Holiday Gift Guide: Guns & Gear [2019]

Want to give or get something awesome this year?

Trijicon-ACOG-648-GIGACOG
The GIGACOG

We see, test, and abuse a ton of gun stuff here at Pew Pew Tactical.

Here’s some of our perennial favorites…as well as new things to the market in 2019 across all budgets.

Table of Contents

Loading...

Optics

This year it seemed everyone made their own red dot and/or 1-6x scope.

We’re glad…because the quality is getting higher while prices drop.

Sig Sauer Romeo 5

We’ve still got a little bit of testing to do for other brands…but as of now the Romeo 5 might be the best red dot under $200.

Sig Red Dots
Sig Romeo5 with included “TREAD” edition riser mount.

And when it’s on sale it gets really close to the $100 mark.

Check out our full review.

Brutally Tested Budget Red Dot
120
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Want to go cheaper? Check out our destructive tests in Best Red Dots Under $100.

Primary Arms 1-6x

Our current favorite for a low power variable optic (LPVO) is the PA 1-6x that can get everything done from close-up engagements out to 400+ yards.

Mounted Primary Arms 1-6x
Mounted Primary Arms 1-6x

Clear glass, great reticle, and excellent bang-for-the-buck.

290
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Check out a quick vid of it at the range.

See our full review here…and video!

Trijicon MRO

We’re finishing up our in-depth review but right now the MRO is our go-to “premium” red dot that we’d feel comfortable on a home defense or battle rifle.

Best Green Dot
456
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Check out our definitive article on Best Red Dots.

Trijicon RMR

Several have tried to unseat the king of pistol red dots.

Tested Pistol Red Dots
Tested Pistol Red Dots

But our favorite still goes out to the Trijicon RMR.

However, there’s still ton of more affordable options in our Best Pistol Red Dot review.

Now…let’s jump into some rifle stuff!

AR-15 Upgrades

Again…another year of super “innovative” AR-15 upgrades. But really it’s the same stuff slightly more refined.

Endomag

This is pretty cool…and we’re going to come out with a full review and video soon.

But the Endomag turns your 30-round PMAG and standard AR-15 lower into a 9mm platform.

EndoMag Group Pic
EndoMag Group Pic

No need to buy a new 9mm lower!

33
at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Full review here and also a YouTube video too.

Precision Armament M4-72 Severe Duty

Our overall favorite AR-15 muzzle brake is the M4-72 Severe Duty.

Precision Armament M4-72
Precision Armament M4-72

It’s loud and your buddies on the side will hate you…but wow your reticle doesn’t move!

And it’s not a terrible value at $89 compared to others.

Editor's Pick
90
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Check out the rest of our tested brakes in 8 Best AR-15 Muzzle Brakes.

Or if you’re going big boy…6 Best .308 Muzzle Brakes.

Tested .308 Muzzle Brakes & Compensators, Fanned
Tested .308 Muzzle Brakes & Compensators, Fanned

SBA3 Pistol Brace

AR-15 pistols are all the rage. And which pistol brace you choose matters…

We really like the SBA3 from SB Tactical.

SBA3 Pistol Brace
SBA3 Pistol Brace
135
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And yes…we tested a whole bunch of them out in Best AR and AK Pistol Braces.

Faxon Gunner Barrel

Building a new upper? You’ll need a nice barrel.

One of my favorites for accuracy and affordability is the Faxon Gunner Barrel.

Faxon 16" Gunner 5.56 Barrel
Faxon 16″ Gunner 5.56 Barrel

Find out why I use it in most of my builds and why I always recommend it to my buddies in the full review.

Goldilocks Barrel
175
at Faxon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Superlative Arms Adjustable Gas Block

Want to further reduce your reticle movement?

You might want to check out an adjustable gas block and tune it for your specific loads.

Superlative Arms Gas Bleedoff
Superlative Arms Gas Bleedoff

The Superlative Arms bleeds off the excess gas so your BCG doesn’t smash into you unnecessarily. It really makes a world of difference.

Of course…full review here.

Best Adjustable Gas Block
89
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

STNGR Handguards

My new recent best bang-for-the-buck handguards for new builds goes to the STNGR VYPR.

STNGR VYPR and HWK
STNGR VYPR (front) and HWK (rear)

What it doesn’t have in vowels they make up for in fit/finish/color…and price.

STNGR VYPR Handguard, Full Rifle
STNGR VYPR 15″ Handguard, Full Rifle

With the 13.5″ at $119 and the 15″ variant coming in at $125.

The cuts are aggressive which helps with the weight (11.5 oz) but I was afraid it was almost too aggressive so that my finger would touch the barrel.

But with plenty of mags and shooters…none of us had that problem.

Oh yea there’s other models too like the HWK which is my second favorite.

HWK and VYPR, Front
HWK (rear) and VYPR (front)

See more in Best AR-15 Handguards. But this is my best value pick.

119
at STNGR

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Patriot Pin & ARMag Lock

These next two go out to my CA folks who make due with the hand dealt to them.

AR Maglock and Patriot Pin Combo
AR Maglock and Patriot Pin Combo

This combo system helps you have a fixed magazine, open up your two receiver halves, and get reloaded…quickly.

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to stay compliant…full review here.

55
at Patriot Pin

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Resurgent Arms Featureless Grip

Ok…one more for CA folks!

This one is my favorite featureless grip that allows an almost normal wraparound grip.

Resurgent Arms, Hand Position, Left
Resurgent Arms, Hand Position, Left

Now with an extended safety latch!

Full review along with some others at Best Featureless Grip.

40
at Resurgent Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Range Gear

Guns…check. Ammo…check. How about the other stuff you might need?

Cedar Mills Guitar Gun Case

Need to go covert with a really nice looking case?

Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case
Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case

Cedar Mill has got you! Fits a collapsed 16″ AR with room to spare for mags or a pistol.

AR-15 in Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case
AR-15 in Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case
189
at Cedar Mill

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

See more of our favorites in Best Gun Cases.

Hard Gun Cases
Hard Gun Cases

5.11 Range Bag

How about our go-to range bag?

It’s big…it’s study. It’s the 5.11 Range Bag.

5.11 Tactical Bag, Open
5.11 Tactical Bag, Open

But for those that might not need a ton of space…check out our Best Range Bags.

BEST LARGE RANGE BAG
100
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Savior Equipment Rifle Bags

We’ve been through covert and range bags…what’s our favorite rifle bags?

For most things it’s going to be Savior Equipment.

Different Savior Equipment Models
Different Savior Equipment Models

High quality Cordura and stitching compared to el cheapo bags.

I’ve been hauling multiple rifles with optics each range trip with them and so far they’ve held up well.

Savior Equipment, Two Compartments
Savior Equipment, Two Compartments
57
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

See more analysis and other picks in Best Gun Cases.

Celestron 52250 Spotting Scope

Our go-to spotting scope for most people just getting into long range shooting.

Celestron Spotting Scope
Celestron Spotting Scope

The Celestron is affordable with decent glass. Here it is showing 600 yard targets.

Celestron Spotting Scope 60x
Celestron Spotting Scope 60x
Editor's Pick
149
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you need something a little more robust or clearer glass…check out our Best Spotting Scopes article.

Tested Spotting Scopes
Tested Spotting Scopes

Caldwell DFT 2 Lead Sled

We do a lot of benched shooting for groups…

PSA 6.5 Creedmoor Testing Setup
PSA 6.5 Creedmoor Testing Setup

And our go-to is the Caldwell DFT series of lead sleds.

Caldwell DeadShot Combo

If you need something a little more portable and gives you more feel than a true lead rest…

Check out the DeadShot Combo which has a nice height that accommodates a wide range of rifles.

20
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

ShootSteel AR500 Targets

Looking for a little more *ting* in your life?

ShootSteel (3)
ShootSteel

Our go-to AR500 steel targetmaker is ShootSteel. Check out our full review here.

Glock Upgrades

Killer Innovations Muzzle Brake

We were honored to judge Triggrcon’s annual Golden Triggerr Awards…and Killer Innovation’s Glock Muzzle Brake was one of our winners.

We were very pleasantly surprised that it kept the sights on target MUCH better than with a bare muzzle.

And it looks freakin’ cool (with an easy on/off too).

105
at Rainier Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Tyrant CNC Glock Package

Since custom Glock frames have flooded the market…the race is on to make your Glock the most unique looking out there.

Tyrant CNC Extended Glock Mag Release
Tyrant CNC Extended Glock Mag Release

One of my current favorites is Tyrant CNC’s extended mag release, extended mag bases, and slide plate.

50
at Tyrant Designs

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Check out more of my favorite Glock Upgrades…from pure performance inside to cool looking stuff on the outside.

Soft Goods

SKD Shooting Gloves

If it’s too hot or too cold…or you don’t want your hands to get ripped up.

You’ll want some nice shooting gloves that give protection but don’t hinder your trigger finger.

SKD FDT Alpha Gloves
SKD FDT Alpha Gloves

My pick for overall shooting gloves is the SKD Alpha.

Editor's Choice Shooting Glove
42
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Learn more about them as well as my other picks (such as thinnest gloves and best for women) in our Shooting Gloves article.

All Tested Tactical Shooting Gloves
All Tested Tactical Shooting Gloves

Wiley X Saber Shooting Glasses

How about protecting your eyeballs?

Wiley X Saber
Wiley X Saber

My go-to for affordable and comfy shooting glasses is the Wiley X Saber.

Check out more budget (and baller) picks in Best Shooting Glasses.

Tested Shooting Glasses
Tested Shooting Glasses

MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X

It’s full name is a mouthful but the MSA Sordins are my favorite electronic hearing protection.

MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X
MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X

It’s comfy for hours and has great sound quality.

Only downside is if you’re next to compensated rifles for an extended amount of time I’d suggest doubling up.

Best Overall Electronic Hearing Protection
269
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Check out passive protection, earbuds, and more budget friendly electronic ones in our Best Shooting Ear Protection article.

Tested Shooting Ear Protection Muffs
Tested Shooting Ear Protection Muffs

VTAC Wide Hybrid Sling

One of the team’s favorite rifle slings is the VTAC.

VTAC Sling Two Pull Tabs
VTAC Sling Two Pull Tabs
Best Two-Point Sling
43
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

See it in action against our other favorite sling from Blue Force Gear.

Looking for something more than a standard AR-15 sling?

We go over all the other options like single-point, pure leather, and Ching slings in Best Rifle Slings.

5.11 AMP72 Low Profile Pack

Looking for a mid-capacity backpack (40L) that has all the bells and whistles but doesn’t scream TACTICAL?

Enter the 5.11 AMP72 Backpack that’s perfect for a 3-day op…or a carry-on.

Bearded Man Overlooking Vista in Desert
Bearded Man Overlooking Vista in Desert

We cover a few of 5.11’s packs in our Low Profile Packs Review and also video.

250
at 5.11

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Hard Goods

AR500 Armor

Want some affordable and effective body armor?

Take a look at AR500 Armor’s options if you don’t mind some heft.

Paxcon Standard Coat on Level 3
Paxcon Standard Coat on Level 3

We tested almost all their options from soft pistol-rated armor to their ceramic plates in our full review.

Plus a full video on the results because you want to see us flip a mannequin.

110
at AR500

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

For everything you ever wanted to know about body armor…check out our Best Body Armor Guide.

Ferro Concepts Slickster

Looking for a super low-profile plate carrier? We really like our Slickster.

Ferro Concepts Slickster with Spiritus Microfight
Everything assembled together!

It’s meant to be worn under clothing but you can add a lot of stuff if you need to with its swift clips and elastic cumberbund.

155
at Refactor Tactical

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

We go over it as well as upgrade options in our full review and video:

Ballistic Helmet from Hard Head Veterans

Need some Level 3 and frag protection for your noggin?

ATN NVM14-3 with Hard Head Veterans Helmet
ATN NVM14-3 with Hard Head Veterans Helmet

We’ve been testing the previous version and also the current gen of Hard Head Veterans’ ballistic helmet.

They are really comfy and have all the mounting platforms you’ll need for your night vision and comm gizmos.

Use the link above or coupon “PEWPEW” for $15 off your helmet!

And check out our other picks in Best Tactical Helmets for some non-ballistic recs too.

SecureIt Safe

Looking for a flat-packed safe that isn’t so heavy that you’ll need to hire people to move it?

SecureIt Agile 52, Open
SecureIt Agile 52, Open

We really like our SecureIt Agile 52 which comes in around 100 lbs packed up.

It doesn’t take the place of a full-blown safe for protection…but when deterrence ,modularity, and ease of install is the name of the game…

EASIEST TO INSTALL/MOVE SAFE
599
at SecureIt

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Plus a full review here and video!

Fort Knox FTK-PB

What about our favorite pistol safe for when something goes bump in the night?

We love the Fort Knox FTK-PB.

Fort Knox handgun safe
Fort Knox Handgun Safe

Sturdy, decent amount of space for two handguns, and most of all…Simplex lock for super fast retrieval.

Best Handgun Safe
257
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

See it in action in our video and also in our Best Gun Safes article.

SentrySafe QAP1BE

Ok…one more safe! The SentrySafe is a biometric one.

SentrySafe QAP1BE, Open
SentrySafe QAP1BE, Open

Good amount of storage, solid build quality, and quite good at reading fingerprints. Plus the option of buttons or a key.

See it in action…

Learn more about it in our Best Biometric Safes article.

Best Drawer Safe
150
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Lights

All of the lights! We’re in the middle of testing a whole new batch of pistol, rifle, EDC, and tactical lights.

But here’s our running favorites…

Streamlight ProTac 2

Our most recommended light for almost everyone out there is the ProTac 2.

Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2
Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2

It doesn’t break the bank and has a nice output of 625 lumens. Plus comes with a nice pressure pad and mount!

We’ve been using several of them for our defensive and competitive guns.

See more of our favorites in Best AR-15/Rifle Lights.

Tested AR-15 Flashlights
Tested AR-15 Flashlights

Streamlight TLR-1HL

We like our Streamlights…and the TLR-1HL is our favorite pick for pistol light.

Wilson Combat CQB with Rail and TLR-1 HL
Wilson Combat CQB with Rail and TLR-1 HL

The HL model runs an eye-searing 800 lumens and continues our good experience with Streamlights.

My original TLR-1 is at 5000 rounds and still going strong.

See more of our tested torches in Best Pistol Lights.

Pew Pew Tactical Favorite Pistol Lights
Pew Pew Tactical Favorite Pistol Lights

Holsters

There’s a lot of holsters…and we cover them all in our Best Holsters article. But here are some selected ones in the biggest categories.

Hidden Hybrid Holsters

Our current favorite in the world of “hybrid” holsters…basically Kydex shell and either leather or synthetic….is Hidden Hybrid Holsters.

EMP in Hidden Hybrid Holster, Appendix ,Single Clip
EMP in Hidden Hybrid Holster, Appendix , Single Clip

I like HHH’s Amish leather since it gets that Goldilocks level of rigidity plus nice-feeling suede.

Hidden Hybrid Holster, Suede Back
Hidden Hybrid Holster, Suede Back

Boom!

See our full review of them here.

69
at Hidden Hybrid Holsters

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Concealment Express

My go-to for an affordable pure Kydex option is Concealment Express.

Concealment Express Holsters with G19 and G26
Concealment Express Holsters with G19 and G26

Check out the full review here.

Gets It Done (IWB)
35
at Concealment Express

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Tenicor

A new cey arontender in the pure Kydex realm is Tenicor. They are pricey but really comfortable.

Tenicor Velo Holster with G19
Tenicor Velo Holster with G19

They are formed for actual bodies and have some super effective retention clips.

Tenicor T1 Metal Clips
Tenicor T1 Metal Clips

What I’d recommend if you’re serious about appendix carry, comfort, and absolute retention.

77
at Tenicor

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Tools/DIY

80% Arms Easy Jig 2

Looking to complete your own AR-15 80% project?

The 80% Arms Easy Jig 2 is my favorite for ease of use.

80% Arms Easy Jig 2
80% Arms Easy Jig 2

All you need is the jig, an 80% lower, regular drill, and a router. No more CNC machine or even a drill press.

Milling with Router, 80% Easy Jig
Milling with Router, 80% Easy Jig

Check out more info in Best 80% Receivers & Jigs.

250
at 80% Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And our video!

Wheeler Torque Wrench

I use the Wheeler Torque Wrench almost every time I do something at my bench.

PSA 5.56 Gas Block Torque
PSA 5.56 Gas Block Torque

If you’re even semi-serious about gunsmithing…get one!

50
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Real Avid AR-15 Armorer’s Master Kit

Looking for an all-in-one AR-15 kit?

Real Avid AR-15 Armorer’s Master Kit
Real Avid AR-15 Armorer’s Master Kit

Boom, the Real Avid kit is it.

Check out our full review.

240
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Leatherman Wave+

Our current favorite multitool is the Leatherman Wave+.

Wave+ Opened
Wave+ Opened

It has almost everything you need in an EDC multitool, plus it’s silky smooth.

We tested a bunch more in our Best Multitools article (one with an axehead…), but the Wave+ is our overall Editor’s Pick.

Multitool Family Photo
Multitool Family Photo
99
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Reloading

Looking to get into reloading? Here’s a couple of our favorite case cleaners.

Frankford Armory Tumbler

Mine has been running for years and thousands of rounds. It lives in the garage since it’s kind of loud but it’s super effective.

Frankford Armory Brass Tumbler
Frankford Armory Brass Tumbler

Get the full kit for some sparkling clean brass to reload!

Check otu our Guide to Relaoding Ammo for more essential gear.

Lyman Turbo Sonic Case Cleaner

Ready to upgrade to a sonic cleaner for your brass or gun parts?

My go-to is the Lyman since it is cheaper than the competition, has a larger capacity…but only has a max 8 minutes timer.

Lyman and Hornady Ultrasonic Cleaners
Lyman and Hornady Ultrasonic Cleaners

Check our our in-depth review in Best Ultrasonic Gun Cleaners.

Random Things

These are some random but well-liked stuff from our readers.

GOAT Guns

Great little gifts for the gun lover in your life.

A Couple GOAT Guns
A Couple GOAT Guns

These GOAT Guns are tiny replicas of the real thing that have moving parts and are (almost) all metal.

Check out our full review and our favorite models.

CRKT Minimalist Bowie

Neck knives…not just for mall ninjas anymore!

CRKT Minimalist Neck Knife, Bowie
CRKT Minimalist Neck Knife, Bowie

Our favorite is the CRKT Minimalist which is a steal at around $20.

Check out others in our Best Neck Knives article.

20
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Battlbox

Need a gift of cool stuff that also keeps on giving?

Check out BattlBox’s subscription tactical boxes.

Sabre 3-in-1 Pepper Spray

Sometimes you can’t carry a gun…or you don’t want to.

Sabre 3-in-1 and Inert Training Spray
Sabre 3-in-1 and Inert Training Spray

The Sabre 3-in-1 is our favorite pepper spray that’s used by tons of police departments.

The three mixtures include pepper spray, a UV dye for marking, and CS tear gas.

I like the combo pack with the inert formula for testing the range and trigger mechanism.

Best Pepper Spray
8
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Funny/Gag Gifts

Firefield Pistol Bayonet

This pistol bayonet makes me sad inside since we meant it as a joke…and tons of people bought it.

Firefield Pistol Bayonet
Firefield Pistol Bayonet

If you have a friend who needs a LOL build…

Firefield Pistol Bayonet (2)
Firefield Pistol Bayonet, In Wood

Check out more dumb stuff in our Weird Tactical Stuff from Amazon article.

Tacticool Meme Upgrade
22
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Gunsticles

Yup.

25
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Tactical Baby Gear

I first give you this tweet which got about the exact amount of attention on our Facebook page as you might expect.

Tactical Baby Gear, Twitter
Tactical Baby Gear, Twitter

And here’s the offender diaper bag…

99
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

I do have one…AS A GIFT.

And though I’m rocking a pink messenger bag or Totoro backpack most of the time…I do use the changing mat since it’s super useful.

Changing Mat
Changing Mat

Conclusion

Ok that does it!

If you’re looking for deals…check out our Black Friday & Cyber Monday Gun Deals Page…complete with 40+ retailers and exclusive Pew Pew deals.

What would you add onto this list? What are YOU wanting for the holidays? For a bunch more of our favorite tested products…check out our Editor’s Picks.

Leave a Reply

New to Guns ? Check out our beginners guns video course. Start Now