Between The Berms: 'Tis The Season (Pt. 2)

Dec 14, 2011
Still looking for that perfect gift? Well, here's part two of the slightly useful, and often random, list of potential gifts to help you survive that last minute shopping spree.
You know you wish the Maxwell Carbine was a real gun.
Maxwell Carbine... It fires 50 fléchettes per second at speeds ranging from subsonic to hypersonic (your choice). It has superconducting magnets, ceramic and alloy barrel bands, a fuel cell and absolutely no kick. It also doesn't exist. The Maxwell Carbine is the creation of author T.C. McCarthy and is part of the unending warfare that takes place in his wonderfully written new book, Germline. Publishers Weekly in their 'Starred Review' said McCarthy's book is a "Compelling debut," "a portrait of the effects of battlefield stress that is difficult to bear but impossible to put down," and "one of the best SFF novels of Fall 2011." I agree, and not just because I went to school with T.C. (full disclosure, and shameless plug). If you're a fan of sci-fi lit then be sure to check it out. MSRP $7.99. Tactical Pens... There's a wide selection of tactical pens with pricing that offers gift selections from the inexpensive stocking stuffer to the 'how-much-did-you-pay-for-a-pen?' With various colors and styles there are plenty to choose from, including offerings from Cold Steel, CRKT, Schrade, Smith & Wesson, SureFire and Tuff-Writer. The tactical pen is a great last minute gift idea, especially for the frequent flyer who wants to carry something a little more intimidating than a Bic while 30,000 feet in the air. MSRP ranges from $6.99 to $130.
Desert TFX® Rough Out Hot Military Boots will certainly put a smile on their face.
Danner Boots... Having had the chance to review Danner Boots, and being an honest-to-God big fan of their products, I have no qualms about recommending them as a Christmas gift for your favorite shooter. Whether your shooter is in law enforcement, a recreational shooter or a hunter, Danner has a wide selection of great footwear to choose from. And, if you do get them a pair of boots don't skimp, and throw in a pair or two of Danner socks. MSRP $100 to $500. AirSoft Guns... Think airsoft guns are just toys? Well consider that shooters in Japan have been competing with airsoft for years and when Tatsuya Sakai won the 2004 Steel Challenge his win laid to rest any debate about the value of airsoft for training. When hunting down an appropriate airsoft gun, start with the folks at Spartan Imports who are the exclusive U.S. distributor of products by Classic Army, Inokatsu, KWA, Tokyo Marui, Maruzen, and Marushin. Once you've found a model that works for you use their dealer locator to get your hands on one. MSRP varies.
Look around the range and you're likely to see more than a couple Contour cameras in use.
ContourRoam POV Camera... Video cameras are just about everywhere on the range these days and one of the most popular is the Contour. Designed for use in action sports, the Contour is durable and waterproof and thanks to a variety of optional mounting hardware can be used in nearly any shooting situation. Its low profile, lightweight form makes it ideal for mounting on the brim of a baseball cap to capture that first person shooter POV footage. MSRP $199.00. Match Entry... How about buying your favorite shooter entry into on of the big matches like the International Revolver Championships, the Steel Challenge, the wildly popular Monster Match or the Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor National Championships. There are plenty of other matches to choose from that will fit your budget and your schedule. Costs vary.
F-Stop's backpacks are among the best on the market and great for traveling to matches.
F-Stop Tilopa BC... Traveling with camera gear, especially when flying, can be a pain when you are trying to get away with hauling just carry-on items. The Tilopa BC from F-Stop solves those kinds of headaches. I've used the Tilopa BC several times this past summer and its by far the best photography backpack I've come across. Designed for use by top level adventure and action photographers, the Tiolpa BC has a volume of 48 Liters, is below the legal size limits for major airlines, and the internal padded laptop sleeve fits most 15" laptops. Add to that the full sized EVA padded hip belt, EVA padded shoulder straps, and adjustable integrated whistle sternum strap, and you can see why this would make traveling easy and comfortable. The interchangeable ICUs (Internal Camera Units) allow you to carry just the right amount of gear for a shoot. MSRP $345, $405 w/ 1 ICU.
You should have a 'dog in this fight' so consider helping fund a collegiate shooter's trip to Fort Benning.
It's For The Kids... In three months the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit - the 'Champions' in the 'Home of Champions' - will play host to one of the largest gatherings of collegiate shooters when the Inaugural ARMY STRONG Collegiate Shooting Championships take place March 13-18 at Fort Benning. If you have a young shooter on your Christmas list then consider sending them to compete in one or more of the four championships: NRA Intercollegiate Pistol, NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club, Scholastic Steel Challenge Collegiate, and Scholastic Clay Target Program Challenge. The USAMU is rolling out the red carpet for the nation's top collegiate shooters and you can help. Find a team and donate a little something to help underwrite their travel. Remember, you're always talking about how junior shooters are the future of the sport. Well now is the time to prove it by investing in the future of the it really is better to give than receive. Since this is the final installment of Between The Berms for 2011, let me first say thanks for reading The Shooting Wire, and in particular Between The Berms and the Team Erhardt Project. We've gotten a lot of feedback from readers and almost every bit of it positive - so I must be doing something right. Hopefully 2012 will offer more great stories as well as an opportunity or two to embarrass myself in competition. Until then, here's hoping you have a wonderful holiday season. So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (or is it Chanukah, Chanukkah or Chanuka?), and, of course, a very Happy Festivus...for the rest of us. Happy New Year, and we'll see you again in January.... - Paul Erhardt, Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network Got shooting sports news? Send us an email at