Gary's Gun Notes #89
With June a day or so away, I guess summer is pretty much here, although Arizona, Utah and one or two other western states had snow during the last week. Nevertheless, summer is here and that means for those of us that have to put in for the game drawings, we will be doing so in the next few days and find out if we got drawn, and if we hunt this fall, in about 6 weeks. Our elk drawing here in Arizona was a couple of months ago and we have already found out who got drawn (the Reeder clan got zilch again this year). But now the drawings for deer, buffalo, sheep, and a few other species are coming up.
I quite often hear grumblings from some eastern hunters that the season is too short or is during the coldest part of the year or wettest part of the year and so forth. You guys back east that often tell me you are envious of us out here that get to hunt elk, Desert Bighorn, Rocky Mountain Bighorn, Coues Deer, Mule deer, bison, and all the rest of the game that is abundant out here, but remember you can walk in your local gun shop and buy an over the counter deer tag, bear tag and whatever else is available where you are. In some states back east you can take as many deer as you like, no tag limit. Many states have doe seasons which are great for starting the youngsters off. And on the other side of the coin, remember if we don't get drawn, we don't hunt. And sometimes it is 10 to 15 years between drawings. We put in every year and Kase, Colleen nor I have been drawn in at least 10 years. So the gist of this spate of whining is, be grateful for the game laws you have back there. I fondly remember those hunts in Tennessee and Kentucky and to be honest, I would trade our game laws for yours any day.
And speaking of hunting, (bet you knew this was coming), our newest HHC (handgun Hunter's Challenge) is coming up in a bit over 4 months. It is slated for the Wilderness Hunting Lodge again, in Monterey Tennessee October 14th thru the 17th. We arrive at the lodge Thursday afternoon, hunt that afternoon if you get in early enough, hunt Friday and Saturday and leave out Sunday morning. The Wilderness Hunting Lodge is by far the best exotic game ranch I have ever hunted, bar none. The game is plentiful, wild enough to make it a true hunt, the companionship is the greatest and the prices can't be beat, nowhere, no how. plus they have some of the most exotic game available anywhere. Where in Tennessee can you find elephant and rhino? And no, you won't find them at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge, I just wondered if you knew where they could be found. But you will find, every kind of exotic deer there are, all the exotic sheep, large elk, Red Stag, Aoudad, Scimitar Horned Oryx, Nilgai, Blackbuck, Muntjac, Water Buffalo, American Bison, every kind of wild hog imaginable from feral, to razorback and Russian Boar. There are quite a few other species of wild game there that I can't think of right now, but you get my drift. And the prices are about 1/3 of what you would pay at any other game ranch. The owners, Alan Wilson and his wife Sherry are the finest hosts a man could ask for, the the food is plentiful and very good. We stay in a brand new 3 story lodge too, not some ratty tents or stinking bunk house.
So if I have convinced you to join us on the next HHC, you just need to call Alan or Sherry at 931- 260-1600 and put down your $250 deposit. The lodge holds 24 hunters and as usual I have booked the entire lodge and put a hold on the second lodge that holds another 20 hunters. So don't miss this one. The October hunt is our most popular hunt we have there and the weather is always extremely nice, perfect hunting weather. Call Sherry today and put down your deposit and when you do, e-mail or call me and let me know that you did so I can put you on the list.
On the last hunt as we were leaving heading home in a driving rain, we were all packed up, with several hundred pounds of meat in the truck, and that was just Puff Daddy. We had probably 1000 pounds of game meat in there too. Kase, Puffy and I had each had a great hunt and were thinking of the long drive home. As we drove down the highway from the lodge an old rat trap of a pick up passed us on a hill, on a curve and in a hard rain. Glancing over I noticed the driver was an old fellow with a wild look in his eyes. He pulled away from us pushing that old truck way past it's normal limits. As we topped a fairly steep hill there was that old truck sitting in the middle of the road in front of us. As I braked the suburban to a sliding stop, the old guy jumped out of the truck with a rifle in his hand and headed our way. We all looked at each other, each thinking the same thing, "here we are getting carjacked in the hills of Tennessee by an 80 year old man, this just isn't right"."
As the old guy ran up to the driver's side window he yelled "are you that Reeder guy?" I thought seriously about pointing to Puffy and telling the old coot that he was Reeder, but I stammered out that yes I was "that Reeder guy". He held up the rifle which was a ratty old Ruger #3 and said 'can you fix this?" I told him probably but first let's get the hell out of the middle of the road before a freight train comes over the hill and wipes us all out. Just ahead was a little country general store/restaurant/bar/part time Church/ and poker playing establishment and dentist's office. We pulled into the parking lot and the old guy jumped out of the truck in the rain waving that rifle around again. I sure hope I'm that spry when I reach 80. Hell, I hope I'm that spry when I hit 65.
Dreading this conversation a bit, I got out of the truck and asked him what could I do for him. he said some yankee had rechambered that 22 hornet to some weird caliber and he couldn't find ammo or brass or dies or any thing for it. I asked him what is was and he said it was one of those 454 casuals necked down to 22. I thought at first he had a bit too much moonshine on his Wheaties that morning but I took a look at the rifle and sure enough, scratched in the side of the barrel by someone's rusty pocket knife was "22/454 Casull". I looked down the chamber and several generations of spiders had lived and died in that chamber. Amongst the spider webs and dust was a fairly large amount of rust. I asked him how long had he had it. He said "I've had it a mite". That translates to a long time in Tennessee talk.
I told him I was sure we could "fix" it for him. Might take a new barrel but we could get it going again. He said ok, and jumped back in his truck and started it up. I yelled at him, asking who he was, and how could I get in touch with him and didn't he want a receipt. He stuck his head out the window and yelled, "just give it to Alan Wilson when you finish with it". And drove off. I looked over at Kase. He simply said "who was that masked man?" That was one of the strangest business transactions I have ever had. But the gun is almost finished and I will ship it to Alan Wilson at the hunting lodge when it is finished. There was nothing we could rechamber it to that the 22 hornet twist would work with, so we put a new barrel on there for him in 223. That should make him happy.
Kase has an unusual new 1911 series coming out. There will be 7 guns, each one a one of a kind. They are the Seven Deadly Sins series. The first is Lust. After that, Greed, then Sloth, Horniness, Peeking out the Window at your neighbor's Wide sunbathing Nude, and the rest of the deadly sins, including "Messing with a Married Woman", and Pissing off a Drunk Blonde Who Owns a Gun. I think that is all 7. Anyway, each one will be an extremely unique and a real beauty. If you like unusual one of a kind 1911s, keep your eyes out for these guns.
I have been working on 3 new cartridges to add to our stable of proprietary calibers. I have been on a small cartridge kick for a year or so now since I developed the 3 Raptor cartridges and 2 of the 3 are in that same vein. These will push a 60 to 70 grain bullet out at 2000 to 2100 fps and will be good for small bodied deer, coyotes, fox, medium sized wild pigs and the neighbor's cat. No more on them right yet as I need to do some ballistic testing before I actually release them to the raging maniacs that inhabit my forum. None of the 3 new cartridges will set the world on fire, in fact there is probably not really a niche that they fill, but I enjoy developing them and they should be fun shooting. More later.
Those that remember the old owner of Cast Performance Bullets, Kelly Brost, may wonder what prison he has been in lately. He actually is one of those crazy Over the Ice Truckers who drive their semi trailer trucks on the iced over lakes up in northern Alaska. The have special truck tires, run at pre-set speeds so as not to make waves under the ice that will cause fractures in the ice and never stop as the trucks will break thru the ice. Kelly enjoys this type thing and is happy that they are having a later spring there and the trucks are still running. He said the ice in most areas was 14 feet thick so they still are going. but when the ice begins to melt and the thickness begins to thin they will stop the trucks for a few months. They work 3 weeks on and 3 weeks off.
Kelly told me he has a friend in Montana or Wyoming that has a large bison herd and they may be culling some 2 year olds off this summer. I told him to make sure and let me know if this happens and I can pass it along to you.
Those that shoot the 17 HMR, there is a recall from Remington. Do not shoot any Remington 17 HMR in any semi auto rifle and do not shoot the Remington model 597 rifle in 17 HMR. If you have either of these, call Remington at 800-243-9700 and ext.#3. Redding has an unusual die out that will solve some of the bulging problems associated with semi auto cartridges. It is a die that you push the case completely thru from the bottom to the top of the die to take out the normal bulges at the lower part of the case. They came out with it in 40 caliber first, which I thought was strange. There have to be several hundred times more 9mms and 45 autos out there than 40 calibers and one of them would seem to have been better as the first caliber. The 40 does tend to be a bit hotter and does bulge the cases a bit more than the 9mm or 45 and that well may be their reason. Anyway, it does seem like a good idea and will save a lot of usable brass.
A couple of things coming out that really don't excite me a lot. One is several new hunting shotguns with "tactical" triggers and with pistol grips like the black rifles. I see no reason for either of these on a hunting shotgun but who knows, it will probably sell. Another is a new scope that the makers claim "will enable the beginner to make those long range 800 to 1000 yard shots on game". That does bother me as they are taking the "hunting" out of hunting and fill that in with what they call sniping. But the part I really don't like is the taking shots that far off at game. There is no way a shooter can tell if he has made a hit at that range if the animal doesn't fall. If the animal is gut shot he may well walk off into the brush and the shooter think he missed. There are going to be a lot of wounded game out there when these scopes hit the market.
The U.S. military is doing something unusual and I think for the first time in history. They are furnishing the Marines with hollow point ammo. It is called the Special Operations Sciences and technology round or SOST round. Over 10 million rounds have been shipped to Spec Ops Command units so far and more is coming. It is all going to Afghanistan. The SOST round was developed for the SCAR rifles (shorter barreled M-4 rifles). The bullet weighs 62 grains and I was told it is actually a Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet adapted for military use. They developed it for "improved stopping power due to consistent, rapid fragmentation which shortens the time required to cause incapacitation of enemy combatants". The whiners and cry baby liberals will be beating their heads against the wall about these bullets.
A couple of new series just released recently. Our new Classic 45 is a 45 long colt built on your old model or new model Blackhawk. It sports a barrel band front sight and high polish Black Chromex finish with ivory Corian grips and little or no engraving. For the purists out there, this one should be popular. Another 45 is a reincarnation of our old 45 Backpacker. This one is built on the older vaquero frame and has a 5 shot cylinder in 45 long colt, short 4" barrel, or the barrel length of your choice, and various other enhancements. This one does not promote lightweight features like the original 45 Backpacker, instead it features more usable power yet in a packable package. Another new series is our Texas Classic, which comes in just about any caliber you like with a larger beefier 5 shot cylinder, again with a barrel band front sight and the deluxe Black Chromex finish. Some options are real ivory grips or the grips of your choice, full engraved or no engraving at all. There are a couple of other new series coming out this summer but they are still in the testing stage and I will get more into them next month.
Give our new HHC some thought and if you want a good hunt, join us in October in Tennessee. Call your deposit in today.
Til next time God Bless,