It’s that season again. Time to figure out what to get the committed “protector” in your life, max out the credit cards and fight the hordes of shoppers looking to save an extra 10 percent. While we can’t take the logistical pain out of Black Friday shopping, we can offer some useful and proven concealed carry and home-defense gift ideas to make the selection part of your holiday shopping easier. Here are some of my favorites.

Image of Mantis X10Mantis X10

OK, so you probably won’t be giving these out like Halloween candy because they’re not an inexpensive gift. But for that special person in your life who takes self-defense seriously, I’ve yet to find a more valuable tool to increase one’s handgun skills. Ever.

The new Mantis X10 is tiny — about the size of your thumb from the joint forward. That means you can mount it not just on a pistol rail but on the base of a magazine. The motion-sensing device combined with companion smartphone software can analyze everything from movement before, during and after the trigger press to your draw stroke to your recoil control. The system not only times actions but presents you with graphical representations of where the gun moved. In some drills, like draw stroke analysis, it will even provide specific time data for each component of the draw: time to get a grip, time to bring the muzzle forward from the holster and time to get from there to a shot on target. This invention revolutionizes training, not to mention makes it fun. It’ll cost you about $250 for the fancy version with all the bells and whistles.

Inceptor Sport Utility AmmunitionImage of inceptor ammo

Shooting steel targets is not only fun and satisfying; it’s a great way to practice dynamic self-defense shooting. The reactive noise of hits and “zone vs. bullseye” targeting allows you to shoot rapidly and know your results before target inspection. The only downside is safety. You have to maintain a safe distance from the steel when using traditional jacketed ammo.

If you want to train at closer distances, check out the Inceptor Sport Utility Ammunition. This is the round nose practice version of the company’s ARX self-defense ammo. The bullets are injection molded from a polymer and copper dust goo. They fragment into powder and small pieces when it hits hard targets like steel plates. What that means for you is that you can measure safe distance from targets in feet instead of dozens of yards. The bullets are light for caliber, so the loads create less felt recoil. That’s perfect for a long day at the range.

XS DXT2 sights. Front on the right, rear on the leftXS DXT2 Big Dot Sights

The XS DXT2 Big Dot Sights are all about speed in any lighting condition. Years ago, the company took a bold approach to defensive handgun sights with its combination of a huge front dot and shallow V ramp rear sight. With no notch to find and align in the rear, the huge front dot leaps into view as you raise the handgun.

The DXT2 models represent the next generation of the concept. That front dot is now optimized for low, bright and transitional light conditions. The orange or green paint (your choice) is bright and visible on its own. That paint is also photo luminescent. As you move from bright to darker conditions, you’ll have a bright glow effect. In the center of the dot is a Tritium vial that shines in dark conditions. The rear V ramp features a vertical bar — also Tritium-equipped — that speeds front and rear sight alignment. The result of all of this is the fastest sighting system I’ve yet tried! And it’s intuitive in all lighting conditions. The DXT2’s will run you about $132.

Fenix PD36R FlashlightImage of Fenix PD36R Flashlight

Everyone needs a flashlight. And I’m not talking about one of those cheapies you find in the checkout line at Walmart. A quality flashlight comes in handy for general use, walking the dog at night, home defense and self-protection while on the go. It’s the perfect gift! A superb flashlight like the Fenix PD36R is bright enough to not only identify an attacker but disorient one. It might even set eyebrows on fire. Well, not quite, but it’s bright. Really bright.

This model blasts 1,600 lumens at its maximum setting. To put that in perspective, the early days of tactical lights featured models with a whopping 60 lumens. So we’re talking almost 30 times brighter. It also features a USB-C rechargeable battery. When used with the lowest ECO brightness mode, that will get you 115 hours of use before a recharge. In total, you have five brightness settings plus a strobe setting. The Fenix PD36R sells for about $100.

CTS Target CTS Mini Silhouette Steel Target

There are infinity trillion types of steel targets on the market. This one is my favorite. From CTS (Complete Target Solutions), this model is made from 3/8-inch AR500 steel. That means you can use reasonable rifle rounds on it from safe distances. It also makes an outstanding self-defense training target. At ½ scale, it doesn’t weigh more than the national debt, and the smaller profile size makes for a challenging but doable target when shooting at speed. Unlike many others on the market, this one has mounting holes in the center and on both corners. Many other silhouette targets only have the side holes. That makes mounting on a single post problematic.

Speaking of mounting, the CTS 2×4 Ground Base stand and 2×4 Pro Target Hanger are a perfect solution for this plate, as well as round ones. With a light piece of 2×4 at any length you desire, you have a portable yet exceptionally solid stand for your steel. When used according to instructions and recommended distances, they’re darn near indestructible. This particular plate is about $55. The stand and hanger add another $100. It’s worth it.

USCCA Gift of MembershipUSCCA GOM

Does your giftee already have it all? Are you looking for something lasting and meaningful? Give the Gift of USCCA Membership to a loved one this holiday season! You can give those you care for an entire year of self-defense education and training in just three easy steps. Plus, you’ll still have something to put under the tree. We’ll send you a welcome kit with bonus gifts, all neatly packaged in a Pelican case. Don’t wait! For delivery in time for Christmas, order by December 18, 2019.

About Tom McHale

Tom McHale, Certified NRA Instructor for pistol and shotgun, is passionate about home and self-defense and the rights of all to protect themselves and their loved ones. He has completed dozens of training programs and will be completing the USCCA Certified Instructor program in the near future. Tom has published seven books on guns, shooting, reloading, concealed carry and holsters, including two for the USCCA: Armed and Ready: Your Comprehensive Blueprint to Concealed Carry Confidence and 30 Days to Concealed Carry Confidence. He has published around 1,700 articles for a dozen gun and shooting publications. Between writing projects, you can find Tom on the range.