Our April HHC is now history and even with less Misfits than normal it was still a great time. We had 21 hunters there, considerably down from the 40 to 45 that we normally have. I put the blame for the small turn out on me exclusively. I booked it and did not know it was Easter weekend. My pocket calendar doesnít mention holidays so I booked the first weekend available, which turned out to be Easter. That stopped a lot of folks from making the hunt but so far it looks like we will make up for it in October. The next hunt is scheduled for Oct 1 thru 4th, same place. We already have 41 people signed up. and should fill up all three lodges.

The first day we got soaked by a hard driving rain but we did manage to test out one of our new American Classic revolvers. The American Classic is a black powder revolver we build on the Ruger Old Army. The unusual thing about this gun is the calibers. It is available in an expanded 45 caliber, a 475 caliber and a 50 caliber. The 475 and the 50 caliber are both 5 shot cylinders and are extremely powerful, about double what the normal Old Army puts out. Hobbit, also known as Jeff Jones, used the 475 caliber American Classic in a hard pouring rain to put down a large 400 lb hog. He put him on the ground with one shot but put another in him to end it quicker. No sense having an animal suffer just to be able to say it was a one shot kill. There were 2 large hogs in the group and Jeff had no more than dropped his hog than Puffy, also known as Jason Parr in an earlier life, dropped his with the 416 GNR in his Encore. Both animals topped 400 lbs plus a bit more.

A lot of neat critters were taken on this hunt, mostly hogs but also some real exotic animals. Several youngsters were there too and each of them took animals too. It is always good to see parents bring their youngsters to a hunt and let them hunt. As I mentioned above the next HHC (Handgun Hunterís Challenge) is set for October 1-4 and you are invited. For more info feel free to call me at 928-526-3313. To call and reserve your spot, call 931-839-2091 and put down your $250 deposit and join us.

The bubble has burst, to some extent. That bubble is the massive buying of guns, ammo and accessories that has been going on for over 2 years. The sales of these items have slowed down considerably. That is bad in a way as now is when all the special deals and savings are occurring. Six years ago there were 8 manufacturers of AR-15s in the country, Shooting Industry magazine says there are now almost 250. And all are scrambling to come up with something special about their guns to make them sell. A couple of companies have turned to selling parts for those wanting to build their own guns, rather than try to sell the complete gun. A couple are working to convert theirs to odd calibers in hopes of turning some sales their way. Some are saying their guns are specially built for the 5.56 instead of the 223, which is total bull. They are the same cartridge, pure and simple. The same dies work for both cartridges. If they were different in any way the dies would not work for both. The only difference I know of is the 5.56 is loaded hotter to function a full automatic weapon.

I have noticed that one company that makes bulk brass is even advertising their brass as 5.56 only in hopes of garnering sales from those that believe the 2 cartridges are different.

Speaking of AR-15s and such I was a bit miffed and disappointed in reading the latest issue of GUNS magazine. They were promoting a new AR chambered in the 300 Blackout. I was disappointed in GUNS in that they were promoting a cartridge that was blatantly stolen from J.D.Jones. The cartridge originated with J.D. as the 300 Whisper many years ago and was stolen by the folks that renamed it the 300 Blackout. The dies for the cartridge say 300 Blackout/300 Whisper, so obviously they didnít change a thing, just the name. I asked J.D. about it and it obviously was a touchy subject for him. I have had 2 of my proprietary cartridges stolen thru the years and I know the frustrating feeling. It isnít illegal, just not right. I sent a note about this to good friend Roy Huntington, head honcho of GUNS and American Handgunner. Not bitching, just that I was disappointed. His answer was about what I expected, that they try not to take sides and just publish the new items that are available to gun folks. I can understand that and respect him for being honest with me.

One new thing in the industry that I noticed was that several companies are coming out with less expensive versions of the guns that have sold well over the past couple of years but are slowing down now. Ruger showed that they are a very smart and progressive company and came out with the new AR 556, a standard AR-15 style rifle that is still anything but standard. The name Ruger means top of the line and the AR556 is just that, but without some of the frills that the SR556 has, and at less than half the price. They also recently released the SR9-E. The E meaning essentials. It has all the essentials for a perfect operating 9mm but with a few frills left out and at about $100 less in price. Another firearms company Khar Arms has also come out with a lower priced basic model of one of their top models. I feel more and more companies will be doing this in the near future to garner as many of the available dollars as they can.

Ruger continues to expand their product line. In the last few months they have released the new SP-101 in 327 Federal, the Hawkeye Varmint rifle, the new lightweight commander version of the SR1911, which by the way does not have the problems the old Colt Lightweight Commander had. That being an aluminum feed ramp that got scoured up pretty badly from the lips of the 45 ACP cases. Ruger has a titanium ramp inserted into the lightweight auto that bypasses all these problems. Also from Ruger is the new Match Champion GP-100 with adjustable sights, the Hunter revolver in 41 Magnum again, the new SR22, which looks exactly like a top of the line AR M-4. They have even spiffed up the Mini 30 and made it sleeker looking and then added the new Mini 14 Tactical to the semi auto line up. They have also announced the addition of the 77/17 in the 17 WSM. Now that WSM stands for Winchester Super Mag. I am very surprised that they would even whisper the initials WSM after their extremely bad experience with those initials. But we shall see. The cartridge is another super fast, super flat shooting 17 caliber, so like other 17s in the past, it will do very well, or not very well. And I am sure Ruger will be adding more before the summer is out.

Letís see, what else is new? For those that walk in lighter loafers there is a Desert Eagle that is spotted like a Cheetah. That should sell extremely well in San Francisco. The company Traditions is expanding their line up of inexpensive western single action revolvers with the new Rawhide model. This one has been updated to include a transfer bar so you can carry it with all 6 chambers loaded. One good change is that the new guns, made by Pietta in Italy, have steel frames, rather than the alloy frames offered in the past. They are decent well made copies of the Colt SAA and at a price that just about anyone can afford one.

For you south paws out there (lefties), Savage is offering 18 new models this year for left handed shooters. These include bolt action rifles, slug shotguns and semi auto rimfire rifles. So no matter what your sport is, there is at least one for you. And Savage has been one of the top American companies for many decades. Their AXIS series has been the top selling rifle in the country for 2 years in a row. It is a win win situation for you lefties.

Glock just released their new Glock 43, the single stack 9mm. The first one in the door Colleen grabbed and immediately put it in her purse. It is not a lot bigger than the Glock 42, a 380. But big enough to count. I shot hers and at 7 yards, standing on my hind legs off hand I shot a 2Ē group. Plenty good for a self defense pistol with fixed sights. It shot dead on left and right and about an inch high for me. This is going to be a good summer for Glock. Even in they donít add any more guns to the line up, this one will give them a great summer of sales. And if you are looking for one, donít spend over $500 for it. They should sell for that or just a bit below that. There are already scalpers out there charging from $600 to $800 for them. Hang in there. They will get more abundant real soon.

When Obama announced no more Russian AKs and AK style guns could be imported I figured someone would take up the slack there. And they have. A company called Kalashnikov USA is making real AK-47s and the AK style tactical shotguns. In fact they look better than the originals. less rough spots and sleeker looking but true to the Kalashnikov design. A bit off the subject here, but a few years back Colleen and I were invited to sit down with Andreav Kalashnikov and Uzil Gal, the two prominent gun designers of modern times. Kalashnikov, of course of the AK-47 and several other Russian guns, and Gal, the inventor of the UZI and the GALIL rifle. They were both two older gentlemen and were as interested in the custom handguns we build as we were interested in their accomplishments. It was an afternoon I will remember for a long time.

On the subject of the AK-47, CMMG(makers of some fine AR-15s) are making what they call the MK47 Mutant, a rifle with the best features of the AK-47 and the AR-15. Also on the topic of AK-47s, Mossberg has the Blaze 47 rimfire rifle, a new 22 rifle that looks exactly like the AK-47. That one should do very well for them.

Those of you older than navel lint will remember the Korth revolver. It was and is a German made revolver that costs more than some family cars. It has never made most of an impression here in the states due to the high cost (almost $3000 back in the late 70s and early 80s), and also due to itís German lineage. The Germans are known for making guns that are as strong as a tank, and often look like one too. The Korth is one of those. It, to me, is a mix of a vent ribbed Python, a sledge hammer and a Russian 300 lb ballet dancer. Anyway they are trying to promote it again here in the U.S. with a model called the Sky Marshal. It is a revolver chambered in 9mm and is sort of squatty body with a light rail added to it on the side of the gun. And it is only $1000. Whatta deal.

Remington is bringing back the R51 and they say this one will work....duh. All the last version did was make a fool out of a lot of folks, including some gun writers that wrote it up as the best thing since chocolate covered cockroaches. Oops.

Lots of new products coming out for women shooters. Walther has a new designed pistol that they say any lady can pull the slide back on. That would be a good feature as that is the one thing many ladies have trouble with. For years that was Taurusís best selling feature in the PT-22. You never had to pull the slide back. You flip a button the side, the barrel pops up, you drop a round in the chamber, close the barrel, insert a loaded mag in the gripframe and you are set. No pulling the slide back, ever. It worked for Beretta well before Taurus picked up the design and has worked very well for Taurus for more than 25 years. The Walther pistol I am referring to is the CCP in 9mm.

Browningís new scaled down 1911 in 380 is expected to appeal to those wanting a concealed carry pistol. The only downside is that it is a single action pistol and that will weed out some folks that are not proficient with 1911 type firearms. The gun reminds me of the Colt Government 380 of years ago. It should be a well made pistol coming from Browning. It would be nice to see Browning come out with a smaller version of the classic Hi Power 9mm.

Lots of folks these days filling out paperwork to buy a suppressor, now that many states have legalized a suppressed firearm for hunting. In a suppressed pistol the main problem is the sights. The suppressor is normally about an inch and a half around which means it sticks up higher than the sights. XS sights have come out with special sights that rise up higher than the suppressor. So far they are only for the Glock but more are to come.

Speaking of suppressors, Smith & Wesson is offering 2 barrels with their M&P9 pistols, one threaded for a suppressor and one standard.

Finally a couple of recalls. Remington has recalled the model 887 that were made from December 2013 to December 2014. If yours was made in that timeframe, contact Remington at 800-243-9700. Winchester has recalled their SXP shotguns. They have been known to fire when the slide is closed. If you have one call Winchester at 800-945-5372.

Our new series are getting a lot of attention, especially the new Black Mamba. This beauty is built on your GP-100 frame and features a full vent rib barrel and full underlug and 5 shot cylinder. it is being made in blue and stainless and in calibers up to 44 Magnum. Lots of calls about this one since we introduced it a week or so ago. Also new versions of the Alaskan Classic rifle in 45-70 along with new versions of the Ultimate Back Up. There is also a new Magnum Carry revolver just released and after selling out all 100 of the original Grim Reapers on our stretch frame we are coming out with a new Grim Reaper 2 built on the customerís base gun and chambered in calibers like 454, 44 Magnum, 429 GNR, 45 Long Colt, 455 GNR and several others. And at a considerably lower price. We have updated the older Big Horn Hunter and including it in 30 GNR, and have updated the Buffalo Hunter lever gun in 45-70. Also updated is the American Hunter revolver. Several new calibers in the making, including a new 30 Raptor which Sean Harper is doing the ballistic testing on right now, also a new 400 GNR in a lever gun. 2 or 3 more new ones coming up down the road a bit. More on them as we go along.

Until next month, remember, take a youngster or a lady shooting or hunting, or both. They are our future.
Til next month, God bless,
Gary
 

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E-Mail: gary@reedercustomguns.com

Reeder Custom Guns
2601 E. 7th Ave.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Phone: 928-527-4100
            928-526-3313
   Fax:  928-527-0840
            928-526-1287

The names Ruger, Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk, Bisley and Vaquero are trademarks of the Sturm, Ruger Firearms Co. Inc.