The holiday season is upon us and with that comes the often-difficult task of figuring out stocking stuffers for the loved ones in your life. If you happen to have a new gun owner in your midst, Guns.com has you covered with some solid stocking stuffer ideas for the novice shooter.
1. Spare magazines
Spare mags are an overlooked commodity that definitely come in handy on the range. Everyone knows mag reloads interrupt the fun of shooting, so the addition of a few extra mags lets new shooters spend more time shooting. Spare mags are easily nabbed from aftermarket accessory dealers and local gun shops, usually starting around $15 to $20 each.
Ammunition is always appreciated. Whether you gift one box or twenty, a box of ammo ensures that the loved one in your life can plink away at the range practicing their newly acquired shooting skills. Make sure to ask what kind of gun the novice shooter owns before rushing to grab some ammo, to ensure that you purchase the right caliber. Guns.com suggests full metal jacket rounds for new gun owners as they are the best and most cost-effective way to train at the range.
3. Maglula magazine loader
To go along with that ammo and the spare mags, the Maglula decreases the amount of time and effort required to load mags. Offered in several colors, the Maglula is small enough to throw in a range bag and a handy tool to have on the range. If your new shooter is always complaining about reloading mags or sore thumbs, the Maglula is the perfect gift to place in his or her stocking. The Maglula models are available for both pistols and rifles and can be picked up for around $35.
4. Howard Leight Impact Sport Ear Pro
A good pair of hearing protection makes for a more comfortable range trip. The Howard Leight Electronic Ear Protection delivers an earmuff design equipped with noise cancelling technology. Outfitted with a microphone, the earmuffs enhance speaking voices and natural sounds while dampening sounds above 82 decibels permitting shooters to still hear range commands while protecting their hearing. Available in a bevy of colors, the Howard Leight series of hearing pro is powered by AAA batteries and is priced at $39.
5. Sightlines inserts
If your new shooter already has a pair of decent ear pro, upgrade his or her system with a pair of Sightlines inserts. Available from Noisefighters, the Sightlines replace stock earmuffs providing a cushioned, comfier feel. The inserts also boast a special integrated shelf that aligns with eye protection to relieve the pressure normally associated when earmuff style ear pro meets glasses. Priced at $45 the Sightlines are a must have for gun owners sporting earmuff style hearing protection.
6. Fun targets
While any shooter can plink away at paper, let’s face it, it’s more fun to shoot at targets that offer an engaging, colorful aesthetic. Whether the special person in your life prefers paper or reactive, there’s plenty of options on the market designed to up the fun factor. Birchwood Casey serves up themed paper targets with everything from classic games to animal silhouettes to zombies all for a reasonable price under $20.
If your shooter has access to an outdoor range or shooting venue and wants targets that are a little more challenging, Champion Targets offers reactive targets in the shape of rubber duckies and velociraptors. Champion’s offerings are also priced modestly around $20.
7. Gun cleaning kit
If guns are being fired, then guns need to be cleaned. What better way to help your new shooter out than to provide an easy to use and easy to grab gun cleaning kit packed with all the essentials. A trusted gun cleaning brand, Hoppe’s Deluxe Gun Cleaning Kit features lubricating oil, three-piece brass rod set, four slotted ends, silicone cleaning cloth for .22 and .30 caliber rifles, .38 caliber pistols, and 20 and 12-gauge shotguns. Hoppe’s also includes a “Guide to Gun Care” booklet.
For pistols, the Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit is a must have. The Real Avid kit includes rods, brushes and jags to accommodate .22, .357 Mag, .38 Special, 9mm, .380 ACP, .40 S&W and .45 ACP handguns.
8. First aid kit
A first aid kit is something every range goer and shooter should have on hand. Packed with band-aids, gauze, tape, clotting agent and a tourniquet a well-stocked first aid kit can take care of small bumps and scrapes or major bleeders. For a personalized approach, piece the kit together yourself or for a quick and easy approach nab one online. Pre-made first aid kits start as low as $25 while higher end specialized kits are priced around $70.
The best way to get better at shooting is to learn from the best, so why not gift the new shooter with a class or two. Introductory classes will help familiarize the new gun owner with the tools of the trade as well as establish good handling and habits. Before signing up, research local instructors and schools, read some reviews and give the instructor(s) a call to determine whether the course will be a good fit for the new shooter. Class prices vary by venue and instructor.
10. Range membership
Another good avenue to explore is that of range memberships. Range memberships allow the shooter in your life to frequent the range without shelling out cash each and every trip. If the new gun owner intends to hit the range, as they should, to practice and further their skills a range membership will simplify the process in addition to making it more cost effective. Range memberships, like classes, often vary in price based on location, facility and membership package.
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