When Father's Day rolls around, you want to buy the special sportsman in your life a gift that's thoughtful and useful. Although you may not have a lot to spend this year, there are plenty of great gifts that keep on giving without having to smash the kids’ piggy banks. Here are a few products I've worked with that will help Dad enjoy his shooting and hunting hobbies.
1. Alpine Innovations AR Slicker & Scope Slicker
Modern sporting rifles and optics are expensive, so you'll want to protect them from the elements when enjoying the great outdoors. Alpine Innovations provides two weatherproof fabric covers that can be tucked into attached draw-string pouches for easy storage. The AR-Slicker fits open sight or scoped AR platforms from 30" to 43" in length and can be used with rifle slings and bipods. Color options include black, flat dark and earth king's camo. Made of quiet, lightweight neoprene fabric with an attached microfiber lens cleaner, the ScopeSlicker fits a variety of sporting optics and can be clipped just about anywhere when not in use. Available in black and mountain camo. MSRP: AR-Slicker $29.99, ScopeSlicker $14.99 (shown above)
2. Ergo Grips' Delta Grip
Ergo Grip's Delta Grip is the first truly ergonomic grip for snub nose five-shot revolvers. This wedge-shaped grip features a rigid polymer core over-molded with a soft textured rubber. Engineered to fit the mechanics of the human hand, this grip offers a superior natural point of aim, comfort and control. Made in the USA, Delta grips are available for the Smith & Wesson J-Frame (#4581-SWJ) and Ruger LCR (#4583-RUG-BK) revolvers. MSRP: Starting at $26.75
3. Fremont Knives Gentleman Skinner
There's no reason that a wide, fixed-blade knife designed for hunting and camping can't be classy too. Weighing in at just 8 oz., the Fremont Knives Gentleman Skinner has a traditional look with its partially checkered rosewood grip panels, lanyard hole and brown leather sheath. Made from .140" thick 4cr15 stainless steel, the 4.5" long glass bead finished full-tang blade is shaped for quick and easy skinning. Place your index finger along the notched spine and the tip of your thumb into the blade's trapezoidal hole for an extra firm grip. This knife can also take on other typical camping chores with ease. MSRP: $54.99
4. Scopecoat Slideboot
No one wants their pistol slides to get nicked, dinged or scratched when transporting them to the shooting range or putting them away inside a gun safe. The Scopecoat Slideboot is a neoprene slide cover that protects against dust, dirt and damage. Slip one on to your semi-automatic to guard against bump damage from other guns in the same carry case. Shooting benches are notoriously dirty and gritty, so slip the cover on when the pistol is not in use. The neoprene material is oil resistant to help prevent gun lubricants from leaking into the interior of carry cases and gun safes. The Slideboot is available in three colors and seven sizes for both striker-fire and 1911-style pistols. MSRP: $19.99
5. Gun Storage Solutions Rifle Rods and Handgun Hangers
Gun Storage Solutions (GSS) systems for maximizing the usefulness of the space inside your gun safe are not only ruggedly reliable and easy to install, they're also more flexible than you might think. The company's Rifle Rod system uses a hook-and-loop base paired with carbon fiber rods to stabilize long guns in an upright position. This set up protects guns from bumping into each other and takes up less space than traditional notched rifle racks and supports. It's also the best system available for unusual gun sizes, like rifle-action pistols. By attaching the hook-and-loop base to a lower shelf and trimming the rifle rods to just the right length, guns like the Ruger Charger, Henry Mare's leg and AR-15 pistols can be stored upright just like long guns.
For hobbyists who like to build AR-15s, the GSS under-the-shelf handgun hangers can be put to another use. Designed to support .22-cal. or larger handguns with an overall length of 10" or less, these hangers also provide a great way to store stripped lower receivers. The arm of the hanger fits comfortably through the pivot pin holes and provides enough space for up to three forged lowers so that they hang out of the way and are kept safe from dings and scratches. MSRP: Rifle Rod Kits Starting at $39.95, Handgun Hanger 4-Packs $29.95
6. Hoppe's Gun Medic Line
No matter how well made a particular gun may be, all firearms can experience malfunctions when they're dirty, fowled, or in need of lubrication. The need for gun maintenance can rear its ugly head at the most inconvenient times, like the middle of a hunting trip, competition, or a day of shooting out in the field. To help keep guns running in tough situations, Hoppe's now offers the Gun Medic line of products. The Quick Fix Cleaner & Lube aerosol formula blasts away carbon and debris. The cleaner evaporates in 60 seconds and leaves behind a thin layer of high-performance, bio-based lubricant with a temperature rating from -65° to 500°F. The spray is available in 10-oz. ($12.95) and 4-oz. ($7.95) cans. The products can also be purchased separately, the cleaner only in 10-oz. aerosol cans ($9.99) or the lubricant in 2-oz. bottles ($8.45).
7. Magpul DAKA Pouches
Whether you’re prepping for an emergency situation, headed out on a hunt or packing up for a camping trip, there's always that handful of small (but important) items that need to be kept clean, dry and well-organized. Magpul's DAKA Pouches are made from polymer-infused textiles that are welded on all seams and use a genuine YKK water-resistant zipper. Available in three different sizes and colors, the construction methods and materials used make these pouches ideal for hard-use applications as well as lighter duties including storing tools, first aid supplies and personal electronics. Although these pouches are not 100% water proof (i.e. fully submersible) they will keep your items dry under most wet-weather conditions. DAKA pouches are made in the U.S.A. MSRP: Small $18.95, Medium $22.95, Large $27.95
8. McFadden Machine Lightnin' Grip .22 LR Loader
Taking .22 rimfire rifles and pistols to the range is a lot of fun. Loading their high capacity magazines? Not so much. Although there are plenty of magazine loaders out on the market these days, most of them are designed to fit a single make and model. The McFadden Machine Lightnin' Grip Loader is a fast, affordable and flexible loading option that accepts in-house adapters that fit a variety of popular .22 rifle and pistol magazines, including Ruger 10/22 aftermarket banana magazines, Marlin semi-autos, the S&W MP15-22, AR-15 rimfire conversions and the Kimber 1911 pistol conversion kits. With the loader's hopper properly filled with loose .22 rounds, quickly squeezing the grip will load a magazine in seconds without making your fingers sore and greasy. MSRP: Lightnin' Grip Loader $22.50, Magazine Adapters $6 each
9. Night Stick Dual-Light Flashlights
Nightstick, a division of Bayco Products, offers literally dozens of useful professional-grade flashlights at affordable prices. Here's just one suggestion your Dad will like, the 5.3" long, 2.2-oz. model NSP-1400T. This hand-held dual-switch, dual-light flashlight has two body switches offering the user a choice of flashlight, floodlight or dual-light operation. The forward facing LED flashlight provides 60 Lumens of bright white light and the side-mounted flood light fills dark spaces with 25 Lumens of brightness. Its compact design and pocket clip makes it convenient to use and carry. The handle's flat base allows the light to stand upright on hard flat surfaces. The water resistant housing is made from engineered polymer and has a soft touch finish. Two AAA batteries provide up to three hours of run time when one light source is activated or one and a half hours when both light sources are activated. Available in black, tan and safety orange. MSRP: $14.99
10. SportEar XP3 Plugs
SportEar provides affordable and reusable hearing protection with XP3 ear plugs. The soft, hypoallergenic medical-grade silicone and multi-flange design provides a one-size, comfortable fit. Your hearing remains protected without interfering with your ability to hear what's going on around you in the field thanks to a patented sound valve that passes through the core of the silicone shell. Safe sound levels are allowed to pass through while potentially harmful noise levels above 85DB are reduced. The XP3 plugs have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 19 db with the sound valve open and 25 db with the valve closed. The soft material is durable and easily washable to reuse as many times as you like. MSRP: $23