Over the past 30 days we have seen some very unusual bills go thru the various state houses and senates and often signed by that states governor. One of the most unusual is a ban on most pocketknives. This absurd bill was instituted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and they attempted to sneak it thru without anyone knowing about it until it was too late. Several groups are hard at work trying to get the bill dropped before it is put into law. The bad thing is that the Customs and Border Protection have the authority to run this bill thru with no voting or provisions to ask why. To say there was some dirty behind the scenes politicking here would be an understatement. As all this is being hushed up, I am not sure of where the bill stands as of now.
Some of the good news is that several states have passed laws stating that people with carry permits can carry now in restaurants that serve liquor. Tennessee's state legislators OK'd a bill similar to this but the anti gun governor wouldn't sign it, so he was overridden, which is unusual.
Also 23 states attorney generals have petitioned Obama urging him not to renew the infamous Clinton Gun Ban, saying it does no good, did no good when it was in force before, and would be a waste of time and money if put into effect again.
. Sheriffs in several states from King County Washington to Duvall County Florida are urging people to "get a gun and get your carry permit". With budgets being chopped all across the country many sheriffs departments know they can't be in 2 or 3 places at once so they are urging people to defend themselves. Obviously Democrat lawmakers, in their normal idiotic way of thinking are raising a stink saying the country will be flooded with vigilantes. What they don't mention is that even in Washington D.C., crime has already dropped 5% since the residents there have regained the right to own firearms.
Several new guns that were announced at the SHOT SHOW are finally beginning to see the light of day. The Springfield Armory XD-M that was proclaimed the gun of the year for 2009 is finally reaching the gun shops. We have had them on order for 5 months and recently got our first one. How the gun got Gun of the Year baffles me as very very few of them were even in the hands of the shooters or gun writers. I guess money talks.
There are 11 new 380 autos coming out on the market little by little. I covered these a few Gun Notes back so I won't go into it again but if you want a good 380 auto, you now have quite a few choices. Too bad we don't have as many choices in 380 ammo.
More and more states are opening up crossbow seasons for big game, some for dangerous game. I am seeing more and more stories in the hunting magazines about hunters in Africa taking animals in the Big 5 with a crossbow. I have mixed feelings about this. I have a crossbow and several compound bows and have been a national archery instructor since 1981 but I am not really sure how I feel about taking on the big 5 or any of the big bears in Alaska with a crossbow. I will have to think more on that. The good part is that any sport that gets people off their butts and out into the fields hunting is a good sport.
The company Laserlyte has a new laser that is so small it sits just to the side of the Glock rear sight. It is slightly taller than the Glock rear sight and sits in the small space to the side of the rear sight. It actually replaces the Glock rear sight with one that looks identical but holds the guts of the new laser. Thinking back to the laser that was used in the first Terminator movie, that was as long as the AMT Longslide and took up as much room as a large pistol scope, I think we have come a long way baby.
With literally millions of people all across the country getting their concealed carry permits, concealable guns are going to be in the limelight for months to come. Every handgun maker is touting either a new small frame semi auto or a small super light revolver that is destined to be the "absolute best for concealed carry". If you are picking out a new gun for concealed carry, try as many as you can. Not necessarily shoot them, although if you have a good range where they will rent you a gun to try, by all means do so before you buy. But also if you can't shoot it, give it a test carry. If the gun shop knows you tell them you want to tuck it in your waistband, or in your pocket or Mexican carry behind your back in the small of your back. Stick it in there and walk around the shop. If they have a couch, sit down with it in your pocket or wherever it happens to be. See if it is going to be comfortable carrying it all day.
We get people every day in our gun shop that have bought a carry gun but now want us to help them figure out how to carry it. A small statured fellow came up a day or so ago with a 3" S&W model 29 in 44 magnum. One of the older ones from the mid '80s. All steel with a fairly large, bulky grip. He was wearing baggy pants but even so the gun looked like a bowling ball when he dropped it down into his pocket. He said he seldom wore a suit coat so a shoulder holster was out as was a coat pocket holster. We tried several things but he eventually walked out no better off than when he came in. There simply wasn't a way for him to carry that big bulky revolver concealed or comfortable. When I asked him why 44 magnum, he said, "oh I'm only going to carry 44 specials in it", as if that helped the concealment part of the problem.
So before you buy a gun, make sure you can carry it easily, comfortably and completely concealed. I have yet to see any revolver being easily concealed. I have had several people tell me they are going to buy one of the new small revolvers for concealed carry. One was thinking of carrying the new S&W Night Guard in 357 magnum. He had his heart set on it so I didn't try to talk him out of it, but I simply don't see how one can conceal a large or medium size revolver. We had a young man come in looking for a concealed carry holster for a 3" Taurus Judge revolver in 410 shotshell. He was some sort of a cop and wanted to carry it as a back up and off duty as concealed carry. I assume he is still looking for an appropriate holster for that. I do have some pictures of Kase carrying an H&K model 23 Socom in 45 auto with a 12" long suppressor attached to it. But he wears baggy pants and baggy shirts and it was completely concealed, but I would like to have seen him sit down with it tucked away and show me how you can get it out while driving.
Even a super small revolver like the S&W J frame or the new Ruger LCR are tough to conceal. Due to the cylinder it is not flat and that much harder to carry comfortably. So whatever you have your mind set on, try it out before you buy it if possible. Colleen sells a lot of small concealed carry guns to ladies but stashing one in a purse solves most of the problem, plus it gives them an excuse to buy a new purse.
Weaver has come a long way in the past few years. They are, of course, one of the oldest U.S. scope manufacturers in existence. They went out of business a few years back but are back and back with some fine products. I have been buying the new 2 .5 X 8 pistol scope that they make and it is a fine scope. The optics are extremely clear and the eye relief is just where it should be. Plus it is priced right in about the same price range as the Bushnell. I actually like the Weaver better than the Bushnell as the field of view seems to be bigger and it is not as critical to see thru if your head isn't positioned exactly right.
Earlier this week Kase and I attended an industry shoot down in Phoenix that one of our distributors was putting on. An industry shoot is where they have several companies bring their products to show and shoot and gun dealers from all over the southwest are invited to attend and try out the new products. On the topic of Weaver scopes reminded me of this. Thompson Center was there with several of their Icon rifles, their new Venture rifle, their new Bone Collector black powder rifle and their R-55 All Weather 22 LR rifle. Each of these sported a new Weaver scope. Not being much of a rifle shooter I didn't shoot any of the centerfire rifles but Kase tried to burn up a barrel or two. He handed me one of the new Icon rifles in 300 Win Mag. I looked it over real well and told him I was impressed with the workmanship. He said, "now look thru the scope". I did and was very surprised. It was a Weaver and was one of the clearest I have seen in many years. I picked up each of the Icons they had there and looked downrange thru the scopes and each was just as clear as the first one I picked up.
The new Weaver scopes are made in Japan and some of the finest optics come out of Japan. I would rate the Jap optics as good or even better than many of the German or Austrian optics.
As I mentioned Thompson Center had their new Bone Collector black powder rifle there and it was indeed a really nice rifle. The factory rep was showing me all the features of the new 50 caliber rifle and then he made a comment that bothered me. He said "all the black powder shooters will be wanting this because TV star Michael Waddell uses one just like it". I sure hope our shooters and hunters don't base buying a gun on reasons like that. Although a lot of centerfire rifles have been sold due to another gun writer/ TV star etc etc. Although I could add a couple of other adjectives to that list, I won't. I didn't embarrass the factory rep or me by asking who Michael Waddell was, even though I had no idea at all.
But even if I saw no reasoning for TC's reasoning of why to buy the rifle, it was a very nice rifle with all the features one would need. I recently bought a TC Omega BP rifle, sort of a plain Jane version of the new Bone Collector in that is used the 50 grain pellets and the 209 primers and needs very little cleaning (that was the selling point for me). I also added a 15" 50 caliber black powder encore pistol barrel to my black powder harem. Maybe I can sort of start all over with my handguns but this time use a black powder handgun. Maybe.
There is an unusual new shotgun magazine that has just come out from XRAIL Industries. It attaches to the mag tube of your shotgun and holds up to 22 shotshells. It is not a long extension but is a barrel shaped magazine that attaches to the side of the mag tube and I assume is an internal rotating type magazine similar to the Ruger 10-22 magazine. There was no real explanation of the magazine except that it help 22+1 shotshells and was coming soon and was shown on a semi auto shotgun. I guess we will find out.
More later. In the meantime, hunting season is coming soon. Be ready.