A surprisingly large amount of new products were introduced at the SHOT SHOW that just closed. And again surprisingly much of it was lower end, less expensive products, at least for the most part. I had mentioned in a Gun Notes a month or two ago that I expected to see prices drop on new products or less expensive products being released. I just wasn’t expecting it to be quite this much. There were a lot of guns introduced at the show and a lot of new accessories and there is no way I can get to all of them here in one issue so I will do more next month. I expect many of these new guns will be months away from actually being released anyway.
With the release of new less expensive products many of the older guns will be dropped as we go along. These are guns where the profit margin is just not there or guns that just didn’t prove popular. Ruger is dropping several series of guns. They are dropping the MK III Target pistol, the 22/45 bull barrel pistol, the 22/45 Hunter pistol, the P-90 45 auto, the P-94, the New Vaquero in 45 long colt, the 10-22 Target rifle, the 77/17 rifle, the model 77 Hawkeye in 280 and possibly other calibers, the Mini 14 Target rifle and the #1 Medium Sporter rifle in 45-70. That is a lot of guns to drop at one time but they are replacing them with their new less expensive 380s, 9mms, 45s and more to come. Their little 38 polymer framed revolver is doing very well and is half of what S&W is charging for their snubbies. Ruger’s SR9 and SR9C are extremely hard to beat. These are two of the finest feeling and fitting 9mms to come down the pike in many years. I haven’t had a chance to shoot the new SR40 yet but if it is half as good as the SR9 it will be a real winner. But don’t think that Ruger will be building any fewer guns this year. A couple of the guns mentioned above will not be in their regular line up this year but they will be making special versions of them for various distributors.
Some of the special guns Ruger has planned for this year include..
a special Ruger #1, in a lightweight, 18” barreled 257 Roberts
several LCPs, a special “True Texan” model with Texas style engraved slide, another with an OD green gripframe, another with full scroll engraved slide, And yet another with a stainless slide.
There is a special GP-100, 4” barrel, in a high polished blue finish with nice Hogue wood grips on it (looks a lot like our new Skorpion)
44 specials will be in masse at Ruger this year in the Blackhawk, flattop stainless, in the New Vaquero in stainless, in a 3 3/4” New Vaquero in stainless, in a blued flattopwith Bisley gripframe, in a blued New Vaquero, in a Sheriff’s model blued New Vaquero, and several other variations.
They are bringing back for another run the Hunter stainless in 41 magnum.
They have a special Alaska model Super Blackhawk, in, 4 5/8” barrel, with lots of gold inlay plus gold hammer & trigger.
A New vaquero in stainless 4 5/8” 45 long colt and.
Plus probably 25 special variations of the 10-22 in every camo know to man and every color laminated wood plus a matte black version and a hot pink model. This one must be for Bod Denning.
They have their newin 308, which is a short barreled model 77 with detachable magazine and set up for a scout scope.
The 22/45 with a threaded barrel, set up for suppressor.
The new little LC9 in 9mm.
And a myriad of other special guns. Some special runs of guns like the P-90 which has been deleted from the standard catalog and the P-94, also deleted but will be available as a special edition.
So things will be jumping at Ruger this year.
Another company that is scaling back due to the economy is Smith & Wesson. They will be dropping the model CLS40 Lemon Squeezer, the model 642, model 637, model 638, model 642 Pro, model 310 Niteguard and one or two others. They are playing it smart as they can’t compete with the much less expensive small concealed carry revolvers from some of the other companies. To make up for dropping some guns, Smith & Wesson is following the lead of Taurus (betcha never thought you would see S&W copy Taurus, did you?) and coming out with the Govenor, a stretch frame revolver chambered in 45 long colt and 410 gauge. It is being build in their Scandium frame, a lightweight metal for carry guns. this may give it considerably more recoil but the 410 gauge they are chambering is the 2 1/2” shell, not the magnum version.
Speaking of Taurus, they have expanded their Judge line up, yet again. This time they have added a 28 gauge revolver called the Raging Judge. Taurus has about 10 variations of the Judge revolver out already in every conceivable shape and form, all shooting 45 long colt and 410 gauge. This new big brother in 28 gauge should be the limit they can go, physically and legally in a revolver.
Companies are trying to get lighter and lighter on their carry guns. This is fine for a pocket gun but for some folks, ladies and small statured men, this may pose a problem with recoil. A company calledhas a new 380 out that they say is the lightest 380 made. It weighs 11 ounces empty. It is called the Protector and should sell for well under $325. Kimber, trying not to be passed over in the lightweight carry gun line up, has their new Solo Carry out. It is a small compact pistol in 9mm, weighing 17 ounces. In keeping with Kimber’s tradition of expensive guns, this one may not be a great seller as it is easily twice what most other small compact 9mm sell for.
The new Kel Tec KSG, 15 shot bullpup shotgun is getting a lot of looks these days. It holds 14 rounds in 2 mag tubes under the barrel plus one in the chamber for a total of 15 rounds ready to go. It is a bullpup design in that part of the barrel and action is actually back behind the of the shotgun. It is barely the legal 26” overall. As it is a pump shotgun it should be legal in almost every state.
Glock has been the #1 law enforcement handgun now for 25 years and they just keep getting better. Nothing really special from them for 2011 just a slimmer more compact design. Same old reliability and dependability. Almost every semi auto company has copied the Glock in some form or function yet Glock stays #1 year after year.
Plenty of pink guns coming out this year. From Ruger to Taurus, to Smith & Wesson to and on and on. Seems like every firearms maker has at least one hot pink gun in their line up.
Browning has a safe for you guys that keep adding more and more guns to your arsenal. They have a monster safe dubbed the model PP65F. It is 72” tall, 56” wide, and 28” deep. It weighs almost 2000 pounds and easily holds 66 long guns and many many handguns. It has 28 locking bolts ,and is about as fireproof as you can get. It is also about as close to having your own vault as you are going to get. They wouldn’t quote me a price.
Remington has a new shotgun out called the Versa Max. It is supposed to shoot any 12 gauge shell, 3 1/2”, 3” or 2 3/4” shells, mix them up and they all shoot and function perfectly. It also has a special gas operation feature that reduces the recoil of a 3” 12 gauge magnum to that of a 20 gauge. It is good to see finally getting to where they are pretty much foolproof. And Remington has been doing if for so many years it is no wonder they are at the forefront in this.
Those that are older than dirt will remember Lyman used to put out some really nice big game single shot, Sharps type rifles. Well they are back at it for 2011. They have a new rifle called the Ideal. It is Lyman’s interpretation of the age old. That is except for the caliber and size. Lyman has scaled the rifle down considerably in size and weight and instead of 45-70, 50-70 and all the other big boomers the new Lyman Ideal comes chambered in 22 Hornet and 38/55. It has the normal Sharps looks like double set triggers, tang sight with target and hunting apertures, globe front sight with inserts, silver finish on the receiver with light engraving and the traditional steel buttplate. This one will be a sure best seller for Lyman.
Dan Wesson is listening to it’s customers and is bringing back the old Pistol Pac. The hard case with the 2, 4, 6 and 8” barrels and extra grips. Hopefully they will bring back the 445 Super Mag line up of hunting revolvers.
Mossberg has some future thinking people on it’s payroll. With new special rifles coming out every few months and specialty shotguns, they now have an over/under shotgun called the Home Security. It is a short barreled over & under shotgun, matte black with picatinny rails on top and under the barrels. It is a sleek looking shotgun, single trigger 12 gauge and will be in their less expensive Maverick line. It has a synthetic black stock and comes with either fixed open chokes or with choke tubes. And it retails for well under $500. All told Mossberg has almost 20 new models of shotguns and rifles coming out this year, several in youth models.
There are a lot more guns coming out and I will get to them in next month’s column.
On the home front we have introduced a couple of new models in the last few weeks that may be new to you. In our Stealth Hawk line up, we now have 5 shot cylinder models out and a model with a 5 shot cylinder and a full underlug. resembling somewhat the S&W model 686, but beefier. Our new version of the Stealth Hawk with it’s added strength in the beefy 5 shot cylinder and extra weight up front holds down the recoil of the larger calibers like 475 Linebaugh, 500 GNR and 510 GNR. This new version of the Stealth Hawk was designed with the big game hunter in mind. And being it is built on theframe the strength is readily evident. This new version of the Stealth hawk is built on the customer based Ruger Redhawk.
Another new model is our new 5 shot Skorpion built on the customer’s base GP-100. Over the last 2 months we have been doing some heavy duty testing and running numbers and with the results of this I have reversed my thoughts on the calibers available in the new Skorpion. At first we decided to build the Skorpion in just the 356 GNR utilizing the factory barrel and a new 5 shot cylinder and the 41 magnum version featuring a whole new heavy underlug barrel and new beefy 5 shot cylinder. After the full testing we have come to the conclusion that we can safely chamber the new Skorpion in 44 special, and in a 5 shot cylinder. We beefed up the cylinder by a few thousandths and opened the cylinder window up a slight bit to get the new stronger cylinder in and we have a great double action full custom 44 special. This one is designed with the medium game hunter in mind. If you hunt deer or Black bear, this revolver is for you.
Our small caliber guns are coming right along. The new Javelina Classic in the 2 new calibers, the 240 Banshee and 255 Banshee are doing very well. We are limited a bit due to the new dies not being ready yet from Hornady but they will be here soon. We have quite a few orders for this new revolver and by the time the guns are done the dies will be here. These two new cartridges are based on the 22 Hornet case necked up to 243 and 257. The Javelina Classic comes as an 8 shot revolver and is based on the customer’s base Ruger single action Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk. This one should be fine for smaller bodied deer and coyote size game.
We will have a new reloading manual coming out this spring. With over a dozen new calibers introduced since our original loading manual it is past time for a new one. Our custom dies are running behind and as soon as we get the new dies for these new calibers in we will get dies and barrels to Sean Harper for full ballistic testing and load development. I am hoping for an early summer release of the new loading manual Keep your fingers crossed.
Our next HHC (Handgun Hunter’s Challenge) is set for red stag to bison and water buffalo to wild boar and all priced right. It is a really nice hunt and I personally invite you to join us. Grab a buddy and join us for a great weekend of hunting. If you want to be there, call Sherry Wilson at and put down your deposit. You can see more of the lodge at www.wildernesshuntinglodge.com. Kase and I will have a truck load of there for you to try out and hunt with and the company is unmatched. For a great hunt and a really nice weekend, join us.at the Wilderness hunting Lodge in Monterey Tennessee. As usual I have booked the entire lodge and have room for 40 hunters. This hunt will be unusual in that we will have several couples attending the hunt. I book a small separate lodge for married couples and the hunt itself is great for all members of the family. We have 20 hunters registered for the hunt so far and we have 6 weeks to go before the hunt. If you enjoy hunting, you will love this hunt. A great hunt, a bunch of really nice folks run the place and the animals are abundant. Everything from exotic deer and sheep, to large elk and
A lot more to tell you about and we will get to that next time.
Til then, God bless.