November 16, 2016
By Joel J Hutchcroft
If you're wondering what on earth to buy for the avid shooter on your Christmas list, look no further than our holiday gift guide. These tried and tested products might not be handcrafted at the North Pole, but they do offer a reputation built on quality.
Smith & Wesson M&P45 SHIELD
Smith & Wesson's M&P®45 SHIELD™ is a slim, concealable, lightweight, striker-fired polymer pistol. From its one-inch slim profile to its optimized 18-degree grip angle, the M&P45 SHIELD offers professional-grade features that provide consumers and professionals with reliable performance and simple operation in a concealed carry. 45 AUTO firearm. The M&P45 SHIELD can be carried comfortably and confidently, all day. MSRP $479 | Smith-Wesson.com
Springfield Armory SAINT Series
Like those who are unapologetic about protecting their legacy, the SAINT™ makes no compromises when it comes to features, engineering, and operator experience. As the ultimate refinement of the AR-15 form, the SAINT™ combines innovations like the Accu-Tite receiver mating system with the relentless execution of core features.
The SAINT's flat top design is optics ready and includes a flip-up rear aperture sight and fixed A2-style front. The 16-inch Chrome Moly Vanadium barrel features a 1:8 twist rate to handle a wide range of bullet types. The operation of the M16 bolt carrier group is managed by a mid-length gas system paired with a heavy tungsten buffer, resulting in an exceptionally smooth action. A good shot starts with the trigger, so that's why the SAINT™ features micro-polished and Nickel Boron treated components. While it offers the right pull weight for defensive use, you won't feel it.
Unlike most defensive rifles in its price range, the SAINT™ includes top notch furniture designed to improve both shooting experience and operator performance. An all new, exclusive Bravo Company PKMT KeyMod handguard packs heat shields and flexible attachment points into a slim and easy to handle form factor. The Bravo Company buttstock is rattle-free and complemented by a Bravo pistol grip designed to improve defensive performance. Built for the free and independent, Springfield Armory®'s SAINT™ represents the next generation of America's personal defense rifle. Built with relentless dedication to reliability, it'll be ready when you are because you can always trust the SAINT™. MSRP $899 | Springfield-Armory.com
Seek Thermal CompactPRO
The CompactPRO is Seek Thermal's most advanced thermal imaging camera designed for your smartphone. Made for iPhone® and Android™ top models, this highly-portable thermal imaging camera features a large, 320x240 thermal sensor with high sensitivity and a wide, 32-degree field of view. Offering adjustable thermal span, level, and emissivity settings, the CompactPRO delivers unprecedented high-resolution thermal imaging and software capabilities available at this price. MSRP $499 | Thermal.com
Browning Overtime Knives
The new Overtime Knives are built for skinning and processing big game. They feature tan/black or jade/black G10 handles, 3.38-inch fixed D2 high-carbon-steel drop point blades, and full tangs. Overall length is 7.38 inches, and each comes with a leather sheath. MSRP $114.95 | Browning.com
Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Binoculars
Bushnell's new Trophy Xtreme binoculars have BaK-4 porro prisms; fully multicoated lenses; 100-percent waterproof/fog-proof construction; three-step twist-up eyecups; large center-focus knobs; and textured nonglare, nonslip rubber armor housings. Three models are offered: 8X56, 10X50, and 12X50. MSRP $179.99 to $249 | Bushnell.com
Crimson Trace LinQ
Crimson Trace's LiNQ is a wireless laser and light system for AR-15-type rifles and carbines. It combines a green laser diode sight and a powerful 300-lumen LED white light in a remote module that's activated and operated by a button on the front edge of the AR's grip. It requires no wires to make the communication. It's not Bluetooth, but it is similar.
The LiNQ module fits most standard AR-type rifles with Picatinny accessory rails measuring at least 2.75 inches long, and the LiNQ grip fits most standard AR lowers. There are four modes of operation: laser and light, laser only, light only, and laser and light pulsing. The system is powered by a CR2 battery in the grip and a CR123 battery in the module. Battery life is two hours, and the unit has an auto shutoff after five minutes of "constant on" operation. The module is windage and elevation adjustable. MSRP $649 | CrimsonTrace.com
CrossBreed Freedom Carry Holster
The Freedom Carry is the latest in the CrossBreed Holsters line of handcrafted holsters. Most holsters only allow for carrying in one position, but the Freedom Carry can be worn in several positions without sacrificing comfort. It is available for more than 300 handguns, including those fitted with lights, lasers, and micro red-dot sights. The holster material includes hand-dyed, black cowhide; premium, tan cowhide; and natural, tan horsehide. MSRP $64.50 to $89.50 | CrossbreedHolsters.com
Daniel Defense DD Magazine
The durable, lightweight DD magazine, which is the first-ever magazine designed by Daniel Defense, holds 32 rounds of 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. or .300 Blackout ammo. It's made of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer and weighs just 4.6 ounces empty, and features include an improved lip design, an enhanced anti-tilt follower, an impact-absorbing baseplate, and snag-free textured styling. Easy disassembly/assembly makes maintenance quick and easy. MSRP $20 | DanielDefense.com
LaserLyte Trigger Tyme Laser Revolver
LaserLyte now offers a Trigger Tyme laser-training revolver for those who prefer a snubnose wheelgun for self-defense. Made of high-impact ABS polymer, the Trigger Tyme Revolver looks, feels, and balances like a Smith & Wesson J-Frame, and it fits into standard holsters for quick-draw training. It provides the same grip angle and a similar trigger pull for practical laser-training. The integrated muzzle laser is activated by a double-action trigger pull and gives instant feedback on shot placement. It is compatible with any LaserLyte Trainer Target. MSRP $149.95 | LaserLyte.com
Leupold VX-3i Riflescopes
The "i" in Leupold's VX-3i stands for "improved," and the line has several new features that Leupold says make them the ideal hunting scopes. The power selector ring is larger and easier to grasp and turn. Inside is the Twilight Max Light system that improves light transmission in all colors, especially in the blue and red portions of the spectrum for better low-light performance. The lenses have blackened edges to reduce diffusion and glare and improve resolution and contrast. Lenses have the scratch-resistant DiamondCoat2 external coatings. Fifteen models are offered, ranging from 1.5-5X to 6.5-20X. MSRP $519.99 to $1,169.99 | Leupold.com
MTM QR-30 Shooting Rest
MTM's new one-piece QR-30 Shooting Rest, according to the company, is a KISS (Keep It Simple...) design. It is sturdy, lightweight, and inexpensive. It has a non-marring shooting pad, a built-in handle, and rubber feet. It provides a wide, wobble-free stance and makes a great option when a simple rest is needed. The QR-30 weighs 11.2 ounces and is 8.25 inches tall. MSRP $10.99 | MTMCase-Gard.com
Rock River | LAR-15 Lightweight Mountain Rifle
Rock River Arms's .223/5.56mm NATO LAR-15 Lightweight Mountain Rifle weighs 6.2 pounds and comes with a 16-inch lightweight barrel (1:9 twist), an A2 flash hider, RRA's lightweight low-profile gas block, a two-stage trigger, a Hogue rubber grip, RRA's lightweight Mountain Rifle handguard, and a six-position Tactical CAR buttstock. Overall length is 32.5 to 36 inches, and it comes with one 10-round magazine. MSRP $1,150 | RockRiverArms.com
Smith & Wesson Victory
Smith & Wesson's SW22 Victory .22 LR semiautomatic pistol features a removable, match-grade, 5.5-inch barrel (via a simple one-screw takedown design); a stainless-steel frame; an adjustable trigger; a steel-reinforced polymer thumb safety; and adjustable fiber-optic sights. It comes with two 10-round magazines, textured polymer grips, and an optional Picatinny-style optics rail. It's offered in stainless and Kryptek Highlander camo finishes. MSRP: $459 (Camo), $409 (Stainless) | Smith-Wesson.com