It's An X-Ring Christmas

GUNS Shooter’s Gift Guide
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Christmas comes but once a year they say. But if you do it right, once a year is more than enough. To use an overworked, semi-obnoxious piece of terminology, if you are “gifting” someone who is a shooter, gun guy or basic-issue outdoorsman, your task is made easier by one inarguable fact. Such folks are gonna insist on useful gizmos—whether they’re time honored and traditional, or New Age high-tech.

Here are some items we recommend to liven the sacred gift-giving ritual we all enjoy. But let’s call things what they are. You’ll never hear “Happy Holidays” here. So, Merry Christmas.

Federal Match .22 LR

It’s always the “right Christmas” to celebrate—even belatedly—the end of the “Great .22 Rimfire Ammo Shortage.” And there wouldn’t be a better way to do it than to give the shooter on your list a 500-round brick of Federal Premium .22 Long Rifle Hunter Match ammo. Featuring a 40-grain Match HP bullet, this stuff clocks right at 1,200 fps and would make a great small game/target/plinking “do it all” load. $59.95 (500 rounds). Federal Premium Ammuntion, 1 Vista Way, Anoka, MN 55303, (800) 379-1732.

Stevens 301

Santa himself couldn’t think of a more practical gift than a name brand, inexpensive single-shot shotgun with an external hammer. Why? Well, they’re the last word in bombproof reliability and simplicity. The Stevens 301 is just such an item. It’s got a synthetic stock, a break-open action and can be had in 12 or 20 gauge with a 26-inch barrel. In addition, there are compact versions available in 20 gauge and .410 bore which sport a 22-inch barrel at $173. Savage Arms, 100 Springdale Rd., Westfield, MA 01085, (800) 370-0708.


Nightstick Flashlight

A serious light source makes one heckuva useful gift, and the Nightstick NSR-1514 is about as serious as it gets. This rechargeable LED area light comes with a magnetic base and 6-foot tripod. It’s capable of 1,000 lumens on high and 500 on low and operates by a single sealed pushbutton switch. Even so, the Nightstick weighs only 3.3 pounds and comes in a carrying case. It provides 8 hours of continual light on a single charge and can be swiveled independently for various angles. The price of the entire kit including light, base, tripod and case is $210. Bayco Products, 640 S. Sanden Blvd., Wylie, TX 75098 (800) 233-2155.

TOPS Knives Apache Dawn

Eventually, every folder fan comes to the realization there are just some things you need a fixed-blade knife for. And a big fixed blade at that. If someone on your gift list has come to this realization, you might consider TOPS’ Apache Dawn Rockies Edition. It weighs just under a pound, has a 6.75-inch blade, a finger choil for control and a G10 handle. It’d be tough to think of a better combat/field knife. $220. TOPS Knives, P.O. Box 86, Ucon, ID 83454, (208) 542-0013.

Browning Buckmark

Help your favorite handgunner fight the scourge of noise pollution with the new suppressor-ready Buckmark. Chambered in .22 LR and featuring a 5.5-inch threaded bull barrel and Pro-Target adjustable sights, it’s also got a full-length Picatinny top rail for optics and laminated cocobolo target grips. So, what’s wrong with a quiet Christmas? Sorry Santa, this one’s restricted in Ca. and Ma. $599.99. Browning, One Browning Pl., Morgan, UT 84050 (801) 876-2711.

SIG BB Blaster

If you had to pick three classic 9mm platforms, chances are good the SIG P226 would be one of them. Now the company is offering a semi-auto CO2-powered .177 version—The P226 ASP (Advanced Sport Pellet). It’s got a 4.5-inch barrel, polymer grips, a 16-round capacity and a soda-can-punching 480 fps muzzle velocity. Oh, it’ll also handle BB’s as well. It’s a P226 clone right down to the appearance and DA/SA feature. Designed as a training tool, it’s a lot kinder to your wallet than the real thing at $110.99. SIG SAUER Inc., 72 Pease Blvd., Newington, NH 03801 (603) 610-3000.


Federal Premium Hi-Bird

Even the most dedicated hunter—over the course of a lifetime—is probably going to fire more shotshells than centerfire rifle cartridges. And high-end shotgun shells have their place, and not just for turkey or waterfowl. If you want to gift your hunter with some, Federal Premium Ammunition’s new Hi-Bird loads feature high velocity, a special 2-piece wad to provide more consistent long-range patterns, and lead shot engineered for hardness and density. It’s strictly 12-gauge, 2-3/4-inch and is designed for upland birds requiring extra reach. Pellet payloads are 1-1/8 and 1-1/4 ounce and shot sizes include 6, 7-1/2 and 8. The per-box price is $10.95 to $12.95, so it’s probably best reserved for the long-awaited out-of-state pheasant or chukar hunt, although it would be ideal for high-flying bandtail pigeon as well. Federal Premium Ammuntion, 1 Vista Way, Anoka, MN 55303, (800) 379-1732.

Burke Gallery Guns

The Cool Factor is, of course, the ultimate yardstick of X’mas gift desirability. Because of this, Burke Gallery Guns should figure into any list of potential stocking stuffers. What they offer are 1/2-scale, handmade models of iconic Old West firearms including such oddities as the Volcanic pistols or a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun called the 1879 Tombstone, which looks like something Doc Holliday might have packed. All Burke guns fire 4.5mm BB’s powered by No. 10 black-powder percussion caps. $399 and up.

Springfield Armory Knives

Anyone on your list with a serious lust for Springfield Armory firearms—1911’s, XD’s, M1A’s? Well, if so, the Springfield OD Knock Out knife in olive-and-black make for a mightily appreciated gift. For knife companies to make promotional blades for American gun companies is an old and honored collaboration concept. And this particular Springfield/Kershaw pairing includes one of the best we’ve seen. Featuring an anodized aluminum frame with stainless-steel plate to form the sub-frame lock, this is a lightweight, yet very strong folder. The 3-1/4-inch blade is a modified drop point in Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel with a matte black DLC coating. The SpeedSafe assisted-opening feature makes quick, 1-handed opening a veritable snap for $99.99. Springfield Armory, 420 W. Main St., Geneseo, IL 61254, (800) 680-6866, Photo: Thomas Mackie

TOPS Sling

For guys of “a certain age,” nothing brings back boyhood like a slingshot. Leo Espinoza, president of TOPS Knives, evidently understands this. This is why his company has introduced the TOPS Sling. It’s made of 1095 steel and features a black canvas micarta handle and comes with a brown leather belt loop sheath. The overall length is 6-1/4 inches and the weight is a little over 6-1/2 ounces. It’s ideal for shooting soda cans, rodents, or even small game. Basically, however, it’s for just plain fun at $130. TOPS Knives, P.O. Box 86, Ucon, ID 83454, (208) 542-0013,

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