As we get into May there are a lot of new products coming out for the fall
hunting season to get excited about and a few that are “ho-hum”. First off, our
2019 Africa hunt is over and a tremendous record breaking hunt it was. There
were numerous animals taken that will rank in the top 2 or 3 in the world.
Several huge Cape Buffalo were taken. Last year I took a monster Cape Buffalo
that I figured would stay unbeatable for a few years. But it took almost exactly
one year. My wife Colleen took a huge Cape Buffalo bull that makes mine like a
yearling. She also took a huge Kudu that is the largest I have ever seen.
Needless to say it made mine look like a runt Kudu. Other huge trophy size
animals were taken by the group. The hunt for this year held 12 hunters. They
You will notice that of the 12 hunters, 4 of them were lady hunters and that is great. Each of these ladies took record book animals and did so with accuracy equaling any male hunter. I have been promoting lady hunters for years and this hunt was one of our finest.
Our next hunt is next year, May of 2020 and again Good Lord willing, we will have a full camp of 12 hunters in a brand new camp just opened in South Africa and one that hasn’t been hunted in years. It will be my turn again to head a group of friends in a great hunt in South Africa.
OK, now for some news on new products. Here is the Ho Hum I mentioned above. Winchester has come out with a new cartridge they call the 350 Legend. Now it is always refreshing to see new products hit the market, but when they seem to be rehashed cartridges from the past, I wonder why all the effort. Winchester claims the 350 Legend is the “fastest straight wall cartridge in the world”. I hate claims like that. Instead of promoting the good aspects of the cartridge they push “the fastest” or the “flattest shooting” or the “best cartridge ever designed”. Usually when a company does that they are trying to cover up it’s weak spots. Now most of you are familiar with the 357 Maximum. A good cartridge. Nothing earth shattering but a good dependable cartridge. The 357 Max case is 1.6” in length. Now add approximately 1/12th of an inch to that length, make it rimless and you have the 350 Legend at 1.71” case. Just a tiny bit longer than the 357 Maximum case and this is “the greatest straight wall deer hunting cartridge ever”. Ho Hum. On the up side, Ruger is chambering 3 rifles in this cartridge, 2 of their Ranch Rifles and one in their AR 556. The 350 Legend will be a good small framed deer cartridge but let’s leave it at that. I hate to start my Gun Notes off negatively but I am not going to promote something I don’t believe in. So let’s let it go at that. Consider the above paragraph my humble opinion only. Your mileage may differ.
OK, some new stuff. Years ago Savage had the Model 64 semi auto 22 rifle out and it did well. Somewhere along the way it was dropped. Now they are bringing the Model 64 back in a take down 10 shot magazine fed 22 LR. They also will have it in left and right hand versions. And it comes in a neat “bug out” bag.
On the topic of 22 LR, I think 2019 will be a great year for rimfire cartridges. A lot of companies that had been promoting their AR-15 rifles have eased off on them as there is simply no demand for them with the market flooded with ARs and are concentrating on bringing out rimfire rifles and handguns.
One of those new 22 LR handguns is the new Taurus TX22. It is a full size pistol with a 16 round capacity, fully adjustable sights and feels perfect in the hand. For someone that wants a full size 22 pistol at a decent price this one fills the bill.
Recently Kel Tec got rave reviews from everyone for their new KS7, a lightweight pump shotgun. Now they will surely get the same reviews for their new CP33 pistol. The CP stands for Competition Pistol an the 33 for the magazine capacity. This unusual looking 22 LR pistol is aimed at the competition crowd and is set up with special sights and suppressor ready. And knowing Kel Tec it will be priced right and will be dependable.
By now everyone knows about the new Ruger Wrangler. This little 22 LR revolver comes in 3 colors and is perfect for the weekend plinker. The gun retails for $250 and will probably hit the dealers shelves somewhere around $230 or so. So far I have heard nothing but bad remarks about it from purists who think the only single action revolver is the Single Six in it’s various offerings. But I really think this will be a good seller for Ruger. The little revolver, although plain is not a cheap looking revolver and not everyone these days can afford $750 for a 22 LR single action revolver whereas they can shell out $250 for a well made little revolver. I expect these to do very well for Ruger.
Glock recently got a huge contract from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. This contract included the Glock 19, 26, and the Glock 47, which is law enforcement only. All of these models are chambered in 9mm.
The list of companies getting long guns ready for the long range shooting sport gets longer each day. Some of the companies making new special long range rifles include Browning, Daniel Defense, Masterpiece Arms,
Ruger, Remington, Kimber, Lithgow Arms, Rise Armament, Savage, Howa, and a lot more.
Speaking of Ruger, they have re-introduced their Hawkeye Alaskan. This is a great rifle for those that hunt big and dangerous game. It comes chambered in 300 Winchester magnum, 338 Winchester magnum and 375 Ruger. They come with the Hogue Overmolded stock which is a great addition to an already perfect rifle.
Taurus is bringing out their Raging Hunter revolver in 44 Magnum and now in 357 Magnum. With Taurus’ quality and price, plus their lifetime warranty these 2 revolvers will do well for the handgun hunters.
Over the last couple of years a lot of gun companies have moved out of the north-east into the South. The South has always been gun friendly and tax situation friendly. CZ-USA is the latest to announce they are moving to Arkansas. They plan a new plant in Little Rock that will employ almost 600 workers. This massive exodus to the south include the states of Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Kentucky. Colorado and California are also being departed in mass by gun and gun related accessory companies. Magpul moved out of Colorado for Texas which left Colorado losing 80 million in tax dollars. Weatherby, fed up with California’s anti gun stance moved out of California for Wyoming. The gun hating states are the overall losers while the gun loving south and west are the winners.
A trend among AR-15 manufacturers these days it making pistol ARs with the Sig arm brace. This gives the buyer a short AR type 10 to 12 inch barreled handgun without going thru the hassle of the SBR (short barreled rifle) issue with the Feds. A lot of AR companies are doing this including Franklin Armory, LWRCI, Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms, and about a dozen more. With an overall length of 26” and chambered in 223/5.56 with a 30 round mag, this makes for a great home defense weapon.
Remember the old Savage Model 24 over/under? It came in 22 LR/410, 22 LR/20 gauge, even 12 ga/30-30 in an over under pattern. A couple of companies are talking about adding this little over/under to their line up and Chiappa Firearms has already come out with one. Theirs is called the Double Badger and comes in 410 gauge/243. That is a great combination and it comes scope ready.
Remington is trying another small 380 pistol. They never could get their Model 51 to work and finally dropped the idea. The new one is the Model RM380. Hopefully this one will work for them.
Years ago the Swiss army handgun was the Sig P210. It was a marvel of Swiss and German engineering. Very few of them were brought to the states and when you found one it was priced extremely high. Now Sig USA is bringing the P210 in 9mm back into the states and at a decent price.
Marlin announced recently that they would be building the Model 336 in 30-30 with a blonde maple stock. This is good and maybe not so good, especially for those old enough to remember the various guns that were sold at K-marts, Walmarts, Gibsons, and other big box stores, with the light colored stocks. Theirs were either Birch or beech, and looked cheap (which they were). To the younger shooters this will be a new refreshing look to an old model, but to those of us older than dirt they sure look like those cheap guns the big box stores sold back in the mid 60s.
The various ammo companies are coming out with bulk pack ammo for summer time shooting. One of those companies, Aguila, has a new bulk pack of 223/5.56 coming out. It will have 300 rounds of full metal jacket ammo for plinking. Norma ammo, one of the finest ammo makers around, is making available a new special match grade ammo called the Hexagon. The bullet is an unusual hexagon shaped bullet with 6 stabilizing grooves. It will come in 124 grain 9mm, 180 grain 357 Mag, and 200 grain 45 ACP. Nosler also has a whole new line up of match grade ammo coming out.
Those of you that are into the military style rifles, like the SKS and AK-47, there is a new one out that would make old man Kalashnikov smile. It is the VSKA from Century Arms. It is 100% American made and good steel instead of junk steel that most current AKs are made of. The wood is nice and the wood to metal fit is better than some hunting rifles I have seen. Plus the price is less than $700 which will help it sell.
One of my pet peeves thru the last 10 years or so is the extra heavy for caliber bullets that a couple of companies continue to push. Another company that specializes in the heavy for caliber bullets is now offering a 185 grain bullet in their 9mm ammo, a 325 grain bullet in their 45 ACP ammo and so on. One wonders where they plan to put the powder.
Speaking of ammo, the FBI recently chose Hornady’s 135 grain Critical Duty 9mm ammo for their agents. I recently bought one of the Rock Island 22 Magnum 1911 style pistols that have a 15 round magazine and my gun loves the Hornady Critical Defense 22 magnum ammo. In Colleen’s African hunt just finished she used nothing but Hornady’s 350 grain JSP bullet in her 458 and took her huge Cape Buffalo and Eland with it. Sort of as a coincidence on my first African hunt in 1992 I used Hornady’s 500 grain Solid and the 510 grain soft point in my 450 GNR handgun for most of my big game. And 26 years later I used the Hornady 500 grain DGX (Dangerous Game expanding) and DGS (Dangerous Game solid) in my 450 GNR pistol for my Cape Buffalo. In my estimation you can’t beat Hornady for big game bullets. Thru the years I have used mostly Hornady bullets for my big game use and Sierra handgun bullets for my revolvers and G-2 pistols. They were good 50 years ago and still are.
There are a lot of new items to tell you about but it will have to wait until next time. In the meantime remember our next HHC (Handgun Hunter’s Challenge) is coming up October 3 thru 6 and consider yourself invited. I will bore you to tears with info on this over the next few months so get ready.
Until next time when you go out to do some plinking or target practice, take a lady or youngster with you. They are our future.