Holiday Gift Guide: Guns & Gear [2020]

Want to give or get something awesome this year?


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 2020 across all budgets.

We’ve also made some modifications based on availability…RIP guns and ammo for this crazy year!

Table of Contents



Optics are still staying in stock although without any significant deals.

Sig Sauer Romeo 5

We’ve tested a lot of red dots through the years and right now the Romeo 5 is still our favorite red dot under $200.

18. Henry Big Boy X Sig Sauer Romeo 5
Henry Big Boy X Sig Sauer with Romeo 5

See it in action here:

And check out our full review.

Brutally Tested Budget Red Dot

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.

Check out a quick vid of it at the range.

See our full review here with more videos!

Trijicon MRO

Right now the MRO is our go-to “premium” red dot that we’d feel comfortable on a home defense or battle rifle.

Trijicon MRO Midwest QD Mount
Trijicon MRO Midwest QD Mount

Check out our full review (along with torture test).

Trijicon MRO Being Dropped
Trijicon MRO Being Dropped

Looking for other choices? See 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

Another year passes and it feels like we’re a little stuck with AR-15 innovation. But these are some of our favorites.


The Endomag turns your 30-round 5.56 PMAG and standard AR-15 lower into a 9mm platform.

EndoMag Group Pic
EndoMag Group Pic

No need to buy a new 9mm lower because you need all the ammo money you can get!

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.

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 despite all the weird ATF stuff going on. And which pistol brace you choose matters…

We really like the SBA3 from SB Tactical.

SBA3 Pistol Brace
SBA3 Pistol Brace

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. It goes in and out of stock so be sure to sign up for alerts.

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.

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

STNGR Handguards

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

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 VLCN with minimal top rail which is the basis of our night vision upper.

STNGR VLCN Modded Upper with DBAL and Unity Tactical
STNGR VLCN Modded Upper with DBAL and Unity Tactical

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

Tyrant Designs AR-15

Want your AR-15 to look good and function better?

Tyrant Modded AR-15
Tyrant Modded AR-15

We’re fans of the Tyrant CNC aluminum grip and foregrip which offer great aesthetics as well as some comfy rubber material.

Tyrant MOD Grip
Tyrant MOD Grip

A little spendy but worth it.

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.

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.

Range Gear

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

Pelican 1500

My go-to hardcase for pistols is the Pelican 1500. And coupled with some custom foam…it carries everything I need for a range day.

Pelican 1500 with Custom Foam
Pelican 1500 with Custom Foam

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.

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

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

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.

ShootSteel AR500 Targets

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

ShootSteel (3)

Our go-to AR500 steel targetmaker is ShootSteel that’s survived thousands of rounds in our videos.

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).

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.

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

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

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

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.


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.

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. Note that it’s been super in-demand and out of stock for a while.

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.

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.

HHV Gen 1 vs Gen 2, Rails
HHV Gen 1 vs Gen 2, Rails

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

Johns Helmet Setup (9)
Hard Head Veterans Gen 2 NVG Setup

Use this link 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…


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.

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

Vaultek VT20i & Lifepod

Looking for something higher tech?

Vaultek VT20i and VT10i
Vaultek VT20i and VT10i

The Vaultek VT20i and VT10i bring fingerprint scanning, Bluetooth, and apps to the safe world.

Check out our full review of the duo here.

How about a nice travel container that’s discreet but still protective?

Vaultek Lifepod
Vaultek Lifepod

The Lifepod is my go-to for quick hotel and Airbnb trips where I only need one compact gun (with lights and an extra mag).

Lifepod Capacity
Lifepod Capacity

Check it out in action:

See more in our Best Quick Access Pistol Safes.


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.

Olight PL-Pro Valkyrie & PL-Mini Valkyrie 2

Looking for something a little more affordable?

Olights Equipped
Olights Equipped

The Olight PL-Pro Valkyrie (larger one) and PL Mini Valkyrie 2 have great reputations and took everything we threw at it in our own torture tests.

Check out our full review here complete with drop tests, water submersion, tons of rounds downrange, and beam pictures.

See more of our tested torches in Best Pistol Lights.

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


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


See our full review of them here.

Concealment Express

My go-to for an affordable pure Kydex option is Concealment Express that excels in AIWB (appendix inside waistband) but now has tuckable and OWB (outside waistband) options.

All Concealment Express Holster Attachment Styles
All Concealment Express Holster Attachment Styles

And see it in action here:

Check out the full review here.


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.

80% Arms Easy Jig 3

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

The 80% Arms Easy Jig 3 is my favorite for ease of use.

We’ve fully tested the Easy Jig 2 version previously and are in the middle of testing the 3rd generation. So far it’s even better!

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.

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!

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.

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


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.


Ok…a little self promotion here!

We’ve got a new shipment of our custom pistol cases that fit full-size guns with lights.

PPT Handgun Case with SP-01
PPT Handgun Case with SP-01

And a bunch of new shirts and patches. Thanks so much in advance for your support!!

Shall Not Comply PPT Shirt
PPT Shirt

Lost some things in a boating accident? Check out the most popular shirt from Shall Not Comply.

Arsenal Charters
Arsenal Charters

Random Things

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

Parcil Distribution

Looking for some comfy and protective gas masks of the half-face and full-face variety?

T-60 and PD-100 Respirators
T-60 and PD-100 Respirators

The T-60 half-mask is definitely the comfier of the two and has a nice silicone seal.

Inside the T-60
Inside the T-60

Plus the filters are not too expensive and are super easy to install and take-off.

Check out more details and also more picks in our Best Gas Masks article.


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.


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


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.



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…

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


We’ll admit, we wanted to review this 95% because it looked wicked cool!

Shockingly, it’s actually really pretty handy also. The Omniblade is a saw, machete, and an axe all wrapped up in one tool.

While I wouldn’t say that it can replace dedicated tools, if you’re in a pinch or want to save weight and space — you can get a LOT of use out of this all-in-one design.

Omniblade (6)

The full review is coming soon, but I can tell you now that it’s makes a great gift to the survivalest/camper/prepper in your life.

Give using it a chance and you’ll find how well made and handy it really is.

Plus, it looks awesome. Good luck wrapping it…

Surviveware Responder Backpack

As a long time tester of survival gear, the Surviveware Responder Backpack is by far one of the best ready-made options we’ve ever gotten to take a close look at.

Surviveware 72 hour Backpack
Surviveware Responder 72-Hour Backpack

Packed with food, water, first aid kits, and a ton of supplies — Surviveware clearly put a lot of time and thought into this kit and really delivered on not only its quality but its value also.

If you’re looking for a complete bug out bag, this should be at the top of your list to consider. While there are some extras I would add to it, you won’t go wrong with just storing it as is ready to go when you need it.

We have a complete review on the Surviveware first-aid kits also, take a look!

Forseti Steel

Need a gift knife for someone awesome in your life? Is that person you? Look no further than Forseti Steel!

Forseti Steel Knife
Forseti Steel Knife

Incredibly well made Damascus steel knives for the field or the kitchen, these are simply lovely in every way. They are also built to last and to be used hard.

These come in a huge range of styles and blade types, but all of them are hand made Damascus steel. The fittings are tight and smooth, the blade comes sharp and ready for use.

One of the nicest gifts this season for sure!

Flare Mini

A cool little tool that helps you keep an eye on your barrel temp, perfect for making sure you don’t overheat a precision rifle or grab a hot AR.

Bergara B-14 HMR and mini flare
Bergara B-14 HMR and Flare Mini

They have three colors out now and are coming soon with new Micro size for pencil barrels!

If you want to make sure you never burn the inside of your rifle case again or make sure that you don’t overheat your expensive precision barrel, these are shockingly handy!


Ok that does it!

If you’re looking for deals…check out our Black Friday & Cyber Monday Gun Deals Page…complete with 46+ 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.

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