2017 Field-Tested Father's Day Gift Guide

posted on June 12, 2017

Father's Day is nearly here once again and one thing's for sure, dear ol' Dad doesn't want another tie. This year there are all kinds of new outdoor adventure gear, gun accessories and cleaning supplies to choose from. Here are just a few products I've had a chance to work with that will put a smile on Pop's face this year: 

Alien Gear Holsters & Mag Pouches

Alien Gear
provides a variety of American-made offerings for comfortable, reliable concealed carry at a fair price. The Cloak Tuck 3.0 inside the waistband (IWB) holster is now available for semi-automatic pistols and double-action revolvers. The company's engineers have added a stainless spring-steel core into the Cloak Tuck 3.0. This core, coupled with a new layer of ballistic nylon, provides added strength and support. The surface material is an engineered thermo-elastomer which enhances holster retention, drag and durability. The inner surface of the holster is a soft neoprene material that forms to the body while dispersing the weight of the pistol across the entire concealed-carry holster base. The Cloak Tuck 3.0 is backed by an Iron-Clad Triple Guarantee which includes a 30-Day Test Drive, free shell trades for life, and a Forever Warranty. If anything on your holster breaks for any reason, Alien Gear Holsters will repair or replace it for free. MSRP: $43.88

Carrying a second magazine for semi-automatic pistols just got much easier with the flexible Cloak Mag Carrier system. Available in single and double magazine configurations, these polymer carriers can be worn inside or outside the waistband by trading out a few components. They can also have adjustments for cant and retention level. When configured for IWB, the magazine carrier is cushioned by the same type of neoprene backer found on the Cloak Tuck 3.0. For use outside the waistband, Alien Gear provides a stabilizing belt clip. This system is also protected by the company's Triple Guarantee. MSRP: $33.88 - $49.88 

Boyd's New At-One Rifle Stock

These days folks are all excited about the latest adjustable stock systems for their favorite bolt-action rifles. Although these tactical aluminum stocks are certainly interesting, they lack the good looks and charm that a wood stock provides. Boyd's Hardwood Gunstocks recently released the adjustable, modular At-One stock system which is professionally crafted from the company's signature lineup of laminated hardwood. Available in no less than 11 color patterns along with a choice of special-order custom selections, this stock’s cheek rest and recoil pad both have push-button releases that allow them to be shifted for increased height and length. The removable polymer fore-end and grip panels can be swapped out for other custom options. The lower edge of the buttstock is fitted with a polymer cover to guard against the bumps and bruises stocks sometimes suffer in that area. The At-One is available for dozens of makes and models of bolt-action rifles. MSRP: $189

Butler Creek ASAP Rifle Mag Loaders
Keeping those long AR and AK magazines loaded at the shooting range is much easier now thanks to the new magazine loaders from Butler Creek. The ASAP Universal AR15/M16 Magazine Loader fits most AR magazines and loads three different ways. Loose ammo can be pressed in one round at a time with a simple click or simply swing out the 10-round loading arm to speed up the process. The arm can feed loose ammunition or military-type stripper clips. MSRP: $29.95

The ASAP Universal AK47/Galil loader prevents sore finger tips by comfortably clicking in loose ammunition one round at a time. MSRP: $29.95

Champion Interactive VisiColor Targets

There's no need to settle for boring, hard-to-see paper targets thanks to Champion's diverse lineup of VisiColor high-visibility targets. Not only does the black surface peel away to provide brightly colored rings around each bullet impact, the colors change depending on the location of the strike to make it even easier to identify where shots are landing. VisiColor targets are available in a variety of sizes and patterns for casual plinking, precision shooting and warming up for the hunt. MSRP: $7.95 - $22.49 

Colonial Knife Corp. Bushcraft & Deck Knives
Since 1926, Colonial Knife Corp. has been offering a variety of American made fixed-blade and folding knives for military and civilian use. Colonial has teamed up with custom knife maker and outdoor author Abe Elias to deliver a series of E.T.A.G. Bushcraft knives. These tactical utility knives are solid work horses to meet the needs of service people and bushcrafters alike. The larger CE-400's 6" long full-tang blade is constructed from 3/16” 154 CM steel with a high Saber grind. The blade geometry is useful for cutting and small chopping tasks. The Spine weight gives it plenty of mass for chopping yet it remains light enough for comfortable all-day carry. The Micarta scales have been thoughtfully polished and shaped to be comfortable yet provide plenty of control for long work sessions. MSRP: $137

The limited edition E.T.A.G. Bushcraft CE-100 knife sports many of the same desirable features as its larger compatriot but in a more compact package. At a reduced blade length of 4.25" with a much narrower profile, it's a full-tang utility blade with a tactical profile that makes it almost disappear on your side while remaining handy for when you need it. A trim handle design makes the blade nimble to control yet there are plenty of open contours to make it easy to use while wearing gloves. Only 600 units of these serial numbered and specially engraved knives were made, so don’t wait too long or they’ll be gone. MSRP: $200

From 1941 to 1945 American sailors fighting the Axis powers needed a knife that was versatile, durable and dependable under difficult weather conditions. The Colonial Mark 1 deck knife met and exceeded those requirements for thousands of sailors. Today it's an ideal all-purpose knife for survival, hunting, camping, and other outdoor sports and adventures. Everything from packaging to blade steel and temper is as it was established by the Department of Defense in 1942. MSRP: $55

Faxon Magazine Caliber Bands

A dad who enjoys shooting, collecting and building AR-15s can find it a challenge to keep his rifles, uppers and magazines organized. It's important to know which rounds are feeding into what chamber since a mix-up can cause catastrophic failures. A simple and affordable organizational solution is Faxon Firearms' Magazine Marker Bands. These heavy elastic bands are available in blue (5.56), red (300 BLK) and yellow (7.62x39 mm) and provide enough stretch for them to fit around AR-15 uppers too. Just slide the bands into place and you’ll have a simple, reliable color-coded means of keeping your components properly sorted in order to avoid mix-ups at the range. MSRP: $9.99 per bag of 10 (One Caliber/Color Per Bag)

Garmin Fenix 5X GPS Watches
Whether you're heading out for a day hike with the family or week of hunting with your friends, there always seems to be a bit too much gear to haul on the trail. The Garmin Fenix 5X provides comprehensive GPS navigation and tracking, full-color TOPO U.S. mapping, altimeter, barometer, 3-axis electronic compass and a time piece all rolled into a comfortable, convenient wrist watch format. Easy-to-read guidance cues provide banners on the display that show upcoming turns. Around Me map mode displays locations nearby in a simplified graphical interface that increases awareness when navigating unfamiliar environments. Data overlays on the map highlight key information so you don’t have to switch screens while participating in an outdoor activity. And this doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of this device's other features, including its rugged design, group tracking, smart notifications, heart monitoring systems and advanced exercise performance tracking. MSRP: Starting at $699.99

Hyskore Portable Shooting Bench

The Hyskore Portable Shooting Bench (#30280) was designed to be useful in the field and at the shooting range. This all-steel folding bench is easy to set up and weighs in at less than 20 lbs. for comfortable hand carry. The padded V-notch gun support has adjustable elevation and four mounts to accommodate any length of long gun. An integral spotting scope mount can attach to either the left or right side and is adjustable for both height and eye relief. The legs are mounted using heavy duty MG-42 Machine Gun Rest connectors and sturdy M12 T-bolts. The feet are based with the same aggressive design to provide stable traction on turf, soil, and most other surfaces. MSRP: $169.99 

Real Avid Pistol Tool & Bore Boss

Real Avid makes a host of practical and easy-to-use gun maintenance tools. Designed to fold up and fit into a double-stack pistol magazine pouch, the Pistol Tool can be used to strip down, adjust and maintain handguns in the field or at the work bench. Each of this tool’s 19 functions were selected for use with popular handgun types including striker-fired polymer pistols, 1911s and revolvers. Use the non-hardened stainless steel pick to remove gunk or scrape off carbon build up. The six ball detent hex bits can be used to tighten up grip and sight screws. The four Bondhus Protanium hex keys are used for adjusting laser sights. A locking 3" 420 stainless steel Tanto blade can handle everyday cutting operations and eliminates the need to carry a separate pocket knife. Other features include a 1911 bushing wrench, 3/32" pin punch, fine tooth metal file and a tap hammer surface. MSRP: $39.99

A typical pull-through cleaning system will scrub your bore but how are you supposed to store it or carry it with you in the field? The new Real Avid Bore Boss is an innovative, compact, self-storing system. The single piece cable with integrated phosphor bronze brush and braided mop wraps around the unique Flex-Case Handle to keep the system stowed and organized. Flip down the soft sides of the case to unwrap and remove the cleaning cable. Feed the cable through the bore and then snap the end into the case’s slot to use it as a pull handle. When the work is done, wrap the cable back into the case. This handy cleaning system is available for a variety of calibers including rimfire, center-fire and shotgun platforms. MSRP: $9.99

Ruger CRKT Muzzle-Brake Fixed-Blade Knife

Ruger continues to expand its collection of signature CRKT knives with the new fixed blade Muzzle-Brake (#18649) field knife. Designed by Ken Onion, this knife's full tang 7" long 8Cr13MoV steel blade is 0.375" thick with a plain edge, a clip point, blood grooves and a corrosion-resistant black finish. The glass-filled nylon handle features the same sure grip texturing as the Ruger American Rifle stock with Ruger eagles embossed into both sides and a lanyard hole. Weighing in at 10.8 oz., this well-balanced bowie-style blade is ideal for use as an in-camp chopper, for fashioning an emergency shelter or for butchering game animals after a successful hunt. This knife ships with a 3.8 oz. injection-molded, multi-position Nylon sheath and a DOTS-LOK belt clip. MSRP: $89.95

SOG's New Camping Tool Trifecta

SOG Knives & Tools has three new-for-2017 offerings in its Outdoor product line that are practical and affordable. The Camp Ax (CH1001-CP) is 11.5" long and weighs just 1 lb. thanks to the glass-reinforced nylon handle. The satin stainless steel ax head has a 3.1" chopping blade and a flat hammering surface. SOG could have made this ax a little lighter but it chose instead to make it stronger with stainless steel screws and a 2" collar to protect the handle. MSRP: $54 

The 4" clip point blade of the all-purpose Field Knife (FK1001-CP) is constructed of 7Cr17MoV stainless steel which extends all the way through the soft thermoplastic rubber handle to provide a hammer extension next to the lanyard hole. This knife ships with a black GRN synthetic sheath featuring an integral belt clip, additional attachment points and a notch that exposes a portion of the knife blade for safely cutting paracord or fishing line. The Field Knife and sheath together weigh 5.2 oz. MSRP: $40

The new 0.7 oz. SOG Flint Tool (FT1001-CP) houses several functions in a compact aluminum housing that's about the same size as your average ball point pen. The Flint arrives ready to use with an emergency whistle at one end, a glass breaker at the other and a lanyard loop. Unscrewing the housing reveals a fire starter rod, a toothed striker and a ball of steel wool tinder. MSRP: $20

Tipton Ultra Gun Vise

The new steel framed Tipton Ultra Gun Vise (110011) secures your favorite long guns for cleaning, repairs, mounting optics or installing upgrades. The fully adjustable over-molded rubber contact pads with fast-turn knobs prevent damage to firearms. The modular chassis design allows trays and supports to be easily rearranged or removed anywhere along the tubular rails. Ball and socket articulating clamp pads allow them to adapt to the gun's shape while the four adjustable rubber-padded feet make scope leveling much simpler. An AR Vise Block module is included for working on AR-15 rifles and carbines. MSRP: $179.99


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