This edition of Gun Notes is a few days early but I am
sure I will be busy with all the paperwork for our next Africa hunt over the
next few weeks so I better get it done now while I can.
The last couple of Gun Notes has touched on some of the new products for the
coming year. Let's see if I can pick up where I left off. This is the 100th
anniversary of the 30-06 so every rifle maker has a special model chambered in
30-06 for this year. And new long guns are everywhere. Remember High Standard?
They are back and back in a big way. They have a whole new line of AR-15 type
rifles out and a new line up of Mil-Spec pistols. Mil-Spec is a nice way of
saying it is an exact duplicate of the original 1911. Retail is less than $400
S&W is getting into retro this year by bringing back the original Dirty
Harry model 29 44 magnum, square butt and all. It will be a 6 1/2 inch model
like the original was. Remember the old wooden box the S&Ws came in with
the cleaning tools and all? Well, the "new" model 29 will be back in
the wooden box. Watch for it on the cover of American Handgunner magazine. Are
you believing that? American Handgunner without a 1911 on the cover. Amazing.
We started out talking about all the new long guns that are coming, but let's
stay with the new handguns for a moment. Para Ordnance has several new models
coming out in their Nite-Tac line with the LDA system. Weatherby is bringing
back the bolt action pistol this year. This is the one on the Mk V action. It
is called the CFP (I thought it meant center fire pistol but I was wrong), the
initials meaning Compact Firing Platform, who'da thunk? Not exactly a name
that jumps to my mind. When the police stop you for speeding and asks if that
is a pistol on your back seat, you can say "no officer, that is a Compact
Firing Platform". This is right before he slaps hell out of you for being
a smart mouth.
Apparently some jackleg custom gun guy out there has been engraving a lot of
Ruger revolvers, because now Ruger is getting in on the game. Their New
Vaquero will be available engraved from the factory. For a fee.
I told you a while back about the new 500 Wyoming Express cartridge coming
from Freedom Arms. Lots of attention on this one. Expect every gun rag out
there to test this one out.
Oh yes, before I forget, yes Mother, there will be a new
cartridge coming from S&W on the X frame revolver. No comment. And I knew
it. The first confused customer came in our shop a few days ago asking for a
holster for his S&W Military & Police. Colleen pointed out the semi
auto holsters (the new Military & Police is a semi auto) but he quickly
let her know it was the original 4 inch revolver he needed a holster for. This
giving a whole new gun the name of an old gun of a different breed is like
Honda motorcycles coming out with a new bike called the Chevy Impala. It just
makes no sense.
Ruger is bringing out a second flattop revolver as I mentioned a while back.
This one a 44 magnum and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 44 magnum
cartridge. It will have the smaller frame, fluted cylinder and smaller
Blackhawk style gripframe. It will come in the 6 1/2 inch model like the
Now some long gun news. And while we are on the subject of Ruger, they have a
full camo version of their all weather O/U shotgun coming out. It comes in the
Realtree Hardwoods pattern and looks really nice.
People that know me know I favor short barreled rifles (like our new Beast
rifle) and some other makers do too. Ruger has their new Frontier coming out
that has a 16 1/2 inch barrel with a forward mounted quarter rib for those
that like the scout rifle image. It features a grey stainless finish like the
Super Redhawks have and a grey laminated stock. It will come in several of the
308 length chamberings. The popular 10-22 rimfire rifle has a little brother
this year with the 10-22 compact. The stock is shorter as is everything else,
all for the smaller and younger shooter.
Remington is revamping their rifle and shotgun line up this year with several
new offerings. They have a new model 11-87 Special purpose that looks like it
came right out of Star Wars. Another new one is the model 700 CDL which is a
stainless steel rifle with fluted barrel. Remington dropped their Classic
series after a lot of years and this new 700 CDL will replace it as a special
gun each year in another caliber. Remington is also bringing back the Sendero
after a lackluster appearance the first time out. This one is aptly named the
Sendero 2. They also have one of the most unusual looking black powder rifles
coming out in the Genesis series. They also have a new high tech semi auto
shotgun called the model 105 CTI. This one will be of interest to you lefties
as it ejects from the bottom like the old Ithaca.
This will be the year of the thumbhole stock for many rifles, shotguns and
black powder rifles. Just about every rifle maker has a new model out this
year with a thumb hole stock. This will also be a year of very unusual rifles.
I am sure you are familiar with the term "race gun" pertaining to a
full blown custom combat 1911. Well, now there are race rifles. Ruger and
Magnum Research both have them out this year and very unusual rifles they are.
There is no way to explain them here but you will know what I mean when you
Speaking of unusual, Winchester has a new model 70 out that has 4 holes going
side to side thru the front of their stock and 3 large openings going thru the
butt stock side to side. This is for lightening up the gun. It is called the
model 70 Coyote Outback. And specking of Winchester, they are producing a new
take down model 94 this year in several calibers. It seems everybody is going
retro. For new products they are reaching back and bringing the old guns back.
Winchester also has a new semi auto rifle for the first time in years. This
one is the new Super X rifle or SXR. It has a super lightweight alloy frame,
is gas operated and has a removable magazine.
Don Mitchell, the old head honcho of High Standard has, over the past several
years, come out with Mitchell shotguns, Mitchell 1911s, Mitchell AR-15s and
several others that just didn't make it in this competitive world of ours. Now
he has come out with a new mauser. It is called, the Mitchell Mauser. Original
huh? This one is at least original looking. It is called the Tanker Mauser and
sports a short stubby barrel and new hardwood stock and the capability of
changing it into a scout rifle.
Following the lead of Sure Fire, there are several companies that are coming
out with high intensity flashlights this year. The profit margin in making
these little darlings is extremely high. I'm surprised it has taken this long
for other companies to jump into the field.
Lots of new ammo coming out for the new year and new powders too. Ammo makers
like Winchester and Federal among others are introducing a lot of new
products. Hodgdon is coming out with a special powder for the magnum calibers
called US869. I will tell you more about this powder and the new ammo next
Our new Beast is garnering it's share of interest. This one, like it's name
implies, is a beast of a rifle. Built on the customer furnished Ruger #1
rifle, this new offering comes in barrel lengths of 16 and 18 inches plus the
brake. It also comes chambered in 470 Nitro, 470 Catsdick, 500 Nitro, 500
Jeffery, 416 Rigby, and several others. The purpose of this rifle is to make a
short compact little rifle that will be easy and extremely fast to use in
tight dangerous situations. The first of three prototype rifles are in 470
Nitro, 500 Jeffery and 416 Rigby. I spent this afternoon and early evening
doing the satin black finish on the 500 Jeffery model and will have pictures
of it here in a few days. The Beast is a rifle I designed with a lot of input
from folks that are in tight situations constantly with dangerous game. This
rifle is not for everyone but just picking one up and handling it is habit
Lots more to tell you about but it will have to wait until next time. Our next
African hunt is about 2 months away and there is a lot of planning still to
do. I will start to sign up folks for the 2007 African hunt on February 1st, I
would love for you to join us.