Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Great Gifts For Shooters

It's Time To Be 'Makin' A List And Checkin' It Twice'

Ah, it's almost that time of year again! Time for my wife to do all the holiday shopping, decorating, cooking, baking, buying and wrapping gifts, etc. I just do the paying.

Since those days will be upon us sooner than you think, here's a list of great gifts for shooters. If there's a shooter in your family (and I sincerely hope there is), something on this list is bound to make him or her happy. If you are the shooter in question, circle the items you would like and leave this in a conspicuous place.

Gun Club Membership

One of the best things I ever bought myself was a membership at Shooters World. There are plenty of perks that make the $400 (for me and my wife) a year worthwhile.

First of all, you don't pay for range time, and you can call and reserve a lane in advance so you never have to wait when you get there. You get discounts on classes and even on everything you buy in the store. To add a third family member is just $60, so we added our grown son.

It's a great deal and between the three of us we save more than enough in range fees to cover the cost, plus we all have classes we want to take. So consider a membership as a gift - it's an awesome thing to have.

Remington Squeeg-E Cleaning System

I got one of these for Christmas last year, and I absolutely love it. It cuts gun cleaning time in half and does an excellent job. No more patches, no more mess - it's the greatest.

You can get the big kit that comes in a zippered bag for around $75 and it will clean pretty much any caliber firearm you're likely to come across. You can also buy a smaller field kit for less than $60. They also have handgun cleaning kits and you can even buy the Squeeg-e parts separately.

Seriously, this is the nicest gun cleaning kit ever. Check them out at Remington.com. You can buy them on Amazon and probably at your local outdoor shop as well.

Hearing Protection

Hearing protection is required at ranges, and shooters should wear hearing protection every time they shoot anyway - it beats hearing damage any day. Those big earmuff things work really well, but they are so bulky that they can really get in the way when you are putting a rifle or shotgun to your shoulder.

EarShield DuoForce Ear Plugs are only about $15 and they are great. I've had a pair for years and I love them. They are double-sided: One side goes in your ear on outdoor ranges and the other on indoor ranges.

They come in a little snap-open plastic case that fits right in your shooting vest pocket and they work really well. Small price to pay to keep your hearing.

Range Bag

There are many brands and sizes of range bags, but one thing to remember when you're buying one is that guns and ammo are heavy. The bigger the bag and the more that is in it, the heavier it is. So you might consider two smaller bags.

Look for one tailored to the kind of shooting you like to do. If it's mostly rifle, then the bag will just be for ammo, tools, a small cleaning kit, etc. If pistols are your thing, you might want a bag with separate compartments for your pistols.

Also consider looking for a place to keep your eye protection where it won't get crushed or scratched, and a place for your hearing protection. Eyes and ears need to be on before you enter the range, so they should be kept handy.

Padded shoulder straps are good. Range bags range in price from less than $25 to well over $100.

Shooting Glasses

It's a fact that different colored lenses help you shoot better, and there are many different colors out there. Red or orange lenses are great for sporting clays, while grey or clear are both good for pistol shooting at targets.

Wiley-X Saber Advanced Shooting Glasses come with three different sets of colored lenses you so can use the ones that suit the conditions best. They are incredibly durable and strong, and good looking to boot.

The Smoke Grey/Light Rust/Vermillion set will run you about $45 on Amazon, and the Smoke Grey, Clear and Light Rust are around $57.

These will last practically forever, and the Saber temples can be adjusted for length or even replaced with a tactical strap. Something these have that no other glasses I've owned have had is foam across the top inside to keep sweat from dripping in your eyes. Awesome!

Absolutely the best shooting glasses I've ever had, and they are great for fishing too. And of course they have UV protection.


Shooting classes are offered at ranges, at the Game and Fish Department, by private instructors, and by organizations like the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the NRA.

A good place to start your search would be your nearest Shooters World, Caswells, or other shooting club. You can also go online to azgfd.gov to see what the Game and Fish has to offer, or visit nssf.org or nrainstructors.org to find classes near you. Some are even free.

This is also a great gift for a youngster who is just starting out. The two of you should go together and I guarantee you'll learn something too. Do a little research and you're sure to find the perfect class at a price you can afford.


No shooter ever has enough ammo. That's a given. So a box or two of ammunition for his or her favorite firearm is sure to bring a smile.

You'll need to know the caliber of the firearm, and then you can go to your local gun store or outdoor shop and you'll find aisles and aisles of ammo. Ask for help if you need to.

The store associate will want to know whether the ammunition is for target practice, hunting, etc. If it's shotgun shells you're after, just know the gauge of the shotgun and what your shooter likes to do.

Sporting clays? Upland? Waterfowl? Have this information before you go, or sneak at peak at what's already in the gun safe and get some more of that.

Prices vary but you can get a box of small caliber practice rounds for as little as $7. Wander around and check it out.

Gift Cards

Some people think that giving gift cards is a bit lame, but trust me on this: your shooter loves to be able to spend money on guns and/or ammo or tools, or cleaning supplies, targets, steady sticks, optics, glasses - the list goes on and on.

What's his favorite store for outdoor stuff? Cabelas, Sportsmans Warehouse, or Bass Pro cards can be used online or in the store. See if your local sporting goods store has gift cards or gift certificates.

It takes a bit of the pressure off you, and gives them a chance to get exactly what they want.


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