Gary's Gun Notes #33

March is just about gone the way of the dodo bird and I finally have 5 minutes free to get the new issue of Gun Notes on paper. It has been a hectic month, for some odd reason. Normally March is the month that is sort of laid back with nothing really to rush around about, but this month has been different.

Our new Western Classic orders have been rolling in almost faster than I can keep up with the orders. The same goes for our new version of the timeless Keith #5 revolver. Our #6 is beginning to make itself known also as more and more shooters are beginning to understand what in hell a #6 is. Even with all the ads I run in Gun List and our web site and big 5 page color articles in various gun magazines I still get at least 2 or 3 calls or e-mails a day from shooters wanting to know if I can build our Western Classic or the #5 or the #6 on their Ruger frame. Sorry, no can do. Our #5 and 6 gripframes along with the new Western Classic gripframes are meant for our own frames only and will not interchange with anything else on the market. 

I also get from time to time someone that wants to chew off a large piece of my ass because they don't like the idea of our new guns having a transfer bar system. In my mind the transfer bar system is the best thing to come along since the loss of virginity. I wouldn't consider building a gun without one, and I don't really care of your granddaddy did use a Colt SAA for 50 years without one and never shot himself with it. The shooting these days and the shooters these days are different. Most were not brought up with a transfer bar-less gun in the house. During the test firing session on the original Frontier Classic, which became the Western Classic due to threats from Colt, I had one of my guys that handles guns every day load the gun for me while I was getting my hearing protection on. As he finished he closed the loading gate and let the hammer slip from under his thumb, killing a stool nearby. Our two prototypes, by the way, were both built without transfer bar systems, as we did not have the parts in yet from the fellow that builds those parts for us. Within a couple of days one of my other guys did almost the same exact same thing, skimming a round across the floor. If nothing else this made up my mind for sure that all future guns would have transfer bars. The young shooters these days simply do not have experience with the old style guns without transfer bar systems. 

We are building one series of guns without the transfer bar system and that is our Wichita Classic, which is built on old model Rugers. It is chambered in 2 calibers, 41 special and 44 special, and is very popular in both calibers.

There is a new series coming out soon, if all goes as I think it will, and will give the guys that hunt with a double action revolver another choice. We have a new series coming out built on the Ruger Redhawk and chambered in our 410 GNR. This cartridge, although extremely powerful and fairly high pressured, is still plenty safe in the Redhawk 41 mag revolver. The wall thickness on the Redhawk cylinder is enough that I feel very good about this new series. In long discussions with LJ, who builds our custom 410 GNR ammo, we both feel the same way, that it will be a very good and effective big game cartridge, and even easing over into the dangerous game category. The cartridge, for those of you not familiar with it, is basically a 454 necked down to 41, shooting a 255 grain LBT at hyper velocities. The cartridge has taken at least 4 Cape buffalo and at least 3 American bison and several other like sized animals and most with one shot. For those that shoot a double action revolver by choice, this should be a good one for you. Plus loaded ammo and correct headstamped brass is available.

Another new series that is garnering it's share of attention is our new Night Hawk. This one is based on the Redhawk also and can be made in any of the calibers that the Redhawk came in, which would be 357, 41, 44 or 45. Of course the 357 could be, and is, rechambered in 356 GNR, while the 41 mag can be rechambered in 41 GNR or 410 GNR. The Night Hawk is built on the customer furnished base gun. More info and pictures of a blue model and a stainless version are on the revolver page.

We are on the brink of another African hunt. We will be leaving early next Wednesday morning, the 31st and be back on the 10th of April. This hunt has had several hunters drop out at almost the last minute due to illnesses in the family or injuries sustained mud wrestling with fat girls. Our 9 hunters ended up being 4 hunters with Joe Butler, Davey Chavarria, Shane Lambert and myself being the sole hunters on this hunt. 3 FNGs and one old FOG. Next years hunt should be a full house as we already have 15 names on the list and the camp will only hold 12 hunters. We will start taking deposits as soon as I get back and the first 12 deposits will be hunting in Africa in 2006. That hunt is also slated for the first week in April and probably will be in the same area we will be going to next week. That is not set in concrete yet but I should know by early summer where it will be. I will need to talk to the 12 hunters and see what they would like to hunt before making that decision. Wherever we do end up it will be a helluva hunt as they all are. This one should see almost an equal amount of FNGs and FOGs attending. 

Speaking of hunting, I am trying to set our first Handgun Hunters Challenge (HHC) for either late this spring or early this fall. This is mainly Kase's idea and he has been driving me batty about this, wanting me to get it set up. I think it is a good idea, getting 20 to 25 hunters together for 3 days of handgun hunting and exchanging ideas and methods of handgun hunting. I think we could all have a good time and probably learn something while we are at it. I will have more on this hopefully in the very near future. And hopefully this can turn into a yearly hunt. 

We have a couple more hunts coming up this year with an Alaskan bear hunt slated for August in an area north of Anchorage. 4 of us are scheduled to go on this hunt and this also could turn into a yearly hunt. 

We also have our charity handgun hunt the first week of December, called the Celebrity Handgun Hunt, although the celebrities attending have been few and far between these last couple of years. It is still a good time and money and a lot of meat are raised for the needy at Christmas time.

I am tentatively planning an elephant hunt for early next spring but this one is still in the thinking stages right now and not worth even talking about yet. I have a new cartridge, the 476 GNR, that needs a real challenge and that just might do it. Although LJ, who is also on the same thought wave with me, says he will use the 510 GNR if this pans out. I think that is a good idea too. We are thinking of taking Jason Parr along as our bait, although we are not really sure what we would have to have him do to attract elephant. 

The next Gun Notes will be full of tales of great shots and possibly some really lousy shots and the complete results of our African hunt. It's only been 9 months since we were there last and yet it seems like a couple of years. I look forward to these hunts more and more each year, and this one is no exception. I'll talk to you then. 



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