I am still trying to get caught up from the Africa trip a couple of weeks ago so this Gun notes may hit the site a bit early or a bit late. Africa was a great success. We had 11 people on the hunt and worked out perfectly. We had approximately 50 animals taken, many of which will go high record book. About half the hunters were handgunners with the majority using the 338 GNR. The 41 GNR #2 and 378 GNR also were popular as was the 280 GNR, which excelled in the longer range shots. The hunters that used rifles in most cases used carbines based on the Thompson Center G-2. Shots averaged about 125 yards for the handgunners and 150 yards for the rifle shooters. All in all it was a great hunt with the hunters who saw probably 500 to 600 animals a day.
Unfortunately the anti hunters are getting stronger in Africa, especially in South Africa. The DeBeer Diamond Mining company, an extremely large and powerful company and the company that owned the Rooiport Conservancy that we hunted on has caved in to the anti hunters pressure and this year will be the last year for the Rooiport area for hunting, unless things change drastically. Another area, Venetia, up on the Zimbabwe border on the Limpopo River has already been shut down due to the anti hunting pressure. What all this means to us is if you plan to hunt Africa, do it soon.
Speaking of our hunts, the next HHC (Handgun Hunterís Challenge) is slated for approximately 3 months from now, scheduled for October 5 thru 8. This is always our most popular hunt and normally has a full camp of 50 hunters or more. Previously we had a March hunt and the October hunt but the March hunt has been dropped. With bad weather in the South and East it had lots of problems. The October hunt is in a perfect time of year with cool mornings and warm days and plenty of game. If you want a great hunt and 3 days with like minded people, join us on the hunt. It is held at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge in Monterey Tennessee. They have approximately 15,000 acres in 3 or 4 tracts and have areas from rolling meadows to steep canyons and heavy woods. All the exotic animals can normally be found there along with herds of Elk, Water Buffalo, Yak, Bison, some African game and hundreds of wild boar. They also have a large corn field that is planted especially for the animals and is extremely thick, keeping visibility down to a few feet at best. And it is loaded with animals. On several occasions we have eased up on what we thought were hogs crunching on corn to part the cornstalks to find ourselves nose to nose with Australian Water Buffalo or African Watusi bulls. It is the perfect place for a handgunner but rifle shooters are welcome too. The prices are great too, being about half of what other preserves charge and no hidden charges. If you are interested, give Sandy a call at 931-979-4050 and sign up. Make sure and let me know when you do so I donít overbook.
Our fall hunting season is still a few months away but the firearm and ammo companies are already busy promoting their new gear. Much of the new long gun activity is based around the AR-15. Many companies are trying to configure their guns into styles and looks that will appeal to the hunter. Different camo patterns and different calibers along with special optics abound in an effort to get the buyers attention. And surprisingly we have received flyers on 3 or 4 new AR-15 companies just in the last month or so. With the market already flooded with every kind of AR-15 known to man it is amazing that other small companies would venture into this crowded field. Some of the companies that up to now were know for their AR-15 accessories have now (wisely I think) begun to put their parts to good use, building their own rifles. Hopefully that will work for them.
In new handguns the market is cram packed with new products for the shooter and hunter. Colt is bringing back their Delta Elite in 10mm. Hopefully Colt can get their act back together and put out some decent product. They released their new version of their very popular Cobra revolver a short time ago and it feels good and is very tight. Now the Delta Elite is back and so far it looks good. If the production guns are as good as the pre-release guns, and they keep their prices reasonable it will be a decent seller. The new Delta Elite is much like the original of 30 years ago with a few changes like an accessory rail, a good beavertail, an extended safety and an all steel construction. On the 10mm topic, Ruger has recently announced they are bring out a 10mm auto in their SR1911. This one will be all stainless and if it is like all the other Ruger 1911s I have seen it will be a great 10mm.
Remington has expanded their handgun line up with the new RP9 pistol, a new striker fired pistol. I hope it does better than their recent handgun offerings that have flopped miserably. They are also bringing out a new 10mm in the R1 Hunter. This gun is mainly a Para pistol as Remington recently bought out Para and by the looks they are using Paraís slides and frames for the new R1 in 10mm. If this is so then it should be a good one as the Para 1911s were some of the finest production guns on the market.
S&W, not to be outdone has re-worked their old model 642 which was the shrouded hammer revolver in stainless steel. They changed it up a bit and slicked up the trigger and put new grips on it along with a new look to the shrouded hammer and it is rated for 38+P. This has always been a good seller for S&W in itís earlier life and the new versions should do well too.
I have been expecting the 40 S&W cartridge to die a slow death and recently when the FBI announced they were dropping it and going back to the 9mm, this was just the last nail in the coffin. And really it only made sense. The 9mm ammo has come along a long way in recent years with hyper ammo and super expanding ammo that has all the great features of any 40 S&W and most 45 ACP rounds. There is really no reason for a person interested in self defense gun and ammo not to go with the 9mm. There was talk a few years ago that the military was looking for a better round than the 9mm for their sidearm. But now with the much better 9mm ammo plus their decision to go with hollow point ammo instead of the old non-reliable FMJ ammo, it just makes sense to stay with the 9mm. Sig recently got the military contract which promises to be a hotly contested decision on the militaryís part.
Speaking of new handguns, those that are into WW2 guns and such will recognize the name Schmeisser, the machine gun used by Nazi troops. I hadnít heard from them in many years and really didnít think they were still around, but apparently they are. They have released the Schmeisser SLP-9. It is a good looking gun but to be honest if you were to cover up the name brand on todayís striker fired guns and put them on a table, it would be hard to tell them apart. Like our new cars these days, no character or class. Dependable but no class. Just like the Glock, the one that started it all, they have no character at all but most of them work first time, every time, and I guess that is what they are designed for. As far as the cars of today are concerned, again pretty much the same thing. They all look alike with no class and no character, just blah.
Another handgun that is said ďto set the handgun world on itís earĒ is the new CZ P-10C. It is said to be the cutting edge in handguns. CZ has always been at the forefront of prime handguns but I thought it amusing the main feature the ads mention is it fits Glock 19 holsters.
If you like the idea of the red dot sights but wish they had one for shotguns, your wish has come true. Aimpoint has come out with the Micro-S1. It is a little red dot sight that mounts directly on a shotguns barrel rib. It looks good and is extremely bright with a 6MOA dot that is perfect for shotguns. They also say if is good when submersed up to 5meters. I think if I am holding the gun 17 feet below the surface I have more problems that just worrying about the unit leaking. But If it is made by Aimpoint, it should be a good one.
Speaking of optics, Leupold has a new thermal viewer that is intended for hunters and affordable by just about any hunter. It is called the LTO Tracker and is a thermal monocular and you can identify animals or man up to 600 yards away. Retail is said to be somewhere in the upper $700 range.
Those of you that shoot in matches with your Colt Gold Cup and have in the past used the military National Match ammo now have a new version of it. Doubletap Ammo, in conjunction with Colt, has come up their version of it called the Colt National Match. It is said to duplicate the original National Match of years ago and knowing Doubletapís ammo it will be as good if not better.
All of a sudden the 450 Bushmaster has emerged again in several new rifles, including a new rifle from Ruger and at least a standard AR-15 or two. Not sure exactly what this is expected to accomplish but it is nice to see new fresh ideas like this.
That is going to do it for this month. More next month as we get closer to hunting seasons. I hope to see many of you at the HHC October 5 thru 8 in Tennessee. There are few guarantees in this old world of ours but I can guarantee you this, you will enjoy it. Until next time, take a youngster or lady shooting, (or hunting at the HHC). They are our future.