Gary's Gun Notes #40

December is a couple of days away already and the next couple of months should prove to be extremely busy ones. Starting with our annual charity Celebrity Handgun Hunt at the Y.O. Ranch in Texas. We will be leaving for this hunt next Tuesday evening, driving down for the hunt as normal. This year Kase and I will be joined again by Charlie Herf and Jason Parr. The second time for Charlie and Jason's first time.

The Celebrity Handgun Hunt has been without any celebrities for the last couple of years. Several of the Hollywood gun people are invited each year but have been showing up less and less. 

The hunt itself is, as I mentioned above, a charity event where we invite the top 30 handgun hunters in the world, 10 or 12 guests, some gun writers, and some industry folks, like the factory reps from Thompson Center, S&W, Ruger and so on. The max the lodge can hold is 55 hunters. All the meat we take goes to charity and to feed hungry families at Christmas. The Y.O. has just about every huntable animal that there is, other than the predators, on the ranch. This includes every type of deer, huge elk, African game from impala to African buffalo, American bison, all types of sheep and so on. The person that brings in the most pounds of meat gets a nice prize, the one that takes the oldest deer, the largest whitetail deer, the most unusual exotic and so on. Each gets a nice prize. I donate a special revolver and Kase builds a special 1911 to donate to the hunt. All in all it is a nice 3 day getaway and helps out some folks not as fortunate as we are. 

We are getting closer to our next African hunt, now less than 4 months away. This next 4 months will go quickly and we still have a lot to do to get ready, at least I do.

Our new cartridges, the 310 GNR Magnum and the 8mm GNR Magnum are coming along well. Larry Kovach is working feverishly trying to get the right loads for the new 310 GNR. I did some work on the same last weekend as I hope to be able to use the prototype barrel on the hunt in Texas next week. The load we are seeking will beat the 308, and the 30-06 and be hot on the tail of the 300 H&H magnum. But without the pain in the butt belt that the magnums have.

The new 8mm GNR Magnum will be for those wanting the same performance of the 310 GNR Magnum but with a slightly heavier bullet and a heavier constructed bullet for larger game. One of the two should, hopefully, end up in my gun case for the next Africa hunt. 

We are doing some ballistic checking on the 5.7 X 28 cartridge with hopes of producing it in our Coyote Classic in the near future. My long range plan is an 8 shot 5.7 in a Blackhawk size revolver. So far it is all either on paper or in my head. But I have ordered a reamer, so we'll see. 

One of the factory reps for a handgun producer came into our shop a few days ago to show us a new pistol the company he reps for had produced. It was a special semi auto, on a very small frame, in 45 acp but for women. I told him straight out that he was, in my humble opinion, heading the wrong way. The super small, lightweight 45 autos are not the best for anyone, much less a lady. Kase gets the super small 45 autos in all the time with the customer wanting him to perform a miracle and make the gun function. They are so small that you can't get a good grip on the tiny gripframe and thus the slide has nothing to work against and jams. The Glock was the first pistol to have this problem but wasn't due to a small gripframe. It was due to people limp wristing it. In other words they would allow their hand to give with the recoil and the slide would only come about half way back, not enough to throw out the empty and put the new round in. With lightweight guns you have to hang on to the gun and put a "death grip" on it for it to function perfectly.

The problem the super small guns have is that they have such a small gripframe you can only get 2 fingers on it and it produces the limp wrist action causing jams. The tiny little lightweight 45 auto aimed at the ladies will do the same thing. No weight causes more recoil than normal and this will cause them to limp wrist it to keep the recoil from hurting their hand and thus causing jams. I don't see how this one can work, but I have been wrong before.

Marlin will be premiering their new line up of XLR lever guns at the SHOT SHOW. This is to go along with the new Hornady ammo that I mentioned a Gun Note or two back. The new XLR (extra long range) rifles will all have long 24 inch barrels and be set up for special sights or scope mounts. They will be released first in stainless and later in blue steel. The new XLR lever guns will be in 30-30, 45-70, 450 Mar;in and 444. They say that the new XLR rifle along with Hornady's new extreme velocity LEVERevolution cartridges will turn the standard 30-30 into a 300 yard cartridge. 

As I mentioned the guns will be in total stainless and feature fluted bolts, grey laminated stocks much like those Ruger uses, and a soft decelerator style butt pad. I don't know how the 24 inch barrels will work out as most lever guns are intended for heavy brush and close in work and the long tubes would, in my opinion, hamper that a bit. But we will see. If nothing else it will be good to see any improvement in lever guns as a whole. Lever guns have been pretty much stagnant for the last several years with nothing really new in their line up. I think this is why our large caliber lever guns have been so popular. Shooters want large caliber rifles right now and most lever guns are weak to mediocre at best. Our various lever guns, most built on the Marlin 1895, in 416 GNR, 450 GNR, 475 GNR and our newest 476 GNR, have been extremely popular.

I have been talking to a couple of publishing companies lately concerning putting out a special loading manual strictly for the GNR cartridges. We now have 22 of them and it is time they had their own data book. Hopefully I will have all my data together within a month to 6 weeks and by early spring have these books out. 

That's all the news I have for you for now. There are a lot of new products coming for 2006 and I will be hearing more about them in the next month and will keep you posted. 



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