Another month gone. But that’s OK as that gets us closer to the HHC (Handgun
Hunter’s Challenge) coming in 2 months. It is scheduled for Oct 4 thru 7 at the
same place in Monterey Tennessee. It is at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge in
Monterey. If you haven’t signed up yet and want to join us, consider this your
personal invitation. Just call Sandy at 931-979-4050 and sign up. The camp holds
55 hunters and we normally fill it up. The hunt is on about 15 thousand acres
and is loaded with game. If you have any questions feel free to call me or check
out their web site at www.wildernesshuntinglodge.com. And even though it is
called the Handgun Hunter’s Challenge, you do not have to use a handgun. Hunt
with whatever you are comfortable with. Our handgun hunt has been said to be
“not really a hunt. It is more of a gathering of friends”. And that is exactly
what it is. We have been doing this for over 10 years and there are some folks
that haven’t missed a hunt.
As summer begins to wind down it also brings us closer to our next Africa hunt scheduled for April 19-30 in South Africa. We book the whole camp again and it holds 12 hunters. Right now we have 1 opening left, possibly 2. If you are interested, again give me a call and I can send you all the info you need. Most folks, when they think of an Africa hunt, think $25,000 to $50,000. Well you could easily spend that much, but most of our hunters spend somewhere in the range of $7000 plus airfare. That is taking 4 or 5 African animals, plus a full week hunting in Africa. Again, if you think you might be interested, let me know.
This is our Monsoon time of year. It gets hot in the mornings and by 1 PM or so the thunderstorms roll in and we get heavy rain for 3 or 4 hours. Our Monsoon runs from July 4th to Labor Day and this is the only time of the year that we have heavy humidity. Last night I checked my safes and found some light specks of rust dust forming. Nothing serious that a cloth with some Rem Oil or Rig 2 sprayed on it and wiped lightly on the metal of the guns won’t cure. I know some states in the country get a lot of rain this time of year as the seasons begin to change. Just a reminder to check your guns from time to time. And me mentioning Rem Oil and Rig 2 doesn’t mean I put oil on my guns. Oil is the worst thing you can put on any gun. If you feel you need to wipe them down, keep the gun oil away from them. Get a can of spray oil like the 2 mentioned above, spray it very lightly on a cloth and wipe the metal surfaces down, an then go back over it with a dry rag. This will remove any excess oil from the surface. If your semi auto begins to feel a bit rough, lock the slide back and put a tiny bit of gun GREASE on the underside of the slide. Work the slide back and forth a few times and you have it. Never put any oil on any firearm. That is just asking for trouble. We get at least one of two guns brought into our shop every week where the owner has literally poured oil in the gun. Oil attracts dust, grit and sand in the air into your action and it becomes a grinding compound and destroys your gun’s guts. Plus in cold weather the oil becomes hard and can lock up your action. Back in the mid 70s I was hunting up at Tellico Junction with Larry Farley for hogs and whatever else we ran across. The first morning it was a degree or two below zero and we were both hunting with our handguns. Larry with his S&W model 29 in 44 Magnum and me with one of my 41 Auto Mags. We had spotted a couple of nice Aoudads the evening before but it was too dark for a shot. So we decided to try again in the morning. If we couldn’t find the Aoudads we would opt for hunting hogs.
We had walked for quite a ways before we spotted a couple of Aoudads. I knew if I got a shot it would probably be a quick one so I had my Auto Mag in my hand never thinking it was out exposed to the below zero temps. We were down in a valley between a couple of hills and I spotted an Aoudad doing what they do best, and that is run at about 45 MPH. He was running down the hillside towards me so I eased behind a tree, cocked the gun and waited. As he came to within about 20 yards from me I leveled the big Auto Mag and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened except the hammer falling in slow motion. I re-cocked it and the same thing. Then I remembered what Lee Jurras had told me, to keep it dry other than maybe some dry graphite lube.
Needless to say I was pissed at myself. I took the gun back to the lodge, took the slide off and put both halves in the oven at 150 degrees for about 20 minutes. That made the oil liquid again and I wiped it out completely, leaving no oil in the gun at all. I didn’t have any dry graphite with me but knew the gun would be fine for the rounds I might need to take on this hunt. After that I have never put even one drop of oil in any of my guns and even hunting in well below zero temps I have never had even one problem. I always remember this instance when someone brings a gun in and oil is oozing out of every crevice. So do your guns a favor, never put even one drop of oil in it. Wipe the parts down with the cloth I mentioned above and let it go at that. Your guns will live longer and function better.
I had a fellow call a day or so ago and ask why our lead time on building a custom gun was so long. I told him compared to the other main custom handgun makers we are pretty quick. Of the top 3 or 4 we are the quickest at 8 months. The others are running from 1 year up to 3 years. So 8 months is pretty quick.
The main reason for our longer turnaround time than normal is Donald Trump. Since he got in the White House the orders have tripled. People are more confidant these days. They don’t feel they have to rush out and buy an AR-15 and cases of ammo as we did under Obama. With Trump the economy is recovering and people are realizing that. Instead of sending one gun in for a custom re-work, they are sending 6 or 8 guns at a time. We have 3 customers that have sent in 8 guns, and 4 that have sent in 6 guns. Quite a few have sent in 3 or 4. Our order book went from about 125 orders to over 300. I have 2 full machine shops and 6 machinist working for me but there are only so many hours in the day. Plus parts are still a bit hard to get and that puts us even further behind. We have been a licensed manufacturer for several years now and have had our own revolver frames for at least 10 years. We are currently working with a company to have our own 1911 frames and slides made. If this goes thru, as it should, we will be building our own full custom 1911s. We have some special models already in mind and good Lord willing we will have the prototype of a few new series ready to show by the first of the year.
We had a young man in the shop during this last week wanting to sell his AR-15. Looking it over we realized it was one of the home made 80% guns with no serial number. We had to tell him no on it as he is supposed to keep that gun and not sell it. You are allowed to build your own AR with no serial number but by law you are not supposed to sell it. Unfortunately there are guys that are cranking them out in their garages by the dozen and selling them to their buddies. If someone tries to sell you an AR, check it over good. Some of the garage made guns are ok but if a person doesn’t have the proper tools the guns get put together haphazardly, to say the least. I hate to see these guys cranking these guns out as the ATF is going to come down hard on them and that will cause all of us a lot of grief. All we need is some idiot shooting a bunch of people with an AR he made in his garage. That will hurt us badly with the gun control groups and probably the ATF too. Now I see that another company is offering frames and frame kits that are copies of the Ruger 10-22 for you to build in your garage. They claim that anyone with a screwdriver can build one. I am very biased on this and my only comment would be if someone offers you one of their home built AR-15s or 10-22s, my recommendation is pass on it. AR-15s are at the lowest prices in many years and you have lots to choose from. Ruger 10-22s are available in many variations and the prices are more than reasonable. Just my personal opinion. My opinion and $11.25 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks these days.
Lots of new products are being offered for this coming hunting season. I’ll try to cover some of them here. Ruger’s PC Carbine is doing very well. It is a great little rifle and dependable as Rugers normally are. Being a take down makes it easy to pack in a truck or on a back pack trip. Ruger’s new 10mm Super Redhawk is getting a lot of great reviews. I just wish they had made it available in the regular Redhawk. The Super in 10mm is available with a 6½” barrel which makes it a bit better for packing, but the regular Redhawk would have been lighter and an easier packing revolver.
It is good to see that Charles Daly is back. Charles Daly is an importer of some fine guns. Charles Daly himself was around probably 75 years ago but his name lives on. They are bringing in some very interesting guns these days. One is their model 214E over/under shotgun. I have a soft spot for nice over/under shotguns and this new one from CD is a great looking shotgun. It comes in 12 and 20 gauge and has all the features most shotgunners want and the price is right too.
Speaking of shotguns, there are quite a few new bullpup style shotguns on the market these days and more are being offered for this fall. Not a hunting shotgun at all but a neat home defense shotgun. One of these is SRM Arms. It is the SRM 1216. It is a 12 gauge semi auto with a 16 round rotary magazine. One good point is that it is U.S. Made. Another new one is from Citadel Arms. It is the model RSSI and is a magazine fed 12 gauge auto. A third bullpup shotgun is from Tristar Arms. It is simply called the Compact 12 Gauge. It looks like something out of Star Wars and is sure to get a lot of attention. It has a 20” barrel and comes in 12 gauge magnum. It comes with two 5 round magazines.
Those of you that are Sharps lovers are probably familiar with the Lyman Sharps. They have been making limited editions of the 1878 Sharps for many years and are putting out a special 140th anniversary Sharps this year. There are only 140 of them numbered from 1 to 140. They are a lighter weight streamlined version of the 1878 Sharps and only weighs 7 pounds. It comes in 30-30 caliber which I thought unusual. But makes for a more universal caliber for all around use. It has a 24” barrel and comes with special engraving on the receiver and deluxe wood. It is a good looking rifle and should sell out quick.
Mossberg’s MVP Precision Rifle in 308 is kicking butt in a lot of matches these days. A lot of folks think Mossberg guns are low quality but that simply isn’t so. Recently in a special 800 yard shoot the Mossberg MVP beat 3 other long range rifles that cost about twice what the MVP costs. If you are thinking of getting into the long range shooting sport, check out the Mossberg MVP.
Remington is trying to pull itself out of the bankruptcy hole these days. They have their new R1 in 10mm out that is getting good reviews. Remington bought out Para Ordnance a year or so ago and they are building them on Para parts. Para was always one of the finest 1911s made and these new guns from Remington in 10mm should be good ones. They are also offering their new Model 700 Precision Chassis Rifle. It comes in 308 and on the time tested model 700 action. It has their lifetime warranty too. It is good to see Remington getting back to the basics and getting away from their horrible flops in the past few years, like the model 710 and model 770 rifles. Two of the worst rifles ever offered by Remington.
Colt is another company pulling themselves out of bankruptcy these days. They are wisely getting back to basics like Remington. They are offering their original Delta Elite in 10mm with a few new features. They are also bringing back some of their small snubbie revolvers that they were famous for in years past.
Speaking of a 10mm, Hi Point Arms is bringing out their semi auto camo carbine in 10mm. Hi Point guns are normally a sign of a novice gun owner. They are heavy and clunky looking but I will have to admit they function first time, every time.
Bushnell Scopes is revamping their scope lineup to keep up with the picky buyer of long range gear. They have over 100 new scopes in 3 new series to offer the long range shooter. Bushnell has always been known for making decent low priced scopes that Walmart and Kmart have featured on their shelves and on rifle packages. They are pulling away from that image with 3 new series of special scopes and over 100 models to choose from.
Lots going in the way of new cartridges. For this past year all we have seen in the gun magazines is that “our XXX cartridge is the fastest cartridge ever” or “our XXX cartridge shoots farther than any other cartridge” or “our XXX cartridge is still hyper velocity at over 1300 yards”. All features that the average hunter could do without. Hopefully other companies will stick with the basics. We don’t need all the Whoop De Do crap.
CCI has an unusual new 22 Long Rifle cartridge for those that have pests around the house but worry about the noise bothering the neighbors. It is the CCI Quiet 22. It has a segmented hollow point bullet that fragments into 3 pieces on impact. The good thing is it is 75% quieter than any other 22 LR cartridge. No hearing protection is needed. Sounds like a good idea to me.
Speer has added a 10mm to their Gold Dot line up and from what I hear it is a hot round. Hornady is continuing to add to their Subsonic line up of cartridges. Anything from Hornady is always top of the line. Federal’s Hydra Shok ammo line has been around for almost 30 years and has always been one of the best personal defense rounds made. They have now added the Hydra Shok Deep 9mm that is designed to penetrate deeper and has a special nose and special inner post to help the 135 grain bullet be more of a one shot stopper for personal defense.
Hornady has added rifle ammo to their great Critical Defense line up. The Critical Defense handgun ammo is some of the finest ammo on the market and now they have added rifle ammo to the line up. It is available in 55 and 71 grain 223 and 155 grain in 308.
H&K’s line up of handguns here in the states has all but disappeared over the last few years, but now they are back with several new series. They even have a lightweight concealed carry pistol. And now the prices of H&K handguns are more in line with today’s handguns. There for a while because some of the SEAL teams were using H&K handguns they had jacked their prices way over what the average gun buyer could handle. It is good to see them back and at decent prices.
With the glut of AR-15s and AR-10s on the market these days many companies are experimenting with larger caliber rifles. The AR-15s are available in several 45 calibers and now a couple of companies are experimenting with 50 caliber cartridges in the AR-10 platform. We have built several special camo AR-15s in the 450 Bushmaster cartridge. This makes a great lightweight hog gun. Not sure how the AR-10 platform will handle a larger beefier 50 caliber cartridge. I guess we shall see.
With the Yeti Cooler folks turning anti gun recently and a lot of folks using their expensive Yeti Coolers as targets I thought it neat to see the NRA offering to send Yeti owners an NRA sticker to cover up the Yeti logo rather than shoot the cooler. It is always a shame when a company that specializes in a product for hunters and shooters turns their back on them and goes anti gun. Besides being aggravating to Yeti owners it is just plain stupid.
That’s it for this time. Until next month, remember to take a lady or youngster shooting and hunting. They are our future.