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A guide to holiday giving

The holiday season is upon us, and quite a bit of our work at Precise Shooter will revolve around gifts.

Firearms are a very special hobby in that majority of gun owners are very passionate about it, so on the surface it is a promising area for gift giving. However, it also requires a lot of specialized knowledge, and so making a mistake is very, very easy.

And because ammunition and firearms are not returnable (for ammunition, it is a legal requirement, for firearms, it is a common practice in the industry, as well as the fact that we lack the special license required to accept used firearms for resale), the mistakes can be quite costly.

This guide is meant for non-shooters who want to give a gift of range time and equipment to their significant others, children, and friends who participate in shooting sports.

Warning: touching someone else's firearm is unsafe!

To buy someone a gun-related gift, you should often know details about firearms that the recipient of the gift owns. For example, to buy someone ammunition, you will need to know if it is the right caliber for the gun.

To locate this information, you may be tempted to examine the firearm itself. Resist this temptation! Before touching a gun, you need to be familiar with its operation. If you are not, you can cause an accidental discharge, which, even if the bullet does not hit anyone, can still earn you a felony conviction in certain locations.

The best and the only way to discover information (which information, we will discuss below) about someone's firearm or shooting habits is by asking.


To give ammunition you do need to know the caliber of the gun or guns the recipient of your gift will be shooting. Ammunition is not returnable, so this is very, very important.

If you do, however, this extra range time you would give is a welcome gift to any shooter. Rimfire and most handgun ammunition is generic enough so it can be given to anyone with any gun in the right caliber. Rifle ammunition is more specific, but there are kinds - such as Federall Gold Medal Match - which is considered industry standard and would be a great gift for anyone with a bolt action 308 rifle. AR-15 ammunition (223 Remington and 5.56 NATO) is a great gift as well.

Ammunition is also great because it is scalable. You can give one box for $5 or you can give 10 cases for $2500. Or anything in between.

If you come to our store and tell us about the gun, we can help you select the ammunition for it.

Firearms for a beginner shooters

Does your child want to learn how to shoot? Buying a gun-related present to someone who does not yet have a gun is the easiest, because there are no existing preferences.

The best place to start for a beginner is a rimfire rifle or pistol, particularly in 22LR caliber.

This round produces very low recoil and is very easy to shoot accurately. The ammunition is REALLY cheap - even with the current price increases because of the shortages it still only costs about 8c per round, compared to 20c for the cheapest centerfire ammunition.

Also, rimfire pistols tend to be extremely accurate - and quite inexpensive. They are the best not just for the beginner, but for everyone who wants to improve their shooting skills, which is why even very experienced shooters usually have a few of these guns in their arsenal.

Please note that while a child can own firearms, they can generally only posses firearms under adult supervision. This is especially important for handguns. Please carefully read this document in particular.

As far as specific recommendations, we have a few. Savage rimfire rifles make fantastic beginner-to-intermediate rifles: they are cheap, they are accurate, they have stock dimensions that are comfortable for children and adult alike, and they have a range of after-market accessories and add-ons. For example, if the stock becomes too small, it is easy to replace it.

Savage is also running holiday promotion which gives you a $25 rebate on almost all Savage rimfire rifles.

A great beginner rifle from this family is Savage MKII.

Price: $184.95 (special order)

It is inexpensive, rather accurate, and has iron sights, so it can be used out of the box - and the scope can be added later if desired.

Adding a 22 caliber Boresnake ((currently unavailable)) a bottle of Hoppe's lubricant ($3.49 (in stock)), and a carrying case ((currently unavailable)) completes the set of everything that is needed to own, shoot, and take care of the gun (the lock is included with the gun).

Another option is Savage MKII-FV. This rifle is designed to be shot with the scope, and does not have iron sights. In principle the heavier barrel should make it a little more accurate than MKII-F, but in practice the effect is too small to be noticeable.

Price: $219.95 (in stock)

We have a review of this rifle here.

Add Bushnell Banner 6-18x scope ($139.99 (in stock)) and a set of Burris Signature Zee rings ($37.99 (in stock)) completes the package that will be enjoyed for decades.

Or, you can get the package deal directly from Savage in MKII FV-XP.

Price: $254.95 (special order)

This rifle comes with a high-quality 3-9x Bushnell scope pre-mounted and ready to go. This scope typically goes for $80 on the Internet, so deduct this from the price and add the rebate... you get the idea.

Another group of popular beginner rifles is Ruger 10/22. This rifle is iconic - it's been among the popular favorites for decades. I would wager that majority of adults who are into shooting sports have had a 10/22 at least at one point in their childhood or youth.

Most 10/22s come with irong sights and are ready to shoot out of the box (running a cleaning patch through the bore is a good practice for any new firearm). It is a semi-automatic, which is excellent for shooting at cans, but because there are more moving parts, it is not as accurate as a bolt action Savage - but still plenty good for a beginner shooter. It is THE rifle for the Appleseed.

We have lots in stock:

RUGER 10/22 CARBINE .22LR BLUED HARDWOOD *011037366760110328 (in stock)$239.95

In particular, this gun is an excellent deal:

Price: (currently unavailable)

As far as the pistols go, Browning Buckmark and Ruger Mark series are some of the best target pistols. Here are our reviews for them:

There are a few considerations for picking the right model:

  • All of these pistols will have the same level of accuracy.
  • Stainless steel models have stainless steel frame. They will last for multiple generations, but they are heavier and more expensive.
  • "Black" target guns have alloy frames. They are lighter and cheaper than stainless models. They are in the middle of the price range.
  • 22/45 pistols are the cheapest. They are also the lightest and the least expensive (except for the lightest "Lite" models). Their frames are made from a polymer.
  • These pistols are TARGET, not self-defense pistols. They will all occasionally jam, especially when the magazine is loaded to full capacity. Playing with the magazine, loading fewer rounds, and finding the right ammunition usually reduces the probability of jamming to almost zero.
  • People with weaker hands may have trouble operating the pistol. If this is a possible concern, make sure to bring them to store to try the gun out.
  • Pistols are harder to control than the rifles, and so I do recommend that the younger shooters start with the rifle, especially if the parent is not familiar with the firearms. In every case a good training, such as the one offered by Kenmore Gun Range should be a pre-requisite to operating a pistol.

This is what we have in stock right now:

RUGER MARK III TARGET .22LR 5.5" BULL AS BLACK PLASTIC <101017366761010162 (in stock)$299.95
RUGER MARK III TARGET .22LR 5.5" BULL AS S/S BLACK PLSTC *101037366761010305 (in stock)$379.95
RUGER MARK III STANDARD .22LR 6" TAPERED FS BLACK PLASTIC *101057366761010541 (in stock)$319.95
RUGER MARK III COMPETITION .22LR 6.88" SLAB SIDE AS S/S *101127366761011224 (in stock)$419.95
RUGER MARK III TARGET .22LR 5.5" BULL AS TARGET GRIPS <101597366761015975 (in stock)$349.95
RUGER MARK III TARGET .22LR 6.88" S/S BULL W/TARGET GRIP *101607366761016031 (in stock)$669.95
RUGER MARK III USA SHOOTING TEAM .22LR 5.5" AS S/S WOOD101617366761016101 (in stock)$424.95
RUGER MARK IV STANDARD .22LR 6" FIXED SIGHT SYNTHETIC401057366764010551 (in stock)$349.95
RUGER 22/45 LITE .22LR 4.4" BULL AS COBALT ANODIZE <039067366760390671 (in stock)$419.95
RUGER 22/45 TARGET .22LR 5.5" BULL AS BLACK LAM PANELS*101587366761015801 (in stock)$274.95
BG BUCK MARK PLUS UDX .22LR 5.5" AS 10SH BLK ROSEWOOD <0236144401850236144401852 (in stock)$427.95
BG BUCK MARK PRACTICAL URX .22LR 5.5" AS 10SH BLACK0514484900236142595418 (in stock)$389.99 MAP
BG BUCK MARK CAMPER UFX .22LR 5.5"HB AS MATTE BLUED SYN0514824900236143976632 (in stock)$349.95
BG BUCK MARK BLACK LABEL URX .22LR 4" AS 10SH W/CTC LASER <0515114900236143690284 (in stock)$479.95
BG BUCK MARK BLACK FLUTED LITE .22LR 5.5" AS 10SH MATTE BLk <0515264900236144416321 (in stock)$439.95

Firearms for young adults

If you have a son/daughter/niece/nephew/graddaughter/grandson between 18 and 21 who is into firearms, you may be able to give them a very desirable gift. You see, the federal law prohibits people below 21 to buy anything other than long guns - shot guns or rifles. This means no pistols, and no receivers. If they want to biuld an AR-15 on their own, they are out of luck - even though they can buy the entire rifle.

It used to be the case, before I-594, that a person younger than 21 could buy these things privately. It is perfectly legal for them to possess handguns and receivers in the State of Washington, it's just not legal for a Federally licensed dealer to sell to them. But they could legally buy them from a private person.

I-594 closed that "loophole". Since everyone selling a firearm has to do it through an FFL (us), and we cannot transfer anything other than long guns to anyone younger than 21, they can no longer get handguns or receivers, even though it is legal for them to own these guns. Unless a relative - specifically, parent, grandparent, sibling, first cousin, uncle or aunt - gifts the gun to them.

Please note that it HAS to be a gift. If they pay for the gun, this is counted as a straw purchase by federal law, and it is a felony. Don't do it! People did go to jail for this.

Also, please keep in mind that firearms are not returnable - so you do need to be sure that they are in fact into guns. If you are buying a pistol, DO bring them into the store - pistols do have to sit well in their hands.

AR-15 receivers

AR-15 is a Lego set of guns. Almost all components are interchangeable, and almost all components are easy to acquire over the internet - except for a small part called receiver. Receiver is what makes a firearm, this is the regulated part of any gun.

Putting together an AR-15 from scratch is a fun and rewarding experience. Like with Lego, one does not have to be mechanically minded, and there are no specialized tools (with only one small exception). You can give any combination of parts - bolts, barrels, lower receiver parts kits. To your family member (as defined by I-594) you can also give lower receivers.

We have Ruger ((currently unavailable)) and Anderson ($49.95 (in stock)) lower receivers in stock, Anderson uppers ($49.95 (in stock)), stocks, handguards, and tons of parts.

You can see everything we have in our AR parts department.

Of course, in case you missed it the last few times...

Giving firearms to experienced shooters

Unless they are aware and authorize the purchase, we do not recommend giving guns to experienced shooters - unless you are intimately familiar with their interest and existing collections. Guns are not returnable. Handguns especially have to be comfortable to shoot, and need to match shooter's hands.

We will have gift certificates starting next week for just this occasion.


Cleaning kits work great as gifts, because having an extra one to throw in a range bag is convenient. Knowing the caliber helps, but we have a few universal kits that work for any caliber.

Snap caps are inert ammunition rounds that are used for dry firing guns and training. One can never have enough. You should know the caliber, but unlike real ammunition, they can be returned or exchanged.

Trainer systems

Laser Lyte makes absolutely fantastic, incredibly fun training systems for pistol shooting. They are built around an insert that goes into your gun, and emits a short laser pulse when the trigger is pulled. The laser hits a target - they have many, many target types, including cans - see the video below.

Laser training systems allow you to experience your gun in an entirely different way - for example, almost no range will allow you to fire your gun in rapid succession from your hip - a la Clint Eastwood. You can do it with the laser trainer - and appreciate how incredibly inaccurate this sort of shooting is, despite what Hollywood would have you believe.

Here are the trainers we have in stock:

.380 ACP Laser Trainer CartridgeLT-3806897062109911 (in stock)$84.95
.40 S&W Laser Trainer CartridgeLT-406897062102812 (in stock)$84.95
.45 ACP Laser Trainer CartridgeLT-456897062102981 (in stock)$84.95
Training Tyme AR KitLT-C5566897062113491 (in stock)$127.95
Laser Trainer Barrel Glock 19/23LT-GM6897062114621 (in stock)$119.95
.22 Caliber Laser TrainerLT-LR6897062114554 (in stock)$49.99
Training Tyme Kit - RevolverLT-TT856897062117214 (in stock)$74.95
Trigger Tyme Compact Pro KitLT-TTPC6897062114242 (in stock)$129.95
Laser Trainer TargetTLB-16897062104586 (in stock)$124.95
Laserlyte Plinking CansTLB-BWC6897062113181 (in stock)$99.95
Laser Plinking Can KitTLB-CLK6897062114481 (in stock)$194.95

Gift certificates

We will have Precise Shooter gift certificates available at the store starting this Sunday, December 10th.

Please note that certificates have a minimum of $50, do not have an expiration date, but are not refundable (though we will give change in cash as long as it is less than $5).

Happy Holiday shopping!