As I type this we are exactly 2 months away from the next HHC, our Handgun Hunterís Challenge, Sept. 29 thru Oct 2. We will leave here, driving, on Tuesday the 27th and good Lord willing, get there Thursday morning the 29th. We hunt Thursday afternoon, all day Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday morning if we havenít tagged out yet. In most cases everyone has tagged out by late Saturday afternoon. We already have almost 30 hunters signed up and normally we will have at least 50 hunters there for the fall hunt.
If you have never been to one of our HHCs, by all means join us. It is a great time, a good hunt and 3 days spent with old friends and new friends. The accommodations are top notch plus the owner of the lodge has suites for married couples.
The hunt again this fall is at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge in Monterey Tennessee, run by Alan Wilson and his family. Extremely nice folks who go out of their way to make sure your hunt is a great one. The prices are about half of what the other preserves charge and there are no hidden fees. He has almost 15,000 acres of Tennessee foothills to hunt in, some open rolling pastures, some heavy woods, and some deep canyons and ravines. It is a great hunt and consider this my personal invitation for you to join us. Grab a family member, good friend or relative and join us. if you are thinking about joining us, call 931-979-4050 and sign up. Some of the animals available to hunt are hundreds of hogs, exotic deer, like Fallow, Sika and Axis, exotic sheep like Corsican, Mouflon, 4 Horn, Dall, Aoudad, and Painted Desert sheep. he has Bison, Australian Water Buffalo, African Watusi bulls, Yak, and several other breeds of bulls. He has Nilgai, Muntjac, Red Stag, Elk, Blackbuck, Spanish Goat and a lot more that I canít think of right now. But the game is plentiful and the hunting is great. Join us if you can.
Many of the firearm companies are holding off introducing new products until they are sure they will have them on the dealerís shelves in time for this falls hunting. There are some new ones already being mentioned. As is normal Ruger is in the forefront with several new products that are now being released or have been over the last month or two. Some of these include the new Lightweight Commander 1911 in 9mm. I got the first one we received and ran it thru itís paces. It ran incredibly smooth with no hitches or malfunctions. It has a super smooth trigger right at 3 lbs and the whole gun feels great in the hand. This one will be a sure winner for Ruger. They also have their new American pistol in 9mm and 45 ACP. Others include the 22/45 Lite, SR-22 in 22 LR, LCR in 327 federal, the Redhawk in 45 Long Colt, 45 Winchester magnum and 45 ACP, the GP-100 in 22 LR, their 22 Charger with a takedown stock, the takedown SR-556, the AR-556 special model that is compliant with the states that are left leaning or complete Communist. Others include their Precision Rifle in 308 and 6.5 Creedmore. This one is in very limited quantities as it is almost hand made and they donít run 500 rifles off the line daily. There are several others but you get my drift.
Remington is trying their luck again. Years ago they put out the R-1 1911 and it had problems. They released it again and so far, so good. Their R51 9mm was horrible and had lots of problems. It was dropped and re-engineered and they are re-releasing it again. They have their new RM380 Micro pistol out in 380. It looks and feels good but time will tell.
Years ago when I lived in Tennessee I think it was an unwritten law that every household had to have a Remington 742 in 30-06. That was the semi auto that came in a rifle and carbine version. The rifle was a great semi auto and I donít think I ever saw one jam, even covered in dirt and dust. For some reason unknown to mortal man, the 742 was dropped. I think there was a day or mourning with black wreaths on many Tennessee homes. But now good olí boys in Tennessee and other Southern states can rejoice. Remington has a new semi auto rifle out, the model 750 Woodsmaster. It has a whole new gas system for smoother, faster cycling. The gun looks and feels great and if it functions like they say it will, should be an instant seller. It comes in 270, 308 and 30-06. It should sell for somewhere under $700, which will be a steal for an accurate, reliable semi auto.
Smith & Wesson has been on a buying kick these last 3 or 4 years, some of which were good ideas and some not so good. The bought out Thompson Center and almost ruined the company. The quality of the frames and barrels was non-existent. Things are looking better but many handgun guys are looking for pre-S&W frames and barrels. Smith & Wesson has recently got big time into knives, buying out one of the larger knife companies. We shall see how that turns out. Now they have bought out Crimson Trace, the grip company that incorporates a laser in their grips. The price was an amazing 95 million. And it has already got some gun companies really pissed off. Crimson Trace has linked up with Ruger on several models, and they have done the same with Kimber and one or two others. These special models have done very well and now these companies are wondering if Smith & Wesson is going to hold up their end of the bargain and keep furnishing their competition with laser grips. This could turn pretty nasty real quick.
It seems that the demand for good knives is very strong thru-out the country. As I mentioned above, S&W has bought out a major knife company. Now Browning has announced a whole new line up of knives that will be premiered this fall.
American Tactical has several now products out including a new threaded barrel for the Glock 43, they also have threaded and non-threaded barrels for the Glock 17, 19 along with the 43. They have a new hybrid 1911 with metal infused polymer frame with the steel slide. It is the FX-H Hybrid. It comes in 45 ACP with 9mm guns and 9mm conversion units coming soon. They also have the shorter Commander version on the way.
Speaking of Glocks, the Elite Tactical Systems (ETS) has come out with an interesting magazine for all the 40 caliber Glocks. The interesting thing is the magazine is clear so you can see at a glance how many rounds you have left. Others coming in 9mm.
Years ago the German company Korth tried their luck here in the states with their high dollar revolver in 38/357. It flopped as it was well over double what other well made 357 revolvers cost plus it was ugly, big time ugly. Now they are teaming up with Nighthawk and bringing it back in, somewhat refined but to me still ugly and still high dollar. The Korth is a great gun but great doesnít beat ugly with most people.
I mentioned last time the Smith & Wesson Shield was coming out in 45 ACP. The Shield has been an immediate success for S&W and now holster makers are scrambling to get holsters made for the 45 version.
For many years the Llama 1911 look alike was a good seller here in the states for those on a limited budget who couldnít swing the regular 1911. The company went thru some bad times and disappeared for a few years. They are now back and being brought into the states by Eagle Imports, the same folks that are bringing the Bersa guns into the states.
H&K has been awarded a contract to furnish almost 4000 compact sniper rifles for the U.S. Army. Made on the HK417 semi auto design it is the first in a new class of rifles called the CSASS, or Compact Semi Auto Sniper System. H&K has been working hard over the years to be included in the list of companies furnishing guns for the U.S. Military.
Those that reload will be happy to see the 50th edition of the Lyman reloading handbook. They have added several newer cartridges that were not in the last several editions. The Lyman manual is, to me, the best of the bunch. They give you the data to duplicate factory ammo. they give you the potentially most accurate load. The load that is most accurate for target shooting and the load most accurate for hunting. They give you info like whether load is compressed and they give you the pressure levels. All in all, well worth the money.
Walther has come a long way in introducing new models of pistols here in the states. I have yet to see one that was less than what I expected. The newest is the PPS M2. It is a slim semi auto designed for concealed carry. First out in 9mm and then 40 and 45. It is a great feeling pistol and one that, to me, has no drawbacks or down sides.
Surprisingly the best selling firearm accessory these days is a suppressor AKA silencer. More and more companies are marketing their version of a suppressor. Even companies like Ruger have their own suppressor to go on their special autos. Right now 42 states have legalized suppressors and 39 of those states have legalized them for hunting. Companies that are making guns designed for suppressors are Ruger, Glock, Browning. Mossberg, Remington, Savage, Sig and several others. The long wait time doesnít seem to bother most buyers either. Also several ammunition companies are making ammo especially for suppressed firearms. And look for this trend to get even bigger.
Recently I had a young fellow come in our shop and ask why we didnít carry Zeiss scopes. I told him they were too high priced and not really any better than Leupold, Redfield, Burris and several other companies. He wanted to argue so I told him to check with our competitor , they might be able to help him. A lot of young shooters these days think that just because a product is high priced that means it is the best. That is far from the truth. Years ago Jeff Cooper said something that stuck in my mind. He said (and probably not in exactly these words) just because you bought the highest priced gun or accessory it doesnít mean you are going to be the best, and in self defense it surely doesnít mean you will be the last man standing. I have always remembered that and especially these days it is truer than ever. Buy a gun or accessory because it fills a need you have, not because it is the highest priced on the market and it gives you bragging rights. Just like wearing a Rolex watch. I was given one of the Submariner watches many years ago (1985) in a contest for which gun shop spent the most money with a certain distributor in a given month. I just happened to be stocking up a new shop I had opened in Santa Fe and spent beaucoup dollars with them. That was the worst watch I ever had. It lost or gained at least 5 minutes a week. On a hunt up on the Arctic Circle, in 1991 someone stole it out of my overnight bag. If I knew who it was, I would send them a thank you note. So donít buy something just because it is the most expensive one on the market. Very seldom is it the best. Shop around and find the one that looks and feels the best to you. Nuff said.
Couple of our new guns are doing very well lately.Our revised African Classic built on the Ruger #1 in 470 Nitro, 500 Nitro, 416 Rigby and several others is doing very well. A lot of hunters would like to have a 470 Nitro or 500 Nitro but canít swing the $10,000 or more for one. Ours is $1995 built on the customerís Ruger #1.
Our Urban Survivalist is 38 Super is also a real good seller. It is built from the ground up in a full size or Commander size and is $1595, about half of what the competition charges.
The Alaskan Packer is another that is catching the eyes of a lot of hunters. It is a Python look-alike but built on the Ruger Redhawk. It is chambered in all the large calibers and sports a beefy 5 shot cylinder and heavy vent rib barrel with underlug. A great feeling revolver and also becoming very popular.
That is going to do it for this month. As we get closer to hunting season more and more new goodies are going to be announced and I will try to keep you up on things. In the meantime if you get a chance to get a lady or youngster turned on to shooting and hunting, by all means do so. They are our future.
Til next time,