OK…there’s HOW many “days ‘til Christmas” and you STILL haven’t squared away (a) what you’re gonna get for the shooters on your Christmas List, or (b) what the people who wanna get YOU gun stuff for the holidays are gonna buy for ya?

OMG…you’ve about run out of time for mail order, ain’tcha?

Not to worry…there’s still time for “someone” to buy “something suitable.”

AMMO: Food. Fuel. Ammunition.  There are basic needs to be considered here.  Ammunition comes in rectangular boxes that are easy to wrap. You live in some benighted place like Illinois, where those who buy gifts for shooters need firearms owners’ ID cards? Heck, get a gift certificate at the local Ammo Emporium.  Which brings us to…

GIFT CERTIFICATES: It’s a loser’s game for guys to buy guns for gals, or anyone to buy guns for anyone else for that matter, unless the “gifter” absolutely KNOWS what the “giftee” wants. Our job is not to make decisions for them: it’s to make sure they get something they WANT.

The gift certificate at the local gun shop fulfills this beautifully.  They may get more ammo cheaper at the Monster Mart, but a gift cert from the local gun shop gives more than just purchasing power.  It introduces the new shooter to EXPERT ADVICE FROM SPECIALISTS, which is an intangible value that’s generally worth far more than the dollar value of the gift cert.  If it’s Christmas Eve and all the gun shops are closed, THEN I’ll go to the 24-hour WalMart and get ‘em a gift certificate. (And, if they’re not into shooting as much as I hope they are, well, they can buy underwear or food or gasoline or some other generic needs with it.) But if the present is at least in part about sharing the values of what has been called the Gun Culture, get the gift certificate from someplace that can give the recipient good advice.  Ammunition and other consumable goods are transient. Good advice is timeless, and that’s what they’ll get at the specialty store, such as a gun shop.

Make the present mean something. A gift of something that can protect the recipient says, “I care about you, and I want you to be safe.” Some people I love will see that when they open what I left for them under their Christmas tree.

May it be so for you, on whichever side of the gift you may be.


  1. My cousin gifted me a 4 day training class last spring and just followed it up with a Gold Membership to the training facility.

    While the training isn’t on the level of MAG group, it was very well done, I learned a lot and this was a great gift.

    Wishing you and yours all the best for a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Mas!

  2. I think one of the most overlooked gifts can be simple gun cleaning and maintenance supplies. These things make GREAT stocking stuffers and you don’t need to be an expert in guns (or licensed) to buy them.

    Here is my list of appropriate maintenance gifts that I give (and I LOVE to get) and my reasoning behind them:

    These things are just so useful. Even if you don’t use them for regular cleaning, they are great to have in the field. All a person needs to know is the caliber(s) of the guns owned and you can get an appropriate boresnake. If your like me, you never end up washing them, so you use them over and over until you just throw them out. That’s why it’s great to have several.

    Hoppes #9:
    Yes, there are plenty of others…but nothing says “Guns” like the smell of Hoppes! Even if you don’t use it…you should have a bottle of it somewhere. Its like serving cranberries at Thanksgiving even if you don’t like cranberries…tradition is just that important. And of course, did I mention the smell…?

    Non-aerosol Lubricant:
    Cleaning, lubricating, surface coating, etc., we literally live with this stuff. It is to guns what water is to humans.

    While it is (somewhat) caliber specific (not to the degree of boresnakes), we go through these things faster than anything. Oh and buy the big bulk bags of them because we all like getting a big, pillow-sized bag of patches. The only thing better is a big pallet full of ammo.

    Silicone Cloths:
    Another item we always seem to have laying around…and almost without exception, the ones we have are old and filthy.

    Gun Rug/Mat:
    Yeah, we all used the newspaper on the kitchen table at one point or another. We also all learned that the folds in the newspaper suck in all the small, disassembled parts like a magnet and hide them better than Blackbeard’s treasure. A gun rug is just great for protecting the table surface below it and the gun/gun parts above it. The rug surface keeps all those small parts from disappearing into the black hole/time warp that is also responsible for all those missing socks, Bic pen caps and keys. Plus, like the boresnake, you probably never wash them either…so having a few new ones is always a good thing.

    Big Tackle Box:
    Who here isn’t guilty of keeping all your maintenance/cleaning supplies in some old, stained cardboard box? Go ahead, raise your hand if you never done this. OK, everyone else, look at the liars raising their hands…
    An oversized tackle box, or even an artist’s art supply box is one of those things you never remember to buy…but once you have it, you wonder how you got along without it. This is easily the MOST useful thing you can have for keeping you supplies organized and accessible.

    Squeeze Bottles:
    This is one of those things that work really good for us and is never available at the gun store but is so useful. You get them at the crafts store…and if you’re like me, whenever you get dragged into one, you’re not thinking about squeeze bottles. No, you probably are just going through the motions and hoping it ends real soon before the pain becomes unbearable. Kind of like root canal…just less pleasant. Well, fear not because now you have a good reason to go…buy a bunch of small squeeze bottles. These things are GREAT for keeping your big supply of solvents from becoming contaminated and for putting the solvent EXACTLY where you want it. Just remember to get a Sharpie to mark the bottles so you know what is in what bottle. Unless its Hoppes….because, you know, the smell…

  3. That’s good advice. I don’t know any shooters who wouldn’t be happy getting more ammunition, especially at today’s prices. The same is true for reloading components if the recipient is a reloader.

    Also, don’t forget about gun books, gun magazine subscriptions, & gun videos, all of which can be found locally in most places on a moment’s notice. Most book stores will have a selection of gun books in the sports section & gun magazines on the newsstand. Even the grocery stores here have gun magazines on the newsstand, including a lot of interesting “special” or “annual” publications. Buy the current issue to wrap as a present for the recipient to open & send in the subscription card for a gift subscription to add on to it. You can even call in a gift subscription (or a renewal) for the recipient on the telephone or order it over the internet, if you are pressed for time.

    A lot of gun stores will have even more to choose from, including firearms instructional, hunting, & self-defense DVD’s. My local gun store has so many to choose from, on a wide variety of topics, that it would be hard not to find something of interest to anyone who is a shooter.

    Fortunately for me, my brothers, my brother-in-law, & I all like the same things, so gift buying for them is easy. I know that they will like anything that I like & vice versa. And, even though we are all buying things for ourselves year round, it’s amazing how often we surprise each other with gifts of things that we never knew existed.

  4. Dear Masssd,
    Gift certificates are great , as are NRA memberships
    I have enjoyed your writing for decades…thank you
    Merry Christmas and a great new year

  5. In your last blog post you missed the mark on one count. Give the gift of training give them their CCW or the next level of training. Some years ago my dad and I agreed to give each other better gifts. So last year for Christmas I took my dad to a class at Range Master he paid off my NRA life membership.

    If you have guns and ammo memberships and training are the next gift on the list!

  6. My brothers are getting Hornady Zmax Zombie Ammo this year. Cause , as the big brother I am always looking out for them!!

  7. I’m giving my father and little brother memberships to the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Leaque (as well as joining myself). We’re very difficult to buy for and this will cover me for many years with just re-upping them!

    In the past I’ve both given and received ammo. It’s something that I’m sure will happen again too.

    Merry Yule (and no, I’m no offended by Merry Christmas as I say it as well).

  8. M and the rest:

    Don’t forget holsters (or Clipdraws)…ammo and cleaning supplies are useless if there’s no way to carry those guns in the first place!

    Merry Christmas, ya’ll!


  9. Belated Merry Christmas to you!

    I gave a select family member and select friend stripped AR-15 lowers. While they are indeed “legally” receiving a firearm from me, they can build it into anything they want, so long as it will work on the given frame. It’s a win-win, if you ask me.