One third of 2012 is officially past and a tumultuous 2/3 we have in store for us. I try to never get into politics in this column but this is by far the most important election in U.S. history. If you have friends that normally don’t vote or you seldom vote, this is the year to be sure and vote. Everything we hold dear is on the line in November. If you haven’t registered to vote or you have buddies that haven’t registered, by all means, do so.
OK, now down to gun stuff. The parts shortages that have plagued us for the last year are still with us. At least one large gun company has shut down for 2 to 3 months to try and catch up due to a severe shortage of material for guns, grips, etc. Companies that make dies are running way behind. Shipments of dies that normally are delivered in 6 weeks max, are now taking 6 to 8 months. Laminated wood for grips is running 3 to 4 months instead of 2 weeks. And the beat goes on. I talked to a fellow yesterday that has 2 custom rifles ordered from another company and he was asking me why they were taking so long. They quoted him 6 to 8 months and it had been a year and a half already. I told him about the parts shortages and he seemed to be relieved a bit. Apparently they hadn’t told him about any shortages. So whether you have guns ordered from us or from another company, we are all in the same boat. You will get your custom gun, but it will take longer than normal, and in some case, twice as long as normal. But this shortage effects all of us, not just the gun companies. We have probably $4000 to $5000 in backorders right now over at our gun shop, just for the normal stuff that gun shops sell. So hang in there. Be patient. Whatever you have ordered will be a bit later than normal but will get to you.
A lot of new products that were premiered at the SHOT SHOW are still not available yet due to the situation I just mentioned, but the companies are working hard to get the products to your local gun shop. Some of the products that you should see by the end of summer include a new shotgun from Magpul, the magazine and AR-15 parts people. It is probably the ugliest shotgun I have ever seen but knowing Magpul it will probably be one of the most reliable. It is a pump 12 gauge, 8 shot, combat sights, and made in the U.S.A. When Bushmaster was bought out by The Freedom Group they had a non-competing clause in there that the original owners couldn’t build AR-15 type rifles for a certain length of time. Well, that time is over and they are now a new company called Windham Weaponry and have introduced a new Varmint Exterminator rifle. It is basically an AR-15 with all the bells and whistles on it. This one should be a good one as the folks at Windham Weaponry have been building these guns since the early 70s.
Years ago Randall Arms came out with a true left hand 1911. They had financial problems and the gun didn’t last long as was the case with the entire company. But it was an excellent 1911. Now a company called Cabot Guns has brought out their own left handed 1911 called appropriately the South Paw. They say their new 1911 will exceed National Match accuracy right out of the box.
Did you know that almost 30 states now allow suppressors for hunting? I didn’t until recently. Arizona’s Gov just recently signed a bill allowing us to use suppressors while hunting. She also signed a bill allowing us to use any capacity magazine while hunting, and another bill to allow bow hunters to carry a self defense sidearm while hunting. Down in the southern part of the state near the Mexican border there have been some problems with hunters walking onto drug deals and getting shot. Hopefully those 3 new bills will help that situation.
A few years ago Montana Rifleman introduced their new actions that had features every rifleman wanted in a custom rifle. Almost immediately they were swamped with orders and are still running way behind today. Now Cor Bon has done the same thing with their own long action magnum receivers. They are in chrome moly (blue steel) and have all the features of the pre-64 Winchester action.
A new 1911 that might give some the creeps is now out from Iver Johnson. It is made by the same folks that make the High Standard 1911 and is a great pistol. The new one is called the Copperhead. It is completely covered with snake skin finish. It has the snake scale grips and is one of the most realistic looking snake finishes I have ever seen. They also make it in Water Moccasin  finish if you don’t care for Copperhead. This company that is making these pistol for High Standard, Iver Johnson and one or two others is really doing a great job. We have had probably 2 dozen of the guns in under various names and every one was done right. The finish is as good as a Colt or Springfield Armory and the accuracy right out of the box is amazing. I have shot maybe 10 of them and every one shot a 1½” group or better at 25. They have most of the bells and whistles and are about half the price of the Colt or Springfield Armory.
Speaking of Iver Johnson, they are coming out with a new self defense shotgun in 12 gauge. They have all the good features of a $600 pump shotgun but should sell for around $250.
Weatherby for years had their rifles made in Japan and excellent guns they were. Very well made. They moved their plant to the U.S several years ago and the guns simply weren’t as nicely finished or hand fitted as they were while in Japan. Now they have moved their Mark 5 production back home. This time back to their California headquarters in Paso Robles. In doing so they have more control over production and quality control. Hopefully this will bring the name Weatherby back to the forefront in fine rifle making.
Timney triggers has a “hands free” trigger that works by holding a small “bite device” in the mouth. It is designed for handicapped people, so that they can still enjoy the shooting sports. Hats off to Timney president John Vehr.
Alliant powder has a new black powder substitute that is supposed to solve all the inherent problems with most black powder substitutes. It is called Black MZ and should be available by early fall.
With the economy in the dumpster, several firearms companies have introduced rebates and/or freebies for this summer and fall. here are some of them...
Browning has a $100 rebate
Hornady has free bullets
Mossberg has free turkey call
RCBS has a $50 rebate
S&W has a $100 rebate
Winchester ammunition has a $10 rebate
Winchester firearms has $50 worth of free ammo
And there are several others that have various freebies when purchasing their products.
We have expanded our holster and magazine pouch line up recently with the addition of a new magazine pouch that fits the magazines for the original Auto Mags, the Desert Eagle, the Wildey and the Grizzly. It will also fit the Coonan but may need a small bit of padding (a Kleenex) to keep it from rattling. The magazines for these guns are expensive, some hitting $150 or more so a good mag pouch is a necessity. Our new mag pouches are all leather with a good heavy duty metal snap. They fit on any belt and will secure any of the magazines listed above. We also have a new crossdraw holster coming for the original Auto Mag. This one we expect in about 4 weeks. The leather mag pouches are $50 delivered and the holsters should run around $125 to $150. They are fully suede lined and hand stitched and made of top grade cowhide. We have also recently added a crossdraw holster for a semi auto. They were designed for a 1911 but fit most any like sized semi auto. They also are suede lined and very well made. They run $100 delivered and like all our other holsters are available in right hand or left hand.
Another addition recently is grips for the original Auto Mags and for the Grizzly. These are available in all the Corian colors and in laminated wood as well as real elephant ivory. Prices will vary according to the material the grips are made of.
Recently we totally revamped our custom Encore line up. The old Ultimate Encore is no more. It is now our new Classic Encore. The name Ultimate Encore has been set aside for a very special Encore. It comes in a standard grade and a deluxe grade. The “standard” grade is anything but standard. It features a full color cased frame with engraving on the ribbon. The grips are walnut  and the barrel, in the caliber of your choosing is full octagonal, including the muzzle brake. It also features African style rear express sight and gold bead front. Octagonal barrels have been around forever in the Contender but they feature a round muzzle brake. Our new Ultimate Encore barrel is full octagonal, end to end. The finish on the barrel can be either our satin Vapor Honed finish for no shine or glare, or you can have the deluxe Black Chromex finish. The logo and caliber are done up in gold inlay. Now the “deluxe” Ultimate Encore features the same color cased frame and same finish on the barrel. It also can be had with either a very special Leupold base and rings that fit the octagonal barrel perfectly or you can have the African express sights. Also included in the Deluxe version of the Ultimate Encore is an ebony finish on the grip and forend along with elephant ivory gripcap and forend tip.  The Standard grade is $1795 while the Deluxe version is $2095.
Sometime this coming week, our Skorpion and Grim Reaper revolvers will be featured on the cover of American Handgunner along with an article on each inside. A revolver on the cover of American Handgunner is extremely rare and two revolvers on the cover is almost unheard of. I am looking forward to seeing this issue. Also Kase’s new Equalizer knife will be featured soon in one of the better gun magazines.
This is not brand new news but some may not know about it. Our new 2nd edition of our reloading manual is now available. Our old one featured 24 calibers. The new 2nd edition has info and reloading data for all 45 GNR and KNR calibers, from 224 GNR to the 610 GNR. Twice the size of the old book. This one is $20 delivered. And I finally sent the text of my new handgun hunting book, Hunting Handguns and Their Cartridges, to my publisher. I still have to get the pictures to him so if any of you have good hunting pictures taken with any GNR caliber or one of our handguns, by all means e-mail it to me. This new book will be bigger with a lot more data and a lot more pictures in it. But I need more good quality pictures.
It is a bit early to be promoting our new Handgun Hunter’s Challenge (HHC) but it has been booked for October 25 thru 28th. It will be at our normal hunting spot, the Wilderness Hunting Lodge in Monterey Tennessee. This will be our 74th group handgun hunt since 1987. We already have 6 people signed up for this one. If you are interested call Sherry at 931-839-2091 and put down your $250 deposit and join us. The October hunt is always a great hunt and normally we have 45 or more hunters at this one. The lodge holds 56 hunters, so grab a buddy or two or your youngster and join us. If you call to sign up, let me know so I don’t overbook.If you need more info, feel free to give me a call at 928-526-3313. 
That’s it for now. Remember if you haven’t registered to vote, do it today. This is extremely important. Til next time, take a youngster shooting. They are our future.
God bless,