The calendar may say spring but the weatherman is laughing. As I type this we are expecting another snowstorm with 40 MPH winds. Yeah, that’s spring alright. But it is not unusual for us living up at 8000 feet. It could snow and has up until early June. So we sit back and enjoy it, or at least sit back.
Lots of “experts” on the internet are predicting horrible gun sales for 2017 but I have news for them, it ain’t happening. Gun sales are still strong and this will be the year of accessories. I have probably received news releases of at least 40 to 50 new items coming out this year for the shooter, plus probably that many new guns, and only 4 or 5 of them were AR-15 type rifles, and yes I know. I am not supposed to call them AR-15s. I am supposed to call them MSR, or Modern Sporting Rifles. Apparently the term AR-15 might offend someone. I really worry about that. If a liberal finds himself or herself offended by this column, well, life’s a bitch.
The company Inland, the same company that made arms for the military years ago is back building guns. The company is owned and operated by veterans and located in Ohio. They have their own versions (and they are true to the original versions) of the M-1 carbine, the M-1 Paratrooper, an M-1 pistol they call the Advisor, an M-1 carbine with an original style 2.5X scope on it, an original design 1911A1 Government pistol and a model 37 12 gauge trench gun. So you guys that like the old 1945 era guns, there you go.
Ruger has expanded their Precision Rifle calibers by offering one in 223. This gun in 308 is back ordered for weeks and when we get one in it never lasts a full day. If you want a great bolt gun and demand accuracy, check out the Ruger Precision Rifle. Also check out Mossberg’s version of this rifle too.
The S&W M&P has been a good seller but has had some problems here and there with stiff slide operation, hard triggers and overall not as pleasing as S&W would like. Well, they listened to their customers and have come out with the M&P M2.0, a new revised and improved M&P in 9mm, 40 and 45.
Browning has been a company that doesn’t go with the extreme trends and gimmicks and it has worked well for them. Turkey guns are big this time of year and they have introduced a new Cynergy Composite Ultimate Turkey Gun. Now that is an awful long name for a shotgun but it is a really nice O/U in full camo to please the most avid turkey hunter.
Walther has introduced a new affordable 9mm they call the Creed. I am assuming because so many folks are going gaga over the 6.5 Creedmore they should adopt part of that name to get attention. Now, I am not promoting the 6.5 Creedmore as I feel it is the most overated cartridge in 10 years, since the wonderful Short magnums. But that is another story for another time. Anyway, Walther has their new Creed pistol. If it is made by walther is has to be good, in my humble opinion, but it sure is butt ugly. Nuff said.
Beretta has lagged way behind in semi auto sales for a couple of years now and the military didn’t even include their M-92 in it’s new handgun trials, so they had to come up with something new and exciting. Well, they took a page out of Glock’s book and introduced their new striker fired APX pistol. This one looks good and has lots of special features to interest the most jaded semi auto fan.
A few years back a couple of companies brought out rifles in 410 gauge. Winchester was one with their 9410. I went over like a pregnant pole vaulter and was dropped soon after. Now at least 2 other companies are trying their luck with the 410 in a rifle. Henry is coming out with their lever gun in 410 and American Tactical (ATI) has a semi auto AR style in 410, Whether either of these live to see their first anniversary is something we won’t know for a while.
Howa, the company that made the really nice S&W rifles quite a few years back and then the Mossberg M-1500 rifles and also make the Vanguard rifles for Weatherby has a new mini-action rifle out. Small where it counts and lightweight, it is chambered in 204 Ruger, 222 (I haven’t seen a new rifle chambered in 222 in a good while), 223, 7.62 X 39 and 6.5 Grendel. The gun looks and feels good so should be popular with varmint and small game hunters.
Henry Rifles has a new all weather rifle out in 357, 44 mag and 45 Long Colt. It is included in their Big Boy line up. The metal surfaces are a hard chrome and the wood stock and forend have a special weather resistant coating.
Ruger, always eager to introduce interesting new guns, has done it again. They have their new American rifle chambered in the 450 Bushmaster. With all the other companies promoting long range shooting, Ruger has gone with a 200 yard cartridge. It has a muzzle brake on it and a 3 round magazine. Interesting offering from Ruger.
Savage has introduced their MSR (there are those letters again) 10 Hunter. It is a super slick compact AR chambered in 308. It looks and feels good with no sharp edges and furniture that a lot of other ARs have. Another good one from Savage.
For years Pelican has been the gun case for the serious hunting traveler. They are great gun cases and super strong, but they are heavy. With airlines easing back on weight limits for gun cases, there is now a new sheriff in town. This is the new Plano gun case, number 109440. It will hold 2 long guns and a hand gun or two and prices run about $100 less than the Pelican. It is called the Mil Spec Field Locker but that doesn’t mean it is only for AR rifles, any good quality long guns will fit in there. It has 4 strong locking points and rubber wheels. If you travel with guns, you might check this one out.
Those that like hunting with a handgun but also like black powder guns, check out the CVA Accura V2 pistol. It is chambered in 50 caliber and comes in a camo finish. It is an in line pistol and should be a welcome friend to those handgun/black powder guys.
Sig recently got the contract to supply pistols for the U.S. Military, and there are already lawsuits pending. Some companies are saying it was not included in the original testing, others that they are not made in the states and some just don’t like the Sig. This is the gun I mentioned on a past Gun Notes that I actually liked, and I am not a fan of Sig handguns. But this one felt really nice and wasn’t just another ugly Sig. Now whether the gun is the best choice for our military is not up to me, and this may well be a long drawn out fight in court.
A company called POF-USA, which is the maker of some of the slickest AR-15s around has come out with an AR, the same size as one in 223, but is chambered in 300 Win. Mag. It also comes in 308. It is a super slick rifle and should be a big hit for those that want to hunt larger game than prairie dogs and pole cats.
A new handgun that was supposedly the hit of the SHOT show was the Hudson MFG H9. It is sort of a bastardized pistol, all steel, with a 1911 frame and Glock slide. It also has lots of special features. If a friend tells you he has a new H9, check it out. It might just be the 9mm you have been looking for.
A while back I mentioned a semi auto version of the military M249 rifle. Well, it is finally out and in standard configuration and in a Para form with collapsible stock. It is made by FN, the folks that made the original full auto one for the military. It is not cheap but doubtful anybody else on your block will have one.
Taurus has a new pistol out that is “pretty”. Obviously aimed at women and gay men. It comes in 380 and in quite a few color combinations. The gun is named the Spectrum and a cute little beast it is. It weighs 10 ounces and is double action only. It has a special gripframe designed for ladies or anyone with small hands. This is one I really think the ladies will like.
Magnum research has a new convertible Desert Eagle out. It comes with barrels and magazines in 44 Magnum and 50 AE. It is all steel like the original Desert Eagles were and finished in a satin black finish. Not sure exactly what they have in mind as far as the folks that will buy it as it comes with the funky fixed sights that earlier guns had. Not sure if it will garner much interest with handgun hunters but for those that want the biggest, this is your new toy.
Expect to see countless ads on the new Springfield Armory Saint. This is another AR-15 that is backed by a very large ad budget. It looks good and there is a series on TV with a lot of good looking ladies competing in a “whose boobs are bigger” type contest where they shoot guns and do lots of running up hills in skimpy form fitting clothes. Now that is a good enough reason to watch the show. The gun is just another AR-15, slick and smooth, but just another AR-15. Take away the boobs and you have just another AR.
I have received over 40 new releases from ammo manufacturers in the last couple of weeks and will tell you more about them in the next issue. I know, you are breathlessly waiting, right?
Our last HHC is now history and it was not our biggest hunt, to say the least. We had 32 people signed up and 20 showed up. I got to meet some new folks and hunt with them so that was neat but the overall attendance was a bit weak. I have decided to drop the March HHC and just concentrate on the October HHC, which is normally a packed hunt with 50 to 60 hunters in attendance.
Our next Africa hunt is coming the last few days of May and first week in June so as of this writing is about 8 weeks away. I am really looking forward to this one as it has been 9 years since my last trip over there. We have 12 hunters going on this hunt and only 2 of us have ever been before so it will be a blast watching the new folks enjoy and experience Africa for the first time.
That is it for this month. Until next time, take a lady or youngster shooting. They are our future.