The absence of Gun Notes has been driving me batty. But I felt not having any
info was no excuse, so here is our April and May Gun notes. If things open up a
bit I may do another Notes at the end of this month.
This virus crap has driven me a bit batty. For one reason, and it is a selfish one. With thousands and thousands of people dead of this virus, I hate whining about a missed hunt, but I will do it anyway. Myself and 10 good friends were scheduled to leave on May 14th for Africa. A bit over a year ago (closer to 2 years) I was lucky enough to take what was the largest Cape Buffalos ever taken with a handgun. I think it is currently down to #2 or maybe even #3, but that is no big deal. The #1 taxidermist in Africa and maybe the world, Life Form Taxidermist, the folks that have done all my Africa mounts got this one too. Somehow my horns and hide turned up missing, apparently stolen. After a month of searching the huge warehouse they gave up and admitted the horns and hide were gone. But to make up for it they did the right thing, they gave me another Cape Buffalo hunt in May of 2020 (for those not near a calendar, that is this month). And of course, now with the virus crap hitting us, that hunt has been cancelled until hopefully next spring. It is going to be a long 10 to 11 months.
But my Cape Buffalo hunt cancellation is extremely minor compared to what much of the country, and the world for that matter, are going thru. Besides the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are out of work with no concrete date for them to look forward to in getting back to work. Thankfully Trump is doing his best to help with unemployment checks and help for small businesses. Even with all this help it will be months before this country can get back on it’s feet. Good friend John Abraham, our African PH and owner of Madubula Safaris is having it as bad if not worse. He has had to lay off his 28 employees and just recently had to sell his house. He also had to sell his fleet of Toyota Land Cruisers plus all his guns. The minister of travel in Africa has said there will be no hunting in Africa this year. This alone will put at least 75% of the PHs and outfitters out of business. So right now things are in limbo in South Africa just as they are in the states.
Most of the large firearm and ammunition manufacturers have shut their plants down. Some have one shift running to be able to get a few guns and some ammo out the door. Very few gun shops can order anything. We just have to wait until our distributors call and offer us a gun or two to help fill up showcases that are almost empty. Ammunition is iffy also with most gun shops being totally or nearly totally our of all centerfire ammo and much of the rimfire ammunition. We are a bit lucky. When all the upheaval started in 2016 over Trump’s election, I had a feeling things might get bad so we started storing ammo in the back of our gun shop, filling up 3 safes top to bottom. So when this mess started back in March we weren’t affected by it at first. We had probably 8000 rounds of 9mm and almost that much 40 and 45. Even limiting the ammo to one box per person it began to dwindle pretty quick. As of today we are OK, not great by any stretch but ok.
A couple of friends at firearm manufacturers have told me this is a time to do some heavy thinking, of what will sell and what won’t when the doors open again, hopefully soon. So the guns I will mention along with the new ammo is what was forecast to be big in 2020. Most was what was on display at the SHOT show 2 months ago before all this virus crap. I may have told you about some of this but maybe not as Gun Notes has been itself shut down for a while. So if I tell you about something I wrote about before, I apologize for that.
Some may know that Browning has brought back the old classic A-5. But it is in a totally different configuration. If you hunt with a shotgun, whether it be ducks and geese or turkeys, check out the new version of the Browning A-5. Browning’s top people made this promise, which I think is worth repeating..
“Come hell or high water, Browning promises this gun will work, period, for 100,000 rounds or 5 years without any failures”. How’s that for a warranty. And how many of us shoot 100,000 rounds in 5 years. Good friend Larry Farley shoots at least half that every 2 years, maybe even more. But not me.
Recently we received one of the new Ruger PC Chargers in 9mm. My guys went gaga over it. Great feeling “pistol?”. Not really sure what it is intended for but whatever it is, it will do a great job. Good heavy, solid feeling pistol. Put one of the Sig stocks on it and what a great home defense gun that would be, and a great price too, just a bit over $600.
The company HSM has been around for 50 years but many are not familiar with it. Great ammo. Their new hunting ammo is called Tipping Point. Not a real catchy name but when you build hunting ammo with the plastic tip most names are already used. HSM is also making some specialty handgun hunting ammo called Pro Pistol Hunter. It is chambered in 357 Mag up to 500 S&W in bullet weights from 158 to 400 grains. But if you see any of their HSM ammo in your local gun shop, check it out.
It was refreshing to me that besides HSM many ammo makers are finally making ammo especially for handgun hunters. Hornady, always at the front in special ammo now has their ammo marked simply Handgun Hunter. It comes in several popular calibers.
Black Hills continues with their Honey Badger line of ammo in 357 Magnum. Federal Fusion has a new 10mm line of ammo with it’s main item being a 200 grain bullet at over 1200 fps. For 10mm lovers that one should be a goo0d one.
A company called Fort Scott Munitions has a new cartridge out in 9mm that they call the 9mm TUI. It is intended to tumble upon impact giving a massive internal wound. I can’t recommend this for handgun hunting at all even though it was listed to me as handgun hunting ammo. We don’t need a “massive impact wound”. We need deep penetration and hard enough hitting to break down bones. Maybe the company that makes this are pushing it as only self defense ammo but even as such the tumbling upon impact doesn’t sound like a viable self defense ammo to me.
If you are looking for a better self defense ammo you have your choice of quite a few brands of new and different self defense ammo this year (that is if it gets made this year with all the shut downs). For example there is a new 10mm round from Inceptor Ammunition, a new Silent Strike ammo from Allegiance Ammunition, a new Golden Saber ammo from Remington that features a bonded bullet meant to drive deep before opening up. Norma ammo is also expanding their line up of ammo in the U.S. with a new line up of 9mm Ammo. Norma ammo has been around for many years and are know for pushing the barriers of powerful ammo.
Winchester is beefing up their Silvertip brand of handgun ammo in 7 calibers of ammo from 380 to 45 ACP. Winchester’s Silvertip ammo has always been some of the very best and this should be no exception.
I am going by my notes here so if I bounce back and forth between ammo to guns and back to ammo, hang in there with me. Recently we got one of the new EAA Girsan 9mm autos. Whenever we get a new gun just released my guys and I go thru it with a fine tooth comb, finding it’s good points and bad points if any. The new 9m is a super smooth feeling and shooting pistol and priced just a bit over $300. Quite often Colleen will bring a new pistol over to me at the machine shop and enlighten me with all it’s good features. It is sorta neat having a wife that knows more about guns than I do….sometimes. EAA also had a new 1911 Girsan labeled the MC1911. It is listed as a competition gun but has all the special features to make it a great self defense pistol.
A while back I nagged you about the Taurus G2C pistol in 9mm. It has turned out to be one of the best selling guns Taurus has ever put out. We had a call from a fellow in Phoenix recently asking if we had any G2C pistols. We had just received 4 of them in a couple of hours before his call. He bought one for his wife a while back from us on a trip up to Flagstaff. She liked it so much as did his 3 daughters that he needs 3 more. I told him I had them in stock (which was very unusual as we are simply not getting 4 guns at once these days). He said thanks, I will be there in 2 hours. When he got there he not only bought 3 of them but bought the 4th for his Mother. So he bought 4 of them wham bam. He said the gun shops in Phoenix (at least the couple that had any handguns) were selling the G2C for $599. Ours were $269. And we were out of guns again for the most part. Or at least down to only a handful in the showcase.
Three of the projected best selling guns of 2020 are the Colt Python, the Ruger 57 and the Ruger LCP 2. The Python suffered from reports of problems early on but most of these proved false. A small handful of new Pythons were recalled with a very minor snafu that was cleared up immediately. The little Ruger LCP 2 is for sure a best seller. They usually sell within an hour of hitting the showcase. The gun is also listed as the Lite Rack due to the slide been extremely easy to rack back. This makes it a favorite for the ladies. The new 57 speaks for itself. A best seller and one that has brought the 5.7 X 28 out of the basement gathering dust.
A gun I mentioned a while back as a new offering from Keltec is their P-17. This lightweight beauty is another that sells as quick as we can get one in, (which isn’t very often). The little pistol holds 17 rounds of 22 LR and only weights 14 ounces.
Another lightweight 22 LR is the Glock model 44. We have way more folks looking for this one that we can get the gun. Like all Glocks, this one is a real winner.
Not a lot new in long guns these days. CZ, who makes some of the finest 22 rifles ever made, now has a new series of over/under shotguns called the All Terrain Series. It has a green Ceracote finish on the metal and satin finish on the wood making it the perfect hunting over/under. Savage’s new Renegauge (that is the correct spelling) is doing well for them. It is a special semi auto with a lot of special features. Another soon to be popular semi auto shotgun is the Magic series from SARs. A really nice looking and feeling semi auto.
Weatherby has a new series of hunting rifles out called the Back Country. It has a new slim line muzzle brake along with a camo composite stock and a special adjustable trigger. It comes chambered in most of the Weatherby calibers.
Winchester has a new powder out called the Staball 6.5. I really hate it when a company puts a name or caliber in their name for a new product just to jack up sales. The 6.5 listed in the caliber is just to grab attention from the endless 6.5 shooters. Cheap way to garner new buyers to me.
To me, one of the finest names in firearms is the Rock Island. They have a whole new shotgun just released. It is the VR80 and at first glance appears to be just another AR-15. But the resemblance ends there. It is a semi auto 12 gauge shotgun, but without all the bulk of most of the other new AR looking semi auto shotguns. Most of the parts on it are compatible with many of the AR accessories on the market. This is a good one.
Recently we got in one of the Theureon Defense 10mm AR rifles. It looks much like any other AR-15 but is chambered in 10mm. It uses Glock readily available magazines and shoots like a champ. Something a bit different and a great deer caliber rifle plus home defense rifle.
There are a lot more to tell you about and hopefully some of these that are not available now will be by the time we get to the next issue of Gun notes.
If you have a chance to get out shooting, take a wife and youngster with you, even if you have to borrow a neighbot’s. They are our future.