Puttin’ The “HO-Ho” In It

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Handgunner Christmas Guide

By John Connor

From The January/February 2009 Issue Of American Handgunner

That’s right, folks – it’s that time again! Yeah, we know — seems like last Thursday it was Thanksgiving, right?

Wrong. So grab a pad and pencil, scribble some names on a gift list, and prepare to engage in some serious monetary mayhem! Of course, you may also run across a gift suggestion or two which you might covet for yourself. In that case, when your gift-shopping’s done, feel free to circle and highlight some goodies and leave this issue out where it won’t look contrived, but just sorta like you bein’ your loveable ol’ slothful self. We won’t tell, okay?

Now, before you hear the pitter-patter of reindeer hooves on your roof, you better bust out that zero-balance plastic and do some shoppin’! Merry Christmas, handgunners!

Columbia River

Zilla Tools from Columbia River Knife & Tool offer a fistful of functions in a user-friendly package.

For your pal who never seems to have the right tool handy, and he’s “borrowed” enough of yours to start his own hardware store, take a look at the Zilla-Tool, from Columbia River Knife & Tool’s I.D. Works. This smooth, sleek little pocket toolbox packs a fistful of functions into a 6.5 inch user-friendly design. The spring-loaded pliers have a slight needle nose taper, and both flat and circular toothed gripping surfaces. Other features include a razor-sharp three-inch blade, wire cutter and stripper, flat and Phillips screwdriver bits, a removable pocket clip and nylon pouch. There are two sizes available, which gives you an excuse to buy both – and keep one for yourself. www.ckt.com


GunVault’s MultiVault Biometric uses fingerprint recognition technology for security and speed of access.

With most “handgun security systems,” you have to compromise between safety and speed of access – but that’s not the case with GunVault’s new MultiVault Biometric personal gun safes. Faster than your fingers could tap out a numerical code, MultiVault’s fingerprint recognition technology “reads” your finger and unlocks automatically. Up to thirty fingerprints can be registered as “allowed access,” and GunVault’s self-learning algorithm will even pick up normal changes which may affect a registered fingerprint over time. Like all GunVault products, additional features abound and the quality is superior. Giving a GunVault truly says you value that friend’s safety. See the different models at www.gunvault.com.


The Osborne Rift 950 folder from Benchmade is presentation-grade pretty, but tactical-tough too.

A recent Benchmade ad says the only way their Osborne 950 Rift is gonna be “handed down” is in your will. Well, don’t wait, okay? It makes an excellent Christmas gift! Photos just can’t show you the deeply textured milling of the charcoal and black G-10 handle slabs any better than words can describe the smoothness of the Rift’s Axis action. The tough, 3.67-inch blade of 154CM steel has a striking reverse tanto profile that’s as utilitarian as it is beautiful. If you or your giftee have Neanderthal-wide, stumpy-fingered hands like I do, this is one of those rare knives that fits perfectly – and it doesn’t hurt that it just looks so cool!  www.benchmade.com


Insight Tech Gear’s H3X Regulus is the largest and most powerful of a trio of new tough
tactical lights named for bright stars.

Bright, reliable lights always make fine gifts, and Insight Tech Gear has a terrific trio for you to choose from. Named for three of the brightest stars, the H1X Proxima, H2X Arcturus, and H3X Regulus ascend in size and blinding-bright power from 80 to 160-plus lumens. All have tactical-tough anodized aluminum bodies, digital power management for longer, more consistent burn times, and shockproof, high-intensity LED lamp modules. Plus, the tailcap switches of all three operate in exactly the same way to deliver momentary or constant-on, dimming, and disorienting strobe functions. Crenellated bezels and tailcaps give you another defense option. You’ll find more info at www.insighttechgear.com.


GRENCH grips offer high quality and some hidden surprises: hex key for grips screws,
and both large and small bushing wrenches machined into inner panels.

Here’s a great gift for anybody who is owned and operated by a 1911 – and if you understand that statement, you’re one of those people yourself! First, GRENCH grips are downright handsome as well as being virtually bombproof, crafted from G-10 slabs. The Litespeed model’s texture serrations are closer and lower at the top, where you want some smoothness to seat the web of the hand, then they deepen and radiate outward toward the bottom, where your fingers need more control. Now look closely and you’ll see the lower angle of a hex key – which just happens to fit your hex-head grip screws – peepin’ out the bottom of a grip panel. It’s held there by a powerful rare earth magnet and a unique locking tab so it will not come out unless you pull it out. Take off the grips and you’ll find both large and small bushing wrenches machined into the panels! Yeah; I know – why didn’t we think of that? See `em at www.universal-outfitters.com


The Dueling Tree from Action Target is tons of fun and a terrific training tool.

For years, Action Target has been building the nation’s premier shooting ranges for military, law enforcement, commercial and private gun clubs. Simply put, these guys are the experts, and their target systems are first-rate. Recently they’ve focused greater attention on consumer sales, and their Dueling Tree is just one of many outstanding designs. Folks, this one’s so much fun it’s gotta be barely legal! The vertical post mounts six reactive steel plate targets which, when hit, swing over to the opposite side. Now just imagine two shooters with fully charged handguns and two reloads, each starting with three plates on their side. Hit the buzzer and let’s see who can “clean” their side first! Keep in mind, every time your competition smacks a plate, including those you just whacked over to their side, it’s coming back over to yours! Both keep shooting until one side is cleaned, or more likely, you’re both “shot hot and dry.” You can hardly get a better all-around skills workout, and it never gets boring. Here’s something you can buy for yourself, and “give” to your shooting pals at the same time. See all the others too at www.actiontarget.com


Wearing their Concealed Carry Vests, staffer Karen Self and Director Ed Head of Gunsite
don’t look like they’re packin’ carry-cannons – but they are…

For your buddy whose “concealed” handgun prints so clearly you can tell the make and model through the garment and it silently screams I’ve got a gun!, get the Concealed Carry Vest from the gang at Gunsite. Designed from the hem up as a stealth cannon-concealer, it is engineered not to give you away whether you wear your ordnance IWB, OWB, in a shoulder holster, or inside its specially-constructed cross-draw inner pockets. A variety of Velcro-attachable pocket and holster systems are available from the maker, Concealed Carry Clothiers, and in fact, you could buy the same vest there. But if you’ve got the choice between “plain-Jane,” and one adorned with the bold but discreet Gunsite raven, which would you choose, huh? By the way, it’s really comfy, too. Go shoppin’ at www.gunsite.com and www.concealedcarry.com. DVC, dudes…

Benchmade 2

Benchmade’s 1100 Series Pens are superb writing instruments, and highly effective defensive weapons as well.

Your brain may be your ultimate weapon, but don’t try usin’ it as an impact weapon, okay? Here’s a great one, cleverly disguised as a high-quality writing instrument. Or, is it the other way around? Anyway, the Benchmade 1100 Series Pens are both superb scribblers, featuring smooth, reliable Fisher Space Pen cartridge systems, and versatile defensive weapons lending themselves readily to pain-compliance techniques and brutal blows. Don’t worry about breaking them, either. The 1100-1 and 1100-2 (shown in photo) are CNC machined from tough T-6 aluminum, and the spanky-new 1100-3 and 1100-4 are constructed of strong stainless steel. Some pens may indeed be mightier than swords – if you strike first, with authority. Check them out at www.benchmade.com.


Dillon Precision’s Plan B looks like an ordinary day-planner, but it’s more like a “day-saver.”

That howitzer on your friend’s hip may be his “Plan A” for dangerous situations, but sometimes you also need a Plan B, right? Dillon Precision’s Plan B looks just like an ordinary zip-closed day planner, but it packs something a heck of a lot more useful in a fight for your life than any address book. The holster adapts for either right or left-handed draw, and fits a variety of handguns. There’s provision for securing pepper spray or a knife, and a transparent window for your concealed carry permit or secret ninja society I.D. There’s even room for, well…umm… a small day-planner. If one’s highest work priority is to get home alive, the Plan B will help. Find it at www.dillonprecision.com, and while you’re there, check out their Concealed Carry Tote too.


Short, stout, strong, sweet and effective, SureFire’s E1B Backup light
and Al Mar’s SLB – Stout Little Backup – make perfect partners for a special gift.

I know there’s somebody special on your list, so here’s a perfect pair of partners for a really special package: SureFire’s new dual-output LED E1B Backup was specifically designed for easy, snag-free daily carry with a finish like a “carry melt” on a concealed handgun; no snags, no drag. Only four inches long, it delivers 80 blinding lumens of tactical-level light on high and a stealthy five lumens on low, and you don’t need a two-semester course to figure out how they’re selected. All the usual superior SureFire construction characteristics are there, plus, the pocket clip allows a user the choice of carrying it bezel up or bezel down. It’s a sweet little lifesaver you can see at www.surefire.com.

almar knives

Equally short, stout, sturdy and sweet is Al Mar Knives’ SLB – Stout Little Backup. A little knife made to do big jobs, its 1.75-inch blade of hand-polished AUS8 steel is amazingly versatile, and its 4.6-inch black linen Micarta scales give a rock-solid grip even in larger hands. A blackened stainless steel pocket clip doubles as a money clip, and at only one and a half ounces, it’s a discreet, featherweight fighter. www.almarknives.com.

Jan/Feb 2009

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