In addition to terrible sweaters, cast iron fruit cake and your Uncle Earl getting hammered, saying mean-but-true things about mother-in-law and passing out by the fire — again — you can expect to get deluged by endless gift guides as Christmas nears. G&A would never pass up the chance to jump on a bandwagon, but at least our tactical gift guide is interesting and full of stuff you can actually use. Fill your shooting buddy's stocking with Pow! Pow! awesomeness, pass the eggnog and the ammo.
TacStrike Steel Quarter Scale Target System
In the words of a firearms trainer friend of mine, the TacStrike ¼ scale silhouette
will 'humble your ass. ' The plate is a mere 18x9.5 inches, which really makes you double down and follow that front sight or dot during drills. Any bullet slinger can ring up a full-size target, but it takes a focused shooter to smash the ¼ scale target. The small size also makes it very portable at 52 pounds. Cut from near indestructible AR 500 steel, the plate floats inside its carrier to help absorb bullet strikes. Opt for the base with arched feet if you are shooting on uneven ground.
Deployable Systems Pelican Storm FieldPak Rifle Case
Gun cases are gun cases, but the Pelican Storm FieldPak
builds additional function into this essential item. Instead of crappy diced foam, the durable hard-shell case holds a two-rifle soft case sized to fit perfectly. After flying well protected into your battle space, you can ditch the hard case when heading to a final firing point. Completely adjustable, the soft-shell bag is MOLLE compatible inside and can be made to securely hold just about any rifle or carbine under the sun. The hard shell case is made from HPX resin and is watertight with a Vortex valve for equalizing pressure. Six latches lock down the lid which is secured on the back end with one long piano hinge. Padlock hasps are molded into the case and soft-grip handles make a long trip across the tarmac bearable.
Galco M6X Auto Locking Holster
There are lots of expensive, bulky retention holsters and quite a few inexpensive, passive-retention holsters. Until now it was really hard to find a concealable, active-retention holster that was inexpensive. Galco's Matrix line
of injection-molded plastic holster has proven very popular with shooters and is now available with a thumb release lever — located on the inside of the weapon — for guys who want active-retention, concealable holster. Currently available for Glock, SIG and Smith & Wesson duty pistols, the holster's neutral cant is comfortable and fast. The adjustable slots fit 1 ¼- to 2-inch belts.
Kuhl Revolvr Pants
I have railed against wearing tactical clothing out in the real world — in my view it's a great way to volunteer yourself as the first target. But we still need pants that are durable and hold all of daily carry gear. Enter Kuhl
, which got their start building mountain wear. The Revolvr pants, wonderful for those of us living in warmer climes, are made from a lightweight, 5.1-ounce cotton/nylon blend that is durable and breathable. The athletic cut looks good, is anatomically correct, and the spacious, well thought out pockets allow you to carry all your stuff without looking like a tactard.
LaserLyte LT-Pro Pistol Laser Trainer
In a whole catalog of fun and affordable products, the Laserlyte LT-Pro laser trainer
just might be the coolest, useful thing LaserLyte has to offer besides the zombie pistol bayonet. It fits any handgun with a 2-inch or longer barrel and runs the caliber gamut, from .38/9 mm up to .45. The sound-activated device drops down the barrel and is customized for caliber by means of an expanding arbor in the back and tapered front. Each time you drop the hammer or striker on your favorite self-defense pistol, a bright red laser flashes for 100 milliseconds, which I think is close to half a second. Since the device only extends a few millimeters past the muzzle, it will work with your carry holster allowing you to see where your practice shots hit during dry fire and draw-and-shoot drills. The batteries last for 3,000 shots.
M-Pro 7 Advanced Small Arms Cleaning Kit with Leatherman MUT
Every bug-out and range bag should be equipped with field maintenance kit and the SACK absolutely rocks. M-Pro 7
consulted with the military to come up with something that handles just about everything and it fits into a handy, MOLLE-compatible pouch. The high lights include lubricant, cleaner, Bore Snakes, brushes, jags, a cleaning rod, chamber mops, picks, patches — it's all there for mil-spec calibers and weapons. The Leatherman MUT tool has dozens of functions and includes a carbon scraper, bolt override tool, wire cutters, wrench for optics mounting and punches just to name a few and is covered by Leatherman's 25-year warranty. It may be the most versatile, best field maintenance kit ever.
Magpul PMAG 30 GEN M3
Ah, the Magpul PMAG
, the wonderful, plastic PMAG. Just when you thought this little gem of reliable, affordable, AR-feeding wholesomeness couldn't get any better, a new generation appears. The rub against previous models has always been suspect performance in other weapon systems that used AR mags. The new GEN M3 addresses this and works find in FN's SCAR 16/16S, the Marine Corps' M27 IAR, the HK 416 and even Britain's SA-80. Magpul used a newer, tougher polymer and redesigned the bolt catch notch for increased clearance. An over-insertion stop was added and the floor plate reworked for strength and ease of disassembly. Who knew you could pack so much into a $15 piece of plastic?
'Stay in the Fight!! Warriors Guide to the Combat Pistol' Book/DVD Combo
Quite a few of us buy fancy pistols, concealment holsters and uber-bright flash lights but have no freaking clue how to actually use the stuff in a life-or-death fight. Kyle Lamb does, having perfected his techniques during an 18-year career as a Delta assaulter and sniper. If you can't make it to a Vikings Tactics
class, put this book/DVD combo on your list for Santa. Read the book on those cold winter nights by the fire and watch and learn skill-sharpening drills via the two DVDs. Lamb is one of the best firearms trainers in the world and implementing his techniques and practicing the drills he designed will give you an edge when something wicked this way comes.
SOG Tactical Tomahawk
The tactical guy needs to give off the distinct impression that he's modern. No Buck Knives or genuine hickory tomahawks will ever find their way into his personal defense repertoire. In steps the SOG Tactical Tomahawk
to fill this void--a versatile tool built to the specs of the AR crowd. This extreme evolution of the original Vietnam Tomahawk can be used in breaching operations, excavation, obstacle removal, extraction, and other utility applications. The stainless steel head sports a polished satin finish and plays well with the nylon handle, sending the aesthetic value of this cutter through the roof. But looks aren't everything, this thing is built to pound. The tactical guy on your list will find great comfort in going to work with the SOG tomahawk's heavy-duty bolts and steel ferrule as backup.
Slide Fire Colt AR-15: Hydro
OK, so you are probably already well aware of Slide Fire's popular slide stock that can transform your measly semi-auto AR into a rapid-fire attention getter. Up to this point, the Texas-based company has only been known to offer an aftermarket add-on stock. That's all changed with the recent addition of the Slide Fire Colt AR-15: Hydro
, a Colt LE 6920 custom tailored specifically for the Slide Fire stock. The company is nice enough (for a small fee, of course) to have already installed all the items found to work best including the SSAR-15 OGR Hydro Stock, accompanied by ergonomically designed Hydro hand guards. The rifles will also be equipped with a Custom Precision Trigger. The bottom line here is your tactical guy has an out-of-the-box range toy with absolutely no assembly required. That will leave him a lot more time to play.