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Your Buyer’s Guide to Badass Holiday Gifts

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Here's what we know. We know no one likes getting lame ass gifts for the holidays. It doesn't matter if it's Christmas, Hanukkah, or Pancha Ganapati, no one wants to be disappointed with their holiday loot. What's the discerning gift-giver to do? Relax. We're going to do you a solid and help you figure out that very thing. Here are some #thingstolustfor; put them on your list of #holidayplunder. This is the entire holiday buyers guide from issue 22. You're welcome. Be sure to check social media for those hashtags, we've been trying to expand your selection.


01 According to the description, the American Jedi shirt is for pipe hitters, patriots, and people who like “…JDAMs, free beer, German Shepherd puppies, muscle cars, Johnny Cash, thick-cut steaks, belt-fed weapons, and the Constitution…” American Jedi, they say, understand that while violence is not always the answer, sometimes it's the only answer. They do what's right when no one is watching and believe in American Exceptionalism. A chunk of the proceeds are donated quarterly to charities like SOC-F and Pawns & Stripes that support “American Jedi” type individuals.

Make: Knife Hand Apparel (@breachbangclear)
Model: American Jedi Tee
MSRP: $25

02 Need a gift for the wrong-handed? This rifle may be just the thing for the lefty in your life. The RF-10 was built from the ground up specifically for left-handed shooters by the guys at Radical Firearms of Stafford, Texas. It features a proprietary left-handed 8620 carrier and 9310 bolt wtih upgraded NiB ejector, custom 9310 billet steel left-handed bolt catch, ambi mag release, and ambi selector switch. The rifle uses matched 7075 aluminum receivers and ships with a 15-inch Radical Hybrid keymod and 1913 Rail System, 18-inch custom-fluted 416R stainless match-grade button barrel (they guarantee it's sub MOA), as well as a custom 416R tuned muzzle device. It will also ship with a custom ambi charging handle (not pictured). The rifle comes with a polished and tuned 4.5-pound single-stage trigger, is SR25 mag compatible, and also includes a transferable lifetime warranty. You a righty? Well, OK then. They have an AR-10 for you too. God bless Texas.

Make: Radical Firearms (@radicalfirearms)
Model: RF-10L
MSRP: RF10 and 10L start at $1,299. Rifle pictured is $1,999.


03 How about we continue with some custom leatherwork, courtesy of Utah-based Greg Stevens? Now that it's back in style to enjoy manly wearables, a nice wallet or watch is a must. These are hand crafted from Horween Coffee leather with black thread. The wallet features a quick slot on the back for your most used credit card, with room for three to four more inside, as well as your ID and concealed carry permit and, of course, a bit of cash. The watch strap will fit most brands, and the key fob improves your swagger. Speaking of classy, Lifetime Leather Company is worth checking out as well.

Make: Greg Stevens Designs (@gregstevensdesign)
Model: V2 Slimmer Wallet, Watch Strap and Key Fob
MSRP: Varies: $40, $65, and $175 shown


04 It can be difficult to choose the right firearm as a gift and far safer to help someone customize the one they have. Our suggestion? Arrange for some credit at a custom shop or gunsmith. This particular Glock was customized by Florida's veteran-owned C&H Precision Weapons. They offer a host of pistol customization options, including (take a deep breath) all manner of stippling, trigger work, engraving, logo inlay, flutes and dimples, slide serrations, weight reduction panels, RMR cuts, ported slides…well, let's just say there's lots of possibilities. While you're talking to them, ask about their authentic M40 series rifles.

Make: C&H Precision Weapon Custom Firearm Work (@chpws)
Model: Varies
MSRP: Varies


05 A proper belt isn't just a fashion accessory, it's a vital part of carrying a firearm. The Flagrant Beard articulated leather belt is a good, stylish option for the person looking for something that doesn't use a Cobra, Raptor, or Aegis buckle. Already beloved of many metro-tacticals, the Flagrant Beard belt currently comes in black, tan, and burgundy. Each is hand-stamped in an articulated, “already-broken-in” curve, while being handmade by Amish craftsmen in Tennessee. They're full grain leather, 3?16-inch thick, with contrasting stitch and finished edges. Threaded rivets allow for interchangeable buckles. Plus, much to the dismay of gangbangers and many skateboarders, they actually keep your pants from falling down and showing off your underwear.

Make: Flagrant Beard (@flagrantbeard)
Model: Articulated Leather Belt
MSRP: $55


06 Kydex may be all the rage in holsters right now, but sometimes it's nicer to have one built from the skin of something that had a parent. Everyone likes…hell needs, a good holster. With just a little effort you can get one that's handmade, and perfect. These particular specimens will ship to you from the small town of Weleetka, Oklahoma. There, Jeremiah and Jerri Savoy specialize in Second Amendment-themed “holster art,” but there's no practical limit to their craftsmanship.

Make: Savoy Leather Holster (@savoyleather)
Model: Varies
MSRP: From $119


07 It's usually (though not always) a good idea to wear pants, making trousers a convenient holiday gift. What you see here are not your typical britches, though. These are Griffon Industries Calico Premium Denims. They use great quality fabric and dye, are high rise, relaxed fit, and feature a number of cunningly placed pockets for wallet, knives, mags, frags, bangs…you get the idea (they were designed by Mark Owen after all). Watch for custom 25-ounce Japanese Selvedge Denim in the coming months. Currently available in both black and indigo, they are perfect for those who demand unrestricted movement while looking pretty — think pre-op Caitlyn Jenner, Clint Lynch, Asian Zoolander Alex Ko, and maybe you.

Make: Griffon Industries (@griffonindustries)
Model: Gi Calico
MSRP: $150


08 Pic rail, MLOK, KeyMod, Kinect, rigger's tape, zip ties…so many accessory mounting options! Rather than worry about picking the correct furniture, go a different direction. Get a Talon ambi 45/90 safety selector switch from AXTS; it's badass. They come in a 2- or 4-lever set and are easily installed, allowing the shooter to switch from a 90-degree to 45-degree short throw without removing the safety from the lever. Made in the USA by vetrepreneur Eric Andersen, they're available in black, tungsten gray, burn bronze, nickel boron, and FDE.

Make: AXTS Weapon Systems (@axts_weapons)
Model: Talon Ambidextrous Safety Selector and Raptor Charging Handle
MSRP: $80 to $120 (Talon), $90 to $130 (Raptor)


09 Have a backpacker, survivalist, Boy Scout, or other sort of outdoorsman on your list? Take a gander at Woodman's Pal. A classic made-in-the-USA tool, they've been serving the military since WWII. In fact, next year is their anniversary. Get the iconic Classic Woodman's Pal with natural leather sheath or go for the canvas clad Nostalgia model. The former features a sickle hook for vines, briars, and brush, and a blade that will hew through wood up to 1-inch thick with a single stroke. The latter has not changed since it was issued by the U.S. military in 1941 as the LC-14-B. The Nostalgia collection comes with reprints of the original WWII manuals as used by the Army Signal Corps and a round two-grit sharpening stone. As you can see, engraving is an option.

Make: Protool Industries Original Woodman's Pal (@protoolindustries)
Model: Classic Model 481-L and Nostalgia Collection 248-NC
MSRP: $94 (Classic), $146 (Nostalgia) — $25 additional charge for engraving


10 Half Face Blades is the work of Andrew Arrabito, a former NSW frogman based in San Diego. These are both Series 2 Crow Scout, acid etched and stone washed works of art in CPM S35vn American Steel. The first is 10 inches OAL with a 5-inch blade, semi drop point and false edge with rock work for thumb grip, and rosewood burl handle with a burned grip inlay. The other features a giraffe bone handle and added custom etching. If you're lucky enough to get a knife from Half Face Blades, it will come with a Half Face Blades sheath. What you see with the rosewood handled Crow Scout, however, is a one-off custom leather sheath from Mr. Robert Ford of Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee.

Make: Half Face Blades
Model: Series 2 Crow Scout
MSRP: Crow Scout $425 to $475 (Robert Ford Sheath: $75)


11 You're likely now seeking an excuse to buy one of the GSD watch straps we just told you about. Look no further than the Smith & Bradley improved Ambush. This watch was designed by Jerommie Smith to be tough enough for the most rigorous fieldwork, while looking nice enough for a boardroom fray. The Ambush is the first of its kind, a digital analog watch born and raised in rural Illinois to be accurate, tough, and stylish. This timepiece is not just fashion accessory — it's a tool.

Make: Smith & Bradley Limited (@sbwatches)
Model: Ambush
MSRP: $645


12 There are many great flashlight manufacturers out there, but why not choose something a trifle different and more personal this time? These lights are the work of a quiet and affable young man named Anthony Soukup of Soukup Machine. The handheld is a P60 host using a multilevel (high/low) Nailbender Customlites light engine and McGizmo McClicky tailcap switch. As for the WML-2, that's a badass little weapon light. Its monolithic body housing will bolt directly to an MLOK or KeyMod rail, eliminating the need for a light mount. Better yet, the body tube has the same dimensional features on either end so you can switch the tailcap and light bezel, making it fully ambidextrous.

Make: Soukup Machine (@taclites)
Model: Custom Ti handheld and WML-2
MSRP: not available at press time


13 Looking for a light that's truly unique and needs no batteries? This is the Tritium Map Lamp from James Coogler. The light source is an 11mm white tritium sphere (the same thing you see on GITD watches and some night sights). It's expected to last up to 10 years. The body is 6AL4V anodized titanium. Use it in low light or pitch-black conditions without broadcasting your location to unfriendly or too-curious eyes—beats using an angle-neck under a poncho.

Make: James Coogler Knives (@karambitcom)
Model: James Coogler's Titanium Tritium Map Light
MSRP: $300


14 Man jewelry always makes a good gift. In God We Must is the work of a South Carolina artisan named Elijah Richards. His statehood quarter rings are hand crafted out of uncirculated state quarters. They're double sided, with your home state or state of our birth on the front side of the band, and year the quarter was minted on the back. Each is completely unique in detail and patina. The statehood tag necklace is similarly made and hangs from a 25-inch chain, with a pendant polished to a mirror finish. Lastly, the Buffalo Nickel Pin set uses the iconic Buffalo Nickel (in circulation from 1912 to 1938) and comes with both sides (American Indian and Buffalo) visible. Use it on your hat, as a tie tack, or on your range bag.

Make: In God We Must (@ingodwemust)
Model: Double Sided State Quarter Ring, Statehood Tag Necklace
MSRP: Ring $40, Necklace $47, Buffalo Nickel Pin Set $12


15 Tops as toys have been around since…well, since forever, and in many cultures too. Whip tops, twirling tops, pump tops, and assorted whirligigs, they're perhaps the world's most ubiquitous toy. Kids have been playing with tops since before they were made of mammoth ivory. The ones you see here aren't your typical spinning top, however, and they're more art than toy. These hail from Mitch Lum Machined. One has been engraved by Tom Ferry, one that's tungsten with a Ti stem and one with a Timascus billet end. Worried about losing one of these beauties? Use the top stand.

Make: Mitch Lum Machined (@mitchlum)
Model: Machined tops of Timascus, Tungsten, and Titanium
MSRP: Varies


16 This self defense jewelry was designed by Grant and Gavin Hawk. The aptly named Vicious Circle is a more elegant, less obtrusive knife than you'll typically see. They build several styles of these ambidextrous knives, all worn as a pendant. Here you see one with polished abalone and another in stonewash with black pearl. OAL is 1.75 inches with a blade length of 1.5 inches. The hawkbill blade is AUS-8 with a handle of stainless steel. The lock is a trigger lock; the whole thing mounts on a neck sling with bailout key and weighs just a smidgen more than 1.5 ounces. It can be easily disengaged with a simple twist of the wrist by grabbing the ring and rolling it in a downward rotational motion.

Make: G&G Hawk Knives (@hawkknives)
Model: Vicious Circle
MSRP: $65


17 It's hard to beat a Zippo when it comes to gifts, even if the recipient doesn't smoke. This one has been customized and armored in leather by Danny Smash of Wasteland Oddities. No two of these are alike, as each is handmade, hand tooled, and hand painted over the course of many long hours. As you can tell, the pattern chosen could not be better. Even if you don't like the idea of a leather-clad lighter, you need to take a look at this guy's site. He's a damn genius. He got all the cool stuff.

Make: Wasteland Oddities & Leather Art (@wastelandoddities)
Model: Armored Leather Zippo
MSRP: American Flag ALZ $140. Other styles will vary.


18 Not everyone carries a gun 24/7/365, particularly in the home. Without proximity and access, though, a weapon intended for defense could quickly become the focus of regret. If you can't get to it, you can't use it on the violent and unwelcome. Tactical Walls is a company that addresses that issue by making concealment furnishing. That's right, concealment furnishings. It's decor that's far more secure (and tasteful) than just tucking a blaster under the couch cushion. Among their lineup — a clock that slides open to reveal a hidden compartment suitable for stashing away a typically sized semi-auto or Taser (Nerf guns being of little value against armed intruders). Another piece they offer? The Issue Box. It hides your gun in plain sight, disguised as a tissue box.

Make: Tactical Walls (@tacticalwalls)
Model: 1410 Tactical Clock and TW Issue Box
MSRP: $49 (Issue Box), $175 (Tactical Clock)


19 You know what would make an unexpected but welcome holiday gift? Something classy. Something that secures a prized firearm while displaying it with sophistication. We're talking about the Blaze Universal case from Technoframes (or any of its elegant cousins). The Blaze Universal is a locking handgun case with a see-through face and solid aluminum frame. It will hold semi-autos and revolvers alike, utilizing a built-in keylock to prevent unauthorized access while looking good. Accessorize it with engraving, various finishes, ballistic covers, and wall mounts.

Make: Technoframes (#technoframes)
Model: Blaze Universal
MSRP: $250


20 “There are worse crimes than burning books,” Joseph Brodsky says. “One of them is not reading them.” Giving the gift of a book is a good thing on many levels. Like fiction? Try Larry Correia and Mike Kupari's Dead Six series. Both authors are well versed in firearms, both instruct, and both are outspoken in their defense of the Second Amendment. Of his childhood, competitive shooter, and best selling author Correia says, “No matter how poor we got, there was always an ammo budget.” Kupari is a former EOD tech, combat veteran, and revolverphile whose wry tendency to castigate stupidity makes for great social media butthurt. Which is awesome!

Make: Baen Books (@BaenBooks)
Model: Dead Six Series
MSRP: Varies


21 Software. No, not that kind of software. How about a gift that helps expand one's knowledge, increase proficiency, and hone skills? Software is almost always a better gift than hardware, and it usually lasts longer (unless there's laziness or window-licking involved). Send your loved one to a class why don'tcha? Use RECOIL holiday code #honeyourskills to save anywhere from $50 to $150 on a course from one of these organizations. Limit is typically one per family, but individual instructors have indicated they'll allow more. The eligible enrollment period may vary; some will be for 2015 courses only, some will go through 2016. You'll likely have to contact the organization directly, indicating you read about them and the holiday saving code in this issue. That will also give you the chance to obtain class specifics and prerequisites or vetting requirements.

Participating companies:
88 Tactical
Agile Training
Alias Training & Security Services (all courses)
Costa Ludus
Dark Angel Medical
Deliberate Dynamics
EAG Tactical
Greenside Training
Handgun Combatives
Havoc Training Solutions
LMS Defense
Lone Star Medics
Magpul Core
Many regional instructors affiliated with I.C.E. Training
Michigan Defensive Firearms Institute
Panteao (all make ready training classes)
Paragon 6
Pramek Combatives
Rockwell Tactical
Sage Dynamics
Sentinel Concepts
Shadow 6
Spartan Training
Stoic Ventures
Strategos International
Talon Defense
Tarani Training and Education
Thunderbird Firearms Academy
Victory First
Waypoint Shooting
All course specifics will vary

For the rest of this article, subscribe here: RECOIL Issue 22

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