We are now in the last few hours of October which means we are well into hunting season. So far from what I have heard it has been a very good year for most game. We had a wet summer over most of the U.S. and the grass was high, making for healthy game herds. Some big Elk and deer being taken here and the rest of the year promises to be a good one too. We are expecting a heavier snow season than normal but this shouldn’t hurt the hunting. It normally drives the elk down from the mountains down into the fields, which makes hunting a bit easier. As usual the Reeder clan didn’t get drawn for anything so it is rabbits and squirrels for us. Even so the small game is extremely healthy this year for the same reasons the larger game is strong. I look forward to getting out in this next week or two and finally break in a couple of my 28 gauge O/Us on rabbits. Plus I bought several new CZ 22 rifles in 22 LR and 22 Mag recently and hope to try them out in bushytails. Our rabbits are considered varmints so we can hunt them year round. This includes cottontails and the much bigger jack rabbits.

Our latest Handgun Hunter’s Challenge (HHC) is history and it was a great hunt. We had 50 hunters there and everyone had a good time. For me it is a chance to spend some time with old friends that I don’t see nearly as often as I would like. Over this past year I have had several folks ask if we could book the next HHCs ahead so they could make plans at work. With this in mind I contacted Alan at the lodge and booked the next two hunts a bit early. Hopefully this will help some of you to plan tour vacation time. The next HHC is March 3 thru 6. We arrive on Thursday the 3rd, hunt that afternoon, hunt all day Friday and Saturday and leave out on Sunday the 6th. And I went a step further and booked the fall HHC. It is slightly earlier than normal as I had some conflicting dates later in the month but the fall HHC is Sept. 29 thru Oct 2. Again we get there on Thursday Sept 29, hunt Friday and Saturday and leave out on Sunday Oct 2nd. Hopefully this will give everyone some extra time to make plans plus on the March hunt I kept it away from Easter weekend.

This past hunt was a great hunt but showed me again that old Murphy still can throw a monkey wrench in the whole thing. I don’t normally have problems with Murphy’s Law but this time was an exception. Alan had a Nilgai that was causing problems and had hurt one of his skinners. When we got there the critter was walking around about 20 yards into the area, snorting and making growling noises. I had some of the Misfits get his attention while I went to one side for an easy shot, to get him down and over with. That was when Murphy raised his ugly head. At the lodge before we went out I checked my 41 GNR G-2 as normal. It shot several inches low. I adjusted the scope and shot again. Still low. I raised it a bit farther and shot again. It was raining and a couple of the guys said they thought I hit right at the bottom of the target, centered but 3 inches low. I raised it a bit more and then let it go at that. That is where the stupidity started. You never ever take it for granted that the next shot is OK. I did.

As the Nilgai gave me a good clear shot I pulled the trigger on the 41 GNR. Nate Henning, my main man at the shop who was right there a few feet from me said I hit the Nilgai about 12” low. That was when the Silly Safari started. The Nilgai, wounded but nor mortally, took off into the woods with me behind, hoping for another shot at him. For about 10 minutes I tried getting up to him and finally got a shot at him at about 80 yards, across a field. I took 2 shots with no sign of a hit. Again I chased him trying to get him on the ground. He stopped at the edge of a large pond about 45 yards away. I took another shot with the 41 GNR. Jim Taylor, who was there said I hit the ground about 20 feet in front of the animal. Now, besides having a wounded animal I also had a blown scope.

I pitched the G-2 aside and pulled the 429 GNR revolver and took 2 shots at him. I heard both hit but the animal showed no sign of a hit. A third shot and he took off running, right toward the pond. And he never stopped. He jumped right out into the water and swam out pretty much dead center in the pond where he died. Now old Murphy was probably laughing at what was going on but he was the only one. The good side was the animal was down and not running around wounded. The bad side was he was 60 yards out in the middle of a large pond in 35 degree water. I took off my guns and jacket and started wading out into the water. One of my guys (I had 3 of my guys from the shop there for this hunt) asked me how long had it been since I swam in 35 degree water with heavy cold weather clothes and boots on. He had a point. He then stripped down to his underwear and dove in. One of the skinners who was there with us did the same. They dragged the Nilgai back to the bank and we all pulled him out onto the bank. The last 3 shots from the 429 GNR has hit him good, 2 in center chest and one in the lower neck. Any of the 3 should have put him down but didn’t.

Checking the scope out back at the lodge it was completely blown. One shot would be 3 feet to one side, the next 3 feet to the other side. Thank the Lord instances like this don’t happen often, in fact I really don’t remember something like this happening in the past, but it sure shows us that things don’t always go as planned. Thanks goodness the rest of the Misfits had no problems and all got their animals without Murphy’s help. The blown scope is off to Burris for repairs. Hopefully they can repair it as it is a 3X pistol scope, one of their earlier scopes. I really like the 3X, which to me is a perfect power. It has been on that barrel for a lot of years. I blew it up once before and they repaired it. Now hopefully it is repairable again.

Anytime I mention blowing up a handgun scope, people always say “I thought that was a good scope company”. They are and the fact that they will repair a scope, no questions asked and no charge shows that they are a good company. Every manufacturer can have a lemon. A few years back getting ready for a hunt in Africa I was getting my 378 GNR Encore ready to go. The hunt was down on the Cape of South Africa and I knew the shots would be long and the animals small. We were hunting Vaal Rhebuck, which is a small mountain animal, smaller than our western antelope. They like to run the high ridges and long shots are the norm. I had taken my Burris 2X7 scope off the 378 and put on a brand new Burris 3X9 that they had just come out with. I bore sighted it and took it out to where I shoot my guns. I took a couple of shots and just couldn’t seem to get it sighted in. I had the bore sighter with me and checked it. The bore sighter showed the scope wasn’t within 5 feet of center. I shot another round and it showed several feet off in the opposite direction. That meant a blown scope. A brand new $500 scope blown in 3 rounds.

I went back to the shop and pulled a brand new 2X8 Leupold scope off the shelf and put it on the barrel. Again I bore sighted it and went out to my shooting spot again. I took one shot at 25 to get the scope started on the sight in. A bore sighter only puts you on an 8”X8” piece of paper at 25. You have to fine tune it from there. The first shot hit about 1 foot low, completely off the paper. I turned the adjustment knob several clicks and took another shot. This time it was a couple of inches high but off the paper to the right. Two more shots told the story. This scope was blown also. The 378 GNR is not that heavy a recoiling cartridge, plus I had a bull barrel Encore barrel with a muzzle brake so the recoil was moderate at most. But I had blown 2 brand new scopes, worth well over $1000 in 6 shots. Both brand new in the box, a Leupold and a Burris. I put my Burris 2X7 back on the gun and hunted with it in Africa taking my Vaal Rhebuck. But those 2 scopes taught me a good lesson, not to take anything for granted. As a wise man once said, Shit Happens.

Most gun and accessory companies are really working hard trying to get new products ready to show at the SHOT SHOW in a bit over 2 months. I talked to the Hornady factory rep a few days ago and they are working on quite a few new items for next year. They have a new extra long range line of bullets coming out called the XLD (if I read my noted correctly) for Extra Low Drag. For those of you shooting in the long range matches this one is especially for you.

Hornady also has a new heavy duty press out called the IRON PRESS. It is sort of Hornady’s version of the super strong RCBS Rockchucker press. The Hornady press has several very special features like a special foolproof priming unit, special case prep tools and of course the Hornady Lock N Load die set up. This one looks to be a great new press for the fellow wanting a top of the line single stage press.

Those that have the Glock 42 and the even newer 43, there is now a laser for both these. Made by Crimson Trace it is called the Laserguard. And speaking of lasers, Lasermax has a new laser called the Spartan that attaches to any light rail on your semi auto and some revolvers.

As more and more women get into shooting and hunting the gun and ammo companies are working hard to come out with rifles, shotguns and ammo that is less abusive to the shooter. Remington has the new V3 Field Sport shotgun out that is said to be perfect for the lady shooter with a recoil softening feature. Federal premium has a new low recoil turkey load in the Hevi Shot Magnum Blend Reduced Recoil load. That is a whole lot of words to just say it is a softer recoiling load. It is a 2.75” load that delivers 1100 fps and 40 percent less recoil than other similar loads.

Ruger’s new handguns are doing very well. Their new limited issue 454 Casull and 480, both on the Super Blackhawk frame, are getting good reviews. I have had a couple of regulars ask me if this ticks me off, that Ruger is putting out a 5 shot revolver in large calibers. Well actually no. I have 3 or 4 of them in the safe already that have come in from customers to do even more to them. Things like Gunfighter gripframes, new grips, new sights, engraving, our vapor honed finish and a lot more. So no, it actually gives us more business. Plus it lets a lot of guys try out a large caliber revolver without spending $2000. If they enjoy it, they come to one of the custom gun guys for more guns. So it is a good thing all around. Ruger is also bring back the Redhawk in 41 Magnum. I do wish they would bring it out in a 5½ or 7½” barrel instead of the 4” barrel. They also have the new 45 Long Colt. in the same Redhawk style that shoots 45 Long Colt and 45 ACP.

Remember the Muddy Girl camo? Sort of a Bloody Mary mixed with mustard and burned pig fat color. Well they have “upgraded” to a new camo for the fairer sex. it is called Foxy Woods. It is comprised of oak trees, leaves and acorns with an over shading of hot pink. Sounds like a hangover I had once.

Federal has a new 380 auto line of ammo out that is supposed to be the ultimate is small caliber punch. It is called the HST (and no I have no idea what that stands for). It is a 99 grain hollow point that they say will not plug up with pieces of the bad guy’s innards, the jacket and core will hold together and gives almost 100 percent weight retention. It is intended to give reliable power to those tiny little 380 pistols that everyone is coming out with.

Lyman is branching out again into shooting accessories. They have done so before but always seem to go back to just making reloading presses and accessories for reloaders. They now have a neat rifle press to put your rifle in to clean it, to add accessories or to bore sight it. It looks super strong and clean with no gimmicks hanging on to it.

Some of our new guns are doing well. The new Enforcer and Ultimate 10 are doing very well in fact. These are 2 long slide 1911s in 45 ACP in the Enforcer and 10mm in the Ultimate 10. Each of these has a 6” longslide and each are built from the ground up with the finest features available today. And they are priced at about half of what most custom 1911 makers charge. https://reedercustomguns.com/1911/Enforcer.htm

Our little Flattop Tool is doing very well. This is a little tool that can give your standard round nose 22 LR the power of a 22 Magnum. You simply put the standard 22 LR round in the tool, slice off about .030 of the nose with a knife or box cutter (no filing required), giving it a flat nose, and you have it. This simple change takes the power from a 1/2” exit hole in test medium to a 2” exit hole at the same range with ammo out of the same box and out of the same gun. The new flat nose round feeds perfectly in a semi auto and is as accurate if not more accurate than the round nose bullet. They come in a 3 round 22 LR tool and a 4 round tool with 2 holes for 22 LR and 2 for 22 short. https://reedercustomguns.com/revolvers/flatnose.htm

We also have introduced several new cartridges to add to our line up of custom cartridges. Four of them are intended for large game hunting, the 377 GNR, 411 GNR , 430 GNR and the 400 GNR while the others are for small to medium size game. These include the tiny 250 GNR, the 7mm Raptor, and the the 30 Raptor. https://reedercustomguns.com/revolvers/newwildcats.htm And dies are available for each of these.

That is going to do it for this month. Next time I should have more info on more of the new products coming in 2016. In the meantime get out and do some shooting and hunting and more importantly, take a lady or youngster with you. They are the future of our sport.

Til next time, God bless.

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