I like shopping about as much as I like going to the DMV to renew my driver’s license or going to the post office to mail a package when there are 10,000 people in line and only one person working the counter. However, the Internet has made shopping a heck of a lot easier, and when my shopping includes buying guns and other gear it becomes enjoyable, even necessary. (At least that’s what I tell my wife.)
And with the shopping season in full swing, there’s plenty of gear to choose from this year. I thought I’d cover the essentials that every gun owner ought to have.
First, I’m going to assume you have a gun. Maybe it’s a Nano or PX4 Storm. Either way, the first piece of gear you may want to consider this holiday season is a good holster. The fact is, I know far too many gun owners who don’t carry all of the time because they haven’t found a comfortable holster. The best advice I can give you is to have patience, try out several holsters, and make sure there is a 30-day return policy for the holsters you buy in case you don’t like them.
Eventually, you’ll find the right holster for you and the time you invest in this process is well worth it since you’ll be carrying your gun more often. Places you may want to start looking for a good holster are CrossBreed, Milt Sparks, and Blade-Tech. If you own a Beretta, you might start there.
Next, consider getting extra magazines for your gun. Perhaps your gun came with two or three magazines, but I recommend having six for each gun. If you’re a competition shooter, you’ll certainly need at least six. But even if you’re not, you’ll want plenty of spares in case one breaks, plus you can pre-load all of your magazines before heading to the range so you can spend more time shooting instead of loading.
Don’t forget, you also need a magazine pouch to carry your magazines. If I’m attending a defensive pistol course then I carry a magazine pouch on my left hip that holds two magazines. However, on an everyday basis I prefer a Fobus single magazine pouch.
An item that you definitely need, but which isn’t that exciting, is a cleaning kit. I know folks who love cleaning their guns and spend hours doing it. I'm not one of those people. I clean and take good care of my guns because my life may rely on them one day and I certainly don’t want it to malfunction because it’s dirty. For quick cleaning jobs you can use a bore snake, but make sure to do a thorough cleaning every 500 rounds, at least.
Other things you may want to buy during the holidays are shooting glasses and hearing protection. Nobody likes having to rent glasses and ears from the local range. They may not work well and will have been used by dozens of other people. So buy yourself some quality glasses, such as the Beretta Soft Touch Shooting Shields, and get some nice ears, such as Beretta’s Electronic Hearing Protection.
Of course, one of the most important items you can buy during this holiday season is a safe for your guns. If your gun isn’t in your hand or on your hip, it should be locked up. Personally, I like the rapid-access safes that allow you to access your gun in a matter of seconds. On my nightstand, I have a Gunvault MV500 safe, but there are numerous companies these days that make quality safes to secure your gun.
Just remember, if you have a safe on your nightstand you’ll also want your cell phone and a flashlight next to it. Surefire happens to be the brand sitting on my nightstand right now, but Streamlight, Fenix, and Blackhawk all make solid flashlights.
I realize that the gear choices these days can be overwhelming, but as you’re spending your hard earned money this holiday season, be sure to purchase quality gear that will make you a better prepared and safer gun owner.