I am half way thru Memorial day and have been off work for a day and a
half...and am bored to tears. The worst thing to do to a workaholic is give him
2 days off in a row. Loaded a bunch of ammo last night. Cleaned off and
re-arranged my loading bench this morning. And thank the Lord I have Gun Notes
to do this afternoon.
It is sort of strange that the NRA Annual Meeting and Show ends up having more
actual honest new stuff shown than the SHOT SHOW seems to. The SHOT SHOW seems
to be more of a concept show rather than showing actual new guns. Probably
because the NRA Annual Show is for everybody while the SHOT SHOW is supposed to
be for dealers only. Anyway, I received more info about new gear in the last
week or two of new stuff at the NRA Show that I have during the last 2 months
about the SHOT SHOW.
Most people know that Beretta lost the military contract for handguns. Their M-9
is now a thing of history. The U.S. Military is looking for a new sidearm for
our troops and rumor has it that the Glock is leading the pack. If so that will
be an excellent idea. A shot time ago the U.S. Marines turned in their Colt
Close Quarter Combat 1911s that were given to the Marines and some special
forces, and asked for their Glocks back. I thought that unusual but
understandable. They said the Glock held more rounds, weighed less and had
considerably less jamming in bad weather conditions. Again fully understandable.
When Beretta lost the contract, apparently they had a lot of guns ready to ship
to the military that now will either go to foreign military contracts, National
Guard units, U.S. Police departments or to the public. I received word this past
week that they are using some of the available parts to build a new M-9A1 in 22.
While it looks just like the M-9 Beretta it has a few improvements added to it.
Besides being chambered in 22 LR, it has a Picatinney rail on the front of the
frame, an ambi safety and decocker, dovetail sights, and several other features.
There are two versions coming, a 10 round model and a 15 round model. Suggested
retail in the $450 range.
Another unusual one is the release of the 92 Compact that they are calling
something brand new. Way back in the early 90s they had the 92 Compact out, the
92 C if I remember right. Now they are saying it is a brand new model. Another
unusual point is the slide markings. It says Made in Italy. My gut feeling is
they have a lot of older parts and need to sell them so they are marketing a
“new” Beretta 92 using Italian parts. I could be way off on my assumptions here.
Just call it a gut feeling. Retail is said to be $700.
Smith & Wesson has been busy lately. They have several new offerings in their
Shield line up and in their M&P line up. They have a new M&P 22 Compact out in a
special Cerakote finish, a flat Dark Earth finish. The guns come suppressor
ready with threaded barrel. They are 10+1 capacity. They have the white dot
sights and are all set up like their bigger brothers. Suggested retail is $429.
In the Smith & Wesson Shield line up they have added Performance Center ported
Shields with night sights. It is available in 9mm and 40 S&W, 8 rounds in the
9mm and 7 rounds in the 40 caliber., They have done some “enhancing” on the
trigger to lighted it up also. The retail is said to be $600 on both.
Probably the best news on the S&W Shield is they have a new 45 caliber Shield
coming out. The entire gun is only a bit over 6” long with a 3.3” barrel. The
new 45 caliber Shield only weighs 20 ounces and the gun holds 7 +1 rounds in an
extended magazine and 6 +1 rounds with the short magazine. There are actually
two versions of the gun coming out, one with a thumb safety and the other
without the thumb safety. Retail on the new 45 Shield is $479 without or without
the thumb safety.
Another company that has added to their pistol line up is Springfield Armory.
They have added 5 new models, 4 of them in the XD line up and one in the 1911
line up. They have a new XD-S in 9mm with a 3.3” barrel and finished in Tactical
gray, a new XD Model 2 in a 4” 9mm also in Tactical gray, a new XD Model 2 in a
4” threaded barrel and with higher sights for suppressor use. They have also
added a new XD(M) 4.5” 9mm OSP, the Optical Sight Pistol and it comes with 3
base options. The final new model is in the 1911 category and is their EMP 4”
Champion in 40 S&W.
Ruger probably has more new products every year than all the other handgun
manufacturers put together . This year is no exception that that. Their newest
is a new special 10-22. It is the 10-22 Takedown Lite. It combines the popular
features of the 10-22 takedown with a new lighter weight barrel and the Ruger
Modular stock System. The new barrel is a cold hammer forged alloy steel barrel
with an aluminum alloy sleeve. The barrel sleeve is also ventilated making it
even lighter. The barrel is also threaded and comes with a thread protector nut.
I mentioned last time that Stag Arms is back in business with new owners. And it
appears they are not satisfied to continue with business as usual. They have
introduced a new 7.62X39 AR. The new gun has the appeal of the standard AR-15
but with the rugged reliability of the AK-47. The gun works just like any
standard AR-15 but has a unique curved magazine like that of the AK-47. Other
than the new magazine, the gun looks like any M-4 AR, with the Picatinney rail
on top of the flattop receiver, the A2 style muzzle brake, a 16½” barrel and all
the standard controls and features of any AR-15.
Years ago there was a handgun maker named Wilkinson Arms. The owner made several
handguns and named each one after one of his daughters, such as the Wilkinson
Linda, the Wilkinson Sherry, the Wilkinson Diane and one or two others that I
can’t think of now. Now there is another Wilkinson on the market. I have no idea
if the owner is related to the older Wilkinson family but this one specializes
in unusual guns also. The company is Wilkinson Tactical and the gun is the
CR-12. That is a semi automatic 12 gauge shotgun. The gun features an 18½”
barrel and uses a detachable 5 round box magazine. The gun looks much like an
overgrown AR-15 with it’s collapsible stock, flattop receiver with Picatinney
rail and another Picatinney on top of the floating handguard. It is also fully
ambi and sports a double set trigger (exactly what that is for is beyond me). It
also comes with a set of Hi-Viz tactical sights. And a special EOTech Holo
weapon sight is an option. Also by switching the upper the new CR-12 is
convertible to fire 308 rounds. And standard 308 magazines fit the gun too. No
word yet on price or availability.
On the personal note, we have added several new series over the past month or
two. One of those is our TRAIL GUN. This one comes in 2 models, both are
conversions we do converting a rim fire to a center fire revolver. One of the
two is built on the customer’s Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk in a dual cylinder
gun, chambered in 32-20 and 327 Federal. The second one is based on the
customer’s Single Six and is chambered in a 6 shot 218 Bee. We have added
another caliber to the Single Six version. That is the 30 Carbine, which gives
the Single Six approximately the power of a 357 Magnum in a small compact
Our Longslide packages are doing very well lately. We have our new 10mm Hog
Hunter Longslide that is a full custom, built from the ground up on a 1911 base
gun. With the longer 6 inch barrel and our own comp that we build from scratch
giving the gun plenty of punch for the baddest of wild boar. The longer barrel
helps to burn more powder while the comp keeps the barrel down for the second
shot if needed. Another new longslide is our Longslide Hunter. This beauty is
built in either 38 Super, 10mm or 45 ACP. Again with the 6” barrel it allows the
cartridge to reach it’s potential and with the comp the recoil is tamed down to
it’s minimum. These 2 new series are added to our Enforcer longslide which is a
bit less flashy longslide that also comes in either of the 3 cartridges, the 38
Super, 10mm or 45 ACP. The last of the longslides is the most unique of the
bunch. It is our Ultimate Hi Power and built on a Browning Hi Power and can be
built on the customer’s gun or on ours. The slide is a total of 8” long with our
own comp added. The gun is full engraved, has been milled for Novak night
sights, has full custom grips made for it in the customer’s choice of materials.
It has a custom commander style hammer, custom trigger, extended slide release
and ambi safety. The new Ultimate Hi Power has been ramped and polished to feed
any round and considerable work has been done to mating the barrel to the slide
for the absolute most in accuracy. It is finished in our deluxe Black Chromex
finish with the small parts in fire blue. A large amount of gun manufacturers
are building full custom 1911s but our new Ultimate Hi Power is a one of a kind.
A few years back we had over 30 series of cowboy guns out and stayed busy
building them for all the cowboy shooters. The sport has been dwindling down
over the past couple of years and orders for cowboy guns have dropped off
considerably. Recently I decided to bring some of them back. We have brought
back our Doc Holliday Classic, our Tombstone Classic, the Texas Ranger Classic,
the Trail Rider Classic and the Gambler’s Classic. Two of our cowboy series have
stayed strong thru the years, those being the Wichita Classic and the El Diablo.
We have recently added our new Outlaw Classic and it is doing extremely well. It
looks like the cowboy spirit lives on.
We are now 4 months from our next HHC, Handgun Hunter’s Challenge. It is
scheduled for September 29 thru October 3rd. The fall hunt is always a great
hunt. The lodge holds 56 hunters and we usually fill it up. There are also 3 new
suites for married couples. And another new addition may be ready for this
fall’s hunt. We have about 25 people already signed up. This hunt promises to be
as enjoyable as all the others. We will be hunting on about 15,000 areas of
Tennessee hills and hollows. If you would like to join us, consider this my
invitation for you to do so. If you like, grab a buddy or two, or your wife and
a youngster and join us. Call Sandy at 931-979-4050 and sign up. Have a great
time hunting with friends and fill up your freezer at the same time. And the
price is about half of what the other preserves charge with no hidden costs. You
can see more about the lodge where we hunt by going to
www.wildernesshuntinglodge.com for more info. Join us. I guarantee you will
That’s it for this time. Until next month, take youngster or lady shooting and
hunting. You will be introducing them to a lifetime sport and getting a hunting
partner for life. And remember the ladies and youngsters are our future.
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