I really dislike February. The 2 or 3 days shorter month always grabs me by the short hairs when I am busiest. This last week or two have been extremely hectic  we we are trying to get the guns that were ordered at the last March HHC ready to bring to the hunt coming up in less than 2 weeks. Then Colleen mentions off the cuff, “got the Gun Notes done yet?” I started to say “nope, got another couple of days” then realized this is February. Crap. I mentioned the next HHC, which is coming up March 13 thru 16th. I have had quite a few folks tell me they will not make this one but will make the October hunt. Remember, none of us are promised tomorrow. I really believe 2014 will be a very important year for us. With the November elections coming up, the liberals will be trying every dirty trick in the book to discredit the conservatives running for office. I believe we will pick up a lot of seats in the house and the senate, BUT that is more of a hope than a strong belief. I don’t trust any Democrat as they are flat out evil people who will do anything to get their way. If you can make this hunt, then join us. Consider this my personal invitation to join us for a great weekend.
   Some of the new products that were promised to us last fall are actually showing up at the various dealers across the country. We have had the new Glock 41 and 42. Both of these live up to every expectation we had, but then again they are from Glock. What more would we expect from them. The guns feel great and shoot even better. On the other side of the coin, I will have to mention this. More people are asking for the Gen 3 than the Gen 4. Having shot both generations I have to agree. The Gen 3 feels much better to me than the new Gen 4. The rough texture of the gripframe is just not for me. And I don’t feel the need for the interchangeable gripstraps. I have watched Noodle hand folks a new Gen 4 and a new Gen 3 Glock and in almost every instance they say they like the feel of the Gen 3 better. Both generations are excellent guns, about as close to perfect as any semi auto can be, but to me the Gen 3 just feels better. Nuff said.
Speaking of customer’s preferences, I still hear folks bad mouthing Taurus. This is strange in that the Taurus semi autos are rated higher than several of the bigger more well known gun companies as far as dependability and company backing is concerned. Plus you have Jessie Duff, the lady shooter that has been called “one of the finest shooters in the world today”. She has reached the very top platform in the shooting industry, that being Grand Master, and is the only woman to do so. And her handgun? The Taurus 1911. One other thing, Kase doesn’t work on the Taurus 1911. Not because it is inferior or any of that. It is because the Taurus 1911 already has all the special features a custom 1911 should have.
Speaking of Beretta, the company is moving to Tennessee, getting away from anti gun Maryland. Several gun companies also have plans to move into the South, to a right to work state and a state that still has the freedoms we are granted thru our constitution. Some are moving out of the northeast to get away from the unions, while some are just looking to move to a state that respects their freedoms. Colt has just bought our Lowery Firearms, another AR-15 maker and is talking strongly about moving everything to the South. Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Arkansas all have recently become home to various gun companies or gun accessory companies.
The anti gunners will be working especially hard this year to get guns and ammunition banned. Over 100 cities in the country have introduced extreme anti gun ordinances, but on the good side, over 200 have introduced pro gun ordinances. The list of cities and states that are allowing hunting with suppressors is increasing every week. To be honest with you, this surprises me. I agree with it but felt the stigma of a silencer on a gun would bring up the image of the bad guy with his silenced pistol. Apparently this is wrong as something like 30 states have approved hunting with suppressors. Also the last few states that have banned Sunday hunting are beginning to swing into line with most of the other states that allow Sunday hunting. Some are saying Sunday hunting is OK as long as it is on private land, but not state land. That’s OK as that is at least a step in the right direction. Here in Arizona, thanks to a pro gun governor, we can take a silenced 308 “assault rifle”, put a 100 round drum magazine in it and go deer hunting. And there are a lot of other states that allow this too.
The trend of optics, especially red dot type sights, on rifles and handguns is increasing weekly. With videos of the soldiers in  Iraq and Afghanistan with their rifles with the high dollar red dot type sights on their weapons the average shooter is thinking more and more about putting some type of optical sight on his or her rifle or handgun. The list of rifle proven red dot sights a few years ago could be counted on one hand. The one trend I see that I don’t care for is the gun magazines trying to convince it’s readers that the amount of money you pay is in direct proportion to the quality of that item. They seem to say that the average shooter that can’t afford a $1000 red dot sight, a $3000 scope or a $2500 set of binocs is just out of luck, that he will have to settle for second rate.  Thank goodness a lot of shooters are finally realizing that this is pure BS. A set of Swarovski binocs is not any better than a set of Leupold, or Redfield or Nikon. Just recently we got in a set of binocs from Redfield. They are 10X42 power and called the Rebel. I opened up the box and looked thru them and was pleasantly surprised. They were extremely clear and bright. I handed them to Kase, who is very picky about his binocs. He looked across the street and down the street and all he could say was “boy these are really clear”. I bought them on the spot. At our gunshop we have had Zeiss, Swarovski, Leupold, and several other brands of binocs and scopes. This pair of Redfield binocs I would put up against a higher priced set any day of the week. Everyone’s eyes are different. For a company to say their binocs or scopes are superior to everyone else’s is pure BS. The new Leupold binocs are excellent also. To me they are very clear and bright also. Do you know the things Leupold and Redfield binocs have in common? They are both priced well under $350. Now I know a lot of guys with large bank accounts will argue with me because they like to tell folks that they paid $3000, $4000 or even $5000 for a pair of binocs. They feel they are superior to the rest of us peons in that they can afford these high dollar items. Just like paying $3000 to $5000 for a 1911 that is a standard off the shelf pistol. They are simply paying for the name and it makes them feel superior to us. The gist of this is don’t feel you have to buy a Zeiss, Steiner, or Swarovski scope or binocs to have a good one. There are a lot of excellent brands out there. Go to your local shop and look thru them. Take a buddy along and have him pull the item out of the box for you so you don’t see the price tag. Buy the item that best matches your eyes. If it is the high dollar ones, that is fine too. but I would bet it won’t be.
It is sort of interesting that a lot of shooters have discovered that a rifle or shotgun with a shorter barrel, like 20” on a shotgun or 22” on a rifle is a lot more handy and surprisingly they don’t lose any power with them. Shotguns with 28 to 30” barrels are absolutely not necessary these days, nor are 26” rifles, with a few exceptions. Look at the handgun hunters that are taking game at 250 to 300 yards with 15” pistols. And add to that most game is taken at ranges well under those ranges, with rifle and handgun. Up until just a few years ago if a rifle didn’t have at least a 26” barrel on it, it was a piece of junk. Not so these days. There are very few standard calibers that even require over a 20” barrel for full powder burn. Admittedly there are a few, but only a few. A 20” barrel rifle is much handier, easier to carry and just as accurate as that long barreled rifle. One of the gun writers wrote a few years back that the short barreled rifles are more accurate than the long tubes. I have to agree with him. The short barrels are thicker without that long pencil thin last 6 or 8”. They have less whip. They hold steadier and are more compact so less weaving when you look thru the scope.
There were several new turkey shotguns at the recent SHOT SHOW and the similarity between them was that each one had a shorter than normal barrel. Same reasons as the rifle. The shorter barrel burns all the powder and is steadier than that long tom tube. If you see a new rifle or shotgun that you like the looks and feel of, but worry because it has a shorter barrel, rest assured it will do anything as good if not better than those long barreled guns will do.
A handgun to watch out for, in a negative way, is the so called “smart guns”. Several states are really pushing these guns. One has a ring that goes with it and if you are not wearing the ring, the gun can’t fire. The other company uses a watch and the same thing. If you are not wearing the watch the gun won’t fire. Not surprisingly these new Smart guns are being pushed by the anti gunners. If they can get all of us to switch to these smart guns, then it would be a lot easier in the long run to shut them down and take them away. If your state looks like they are thinking of trying out these smart guns. get on the horn with your elected representatives and let them know you are not a proponent of these guns. If states went with these guns, it would be no problem for the government to mandate that all guns have this feature, and at $2000 or more per gun, a lot of folks wouldn’t have a gun at all. It is just another sneaky way the Feds are using to have back door gun control.
I have folks come in the gun shop every day and ask for 22 LR ammo and 22 Mag ammo. When we tell them it is still very hard to get, they all say the same thing, that they were told the shortage was about over. That is simply not true. Some shops have the ammo at exorbitant prices ranging from $8 to $16 for a box of 50 rounds of 22 LR. The 22 Magnum can easily run 3 or 4 times that. Unfortunately some distributors are not as honest as they should be. They have some ammo that is supposed to be sent to several gun shops. Instead it all goes to one shop and ends up being sold at 3 to 4 times retail. It is just something that happens and something we can’t do anything about.
   Powder is also in very short supply. I was told by one distributor that about 5% of the powder made in 2014 will go to the gun shops. The rest will be going to the ammo manufacturers due to them being many millions of rounds behind. The same distributor told me that Remington shipped well over 100,000 rounds of 22 LR in December. The problem is that the distributors already had back orders for all that ammo and the gun shops already had back orders for it. So the day it came in, it all went out the door. So Remington didn’t catch up or gain ground at all. I have no idea if this is true or not but it sounds logical so I have to assume it is. This shortage is a lot worse than any we have had in the past and will continue for a good while, probably at least a year. And try to ignore the doomsayers that harp on the government buying up all the ammo to keep us from getting any. The Feds are buying a lot of ammo but the contracts are spread over a 3 to 5 year period. It is me and you that are buying the ammo. We have literally dozens of people come in the shop every day asking for ammo, or gun powder. The minute we get some in, it goes out the door. people are afraid Obama is going to clamp down on ammo or powder or primers so when they see some they buy it. They really don’t need it, but it is there so we better get it while we can.
About 2 weeks ago we had a little blue haired old lady, probably in her early 80s, come in the shop right at opening time. She looked around and I could tell she was not familiar with a gun shop. She looked at me and in a whisper said “all my friends tell me I need an AR-15. What does one look like?” We sold her a 20 gauge home defense shotgun. Not having any idea what an AR-15 was, she surely didn’t need one. The shotgun would be a lot easier and safer for her to handle. I have had older gentlemen in suits and ties come in and tell us their friends told them they needed a Glock. They then pointed to a revolver. They have no idea what a Glock is. The meaning of all this is, everyone is buying guns, any gun. And on the other side of the coin they are also buying as much ammo as they can get. One of the gun magazines I get in had an article in it saying that “everyone should try to have 5000 rounds of 22 LR on hand”. My question is, where in hell are they going to find 5000 rounds of 22 LR. I do good to have 50 rounds for them. but it is articles like that that keep the buying frenzy going. It will probably ease up, but not any time soon. The only thing readily available right now are AR-15s. They are a literal glut on the market and can be found at prices near half of what they were a year ago.
About once a year I tell myself that I should go over a few things that bother me or that I feel need to be talked about. This is that time. All these things I have mentioned are things I have wanted to go over but had a lot of other things that needed to be brought up first. Being in the gun manufacturing business along with being in the gun shop business I see things that need to be brought up from time to time. These things are my own personal feelings and opinions. if you disagree, that is fine. We all have opinions.
Our next HHC is March 13 thru 16th. If you are thinking of joining us, call 931-839-2091 and put down your deposit and join us. You will be glad you did. Til next month, take a youngster or lady shooting. They are our future.
God bless,