smith and Bradley. Just like guns, guys and gals should have one for every occasion. I now have three models and I should have done a full review and comparison, but where does the time go??? I like other watches too, but here’s why I’d suggest one of these – I own them and I like them. Okay, there’s more to it than that. Coming from a law enforcement background, a couple of Middle America gear junkies design and assemble these watches in Illinois. Their Swiss movement watches are affordable, but should last long enough to be handed down to the next generation. Pictured here from left to right are the three I have. The Ambush is a hybrid, a digital/analog watch that incorporates multiple time zones, a stopwatch, alarm and a legit compass. I consider it my adventure watch. $530. In the center is the Springfield, an American field watch designed to invoke timeless memories and a quality statement from years gone by. It’s a basic but classy watch. This I consider my “take the family to dinner” watch. On the right is my Sans 13 which I’ve worn everywhere from shooting/hunting industry events to midnight hog hunts. It has a great story behind its development. Right now it looks like it can be had for $200, a bargain considering the quality I’ve seen in it. Ready my full Smith and Bradley Sans 13 review.
I recently read an article stating that the .380 pocket pistol platform was dead, that it offered no relative value in the marketplace. It’s too hard to shoot, the guns aren’t accurate… the list went on. Clearly the author had zero time with the new Remington RM380. I’ve had other .380s and I might have similar sentiments having gotten rid of them. However, my new Remington RM380 pocket pistol is truly a disruptor in the pocket pistol space. It’s actually fun to shoot and plenty accurate for its intended use. When filming our 500 round torture test one of our shooters grouped most of two magazines worth of bullets in a space the size of his hand from eighteen feet. Look around online and you can pick one up for $380 or less. If I didn’t already have one I’d ask for this for Christmas.
Orion Design Group ARC Rig
This one is for the hunters and hikers in your life. For years I’ve looked for a chest rig for hunters. In the land of tactical molle gear, anything can be strapped together, but I was looking for something else. I think I’ve found it. Sometimes I want to pack binoculars, sometimes my camera and a couple of spare mags. Hunting all night I want some food and water, not to mention spare batteries. I want versatility. And I want it to be practically water proof. The Advanced Reconnaissance Chest Rig from Orion Design looks like the ticket. The heart of it is a large pouch. It will fit some big binos or my pro camera and zoom lens. Night vision and thermal gear fit nicely, a real win if you’re in the field from day to night and had to switch out. Full disclaimer here, I’ve not had this long and will need to hunt a few times to really put it through its paces. But Grey Gear Ghost makes it and I have one of their packs and know their quality. The pouch plus a yoke to hold it come in at less than $300.
Alamo Four Star Muzzle Brake
This Christmas give someone a brake. Well, maybe a break, too, but I’m talking about an Alamo Four Star Cowl Induction Brake. I got to test drive a prototype that reset the bar for muzzle brakes. It was the best in the most thorough brake testing I’ve ever witnessed done at the Precision Rifle Blog. And then the inventor, Mark Deros, improved it. If you know someone that wants to shoot fast, stay on target, mitigate recoil or all of the above, pick up a CIB for them. They come in two models, one for 6x/.223/.556 and the other for 6xc/6.5mm/6.0 and .300/.308 starting at $138. It makes a great Christmas tree ornament, too!
Fremont Knives Farson Blade and Hatchet
On one adventure in the Colorado Rocky Mountains my friend Bobby asked my son if he wanted to see how the Indians there would have started a fire. He pulled out a blow torch and lit our campfire. “That’s how they would have done it had a blow torch, anyway,” quipped Bobby. The story of the Farson Blade Survival tool is pretty much the same. A prehistoric cutting tool made of stone was discovered in the Red Desert near Farson, Wyoming. It serves as the inspiration for the Farson Blade. Similarly sized and shaped, the new Farson Blade is clearly how the Indians would have done it had they know how to create bead blasted stainless steel tools. It looks like a tactical pizza cutter, which is a win all by itself, but it’s possible uses are infinite. The sharpened blade portion of this one piece tool is almost eight inches, while the overall length is six inches. This creates a very unique edged tool. With eight feet of paracord wrapped around the handle portion, you have even more options like assembling a makeshift hatchet! It seems that was such an obvious thing to try that Fremont Knives designed a hatchet version around the tool. Would that be called evolution? Both will fit in a stocking! The Farson Blade Survival Tool starts around $40 and goes up with options like carbon steel. The Farson Hatchet is about ten dollars more.