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
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.