The holidays are here, and yet I suspect that there are many out there reading this article who are still on the hunt for a few more Christmas gifts for the sportsman in their life. I am certainly guilty of being on this “naughty list.” Call it old school, call it nostalgia, but I realized that sometimes the best gifts these days are not necessarily the newer or just-released products. Consider these five classics that will warm any sportsman’s heart.
1. Lee Loader
The Lee Loaderhas been around for decades and has been used by a number of hunters, shooters and novices and competitors alike. The Lee Loader is a simple, yet incredibly effective, kit that will reload many popular calibers on the market today. Given our current ammo shortage, it would be wise to have a means to reload your own ammo in a pinch.
The kit comes in many calibers and can be purchased for $50! What a steal ... considering you can do the whole job with the kit purchased, the cartridge components, and a mallet from your local store. The manual is included and walks newbies through safely loading their own brass back to good ammunition, and there are plenty of instructional videos online.
If you have a hunter that goes to camp or a loved one who wants to get into loading their own ammunition, this is the kit to start with (and it may be the only kit they need).
2. Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun
This BB gun has been found under countless Christmas trees and has been in a number of movies for good reason. Adults and kids alike feel joy when they check under the tree (or leg lamp, as the case may be) to find this old-school lever-action pellet gun inside. A lot of cans have been ventilated over the 80+ years this gun has been in existence.
The Daisy Red Ryder comes in a few kits/configurations now to suit the young and old alike. I have had one stationed at my back door for years since my kids were young, who learned how to shoot safely it. Many adults would enjoy getting one-- one big plus is that this gun is low powered and quiet enough to safely shoot in just about any backyard with a decent backstop. At the price point of $50 it makes a great gift that won’t break the bank!
3. Dutch Oven
If you have a hunter or chef in your house, Lodge makes a great gift that will last for decades and can be passed down to the next generation with basic care. A good cast-iron Dutch oven can be used at home or in camp to make the most scrumptious meals all in one pot. They are rugged enough to be counted on no matter where you go or what you are cooking. A bonus is the Lodge Dutch ovenis made right here in the United States for about $50.
4. Knives of Alaska set
I have had a number of knives in my 50+ years on this earth. Some I still have and use and enjoy owning. Very likely the best all-around set of knives that I have and will probably pass down to my kids or grandkids is the Knives of Alaska Brown Bear Combo. This set is made for the serious hunter, outfitter or backwoods adventurer. The cleaver/skinner will handle any animal you hunt, and the caping knife is perfect for the finesse work of skinning. It is a gem for those who have to make work of an elk or deer in the backcountry and don’t want to mess around. The set is made to last and the leather sheath has been bouncing around my truck and in my pack for nearly two decades now and is still going strong.
5. Hoppe's Gun Cleaning Kit
All older shooters smile at the thought of Hoppe’s gun solvent smell. It evokes a number of pleasant memories. All gun owners need a good gun cleaning kit, and Hoppe’s makes a deluxe kitthat that comes in a gorgeous wood box perfect for gifting.
Included in the kit is a 3 piece brass rod, five phosphor bronze brushes fitting .22, .30, .38 caliber and 20 and 12 gauge guns. (Pick up a few specific brushes for your recipient’s calibers if those do not cover it.) Also included is bore cleaner, oil, patches and the adapter for rifle and shotgun, as well as a silicone cloth that will get a ton of use, and a gun care booklet. At $50 this is a gift that will not only last, but will help those cherished firearms last too.
This holiday season is not about the newest gadgets out there. It is about spending time with friends and family and the reason for the holiday. However, if you are going to give a gift, give one that is timeless and something that can be used and appreciated for the value it has and the memories it will make!