Gift Ideas for the Tactically Inclined
With Thanksgiving behind us there’s one thing we can all count on – incessant Christmas music in every store. Another thing I always hear during this season: my wife saying “you are so hard to buy Christmas gifts for.” If you hear the same complaint I am here to help. This article showcases products from 10 companies for you or your Second Amendment friends. I’ve personally used gear from these companies for years. Gift suggestions range from $14 to $450 so there’s something for everyone. Hand this list to your significant other and have a Top Ten Tactical Christmas!
Black Rifle Coffee
What coffee did you think would be recommended in a Tactical Christmas article? Black Rifle Coffee Company recently celebrated its five year anniversary as a veteran owned and operated company. They sell coffee and a whole bunch of cool tee shirts, mugs, and other stuff. Their success has been much more about great coffee than slick marketing, but they do have some great marketing (get a better idea here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnhTGM083kfLSNfRSmQjAzg). Black Rifle coffee is absolutely some of the best coffee available. They are a “roast to order” coffee company, meaning when you order it they roast it and ship it to you. This isn’t some coffee that’s been stuck in a warehouse somewhere. No, it’s fresh and rich and wonderful. Hipsters didn’t invent coffee, and Black Rifle Coffee Company proves that every day. Get someone on your list a bag of AK47, Just Black, or Freedom Fuel and thank me later. If you want to go over the top for yourself or your loved one then do what I do – join the BRCC coffee club. That way delicious BRCC coffee will show up every month to your door. Coffee is $14/bag and up, tee shirts $19.99 and up, and hats are $27 and up. www.blackriflecoffee.com
5.11 Tactical makes all kinds of quality gear that is highly functional. I’ve been wearing their jeans and Stryke pants for years and they are by far my favorites. 5.11 also makes packs of all sizes and shapes. When traveling, the SOMS (Some of My Stuff) wheeled duffle is a great example of 5.11 functionality. With three zippered external pockets, a massive central cavity, and an adjustable divider there is room to keep all of your clothing and gear organized. The SOMS has beefy wheels, skid plates, lockable YKK zippers, and is made from water-resistant 1050D nylon and 1680D ballistic nylon. There are also compression straps and a retractable pull handle. Travel with the SOMS and you won’t be wondering which black roller bag is yours at the luggage carrousel. SOMS run $275-360 depending on size and model. Another great 5.11 bag is any of the AMP series. AMP stands for All Mission Pack and refers to the Gear Set add ons that are used to customize the pack to the mission at hand. Going to the range? Just connect the Gear Set bags that you have set up for range work. Going on a hunt? Swap out Gear Set bags for that. Need a Bug Out Bag? The AMP has you covered. Gear Set types include pouches, double pouches, MOLLE panels, helmet carriers, and more. There’s even a “Stuff it” Gear Set that serves as a place to quickly stow an extra layer or whatever. The AMP retails for $90-180 depending on size and Gear Sets run $25-50. www.511tactical.com
Send iT Electronic Scope Level
There are a few items in my gear collection that bring a smile to my face every time I use them – suppressors for example. One product that always makes me happy when I use it is the Send iT scope level. This level may be mounted on a rifle to ensure there is no cant that will affect long range accuracy. The electronics on the Send iT are much more accurate than a bubble style level, and the color LED indicators are bright and easy to see. In fact, the shooter can see the level out of peripheral vision, thus never having to take his eyes off the scope picture while maintaining a perfectly level rifle for the shot. That’s only half of the value of the Send iT. It is ideal for installing scopes in a scope mount correctly the first time. Many times while testing optics and rifles over the past couple years I have used the Send iT for exactly that function. It cuts the time down to nearly nothing and it gives a professional result every time. Jeff Cramblit did a full review of the SendiT in GunsAmerica here: https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/send-it-level-review/ Your tactical significant other will be pleased beyond belief should you put this under the Christmas tree. $189-$229 depending on model. www.long-range-arms.myshopify.com
Celtic Shield Minimalist Wallet
Celtic Shield is a veteran founded company that makes metal minimalist wallets and other items “in the USA for barrel chested Americans!” If you are like me, you simply won’t carry a fat wallet with a bunch of stuff in it. Celtic Shield wallets are slim and compact. The two metal sides and two elastic straps firmly hold your credit cards and some folded cash. This is a much better way to go than walking around with loose credit cards and cash flopping around in your pocket. If you still have a credit card with RFid technology, these wallets will shield your card’s data from identity thieves. I’ve been carrying one of these wallets for the last two years and it’s great. They also make versions with a money clip if you are so inclined. But there’s more. Celtic Shield produces these wallets in customized versions for all of our military branches, including distinguished service groups. Finally, there is a challenge-coin-holding version so you can always be ready to buy drinks at the bar (or not). $60-$100 depending on options. www.celticshield.com
Magpul’s magazines for black rifles are so popular it’s unlikely anyone reading this doesn’t have several (except you people in the Republik of New Jersey). Magpul makes other products that all the tactically inclined people on your list will love. Magpul’s iPhone cases are functional and great looking. They mimic the raised rib design of their popular magazines and come in several colors ($35 online). Magpul’s sunglasses have been a hit for a long time. The lenses and frames are ballistic rated Z87+ and MIL-PRF 32432 to provide excellent protection for the shooting sports. This past year Magpul came out with the Summit, which is a close fitting model with rubber gripping on the temples. The stems are thin for use with ear protection and they come in polarized or regular lenses. They are a swept back design, so they stay on your face whether you are running a 3-gun course or chasing chukars ($149). Finally, Magpul has their DAKA pouches to keep your smaller items organized and protected. The pouches are tough and sport YKK water resistant zippers. With several colors to choose from anyone can come up with a system to stay organized. There’s even a see through windowed version. $19-$40 www.magpul.com
Ranger Up Gear
What Christmas would be complete without some irreverent gear from a company founded by red blooded freedom fighting Americans? Ranger Up was founded by West Pointer Nick Palmisciano in 2006 while trying to entertain some ROTC students with funny themed tee shirts he had made. Somehow Tim Kennedy (UFC champion, Green Beret, sniping over achiever) got involved in the company as well. In any case, Ranger Up makes provocative military themed tee shirts, coffee mugs, and whiskey glasses. Military service or not, your loved one deserves something from Ranger Up. I personally have zero military experience and that hasn’t stopped me from buying dozens of tee shirts from Ranger Up over the years. Is your man a little less than “High Speed, Low Drag” these days? Embrace it and give him a Medium Speed, Some Drag coffee mug! ($20) Or how about a classic Ranger Up whiskey glass ($20)? Finally, to truly celebrate our military’s recent achievements get someone on your Christmas list a Zero Bark Thirty tee shirt to commemorate the greatest game of fetch ever played ($30). www.rangerup.com
Leupold RX-2800 Laser Range Finder
Laser range finders are critical tools for long range engagements in competition and hunting. They are indispensable for collecting ballistic data about one’s rifle. I never hunt coyotes without my rangefinder in spite of most shots being 100 yards or less. When I get to a stand I immediately measure the point-blank-range zone with my range finder. That way I can react quickly and accurately when opportunity knocks. Rangefinders have improved significantly in recent years. In 2019 I picked up the Leupold RX-2800 and I couldn’t be more impressed. It is small, ergonomically designed, accurate, and fast. It fits in a small pocket of my chest rig, but would easily fit in the pocket of my bibs or the thigh pocket of any cargo pants. Per Leupold the RX-2800 ranges objects to within ½ a yard out to 2800 yards. It is waterproof and has a built in 1/4×20 threaded socket. There are three reticles to select and the True Ballistic Range is calculated to account for shooting angle. www.leupold.com $375-$450 at online retailers.
This is the best bet for a Christmas gift. Everybody needs more ammunition. Another safe bet is Fiocchi ammunition, and safer still is Fiocchi Extrema .223 ammunition with 50 grain Hornady VMAX bullets. This is the first type of ammunition I try on all new black rifles because I have yet to find a black rifle that doesn’t shoot it accurately. $18.50-$25 per 50 depending on source.
Sheepdog Response offers defensive training in shooting and grappling disciplines (see full review here https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/sheepdog-response/). They also offer lots of useful gear. One thing that is inexpensive and may well save a life is a tourniquet. Sheepdog Response sells the RATS tourniquet for about $19, and the CAT tourniquet for about $30. Give one to everyone in your family, learn how to use it, and then practice. www.sheepdogresponse.com
Everyone needs another flashlight, and the Led Lenser MT10 is a top performer. Led Lenser is probably the best flashlight company you haven’t heard of. Their US operation is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, but their engineering is in Germany where the company began. The MT10 is compact (five inches long and 5.5 ounces), but it is mighty, giving up to a full 1000 lumens. It has three illumination levels and a patented Advanced Focus System that lets you switch from a wide flood to a concentrated spot in a second. It casts a uniform circle of light when in the wide mode. The edges of the circle are sharp rather than just bleeding off gradually. It uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery that runs the light for 144 hours and charges in six hours. I’ve been using mine for over a year and I love it. $79.95 at www.ledlenserusa.com