Gun writer Richard Mann and our Babbs went on a hunt in the pro shop at Gunsite Academy to bring you 50 Shades of … Gunsite. Find out what they discovered for gun fighters.
If you are fortunate enough to attend a course at one of the nation’s elite firearms training schools, aka Gunsite Academy, you’ll want to commemorate your attendance by purchasing something from its well-stocked pro shop. Gun writer Richard Mann (RM) suggested that we take on the task of finding 50 items in the shop, to illustrate the vast selection of items. The topic of “50 Shades of …” — regarding the book and movie’s pop culture notoriety — came up in the previous evening’s dinner discussion with the others whom Remington Arms had invited to test its new gun, the RM380.
Richard and I decided to run with that theme, and apply it in a clean version to the pro shop. The shop has an online site, and claims, “The Gunsite Pro Shop carries top of the line equipment that is battle tested from the streets of our communities to the battlefields throughout the world. If it doesn’t pass the muster of our great students and staff, you won’t find it in our Pro Shop.”
#1 — Gunsite challenge coins, $9.95: Go ahead. Make someone’s day and have a game of “who’s got the coolest challenge coin?” You do. (BB)
#4 — Decal, $ 3: It goes on your truck, gun case, or ATV. Let’s folks know you’ve been to the Camelot of the great southwest. (RM)
#5 — Winestoppers, $5.95 each: Obviously, you will make a subtle lifestyle statement when you cork your wine with Gunsite topper, especially at the aforementioned bachelor party. Or, you might buy a bunch of them, like a woman in the gift shop did, cut off the corks and make drawer pulls. (BB)
#6 — Silver Raven earrings and pendant, $ 65: When my wife and I went to Gunsite on our anniversary we bought this set. She wears the earrings; I wear the pendant. You can wear all three but if you’re a guy you might get some funny looks. (RM)
#7 — Fit-over Shooting Glasses, $24.95: Face it. Someday, if you live long enough, you’ll have to wear fit-overs. Maybe after cataract surgery. Life happens. Notch up the cool factor and walk around mugging like we did and it will help the situation. (BB)
#17 Onesie, $8: “My grandma went to Gunsite and all she bought me was this … cool onesie!” (BB)
#18 Sheep dog shirt, $22: Probably the second most popular item sold in the Gunsite pro shop. Be a sheep dog, kill the big bad wolf. (RM)
#20 Perry suspenders, $22.95: Do you have dunlop disease where you belly done lops over your belt? Can you not keep your pistol belt up? Here is the fix. They may not be fashionable but they are effective. (RM)
#24 Gunsite Apron, $23.95: Designed as an apron to wear while working on guns, it will work just as well at the grill. If you’re a man it must be worn with a pistol, women have the option of paring it with lingerie. (RM)
#26 Dump pouch, $27: Used to store extra ammo or magazines while on the range training. It’s a great piece of kit for many Gunsite classes and other training programs. You can also use it while your fishing to hold your beer. (RM)
#27 Gunsite coaster, $3.95: Because you can never have enough coasters, and often evokes this question: “Oh, you went to Gunsite?” For which, you can extol the virtues and brag about your newfound shooting skills. (BB)
#29 Survival bracelet, $10: Susan Davidson’s 13-year-old grandson makes these bracelets. She manages the shop. With the proceeds, he purchased his first gun, holster, belt and ammo pouches for his first class at Gunsite! (BB)
#30 The Art of the Rifle, $35: A rifle shooter without this book is nothing but a trigger puller. This is an instructive read for anyone who has designs on being a rifleman. Authored by Jeff Cooper. (RM)
#35 Blade-Tech off-set drop holster, $69.95: You know the holster is going to matter a lot during training here. Get a good one, and this one cants forward so you can get a grip fast. (BB)
#40 Galco Gunleather Safari Ching Sling, $79.95: Learning to shoot a rifle with a sling is something you will never regret. If you learn to do it with a Ching Sling, those who see you will regret they didn’t. (RM)
#43 Handgun Training, by Richard Mann, $21.99: Richard says this is almost as good as any of Cooper’s books, and wants everyone to buy at least 2 copies. (BB)
#46 Colt CCO, $1,395: Without question, the best defensive handgun Colt makes and it’s only available through Gunsite. It has a Commander slide and an Officer frame. I ordered mine on Cooper’s birthday – May 10th – what better way to honor the Guru. (RM)
#48 Steyr Scout, $2,899: Quite possibly the one-rifle answer to any question. Created with input from the Colonel himself, the Steyr Scout is loaded with features you won’t find on any other rifle. (RM)
Visit the Gunsite Academy pro shop online.
Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. She is a contributing editor at "SHOT Business," and her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at ozarkian.com. View all posts by Barbara Baird