Our hunting season is in full swing here in the west and
will soon be in the east. Growing up in the eastern U.S. (Tennessee) our deer
seasons always started the weekend of Thanksgiving. Things may have changed from
a hundred years ago when I was a young hunter but that was the tradition. Our
archery deer and elk seasons started almost a month ago and the gun season is
days away. We have pretty much most of the huntable game here in Arizona,
including whitetail deer, known as Coues Deer, Mule Deer, Elk, Black Bear,
Bison, Desert Bighorn sheep, and plenty of small game. Handguns are allowed for
everything except Turkey (unless the laws have changed in the last year or so).
Our next HHC, Handgun Hunterís Challenge, is just days away. It is in the same place as normal, the Wilderness Hunting Lodge in Monterey Tennessee. It is slated for October 5th thru 8th. We always drive and will leave here Tuesday evening, the 3rd of October and good Lord willing, will get to the camp about midday Thursday the 5th. I have a car load of hunters riding with me, including Puffy (Jason Parr) from California, Dean Andrews from Texas, Jimmy Van Drome, and Tom Cothrun from here in Flagstaff, and maybe Kase, if he can get off. (Kaseís second love is the night club scene. He loves that crazy mess. He manages a club in Scottsdale and is hoping he can get off to make the hunt). So there will be 5 or 6 of us. I rented one of the big 15 passenger vans rather than hauling a trailer. A lot easier and more comfortable for a 1700 mile trek, each way.
We premiered our new African Classic rifles in the last week or so. We are building these on the Ruger 77s, either the older 77s or the newer MK 2. Each gun is completely custom with pretty much only the action used. The new series is chambered in 3 calibers, the 275 Rigby which is actually the 7mm Mauser. The 9.3 X 62, which is a very powerful round and the only caliber being allowed for dangerous game in Africa under 375 caliber. The 3rd caliber is the 500 Jeffery, another old classic and a super powerful cartridge. We have built quite a few Ruger #1 rifles in the potent cartridge and it is very popular with people going to Africa or Alaska. When we decided to built the new African Classic rifles, I decided to make them available for the average big game hunter. Most of your big game and dangerous game rifles are $7000 and up. Some well over $100,000. I always wanted a rifle like these, especially after our first trip to Africa back in í92, but they were so high, it let me out. Instead of building super expensive rifles, we build them classy just like an Africa dangerous game rifle should be but we keep the prices down to where the average hunter can afford one. They will start off at $1995 with us furnishing the base gun, or $1595 on the customerís base rifle. The guns come however the customer wishes, with express sights, muzzle brakes on the 9.3 and the 500, Decelerator butt pads, whatever engraving the customer wishes including his name or initials engraved and inlaid in gold. And most of this is included in the base price. The stocks are finished like the original African rifles were with a soft satin finish and the forend tip and grip cap of an exotic wood. There will be 2 grades of rifles with a higher grade including a double square bridge action.
While working on the African Classic design I bought several Ruger Model 77 rifles to start with. After playing with them and handling them every day for a couple of weeks, I began to realize what the young hunters are missing these days. It seems our rifles these days are designed to wear out in a couple of years and then you buy a new one. The classy nice wood stocked rifles with a really nice bluing job seem to be a thing of the past, unless you want to mortgage your house. It seems the rifles of today are all nylon stocked, loose fitting, with magazines that rattle and are made of plastic. The bluing really canít be called that as it is a bland black mess. I had forgotten what a real rifle felt like until we got the batch of Ruger 77s in. Good solid rifles with nice walnut stocks, internal magazines, deep dark bluing and the actions were smooth as silk. Whatever happened to these rifles, along with the Winchester Model 70s and the Remington Model 700s? Sure some of these are still available but they simply arenít the same. The wood is cheaper, the metal work is so-so. The actions are again so-so, and they are, for the most part, $1200 or more for a halfway decent rifle.
I know many will say Reeder is just living in the past. Well, this may be true but still the rifles I remember from the past are still around today and still going strong, 2 or 3 generations later. Will those plastic fantastic wonders be around in 20 years? I doubt it very seriously, and that is the shame. Our young people are being brought up thinking todayís plastic (ok Nylon) rifles are great guns. They are being cheated out of owning a real classic, a gun to hand down to their children.
With these thought in mind hopefully our African Classic rifles will fill a small niche for those that want a classic rifle to hand down to their sons and daughters. Nuff said.
We are working on the Lee Jurras Memorial revolvers along with the Jurras/Reeder Howdah pistols built on the G-2 and Encore frames with full custom woodwork. They can also be had in a real nice presentation box as an option. About 2 months before Lee died in April, he asked me if I would build these guns, bringing back his original Howdah and to design and build the Jurras Memorial revolver. I gladly told him yes and we delivered serial number 1 to him a couple of weeks before his death. Even weakened by cancer he still got out and shot the number 1 Memorial revolver, chambered in 475 Linebaugh.
Our first shipment of presentation boxes came in today and can be seen on my forum. These are both limited edition guns with 25 of the Lee Jurras Memorial guns to be built and 60 of the Jurras/Reeder Howdah pistols to be available. We are also building another series of Howdah revolvers. These were not something Lee was doing. These are just something I wanted to do. We hope to build 100 of them on our own beefy frames. The information on all 3 of these series is posted on my front page.
How about a Glock that isnít a Glock? Well, I have seen one that wasnít really a Glock, although it said Glock on the slide. It is a new completely different Glock being offered to the German police. The gun is the new model 46, which is the size of the model 19, both in 9mm. That is where the similarity ends although they have borrowed a few things from current and recent Glocks. The model 46 has no finger grooves like the Glock 5th Generation. The new features are in the operation of the gun. It operates on a rotating bolt, like the Beretta Cougar, the M-16, the original Auto Mag, even the Desert Eagle. This helps considerably in keeping the recoil softer, which makes for a quicker second shot. Some of the other features include a beavertail incorporated into the rear of the frame, it is semi ambi with the slide release on either side and has a reversible magazine release button. The trigger housing is a bit bigger with a flatter trigger which like a trigger shoe, gives a smoother trigger pull. The internals are a bit different too with the pulling of the trigger to disassemble the gun not needed.
We will have to wait and see how the German police react to the new Glock and see if there are any bugs to work out of the system. If all goes well it is very possible we could see the new Glock 46 in the early spring of 2018. The prospects of a Glock 44 would be the alter ego of the Glock 17, and so on. The 9mm is the main cartridge in Europe so I donít expect to see any 10mm, or 45 ACP in the near future, but it is something to think about.
Speaking of things happening in the early spring, our next African safari is slated for next March 21 thru 27. We had 12 signed up but one of our fellow Misfits had to drop out, so if you have been wanting to go to Africa hunting, this is your chance. And it is not expensive as you might think. On our last safari in June, we had 12 hunters there and most of the guys spent somewhere in the vicinity of $7000 plus airfare, and took 4 or 5 African animals. So Africa is not super expensive at all. If you would like to join us, get with me as soon as you can as we are getting ready to get our airfare booked in the next week or two. There is not much money required to sign up. The daily rates and license fee is $3400 and half of that is required now with the second half in another month or two. So no drastic outlay of money right now, and in Africa, unlike hunts here in the states, you only pay for what you kill. Here in the states if you book an outfitted bull elk hunt you are looking at $10,000 minimum and if you donít even see an elk, you still pay the $10,000. In Africa you pay for what you kill. Anyway, if you are interested, call me at 928-527-4100.
Next month I will have the results of this HHC that is coming up next week. In the meantime, go shooting or hunting and take a lady or youngster with you. They are our future.
Until then, God bless.