Welcome to the Dog Days of summer. Those of you in the North (Nawth to us southerners) may not be familiar with this term. If is slang for the hottest days of summer, days when you donít feel like doing much of anything. Days when even the family dog very rarely moves, and then only to keep up with whatever shade is available. This is also the Dog Days of the gun industry. Families are gone on vacation, itís too hot to go to the range, no hunting seasons, except for some varmint hunting, and there is just simply no reason to get excited over any new guns or accessories. In fact several gun companies take the whole month of July or August off. But September will be a whole new ballgame.
In a bit over a month we will be inundated with new products for the upcoming hunting season. There will be many new (and some not as new) guns and lots of accessories. Even though probably 80% of the new accessories will be as useful as tits on a chicken, we will hear and read about them up thru Christmas.  The seemingly never ending list of companies that are or will be building 1911s for their 100th year anniversary grows bigger every day.  We wonít go into them as I have pretty much covered that topic. Suffice to say that any gun company that has access to a CNC machine is cranking them out.
A while back I mentioned that it seemed the rifle companies were aiming (no pun intended) at the ďsniperĒ market (if there is such a market). That market seems to be made up of the younger shooters who like to shoot at targets at long ranges. The company ads feature slogans like ďOne shot, one killĒ, and ďA head shot at 500 yards every shotĒ and ď700 yards is no longer out of rangeĒ. And the sniper wannabes are eating it up. I get calls every week (actually Kase does) asking if we can build a 338 Lapua  or 408 Chey Tac and guarantee M.O.A. at 1000 yards. I have absolutely no problem with the long range shooters as there is room for all types of shooting in this country of ours. It is just amazing how our types of shooting games change and run in cycles. In one part of the country they are still going to the old turkey shoots with their full choke shotguns. In another the combat shoots (now called action shoots, Lord knows we canít mention Combat) are still the rage. The cowboy shoots, even though they seem to be fading out, are putting some new excitement in the game by making it the ďWild BunchĒ shoots, shooting the guns included in the Wild Bunch movie, I.E. 1911s, Winchester model 12s, bolt action 30-06s and such. Skeet & trap are still strong as is sporting clays, especially in the south. Silhouette matches arenít as plentiful as they used to be but are still out there in smaller numbers. Varmint hunting contests are still strong but under fire from PETA and the other bunny hugger groups. Rifle and pistol target matches are still doing well, if not quite as abundant as they used to be. So, with all these shooting sports going on every weekend or two in this country there is bound to be something going on near you. Except maybe during Dog Days.
Our new forum is in full swing. We still have a few bugs to iron out but it is becoming easier and easier the more we use it. For those not familiar with our forum, on the opening page of this web site, in the lower left hand of the opening page you will find Ask Reeder Custom Guns. That is our forum. It is different from most forums in that there is no qualifying, no registration, no moderators, just a bunch of Misfits that love handguns and shootings. If you go to the forum for the first time and see Log In up at the top, ignore this as there is no logging in. That is just to keep you on your toes. Join me and some of the finest handgun hunters and shooters in the country.
If you have young shooters in your family ages 4 to 21, check out www.juniorshooters.net. It is a club just for the young shooters and features every kind of shooting. They have an internet site and a print magazine. Check it out or let your kids check it out. They are our future.
Our HHC (Handgun Hunterís Challenge) is now 2 months away and there are still openings for the hunt. The lodge holds 50 hunters and we have 34 hunters right now. If you want to join us the hunt is scheduled for September 29 thru Oct 2 in Monterey Tennessee. The lodge is the Wilderness Hunting Lodge and you can check it out at www.wildernesshuntinglodge.com.  They hunt over many many thousands of acres for just about every type of game from exotic deer and sheep to elk, to bison and water buffalo to wild boar. The prices are about 1/3 of what other ranches charge and the prices you see on their web site are the total price, including the hunt, the animal, the guides, and your food and lodging. It is a great deal and some of the finest handgun hunters will be there. join us. Call Sherry at 931-839-2091 and put down your $250 deposit today. If you do, let me know so I can add you to the list of hunters going.
Not much in the way of new calibers from the big manufacturers these days. The economy is the culprit for that as it simply costs too much to tool up for a run of new cartridges that may well not sell. In the last 2 years over 50% of the new cartridges have not been good sellers, and over the last 10 years the total is 65% of the new cartridges have either failed or have very limited sales. One thing that I see coming is several companies are promoting the 223 as a hunting cartridge for deer. This is mainly due to all the companies promoting hunting with the AR-15 and it clones. Most of these are chambered in 223 so it is only natural that they now want to make the 223 legal for deer size game. In most states the 243 has been for many years the smallest caliber legal for deer. I personally would not want to change that. If we did I think the amount of wounded deer would multiply significantly. There would be hunters using the military FMJ ammo which is like an ice pick, making a terrible wound but not a mortal one. Personally I think we should stay with the 243 as minimum for deer.
On a similar topic, several 22 LR rimfire makers are promoting their ammo as more than adequate for varmints out to 200 yards or better. That is total BS. Donít fall for that. I have shot groundhogs with the 22 Hornet and 218 Bee at 200 yards and in almost every case they got to their holes wounded. For that reason I dropped both those cartridges as long range varmint calibers. And the 22 LR is nowhere near as powerful. It is just a sales gimmick. Donít drink the Kool Aid.
Browning has added a couple more lines of left handed rifles for you southpaws. They are the X-Bolt Hunter, X-Bolt Medallion, and X-Bolt Micro Hunter. No matter what you hunt there is a rifle for your needs. Rossi rifles has introduced a new John Wayne big loop on their lever action handgun. The gun is simply a legal short rifle chambered in 45 long colt. It is called the Ranch Hand and joins 3 or 4 others in the Mareís Laig tradition.
Alliant has a new powder out made especially for the AR-15 and itís clones. It is called AR-Comp and is excellent for all semi auto rifles. On the ammunition subject, most hunters know that a 20 gauge sabot slug holding a 45 caliber pistol bullet is more efficient ballistically than a 12 gauge slug. The problem has been that a lot of 20 gauge shotguns are built on smaller frames and the recoil is a real thumper. A company called Lightfield  has introduced the Hybrid Mag 20 slug which is said to be extremely accurate without knocking the filling out of your teeth. Also for those of you that have some of the older revolvers and have had a hard time finding ammo for them, especially in calibers 38 S&W short and 32 S&W long, Fiocchi is coming out with these calibers along with the normal 38 special, 357 magnum, 44-40, 44 special, and 45 long colt in their cowboy ammunition line up. The 38 S&W Short and 32 S&W Long ammo is loaded to the specs they had a hundred years ago for the older more fragile revolvers. They plan to bring out even more of the older calibers within 6 months or so.
Mossberg has something new for you varmint hunters. It is their new MVP, Mossberg Varmint Predator. This is a very special rifle that has a very special bolt and action that allows you to use the AR-15 style magazines. n The first caliber is (naturally) the 223 and a second caliber is soon to some. The rifle comes with a factory installed 10 round magazine.  Another version will come as the rifle, a 4X16X50mm scope, bi-pod and magazine. The package set up looks very professional and neat. It should be a good seller for Mossberg. EAA is bringing the Baikal over/under rifle shotgun combo back. They had it out a few years ago but sales were slim at best. They have improved the design and is is back in 12/223, 12/308, 12/30-06, and also now available in a shotgun/rimfire mode in 410/22 LR, and 410/22 mag,
We mentioned a while back that the selling word these days is Tactical. Every military style rifle, scope, ammo, or accessories are featured as being the best tactical product in itís class. Well, not to be undone, or under-done, a company called Tru Spec now has tactical underwear for you guys that canít be out-done. Donít leave home without it.
Since the last Gun Notes, we have introduced a couple of new series of custom guns,  Three of the new series are made on our own stretch frame revolver. We had another couple hundred of our stretch frames cast and sent to us and the first series we made on them is our Professional Hunter. This is a re-issue of the original Professional Hunter and can be in any caliber you like up to 500 S&W. The gun features our own extra beefy large stretch frame, a longer heavier stronger 5 shot cylinder in the larger calibers, a beefy 6 shot cylinder is available in the smaller calibers like 375 GNR among others. The gun comes with a longer heavier barrel, our own gripframe that has the length of the Bisley gripframe but has almost 1/2Ē more space between the back of the trigger guard and the front of the gripframe to eliminate knuckle bashing. The new Professional Hunter lets you pick the serial number and one option is the Magnum 5 porting if you desire it. The new Professional Hunter is $2495 made as you want it. The porting is $200 extra.
The second and third  in this series is our T. Rex and the Grim Reaper. We built 100 of our BMFs a couple of years back and that series was advertised as a limited issue of 100 guns. That 100 is long gone and there will be no more, but the new T.Rex and the new Grim Reaper will take itís place. There will be 100 of each of these made, and like the Professional Hunter they are built on our own large stretch frame and in calibers up to 500 S&W. Like the Professional Hunter, this is a big beefy super strong revolver, built the way you want it. You pick the caliber, the barrel length, the grips and the serial number. Like the Professional Hunter these two guns are priced at $2495 with the porting an additional $200. These 3 series will take any game on this planet with ease and are the ultimate in a hunting handgun.
The 4th new series is a beauty that is dear to my heart and one I planned on building for years but never got around to it. It is our new Flattop Target. This beauty is built on your base Ruger which can be the new model or the old model and as always the caliber or condition of your current base gun does not matter. The new Flattop target features a new barrel and cylinder in the caliber of your choice, the barrel length of your choice and the grips of your choice. The gun has a striking color case finish on the frame and hammer and our own deluxe Black Chromex on the rest of the gun. The new Flattop Target is priced at $1595 on your base gun. All 4 of these new guns can be seen in color here on this site.
As you read this Sean Harper is working on the ballistic and loading data for several of our new calibers. He is working on the 366 GNR, and the 416 GNR#2. The new 277 GNR is coming soon too. The dies are promised within a week to 10 days for both these cartridges which will make them both available for this coming hunting season. I plan to have a barrel in the 366 GNR and a new Grim Reaper in 416 GNR#2 available at the October HHC for anyone that wants to shoot them or hunt with them.
The Dog Days of summer are here, but hunting season is just around the corner so get ready. And take a youngster shooting. They are our future.
God bless,