Gun Enthusiasts Guide: Holiday Gift Ideas

Buying a gift for the firearm enthusiast in your life isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do.  Often times gun folks and people that are self-defense minded are fairly particular in the items that they trust their life to.  With good reason of course.  So what is a person to do?  I have worked to put tighter a list of items that make sense for those that enjoy firearms, personal defense and everything else that goes with it.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Gun Enthusiasts and Self-Defense Minded People

Take a look through and see what gifts might strike the fancy of those in your life that would appreciate a firearm or self-defense related gift.

Brownell’s Personal Defense Holiday Gift Catalog

Gift Center for self-defenseBrownell’s is a great family owned Second Amendment supporting company that has a great track record for customer service.  This year in preparation they have developed a series of holiday gift catalogs for folks to browse and buy.  They are all available online at this link to the Brownell’s Holiday Gift Center.  The gift center includes categories for the sportsman, the black rifle enthusiast, the gunsmith, the survivalist, the competition shooter and other more specific categories.  This is the perfect place to go if you are “window shopping” for the personal defense minded individuals in your life.

Of course, my favorite is the Personal Defense category which you can find by following this link.  It looks like each day items change to some degree so it probably makes sense to check back now and again to see what might strike your fancy.

Concealed Carry Gloves

Holiday gifts for gun people don’t have to be complicated or expensive.  A self-defense holiday gift can be as simple as a pair of gloves.

As old man winter starts to make his move in parts of the U.S. it makes sense to start thinking about winter wear if you haven’t been forced to already.  One of the areas that many of Safety Solutions Academy’s students face a serious challenge when it comes to cold wether concealed carry is what to wear on your hands.  It poses a complicated situation because if you select gloves to keep your hands warm it can be difficult to draw and fire your handgun.  On the other side of the coin, if you select hanger for shooting it often leaves a bit to be desired when it comes to keeping your digits warm.

When it is cold enough that I need a real glove on I often simply have to face the facts that concealed carry and gloves don’t fit.  If it is super cold out and I’m going to be outside for a long time I face a 100% chance of a cold injury to my hands and a very low percentage of facing a violent criminal threat.  As a result, I make sure I am wearing my gloves.  If I face a threat, my strong hand glove is going to have to come off before I draw my handgun from concealment.  I can live with the odds on this one.

Over the years hear on the North Coast I have found a couple of gloves that seem to do a nice job balancing performance in cold weather and concealed carry.

Mechanic Wear Original Insulated Glove

Concealed Carry GlovesThe first glove that I have come to prefer comes from Mechanix.

In particular I like the Mechanix Wear Original Insulated Glove.  They do a great job of striking that balance between warmth and dexterity and add in a level of durability that is appreciated when I am outside trying to get some work done in rough weather.  These are my go to gloves for when I’m splitting and stacking wood, loading the truck or anything where my gloves need the ability to resist wear.  The Mechanic Wear Original Insulated Glove is a work glove and I appreciate that aspect.

There are really two shortcomings to note.  The first is that the hook and loop closure seems to be a bit weak.  The second is a problem that many gloves face.  The inability to use your touch screen devices without removing the gloves.  There are some gloves that avoid that problem.

Like any glove that is likely to be good for shooting it also sacrifices on the end of warmth ignorer to perform on the gun so don’t count on their glove keeping your digits toasty in the Yukon Territory while you are mushing coordinates to an undercover Eskimo.

Head Multi-Sport Gloves with SensaTEC-Black

touchscreen glovesThe Multi-Sport Gloves with SesnaTEC from Head are my typical go to gloves when I am out and about.  I put them on when I go for a walk or a run, and they are my standard fare unless I am planning on spending an extended time outside in cold weather or I am taking care of work where a bit of durability might be required of the gloves.

The greatest advantage of the Head Multi-Sport Gloves with SensaTEC is the fact that a conductive fabric is used in the index finger tip and the tip of the thumb of the glove.  The conductive fabric allows electricity to pass from one portion of your devices capacitive screen to another just like your skin does.  The result is convenience that helps you get that text answered more quickly, allows you to grab the call before it goes to voice mail and keep your fingers warm at the same time.

With gloves with conductive technology no more unlocking your phone with the tip of your cold nose!

The Head Multi-SPort Gloves with SensaTEC strike a great balance.  It is easy to feel what you are touching and the relatively tight fit gives good dexterity and yet they will keep you fairly warm on a walk, on a run or even the shopping trip on a really cold day.

Hatch TUG-100-10 Technician Touchscreen Utility Glove

Touchscreen glovesThe Hatch Technician Touchscreen Utility Gloves are the best looking of the bunch.  If you need something to wear with more formal attire these might do the job nicely.

If you spend a lot of time outside and carry a gun this glove is for you.  If you work in iaw enforcement or the emergency medical services you might even decide to wear this glove year round.  It provides some protection for your hands from the elements and whatever disgusting juices scum might have on them when you treat them or pat them down.  In addition, because the are touchscreen compatible you can use your smart phone to make a call, send a message or log information without removing the glove.

My favorite aspect of the Hatch Technician Touchscreen Utility glove is that Hatch has integrated the conductive material into the back of the index finger knuckle as well as the index finger tip and the thumb tip.  This allows you to tap the screen with the potentially clean knuckle instead of the probably contaminated digit tips.

Quick Access Gun Safe

If you have a defensive gun owner in your home, you can’t go wrong with a gift from the safety genre.  Quick access gun safes allow you to stage a defensive handgun so that it is easily accessible should you need to depend on it for the defense of your family yet at the same time it is secured in a way that makes it relatively inaccessible to the unauthorized users that may gain access.  A quick access gun safe keeps you safe by having a defensive handgun ready and at the same time out of reach of those that could use it to harm themselves or others.  It is never a bad idea to think about safety and even if your intended gift receiver already has a quick access safe, they could use another.

Hornady RAPiD Safe


Quick access handgun safeThis is the safe that my family and I count on when it comes to staging your home defense handgun from both angles of the security and accessibility of your defensive handgun.  I really prefer the RAPiD Safe from Hornady over other quick
access safes for a couple of important reasons:Quick access gun safe

  1. It allows for multiple entry options.
  2. The RAPiD Safe is tamper resistant to ATSM standards.
  3. Hornady RAPiD Safe keeps the trigger covered while your handgun is staged

Quick access guns afe
I’m actually interested in another Hornady RAPiD Safe, it is that good.

Gunvault SpeedVault SVB500

Quick Access gUn safeIf you are looking for a storage solution that allows the gun to be stored vertically the Gunvault SpeedVault SVB500 could be the answer.  The SpeedVault SVB500 has both side and rear mounting options which makes it suitable for many different locations such as on a wall, under a desk or even on a bed frame.  Like the Hornady RAPiD Safe, the trigger guard is covered while the handgun is staged in the safe.  The biggest disadvantage to the Gunvault Speedvault SVB500 is that the only two access options are a key or biometric fingerprint.Speedvault SVB500

Gun Storage Lock Boxes

If you are interested in safety (and you should be) but the price tag of the quick access safes is a bit intimidating, consider a lock box for defensive handgun storage.  A lock box fits in a different niche from the quick access safes.  A lock box is a place to store you defensive handgun.  Because we are talking storage, you don’t need to consider quick access.  A lock box is for when you will not be using your gun.  As a result, you can do away with the fancy technology for access and look to inexpensive and simple security like keys and combinations.  This reduces the cost of  gun storage lock boxes considerably.

Hornady Security ArmLock Box

hornady Security ArmLockHornady really seems to want to be an overachiever when it comes to their storage and staging solutions for defensive handguns and the Hornady Security ArmLock Box is no different.  It is built from a heavier gauge steel than is typical for inexpensive handgun lock boxes and is designed to be tamper resistant just like it’s fancier cousin, the Hornady RAPiD Safe.  It integrates with a steel locking arm that replaces the typical cable found on most boxes and this increases it’s security significantly.

Safety, security in a superbly built package and yet the price point on amazon is only $29.99.  The Hornady Security ArmLock Box is a winner.

GunVault NV200 NanoVault

Gunvault Nano Lock BoxThe main advantage of the lock boxes like the GunVault NanoVault is the weight.  This box isn’t as secure as the Hornady Security ArmLock Box but it is lighter.  This makes it a great lockbox to use for air travel.  In fact, this is the box I use to secure my defensive handguns inside my suitcase when I fly commercially.

Black Rifle Gifts

Everyone has a black rifle these days and that makes the accessories for Ar-15 pattern rifles (and their AR-10 big brothers) a sure winner.  Brownell’s has a gift area specifically for the AR-15 enthusiast take a look there for some great values.Christmas gifts for gun owners

Here are some of my favorites and maybe even a few that are on my list…

Aero Precision RifleChristmas Gift Rifle
Yup.  I bought my dad a rifle for Christmas.  No worries, he doesn’t read my blog so he will be surprised.  It is perfectly legal to purchase a gun as a gift for another person and if you look at the ATF’s form 4473 it explains that clearly in the instructions for question 11.a.  Keep in mind that the gift needs to be legitimate meaning that if you give the gun as a gift and then expect a gift of cash of the same amount in return you are simply making a straw purchase and that is against the law.  Don’t do it.AR-15 Christmas Gift


So I selected this rifle because it is an excellent value.  I didn’t have to pay for any of the parts of the rifle that I am going to take off and customize.  It comes without furniture and this makes it the perfect build gun.  It is going to be a fun project and I will keep you posted as the project progresses.

Rifle Optics

If you have an AR-15 and you don’t have an optic on the top of it, you might be doing it wrong.  Take a look at these time tested winners.

Trijicon MRO

Miniature Redot OpticThe Trijicon MRO is the new kid on the block and seems to be showing well in a competitive market and at a solid price point.  I particularly like the thoughtfulness that went into the design of the MRO. MRO stands for Miniature Reddot Optic and it lives up to its name.  The Trijicon MRO is a 2 MOA dot with zero magnification which makes it a superb optic for home defense or professional use with law enforcement or military.  The MRO is the optic I choose to put on top of my dad’s Christmas rifle, and as I’m rebuilding mine, I’m seriously considering it.

Aimpoint Micro T-2

Red dot OpticReleased in 2015 the Aimpoint Micro T-2 is considered by many to be the gold standard of rifle optics.  Thought the price point is up there, it is an outstanding optic and few would ever turn up their nose at an Aimpoint under the tree.  An Aimpoint Micro T-2 would be an upgrade for any zero magnification red dot optic.

Rifle Accessories


Ar-15 Folding stock adapterThis might be one of the coolest AR-15 accessories out there.  It allows the AR-15 and AR-10 pattern rifles to be stored and transported in a much more compact form.  When installed the Law Tactical Folding Stock Adapter allow your rifle to be folded at joint between the buffer tube and the lower receiver with the simple push of a button.  This makes your rifle shorter and easier to store and transport.

You guessed it.  I want one of these!

folding stock adapter for the ar-15You can see a detailed video of how the Law Tactical Folding Stock Adapter works and how it should be installed here.

AXTS Raptr Charging Handle

Ambidextrous ar-15 charging handleOne of the most  frustrating aspects of the AR-15 rifle is the complexity of it’s manual of arms.  The small buttons, latches and levers can make the gun more difficult to operate than it needs to be especially when wearing gloves, dealing with cold weather or the stress of a violent encounter.  Swapping out the charging handle can go a long ways toward making your rifle easier to use.  The AXTS Raptr charging handle replaces the original design of a mall latch on the left side of the charging handle with a large wing on each side of the charging handle.  It doesn’t matter what part of the charging handle you make contact with, the design of the AXTS Raptr makes sure that you can manipulate the charging handle when you need to.

The super simple design makes the Raptr easy to use and it is a drop in part so it can be in place before your eggnog gets warm.


In my mind, books remain an amazing tool for learning.  If you think about the cost of a book and the fact that you can refer back to it again and again, examining it from different angles it is hard to beat the value of reading.  Below are some authors and some books that I think might be worth your time.  You can follow the links to learn more about the books.

Massad Ayoob

Massad Ayoob is one of the foremost experts on the legal aspects of self-defense and offers almost half a century of experience as an author in the world or self-defense and personal protection.  His books are worth reading and serve as an excellent precursor to attendance to the Massad Ayoob Group MAG-20 and MAG-40 Courses that Safety Solutions Academy hosts each year.

Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense

Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry

Rob Pincus

Rob is one of the more active defensive professional defensive firearms instructors in the field today.  Rob is the creator of the Combat Focus Shooting program, the executive editor of the Personal Defense Network and the owner of I.C.E. Training Company.  Rob’s teachings are conceptually solid and make a good foundation for those that are new to defensive handguns and a quality evaluation tool for those that have been involved for years.  I pay attention to what Rob says when it comes to personal defense.

Defend Yourself: A Comprehensive Security Plan for the Armed Homeowner

Combat Focus Shooting: Evolution 2010

Counter Ambush: The Science of Training for the Unexpected Defensive Shooting

Grant Cunningham

I contributed several drills to this book that was written by Grant.

Handgun Training – Practice Drills For Defensive Shooting

Lou Chiodo

One of the most influential early influences on my defensive thinking was Lou Chiodo.  If you can find a copy his book Winning a High-Speed, Close-Distance Gunfight inmost definitely worth the read.

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