Our most recent HHC (Handgun Hunter's Challenge) is now history and it was a great hunt. We had well over 40 hunters there and a lot of really nice game was taken. This was our 75th handgun hunt since 1987. This hunt was back in Tennessee at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge which is owned by Alan Wilson and family. They are great southern folks and treat us like kinds while we are there, plus the prices are great. Here are some of the animals taken..I don't have everyone's animals on my list as I didn't know some of the people and some left early before I could talk to them. But if I don't have your animal listed, I apologize.
Puffy..Jason Parr...a large hog with his 475 Linebaugh.
Nate Henning..2 hogs, one with his 7 GNR Contender and the other with his 401 GNR G-2.
Rob Soles...2 hogs..510 GNR
Mike Mendes...a Corsican ram
Doug Faith...a really big Nilgai with his 338 GNR encore and a hog with his 45 long colt custom Marlin
Larry Farley...a spike elk with his 310 GNR Encore and a hog with his 455 GNR revolver.
Lance Faler...a Water Buffalo
Anna Faler...a big hog with her 22 magnum
John Wu...a spike elk with a 308 rifle
Lilly Wu...a big Watusi bull with a 308 rifle
Palmer Triplett...Nilgai cow with his Savage 99 in 303.
Tracy Marshall...Fallow buck
Brian Tonnacliff...spike elk
Marc Tonnacliff...a hog
Dennis McCaughey...Yak
Jon Heffernan...a hog and a Sika doe
Blake Naugle..a hog with his Grizzly 45 Win Mag and a Sika doe
Dara Springer...a big hog with her 7 GNR Contender
Charlie Augustine...a nice strawberry Dall sheep with his 41 magnum S&W.
And I took a Watusi/Yak cross with my 41 GNR G-2  and a hog with my 429 GNR revolver.
Several others were there but I didn't see what they got. These included Russell Cottle, Scott Boggs, Bob Denning, Dan Shildhauer, and a whole group of people that came in a convoy from Arkansas. All in all it was a really good hunt. I didn't see any frowns and heard no discouraging words. Our next HHC will be in March, good Lord willing. I will post a date in a bit. I have to get with Alan and see what is available during March.
The hurricane in the northeast has caused a lot of problems. Several gun companies up there have reported damage and flooding. Henry Repeating Arms in New Jersey had quite a bit of flooding and has shut down. They hope to be up and running again by mid November. The huge storm has caused a lot of folks to re-think their disaster supplies also. A week or more of no electricity can wipe out whatever supplies and food you have in a freezer or refrigerator. Food in a refrigerator will begin to go bad after only 2 days max, and that is if you keep the door shut, which is pretty much impossible. Frozen foods will begin to go bad soon after, and again will only last that long if the door is kept closed. Those of you that have set back food and other perishables will need to take heed of this disaster and maybe re-think your list of supplies. maybe add a few more dry foods and canned goods. A good supply of clean water is also a must. Take what has happened to millions of folks up in the northeast and plan accordingly.
The election is now less than a week away and it is by far the most important election in our country's history. If Obama wins another 4 years our country will never be the same. If you haven't registered to vote, do so immediately and vote. Every freedom you hold dear will be lost if he gets re-elected.;
We had several children at the HHC and watching them take fairly large animals was a thrill. Lance Faler's daughter Anna is a tiny little thing, maybe 60 pounds. Tiny for her 10 years for sure, but she did very well on her hog. It is nice to see parents raising their children to hunt and use guns. This hunt was something they will remember the rest of their lives.
With the possibility of Obama winning re-election looming over this country more and more people are buying a firearm while they can with little or no hassle. Some guns are in short supply, especially some self defense handguns. I see Colleen looking up guns for folks every day over at our gun shop and in many of the instances I hear her tell them the gun is not in stock at any of our distributors. Remember gun shops have to buy thru distributors and if they don't have it in stock then we can't get it. If you want something special, or are looking for a new release you need to check on it as soon as you can. The distributors we work with, which are the 5 biggest in the country and the ones that are more apt to have the new and unusual and popular guns, but if they don't have it, then it may not be available for months. The shortages I have mentioned on here is not only in parts but in many of the new and popular guns. So if you are looking for a new gun, have a second choice in mind, just in case.  Remember too that the brand new releases are not always available as soon as they are announced by the company that makes them. Quite often they will announce a new gun and then sit back for a month or two and see if they get a lot of orders for it. If they do, then they go into full production on the gun. If they don't get much response to the gun, then they quietly forget it ever happened and never make more than a few for testing purposes. I can think of easily a dozen new guns that have been announced but never saw the light of day. It is disappointing but just good business. It makes no sense making a big run of a gun that there is no demand for.
Most people know that I don't really believe in much in the way of cleaning a gun. It really isn't necessary and when it is, keep it to a minimum. We get quite a few guns in damaged by folks constantly taking the gun apart doing their ritual cleaning. We got a rifle in a day or so ago that had 2 cleaning swabs and a cleaning brush stuck in the barrel. We got another in before this last hunt with 2 22 caliber bullets stuck in the barrel and half of a cleaning rod. It is not at all unusual to get rifles in with 3 or 4 cleaning patches stuck in the bore and often with half of a cleaning rod in there too. If you feel the need to clean your firearm, do so sparingly. It absolutely does NOT need to be cleaned after every shooting session. As John Taffin said once, “you don't change the oil in your car every time you drive it, so why clean your gun every time you shoot it”. That makes great sense to me. Keep the cleaning to a bare minimum and NEVER ever put any oils or liquids on or in any gun. Oil in a gun, especially in a barrel is the absolute worst thing you can do to any firearm. Kase got a Sig 1911 in a few days ago that wouldn't eject. He laid it on his bench while he got some ammo to test fire it and in just a couple of minutes it made a puddle of oil on his bench. For some strange reason the owner of the gun figured if it doesn't eject, just POUR more oil in there. Kase took the grips off and oil just poured out of the gun. The oil was in the chamber also and when the owner fired it, the oil cooked in the chamber, causing a baked on oil layer to be deposited in the chamber with every shot. To HELP this the owner just poured more oil in it. Absolutely insane. All oil does is attract dust, sand and grit along with unburned powder and burned powder residue which turns into a grinding compound and damages the gun. If the gun feels dry and gritty, wipe it down with a lightly oiled rag and then wipe it down again with a dry rag. If it is a semi auto, put some grease under the slide, just a couple of tiny bits of grease with a toothpick. That is all the gun ever needs. If it is a rifle, run a Bore Snake in the right caliber thru it. That is all that rifle needs too. Keep any cleaning to a bare minimum and your guns will live longer.
More and more new companies are introducing new AR-15s, in every shape and form possible. The market is already flooded with them so if you want one, now is the time to buy it. Mossberg announced their new MMR Hunter which is the Mossberg Modular Rifle. They have 3 full variations of the gun with a couple of other small variations besides. The base gun runs in the $650 range and at that price they will sell a lot of guns. If you are looking for an AR-15, with all the possibilities out there, my only recommendation is to pick up a factory made gun or one made by a reputable company that dies this for a living. Stay away from the gun your brother-in-law has built. I am sure he says he “knows everything about AR-15s there is to know” because he was in Iraq for 5 days. More and more people bring “home made” AR-15s into our shop for Kase to go through and try to fix and in probably 99% of the cases it was built by a friend or brother-in-law that knows everything. And in most of the cases either the wrong parts are put in there (because they are cheaper) or they were put in wrong. Bypass all the hassle. Pick up a name brand factory gun or if you have a few extra bucks, get a reputable custom gun company to build one with the features you want or need.
Years ago PMC brought out the Starfire line of ammunition and great ammo it was. They dropped the line for a couple of years but have now gone back to it due to the extreme demand for good self defense ammunition. If you have seen some of it on your dealer's shelves, give it a try. It is good ammo. Speaking of good ammo, Hornady has just released their Critical Duty Ammunition. It is extremely consistent and is the perfect ammunition for self defense. It was designed for defeating urban barriers, such as heavy clothing, plywood, sheet metal and even auto glass. They did their actual testing on heavy clothing, plywood, wallboard, sheet metal and glass and the round performed perfectly every time. The actual round right now is in 9mm, with a 135 grain grain Flexlock bullet. Other calibers should be available before too long.
I had a chance to try out the new Taurus Slim 9mm recently. It is a very well made semi auto in 9mm and actually is slim enough to put in a pocket and not be noticed. The gripframe is perfect for the person with smaller hands. It would suit a lady like it was made just for her.
Quite often when a new 22 rifle comes out it is loaded with plastics and this is not really a bad thing. After all Remington sold many millions of their Nylon 66 22 rifles. In fact it is in the top selling rifles of all time. But these days the plastics are sometimes a bit of an overload in some guns. Recently Rock Island Armory decided to build a semi auto rifle chambered in 22 LR that has no plastic in it at all. It is called the Mig 22. It is made from aircraft grade aluminum and billet machined steel and no plastics. Also no die cast aluminum parts, which to me is worse than plastics. It is a top of the line match grade 22 rifle. It has the looks and feel of a finely made semi auto. It reminds me in the feel and looks of the FN-FAL 308 match grade rifle of years ago. If you are looking for a really nice semi auto 22, check out the Mig 22 from Rock Island Armory.
Iver Johnson is getting into the 1911s in a big way. They introduced a couple of new models a while back and have now come out with their Thrasher, which is a 3¼” 45 ACP or 9mm and comes in either satin or high polished blue or stainless. They have several options but even the base model has pretty much every feature you would want on a fine 1911.
I have been working on my second handgun hunting book now for over 2 years and the printing company is telling me it will be finished by mid to late November. The book gets more into the cartridges than the first book. I had a few of the first book to have the pages come loose so this new book has the pages sewn in. The cover is laminated and the book is well over twice as big as the first one. This one is considerably nicer than the first book. The book is titled HUNTING HANDGUNS AND THEIR CARTRIDGES.  I also have about 50 of the first book, HANDGUN HUNTING AND HUNTING HANDGUNS left and once it is gone, it is gone. I don't plan a second printing. I was talking to John Taffin a while back when I sent him a pre production copy (John does the foreword in this book as he did in the first one) and told him I tried to include all the things I forgot to include in the first book. He said, “yep, and about 2 weeks after it is finished you will remember things that you wanted to put in the second book, so a 3rd book will be required”. I don't plan on a third book, but John is right (how does he do that?), and have started gathering up little tidbits that I didn't put in the second book. We'll see.
Hunting season is here in some parts of the country and just around the corner in the rest. get out and enjoy our freedoms. And take a youngster. You and they will never forget it.
Til next time, God bless.
Gary Reeder