17 Nifty Accessories for Your Gun

Once you get started with your gun collection, you will start to notice all the aisles of cool stuff at the gun store. Accessories are great for gift giving as well as improving your own shooting experience. Start with these seventeen, ranked in ascending order of price:

  • Targets
  • Grips
  • Speedloaders
  • Magazines
  • Lights
  • Range Bags
  • Shooting Sticks
  • Bore Sights
  • Red Dot Sights
  • Bench Stands
  • Laser Sights
  • Shooting Apps
  • Chronographs
  • Scopes
  • Spotting Scopes
  • Laser Training SIRT Pistols
  • Holographic Sights

Once you have met the bare requirements, namely a gun, a holster, and enough ammunition to keep you practicing, you get to shop for the fun stuff. Here’s a list of what you might want to collect, with photos and price ranges.

Targets: Free to Hundreds of Dollars

Paper Targets and Laser Targets

You can buy the standard paper targets with the silhouette of a human illustrating which parts constitute center mass. Paper targets can be made with special pigments that make brightly colored holes or even appear to bleed where you hit them.

Here’s a paper target from Caldwell that flakes to make the bullet holes more obvious from a distance.

You can get targets with pictures of bird and animals, from a rodent to a moose.

Jumping targets are small hard pieces of foam. You place them on the range and shoot them to different locations on the range. It’s the shooter’s version of dribbling a ball.

Here’s one at Caldwell made of self-healing ballistic polymer that you can shoot thousands of times.

Clay targets can be mounted on pedestals for you to shoot into tiny pieces, or you can get someone to throw them in the air for simulated bird hunting.

Metal shapes can be permanently placed on the range. These will either make a noise when you hit them or fall over. Then you set them back up again for another round of shooting.

Metal targets can be suspended like a gong to make a noise when you shoot, and you can get a bell that will ring when you hit it.

Check out this cool steel resetting rimfire target from Caldwell that I found at their website. Shooting the top target resets the bottom row.

Popup targets come in two varieties. You can get targets that come back up after you shoot them because they are spring operated. You can also find targets that pop up suddenly to allow you to respond to a change in your environment.

You can buy metal cutouts of deer and coyotes to place at the back end of your range.

You can buy bowling pins and shoot them off a stand, or drill a hole and suspend them from a rope to make them spin or swing when you shoot them.

You can even make your own targets by filling milk jugs and soda bottles with colored liquids that spray out when you fill them with holes.

When you make your own, be aware that some types of surfaces will deflect the bullet rather than being pierced by it. Think twice before you try to use an old frying pan at close range.

Grips: $10 to $200

Pistol Grips For AR Style Rifles

Your grip can be exchanged for a custom grip. A bigger hand might need to hold onto a bigger grip than is standard, or you might like the texture of a more rubberized grip, This is also an opportunity to add a little bling to your gun in the form of carvings, monograms, or even custom colors.

If your gun lover has been especially good this year, consider a grip laser from Viridian. The laser is in the grip and turns on when you pick up the gun.

Speedloaders: $15 to $50

Speedloaders for Pistols and Revolvers: Uplula, HKS and Speed Beez

These handy gadgets make reloading more organized. The semi-automatic speedloader will take away the need for strong thumbs by pressing the spring that loads the ammunition so you can insert them more easily and quickly.

Our favorite is the Uplula from Maglula, available at Optics Planet.

The speedloader for a revolver will be either a strip that you load and then form into a circle for quick insertion into all the chambers of your cylinder at once, or a circular device spaced evenly with your cylinder that you press up against the cylinder to push all the rounds in at the same time.

Be sure to get one that is specifically for your model of revolver. Here is a Safariland speedloader at Brownell’s.

Magazines: $15 to $50

Magazines for Pistols and Rifles: Sig, HK, FN, Magpul

You can just use the magazine that came with your gun, or you can buy multiples for faster reloading.

You can increase the capacity of your semi-automatic by using extended magazines, which stick out farther and make room for more rounds.

You have to know which model you have to get the right magazine. Here’s a page of Smith & Wesson magazines to get you started.

Lights: $20 to Hundreds

Lights Can Be Mounted On Your Pistol: HiLight, Nitecore

Lights can be mounted directly underneath the barrel of a semi-automatic to light the way when you need to maneuver in the dark, perhaps because you have heard a noise in your house and you don’t want to turn on the overhead light.

This saves you from having to hold a flashlight in one hand and your gun in the other. The Baldr Pro from Olight is an excellent option.

Range Bags: $20 to $200

Range Bag from NRA

Range bags help you organize your trip to the range. See my blog on what to carry in your range bag for even more things to buy.

Try the M&P Officer range bag from Brownell’s.

Shooting Sticks: $25 to $150

Shooting Stick By Bog-Pod

When you need to steady your gun and you are not sitting at a bench, use a shooting stick, which is a tripod for your gun with a “U” shaped notch at the top to steady the barrel.

Here is the Bog Tripod from Optics Planet.

Bore Sights: $25 to $200

Bore Sights

Bore sights allow you to align your gun’s sights with the barrel.

The model on the right in the photo above is made by Wheeler Engineering. It attaches via magnet to the end of the barrel of a gun. You turn on the laser and look through your scope to align the cross hairs of the scope with the green dot to approximate where the bullet will hit.

Other styles are available which go in the chamber of the gun or mount in the end of the barrel. The bore sight on the left above inserts into the end of the barrel and you align the cross hairs of the scope with the red dot.

Get a Wheeler Engineering bore sight just like ours at Optics Planet.

Red Dot Sights: $25 to $1000

Sig Sauer Romeo5 Red Dot Sight

Red dot sights do not shine a light onto the physical target, but they provide a dot in the sight itself, often with a cross hatch pattern to let you know which part of the target you are going to hit. Red dot sights use LED light.

Get a Romeo5 like ours at Optics Planet.

Bench Stands: $50 to $200

Top: Caldwell Bench Stand. Bottom: Caldwell Bag Supports

When you are sitting at a bench, you can support your long gun with a bench stand. This is a place to rest the barrel of your rifle or shotgun while you aim and shoot, giving you the time and steadiness to find your target in the scope.

Bench stands can be made of metal, plastic, or even stuffed Cordura fabric as in the photo above.

We prefer Caldwell bench stands like The Rock.

Laser Sights: $50 to $400

Laser Sight By Laser Scope

Your gun typically comes with a bare bones sight line consisting of a narrow trough with colored dots on each side. You line up the front and back sights to get an idea of where the bullet will fly when you squeeze the trigger.

Gun enthusiasts love to augment their aim with extra sights mounted on the weapon. You can buy a laser sight, which pinpoints your target with a little red dot projected onto the place you will hit.

This gives you the dual benefit of helping you hone in on your target and, in the case of a self-defense situation, letting your target known he is in your sights.

Shooting practice will help you to determine whether your sights get you straight to the target or have a tendency to aim low or high, left or right. Then you compensate whenever you use that gun by aiming it with its tendencies in mind.

Crimson Trace makes a universal laser sight, or you can find one specific to your gun.

Shooting Apps: $100 to $300

Mantis X Training Device

The Mantis X is a training device that uses an app on your smart phone to give you feedback about your shooting skills. It will measure how quickly you can make a shot and the accuracy of your aim. It includes training drills.

I like to think of it as a video game with a real gun. The Mantis X is available at Optics Planet.

Chronograph: $100 to $500

Caldwell Chronograph

A chronograph times your bullet as it passes by on its way to the target. You learn how many feet per second the projectile travels, and this helps you evaluate your ammunition. This is especially helpful for reloading your own ammunition.

We like our Caldwell Chronograph.

Scopes: $100 to $4000

Scopes by Primary Arms

A scope helps you pick out your target and place your shot by using a reticle such as an X as a visual marker. Scopes vary in magnification from a 1.5x starting magnification all the way up to 14x or 16x and sometimes higher.

The magnification helps bring the target closer so you can line up your shot better. Scopes can be adjusted for windage (how strong the wind is blowing) and elevation (the change in height from where you are to where your target is).

Some scopes have illuminated reticles. The reticles themselves can vary in shape and configuration, from a simple crosshair to a very complex image with markings to compensate for bullet drop (how much altitude the bullet loses as it travels toward the target).

Here’s a really nice Serac rifle scope from Viridian.

Spotting Scopes: $150 to $600

Konus Spotting Scope

Snipers work with spotters to improve their deadly accuracy. The spotter uses a small telescope called a spotting scope to give feedback about how to adjust the rifle for distance, weather, and wind velocity.

The spotting scope rests on a tripod and gives excellent magnification and clarity to a distant image. With an adapter, a spotting scope can be paired with a camera. We like the Konus brand, available at Optics Planet.

Laser Training SIRT Pistols: $200 to $600

SIRT Training Pistol

SIRT stands for Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger. A SIRT pistol is a training device that uses laser technology to help you analyze your shooting skills by giving you feedback on your trigger mechanics, accuracy, and timing.

It comes in models that emulate popular guns such as a Glock or a Smith and Wesson. Because it does not use real ammunition, you can use it in your home for added practice without the expense and effort of going to the range. Get it at Brownell’s.

Holographic Sights: $250 to $1000

Holographic Sights By Vortex

Holographic sights offer electronic cross-hairs to help you find your target quickly and accurately. Without magnification, they superimpose an illuminated holographic reticle image onto your field of view. We like the Vortex Razor, available at Optics Planet.

Have fun stocking your range bag with extra gear. When you are ready for personalized training on the gun topic of your choice, contact Double Eagle Gunworks LLC. Chris will be happy to show you his accessories.

Keep track of upcoming events by subscribing to our free newsletter. Chris is a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer and can help you with the purchase and transfer of guns and ammunition. See our calendar for upcoming classes. Watch helpful videos on the Double Eagle Gunworks channel on YouTube.

Carla Pittman

Carla is a Speech Pathologist working in Home Health by day and a blogger by night. She married Chris in 2008 and is working to help him unite his love of guns with his passion for teaching others to carry safely. Her other impetus for blogging is to make Americans aware of their Constitutional rights, which are at risk in the current political environment.

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