With Father's Day rapidly approaching, do your best to stay away from ties, gift cards to your local steak house, and funny T-shirts. Get Pops something he actually wants! Here are a few suggestions for that gun-liking father figure in your life that won't break the bank.
Want to hear Dad squeal like a prepubescent girl at a Justin Beiber concert? Get him a few boxes of his favorite ammo. While in the past this may have seemed a little weird, if you can be that special person that scores him a couple bricks of 22 or a snazzy box of .40, you just edged your siblings out of the will. Of course, make sure you get him ammo he can use, so you will have to do your research before you buy.
Yes, if he is a gun guy, he probably already has one or three of these, but you know what, these things never go bad and never go out of style. June is a great time of year to find these as you can often get nice sets left over from Christmas that have been set up for clearance, which gets you more bang for the buck. Who knows, it could replace his worn out kit that he has been silently suffering with for years.
Shooting Glasses and muffs
Dad most likely has a set of both that he uses, but the thing about 'eyes and ears' is that they break, get worn out, and just plain get left behind. I have lost (or loaned and never gotten back) many more sets of muffs and glasses than I have ever destroyed. Stay away from the super cheap $5-$10 sets, as they tend to be more or less disposable, but mid-grade specs and ear pro will last a surprisingly long time and be effective.
To take those cleaning kits, shooting glasses, earmuffs, ammo and other essentials to the range, you need a bag. Visit your local gun shop or sporting goods dealer and browse what they have. If your Dad is a hunter, lean towards camo patterns, if not steer towards basic black. Look for a bag about the size of a medium toolbox, with a reinforced bottom and multiple pockets. You want to test it and make sure it will hold 20-30 pounds of ammo if needed and can do this by asking a clerk if you can put a weight or a half case of shotgun shells in it briefly (so they don't think you are shoplifting).
(When picking out a pocket knife for Dad, get one like his personality. If he is strong and uncomplicated, get him something like this Benchmade, which is a good match.)
If an adult male in the US owns a gun, he probably owned a knife first. Odds are he carries one on a daily basis or would if he had a nice one. Stay away from made in China/Pakistan junk and flashy large blade knives with overdone engravings, inlays, and pimp markings. These are made to be sold to people who don't know anything about knives. Gerber, Kershaw, Buck, Victorinox, and Benchmade make good durable blades at affordable prices among others. For Dads over 40, Case knives often have a special place in their memory bank and a new one will be treasured. It's ok to get a plain or simple knife that is well made. Dad will appreciate your common sense selection.
And please, don't get anything that says, "World's Greatest Dad on it."
PS. Somebody please quietly show this to my kids. I have a drawer full of ties already.