Clay’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide: CCW Edition — Smith & Wesson, CrossBreed, Crimson Trace & More!

As we move into the holiday season, let us not forget that you might be forced to give a local hooligan an early present in the form of flying lead and copper. And if your are not the CCW fanatic in your household, you may be wondering what to get them. Outside of a MAGA (Make America Great Again) hat, obviously, as GunsAmerica’s resident gift expert, I am going to make your life easy. Take notes — there will be a test at the end.

CrossBreed Crossover Gun Belt

When you carry as a lifestyle, a belt is a must have. It’s not a nice-to-have item. There is nothing worse than a cheap belt folding under the weight of a hand cannon, except maybe a holster staying attached to the gun during a drawstroke. Both of these are easily corrected with a purpose built gun belt. Bonus round, the Crossover features a friction lock, making it infinitely adjustable to fit your build. Imagine buying an expensive gun belt, only to find that your holster/gun/body combination means the only adjustment hole options are too loose and uncomfortable. Problem solved! I have been using this belt for six months now, and it is a winner.

MSRP: $90

Crimson Trace LightGuard

You really can’t go wrong with anything from Crimson Trace, but the LightGuard really got my attention this year. Especially important in the winter, when days are shorter and your odds being out in the dark are increased. You can’t shoot what you can’t see, but finding a flashlight to fit your CCW gun in the past was difficult. It works well for a nightstand gun.

MSRP: $159

Smith and Wesson M&P 9 2.0

Go big or go home, at least if you need a serious gift. Outside the price range of most Christmas lists, this is still a great option if you are playing for keeps. The M&P 9 2.0 has impressed the hell out of me the last few weeks, and for CCW you could do a lot worse. Many of us go up a gun size at this time of year, both to deal with potential attackers in thicker clothes, and for ourselves in case we are wearing winter gloves. The M&P 9 2.0 is a solid piece of hardware, and 15+1 rounds of 9mm will solve almost any problem that requires firepower. For that special someone in your life, isn’t Christmas worth two weeks salary?

MSRP: $599

SIG T shirts

For CCW, why would I encourage you to wear a brand of gun T-shirt?

Isn’t that virtue signaling that you are probably packing heat? A few reasons actually. Number 1, the SIG shirts are super comfortable. They apparently spent some money on cloth experts, these things are soft like a fluffy bunny. Number 2, they thought about you carrying a gun. The shirts are longer than most by about an inch, which helps keep your artillery hidden reaching high on store shelves or other movements. And number 3, I doubt your local Crips know that MCX VIRTUS is latin for “ this guy is not to be fucked with.” Perfect for the gun nerd in your life, I am wearing the 320 model as I type this.

MSRP: $20 – $36


Federal Premium HST Ammo

Year after year, I continue to fall for the Federal HST ammunition for CCW. Reliable, tested, and a sure bet for terminal performance. This obviously goes in the caliber of choice, but I am really liking the 147-grain 9mm at the moment for my Springfield XDE. This is a great time of year to be rotating your duty ammo, and if you have a fresh box in hand, there is really no excuse. 4th of July and Christmas, problem solved.

MSRP: $20 — $25

Attleboro Knives Dau Tranh

I usually leave the blades to the GunsAmerica resident knife guru S.H Blannelberry, but this is an exception. The Dau Tranh is specially suited to CCW. It is small enough to hide on your belt, but big enough to pack wallop if your gun fails to do the job. If you look at the logo of Attleboro Knives, it is hard to miss the Special Forces symbolism embedded. True to form, the owner is a retired Funny Hat Wearer himself, and from an era when they knew about stabby tools. The name Dau Tranh translates from Vietnamese as struggle, to never quit and drive on until you succeed. In a street encounter, that is exactly the attitude you need if your gun is out of bullets or failed you. You are now in a lethal encounter with a caveman tool, you had better have a bad attitude to match.

MSRP: $130

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Ron Stidham November 23, 2017, 5:14 am

    What goes with a good gun belt? A great holster, if any of the 1911 fans are reading-Wilson Combat has some amazing holsters that I highly endorse. I personally wear the lo-profile II, and the feather weight IWB very comfortable and very well made. Bonus is there all on sale.
    Great guns deserve great accessories.

  • Glenn November 21, 2017, 6:39 am

    If anyone doubts that the designer of the Attleboro Knives Dau Tranh was indeed a graduate of the John Wayne School for Wayward Boys, there is a sure tell in the design of the knife…the hilt looks to be a beer bottle opener. 😉

  • KB November 20, 2017, 2:44 pm

    Just some general info. When ordering a holster, if you specify the pistol model and model of laser, I know that CrossBreed and Wright Leather Works will custom fit your weapon.

  • FirstStateMark November 20, 2017, 1:56 pm

    I totally agree with the Federal HST ammo.

  • ronald l knox November 20, 2017, 1:42 pm

    merry christmas

  • Daniel Branscome November 20, 2017, 9:38 am

    The CrimsonTrace would have to be on a nightstand gun, because it won’t fit in a proper holster.

  • Glenn Finley November 17, 2017, 11:17 am

    Why can’t I leave a comment with a link in it?

    • S.H. Blannelberry November 17, 2017, 11:38 am

      Many times the links that get posted are spam. The default setting is to delete comments that link out to other pages.

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