Okay, let’s be honest – most all of us got what we really wanted, or perhaps what we really needed, on November 9. But if you’re anything like me, your wish list never stops growing when it comes to guns and gear. When thinking about what would be awesome to see under the tree on Christmas Day, my thoughts wander from the best firearms, to the gear that will make me more efficient or productive (or cool), to loftier wishes – like ways to improve my knowledge and skill set. I’m sure that you have your own list. Every enthusiast does. I’ll share my list with you, just for fun – or in case you’re looking for ideas of your own to begin hinting at – or maybe because there is an enthusiast on your list and you need ideas. Whatever the interest, here are the top five that come to mind for me this season.
SIG Sauer P220 chambered in 10mm
The legendary Sig P220 is one of SIG Sauer’s most recognized pistols, and had a lot to do with establishing SIG as a world class gun maker. First offered in 9mm and then really making its name in .45 ACP, it became a widely used duty pistol around the globe and found a successful following among civilian shooters. So, when I learned that this iconic pistol was being offered in 10mm – I ran around the house like a Boston terrier on cappuccino. Using my vast powers of persuasion and calling in every favor (in other words, begging and pleading) I was given the editorial nod to obtain and review this gun.
That was almost a year and a half ago. Since then, I’ve stood like Dan Aykroyd in the rain in my stolen Santa suit, watching all the other gun writers, You Tubers, enthusiasts, and anyone with a passing interest sit inside near the fire and laugh together and enjoy their copies of the P220 10mm. Perhaps my day will come, perhaps not. But it remains the top gun on my Christmas list. Just in case Santa is reading, and knows people in New Hampshire. MSRP: $1,467. To purchase a 10mm Sig Sauer P220 on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=10mm%20220.
Attend the SIG Sauer Academy
Speaking of SIG Sauer, they have a pretty elaborate facility for training – or so I understand. It is the Sig Sauer Academy. I’ve never been there, but I’ve long wanted to go. Now, if you’re familiar with the Sig Academy you may be wondering which shooting course I’d want to take. The answer is none. I want to take their armorer’s class for the classic pistols (P220, P226, etc.).
I consider myself fairly adept with firearms – especially handguns; I’m even a certified Glock Armorer – but my lower lip starts to quiver whenever I consider a detail strip of a SIG P-series gun. God forbid I ever have to try to fix one or just change an internal part! So, a trip up to New Hampshire for two days of classroom training by factory experts is something that I tell myself I need to do every year. I’d love for Santa to help make that happen! Oh, and if he put a little something in the stocking for the Pro Shop, that’d be okay too!
You’d think someone that shoots as much as I do would have tried every kind of ammo on the market, but I have to admit to being a little behind the times when it comes to the new trend in polymer-coated ammo.
Why it exists, how it’s made, and how it compares to traditional jacketed and plated ammunition is a subject for another time – but I am hoping that my stocking will be at least partly stuffed with some of this new and very interesting product, like the Federal Syntech or Ruger Polycase ARX. I’d love to find out if it’s fad or future. MSRP: Pricing varies.
STI Hex Tactical
Recently reviewed by me for a future blog posting comes the most incredible 9mm handgun I’ve shot in recent memory – the STI Hex Tactical. I was able to do extensive testing with this pistol, and while I expected it to be a very nice gun, I was beyond impressed with the overall experience. It’s a 2011, which means it is a double-stack version of the legendary 1911 design. This gives you the form-factor of the age old John Browning design with high capacity and a fuller grip.
Available in a full 5” and commander length 4.15” and all decked out for the match, it is a speed machine. I’m not sure I would even trust Santa to bring this one – he might keep it for himself! MSRP: $2,599. To purchase on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=STI%20Hex.
Ruger Precision Rifle, and the skills use it!
I keep wanting to introduce myself to the apparent pleasures and rewards of long-range rifle. I see the guys and gals (more of the latter than you might think) at the matches, all decked out with funny looking straight jackets or mounting systems that look like NASA built them. If I squint hard I can make out what appear to be targets on the horizon. So yes, it’s an intimidating sport to get involved in – in more ways than one. Which is why I wave and drive on… to the handgun range – my little comfort zone.
But I want to take on and meet this challenge. Worst thing that can happen is that I’ll learn something and have an even deeper respect for those whose idea of a fun day at the range is watching paint dry… I mean, shooting long – slow – shots. Perhaps most intimidating of all is what rifle to bring. From all I’ve heard and seen, the Ruger Precision Rifle could be the very best option. Dear Santa, if you leave one under the tree, I promise I will acquire the skills to use it! MSRP: $1,599. To purchase on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=ruger%20precision%20rifle.
Okay, one more item for the wish list, but clearly not for this Christmas – and that is a new Federal Law requiring all 50 states to honor the concealed carry permits of the other states. If you’re not familiar with this often discussed topic, understand that every state that issues some form of permit for the concealed carry of a firearm does so under its own jurisdiction, and that privilege stops at the state border. Some states have reciprocal agreements with other states, whereby they honor each other’s permits – but this is a very fluid arrangement that can be changed often times by attorney’s general or even law enforcement agencies, and can also be conditional. The oft-proposed Federal mandate would essentially treat a concealed carry permit like a driver’s license. Or a license plate, for that matter. Imagine if each time you crossed state borders you had to remove your license plate and put on a “local” one – if available – for a fee. Unless of course your state had an agreement with that state, etc. What if Idaho didn’t trust your state’s requirements for a license to drive, and simply said “no, you can’t drive here.”
But just because we have a new President entering office that we hope and trust will be interested in preserving the rights of gun owners, and a majority in Congress that should be able to agree on such a bill, don’t for one minute think that this would be a slam dunk. There will be much opposition from strong states that are very anti-gun. The Judicial Branch of our government has stated that each state must have some provision for allowing civilians to carry a concealed firearm, per the Bill of Rights. This is why people in Chicago, NYC, and even DC can now attempt to get a permit. I say “attempt” because those anti-gun states, counties, and cities make it extremely difficult to actually get one. But enter National Reciprocity – a law that mandates that any valid permit from any state must be honored by every state, and this undermines their infringing practices. Also, such a law would defer to the state’s statutes on concealed carry and all the potential pitfalls of where and when you may carry, etc. All that said, it would be a wonderful piece of legislation, so it’s on the wish list – maybe for next Christmas!