Christmas is coming, and the crunch for gift buying is on. If you have that person in your life that is always on the range, always taking another class, or always going to another match, then you have a training junkie. These are my people, and this list is a few things I would want to find on Christmas morning.
I know, I know. Every true training junkie already has a shot timer. One is never enough, though. They break, batteries die, get left at the range, and then rained on. Things happen. A shot timer is an absolute must-have. A range trip without a timer is really a wasted trip. At least to us training junkies. A spare is always a good idea. You know, the whole “one is none, two is one, and three is enough” thing.
The old standard is the Competition Electronics Pocket Pro. These are workhorse timers, seen at every match, class, or training junkie range trip ever. The second most common is probably the CED7000. It is smaller, runs on a rechargeable battery, and has more functionality than the older school Pocket Pro. The new Competition Electronics Pro Timer BT adds Bluetooth functionality and an app for those that are more tech-oriented.
B-8 Repair Centers
The B-8 target is all the rage in the training world these days. Many of the big-name instructors use B-8s heavily in their classes. There are Facebook groups dedicated to drills shot on B-8 targets. The B-8 is a universally accepted target, even at those stingy ranges that say no human-shaped targets. Most people skip the full-size B-8 and just use the repair centers. Who needs that big of a target anyway? You can never have enough B-8 repair center targets. Never. You can even buy these on Amazon.
Ammunition is the lifeblood of the training junkie’s hobby. It is also expensive. Us junkies burn through the ammo like there is no tomorrow, and we really don’t know how to stop. If you are gift-buying for that type of person and know what kind of ammo they like to use, hook them up with a case or two. If you aren’t sure, find one of the good online retailers for ammunition and get them a gift certificate. Finding ammo under the Christmas tree (or a gift certificate for ammo) is like finding gold for us. It really is.
A good range bag is always valuable. Something durable, enough space to carry all the crap that needs to follow us to the range, but not too big. There are some pretty pricey options out there, and if you know what your training junkie likes, definitely go that route. Personally, I am partial to the Midway USA Competition Range Bag. It seems to straddle the line between being big enough to fit everything and too big to carry really well. Well put together and durable, it can fit a lot of different needs. This isn’t the flashy or fancy solution, but it gets the job done and done pretty well.
USPSA/IDPA Cardboard Targets
If there were such a thing as a standard training industry target, it would be one of these two targets. Since many training junkies also participate in the local practical pistol sports scene, these are a must-have item. Figure out if they shoot USPSA or IDPA and get them a stack of targets. I usually order these from Action Target (IDPA, USPSA) or Target Barn (IDPA, USPSA). If you don’t know which shooting sport they are into, then get them both. That works too.
I don’t know of any person who spends a considerable amount of time on the range who wouldn’t be appreciative of any of these gifts. Show someone you care. Buy them something to shoot at, something to shoot at it, and something to see how fast they can hit it. May your targets stay dry, and your shot timer batteries never die.