It's the holidays, and the shooters I know have gift giving (and receiving) on their mind. Yet, we all have a budget, right? But what if you won the lotto, (don't we all wish?) and you could go shopping for anything?
We followed that fantasy about as far as we could take it. Here are seven of our top picks for gifts we think would make any shooter, well€¦very merry indeed.
1. The Ultimate Shooting Range
Tired of waiting in line at your local gun range or having hot brass rain down on you from the guy in the next shooting stall? Here's a simple solution. Have the folks at Shooting Range Industries, LLC put their design and modular building expertise to work to create a custom shooting range just for you.
Shooting Range Industries, LLC's modular shooting range systems come complete with shooting stalls, bullet traps, target retrieval systems, ceiling guards, lighting and high-tech ventilation systems. They also come in various lengths (from 40 to 500 feet) and can be fully customizable to your needs.
Air quality is a big concern with indoor ranges, but SRI's modular ranges eliminate those worries by using HVAC air filtration systems that meet all OSHA, NIOSH and EPA safety standards.
Best of all, Shooting Range Industries, LLC's ranges can be delivered in 90 to 180 days, depending on what you order, and they can be assembled onsite in no time.
Shooting Range Industries, LLC ranges are safe and built to the highest standards, which is why so many law enforcement agencies and military units use them. Check out the video below and see how the company builds its custom ranges.
Cost: Base price is $132,000.
2. Home At The Range
All of you who regularly attend benchrest matches know that in addition to what goes on out on the range, there's a whole lot of fun that happens out in the parking lot, where shooters entertain, reload, clean and tinker with their rifles — right in their own RV. To be honest, it's a toss up as to which is more impressive, the ultra-accurate rifles shooters tote to the line (like fine thoroughbreds) or the rigs they "camp out" in.
Now you can be the envy of everyone when you roll up at The Shamrock (one of the great benchrest competitions held on the weekend following St. Patrick's day in [you knew it was coming] Dublin, GA) in the EarthRoamer XV-LT.
But let me warn you. This rig has about as much in common with a standard RV as Motel 6 has with the Ritz Carlton. Stepping inside the EarthRoamer is like entering the cabin of a luxury yacht. Everything is completely custom — entertainment systems, multiple wood choices, stainless-steel fridge, deep sink, tiled backsplash areas, built-in wine storage — the works! And the choices are mind-boggling. For those who like to "rough it," now you can do it in style.
Cost: Prices for the EarthRoamer XV-LT range from around $366,000 to $500,000, but hey, we said money was no object, remember?
3. World's Most Expensive Shotgun
OK, you know it can get crazy expensive in a hurry when you're talking fine shotguns custom built to your specifications. But I was frankly amazed when a May 5, 2015 online article written by Michael Yardley of The Field, noted that the most expensive shotgun was not made by Purdy, Holland & Holland, Boss or even Peter Hofer, but by Fabbri.
This gorgeous over/under (the company only makes 20 each year) shows sophistication and true craftsmanship at every point, from the incredible metalwork and engraving to the gorgeous wood and delicate checkering.
Shooting a Fabbri may not make you a better shot, but you probably won't feel as bad having one of these in your hands when you miss.
Cost: Prices from 138,000 pounds ($209,836 U.S. dollars) for an all-stainless gun and 150,000 pounds ($228,083 U.S. dollars) for one with a titanium action, which reduces the weight by about a pound.
Delivery usually takes four to five years — plenty of time to sharpen up your follow-through on those tough crossers.
4. One Wild Double-Barrel Handgun
OK, we all love .45s. Heck, everyone should own one. But now you can double down on your .45 shooting fun with the AF2011 Dueller from Arsenal Firearms. This unique double-barrel 1911 (available in .45 ACP and .38 Super) is a serious sidearm for shooters and collectors who really want to own a piece of history.
Cost: Contact the manufacturer via their website for pricing.
5. A Lifetime Supply of .45 Ammo
Now that you have the ultimate double-barrel 1911, why not go all the way and simply ask for a lifetime supply of .45 ammo to go with it? Federal offers a selection of loads and bullet styles under their Premium Personal Defense line to fit anyone's needs. Here's where the math gets fun.
If you shot one 50-round box a week, that would amount to 2,600 rounds each year. Statistics vary, but the average lifespan of the American male is pegged at about 75 years (add 8 to 10 additional years for women). If you started shooting your .45 at birth (and I'm convinced some of my shooting buddies actually did), you'd shoot 195,000 rounds of ammo in a lifetime. OK, stick with me. I found a 50-round box of .45 ACP Federal Premium 230-grain JHP HST selling online for $43.50.
Cost: Taking our total lifetime number of rounds (195,000) and dividing that by 50 rounds per box, you'd shoot 3900 boxes in a lifetime. Your total ammo expense? $169,650.
Sure you could put that money into stock or your IRA, but think of all the shooting fun you'd miss.
6. Your Own MRAP
Assuming the military would actually allow someone to purchase one, (Remember, you can dream here), owning your own fully outfitted MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle would be very cool. Developed to counter run-ins with mines and hidden roadside explosive devices, the MRAP is tough and is perhaps the ultimate off-road vehicle.
Capabilities include being able to drive 30 miles at 30 mph with two flat tires and driving another kilometer following a 7.62 round to the engine/oil/coolant/hydraulic system. Best of all, the roof turret can be mounted with a M240 machine gun, MK-19 grenade launcher or TOW anti-tank guided missile!
Cost: In an article published online a while back, CNN quoted a report from the Army that put the cost of an MRAP somewhere between $430,000 and $900,000 — and that was before the vehicle was fully armed and equipped. Given inflation and adding the costs of getting one of these vehicles fully tricked out, you can bet today's price is somewhere well north of $1 million. That's a tidy sum even for a fantasy budget, but think of it this way: You'll never have to pay for AAA roadside service again.
7. A weekend hunt shooting mini guns from helicopters
Dillion Aero, Inc. is the maker of the famed M134 Minigun. Currently, these guns are deployed on a wide variety of platforms, from military helicopters and gunships to Army vehicles to Navy destroyers.
The standard M134D has six barrels and is capable of spitting out 3,000 rounds of 7.62mm NATO per minute. That's a ton of firepower.
Now, think about how fun it would be to head to South Texas for a weekend of wild pig and coyote hunting with the Dillion team firing the M134D from a helicopter!