As I read this it is Memorial Day 2018, and I am bored out of my skull. I
really hate holidays that gives us Monday off. Anything I need to do can be done
on a Sunday. I have reloaded just about all the empty brass I have and that was
yesterday. I have been called a workaholic and I guess that holds true. My dad
was the same and Kase is pretty much the same also. To me spare time is wasted
time. Nuff said.
Last month we didn’t get into any of the new items that will be available to us this year and hopefully well before hunting season. I will try to catch up and get several of them covered in this issue.
It seems a lot of companies are jumping on the long range precision rifle bandwagon. That is good as long as they don’t forget the majority of shooters in the country that could care less about that sport. Ruger was pretty much the first to get into this sport and are now joined by several others. One of the new ones is Kimber and their new Advanced Tactical 2 chambered in 308 and one or two others. One company that had previously made parts for AR-15s are now building full guns in the long range precision category. That company is Rise Armament. Their new precision rifle is the 1121XR in 308 and like most of the others guarantees sub MOA accuracy. And I can’t leave out Ruger’s new Precision Rimfire in 22 LR for those that like to shoot at sorta long range with precision accuracy. And if you have a Remington 700, Magpul makes all the precision parts to turn your medium frame model 700 into a top of the line Precision Rifle. It is called the Magpul Pro 700 Rifle Chassis.
Ruger’s new PC Carbine is doing very well for them. The PC standing for Pistol Caliber and is chambered in 9mm. We have had several folks ask if it is coming in 40 caliber. It may but nothing from Ruger on that yet.
It seems these days that a couple of ammo companies are promoting their cartridges as “the fastest round on the market” and the “most accurate AR-15 round on the market” and "super sonic accuracy beyond 1300 yards” and “ faster, flatter and farther than any other AR-15” so on. Remember a few years ago Winchester introduced several new bolt action calibers and used words just like these to promote them. The public quickly found out that those were useless brags based on no facts and were written up by ad men to sell guns. I hope these new 22 caliber cartridges that are being hyped so much are based on fact and not just some nice sounding statements.
The Tavor rifle has been used by the Israelis for a few years (under a different name) and is said to be one of the finest non-AR military/police rifles made. Now Tavor has come up with a bullpup 12 gauge shotgun in pretty much the same design. It is the TS12. I haven’t had a chance to see or handle one yet so we’ll see.
It is good to see a lot of special shotguns hitting the market. The Mossberg Shockwave was the first of the super short guns. I can’t call them a shotgun as they are by law, not a shotgun. It has a 14” barrel and is a pump “firearm”. It is a great little “firearm” in 12 gauge and 20 gauge. Perfect for home defense or a truck gun. I expected to see other companies jump on the bandwagon and it looks like at least one other is doing so. It is the new one by Franklin Armory called the Reformation. It is neither a rifle or shotgun. The catch is it has straight cut lands and grooves so the projectile does not spin. I have heard it was coming out in 12 gauge and in 223. Nothing more yet.
Mossberg is still the leader in specialty shotguns. Their new model 590M is set up as a magazine fed shotgun and magazines are available in 10, 15 and 20 round capacities. Mossberg’s 590 has for years been the most reliable shotgun for use by our armed forces in the sandbox. Their model 500 also has been probably the pump shotgun most found in homes as a home defense shotgun.
Another new multi capacity shotgun is the new Kel Tec KSG-25 and just like the name implies, it holds 25 rounds of 12 gauge. That is an entire box of shotgun shells at one loading. Sounds like a helluva home defense shotgun.
Speer has been awarded a contract for 120 million rounds of 124 grain Gold Dot 9mm ammo for the Department of Homeland Security. DHS had previously opted for the 40 S&W caliber but it has fallen out of favor with quite a few law enforcement agencies over the last year or two and many have gone back to 9mm. There is ample reason for that also. The 9mm round has come so far in recent years in power, and function in all types of firearms that a person is not giving up anything going from 40 caliber to 9mm. Not to say that the 40 S&W caliber is dead but is appears to be suffering from lots of problems.
Recently there has been instances of certain banks not renewing business loans with gun companies and gun shops that sell and manufacture AR-15s after the recent Florida school shooting. But these banks seem to be a bit hypocritical. One of then just loaned Remington multi million dollars to pull them out of bankruptcy, even though Remington is one of the biggest manufactures of AR-15s in their R-15.
Sig has just introduced a special series of guns called the STAND series. They have displayed We Proudly STAND for the National Anthem on their guns, in reference to the chicken shit NFL football players that kneel when the anthem is played. The Sig guns in this series are the 1911 in 45, the P938 in 9mm, and the P238 in 380. I hope these guns sell like the proverbial hotcakes. Words can’t express my contempt for these players and the NFL team owners that let them do it. I truly hope no gun owner or patriot of this great country of ours watches any football games this season. In my humble opinion anyone that watches the games is just as low as the players.
There has been a safety recall of some of the Kel Tec SUB 2000 rifles. You can call 321-631-0068 for more info. This recall is for any Sub-2000 bought in 2017 or 2018 only.
A couple of older grip companies have expended their product line considerably. Pachmayr is making grips for not only the older series of guns but the new lightweight snubbie revolvers and many of the new semi autos. The other grip company, Hogue, has expanded it’s handgun grip line up also to cover most new series including the 1911s that have the Bobtail or round heel gripframe. They have expanded their rifle stocks lineup in their Overmold series. They have also added a line of specialty knives. It is always good to see older companies still around and doing well.
Another company that has been around for many years is Lyman and they have just introduced a new turret reloading press. There are 6 and 7 die position presses out there that have been available for years. Now Lyman has introduced the All American 8, which is an 8 position turret press. The Lyman presses are heavy duty presses and hard to beat these days in the realm of presses made of cheap pressed metal parts. Lyman presses are great presses and this one should be a real winner.
One thing I don’t understand the success of is the flamethrowers known as the XM42-m modular flamethrower. And even at $700 they are selling quite well. I guess I am a bit slow but I really don’t see a use for one of these.
The Nosler Accubond bullet has been one of my favorite bullets for years. On my last 3 safaris in Africa I have used them extensively. Now they have introduced the Accubond Long Range bullet. For the past couple of years the Accubond hunting bullet has been in short supply. I hope this new long range Accubond doesn’t set the hunting bullet production back even further.
Speaking of new hunting bullets. A few months before our last African hunt, Steve Hornady sent me a batch of his new DGS and DGX bullets in .458 caliber. The DGS is the 500 grain solid while the DGX is the 500 grain expanding bullet. I loaded some of each in my 450 GNR Encore pistol for this hunt, not knowing which one my PH, John Abraham, would want me to use on a big Cape Buffalo. Surprisingly he asked me to use the DGX, the expanding bullet on the buffalo. Seeing an 1800 lb Cape Buffalo trotting toward me at about 60 yards made me hope that expanding bullet would work as touted. John said it was a fake charge and the buff would stop at about 45 yards with his nose in the air grunting bad things about my Mother. John told me when he stopped he would turn to one side and to hit him on the point of shoulder when he turned. He did and I did and the buff dropped. I put one more in him as an insurance round. The Hornady DGX did everything it was said to do. John said the buffalo was 99” tip to tip and was the largest free range Cape Buffalo ever taken with a handgun. If you are wanting a bullet for rifle or handgun for large dangerous game the DGX and DGS in .458 or .416 are the bullet for you.
Some of you may remember the single shot shotgun by Beretta many years ago. It folded in half for carrying of storage. When they dropped it another company started making them. It has been years since any were made but now another company, Midland Arms Company has started building them. The gun is called the Midland Backpack. The unusual thing is the gun can be converted from a shotgun to a rimfire or centerfire gun with the barrel interchangeability. The shotgun barrels come in 410, 20 gauge and 12 gauge. The prices start at $149.95 so the new shotgun should end up being a nice little camp gun.
Those that like the black powder revolvers will like this one. Cimarron is bringing back the 1847 Walker, what should be called the original 44 magnum weighing in at 64 ounces. The Texas Ranger Walker is a 6 round, single action, 44 caliber with a 9” barrel, steel frame and a finish like the originals. It features the brass Dragoon gripframe just like the originals. Years ago when Uberti made a small run of them, we got a small batch of 10 guns and engraved them like the originals were, put gold bands on the cylinders and the deluxe Black Chromex finish with custom rosewood grips. There were 10 of them made and I have yet to see any of the 10 hit the used revolver market.
Looking back a year or two, Winchester released a new rifle that was said to be totally different from their Model 70. In their literature they almost seem to brag that their new rifle, dubbed the XPR, is nothing like the original Model 70. The Winchester Model 70 wasn’t called The Rifleman’s Rifle for nothing. I don’t build very many bolt action rifles, but when we moved to Arizona in 1994 I built 2 rifles on Winchester Model 70 actions, both in 22-250 Improved for Prairie Dog hunting and the actions were and still are super smooth. But the new XPR is as much like the Model 70 as Rosie O’Donnell is to Sarah Palin (both I have read are the same age). The XPR may turn out to be a great rifle, but like a lot of the fiberglass stocked rifles these days, to me it has no class and no character. And that is a damn shame.
Did somebody say something about hunting? Well, if they did, here are some tidbits. Our next HHC is October 4th thru the 7th. It is in Monterey Tennessee at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge where it has been for over 10 years. The lodge holds 50 hunters and you are invited to join us. It is called the Handgun Hunter’s Challenge but you can use whatever you like. Our HHC has been called a “gathering of friends” and that describes it best. We have plenty of openings as the booking has just recently started. If you want to join us, you are more than welcome. Call Sandy at 931-979-4050 and sign up. It is a great hunt and a greater time with friends new and old.
Also another hunt coming up is our next African hunt. It is April 19 thru 30 in 2019. The camp is the same great camp we had this past march and a great camp it is. In fact the nicest camp I have ever hunted in. The camp holds 12 hunters and we have 4 openings left. If you want to join us, get with me at 928-527-4100 and I can send you all the info. And contrary to what most people think, an African hunt will not break the bank. On our hunt in 2017 several of my guys took 4 or 5 plains game animals and ended up with a hunt costing them around $7000 plus their airfare. So Africa is not an expensive hunt if you plan to hunt plains game as most do. On this past hunt of 53 animals taken I was told 48 of them went record book and several being the new number 1 ranking animal in the world. At least 25 were in the top 20 in the world. So if you have ever wanted to hunt Africa in a true wide open area just like it was 100 years ago, we have it. 120,000 acres and loaded with animals. This camp hadn’t been hunted for almost 100 years until our hunt in March. This is a great hunt and you are welcome to join us.
That’s it for this month. Hunting season is coming up. Take a lady or youngster hunting with you this year. They are our future.