Locked and Loaded: The Christmas Wish List for Shooting Enthusiasts

in Authors, Gear Reviews, Mitchell Graf
Locked and Loaded: The Christmas Wish List for Shooting Enthusiasts

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Christmas Wish List Must Haves

As the holiday season approaches, the rush to craft a Christmas wish list and discover ideal gifts for loved ones intensifies. For those seeking gifts that transcend traditional trinkets and treats, I’ve curated a list of items I’ve personally found irreplaceable and believe would make perfect gifts for avid marksmen, hunters, or enthusiasts alike. This Christmas wish list is the result of my own trial and error, thoughtfully assembled with you and your loved ones in mind. So, gear up and join me as I delve into must-have items sure to bring joy to any shooting enthusiast this Christmas.

Paper Targets $5+

While paper targets are nothing exciting, they are useful and affordable. They can be found for around $5 so these could be used as a stocking stuffer, or a few packs could constitute part of a larger gift for a Christmas wish list. These types of targets are great for target practice or sighting in rifles. Which I do often as a firearm enthusiast and writer for GunsAmerica Digest. My favorite type of paper target is the kind shown in the picture below. For those interested, they can be found HERE.

Paper Targets being used for shooting groups with different types of ammo
Paper Targets being used for shooting groups with different types of ammo

Lancer Magazine: $20

If you’re in search of a thoughtful and budget-friendly gift for someone who owns an AR, consider the Lancer Systems magazine. Available in a variety of appealing color schemes, my personal favorite is the FDE translucent option. While having more magazines is always advantageous, these stand out as a premium choice. The translucent design not only adds a stylish touch but also provides the practical advantage of allowing one to easily monitor the remaining rounds, enhancing overall situational awareness. What sets these magazines apart is their incorporation of metal feed lips, offering superior durability compared to the commonly used polymer alternatives in other AR magazines today. Priced at just $20, these magazines are bound to bring a smile to any recipient’s face.

Lancer Systems FDE Translucent 30-round standard capacity magazine
Lancer Systems FDE Translucent 30-round standard capacity magazine (picture from their website)

Cole-Tac Suppressor Cover $55+

One product that is relatively new to me is suppressor covers. While I have shot suppressors without covers for years, I recently started running some and I have found that they provide multiple benefits. The biggest advantage of these covers is that they minimize mirage. Even when shooting only 5 rounds, typically my suppressor gets hot enough that I see the heat waves through my scopes and thermals. This makes precise shooting hard. Adding a suppressor cover significantly reduces this effect and allows for more precise shooting for much longer strings of fire. Suppressor covers also help protect against burns, and are a great addition to any semi-auto platform. I have been running the Cole-Tac HTP suppressor with great success, but their whole lineup can be found HERE.

Cole-Tac suppressor cover mounted up on a SilencerCo Hybrid
Cole-Tac suppressor cover mounted up on a SilencerCo Hybrid

Wheeler Fat Wrench: $60

READ MORE Factory to Table: Part – 4 Cole-Tac Suppressor Cover

As someone who tinkers with a lot of different optics, mounts, and firearms, I have found the Wheeler Fat Wrench to be an essential tool to have at my disposal. Almost every manufacturer has a different specified torque spec for tightening screws. Growing up I would always try to wing it and just get fasteners hand tight. However, this is a great way to strip threads or damage gear. The Fat Wrench is easily adjustable. It has a torque range appropriate for nearly all fasteners used on or in conjunction with firearms. I use this torque wrench multiple times every week and it has proven to be reliable, easy to use, and effective. A solid contender to add or gift as part of a Christmas wish list.

Wheeler Fat Wrench with included bits and case
Wheeler Fat Wrench with included bits and case

Radian Charging Handle: $75+

One most often overlooked features of AR platforms is the charging handle. To me, this can make or break the feel of a rifle. Most standard charging handles are gritty, and harder to grab than a premium aftermarket option such as the Radian RAPTOR. I have a couple of these Radian RAPTOR charging handles and they all have been fantastic. They have longer levers to make it easier to use them, and are made from better materials as well. They also run smoother and allow for ambidextrous use suited for both left and right-handed individuals.

Radian RAPTOR-SD charging handle for AR15's
Radian RAPTOR-SD charging handle for AR15’s

Steel Targets $325+

Last but certainly not least, consider gifting a steel target. The adage that immediately comes to mind is “buy once, cry once.” Although the initial cost may seem steep compared to traditional cardboard or paper targets, the durability of steel targets makes them a lifetime investment. Personally, I’ve relied on AR550 plates from TA Targets for years, and they continue to exceed my expectations. TA Targets sets itself apart by using harder steel than most manufacturers. Their innovative mounting system also redirects spalling safely into the ground, ensuring a much safer shooting experience. After putting thousands of rounds on target, these plates still stand strong.

Beyond their longevity, the beauty of steel targets lies in the elimination of the need for frequent purchases of paper targets for each range visit. Additionally, shooting steel offers numerous advantages, with instant visual and audible feedback being a major highlight. Witnessing the paint chip away and hearing the resonant ring upon impact provides a satisfying and engaging experience. Moreover, when shooting at extended distances, paper targets may lack visibility. However, hits on steel targets are easily seen and heard. Personally, I incorporate these steel targets into every range session, and I have never regretted these purchases. This would definitely be a Christmas wish list dream come true!

TA Targets C-Zone silhouette on the left, ADAP on the right
TA Targets C-Zone silhouette on the left, ADAP on the right

Wish List Conclusion

In crafting this Christmas wish list for shooting enthusiasts, I’ve drawn from my personal experiences and preferences to offer a curated selection of gifts that balance practicality and excitement. Spanning from budget-friendly options like paper targets to premium accessories like the Radian Charging Handle and TA Targets’ Silhouette series, each recommendation promises both widespread appreciation and genuine utility. As a fellow enthusiast, my choices stem from what I consider the most beneficial and memorable items, ensuring that this Christmas becomes a truly gratifying celebration for firearm aficionados.

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