Gary's Gun Notes #24
As we count down the days left before we leave for Africa things always tend to be a bit hectic or maybe even a whole lot hectic. Murphy's Law always prevails at this point in the process. If it can go wrong it will. South Africa, like many other countries after 9-11 is going thru some changes and they are affecting us a bit. I had planned to bring several handguns as I normally do but the new rules say only one handgun and they are picky about which ones. No semi autos at all. The lady at Air 2000 who is taking care of all our gun permits is telling me of some horror stories that many hunters are going thru. Mainly they are bringing all this grief upon themselves because they are not following the rules set down by the government.
One group of hunters had their permits for their rifles all set. No handguns declared, just rifles. When they got to the firearms office at the airport in Johannesburg, an amazing thing had happened. Each man had brought along a 50 caliber Desert Eagle. Not only did they not have a permit for them but semi auto handguns are not allowed at all in South Africa. So there were two strikes against them. Needless to say the guns were confiscated and I am sure they were returned when they left but they had to go thru a lot of hassle and lost a full day of hunting trying to clear up all the red tape.
Another group had their permits and on the permit you have to declare the ammo you are bringing and the amount. There is no hassle about this as long as you declare it. These fellows had a bit more than they had declared. In fact one of them had 60 rounds of 600 Nitro. Another had 80 rounds of 585 Nyati while the third fellow had 40 rounds of 700 Nitro. Now this in itself is no big deal, except that they had not declared it and none of them brought rifles in those calibers. They had brought all this exotic ammo to sell to the Professional Hunters over there and make a nice little profit. Ammo like this is very expensive in Africa. They had at face value a bit over $7500 worth of ammo that they planned to sell for $12,000 or so. Needless to say the ammo was confiscated and I don't think they got it back.
Many countries are going thru changes right now, as is the United States, and when these changes are happening it is always best not to make waves.
Those of you that would like to meet some of the best handgun hunters and shooters in the world need to give John Linebaugh a call and sign up for his Sixgun Seminar that is held each year. This year it is scheduled for June 16th to June 20th in Cody Wyoming. If you are serious about your handguns and you like big bore handguns, don't miss this one. John's phone number is 307-645-3332. You don't have to have a gold inlaid invitation to attend one of Johns seminars. You are always welcome, just make sure and call to register. Don't show up without talking to John first.
For several months now I have been telling you that Kelly Brost of Cast Performance Bullets had some special brass coming. It has finally begun to dribble in. He has received his first batch of 475 Maximum brass. If you shoot this monster make sure and give him a call. He also has 500 Linebaugh brass and 500 Maximum brass coming. You can get on his list for that too. Kelly's number is 307-857-2940.
Steve Hornadys new 17 Mach 2 is doing extremely well. It is simply a 22 LR necked down to 17 caliber. Quite a few guns are being chambered in this new caliber. Look for this one to do just as good as his 17 HMR of a couple of years ago.
Word is that
Ross Seifried is no longer at Handloader magazine. No word yet on the reason for
Smith & Wesson has some special projects in line for later this fall and probably will be announced at the next SHOT SHOW. I'll go over a couple of them later on this year.
For those of you that are lever gun fanatics Mic McPherson has a couple of new ones coming out. He has chambered a Marlin lever gun in 440 Cor-Bon and another one in 510 Kodiak Express which is a lengthened 50 Alaskan. You can call him for more info at 970-564-0500.
Marlin is still not ready to release their 475 Linebaugh lever gun. They hope to be able to release that and the new 32 H&R later this year, maybe.
Shortly after we get back from Africa we have a grizzly hunt scheduled for Alaska with George Faerber. This is the special hunt that the state of Alaska is putting on to thin out the over-population of grizzlys. A grizzly hunt is normally from $14000 to $18000 but this special hunt is $3000, not bad huh? If you would like to get on the list for next years hunt give George a call. From what I hear they plan to offer this next year also. George lives in Trapper Creek Alaska and his phone number is 907-733-2453.
If all goes well
we plan to hunt Africa again next year as we do each year. Hopefully the hunt
will be during May. We also are tentatively planning a caribou hunt up on the
arctic circle for the second or third week in September. I'll keep you posted on
both of these.