February is already gone and March is looking us right in the eye. This first 2 months has gone extremely fast. We have been very busy both at the gun shop and in the machine shops. I had hoped we would be at least a little busy these first couple of months of the new year but the actual orders and walk in traffic have amazed me. Quite often if Colleen and her help are swamped at the gun shop, I will be asked to come over and lend a hand. Today I was over there almost the entire day.We have had a large amount of out of state folks stop by since Christmas asking about the new guns and wanting to look at them and hold them. I have taken several of them back over to the 1st machine shop and let them shoot one or two of the guns in the showcase.
Quite often when a customer asks about the bigger calibers, like 475 Linebaugh, 500 GNR, 500 Linebaugh or 510 GNR, I can tell they have listened to the wrong people and are already very hesitant about owning something this big. In cases like this I ask them if they want to shoot one and the answer I get is often surprising. They want to shoot the gun but have heard all the horror stories of the round breaking wrists and hitting them in the nose. I usually put a light load or at best a medium load in the gun and let them test drive it. Even if I donít get an order out of it, at least I have taken that fear of this monster cartridge out of their minds.
This last couple of weeks has been just like this several times a day. We have had a large amount of folks in from out of state who just want to see and hold the guns but if they like they are also welcome to shoot them. My 510 Hunter has been a busy revolver since Christmas. The 41 GNR, 257 Raptor, 378 GNR and 338 GNR have also been popular cartridges the people have asked about and in most cases have had a chance to shoot. Quite a few of them have picked up a copy of our new 2nd edition reloading manual while they were here. For those that havenít heard, our new reloading manual is out and has been a very popular book since we released it last week. We have sold well over a hundred of them in the last week and more orders are coming in each day.
The new reloading manual is our 2nd edition of the manual. The first featured loading data on 23 proprietary cartridges. The new one has data on 45 proprietary calibers from 224 GNR up to our 610 GNR. There are twice as many pictures in this new manual and is twice as thick. The new reloading manual is bright red so you donít lose it on your reloading bench and is priced right at $20 delivered. Either e-mail or call us at 928-527-4100 to order yours.
Our next HHC, Handgun Hunterís Challenge is a week away. Kase and I will be driving and will be leaving here late evening next Tuesday. For us it is a 1700 mile drive and we space it over a day and a half. We have about 26 to 28 hunters scheduled for this hunt and several more say they will show up at the last minute. This is fine too. At this stage of the game, if you can make the hunt, by all means do so. Just show up at the lodge Thursday afternoon. There will be plenty of room for you. The lodge holds nearly 50 hunters and there is an extra lodge for another 22 hunters if we should fill up the other two. So join us if you can. I guarantee you will enjoy it. The prices are about one third of what the other preserves charge plus there are no hidden fees. Your lodging and food, plus your guide fee are included in the price of the animal hunted. And this hunt is no gimme. There have been a couple of hunters on these hunts that did not get anything. That is very unusual but it does happen. But if you donít get a critter you only pay a small lodging fee. But the animals are very plentiful and trophy sized to boot. Many are gold medal animals. Join us if you can. If you have any questions about this hunt, call me at 928-526-3313.
Letís see, what news do I have for you? You remember Charles Daly firearms? They went under a few years back. The original company started under Charles Daly about 100 years ago. After his death the company continued under several other owners and became a brand that several distributors handled. The guns were actually manufactured by several makers but sold under the Charles Daly name. A couple of years back the company that handled the Charles Daly line went under. Now they are back under the distributorship of the same person that had it before, Michael Kassnar, but with more financial backing. The Charles Daly line up includes six modern sporting rifles, three models of shotguns and several handgun models and more to be added later.
Iver Johnson firearms is back. This company has been around for well over a hundred years with various owners and distributors. They are now back under new owners and the first two guns they are releasing are 2 models of the 1911. I will give you more of a report on them as soon as I get a chance to shoot them. A while back I told you about the American Tactical Industries (ATI) 1911s. They are now the best selling 1911s we have ever stocked. One of their models is a plain Jane 1911 and is priced under $400. This one is perfect for customizing however you like or leaving as is. The second model has just about every bell and whistle you could ever ask for and is priced right at $450. The third model is the Commander model, also with all the bells and whistles and again it is priced at $450. These guns are extremely well made and super smooth. The triggers are smooth and crisp at about 4 pounds. The sights are of the Novak style and perfect for the 1911. I have shot perhaps 10 of these guns of all 3 models and each one was very accurate, averaging 1 1/2Ē to 2Ē groups at 25. If you are thinking of picking up a good 1911 but donít have the scratch for a top end pistol, check out the American Tactical 1911s. You wonít be disappointed.
I think 2012 will be a year of the new and innovative companies kicking the old companiesí butts. Remington and Winchester guns are sitting on the shelves doing nothing. But they very seldom are priced under $850 to $900. It is as if they donít know we are in a money crunch. I was very pleased to see the new Ruger American announced a couple of weeks ago and already out in limited numbers. This is a nylon stocked rifles that should sell for a bit under $400, with a suggested retail of $450. It does not have all the fancy frills and expensive walnut stock. What it is, is dependable and accurate and does not break the piggy bank.  Ruger will sell a lot of these guns while their competitionís guns will sit stagnant on the dealers shelves. Another gun that I have mentioned here before is the Savage Axis. This rifle with scope mounted on it and in a magnum caliber sells for under $450. The standard model with no scope is under $300. Both these guns have Savageís lifetime warranty, fully adjustable trigger, nylon stock and detachable magazine. We sell them as quick as we can get them in.
Hornady is expanding their reloading line up. Lots of new gear for the new year. They have added a new sonic brass cleaner, several new features on their excellent Lock N Load reloading press, a new Lock N Load Quick Trickle powder trickler, plus lots of new ammo. Some of the ammo includes their new 17 Hornet, which will be a fun varmint round. They also have a new 9mm Flexlock ad a 40 S&W Flexlock, which is the soft rubber tipped bullet. Their Zombie Max ammo has done extremely well for them. We canít keep it in stock. And excellent ammunition it is too, but remember, only use it on Zombies. Speaking of Zombies, everybody has Zombie targets out, but when the zombie apocalypse hits, what about the animals? Champion targets had new Zombie animal targets out. They include a zombie squirrel with his nuts rotting off, a zombie rabbit with his ears and face rotting off and a zombie prairie dog with everything falling off. Some of the zombie targets on the market ooze a sickly green slime when hit. Sounds appealing doesnít it?
Taurus has a new mini revolver out that shoots the 380 auto cartridge using moon clips. The cylinder on this little mini is about half the length of the 38 special cylinder. It has a bobbed hammer and a barrel a bit under 2Ē long and weighs a tad under 1 pound. Not really sure what niche this little revolver fits into but knowing Taurus, they will find a niche or if necessary they will invent one. Taurusí new re-designed 22 and 25 caliber pistols are out and selling very well. They are the old PT-22 and PT-25, the little flip up barrel pistols. They have completely re-designed the little guns and they are now more comfortable in the hand, whereas before only a 97 pound blue haired old lady could hold one of them. The trigger guard is larger now and it has a polymer frame. The topstrap has sort of a fish scale pattern for those rare times when you need to work the slide. The gun weighs a hair over 10 ounces and makes for a perfect last ditch defense pistol. Taurusí little TCP 380 pistol is doing very well against a lot of competition. They have a couple of models, one with an extra magazine and a pouch/holster thrown in. The other model does not have the extra magazine or the pouch and we sell these for just a bit over $200 at our gun shop. These little pistols are as close to perfect as a semi auto can be.
Those of you that remember the old Webley revolvers and who liked the looks and feel of these old clunkers will be happy to know a company called Victory Firearms is supposedly bringing the Webley back. I got a picture of the new model recently. I thought the original was very ugly and the new model ranks right up there with a mustache on a fat girl.
CCI has joined a couple of other companies that have released a new quiet 22 LR ammunition. This one is called the Quiet 22. It is 1/4th the noise level of standard 22 LR ammunition and good to keep the stray cats out of your yard. They are promoting it as safe to shoot without hearing protection. Speaking of hearing protection, a company called Just Plugs has new ear protection that looks like spent shotgun shells that are inserted into your ears. The part that goes into your ears is a soft rubber plug, but from the front or side it looks like you have shoved 2 shotgun shells into your ears. They also make plugs that look like 308 and 30-06 cases sticking in your ears. These also have the soft rubber plugs that are not seen. Just another goofy gimmick that probably works.
We have had several folks come into our gun shop and ask why we donít carry the Rhino revolver from Chiappa. I have mentioned this before but will do so again. Chiappa puts a chip in all their firearms that they say will help it to be found in case it is stolen. I figure if the gun can be found by police  then it can be found by our government. I donít trust our government at all when it comes to our guns. The less they know about the guns we own the better off we are. So no Chiappa firearms in my shop. Nuff said.
More and more states are introducing legislation to allow suppressors (silencers) on your firearm while hunting. Arizona has it on the books to be voted on later this year. Personally I think this is a good idea.  Texas and several other southern and western states have it up for voting sometime this year.
Kaseís new Equalizer knife is doing well with several orders coming in over the last week or so. It is a combat dagger style knife. Very strong and very sharp. It comes in a black leather sheath and sells for $300, which is a very good price for a full custom combat knife. It has a two sided blade with brass hilt and black Micarta handles. It is a very well made knife, not some of those flimsy ďcombatĒ knives you see advertised. This one will last a lifetime. 
With our hunt coming up in about a week, I have been going thru my safe trying to figure out what gun and ammunition to use. If there are still any bull elk in the herd that have their horns that may be an option. Kase took his big bull elk last year with his 378 GNR. I am thinking possibly a 41 GNR#2 revolver, maybe. Alan also has a big bunch of those big ugly bearded hogs there. Those are very unusual and big critters too. That is another possibility. For them, the new 401 GNR should work. Or maybe some big regular wild hogs and again the new 401 GNR. One of my main guys, Nate Henning, will be going to the HHC again and Nate has been working with his 401 GNR G-2 barrel. He is also thinking of a big hog with it. I really enjoy hunting big buffalo of various breeds and that is an option again too. Probably with the 41 GNR as always. Kase has always had a soft spot for big wild sheep and Alan has some big boys with 30Ē horns. Kase may have to check them out. His choice of firearms is usually the 445 SuperMag Dan Wesson that he has hunted all over the world with, or his 378 GNR that has taken more critters for him than any other caliber. There are a lot of other choices and I never really know until I get there what I will be hunting. Grab a buddy and join us.
Until next time, take a wife or youngster shooting. They are our future.
God bless,