With May in the rear view mirror it’s time to start thinking summer. Now I realize that a lot of you have already had 90 degree weather or more but here in the last week we have had snow, sleet and rain by the bucket loads. So it is still barely spring here. I live at 8000 feet and a few years back it snowed on the 4th of July. It didn’t stick but it was almost a white out for an hour or two. Plus a lot of you have seen the pics of my house, with 12 foot ceilings, completely covered by snow except for the chimneys. So let’s call it spring here.

I got a note from our distributors recently (gun shops have to buy thru distributors). They reminded me that this year we will see 117 new guns. That tallies up to 66 new handguns, 39 new rifles and 12 new shotguns. I was excited about this until they sent me the break down of what was new. Of the 39 new rifles, all but 4 were AR-15s, AR-10s or the long range Precision Rifles. Ho hum. Now the market for any AR rifles has been dead for over a year and they are a glut on the market. If you ever wanted an AR-15 or AR-10 now is the time to buy. I have never seen them cheaper. And to the folks that call me and bitch that I shouldn’t call them AR-15s or AR-10s and heaven’s forbid never call them “assault rifles”. They scream that I should call them Modern Sporting Rifles. Give me a break. If they are so afraid that the Democrats will read this and realize I am willfully talking about those dreaded black rifles, and even worse I am calling them what they are, well you know what they can kiss.

As far as the long range Precision Rifles. I guess it is a good sport if you like that. No problem here. But the crowd I hang out with doesn’t brag about how far away the target was when they hit it. They brag about how close they were able to get to the critter before they took the shot. Handgun hunters are a different breed of cats. (I like to mention cats as it makes cat raiser Larry Fry have an orgasm). Anyway, the Precision Rifle crowd spends mega bucks to get set up for their sport. A very expensive rifle especially suited for the long range shooting. A very special scope that tells them how far the target is, what the weather is way out there, the current revolution of the earth pertaining to the gravitational pull, a trigger gauge to set the trigger pull at 1/64th of an ounce, a set of special glasses that enables them to see that target at 1.873 miles ( Clark Kent is the only other human being that had one of these), a special shooting jacket that straps one up so tight there is no way for them to even breath much less flinch. These jackets have been used in quite a few sanitariums to calm down Democrats after Trump won. Now in comparison most handgun hunters use a well worn Contender that they won at a VFW beer hall during a penny raffle, so they really didn’t have much in it. They have a barrel in an appropriate caliber, which means a barrel that their brother in law hocked to them to buy a six pack. But fear not they will get that little monster slayer humming after adding a used scope they bought at a yard sale at Scott Boggs house. They will be using a set of the old Lee dies using a ballpeen hammer and some KY Jelly as a lube to concoct their special load guaranteed to lay the biggest Cape Buffalo down with one shot, or maybe 2. So you see a handgun hunter doesn’t need all that special stuff. And in most cases he brings home the bacon or venison and does it year after year. Now the real killers are the guys (and ladies) that use revolvers. These super specimens of humanity are the real heroes. They take their trusty six shooter (the real supermen use a 5 shooter) out into the woods and in most cases bring back something that once resembled a Whitetail deer. Dragging it thru a couple miles of swamp will often tenderize the meat but doesn’t help the looks at all. But these super hunters do it with a revolver that might set them back $500 and do it year after year. No shooting jacket for these men and women. Their only fault is their camo. Now the camo companies come out with a new type of camo every year and Lord knows we wouldn’t be caught wearing last year’s camo. That would be so crude. We cover up head to toe with the newest camo. One company even has camo boots that have the soles camo too. Those whitetail deer are smart. They will spot the old non camo soles of our boots from a mile away. And that absolute necessity, breath spray. This special breath spray leaves your breath smelling like fresh poison ivy or in some areas poison oak. The real expensive stuff leaves your breath smelling like fresh squirrel droppings. Now that is the good stuff. It fools the wary whitetail every time. And don’t forget the special cough reducer. If you have a coughing spell you simply put this special plastic bag over your head (it’s camo too). You tighten the draw strings and the coughing subsides almost immediately. So you see, handgun hunters get their game for much less than these long range shooters and do it in style. Just talking about it brings a tear to my eye.

OK, where were we? Oh yes, the new guns. There are 12 new shotguns coming out this year. 8 of them are the “tactical” shotguns with the little shell canisters on each side of the frame that hold 3 boxes of shotgun shells on each side. The gun is called a bullpup shotgun, which usually means the ad material boasting the merits of these shotguns is mostly bull. But the “tacti-cool” dudes will have to have one of these. The other 4 are copies of the old H&R single shot shotguns designed in Taiwan by a blind guy at night. So we should see some breath-taking new specimens of shotgun power this year. Oh and speaking of the old single shot shotguns of yester year. I looked at some recently in a dealer magazine. Would you believe $450? When did this happen. What happened to the old $89.95 single shot shotgun? They snuck that one in on me. One of the new single shots is actually sort of a rifle and bow combined. It is the Traditions model 21. It is a Crackshot 22 caliber rifle that converts to a special sleeve that shoots 16” arrows using special 22 caliber blanks. That one ought to mess with the local game warden’s head.

Now the 66 new handguns. Pretty much everyone knows that Mossberg has a new handgun. Now I think that is great. For many years Mossberg has been the #1 seller of pump and semi auto shotguns. They even had a real classy Model 1500 bolt action rifle out for a while back in the late 70s. It was one of the nicest rifles around but folks weren’t used to seeing the Mossberg name on a bolt gun so it faded out fairly quick. Now this new handgun looks to be a good one. The only thing I don’t care for is the name. It is the MC1SC. Now why would a company give something a name they can’t pronounce? And this seems to be the thing these days. More and more handguns are named after an algebra formula these days. And Mossberg isn’t the only one. There is the Taurus TX22, the Stoeger STR-9, THE Glock 43x and 48, THE Remington RM380, the Kimber EVO-SP-CS, the ZEV O.Z.-9 and so on. Whatever happened to names like the Crusader, Puma, Combat Masterpiece, and of course the Colt snakes, the Anaconda , Python, Cobra, Cotton Headed Rattle mouth and so on. Names that meant something special. Like when you told your friend you had a Grizzly, you had his attention. Now you tell him you have VXR-27.5-R6Z. He steps back a couple of feet and tells you penicillin will cure that.

Then one of the 66 new handguns is one I am still wondering about. It is the VolleyFire from Standard Manufacturing. It is in 22 Magnum and has a cylinder holding 8 rounds of 22 magnum. You pull the trigger double action and 2 rounds fire from 2 side by side barrels. This is bound to be a “what in ‘ell is that” sort of gun. The super accurate barrels, by the way, are 1.25” long, so not quite a target pistol.

There are some new guns that I really like among the 66 guns. One is the new Glock 48. What a great feeling gun. And slim enough to hide under Hillary Clinton’s Muumuu, or is that Moomoo? Who cares. . Ruger continues to release new guns that have a reason for being. One is the new blued SP-101. I really like that. Their new 22/45 Lite in all kinds of colors is sure to interest young people and the lady shooters and that is always good. I didn’t care for their Security 9 at first due to being an old goat that remembers the fine Security 6 revolver. But after handling a few and shooting one or two, I can understand why it is selling so well. Ruger now has a special Custom Shop and we can expect lots of new very special guns to come out of it. Their newest is the new Super GP-100. It is a GP-100 on steroids. It is full custom from end to end. It is good to see Ruger coming out with new products, especially new ones from their custom shop.

Another one I like the feel of is the new Walther PPQ Q5, which is a steel frame 9mm. It is loaded with special features and just plain feels good in the hand. After years of nylon gripframes a smooth steel gripframe feels good again.

Taurus is bringing back the Raging Hunter. This is a two toned heavy ported barrel in 44 Magnum. With it’s stainless frame and satin black heavy barrel the gun looks like it is ready for anything. It is a good looking and feeling new revolver for the serious handgun hunter.

The Canik pistols continue to gain ground. They are a very well made TP9 Elite Combat pistol. It has a match grade barrel, special sights, fluted Nitride threaded barrel, special trigger and comes with 2 magazines and a holster. And it works every time too. What more could a shooter ask for? Check out the Canik TP9 Elite Combat sometime.

For several years we have been building custom Ruger #1 and Marlin 1895 and 336 rifles in special calibers and with an ebony finished stock. Some folks really like the black wood stocks, some don’t. Now it seems they will have some more to choose from. Marlin has introduced their Dark series. These are 336 and 1895 in 30-30 and 45-70 respectively. They have satin black finished action and barrel and black hardwood stock and forend. Amazing how a good idea gets around.

Our next hunt is our HHC, Handgun Hunter’s Challenge which is October3 thru 6 in Tennessee. We normally have 50 to 55 hunters there from all over the country and you are invited. Even though it is listed as a handgun hunt you can hunt with whatever you like. Join us for a good time. If you need more info, give me a call at 928-527-4100.

Our next Africa hunt is next May in South Africa as usual. We will have 12 hunters on this one as normal. I took a monster Cape Buffalo last year this time that ranks in the top 2 or 3 in the world. All that is left on my bucket list is an elephant with my handgun. Maybe next May? We shall see.

That’s going to do it for this time. The next time you go shooting, take a lady or youngster with you. They are our future. Til next time, God bless.