We are living in unprecedented times. Not only is 2020 the year of another presidential election, but also the origination of the world’s most feared pandemic and consequent civil unrest rising from both unknowns. 32,000,000 NICS background checks have been run in 2020 up to October, the last recorded month as of now. These background checks are run every time a firearm is purchased unless the purchaser has appropriate licensing. Also, keep in mind that some background checks will be for multiple firearms. This means that over 32,000,000 firearms have been sold; many to first-time gun owners.
To the first-time gun owner: you may be confused about where to go or what to do next. You have a gun, but now what? Before I give any advice, congratulations on your first gun purchase! Guns can be used for many purposes such as sporting, self-defense, hobbies, hunting, and more. One specific type is excellent for all of these applications, so I hope you bought an AR if you plan on only having one firearm.
Now let’s dive into 5 items that a new gun owner would appreciate for Christmas. Drop those hints to family, or put it on your own shopping list if you are the “…I want it, so I bought it.” type.
- Wiley X Saber Advanced 3 Lens Shooting Glasses
Shooting is fun and safe when precautions are taken, but not accident-proof. In order to avoid injury from a rare malfunction, precautions should be taken. Wiley X Saber Advanced 3 Lens Shooting Glasses are a fantastic eye protection option for the range-enthusiast. These glasses are adjustable for size and meet safety standards with their selenite polycarbonate lenses. I wear Wiley X glasses and have enjoyed having different lens options for different weather conditions. The range isn’t always sunny, so polarized shades are not always appropriate. On cloudy days, the included orange lens really makes colors pop. On dark days, the clear lens allows 90% light transmission for the lowest impact on your vision.
- Shatterproof Selenite™ Polycarbonate lenses that meet the MIL-PRF-32432(GL) ballistic standards: ANSI Z87.1-2010 high velocity and high mass impact standards: as well as US Federal OSHA 1910.133(b)(1)(1) standards
- Clear lenses provide maximum light transmission allowing wearers to see precise color values. Perfect for hazy or overcast, dusk/dawn conditions, and indoor use. Light transmission: 89%
- Smoke grey lenses provide glare reduction without distorting colors. Excellent in bright/glare conditions. Light transmission 14%-20%
- Light Rust lens enhances medium-low light. Light transmission 53%
- T-Shell™ Lens coating resists scratching
- 100% UVA/UVB protection with distortion-free clarity
- Adjustable take flight nose piece accommodates any face/nose bridge
- Compatible with the PTX Prescription Insert
- $67.00 MSRP
Buy them at Scheels for $53.60 here.
2. Walker’s Silencer Bluetooth Rechargeable Electronic Wireless Earplugs
Like other things with shooting, hearing is “Protect it, or lose it.” There are many options for hearing protection but the most common methods involve shoving things in, or over your ears. As much as I appreciate a quality pair of earmuffs, I’ve found them to be equally inconvenient. They push your head away from the rifle when trying to get a proper cheek rest, they are bulky to pack in a range bag, and they don’t always pair well with shooting glasses. As such, I prefer to use hearing protection of the in-ear variety and Walker’s Bluetooth Rechargeable Electronic Wireless Earplugs are a great choice!
There are many different companies that produce great hearing protection. Walker’s alone has a myriad of options for electronic in-ear plugs. In short, there are a ton of great options but this is the one that I would choose on the current market when weighing both quality and price into the decision. These earplugs amplify sound until it exceeds a threshold, at which it shuts off and acts as an earplug. Perfect for talking with buddies at the range while blazing away in freedom.
- Advanced Digital Circuit
- Performance digital Bluetooth
- 4 Program Settings
- Noise Filtering (Voice Clarity)
- HI Frequency Boost
- Power Boost
- Dynamic Wind Noise Reduction
- Variable Gunshot Suppression
- Auto Shut Off
- Voice Prompts
- USB Charging dock with integrated Lithium Battery
- USB Cable Included
- Includes 3 sizes of Sure-Lock™ sizing fins and 3 sizes of foam tips
- NRR 26
- Average Battery life: 14 hours (4 hours when BT Streaming)
- MSRP $299.99
Buy the Walker’s Silencer at Midway USA right now for $139.99 here.
3. SilencerCo Omega 36M
Suppressors are this mysterious and spendy curio… at least that’s how many people see them. To me, suppressors are extremely useful tools for shooting that are well worth the expense. It’s been proven that the most effective way to save your hearing is through the use of these wonderful little cans and that earplugs alone are not adequate, nor always readily available. In hunting scenarios specifically, there are a small percentage of my peers that take the time to put earplugs in before making a shot. I’m among the few that do my best to use earplugs, but in certain situations, I’ll forgo this step.
Because of their expense, I recommend a “buy once, cry once” approach if you don’t plan on starting a collection. Because of the many options in firearms, I would say that the SilencerCo Omega 36M may just be the best choice on the current market because it can be used in conjunction with handguns of up to 45 caliber and rifles up to 338 lapua.
If you need to know how to buy a suppressor, SilencerCo can help you out with their “How to Buy” link on the website. Long story short, you’ll need to buy the suppressor, have it shipped to an appropriate FFL, fill out a Form 4, submit it and your tax fee, and wait for the approval. It’s a shame that the process is so convoluted, but don’t let this trod on your freedoms and safety.
- 22 hornet to 338 Lapua Magnum
- 5.1″ – 7.6″ total length
- 9.2 – 16.5 oz
- 1.57″ diameter
- 128.9 dB and up muzzle average
- black Cerakote finish
- MSRP $1,187
Buy the Omega 36M at Mile High Shooting for $899 here.
4. Fix It Sticks All-In-One Torque Driver Kit
It’s great to have a toolkit at the range so you can address any issues with your equipment that may arise. The All-In-One Torque Driver Kit by Fix It Sticks is a compact and capable offering. If you want to switch optics or accessories while at the range, the Torque Driver Kit will allow you to remove and then re-attach these items with precision instead of by feel of “thumb tight”, or whatever some may go by. Properly assembled gear is properly functioning gear. When malfunctions do happen though, troubleshooting can easily be performed by disassembling with the All-In-One Torque Driver Kit while still at the range instead of going all the way home, saving valuable time.
- Multi Torque Driver (15 – 65 inch lbs)
- T-Way T-Handle Wrench
- 15 different bits
- 1/2in Socket and 1/4in bit adapter set
- Zippered case with Molded Holder
- MSRP $112
Buy the All-In-One Torque Driver Kit at Optics Planet here.
5. RCBS Explorer Reloading Kit -2
With 9mm ammo skyrocketing in price from $0.13 per round to > $0.50 per round, shooting has really put the hurt on my bank account… and that’s when I can find the ammo to replenish my supply with. Reloading supplies are also hard to find right now, but now might be the time for those ambitious shooters to get into the sub-hobby of reloading so that they can afford to shoot and maintain their supply of bullets during the next election cycle. (For those of you that don’t know, ammo availability and price skyrocket around election years.)
Admittedly, reloading is not the perfect solution to the lack of access to ammunition in current circumstances, but this is the perfect opportunity to get into reloading! When mastered, this skill can help you milk the most potential out of your firearm through maximizing accuracy and increasing your bullet selection.
RCBS has been a trusted manufacturer that dependably produces quality equipment at moderate prices. the RCBS Explorer Reloading Kit is no exception. This kit offers a press, powder thrower, digital scale, powder trickler, hand priming tool, and more. For $399, you get the ability to tailor your bullets to your application and gain the freedom to produce ammunition as you need it (given that you have the components stored up).
- Reloader Special – 5 Press
- Uniflow-III Powder Measure
- 1,500 grain digital pocket scale
- Hand Priming Tool
- Speer #15 manual
- Powder Funnel
- Fold-up hex key set
- Deburring tool
- Case loading block
- Case slick spray lube
- MSRP $399.99
Buy the RCBS Explorer Kit for $349.49 at Optics Planet here.