As we go into the home stretch before Christmas, many companies that make accessories are releasing as many new products as they can. I donít expect many new guns to be released in this last month of the year as most distributors are not buying much in this time of year. Any stock the distributors have in stock they have to pay taxes on so they try to have their warehouses as empty as possible when Jan. 1st comes around. The same holds true with gun shops. We have to buy from distributors and if they donít have it in stock we donít get it. Plus like the distributors all gun shops try to have their shelves as empty as possible come Jan.1st. So if you are looking for a certain gun or accessory for Christmas for yourself or as a gift, buy it as soon as you can. many models may be in short supply as we get closer to the end of the year.
 
That being said there are still plenty of new firearms out there and a fair amount of stock. Years ago in the early 70s Mossberg had a lever action rifle out called the model 472. It was in 30-30 and 35 Remington. It was a stout and well made rifle, but it had competition in the Marlin and Winchester as the major lever gun makers and they didnít last too long. It now seems that Rossi has come out with an almost carbon copy of the old Mossberg 472 lever action and are calling it the Rio Grande.  The new Rio Grande comes in 45-70 and in blue or stainless. It has the large loop lever we call the John Wayne lever. It has a scope base on top of the action for those desiring a scope. It has a 20Ē barrel and nice walnut stock. It also has the lifetime warranty that all the Rossiís have. Also in the Rio Grande line up are two 30-30 lever actions, one with full camo stock and the other with the normal walnut stock. And if that is not enough the new Rio Grande is also available in 410 gauge shotgun. This lever action shotgun also comes in blue or stainless and like the 45-70 it has a built in scope base on top of the action. The 30-30 does not have the scope base built in being instead a slick top rifle. With the scarcity of good lever actions these days the new Rossiís should do well.
 
Winchester is reviving their model 94, but in a limited way. They are actually being marketed under the Browning/Winchester (both owned by the same parent company). The guns are being made at the Miroku plant in Japan. They are currently only available in 30-30 and 38-55. It is good to see an American legend come back to life. The only down side I see is the price which is right at $1400 retail. I think that will turn a lot of people off with the economy in the dumpster.
 
Some other new items out for the Christmas season are from Savage. This company is rapidly passing all the others in quality, price and availability. While the major companies are struggling due to prices hovering around the $1000 mark, and sales being slim at best, Savage is raking in the sales. Savage has always had great guns out and reasonable prices and that is especially true today. They keep putting out new products that the hunters are looking for and very reasonable prices to go with their lifetime warranty. A new one they just released is called the Hog Hunter. This is the model 111 and comes in 223 and 308. It has a 20Ē barrel and the Accu-Trigger. So whatís new you say? Well, the gun also comes with a threaded barrel for a suppressor. In most states feral hogs are not considered game animals and night time hunting is legal. And not to startle folks with shooting at night, a suppressor solves that problem. Suppressors are fully legal and only require a background check and $200 fee. If you are legal to buy a firearm you are legal to buy a suppressor. It is that simple. Savageís new Mark 2 FV-SR is a 22 LR with heavy barrel and it also has a threaded barrel. The SR in the name means Suppressor Ready.
 
And speaking of suppressors, one company is furnishing a suppressor with their guns. The company Diamondback Firearms makes small concealable guns in the smaller calibers. One of their models comes from the factory with a suppressor attached. The guns come in 380 and 9mm and come equipped with the suppressor. Howís that for thinking ahead?
 
Another company has a new over/under two shot derringer out that is unusual. The company is Heizer Firearms and the gun is called the Double Tap. It comes in 9mm or 45 ACP and holds 2 extra rounds in a hidden compartment in the butt. It comes with an aluminum frame or a titanium frame. The unusual thing about this derringer is that with a push of a button the barrels slide off and different caliber barrels slide on. neat concept.
 
Ruger has announced a new addition to the SP-101 line up. It is a new 4Ē stainless 22 LR revolver with adjustable sights. At first glance it resembles their larger GP-100 and is sure to be a big seller for Ruger. 
 
Coltís new New Frontier is out in limited numbers. The New Frontier is their adjustable sighted Single Action Army. It has been released in a couple of editions thru the years and this issue is also chambered in 44 special which will be a welcome edition to the older New Frontiers.
 
Remingtonís new Versa Max Tactical shotgun is scheduled to start shipping any day now. This is a new tactical shotgun loaded with features like over molded stock, tactical choke tubes including the door buster tube, oversized bolt handle and bolt release button, picatinny rail on the receiver and one on the barrel clamp, and the extended tube giving it 7 + 1 round capacity. It shoots both 2 3/4 and 3Ē shells. 
 
I have been doing some test firing and load developing of our new cartridge, the 256 Falcon recently. It is a simple cartridge to make and brass is readily available. it is based on a 30-30 case necked to .257. It has a short neck, approximately .200 long and a 40į shoulder. When I started the fireforming of the case I started with the fireform data for the 7 GNR, which it resembles quite a bit. Bad move. The case is necked down considerably more so the pressures are much higher. Using a load that I consider light in the 7 GNR as a fireform load I pierced the primers in each round I fired. I dropped it by 2.5 grains and the primers were still cratered big time. After dropping the load another 2 grains it all came together. The brass fireformed perfectly and no bulging of the cases or cratered primers. The new 256 falcon should be a great deer, antelope or black bear cartridge. Due to the case being necked down more than the 7 GNR the velocities should be higher and with the lighter weight bullet selection it should be extremely flat shooting. I have a barrel almost finished for Sean Harper and that should go out this coming week. With the die makers being so far behind it will be a while before the dies get here but between Sean and I we should be able to afro engineer some dies enough for the ballistic testing and load development. I actually developed this cartridge in September and ordered the dies in late September so hopefully the wait shouldnít be too long. The new 277 GNR dies still havenít arrived yet and they have been ordered since early summer. Everything is running behind these days. All we can do is hang in there and roll with the flow.
 
Our next HHC, Handgun Hunterís Challenge, is booked. It is scheduled for march 8-11, 2012. We arrive at the lodge in Monterey Tennessee on Thursday afternoon, the 8th, hunt Friday and Saturday and leave out on Sunday the 11th. I have, as usual, booked the entire lodge so we have room for 50 hunters. I will have more info on this hunt as we go along, but if you are interested, check your calendar and mark the March 8-11 dates for the next hunt. 
 
This coming week we will be auctioning off a custom revolver and every penny of the money we take in will go for the little kids in Pemba Africa, where Jim Taylor and wife Twyla are missionaries. If you would like to help out I have posted a note from Jim on our forum  http://www.reedercustomguns.net/forum/index.php?mode=index. If you can help out you can either use the donation as a tax deductible  donation or go with the non deductible donation. The addresses to send your check are posted on the forum. If you can help out it would be much appreciated. But try to do so soon as Jim has to get the money and get the gifts bought for all the little kids over there.
 
Christmas is on the way, and again this year as always, remember what we celebrate this time of year, and it ainít Santa Clause. Til next month, take a kid shooting. They are our future.
God bless,
Gary