Gary's Gun Notes #15
On the eve of another African hunt (almost) there are still at least 50 things I have to do to be fully ready. As normal I will maybe get half of them done. Larry Kovach and I had a chance to get out and do a bit of shooting recently with the guns that we both plan to take to Africa. I had my 510 Hunter prototype with me to sight in for the hunt. Larry asked if he could try it out. I had eleven rounds left in the box and told him to shoot them all. He shoots prone and from that position he shot all 11 round at the target a measured 100 yards away. We walked down to check the target and all 11 rounds were in a 4 inch circle and only about 2 inches low. I had already been extremely satisfied with the accuracy of this new cartridge, the 510 GNR, but now I was more than pleased as it appears to be as accurate at long range as it is up close. The cartridge shoots a 350 grain LBT bullet from Kelly Brost's Cast Performance Bullets and when you figure the energy and other ballistics it will equal the 500 Linebaugh to within a couple footpounds of energy with about half the recoil. Larry will do a full ballistics test on it when we get back as he does all my ballistics testing. He asked me if I planned to take it to Africa on our hunt. I told him yes and he immediately told me I was wrong, that he was going to take it on the hunt. Now I am about halfway finished with another 510 Hunter for me to use.
I am extremely happy to be going with these 5 hunters on an African hunt. Not only because all 5 of them will be using several of our GNR cartridges but because all 5 of them are totally warped and each man fits so well in the group. Not a sane person in sight.
I also had a chance to try out the new Thompson Center G-2 that I had received a couple weeks ago. The blue frames, just like the blue Encores, come with wooden grips and forend. That, to me, is it's only drawback. The nylon grips like the stainless Encore has would be much better with heavy recoiling cartridges. The new G-2 will take all the standard Contender barrels. I fitted my G-2 with an 8 inch scoped 41 GNR barrel. That particular barrel has taken literally hundreds of big game in it's lifespan and is headed back to Africa yet again.
For those you distressed with paying an arm and a leg for the 500 Linebaugh brass, take note of this. Hornady will be making the brass very soon along with the 500 Maximum brass. I am still hearing rumors that someone will be making 500 Linebaugh ammo very soon but can't yet name names.
Larry Kovach, our ballistician, and Brian Doher, another good friend, will both be going to Africa with me and will be setting up 2 custom reloading shops very soon. Both will be loading all the GNR cartridges along with hard-to-find cartridges. I will have more on this in our next Gun Notes.
Another rumor is that a 32 Super Mag cartridge will soon come to light. I talked to another good friend who was telling me about it. I asked him if this was rumor or fact. He said he had one of the brass in his hand as we spoke.
Back a hundred years ago or so Elgin Gates came out with a long stretch 45 long colt be planned to call the 455 Super Mag. Another company came out with a similar round called, I think, the White Horse Magnum. The WHM is a bit fuzzy but I think it was very much like the Gates round. Another company also came out with pretty much an exact duplicate of the Gates 455 SM, but that soon faded away also. Now I am hearing of yet another version of the same round. This one is being called a stretch 454 but with a standard primer. I think it would be better called a stretch 45 long colt, but what do I know. It will be interesting to see if this one is any different from the others.
We have had a large amount of people call us after seeing the new issue of Combat Handguns and the article by Gary Paul Johnston about our Ultimate 480 and our 17 HMR. To answer any further questions we DO NOT plan to build a new series of 17 HMR revolvers. We built our first revolver ever built in 17 HMR at the request of good friend Steve Hornady. It is a beautiful little revolver, with it's extra long barrel and full engraving with it's high polished stainless steel, but it didn't shoot worth a damn. We didn't have the correct twist barrel at that time as it was a whole new ball game. But with the amount of guns coming out in the cartridge, there is no need for much more expensive custom version. There is only one of them and Steve has it.
Another rumor needs to be laid to rest here. I have been getting several calls and emails a week asking about our new copy of the Keith #5. There are two answers to that, yes and no. Yes we are, if all goes well, coming out with OUR version of the #5. And no, we are not coming out with a copy of Bill Grover's right hand version, nor are we coming out with an exact version of the Keith #5. In fact, with respect to both Elmer Keith and Bill Grover, we do not plan to call our version the "#5". There are several features on the original #5 that we will not put on our version, one being the lever holding in the base pin. That is obsolete. With the fine base pins from Belt Mountain there is no need for that lever. That lever is much like the old 3 speed gear shift on the column that many of us learned to drive on. It was great in it's day but I would hate to have us use that method of shifting gears today.
Now the last rumor to lay to rest. Roger Hunziker and I are very good friends and in some way, business partners. Roger owns the company Phillips and Rodgers who manufactured the fine multi-caliber Medusa for years. Roger has other business interests and has dropped the Medusa. We may, and I use the term MAY, be building the Medusa in the future. So far it's still in the discussion stage.
More later, have to drink my quinine water. Colleen is here with a 45 automatic. She holds it to my head and forces me to drink it. It's hard to do even then. I think malaria might be preferable.