With spring here in many parts of the country many of you will be hitting the fields for. Whether the varmint is prairie dogs, groundhogs, rock chucks, crows or rock squirrels, many will be using one of the various new AR-15s chambered in sundried varmint calibers. Only a couple of states have a problem with hunting with the semi autos and most of those states have a problem with any . If you plan to do some varmint hunting with the AR platforms, be sure and check with your state regulations and for sure check the magazine requirement as that changes from state to state also. Some states require 5 round magazines while others either have no requirement or go with 10 round mags. The AR-15 platforms have progressed so far these days that excellent accuracy out to fairly long range (400 to 500 yards) is possible with just about any brand. Of course the heavy barreled rifles always seem to perform a bit better at long range than the tapered barrels.
The long range rifles that are new on the market are not limited to the AR-15 platform as more and more companies are coming out with long range target rifles. Some larger calibers are becoming more and more popular in these long range rifles. Savage has a new rifle out called the 110 BA and is chambered in 338 Lapua. Colt has introduced a new long range rifle called the SP901 in 308 that is getting considerable attention. Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT) also has a new long range model out for the long range paper puncher. Remington has brought back their detachable magazine model 700 in several calibers and from the ads they seem to be aiming this one at the long range shooters also. For those that like the looks and feel of the older long range rifles, Navy Arms along with Gibbs Rifles has introduced the M1903-A4 . They released a few last year and plan on bringing out a lot more this year.
Winchester is finally listening to their customers and is bringing back the standard model 94 hunting rifle. They brought back a couple of commemorative model 94s over the last year or two that did so so. Now they are finally realizing that the public doesn’t want nor need another commemorative rifle so they are bringing back the old 30-30 model 94. Winchester is still saying their new 1886 Short Rifle is out in a 24” barreled version in 45-70, but I have yet to actually see one for sale thru any distributor. There is a lot of interest in this one so when it actually hits the dealer’s shelves it should do well.
Savage is coming out with a new model rifle just about every month. They have the new model 110 BA I mentioned above and they also have 2 more new series, the Lightweight Hunter in a short action and long action version. The rifle features a 20” barrel with fluted bolt. The new Lightweight Hunter weighs in at 5 1/2 pounds for the short action and 6 pounds for the long action. The short action is chambered in 223, 243, 7-08, 260, and 308. The long action version comes chambered in 270, 30-06 and 6.5X284 Norma.
When Smith & Wesson came out with their LCR polymer framed revolver, we knew that very soon half the revolver makers in the country would be doing the same. Well, Taurus has introduced their Protector Polymer series of revolvers in 38 Special +P and in . Both guns weigh a hair over 18 ounces and either one should be a handful when fired.
You Southern boys will be happy to know Moon Shine is back. But a bit different from that which is served in Mason jars. This Moon Shine is a brand of camo and hunting clothes especially for women. They have one line of camo clothes called Muddy Girl. I haven’t seen it yet but I plan on doing so soon.
We are having a large amount of people coming into our gun shop looking for the new small 380 autos. They are primarily interested in the new Walther, the new Ruger and the new Taurus. The Taurus seems to be selling the best right now and I attribute that to the fact that they throw in a small carrying pouch and an extra magazine. The S&W along with several others are lagging behind in sales, at least in our shop. That I believe is due to the much higher price, almost double what the Taurus and Ruger are selling for. The new series 800 Taurus is doing very well in 9mm, 40 caliber and 45 auto. It has a very good feel to it, a good solid feel and the customers seem to like that.
Surefire, the company that leads the way in super intensity flashlights, recently added suppressors to their line up. These are extremely high grade suppressors that have internals that are said to last 2 to 3 times longer than standard suppressor baffles. Now they have added extreme high capacity magazines for the AR-15 rifles. From the side they look like the standard 20 to 30 round mags, but on closer inspection they are twice as wide at the middle and lower end while having the standard width top end that goes in the mag well of the rifle. The magazines come in 60 round and 100 round capacities. If they are anything like the rest of Surefire’s products these should be great magazines for those that shoot a lot or those that shoot full auto rifles.
Rossi, one of the maker’s of the fine single shot rifles and shotguns has now added a single shot pistol to their line up. It is simply their single shot rifle withand shorter handgun length barrel. The barrel is 11 inches with an overall length of 20 inches. It comes in 22-250 and 243. For those wanting to get into without breaking the piggy bank, check out Rossi’s newest. It is called the Wizard.
When Marlin opens up their doors again in their new location they will have several new products available including a special match trigger bolt action in 17 caliber and 22 LR caliber. They are also introducing the first (that I can remember) youth model 30-30 in a lever gun. It is the 336Y and weighs just 6 pounds. Approximately 2 inches has been taken off the stock along with the weight reduction.
Winchester is getting into archery in a big way. They will be introducing several compound bows this year along with several models of crossbows. I will have more on that a bit later.
I have had several folks ask about some new powders on our forum (http://disc.yourwebapps.com/Indices/183178.html) so I guess I need to go over a few of them. Hodgdon is now known as “The Gunpowder People” as they now are the sole distributors of IMR powder, Winchester Powder and Hodgdon Powder. It makes good sense for one company to produce, distribute, promote and sell all the brands of powder. This eliminates the questions and confusion. Hodgdon has the new Leverevolution powders out. These were developed in conjunction with and is the powder Hornady uses in their new Leverevolution loadings. It gives much higher velocities in calibers like 30-30, 35 Remington, 308 Marlin Express, 338 Marlin Express and 25-35. It is not for all calibers but works great in the lever .
Another collaboration of Hodgdon and Hornady is the new Superformance powder. This powder is for higher velocity cartridges like 22-250, 243 and 300 SM.
IMR powders have been around for a long time and have also added some new powders this year. Their Super Short Cut powders are the standard long strand powders that are cut up into smaller bits. Not quite as short or small as ball powder but short enough to meter thru your powder measure better and to pack in denser for better and more consistent ignition.
A new powder for those that shoot in long range competition is IMR’s new 8208 XBR. Supposedly this is the powder used in our military’s sniper rounds and should do just as well for those shooting in national benchrest competition. It is especially designed for the AR type rifles.
Winchester has a new powder out too. It is the new Autocomp, a pistol powder designed for pistol competition and with race guns in mind. It is especially designed for 38 super, 9mm, 40 caliber and. It is a new ball powder which Winchester is well known for so it should burn clean and hot.
While we are on the subject of powders, remember this, Trail Boss powder is NOT for. Colleen was talking to Chris Hodgdon recently and he asked us to mention on here that you cannot use Trail Boss powder in a . It is NOT intended to be a . Got that?
Also Norma powders are back. Those of you older than dirt will remember the very fine powders made and sold by Norma. They were dropped in the late 70’s from importation but are back again.
Here is another no no. The new Taurus Circuit Judge revolver rifle is not legal in some states as a hunting gun, and is for sure illegal for migratory birds. So ixnay on the dove hunting with it and check your state laws before going out hunting with it for any game animal.
Thanks to John Taffin for his Big Bullet Baloney article in the May/June American Handgunner. It is an article on the foolishness of using those extra heavy bullets in your handguns. How they do you absolutely no good as far as speed, penetration and range and will do harm to your revolver. Thanks for that John.
Kase has introduced his new AR-X rifle. An AR-15 type rifle in name only. It is by far one of the most unusual ARs around. Built from the ground up by Kase, he premiered it this past week on our forum and it should be on the web site by the time you read this. It will also be in one of the gun magazines in a couple of weeks. If your fancy turns to the AR style rifles, check out Kase’s new AR-X.
Colt is bringing back the New Frontier revolver chambered in 357 magnum, 44 special and 45 long colt. About time.
Most of you know by now that Ruger is bringing out their own 1911 45 auto. The SR1911. It sure looks good and with a suggested retail of under $800 it should sell very well. There are now almost 40 new 1911 models being released this year, the 100th anniversary of the 1911 45 auto. And to think,wasn’t totally satisfied with the 1911. He later designed the P-35 as an improvement over the 1911. The P-35 is better known as the Browning Hi Power. Whether it is an improvement over the 1911 is up to the individual but for sure the 1911 and the Hi Power have to be 2 of the most dependable and most sought after handguns of our time.
In this next month good Lord willing, I will be setting the October date for our next HHC. I am talking with Alan Wilson fairly regular on ways to make these hunts more fun and exciting for us all. Stay tuned.
There are a lot more new goodies coming out and I will get to them next time. Until then, take a youngster or a lady shooting. They are our future.