As I type this it is raining the proverbial cats & dogs. That is a big relief from the weather over the past 2 weeks. Temperatures in Phoenix, 2 hours south of us have ranged from 115° to 118° each day of the last week. While we don’t get temperatures anywhere near that hot up here, it has been hot for this area with temperatures in the low 90s. Our Monsoon season normally starts on the 4th of July and runs thru Labor Day. During that time it clouds up each day about noon and we get a 2 to 3 hour  downpour each afternoon. If the Monsoon has started it is almost a week early but that is fine with me as it cools everything off nicely.
 
Speaking of the heat, I noticed this week they were expecting 136° in Death Valley, the hottest place on earth. A group of people in Las Vegas were headed over to Death Valley as they wanted to be in the hottest place on earth on the hottest day on record. Sounds like a bunch of people with a couple of screws loose to me.
 
Something  a bit different and good, to me, is that some states will now allow teachers to carry a firearm on school grounds. South Dakota has passed the law recently and Oklahoma is thinking about it. The teachers must go thru a training regimen like law enforcement does and show proficiency with their weapon, which to me is just normal. I wouldn’t expect anything less.  I can see states in the West and South doing this but not in the rest of the country.
 
Not a lot happening in the firearms industry these days. Special guns that were announced in January at the SHOT SHOW are beginning to crop up in very small numbers here and there. Even at that most are not anything special, just variances in colors or barrel lengths and such. It seems that every company now has their own named brand of camo. Even Colt, who has stayed with their oh so blah black stocks and forends on the AR-15s and M-4s thru the last 50 years are now walking on the wild side so to speak. They have announced 3 new camos in their line up. These are Flat Dark Earth, Silver Flame camo and last but surely not least Wildfire camo. The Wildfire Camo is quite unusual. It sorta looks like you took a standard black stock and forend, set it in front of a bunch of 5 year olds and gave each of them several cans of spray paint in different colors from hot pink, upchuck orange, camel dung brown, hangover red, and liberal yellow, and then said, “don’t spray any of that on the gun”. But it will probably sell.
 
Speaking of Colt, those of you older than 17.5 will remember the old Colt Commander in 45 and 9mm. It was a great carry gun, super light alloy frame and always functioned. But then the super hot +P and +P+ ammo came along and the frames began to crack and that spelled the demise of the Commander. The Combat Commander was the all steel version and didn’t have that problem. Well, before you get your hopes up or your panties in a wad, Colt has not come back out with the Commander, but Smith & Wesson has, of sorts.  The Smith & Wesson 1911 has been popular ever since it’s beginning a few years back. Now they have released a Scandium framed shorter, more compact 1911, much like the old lightweight Colt Commander. Scandium, to those not in the know, is the material Smith & Wesson uses for their super light revolvers. Scandium is stronger than aluminum but not as strong as steel. I would imagine Smith & Wesson will put a note in with the guns to not use the hyper velocity +P ammo in it.
 
Another revised handgun is Magnum Research’s Baby Eagle 9mm. They have reshaped the front of the gun to look almost exactly like the Desert Eagle. It is now called the Baby Desert Eagle 2.  We managed to get several guns recently that were issued to the Israeli Mossad, which is a group of people you never want to get mad at you. They have been described as the world’s most efficient assassination squad. They are marked MOSSAD on the left side of the gun and are very well built guns and although they show some wear they are still in good condition and a great piece of history. What this is leading up to is the Baby Desert Eagle is the same as the Mossad pistol internally and are both a first cousin of what has been termed the finest 9mm pistol ever made, the CZ-75. For those not familiar with it, the CZ-75 was the basis for the design of the 10mm Bren Ten of 25 years ago. Jeff Cooper, being a fan of the CZ-75 helped design the Bren Ten using much of the design features of the CZ pistol. Unfortunately lack of good magazines and then lack of money spelled doom for what I consider the finest 10mm  ever made.
 
Mossberg has long been know to produce more long guns than any other company, from medium priced over/unders to law enforcement shotguns, to home defense and hunting shotguns, to hunting rifles. A year or two ago they put out their JIC shotgun. JIC meant Just In Case and the gun came in a OD greed PVC watertight tube with all kinds of little survival items stuffed in there with the gun. They have brought it back out as more and more people are setting guns back, just in case.
 
The company Chiappa is not one of my favorite companies in any stretch of the imagination as they have implanted a chip inside their firearms that they say will help to find it if it is stolen. That also means that should you want a firearm set aside just in case, it will also be found by Obama’s stooges should they desire it. They do have one shotgun I like the thought behind, but would only buy it if I could take that damn chip out. It is a break open shotgun. Nothing unusual there,.except this one has three barrels. It is called the Triple Threat and comes with 3 barrels, each 18” long. I haven’t seen one but having used a drilling up on the arctic circle for caribou in the past, a 3 barreled shotgun appeals to me.  
 
For a good while now I have been promoting the Savage Axis as the best value rifle on the market. I still say it is as you get a great rifle, with nylon stock, detachable box magazine, guaranteed accuracy, lifetime warranty, super smooth action, and comes with a Bushnell 3X9 scope and sells brand new for about $350. How can you beat that? Well they have now added to the line up with a Axis XP Youth  in 223, 243 and 7-08 and a left hand version of the same gun in the same calibers. They come with or without a scope.
 
Several companies have finally realized that hunting is coming back strong and more and more ladies are getting into guns and shooting. Savage, as mentioned above is adding to their line up with youth guns but have also added the Model 111 Lady Hunter. This one is not only a shorter stock for the smaller statured lady but the whole stock has changed, with a different comb, different, slimmer forend a d slender pistol grip. For the lady hunter this one should do well.
 
With all the ammo shortages these days, it would seem to be the perfect time for a new ammo company to fill in the blank spots. And several have. A company called Australian Outback is one of the new companies to begin shipping ammo into the U.S. Starting with 223 and 308, they will add new calibers as they go along. Another company called Pro Grade Ammo has several grades of ammo from hunting grade to tactical grade to match grade, with several others in between. They are based out of Montana and from what I have seen, it looks good.  Another one that we just got some ammo from is Bitterroot Valley ammo. The ammo looks very good and is packaged nicely and the prices are right in line with where they should be. I haven’t shot any of these yet, nor the Pro Grade or the Australian Outback ammo but hope to get to soon.
 
Tactical flashlights are the big thing today. Surefire started it years ago and continue to be one of the main lights law enforcement uses, but some new companies are coming along that will give them some competition. The Surefire light puts out about 750 Lumens. That is a new word for really bright. But then along comes Sightmark tactical light that puts out 2000 lumens. That means it will blind a person for several seconds when hit full in the face with the light. Another thing that will hurt Surefire is they have about a 20 minute battery life. The new Sightmark has a battery life of 2 hours. And there are several other companies coming out with similar powered lights. One company called ASP produces a light called the USB. This light puts out 350 lumens for 3 hours and has a lithium/ion battery that can be recharged thru your laptop or any cell phone charger. It is also easily carried at about 6 inches long and 3/4” in diameter. It comes with the car charger, wall charger and travel case and is priced right at $145.  Flashlights are no longer just something you walked outside with at night to see what made that bump in the night. They are actually weapons these days with the power to blind, disorient and really mess with your head. Years ago the head honcho of Surefire came to the Celebrity Handgun Hunt each year and gave all the hunters one of their flashlights. I have several and they are excellent lights but the 20 minute battery life is annoying and with the batteries at $5 each  that makes it even more annoying. But everyone needs a good light, whether to attach to your handgun or rifle or for just around the house. Check around before you buy. Don’t buy any light with less than 200 to 250 lumens.
 
Lasers are the big thing on firearms these days. One of the original laser makers way back when was LaserMax. They have expanded considerably and now make lasers for a huge number of guns. They specialize in compact handgun lasers and are now making them for the Ruger LCR revolver, the Ruger LC9 in 9mm, and the LCP. They also make them for Berettas, Colt Mustangs and many more. They have the new laser that comes on the Ruger 10-22 and is only available from Ruger. North American Arms, the folks that make the tiny little 22 revolver that once upon a time came in a belt buckle, now makes one of their models available with a laser. This one is made by Laserlyte and fits under the barrel of the North American Arms revolver.
 
I have mixed feelings about lasers. I can see the effect it would have on a bad guy when he sees a red dot on his chest and the cops tell him to stop whatever he is doing. But I just don’t feel they are something for everybody. They tend to teach the young shooters to use the dot and not the sights. Learning to use the iron sights and then a scope seem, to me at least, more valuable to the young shooter that just looking for that red dot and start pulling the trigger. Lasers have their good points and not so good points. All up to the individual shooter.
 
Who would have thought a few years back that Weatherby rifles would be putting out a tactical rifle or shotgun? Well, they announced a year or so ago that they had a new pump tactical shotgun coming out and have now released the new Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 that has a Tactical Grey finish, composite stock and fluted barrel.
 
The ammo situation continues to be stagnant at best. Some orders are coming in but for the most part they are orders we sent in 6 months ago. The availability of gun powder continues to be slim to none while primers seem to be easing up a bit. The 3 main ammo makers in the country continue to be 4 to 6 billion rounds behind, according to which industry magazine you read. Some companies see it easing up by January, others not until mid year next year. Supplies of 22 rimfire ammo are still mostly non existent with little relief in sight.  Reloading supplies are also seriously backlogged with some companies saying they will not be able to make some of the hunting bullets needed for hunting season in a couple of months. If you plan to hunt this fall, my suggestion is buy your ammo now, if you can find it. It may well not be available at all this fall. 
 
We are now 3 months from our next HHC and these next couple of months will go quickly. Once the 4th of July is past the summer seems to fly by. We currently have 44 hunters signed up. I have booked the entire lodge (3 lodges to be exact) and have room for 56 hunters. If you plan to join us, consider this my invitation to you to be there and bring a friend. I guarantee you it will be an enjoyable weekend.
 
Hunting season is just around the corner. Take a youngster or a lady out target shooting. Then get them into hunting. They are the future of this sport of ours.
Til next time,

 

God bless,
Gary