As I type this we are a bit under 3 months before our next Handgun Hunter’s Challenge (HHC). It is slated for October 25th thru the 28th at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge in Monterey Tennessee. We arrive Thursday afternoon, get settled in (if you get there early enough you can hunt that afternoon but if you do we will say bad things about your sexual preferences). We hunt all day Friday and Saturday and Sunday morning if you haven’t tagged out yet. It is a very good hunt and for sure no shooting fish in a barrel. I know several hunters that didn’t get anything on the hunt and not for lack of trying. Exotic game hunting can be as hard or as easy as you like. I know some ranches that are 500 acres and you are truly hunting fenced in animals. The Wilderness Lodge is none of that. All in all Alan Wilson now has somewhere near 15,000 acres with 3 new parcels he has just bought and incorporated into his other areas. His exotic deer raise their young there in the wild as do the hogs. He keeps herds of Bison, Australian Water Buffalo, Yak, Watusi bulls and Elk there all the time. There are some areas that I have seen some hunters just give up and walk away. These are the hills that are almost straight up and you end up climbing up by holding on to the trees. There are other areas that are rolling hills and over in the canyon area there are some fairly flat areas but also some deep canyons where the hogs stay. So it can be an easy, sit down in a ground blind and wait for something to come along type of hunt, or it can be a hard as you like it type of hunt.  Some people I highly respect have done a lot of exotic hunting, folks like John Taffin, Lee Jurras, Bob Milek and several others, plus a large group of hunters we call The Misfits. So far we have almost 20 hunters on the list with room for a total of 50 hunters. I book the entire lodge each hunt and we should be the only ones there. If you want to join us, by all means, grab a buddy or two and be there. Call Sherry at 931-839-2091 and put down your $250 deposit.
We had some good news for a change today. The UN Arms Treaty was knocked  down. It may well come back but for now it is down. Of all things two countries that sided with us in refusing to go along with it were China and Russia. It may be brought back up after the election as a lame duck session. One thing that they need to remember though is this...
“Treaties are government-to-government agreements and do not subject citizens of one nation to laws of another or to those of an outside body.”

This was the courts decision years ago and still holds true today, but with some of the most crooked politicians to ever take a bribe in our government, we shall see.

As we near the “dog days of summer” when things slow down in just about every industry, we probably won’t see many new guns being advertised or promoted until just before fall and the new hunting seasons.  Right now handguns of all types are selling very well, pretty much as quick as we can get them in. Some that were promoted in the gun magazines as being “on your dealer’s shelves” are not even in the dealer’s building, much less on the shelves. Many new guns will come out in very limited numbers. The distributors will tell the gun shops they are allocated and if they are really lucky they will allow them to have one. Most of this is pure BS. 99% of the guns on allocation are kept on allocation to keep the demand up. Back in the early to mid 70s the Smith & Wesson Model 29 in 44 Magnum was in extreme demand due to the Dirty Harry movies, some going (when you could find them) at 2 to 3 times retail. Smith & Wesson could have solved all that by simply cranking more of them out, but whether wisely or greedily, they kept production down to a meager few a week which kept the demand extremely high. With some of the new unusual handguns being released these days the allocation yarn is just to make the dealer’s think they are getting a jewel when it may well be the shaft they get instead.

Putting a very few guns out in a new offering is probably good business as this way they don’t have many thousand made that are not selling and they end up having to have big promotions just to sell them. I remember a few years back one company that produces many hundred thousands of handguns a year came out with a real stinker. They ended up having the distributors (all gun shops have to buy thru distributors, never thru the gun companies) offer the dealers a free Rossi single shot shotgun or single shot 223 rifle free if they would just buy one of their clunkers. Another gun company a few years back gave a new 22 rifle (Marlin if I remember right) to any dealer that would buy one of their new white elephant revolvers.

Sometimes the new gun is just ahead of it’s time and doesn’t sell at all. The Jeff Cooper Scout Rifle that was produced a few years back is one example. They flopped horribly. The company brought them back just recently in limited numbers and they did fairly well. They were just too far against the grain of the way things were done when they first came out. Another that comes to mind is the Daisy VL caseless ammo of the early 70s. They even had a rifle out also but it flopped. It was a cartridge with no brass case. The powder was glued to the base of the bullet and set off with a heat spark. Another was Remington’s 788 rifle. It was an excellent, well made rifle and extremely accurate in most cases, but it was ugly. It came out in the late 60s and by the early 80 was gone. Many mourned the rifle’s passing as it was a fine shooting rifle but in the late 60s and into the 70s, gun owners just weren’t ready for a beech stock that had a sort of painted on finish and was just plain ugly. Why, everyone knew that Remington rifles were supposed to be pretty and have nice walnut stocks, didn’t they? And look at the Model 600 and 600 Magnum from Remington. Sure it had a nice laminated stock but it has plastic all over it. Plastic rib on the barrel, plastic on the floorplate, ugly ugly plastic, and old Joe down the street said those laminated stocks come apart in the rain. Don’t they? This one lasted 3 years at best before it too became a filler note at the bottom of the page. There is a whole list of guns that simply didn’t make it, for one reason or another, many simply because they were just ahead of their time. Look at the Remington Nylon 66, what was to become the best selling 22 semi auto rifle of all time. Brown ugly plastic. And they told you right in the owner’s manual not to take the gun down and clean it. That was a first. But then they got greedy and came out with the Nylon 11, and the Nylon 12  and the Nylon 10 and the Nylon 76 and the Nylon 77 and so on, seemingly forever. They wanted to nylon us to death. Well, Americans back then could only stand so much nylon and the Nylon 66 was it. All the others eventually flopped. Then there was the Thompson Center TCR 83 and later the TCR 87, ahead of their time, probably. The Ruger Hawkeye in 256 was another. The little slab sided single shot that looked like a revolver, ahead of it’s time? Absolutely. John Taffin mentioned finding a like new High Standard Sentinel 22 revolver. He grabbed it up as I would have too. It was a really nice little revolver with a 9 shot cylinder, DA, with contoured wooden grips. Not really a round butt, just very smooth hand filling grips and it felt perfect. It lasted 8 or 9 years and was gone. Another great design with no one interested. They had the same gun out as the Camp Gun in a 6” and in 22 Magnum. It lasted even fewer years.  And the list goes on and on. Some guns, no matter how well they are made or how good the design is, just simply don’t make it.

Here a while back I mentioned that for jacketed bullets in our necked down cartridges I never use the ball expander die in my dies. I simply size the case, then chamfer the mouth slightly to barely accept the bullet. This gives a better hold on the bullet. I posted it on our front page here on the web site too. For lead, gas checked bullets I do use the expander ball but keep it to a minimum. I mentioned that I use a Makita type power tool with a chamfering bit in it. It take about half a second to chamfer each cartridge. Well, in the new 2012 catalog from Lyman they show that exact same set up. It is their Cordless Power Case Prep Tool, It come with the small rechargeable power tool along with the deburring tools, primer pocket reamers and cleaners, case neck brushes and lots of other goodies. It retails for about $65 and is worth every penny. I also see they have updated the looks of their Model 4500 Lube Sizer, which is a great sizer/lube tool for cast bullets. Colleen bought me one of the Star Lubra Sizers a couple of years ago and I hate to admit it but I still haven’t figured out how to lube and size my bullets without getting lube all over the place. It is a great machine but could be better. I find myself going back to my Lyman lube/sizer.

With Marlin’s lever gun plant pretty well shut down for a while, and Winchester only interested in building commemoratives, Rossi is stepping in and filling some of the void. They have their new Rio Grande model out in 30-30, 45-70 and 410 shotshell. it comes in blue or stainless and feels as good as it looks.

Several years ago Kase tried to talk me into investing in a nylon frame for the 1911. With my typical hindsight I passed on it. Actually it was the $250,000 it would have cost me to get set up in it that dissuaded me. But now Rock River Arms has come to my rescue. They have a new nylon frame, much the same feel as the Glock, for the 1911. It is to be called the 1911 Poly and should be out sometime this year.

I am having quite a few folks ask which of the new slim 9mms is the best. One fellow called today and was complaining that his slim 9mm wasn’t as accurate as his Browning Hi Power. If you decide to pick up one of the really small 9mms or one of the really slim 9mms or even 45s, don’t expect match grade accuracy out of it. It is a concealed carry gun and is meant for head shots at 7 yards, no more, no less.

I mentioned a while back that EVERYONE was getting into the AR-15 making business. Well, Nosler is now making a new AR-15 that they call the Varmageddon Signature AR. It has all the bells and whistles on it as the name implies. Speaking of AR-15s, Colt has come up with a California approved AR-15, actually 2 of them. Both are in their Match Target Line up.

Weaver scopes is expanding their line up. Weaver has been around for many years and it is good to see them coming back with a quality product.From pistol scopes to target scopes, they have them covered. 

The best selling rifles these days are the Savage Axis and the Ruger American. They both look very much alike and both are extremely well made rifles. The Ruger selling for under $400 and the Savage Axis for $300, or $350 with a Bushnell 3X9 scope. Both are very well made and I can recommend both whether you are a hard core hunter or just someone that hits the field for less than 2 weeks a year. You can’t lose buying either.

As I mentioned above the UN Arms Treaty is out, at least for a time, but we can expect Obama to do something about “assault rifles and extreme high cap magazines” before the election. The liberals will hound him to do so and as normal he will do their bidding. If you lack any hi cap mags or need an AR-15 or another one, now is probably the best time to buy. The prices are still down but as soon as as Obama opens his mouth about another ban on the guns or magazines or both, they will dry up overnight. Think about it.

Till next time, it won’t be long until our hunting season is here. get ready, and take a lady or youngster with you. They are our future.

God bless,