Tactical Gifts: a Guide That Hopefully Doesn’t Suck

What is on your list of tactical gifts?
November 3, 2023  
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I’m a pain in the arse to buy gifts for. And if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you are, too. That or you know someone who is. There are a couple of reasons for that, at least in my case, and it starts with the term tactical gifts. Emphasis on the tactical. Here’s hoping this will have some things you weren’t aware of or didn’t know you wanted! 


Go straight to the guide. 


Because of my background, hobbies, and profession, I tend to receive a lot of gifts in the tactical/gun genre. Most, if not all, of them are the result of someone’s internet search, and unfortunately, many of the people who write those listicles know more about optimizing an article to get hits on searches than they do about the gear. Or they’re writing it to sell their own products. The result is often a list that is best, uninspired and, at worst, inaccurate or disingenuous. 

So I decided, hell with it, I’ll write a list of stuff I’d want.

 

Here are some things you should know about this list:

  • It isn’t seasonal or holiday-specific. It’s pretty general. 
  • You won’t need to know the make, model, generation, or caliber of any gun to find something.
  • I have tried to include items that might not be immediately obvious to shoppers but are helpful or entertaining or both. 
  • Not much of it is gender-specific except where obvious.  Most should be good no matter what plumbing you have. 
  • Not all of these are my ideas; some came from my badass crew.
  • Some of these tactical gifts aren’t tactical at all. They’re just cool. 
  • Some ideas aren’t practical at all. We don’t care. Neither should you.
  • Many of the entries below utilize affiliate links. They’re not included solely because they have links like that, but wherever possible I used them. Gotta make a little money for the site! 

List of Tactical Gift Ideas

A Banging Good Guide to Quality Loot and Plunder

Here’s how I’ve broken things down. I’ll try to figure out a way to also group gifts by type.

 

Tactical Gifts $25 and Under

1. GAT Monkey Sling Keeper (~$10)

This might seem silly, but it’s not — and for 10 bucks, would it even matter? This is a package of 3 sling-keepers from Gat Monkey. Essentially, they’re just loops of shock cords with a hook on them: basically little bungee cords. 

• Buy a Set

Rifle sling keeper from GAT Monkey in use on an AR15.

It isn’t rocket science or difficult. A rifle sling helps keep your long gun tidy and ready to move without complicating access to it. 

WHY? Left loose, the sling on a long will flop around, get hooked on other stuff in the safe or trunk, and get tangled with other slings or gear. This is a very Bad Thing if you have your carbine staged for defensive use (for obvious reasons), but it’s also just aggravating in general. They get all twisted up with each other while you’re trying to sort your gear at the range, or they hook on another gun’s accessories in your safe and drag a whole pile of them out onto the garage floor to get banged up. 

Ask me how I know. 

Below, you’ll see how easy it is to “install” and then pop the sling loose. 

Deploying a sling from a rifle sling keeper.

In this GIF, the blue shock cord is the sling keeper, and the pink nylon cord is a pull tab on the sling itself. We’re just talking about the blue cord here. 

Note: there are other styles of sling keepers that utilize hook-and-loop (Velcro), a magnet, or both to keep things in place. They’re a little more secure and definitely more robust, but also a little more expensive. Either kind is going to be useful and better than going without, but the latter would prob’ly be a better choice in a situation where the weapon is moved around a lot and exposed to potential snags.

• Buy GAT Monkey Sling Keepers

 

2. Hearing Protection Belt Clip (~$5 to ~$15)

Another inexpensive and simple but utilitarian item, a hearing protection belt clip, is nothing more than a hook to hang your “ears” (i.e., shooting earmuffs) while you’re not using them.

Hearing protection belt clip: this hook is from Ready Up Gear.

Hearing protection belt clip: this hook is from Ready Up Gear. It holds ear pro up to a 2″ headband, fits belts up to 2.25 inches, and has its tension closure secured with a magnet.

Somewhat less rugged than the Ready Up version (but 1/3 the cost), This one also snaps in place over a belt, pocket, waistband, or similar "backing,"

Somewhat less rugged than the Ready Up version (but 1/3 the cost), This one also snaps in place over a belt, pocket, waistband, or similar “backing. This image makes it look proportionately larger than it would seem to most users. 

Why? Because it’s handy. It adds virtually no weight and is just damned convenient. The only real limiting factor might be the available real estate on a belt. If it’s someone’s duty rig or battle belt, there’s at least some chance there won’t be sufficient space for it and/or the muffs. Happily, most can be dropped to hang lower or hooked on a pocket to alleviate that problem. There are plenty of other things you can hang off, too; a pair of gloves comes immediately to mind (though, as you’ll see, there are other options for that, too). 

 

Tactical Gifts $50 and Under

1. NeoMag “Sentry” Sling Keeper (~$40)

Remember earlier when we looked at the shock cord sling keepers from Gat Monkey? This is one of the other kinds I mentioned. Neomag is a company in Ohio that makes (among other things) handy little clips to keep a pistol mag secure in your pocket. 

WHY? Same as with the last sling keeper. This one is just a little heavier-duty and more likely to remain in place if gets tugged on. *snicker*

Sentry-Strap-rifle-sling-keeper_NeoMag

Since the Neo part comes from Neodymium, a kind of magnet, it’s not surprising that they use magnets as part of their sling keeper design. Use is pretty simple. The main strap goes around the rifle, securing it in place with Velcro.

NeoMag Sentry Strap rifle sling keeper closed up

The flaps actually holding the sling are kept in place by the magnets. Those same magnets will clasp the actual sling keeper back in place (not always, but more often than not) after you tug the sling loose to deploy the rifle. 

NeoMag magnetic and Velcro rifle sling keeper

Like the one mentioned earlier, this is pretty simple to operate. If you can park a Hot Wheel or count to 21 naked, you can use one of these.

It should fit most long guns, with a minimum of about an inch (about the circumference of a buffer tube). However, if you’re worried yours is too, uh girthy, they make inexpensive extensions.

 

Tactical Gifts $100 and Under

1. Primary Arms AutoLive Cap (~$50)

This thing is pretty ingenious. It’s basically a retrofit device that makes the CR2032 battery on a weapon optic (like some scopes and low-powered variable optics) come to life as soon as it detects movement. 

AutoLive battery cap

You take the threaded battery cap off your scope, attach the AutoLive, and then put your battery cap back on. Viola!

Why? Because batteries die. Even the most careful gun owner forgets to power their optics off occasionally, leaving the batteries more likely to give out quickly and forcing a change-out. This can be a problem anywhere from inconvenient to dangerous depending on when you lose power to your illuminated reticle. Having an AutoLive on there extends the time between those battery changes by making the battery go dormant when unused (like if it’s in a safe or a rifle rack). This saves juice. Motion sensors on board provide a “shake awake” feature that kicks the power back on the moment it moves. 

More on the Primary Arms AutoLive

 

2. Wilder Tactical Custom Dump Pouch (~$60)

A dump pouch is a lightweight, foldable pouch for stashing magazines after you run through them (assuming you don’t want to just drop them on the ground). It’s very similar to what was once referred to as a “foraging pouch.” This one isn’t particularly tactical, but it looks cool — and that’s important! I would get one of these to put on my battle belt just to look good on the range or at classes with my traincationing (vs. vacationing) friends.

Don’t judge me. I’m not rolling out to fight Daesh tomorrow.

Magazine Dump Pouch from Wilder Tactical via their social media.

A magazine dump pouch from the Wilder Tactical social media.

 

Wilder Tactical dump pouch (custom roll up dump pouch)

Wilder Tactical dump pouch (custom roll-up dump pouch).

WHY? Because there are lots of times you won’t have the luxury of going back to collect and reload mags later. With a dump pouch you can do exactly what it sounds like. You dump your empty or partially empty mags after you reload. Now, be aware some people openly mock the use of a dump pouch for a variety of reasons, and there will be many who’ll be outraged by me saying you might put partially empty mags in your dump pouch. 

Well…

Lighten up, Francis (from Stripes)

First of all, the chances that your dump pouch will only be used for magazines of any kind are one in a fucktillion. If you don’t wind up throwing Twinkies and your gloves in there, one of your friends will do so with spent brass, trash, or rocks instead. Second of all, the overwhelmingly vast majority of the time, you’re going to be using it on the range or a shoot-house or LARPing at the local MilSim event.

Third of all, this isn’t a dump pouch for field use against Abdul Alhazred or the Nagazi. It’s an altered Crown Royal whiskey bag

Anyway, a dump pouch has a lot of uses. 

Tactical dump pouch in Afghanistan holding a puppy.

Dump pouches aren’t just for Twinkies, magazines, and Skittles.

 

Tactical Gifts $200 and Under

1. HEAT Movie Bank Robber Chest Rig (~$200)

You know how pretty much any masculine male has to look around for and watch a helicopter when he hears one go by? Same thing here. Any action guy who says they don’t love the action sequences in HEAT and doesn’t secretly wish to get caught up in a street fight like that is absolutely full of shit. The same probably goes for action girls. 

Bank robber chest rig inspired by the movie Heat.

This isn’t one of the cheap, poorly-sewn imitations the market has seen. This one is the model from the Kommando Store via Tactical Sh!t. It’s a very low-profile chest rig based on the improvised rig carried by the bank robbers in that movie during one of the best fighting sequences ever seen on film. 

Val Kilmer reload from the HEAT bank robbery shoot-out.

WHY? Because Heat movie chest rig. If you don’t at least kinda want one of these, I don’t think we can be friends. From a more practical perspective, the bank robber chest rig carries eight magazines in a pretty ingenious loadout. I’m not sure how well it would actually hold up to rigorous movement and repeated use, but I’ve heard this version actually works pretty well. I also wouldn’t much care if did or not. 

L: Robert DeNiro as McCauley with a field expedient chest rig for carrying rifle mags; R: the one designed as an homage by Kommando Store.

L: Robert DeNiro as McCauley with a field expedient chest rig for carrying rifle mags; R: the one designed as an homage and somewhere secretly on any decent action guy/gal’s wish list. 

 

Tactical Gifts $500 and Under

1. Disco32 Discus Bluetooth (~$275)

Via Tribe member Erik Utrecht. Do you or your intended gift recipient have a ballistic or bump helmet and “tactical” earpro/communications set-up? Something I really like is the Discus Bluetooth adapter from Disco32. It allows you to use your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled with a military/tactical headset. 

Tactical gift ideas: Discus Bluetooth adapter from Disco32.

The Disco32 Discus allows you to link your phone via Bluetooth to your standard Comms setup so you can communicate through your boom mic/ear pro over the phone or “secure” apps (like Signal or WhatsApp) that allow VOX.

WHY? Because you can use your headset to make phone calls, listen to music, or whatever else you’d usually do with your earbuds or headphones! It is a pass-through in the standard PTT wiring, and if the batteries were to die (single CR123), it would still allow normal PTT functioning. 

Disco32-Discus-Bluetooth

This way, you can be all tacticool and operate all day long…or just link your phone to your ear pro to listen to tunes while you ride the tractor around your property (guilty of this one). 

Tactical-helmet-accessories_Disco32-Discus-and-other

 

Tactical Gift eCard Options

Save yourself the trouble and guarantee a win.

 

LA Police Gear gift card for duty equipment, tactical gear, etc.

eGift Card from TacticalSh!t.com

 

eGift cards available at Wilder Tactical Gear

 

 

Outdoor and tactical gear egift card from MidwayUSA

digital gift cards from 1791 Gunleather


Let me know what’s on YOUR wish list!

Hit us up in the comments below. Tell us what you want and why. OR, tell us something you received that was a great gift.

Thanks for sticking around and reading through! Now go forth and conquer.

 

DR

 

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