M85 mini-mauser .223 rifle, compact pistol ideal gifts for dad

Here’s an early list of Father’s Day items that should be a bit more des­irable than most of the tra

Categories: Sports

Here’s an early list of Father’s Day items that should be a bit more des­irable than most of the trad­itional gifts he usually receives. I know — they’re “all” on my list.

Let’s start with the bigger “eye-opening” items for the shooter/hunters.


One of the most popular — undoubtedly in the top 10 — centerfire rifles is the .223 caliber. Not only is it economical to shoot, but it’s also the ideal gun for woodchucks in the summer and coyotes in the fall.

I recently saw one I hope will soon be in my gun cabinet, the new M85 mini-mauser marketed by Century Arms. Manufactured by Zastava in Serbia, its classic short action (taking short ammunition) is fitted into a nicely oiled European walnut stock. It has adjustable sights, a thumb safety and is built using cold-forged chrome-vandium steel. It has a 20.07-inch barrel, five-round integral magazine and weighs 6.17 pounds.

I fell in love with it the first time I shouldered it. Add to this a $532 manufacturer’s suggested retail price, and you have a very nicely priced Father’s Day present (www.centuryarms.com).


If dad’s got his New York state pistol permit, you might want to surprise him with the Diamondback Firearms DB9 micro-compact auto­matic pistol. This 11-ounce pistol features a zero-energy striker firing system with a mechanical firing pin block, steel magazine catch and adjustable windage sights. It’s built with a very strong and durable slide and barrel that results in less felt recoil. And when it comes to field stripping for cleaning, there’s no pin removal or tools required.

It has a three-inch barrel, is 5.60 inches long and its internal parts are coated and corrosion resistant. If dad is an International Defensive Pistol Association shooter, the DB9 is up for all the shooting he can give it. Suggested retail price is $390. Check out their attractive T-shirts and hats (diamondbackfirearms.com).


Bass Pro Shops has two items on sale right now that would be great gifts for the boating/fishing dad.

The first is the Extreme Boat Bag constructed of heavy-duty, water-resistant PVC tarpaulin with a molded Deck-Tuff bottom. It has a thick removable shoulder strap and two foam handles with neoprene knuckle guards. Other features include easy zippers with rubber bumpers, D-rings for keys, sunglasses, etc. and two side pockets. It’s offered in three sizes 18x10x10, 24x12x12 and 30x14x14 inches. BPS prices are $24, $32 and $45, respectively.

The second item is the World Wide Sportsman Blue Water Guide lace-up shoes. These BPS shoes have the comfort and performance of an athletic shoe. They’re designed with soft leather/mesh uppers, removable poliyou/memory foam antimicrobial insoles, molded EVA midsoles and non-slip, flex-grooved, quick drying outsoles. They’re on sale for $40, and both these items will be shipped free (www.basspro.com).


Today’s modern airgun has come a long way since the Daisy Red Ryder I used to plink with as a kid. Just recently, I saw and shouldered the Crosman M4-177 air rifle, and I have no doubt it would be great for dad and son/daughter to enjoy plinking with this summer.

And should he want to try something new for small game hunting, the M4-177 will work just fine. This variable pump is the spitting image of the new AR rifles and features a rifled steel barrel and shoots both .177 pellets and BBs. The pellets leave the barrel at up to 625 feet per second and the BBs at 660 feet per second. The .177 pellet is legal for hunting small game in New York.

The M4-177 includes a five-shot clip and 350-BB reservoir, adjustable stock, removable/adjustable front and rear sights, and the Picatinny rails allow for mounting access­ories. This is a fun gun that can also help you get the main ingredients of a squirrel stew. The final feature of the M4-177 is its $89 suggested retail price (www.crosman.com).


When it comes to scoping a firearm, there are an overwhelming number to choose from. So to help dad scope his new gun — and he will buy a new gun — I recommend giving him the recently released Shooter’s Bible Guide to Optics. I just happen to know the author, Tom McIntyre, and he’s definitely an expert on the subject. This comprehensive book also covers binoculars, spotting scopes, rangefinders and more. Whether dad is a target shooter or hunter, he’ll be able to find out what is best for him.

The guide is a one-stop reference for figuring out which optics best fit your needs. This 288-page book is easy reading and is full of color photos. McIntyre, who is a field editor with Sports Afield magazine and contributing editor for Field & Stream, has written a dozen books and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to guns and optics. The Shooter’s Bible Guide to Optics is published by Skyhorse Publishing Company in paperback and sells for $20 (www.skyhorsepublishing.com).


This is a special category where, from time to time, I like to introduce new small items that just make sense for those of us who spend time outdoors. This one is the WrapLit by Nite Ize. What they have done is combine an INOVA Microlight to a durable flexible 18-inch bendable Gear Tie, creating a whole new category of versatility and usefulness.

It is encased in a durable polycarbonate plastic housing and the light has independent high, low, strobe and signal functions. Its focus bright white LED has an effective range of up to 50 feet and one mile visibility. The Gear Tie can be configured in almost any angle. Loop it to hang, twist it to whatever configuration is needed, and it can even be worn around the neck for hands-free illumination. The WrapLit runs on two 2016 lithium batteries, weighs .85 ounces and retails for $12.99 (www.niteize.com).

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