Summertime, and the livin’ is BREEZY!. We have had 40 to 55 MPH winds here day and night for a month now and no end in sight. I am sure thankful there have been no forest fires in this area as there would be nothing stopping them. It would be worse than the Wallow fire that is still burning over in north-east Arizona.  Our Monsoon season starts in a week or so, usually July 4th, and if that comes in as normal, we will have rain every afternoon about 3PM for a couple of hours. It normally rains a couple of inches just about every afternoon. This will at least slow down the forest fire danger. It will also fill up all the ponds, lakes and tanks and everything will turn green again....hopefully. With the weather so weird this year we can only hope for “normal”.
With the fire danger the national forest is closed to all shooting so other than the many hundreds of rounds of test firing we do each week there hasn’t been any recreational shooting. The California liberals have pretty much shut down our prairie dog season so the best we can look forward to is October and squirrel season. We have huge squirrels here, the size of house cats, big house cats. I always look forward to that season. I have several 22 magnum rifles and handguns and they get a work out every year during squirrel season. The size of the squirrels here plus the fact that they go to the very top of the tall Ponderosa pines pretty much require the 22 magnum over the 22 LR. Or at least that is my excuse.
This time of year is a slow time for gun companies. They normally don’t announce much in the way of new products this time of year but there are some exceptions. Ruger always seems to break all the rules, at least since the new owners took over a few years back. Several new guns and accessories have cropped up in this last month. They announced a new version of their military style rifle, the SR-556. The new version is the SR-556E and is a lower priced more economical version. With most of the standard features of the higher priced SR-556, the new SR-556E should be a good seller in today’s economy.
Another new product from Ruger is their new 10 shot 22 LR revolver. They have taken the ever popular Single Six and converted it to the new Single Ten. It comes in stainless with a 5 1/2” barrel and 10 shot cylinder. This should interest the small game hunters especially.  Just before that they released the new 77/357, a new lightweight bolt action rifle chambered in 357 magnum. It uses their very well designed rotary magazine they have used in several of their firearms for years. The magazine holds 5 rounds. I am not exactly sure where this rifle fits in in the hunting field but should be great on smaller game like coyotes, foxes and small bodied deer.
In the accessory line up they have released a new 25 round magazine  for the 10-22 rifle. The Ruger 10-22 is the worlds most popular and best selling rimfire rifle and for the plinker and target shooter this should be extremely popular. This magazine fits all the Ruger 10-22 rifles along with the Charger pistol, the pistol version of the 10-22 rifle.
For a couple of years now the handgun field has been filled with more and more small concealable pocket pistols for concealed carry. Now it seems the shotgun and rifle field is trying to compete. Not compete as far as a concealable pocket gun is concerned but competing for the publicity the small guns are getting. Browning is out with a new Micro Midas in their over/under Citori line up. It comes in 12 or 20 gauge and weighs a hair over 6 pounds. The stock is cut shorter at 13” with a thick recoil pad added. This should interest those smaller in stature and women hunters in general.
Browning also has a Micro Midas rifle out, with a 20” barrel, lighter weight stock with nice recoil pad. Again this should appeal to a lot of hunters.
If you noticed, the various rifle makers are easing the barrel lengths back a bit more each year. With our finer grained powders and normal long strand powder cut to smaller pieces the powder burns much better in shorter barrels. In other than a very few large powder capacity cartridges, 20” will burn all the powder in today’s hunting rifles. When we brought out our line of Ultimate Encore barrels in rifle calibers we did some stringent testing and found that in almost every case, 94 to 60% of the powder would burn in 18 to 19” barrels. Even in calibers like 300 Win Magnum and 7mm Remington magnum, we were getting 98% powder burn in 19 to 20” barrels. So if you have been thinking of chopping off the barrel on that rifle of yours but are worrying about losing power, it’s not going to happen. You will lose very little if any power by cutting that barrel to 20” or so and make it considerably easier to pack and to hunt with in dense woods.
The guns of the year should be announced in a few months and I will give you a look at the nominees. For handgun of the year, here are your choices...
Kimber Super Carry Pro
Ruger LC9
Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380
Rifle of the year nominees
Kimber Model 84L Classic Select in 30-06
Remington 700 SPS Tactical
Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle
Savage Arms AXIS Rifle
Shotgun of the year nominees
Benelli USA Super Vinci 12 gauge
Mossberg 500 Pump with LPA Trigger system
Remington Versa Max
There you go, make your choice and see how you made out when the #1 picks are announced in each category.
After Seal Team Six took out Bin Laden, you can expect there to be Seal Team Six guns, clothing, tactical gear, boots and probably Seal Team Six underwear. Whatever they used, carried, had with them, used or didn’t use in taking down Bin Laden’s home will be available for you to wear or use also. You heard it here first.
Speaking of tactical gear, everybody is getting into the game. Who would have thought Weatherby would come out with a tactical, digital camo pump shotgun. It is called the PA-459 TR (for Tactical Response) I guess we are not supposed to call it just tactical anymore. That is like the term “assault”. Nope, can’t use that term anymore, might offend someone or hurt someone’s feelings. So, from now on, don’t be caught using that bad work “tactical”. From now on it needs to be a softer more appealing word or words, like Tactical Response. Now, doesn’t that sound like a more gentle kinder choice of words. Just makes you all warm and fuzzy all over, doesn’t it.
We have a couple of new hunts that might interest you. Our next HHC (Handgun Hunter’s Challenge) is scheduled for September 29 thru October 2nd. It will be at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge in Monterey Tennessee Our October hunts is always a very special hunt and this year promises to be just as good. We have room for 50 hunters and in the 2 weeks since I announced it, we have 32 hunters signed up. The prices on this hunt are fantastic. You pay nothing for your lodging, food,  or guide. If the price sheet says $695 for a hog hunt, that is all you pay, no hidden fees and they take really good care of you. Many many thousands of acres of Tennessee foothills to hunt on and loaded with game from African game like Zebra and Eland, to typical American game like bull Elk Javelina, and Bison, to European game like Red Stag, Muntjac, Nilgai, Yak, Water Buffalo, and Aoudad, to the exotic game including all the exotic deer, like Sika, Fallow and Axis, to the exotic sheep including Corsican, Barbado, Black Hawaiian , and Mouflon, plus Dall Sheep, Spanish Goats, 4 horned sheep, and much more, and of course wild boar. If you are interested call Sherry or Alan Wilson at 931-839-2091 and put down your $250 deposit. If you don’t get thru, try again later as they are way out in the boonies and phone reception is somewhat iffy. Join us. I guarantee you will enjoy it.
Another hunt we have scheduled is an African Hunt in South Africa in March 2013. It is scheduled for the first week of March, the 2nd thru the 9th. Call or e-mail me for more info on that. The camp holds 10 hunters and 3 or 4 have already signed up.
It may be the Dog Days of summer, but get out shooting if you get a chance. And take a youngster with you. They are our future. Til next time,

God bless.

Gary Reeder