This edition of Gun Notes may be a bit short as tonight I am doing a
normal load of Black Chromex finishing, plus loading ammo for the HHC
coming this weekend, plus trying to pack, and maybe grab a bite of
dinner in there somewhere. So if my typing is a bit erratic, pay no
attention. As I mentioned this weekend is our 72nd HHC. The first 65 or
so weren’t called that but were still our handgun hunts, and were all
over the world. We have had 11 of them in Africa, a couple in Australia
and New Zealand, plus Montana, Wyoming, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee,
Florida, North Dakota, South Dakota, Canada, Quebec/Labrador (although
the Canada and Quebec hunts were officially rifles hunts), Washington,
Utah, Texas, and probably several other states that I can’t think of
right now. We have carried our handguns all over this world of ours and
if the good Lord takes me tonight, I have no regrets. I have been
extremely blessed to have spent countless hours with friends in hunting
camps, and if I am lucky will do so quite a bit more.
Some of the new guns that were promised several months ago are
actually beginning to see the light of day. Ruger’s new Single Ten is
out, in limited numbers so far, but is out there. This is the 10 shot
Single Six and a handsome revolver it is. No word yet on accuracy or
dependability but if it has Ruger’s name on it that tells the story
right there. Speaking of Ruger’s name, I see they have dropped the Sturm
name off Sturm, Ruger & Co. That was probably long overdue but Bill
Ruger would never have done it.
Smith & Wesson’s Governor is out, again in limited numbers, but is out.
This is Smith & Wesson’s version of the Taurus Judge. It shoots 45 Long
Colt, 410 shotshells and 45 ACP with moon clips. Just getting one to
shoot both 45 long colt and 45 ACP and headspace correctly is a
challenge in itself. Also on the new handgun topic, Magnum Research (now
owned by Kahr) has a new limited edition Desert Eagle. Actually they are
re-introducing it. It is the Classic Desert Eagle with special features
originally included on the old original Desert Eagle, but also including
the Picatinny rail found on later guns. It will be chambered in 44
magnum and 50 AE.
In new rifles, Mossberg’s new AR-15 rifle is out. It is the MMR 556, and
comes in full camo, flattop and ready for the hunting field. Winchester
is slowly coming back from “out of business”. Their latest offering is
for the younger, smaller crowd. It is the model 70 Featherweight
Compact. It comes with a 20 inch barrel and has a 13” length of pull. It
comes in several calibers including 22-250, 243, 7-08 and 308. Perfect
for the lady in your life or an older youngster.
Fiocchi’s new Canned Heat is doing well. This is sealed cans of
ammunition in a tuna fish size can. It comes in 100 rounds of 40 S&W and
9mm, 50 rounds of 223 and 45 ACP, 30 rounds of 308, and 333 rounds of 22
LR. Sealed for long term storage. Neat idea. They are also bringing back
some ammo for the older classics. Mainly aimed at the cowboy action
shooting market, it also serves a dual purpose in furnishing ammo for a
lot of the old vintage guns. That ammunition includes 45 long colt, 38
S&W Short, 38 special, 44-40, 32 S&W Long, 357 magnum and 44 special.
And more calibers are set for next year.
Kase is working on designing a stick ‘em and stab ‘em knife to be built
in the near future. We currently have 4 or 5 prototypes that we are
bringing to the HHC to get input from the guys there. I am not a
“killing knife” person, with what little experience I have being with
hunting knives. But Kase has designed 4 or 5 and we will show them at
the HHC and see what the knife guys have to say. If we can decide on one
design, the first ones should be here by Christmas.
With a “recession” here several companies are crying the blues due to
slumping sales or no sales at all. I hate to see this but the blame
rests right on them. They keep jacking up their prices, especially the
union run companies, and several now have all their models well over
$1000. If these guns were something very special, I could see the high
prices, but they are the same old same old. S.O.S. But some companies
are using their brains ands have come out with lower priced models that
still have all the features a hunter needs and no gimmicks. One of those
companies is Savage. Last year they introduced the Stevens line,
actually re-introduced that line as Savage has owned the Stevens name
for many years. At one time a Stevens shotgun or rifle graced many a
hunter’s gunrack. Last year Savage brought out their model 200 Stevens,
a nylon stocked rifle in all the popular calibers for under $350. It has
a super smooth action, Savage’s guaranteed accuracy and is all steel, no
plastic inner parts. This year they bring out a new version of the model
111 rifle and it comes as a package, with a nice scope, smooth action,
nylon stock and Savage’s full warranty and is just a hair over $400.
This year they also brought out the AXIS, a completely new rifle, again
with nylon stock, super smooth action, great trigger and Savage’s full
warranty and it sells for just a bit under $300. Plus each of these
comes in all the popular calibers. How long has it been since you saw a
quality rifle at a new price under $300?
Another gun company is doing very well these days for the same reasons
that Savage is doing well. That is Mossberg. A couple of years ago,
seeing this “recession” on the horizon, Mossberg brought out their model
100, a really nice bolt gun in all the popular calibers. Now they have 3
new models out, the 4X4 for those that prefer a wooden stock, the ATR
with camo nylon stock and guaranteed accuracy and the all new TREK
series. Each of these rifles are field ready, come with all the features
you NEED, not the gimmicks that many other companies tell you you need.
If you want a very well made rifle without all the useless frills, check
out the Mossberg and Savage line up. You won’t be disappointed.
With money tight many companies are bringing the proven sales tool, the
rebate, back. Check with your local dealer for these rebates on
shotguns, ammo, bullets and accessories. On the same track, some
companies are reducing their prices. About a year and a half ago we saw
this downswing coming and we dropped our prices $200 on every series of
gun we build, plus put sale prices on all our Contender/G-2 and Encore
barrels. Some folks that are “in the know” told us that would come back
to haunt us or bite us in the ass. Well, so far our sales have been up.
The number of guns going out the door is at least as many as 2 years
ago. We aren’t making the profit margin we did 4 years ago, but the
doors are still open and we haven’t had to lay off anyone. So far it’s
working. And I see now other companies are beginning to do the same.
Most recently Cor Bon announced a 20% reduction in their ammunition
prices. At least a couple of scope companies and reloading gear
companies are set to do the same thing. Kudos to them.
Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse? Apparently several companies
are trying to help. There are at least 4 different companies that are
making Zombie targets, One has the feature like the Shoot N See targets,
where you can see the bullet impact on the target with a different color
cropping up around the bullet hole. One of the Zombie target shows a
blood red bullet hole when you hit the vile creature in a good spot.
One company to avoid is Chiappa. They put out the Rhino revolver. They
also have a chip inside the gun so the gun can be tracked by the Feds.
It keeps a full memory of where you have been, when you were there, and
where you are now. There is no reason for this. The company contends
that they are just doing what every gun company will be doing in 5
years. That may be true but they won’t be sold in our gun shop.
With more and more women buying guns, it was only a matter of time
before some companies brought out something for the ladies that live in
some of the more communist states, like....well, you know who they are.
There are now mace “guns” that look just like an ink pen, one looks like
a bottle of perfume, Ruger, not to be outdone, has a new line up of
pepper spray systems. One is called the Ultra and has pepper spray, a
strobe light and a 125 decibel alarm system. It can be clipped on your
belt and looks like one of the health or fitness gadgets. Another model
called the Stealth has the pepper spray but does not have the alarm or
strobe light They have another that is a spray canister that looks just
like a lipstick tube. On the other side of the coin is a special stun
gun for the ladies that is pink in color but puts out 800,000 volts. It
also comes in a mini with 600,000 volts. Boy, either of those should
sure ruin an erection.
I mentioned this a while back but it is worth a second mention. If you
have youngsters that shoot or want to shoot, go to
or call 208-629-8967 and sign them up. They
get lots of web content and a print magazine just for young shooters.
If you have a problem with tweety birds getting in your flowers, there
is a solution. A company called Air Venturi has introduced the Sam Yang
Dragon Claw. Now with a name like that you know it has something to do
with the Asian type shooting sports, but this one is made with Americans
in mind. It is a 50 caliber big bore airgun with a pre charged pneumatic
system. It has a Monte Carlo wood stock and is a single shot bolt action
set up for scope or iron sight use. That should give Hobbit a thrill.
This Gun Notes has taken me about 3 times longer than normal as I have
been running back and forth to my bluing tanks and it is almost 11PM and
I have a lot of ammo to load for the HHC. We will be leaving out of here
at about 2AM Wednesday morning and if all goes well will drift into
Nashville early afternoon on Thursday. It is 1700 miles one way but well
worth the trip to get to hunt with some old friends. If you have never
been to one of our HHCs (Handgun Hunter’s Challenge) by all means, join
us when you can. Til next time, take a youngster hunting. They are our