First Gear: On The First Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me…

posted on December 2, 2023
shooting accessories
Photos: Peter Fountain

A. A Riton Scope to Better See
You never want to give a gift that turns out to be inoperable—one of many reasons to give someone the Riton Optics 5 TACTIX first focal plane 1-10x24 scope, which goes through a ton of quality-control testing. A few other good reasons are its versatility, durability, outstanding glass quality and, especially, its ease-of-use thanks its dual-throw lever and tactile knurling. (; $959.99)

B. A Jewelry Treasure Trove
You can find jewelry for everyone on your list in Kristy Titus’ Pursue the Wild collection. High-quality pieces for both men and women highlight a love for American freedom—like the ones that say “Freedom isn’t Free”—plus options that are antler themed or mountain themed.   (; $40-$65 for the items shown)

C. See Even Reds
The best eye protection keeps you safe but is also comfortable and stylish enough to be worn all day so you don’t have to think about switching glasses as you switch tasks. The FortKnight Optics 308 FreeRange sunglasses with HD lenses by Zeiss are clear, anti-fog, anti-scratch and lightweight. The lenses meet ANSI impact-resistance standards and allow you to see your electronics—including red dots—with a unique polarization design. These are best for medium-small faces. (; $219.99)

D. For Cleaner Guns
Liberty Lubricants’ compact cleaning kits are perfect to throw in your gun bag or keep on your workbench, with everything you need tucked into a small package. The Liberty-TUFF kits include solvent and lubricants, three brushes with flexible cleaning cables and a brass rod, plus cleaning patches; the AR version of the same kit includes some extras like chamber locking lug cleaning pads; you can also get both options in one kit. (; $34.99-$79.99)

Shooting Accessories

E. Fine Shooting Clothes
If you’re buying for a lady who loves to shoot, you can’t go wrong with the Beretta women’s clothing line. Every layer is well thought-out, from the thin inner layering shirts to the softshell jackets. You can see the attention to detail even in something as seldom noticed as the hats—the Hook Notch Trucker Cap sports a place for a higher ponytail to poke out and has notches in the brim to lessen the likelihood of pressuring your eye protection. (; $45 for the cap; other prices vary by item)

F. Sling Purse for Carry
If you use a purse, it might as well have a compartment for concealed carry. One fashion-forward option is the Jessie & James Canvas Sling Shoulder Concealed Backpack. The buckle often slides down the strap (quickly fixed with a pin), but this canvas material looks nice enough for very professional situations and holds up well, plus, it’s easy to clean, and there are many pockets. (A similar nylon sling model looks perfect for traveling, too.) (; $69.99)

G. Making Maintenance Easy
The Real Avid Master Gun Workstation is my new favorite thing because it has made maintenance a whole lot easier. It is quickly adjustable—even using one hand—to fit any long gun, extending out to 18.3 inches, with non-marring foam rests for the stock. The “gun gripper” technology on the front adjusts to the width of your barrel or stock (and won’t scratch, either). A leveling knob helps you mount optics perfectly, and the tray and cutouts by the tray hold your tools and cleaning materials perfectly. You can even slide cleaning rods into the side. The best part, though, is the smart dock that allows you to hook up other tools (like a bendable light). The whole system is remarkably light. (; $199.99)

H. Driving More Securely
The Headrest Slide safe is the perfect gift for those on the go. This heavy-duty safe installs securely and discreetly into any vehicle. You can tuck your firearm and other valuables into it with perfect peace of mind, and this model allows you to pull the safe out (after you’ve unlocked it) and bring it with you. You can slide it into another headrest housing unit if you want to switch cars, or even fly with it since it’s TSA-compatible. (; $800)

I. Nice Ladies’ Tac Boots
Most tactical boots on the market aren’t designed for women, just shrunk down to be sold to women. This is not so with the Garmont ATHENA tactical boots. A narrower heel and shorter Achilles heel area were the most-noticeable differences to me since they mean less unwanted movement and thus less friction. None of that would matter, though, without the proper size, and these are available in women’s 4 to 11. They’re water-repellent but breathable, flexible and provide good grip in most environments. (; $155)

You might not know it just by looking, but if you buy someone the Duck Camp Airflow Insulated Jacket, it’s likely going to be their favorite gift of the season. It’s warm, but not bulky—in fact, it genuinely feels like you’re wearing air. It’s available in multiple colors and a wide range of sizes for both women and men. (; $229)

Skinner Sights HTF tactical garment bagK. Pistol Bag with MOLLE
I’ve never had someone turn up their nose at a new pistol case, especially a rugged but nice-looking one like this Full Forge Gear CAT-2 Double Pistol Case. This has a wrap-around zipper and will lie flat, plus a pocket with MOLLE webbing. It does everything you need it to with no fuss, so I find myself reaching for it more than the larger cases. (; $37.95)

L. Haul It All Discreetly
Need a gift for the gun owner who has everything? The Skinner Sights HTF tactical garment bag is a gift you can be certain is both unique and useful. Even fully packed with a 40-in. long gun, two handguns, 11 magazines and accessories, this is a discreet way to transport your gear from place to place. It can get heavy with all the gear loaded in it, but you can even fold it more like a rifle case for easier transport, and the material, seams, zippers and hanger are all very sturdy. (; $249)


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