Good news! It’s not Christmas yet, you still have time to score as Santa this year. Like me, you’ve probably been inundated with various gift buyer guides. Why read this one? Well, because if you’re like me, you still have some gift buying to do, you might want to pick out a Christmas present for yourself, and we’ve actually used everything on this list! We start at the top with an amazing bucket list hunt and finish with a cool fifty dollar gift that ought to make anyone smile.
For the Bucket List Giver: Elk Adventure Hunt at Jumping Jack Horse Ranch, Montana
We recently published a guest article by a first time Elk Huntress. As someone who shares Jessica’s aversion to sitting for hours waiting for something to happen, her epic story of mountain hunting adventure makes me want to head up to the Jumping Jack Ranch in Ennis, Montana, and get to work! So, if you want to give this as gift to yours truly, just let me know! But seriously, if you’re still hunting for the ultimate gift, this might just be a bucket list item your recipient didn’t even know to put on the list. $9,000 (give or take)
Diversify the Portfolio with an IWI X95 Tavor
We’ve been running Tavors since they were introduced to Americans. We did the first carbine class with them. We’ve hunted hogs with them. We loved them. And then came the next generation of Tavors, the X95. Guess what? The thrill isn’t gone! As a matter of fact, it’s even greater! Having a full sized rifle in a short SBR kind of package is just hard to beat. All the Tavors have been boringly reliable. Lot’s of people have AR15s. Instead of giving them another one, why not give something different? $1799
Trijicon MRO, the High End Stocking Stuffer
Earlier this year we reviewed the Trijicon MRO and if you’re considering giving a $500 gift, I’d suggest reading that review and watching the accompanying video. Here is the short version: This might be the toughest red dot sight on the planet. Really, just like the Trijicon ACOG that I’ve loved and used since before SHWAT™ was even an idea, the MRO starts out as a single billet of 7075 aluminum, stronger than the more expensive red dot sights available. It’s night vision compatible. I opted to keep the sample I’d received even though I have more expensive red dot sights already. So, yeah, I think it’s a winner and anyone who appreciates quality will be excited to receive one of these this Christmas. $493
Give Peace on Earth? No, but Peace of Mind in Their Pocket – Remington RM380
It’s been a year since I first suggested the Remington RM380 as a gift. I got the chance to run a prototype in 2014. It took a while before I could get a production version, but when I did I gathered some friends and put 500 rounds in a row through it. It ran beautifully. If you have an hour, you can watch the RM380 test video. I’d suggest just skimming it. A pocket pistol may not the best gun fighting piece of kit you can own, but it might be the only one you’d carry in many scenarios. I’ve owned several pocket pistols that cost more and were less comfortable to shoot. This is the one I’ve kept, and you can read my RM380 review here. Give one or get one, either way someone will be glad! $369
You’re the Quiet Giver? Give the Silynx Clarus Pro Hearing Protection
I am passionate about hearing protection. My ears have rung for five years now and I really hate that. Maybe it’s genetics, or maybe I used sub par ear pro for too long. I’ve reviewed a number of hearing protection options over the years and will continue to do so. The gift of quality ear pro could literally be the quality of life gift that keeps on giving. With that in mind, the Silynx Clarus Pro is my current go-to ear pro. With a military pedigree and style, I’ve found it to be comfortable for twelve hour overnight hunts. I had sporting clay shooters try these for a video and they loved them. They aren’t the cheapest electronic ear pro around, but neither are they the most expensive. The value proposition is terrific. $249
The Universal Easy Choice Gift: If they own an AR give them a Timney 2 stage AR Targa Trigger
You know that person on your list that is obsessed with quality and upgrading their AR-15? How about the person trying to squeeze out every bit of accuracy possible from their AR? In a surprise move this year, long time single stage trigger maker Timney rolled out two-stage triggers. After 70 years of making single stage triggers, this really was a surprise. I’ve used Timney triggers since before I worked in the shooting and hunting world and hadn’t jumped on board the two stage bandwagon. But as you can see in my video test, when I installed a Timney two stage AR trigger into a 300 Blackout TSAR from Tactical Solutions, I improved my accuracy by 38%. That’s fun! For the record, that’s a hunting rifle that has served me well, so don’t think excellent triggers are just for punching holes in paper. Give the gift of fun, also known as accuracy. $228.75
Enough Stuff! Give Memories that will Last Forever with Thermal and Night Vision Rentals
How is a rental a gift, you might ask? Simple: you’re giving an experience that can yield a lifetime of memories. If you’ve never used this kind of gear, you’ve missed an experience unlike any other. Thermal and Night Vision gear isn’t just for hog hunting. My mom loves star gazing and when she looked through a rental PVS-14 I had on hand, she was blown away. I’ve used a thermal optic to find places where my house needed more insulation. But of course the most fun is hunting at night, coyotes, hogs or whatever else you can legally engage after dark. The challenge is that this kind of gear can be incredibly expensive leaving the experience far out of reach for many. Unless you rent! In most of my night hunts over the past several years I’ve used rental equipment from Ultimate Night Vision. You can get a three day rental of a IR Hunter MK II 2.5X – 20X 35MM Thermal Scope for $299! I’ve used it and it’s amazing! You can spend less or you can spend more. Either way, Ultimate Night Vision is owned and run by hunters who hunt so much testing their gear that I don’t know when they have time to run their business. But they pull it off well and will – with integrity – guide you to make sure the rental matches the experience you want to give or share. By the way, this is an incredible way to introduce new hunters to the experience. I’ve done so several times and the recipients have memories to last a lifetime. $139 – $399
For the Rambler, the Gear Abuser, the Adventurer – the Elite Survival Systems 24 Hour Pulse Backpack
I’ve lost track of how many trips and states where this backpack has accompanied me. Keyword: Versatile. Backed by a lifetime guarantee the pack is incredibly tough, well thought out and comfortable. I’ve taken it hunting with me in Texas, hiking in Colorado, loaded it up with a laptop and cameras for business trips to Utah. I’d suggest watching the video, and if a backpack is on someone’s wish list you could really make their day with this one. $159.95
For Your Favorite Panic Buyer: CMMG Color Coded Lower Parts Kit
Yay, the election is over! Know someone who stocked up on AR-15 lowers this year? They are going to need a lower parts kit, and maybe some directions at to just what to do with all those springs and pins. CMMG packages up those parts in colored bags to keep things organized and then has a great 3D animated guide showing how to put those parts into a lower receiver. This is a great gift to transform a lower receiver from a fancy paperweight into a functional AR lower. $64.99
Discreet Giving: the Issue Box from Tactical Walls
In Austin Powers flick “Goldmember,” Nigel Powers dryly quips, “If you’ve got an issue, here’s a tissue.” The folks at Tactical Walls took that to a whole new level with the introduction of the Issue Box. Hidden inside the unassuming looking tissue box is discreet storage for a small handgun. By using a short two inch tall tissue box they made room for a pistol to hide until an Issue calls for its retrieval. Other than you having to cut the supporting foam, there’s no assembly required. I cut mine for a Remington RM380. Some larger pistols will fit without a magazine loaded. Tactical Walls states in all caps that the Issue Box DOES NOT LOCK which could make for some interesting decision making and legal issues in some places. But you know what? Some things are just cool to have and whether a gun lives in one full time or not, just knowing you could have one should make the recipient of this gift smile! $49
Giving (or getting?!) anything on this list would be exciting! Not to mention, garner you some goodwill with the recipient! And as much as we like this list, we know you probably have something to add. So, use the comment box below to let the rest of the SHWAT community know. Thanks, and Merry Christmas!
This is the first time visiting your website and the first time I have built an 458 SOCOM on the AR platform. You have so, many options and connection links to the things I like. Also, my question is are there any special lower receivers used instead of regular AR lowers to help with the kick and pounding taken from this round?
Welcome! Thanks for dropping by and for your feedback! Any AR-15 lower should do nicely on a .458 SOCOM build. We are about to publish a couple more pieces on the 458 SOCOM, so stick around and subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss out!