It can be tough to get presents for gun owners that are related to their passion. You never know what they have and probably not exactly what they want. But there are a few things that every gun owner will be pleased to pull out of their stocking this holiday season, and we’ve collected a bunch right here, from pretty and functional firearms to practical storage solutions for all that gear. Happy shopping!
Springfield Armory has introduced a direct challenger to SIG Sauer’s successful, sub-compact, high-cap P365 with its new Hellcat, which they are billing as the world’s highest capacity micro-compact.
The gun has been in development for a couple years, and Springfield is launching the Hellcat with an OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) model right out of the gate and the OSP version is only $30 more than the iron sight version.
The Hellcat is a polymer framed, recoil-operated, striker fired, semi-auto pistol chambered for 9mm that can hold a maximum capacity of 14 rounds including a round in the chamber. Overall, it is 4-inches tall (with flush mag), 6 inches long, and weighs in at a scant 18 oz. The steel slide houses a dual captured recoil spring assembly and a hammer-forged 3-inch barrel and includes an external extractor tensioned by an internal spring and pin assembly.
The striker assembly includes a passive firing pin safety that is deactivated by the rearward travel of the trigger. The slide and barrel have a black Melonite finish.
The Hellcat’s proprietary magazines hold 11 and 13 rounds and it ships with both. The 11-rounder fits flush for ultimate concealability and it can be equipped with an included base pad with a pinky rest for a better grip without much extra bulk. The 13-round mag has an actual extended base pad to provide extra capacity and a full grip. MSRP: $569; OSP model: $599
Henry Big Boy Color Case Hardened Rifles
Henry Big Boy Color Case Hardened Carbine, top, and Rifle • $1,045 Henry Repeating Arms
I’ve had the pleasure of shooting the new and gorgeous Big Boy Color Case Hardened Carbine for the past few days, and I’m going to have a tough time not bringing it along on every range trip from now on. Hell, I’m having a tough time not carrying it around the house. Like every Henry, its build is rock solid, and the swirling browns, purples, and blues of the Case Hardening are plain gorgeous set against the American Walnut stock and the stout 16.5-inch octagonal barrel, but this pistol-caliber carbine is just as effective as it is pretty.
Through the chronograph, the rifle was spitting out .44 Special ammo (the recoil of which felt like a .22 to me) at 901 fps, and Federal Premium Champion 240gr at a spicy 1,682 fps. It was accurate with iron sights at 50 and 100 yards and just a plain pleasure to shoot. Tearing some wrapping paper to see this gorgeous display-quality firearm will make any gun owner happy. It’s also available in a rifle version with a 20-inch octagonal barrel and additional chamberings include .45 Colt, and .357 Mag/.38 Spl. MSRP: $1,045 —David Maccar
Henry Single Shot .410 Shotgun
The Henry Repeating Arms Single Shot break-action .410 shotgun • $400 Henry Repeating Arms
An heirloom quality shotgun for under $400. I’ll take that, and you should, too. This diminutive single shot from Henry is a great kid’s first shotgun that you won’t want to give away. I picked one up this spring to turkey hunt with Federal’s new .410 TSS loads. It comes with an Invector-style full choke that patterned dead nuts right out of the box. Since then it’s been hell on the chipmunk horde invading my house and did a number on squirrels down in Kentucky this summer. Chambered for 3-inch shells, with a 26-inch barrel , coming in at 6.5 pounds, it’s handy and capable in the woods.
The only tweak I’ve made is to install swivel studs for a sling. The American walnut wood is top notch and the “big honking pistol grip,” as my buddy put it, feels just right in grownup hands. The external hammer snaps back with authority and the locking internals prevents contact with the firing pin until the trigger is touched. The action smartly won’t open or close with the hammer cocked, either. The bluing is pitch perfect and like all Henry’s, it’s just handsome as all getout. It’s true, I’m smitten with this little pop gun. Maybe my son will get it someday. Until then, it’s my go-to small game and fun gun. You could spend a lot more money, and do a whole lot worse. I’m not sure you could spend the same or less money, and do any better. MSRP: $400 —Michael R. Shea
Federal Premium Personal Defense HST Micro in .38 Spl
Federal Premium Personal Defense HST Micro ammo in .38 Spl • $30.95 Federal Premium
These .38 Special +P 130-grain JHP bullets from Federal Premium Ammunition have an unconventional look to them, as they’re set flush into the case. There is, however, a method to the madness. Standard .38 Special rounds have empty space between the powder and the bullet, leading to inconsistent performance cause by the powder shifting and settling in the case.
With a recessed bullet, the amount of space is reduced and the powder has less room to move around. Tests have shown that this provides five times more consistent velocity over standard JHP rounds. That makes a big difference if you’re carrying a snubby .38 Special revolver with a barrel of 2″ or less. I’ve been carrying them in my Smith & Wesson Model 638 for the past year. My personal tests have shown great performance and I certainly trust my life to them. They’d be a great gift for anyone who carries a .38 Spl wheelgun for self defense. MSRP: $30.95 —T. Logan Metesh
MTM Case-Guard 3-Can Ammo Crate
This handy 3-Can Ammo Crate from MTM Case-Guard is designed around three, .50 caliber-style ammo cans made of rugged polymer. Each can is O-Ring sealed and features a twin clasp on one end to secure the lid.
Store whatever mix-and-match combination of guns and gear you want in the three ammo cans. For storage purposes, the cans are stackable. Each can nests within a rugged polymer crate, so you can transport them all at once easily. MSRP: $44.49 —Brian McCombie
Available in three different sizes, MTM’s New Tactical Pistol cases hold three, four or six handguns, along with magazines and/or other gear. All cases are dark grey and lined with mil-spec foam to hold your handguns securely in place. These rugged MTM cases are water-resistant and feature an O-ring seal to keep out dust and moisture. For added security, all cases are padlock tabbed. MSRP: $34.95 – $49.95 —Brian McCombie
Lots of companies make and sell gun magnets, but these are the best I’ve ever used. The magnet itself isn’t very big, but it is definitely powerful. So powerful that each one comes with a card warning that the magnet could disrupt pacemakers and that people with metal implants should stay back a foot from the product.
They come with small metal plates to affix the magnets to a non-metal surface and come in a 2”x3” size, idealfor mounting a firearm in a vehicle, and a 4.25” x 1” magnet for other applications.
My go-to application for it is to hold my Glock 19 to the side of my safe in the bedroom. Because it is enclosed in a durable fabric pouch, the magnet itself never comes into contact with your gun, your safe, or whatever other surface you attach it to, so it won’t damage the finish. The manufacturer says each magnet will hold 15 pounds, enough to support most fully tricked out ARs. MSRP: Magnet with small mounting plate, $13.99; small mounting plate, $1.50; large mounting plate: $3.95. —T. Logan Metesh
Mag Storage Soluations
MagStorage Solutions Adjustable Pistol Magazine and Ammo Holder • pistol mag holder: $49.95; rifle mag holder: $39.95. Mag Storage Solutions
If you own multiple magazines for multiple firearms, you’ve probably found yourself with few options for mag storage. At one time, I was storing all of my loaded mags on shelves in my safe. When that space was needed the loaded mags were then relegated to a repurposed bookshelf next to the safe. Does it work? Yep. Is it ideal? Not really. Enter Mag Storage Solutions and their lightweight, polymer pistol and rifle mag holders.
Their pistol holders are designed to store up to 9 single or double-stack magazines, by using the provided dividers that you install to the configuration of your choice to properly store your specific mags. A tray below the racks can be used for storage of smaller mags and/or boxes of ammo. The rifle holders are designed to accommodate 20, 25, and 30 round AR10, AR15, and AK47 magazines. Each holder is pre-drilled with four screw holes for easy fastening to your gun room wall or inside your safe. MSRP: pistol mag holder: $49.95; rifle mag holder: $39.95. —T. Logan Metesh
Plano All Weather Pistol Case
If I could find a way to comfortably hide six pistols on my person, I would. Until then I’m rolling with this all-weather pistol case from Plano. It’s every bit as tough as the bird-brand cases, but comes in at a wallet-pleasing sixty bucks. I’ve managed standup six pistols – a mix of full-sized, compact and sub-compacts – in this handheld 8- by 18.4- by 14.2-inch box. It’s my go-to range case, but tough enough that (with less guns and more foam) I’d check it on an airline in a heartbeat. Two of the four latches lock and there’s holes for padlocks. A pressure control valve at the bottom of the case makes it 100 percent waterproof.
If you do fly with this case – or any pressure-regulated gun, bow, or camera case – make sure the valve is open. Pressures in the belly of an aircraft at 30,000 feet can warp and crush an air-tight boxed, and your toys inside. Pro Tip No. 2: so long as there’s padlocks on your pistol case, and you declare and present it at the airline check-in, you can then snuggle it away in another piece of luggage – a regular checked suitcase or duffle. This way every employee in the airport, and every customer in the baggage claim, won’t know your traveling heavy. All told, it’s a helluva solid, utilitarian case. You should buy two. MSRP: $59.99 – Michael R. Shea
Hornady Security RAPiD® Safes
Hornady is, thankfully, at least trying to make the oh so boring world of gun safes interesting. Their line of patented RFID safes electronically open with a distinct Hollywood snap when activated by an included wristband, key fob, or decal. It takes about 15 seconds to program the safes, which also open with a programable four to six digit code, punched into the numeric keypad. Hornady includes two barrel keys, if the batteries should fail, but it’s not nearly as fast. You can also plug the safe into wall power.
These safe’s are 14-guage steel, so they’re not going to defeat a professional criminal, but they’ll stop a meth head or a 10-year-old kid flat. The 4800KP bolted so solid to the floor of my house, you’d break a steel-toe trying to kick it up. The RAPiD® Safe AR Wall Lock is similarly solid, mounted to studs behind drywall. This setup looks just enough John Wick-level badass that I almost wish someone would screw with my dog. MSRP: $174.27 – Michael R. Shea
BONUS: 5.11 Tactical’s Holiday Gear
5.11 Tactical has a fun side that they show with their stickers, patches, and t-shirts often, and this year they have a few more offerings for holiday themed gear.
Above are a couple tactically festive sock options in red and green, part of their wonderfully titled “Sock and Awe” collection (MSRP: $12.99). Below we have a holiday sweatshirt (MSRP: $49.99) or t-shirt (MSRP: 24.99) that will help you get through any Ugly Sweater parties you might find yourself in. Plus the sweatshirt is super comfy and soft, perfect for Christmas morning.
And, for a cool stocking stuffer that can go on any pack, plate carrier, jacket, or hat with hook-and-loop attachment points, there’s the new Pano Vision Santa patch. After all, if Santa really did have to fly that sleigh through the night, it’s obvious he’d have the most cutting edge NVGs. —Dave Maccar