Gary's Gun Notes #84
Well, we have pretty much made it thru another year, mostly intact. So far Obama hasn't taken any swipes at our freedoms, only our wallet. I don't see him worrying too much about the gun issue as long as the economy is in the crapper. But I could be wrong, so keep your eyes and ears open. The only sure thing about Obama is that HE WILL try to take them away sooner or later.
The SHOT SHOW is slated for about a month from now and a lot of new products are on the horizon. I will try to go over a few of them before them. Lots of new items promised. Whether we see them during 2010 is debatable. Last year Colt promised us a lot of new guns from new (old) models of the SAA and new semi autos. Very few if any have reached the dealers shelves.
As far as rifles are concerned, Winchester is yelling loud and clear that the lever action is back, but it seems the only ones that will be produced are the special commemorative models. Winchester is known for their commemorative model 94s for the collector but they are not that desirable for the shooter due to their high price. Winchester is also known for commemorating every thing from the arrival of Haley's Comet to Annie Oakley's first menstrual cycle. These new ones (only 500 of each and high end dollars) are pretty much the same. They are bringing out a special series of model 1895 saddle ring carbines commemorating Theodore Roosevelt's first drunken binge. It is chambered in 30-40 Krag and retails for a mere $1695. But it does have a "unique packaging sleeve".
Winchester is also bringing our a new model 1892, the first one since 1932, but it too is a limited edition take-down model and at a mere $1900. Oh yeah, they are also bringing out a new limited edition (don't you love those 2 words?) 1885 single shot rifle in seven calibers and for only $2200. It seems Winchester has forgotten all the hunters that bought and made famous the original model 94 and are only building guns for the collector. They have added a new African Express rifle in the model 70 this year that will be chambered in 375 H&H, 416 Remington and 458 Win Magnum.
Marlin is coming out with a new model 1895 in 45-70 with a short 18" barrel with the XS ghost ring sight. This one has been suggested by hunting guides and hunters for years and hopefully it is finally here. They also have a special (here it comes again) limited edition model 336 and 1894 with a fancy finish and special sights for around $900.
If you are looking for one of the "black rifles" (we are told not to call them assault rifles any more), then 2010 will be your year. There must be 25 to 30 new models coming out. I wonder if the sales will be there also as the market has been totally saturated during the past year. But nevertheless the new guns will be there. The Black Rifles are trying hard to get away from the ASSAULT stigma. DPMS' new logo is "Designed with one thing in mind...HUNTING".
Whatever your need happens to be there will be a black rifle there for you, in calibers like 338 Federal, 204 Ruger, 308 Winchester, 9mm, 243, 300 WSM, 300 Win Mag, 5.7, 22 LR and of course 5.56 and many others. Want a big caliber, then you can have the 50 Beowolf, 500 Bushmaster or 50 AE. At least one company is making an upper that will drop on your lower for the 50 BMG.
Colt has been squeezing out a handful of ARs at a time in their new Match Target variation. Colt is still, to me, one of the best.
There are even several new companies coming out with their version of the 50 BMG rifle. It will be hard for them to compete with the fine Barrett rifle.
There are a lot of "new" rifles and shotguns out there but for the most part they are the same old same old. They have modified the stock a bit but other than that it is the same as in the past. I have seen maybe 15 "new" rifles for 2010 and I had a hard time telling them from last year's model.
Weatherby has added a special youth model which is a good move for them as our youth are the future of shooting and hunting. They also have a new thumbhole stock in the Vanguard line up.
Years ago I had a Weatherby Patrician shotgun. A very nice shotgun and I used it quite a bit but for some obscure reason Weatherby decided to drop it. Well, they have a new line of semi auto and pump shotguns out. The pump is the PA-08 while the semi auto is the SA-08. Whatever happened to names? Suffice to say, these are fine shooting and fine looking shotguns.
Browning is bringing out the neat little T-Bolt in a left hand model for you southpaws. These are nice little rifles and I am glad to see them bring them back out. They are also bringing out a stainless take-down version of their BLR, the lever action. It will also be available in a lightweight version and in most popular calibers.
I talked to one of our distributors recently and he had a special sale on some camo shotguns, way below normal price. I asked him if they were demos or dinged and dented models. He said no, they are just last years camo pattern. I said, you mean there is a new camo pattern every year? He said absolutely (in that you moron, you didn't know that? tone). He said that absolutely nobody with any class or couth at all would buy last year's camo pattern. I asked why was he trying to sell them to me then. He had no answer for that and had to run and answer another line. Well, keeping in that vein, Browning has a new camo pattern for 2010. It is the new Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity pattern. Damn, I'm impressed.
While we are on the subject of Browning, several years ago they dropped the Hi Power 9mm pistol, considering it old fashioned and out of style. Immediately several other companies started building them and even more bruising to Browning, they were selling them as quick as they could build them. Browning did the right thing and brought them back after a 3 year absence. Well, now they are bringing out a (here it comes again) limited edition 75th Anniversary model of the Hi Power. The standard models are the Mark 3 Fixed Sight model and the Mark 3 Adjustable Sight model. They also have a Standard model of each out and in 9mm and 40. I have had a Browning Hi Power as long as I can remember and even though I am not a fan of the 9mm, I truly love my Hi Power. A few years ago I bought and fancied up one of the original Belgium Hi Powers and gave it to Kase for Christmas. That is one of the very few guns he hasn't traded off or sold for something else.
Glock is coming out with a revised version of their standard model in 9mm, 40 caliber and 45. I often wonder why they even bother. They sell every one they can build. The Glock is still rated by the gunsmiths and custom gun guys every year as the best and most dependable standard off the shelf personal protection semi auto made, and has been for almost 20 years. Just about every gun company that makes handguns for personal protection has copied the Glock in some way. Look for a new look from Glock and maybe a new caliber. Glock has very seldom imported their 380 auto because it was the same size as the 9mm and there would be no use for it. I have heard there may be a small 380 on the way from Glock.
Kahr Arms has a new small lightweight 9mm coming out called the PM9193 that has a loaded round indicator on top of the slide that is similar to one seen on some guns back in the 70s.
Para Ordnance is coming out with several 1911s that are much more like real 1911s and getting a bit away from the old Para Ordnance design. They are called the GI Expert ESP and GI Expert stainless.
When Beretta dropped the model 8000 pistol called the Cougar, almost immediately another company picked it up. Stoeger Arms now has it and has a new heavy duty Cougar coming out in 45 ACP. I always liked the Beretta Cougar and never knew why it didn't sell.
Dan Wesson has totally dropped the revolver line up of guns and is revamping and adding to their line up of 1911 semi autos. They are going to all forged frames and will be bringing back the 1911 like the old Colt lightweight Commander. Theirs will be called the Guardian.
Ruger is coming out with a (are you ready?) limited edition MK 3 in 22 LR. It is the 60th anniversary model.
Smith & Wesson brought out the Legend series of guns over the last few years with re-issued versions of their old model 1917, model 29, model 57, model 27, model 17 (K-22 Masterpiece) and so on. These did well for them, even with a retail price of over $1000. Their newest model is the re-issue of the 4" law enforcement version of the model 27 in 357 magnum. It comes with the old police issue small grips and the typical fine S&W finish. They have also introduced the new Pro Series in the small frame chambered in 327 Federal. Surprisingly to me, the Airweight model 642, the Centennial model with the lemon squeezer feature is Smith & Wesson's best seller. From what I have been told it is a hot seller because it does not have the key lock system found in all other Smith & Wesson revolver. With the squeeze cock gripframe system, it doesn't need a safety system. Expect Smith & Wesson to announce several new wheelguns in the next month or so.
There is a company called American Tactical Imports that has an exact copy of the Beretta model 92 coming out. There will be a standard 5 inch model and a compact model.
Another new one is Diamondback Arms DB380, a little compact 380 auto that will compete with all the other umpteen new 380s to hit the market. Made totally in the U.S., it has a special striker firing system that is said to be unique among the other striker fired guns. A striker fired gun is like the Glock with no hammer, just a spring loaded firing pin enclosed in the slide.
As I mentioned above, maybe Colt will actually come out with the new models it announced last year. The new Frontier Six Shooter in 44-40 , just as they were a hundred plus years ago, is one of the new models slated to be released in 2010. In the Single Action Army (SAA) they are scheduled to release the 3" Storekeeper model and 3" Sheriff's model on the black powder frame in blue and nickel.
Colt has also brought back their Agent, and just like some of the other companies that are rehashing old names, they have made it different from the original Agent, which was a lightweight revolver in 38 special. The New Agent is a semi auto in 9mm. Looking very much like the 380 Government model and the Mustang is a small compact 3" barreled 9mm meant for concealed carry. The one I saw didn't even have a front sight so obviously concealed carry is what this little gun was designed for.
Many years ago the top break revolver was the most common revolver made. That eventually was dropped for stronger framed guns, except in small caliber guns like the Harrington & Richardson revolver. Now it is coming back. This time from North American Arms . No word yet on the caliber but is NAA stays with it's normal calibers, expect it to be 22, 32 or 380.
Detonics has a new snazzy 1911 45 coming out. This one has special 2 toned finish and special features to set it above the old standard 1911 45. This new pistol is a redesigned Combat Master with lots of new features such as octagonal barrel with the front sight dovetailed into the barrel and when in battery it slides into a slot in the slide. This should make for very good accuracy.
Lots of new 1911s coming out. Charles Daly had a whole new series of CD 1911s, the fine Israeli company Bul, is building a 1911 that will imported by KBI. Sig is strengthening their 1911 line up, as is Taurus, High Standard, Regent and several other companies. If you are a 1911 fan, this could be your year.
I haven't pushed our next HHC (handgun Hunter's Challenge) hunt much yet as I wanted to get past the holidays and the hustle and bustle of the busiest time of year. But that is now past and it is time to start mentioning it. We are less than 3 months away from the next hunt, which is slated to be held March 25th thru the 28th at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge in Monterey Tennessee. You can take a look at the lodge at www.wildernesshuntinglodge.com. This is the finest hunting facility west of Africa. Fine folks, plenty of trophy animals and several really exotic species are to be found at WHL. As usual I have booked the entire lodge which holds up to 40 hunters. Just from a few small mentions we have booked 10 hunters already, so if you want a fine top of the line hunt call Terry Wilson, Alan Wilson's wife, at 931-260-1600 and put down your $250 deposit. Alan is the owner and it is a family owned and run business. The hunts start at $675 and this includes a wild boar or one of several exotic sheep or deer, your lodging, meals and caping the animal out. The only thing extra is a tip for the guide and processing your meat if you like. Everything else is included in the price. The pricing of the animals is well below what other exotic ranches show on their price sheets, and fine Tennessee hospitality goes along with it. I took a large buffalo bull on the October hunt and brought back over 900 pounds of fine eating.
On the last hunt many special exotics were taken, like wildebeest, elk, red stag, huge hogs, dall sheep, record book exotic deer and sheep, bison, water buffalo and much more. There are several large areas to hunt at Wilderness and a fine hunt it is. If you want to hunt with us, consider this your personal invitation. Bring along your son, brother, wife, or a buddy and make it even more special. Everyone is invited and welcome. Call Terry today and put your deposit down and join us for one of the finest hunts ever. There are few guarantees in this old world of ours, but I guarantee you that you will enjoy this hunt. Join us.
Til next time, take a youngster shooting, they are our future.