2018 was a year with a lot of new ideas, new products, and new feelings of freedom, after 8 years of Obama. 2017 was the first year but most of us were waiting for the second shoe to fall. We werenít sure if this good luck was going to last. We kept our AR-15s and extra mags handy, just in case. We kept our bug out bags filled, just in case. We watched Fox news for any sign of our good luck fading out, just in case. We held our breath and kept our eyes on what the liberals were doing, just in case. But 2017 passed into history and we breathed a sigh of relief. As 2018 rolled around we felt good for a change with a lot less tension . 2018 was a year of ups and downs. Trump kept his promises one by one. Some he had to fight for, and some didnít quite make it this year, but we have a president that is not in it for the money. He is not in it for the power, He is in it for America. And even with all the made up scandals and accusations thrown at him by the liberals he just keeps going, for America. I had my doubts at first, not necessarily about him but about what he could possibly do with all the hatred, lies, accusations, and pure evil being thrown at him.

I suppose I was naÔve and didnít realize how much pure evil was in our so called leadership. 2018 was a good year overall but we canít let our guard down. We are getting stronger but unfortunately the evil isnít getting any weaker. They are subverting our young people by the thousands. Young people who donít know the truth and believe what is fed to them every day by our politicians, by NBC, by ABC, by CBS, by the liberal media as a whole. 2019 will be a test for us. A test to see if we can continue to be strong. Already we are hearing a lot of complaining and condemning of Trump over the banning of the bump stocks. The people that yell the loudest are gun people. Trump has done so much for us and our 2nd amendment rights, yet they blame him for the banning of the bump stocks. They donít look back at all the good. They just see one little unimportant item like bump stocks. They fail to see that after the killings in Las Vegas by a crazy man who used several bump stocks on his AR-15s, Trump had no choice. He could as well have caved in to the pressure to ban AR-15s and all other semi autos, but he didnít. He did what most gun loving Americans would have done in the same situation, he OKíd the ATF banning the bump stocks. And what did we lose? Not a thing. What have bump stocks done for the average gun owner. Not a thing. What freedom have we lost due to the banning? Not a thing.

In 1968 after the killing of the 2 Kennedys and the killing of Martin Luther King, our politicians passed the Omnibus Crime Bill of 1968. That bill hurt us and if we had had a decent President with guts, that bill would never have been passed. 3 men died and yes that was a tragedy, but it didnít warrant passing a whole batch of anti gun bills that effected every gun owner in America. 58 people died in Las Vegas but Trump held strong and didnít sign any bills that would severely effect any gun owner in America. Yet people complain about the banning of the bump stocks. Did banning the bump stocks take away your favorite hunting rifle or handgun? Did banning bump stocks take away your ability to protect your family and home? Did banning the bump stocks take away your ability to collect as many guns as you can afford? Did banning the bump stocks hurt you financially? Did banning bump stocks take away you ability to enjoy your firearms without added inconvenience? The answer to all of these is no. Personally I have yet to see any benefit to the bump stocks. If Obama had still been in office, you can bet we would have lost a lot more than just a bump stock. And to be honest, bump stocks may well not be banned as the NRA has already filed a lawsuit on this. So you may yet get to keep your bump stock and all the whining and crying and blaming Trump will have been for naught. So suck it up buttercup and be thankful we have a strong pro gun president in office and pray he will make it a second term.

I realize there may be some hard core folks that believe we should never give up anything. But that is living in a dream world. We have been blessed in this country to have someone like Trump holding the reins. And giving up something as inconsequential as a bump stock is a small price to pay for the freedoms we have. Nuff said.

There are a lot of new products being released just in time for the SHOT Show, amazing coincidence, huh. Some are things we need, some are fluff that we could probably do without. There are two companies that amaze me with their new products that are actually products that are a welcome sight in the gun industry. Those 2 companies are Ruger and Taurus. Back in the mid to late 80s, S&W were on a roll and were coming out almost daily with new products and new model numbers. The model numbers were enough to confuse the most ardent S&W fan. It didnít backfire on them but it also didnít get them any added customers. Now some say Ruger is doing the same thing. Yes, they are releasing a lot of new products but I have yet to see one that didnít have a reason for being. A lot of folks are into the long range shooting and Ruger was right there giving them a great long range rifle, their Ruger Precision Rifle., and in one of my favorite calibers, the 308 Winchester. And they gave the long range shooters several models to choose from. Then Ruger outdid themselves with the Ruger Precision Rifle in 22 LR for the rimfire shooters. Now they have come out with something dear to my heart, the Ruger Precision Rifle in 22 Magnum. What a great small game rifle this will be.

Ruger has also added to their very fine line up of 1911s with the new SR1911 Officerís model. They have the standard 1911 Government model, the Target model, the Commander model and now the Officerís model. Along with their 1911s being available in 9mm, 45 ACP and now 10mm. And being made in the classic series 70 design without all the useless safety junk. Another thing I like about Ruger is their constantly adding models of guns in a price range that wonít break the bank. The latest is their Security 9. Now this one ticked me off at first as I am old enough to remember the fine little Security 6 revolver, along with the Service 6 and the Speed Six, these in 357 and 38 special. So when I saw a mention of a new Security 9 I wondered why. Why didnít thy just come up with a new model name. But my doubts were unfounded as the new Security 9 is a fine 9mm pistol, with a capacity of 15 plus one and all the needed bells and whistles along with being available in the Dark Earth color. Now that is not needed but makes it stand out in the crowd. Plus it is selling for well under $350.

The second of my favorite gun companies is Taurus. Now a lot of folks are still thinking of Taurus guns as they were in the early 80s. They were decent guns but ugly, for the most part. But even then they had the best warranty in the business. If you bought a revolver at a gun show that had been thru a dozen owners and it didnít function, you send it to Taurus at their new plant in Miami and if they couldnít fix it, they send you a new gun. Simple. And the best warranty going. In the last few months Taurus had released 2 of the best selling pistols on the market and they function, and function well. Plus they are affordable. First is the new G2C, a small 9mm pistol. It comes in solid black, black and stainless and black and sand color. It is a small 9mm that works every time and sells for well under $250. You canít beat the quality nor the price.

Back in the mid to late 70s a couple of companies (High Standard and Charter Arms if I remember right) came out with some very colorful revolvers. It was a time of experimenting with colors on guns. Armalite , the original AR-15 folks, introduced a shotgun that was golden in color. That really got some attention. The revolvers by a couple of companies, also came out in some fancy colors. That trend died out after a while but now Taurus has brought it back. So many ladies are buying revolvers for self defense and most donít really care for plain ugly black, that this is the prime time for some color. Taurus has their little 2Ē 38 special in several colors and in a two toned finish in a couple more. Expect to see some bright blue, vivid red, a brassy bronze and a little too feminine (for my manly taste) hot pink. They also have these colors on the frames with the barrels and cylinders in contrasting colors.

Back to Taurus pistols, the second pistol that we canít keep in stock over at our gun shop is the new Spectrum. It is a small pistol chambered in 380 and again it works. It also comes in several different colors and the ladies love it. It, like the G2C above sells for well under $250 and is a helluva bargain. It is smooth, fits the hand perfectly and just plain works. Ladies are buying them and bringing their friends or relatives in to buy one for themselves. If your wife or daughter or mistress, or concubine needs a carry pistol, but they donít want a big heavy pistol that has a lot of recoil, take her to your local gun shop and let her handle the Spectrum or the G2C. She will probably walk out with it in her hand.

Glock is doing it again. A while back they came out with the 19X, which is the model 19 slide and the model 17 frame and in a 2 toned finish, black and sand color. Concealable yet small enough to carry daily. The law enforcement folks in charge of buying guns for their officers objected to the 2 tone color, thinking folks would think the officers were a bit loose in the loafers. So Glock came out with the model 45. Now here is where the confusion starts. The Glock 45 is a 9mm, not a 45. Now they are talking about the 45X. It will be aimed at the concealed carry market. It is the model 45X and again, the 45 is a 9mm. But here is the change. The model 43 is also a 9mm, with a single stack magazine. Very popular with the ladies. I think Colleen carries one or two. She believes in the New York Reload. When your first gun runs dry, throw it down and pull another one out. Quicker than reloading while in a pucker factor. Anyway, the new 45 X will have the 45 slide but a slightly wider and longer gripframe and a magazine that holds 10 rounds in a tapered semi staggered magazine. I hope you stayed with me on that. It was confusing just typing it. And on the subject of the Glock 43, Lasermax now has a laser designed for the Glock 43.

The S&W 380 Shield EZ pistol is aimed at the ladies who lack the strength in their hands to pull a slide back. S&W has dome some special work and the slide can be pulled back with one finger. This one is doing very well.

Recently the new Mossberg MVP LR (Long Range) Rifle was put to a test along with 2 other long range rifles (no names were mentioned) and at 800 yards the Mossberg MVP LR beat both the other entries in accuracy. And the others cost more than double what the Mossberg costs. In fact Colleen bought the very first MVP LR rifle we got in the store. Not sure what she plans on doing with it yet. But she, like Kase, is a rifle person. She and Kase both use handguns to hunt with from time to time but both prefer rifles. To each his own.

Another ďnewĒ gun that I had a chance recently to play with the is ďnewĒ Rock Island Arms 1911 in 22 Magnum. I say ďnewĒ as it has been out for a while but recently was upgraded to much better. This is the slickest little 22 Magnum semi auto on the market. Super smooth and a great action and trigger. It holds 14 rounds in the magazine with one in the tube. We have one in the shop right now to do some fancy engraving and finish work on and I am very impressed. In fact I have already passed along several strong hints to Colleen that I sure would like one under the tree in a couple of days.

Starline has added a couple of new rifle calibers to their inventory. They have added 5.56 X 45 (223), the 375 Winchester and the 348 Winchester. These last 2 should make a lot of Winchester lever action owners happy.

Also a couple of fellows mentioned on my forum that Sierra was dropping a couple of their favorite bullets. Unfortunately that is the way business goes. If the bullet isnít selling well due to changes in hunting or shooting, they phase them out. At the same time they add new bullets to fit in with new sports like the long range shooting sport. My advice is stock up on those bullets that your rifle likes while you can find them. I went thru the same thing a while back when Sierra and Hornady dropped their silhouette bullets due to the silhouette game dying out. These were my favorite bullets and just about the only bullet I use on large game, even though in 41 caliber they are just 210 grain and 220 grain. I was whining and crying on the forum about them being dropped and not being able to find any when good friend John Taffin stepped up to the plate. A couple of days after my whining session I received a 20 lb box full of Sierra and Hornady silhouette bullets. They will last me for however many years I have left. They are the only bullets I use these days with the exception of the new Hornady DGS and DGX. Steve Hornady, another good friend, came to my rescue just before my Cape Buffalo hunt in Africa a few months back. He sent me a couple of boxes of the DGS in .458 which is a 500 grain solids and a couple of boxes of the DGX, which is a 500 grain .458 caliber expanding bullet. The DGX put my big Cape Buffalo down with one shot out of my 450 GNR Encore pistol. I put one more in him to keep him down. Safari Club says he is the largest free range Cape Buffalo ever taken with a handgun. So before I go on any further, thank you Steve Hornady.

Speaking of Africa, Colleen is taking a group of 12 people to South Africa this coming April and I already have another African hunt in South Africa planned for late April of 2020. I already have 6 hunters booked on this hunt with room for 5 more, so if you are interested in a great African hunt, get in touch with me at 928-527-4100.

Normally I like to tell you about a new product coming out that I get excited about. For a change, here is one I really hate. Walther announced recently they were bringing back the PPK and PPK/S. A good friend bought one down in Phoenix and sent it to us for an action job. The gun is horrible. It has a cheap silver coating on it. The lettering was almost washed out before they plated it and it has about a 20 lb trigger pull. Our gauge goes to 18 lbs and the hammer wouldnít drop at that. It went considerably more before it dropped the hammer. So at least a 20 lb trigger. The quality is nothing like the old classic Walthers. After seeing them we wonít even carry them in our gun shop. I was very disappointed in Walther as I expected the old classic to be brought back out. These new ones look like a $99.95 Saturday Night Special.

Thantís it for this month and for this year. I hope 2019 is good for us all and good for the industry. Til next time, when you go shooting, take a youngster or lady with you. They are our future.

God bless,

Gary