Gary's Gun Notes #53

Lots of excitement lately on several fronts. Our first Handgun Hunters Challenge is now history and was an excellent hunt. Jim Zumbo, noted gun writer for 30 years opened his big mouth on the Outdoor Life forum and inserted his foot. And what is surely the largest anti gun bills is looming in the House. 

Our first Handgun Hunters Challenge is now history and a good time was had by all, except maybe for a few wild hogs, a buffalo and a Corsican ram. We had 13 hunters for this first hunt. Included on this first hunt was Greg Geiger, Bill Firman, Doug Faith, Scott Boggs, Jason Parr, Brian Tonnacliff, Tom Chura, Bill Huether, Andy Rowe, Sean Harper, Curtis Raybuck, Kase and me. 

It was held about 85 miles southeast of San Antonio in the wilds of Texas. The ranch we hunted on is loaded with wild hogs and we could pretty much shoot as many as we pleased. The only problem was the hogs didn't go along with this. To say they were wild would be an understatement. The brush was dry and sometimes head high and the woods were extremely dense with dead winter growth. Often we would jump a group of hogs literally at our feet and in less than 3 or 4 seconds they would be engulfed in the heavy brush and often a shot was not even offered. 

On one occasion 4 of us met another group of hunters at the intersection of two dirt roads. We stopped and talked for at least 10 minutes. Then as we turned to leave, two large hogs burst from the brush less than 6 feet from where we were standing. They had lain there quietly until we started to move off, then burst out of the brush. Several shots were fired at the wildly running hogs and only one was hit in the foot by Curt Raybuck. Curt eventually tracked and ran down this big hog but the other one got away without a shot being fired at him. 

Greg Geiger got to try out his Beast rifle in 450 Rigby on a buffalo and made a nice shot on him, taking a really nice trophy. Andy Rowe took a very nice Corsican ram with the 257 GNR encore, being the first person to draw blood with this new cartridge.

This was to be a strictly handgun hunt but I was as interested as anyone else in seeing how some of our custom Beast rifles would do on a big burly hog. So Jason Parr brought his Beast in 416 Rigby as did a couple of the other guys. Scott Boggs brought a rifle and took a nice hog also. All in all for 13 hunters there were 10 hogs taken along with a buffalo and the Corsican ram. 

A couple of us didn't get a hog but it wasn't for lack of trying. I shot 9 shots altogether with my 455 GNR in the new 455 Alaskan Express but every one was a running shot and I simply didn't put one down. 

Our next hunt is our Hot & Nasty Hunt the last couple of days in June and the first day of July. This hunt is also to be held on the same ranch in south Texas and will be for hogs or any other exotic game encountered on this big ranch. As the name implies, this hunt will be truly hot and nasty. This one will separate the men from the boys. We have a full camp lined up for this one also and if it is as popular as the Handgun Hunters Challenge seems to be, we may make this a yearly Hot & Nasty Hunt. 

Another bit of excitement during the last couple of weeks was the Jim Zumbo fiasco. Jim apparently let his mouth overcome his common sense and made a really bad remark on the Outdoor Life forum, stating that we don't need those "black guns" and that he was shocked to see them in varmint hunters hands and they shouldn't be allowed and on and on. His main sponsor, Remington, pulled their sponsorship immediately and over the next couple of days well over 12,000 people posted hot comments about Zumbo's ancestry and often his mother's sexual preferences, along with those of Zumbo. 

Taking all these remarks seriously, Outdoor Life fired Zumbo and apologized to all that he had slammed. Then to make matters worse, in comes Mouth Almighty, Ted Nugent, who took up for Zumbo. So now the names and slams are flying back and forth. Nugent has long been one of our better voices in the entertainment industry, even if it has been a bit of an arrogant voice. Now he may have stepped over the line. Zumbo has been fired, nothing will change that. Zumbo made the comments, of that there is no doubt. He did make an apology but that didn't help at all, especially when the anti gun people are using his comments against us, saying even the esteemed gun writers are saying we don't need those evil black rifles and so on. So now, before he gets painted with the same brush, Nugent needs to shut the hell up and let the gun industry get over this quietly and quickly. 

And to top off this last week or so, a very harsh and radical anti gun bill had been introduced on the floor of the house, house bill HR-1022. This one is so radical that it might possibly hurt it's chances of passing. Even so it still scares hell out of me. This new Mother of all gun ban bills, brings back all the bad points of the 1994 Clinton Gun Ban plus adds a lot of features that are even worse. Clinton's ban only banned 19 models of guns, this one bans 66 models plus any model that looks like them or has the same features. In the Clinton ban, manufacturers were allowed to modify their guns that were not allowed in the ban, so that they could still sell them. The new bill would ban them too. Any shotgun that has "any characteristic that can function as a grip" would be banned as would it's receiver, so the manufacturer couldn't take that receiver, from a Benelli for instance, and make another gun out of it that would meet the legal requirements. In fact parts for this Benelli would also be illegal, parts like receivers or any part that could be used to repair or refurbish this gun. In other words, if they ban the sale of Ruger 10-22s and you need an extractor or need a new magazine, you would be out of luck as any part that would be used for this banned gun would also be banned. 

This new bill will, if passed, ban the importation, manufacture, or sale of many many guns and not just "assault rifles". It would ban the Ruger 10-22, the Mini 14, and Mini 30, many semi auto shotguns by Remington, Winchester, Benelli, and so on. Any rifle that takes a magazine or has a pistol grip or flash hider or folding stock would be banned. Any shotgun that has any of these features, and any semi auto handgun that holds over 6 rounds in the magazine would be of interest to the makers of this bill. Any semi auto shotgun, rifle or handgun that the attorney general deems "not for sporting use" would be banned. 

All magazines that they deem high capacity would be illegal and the ones that are grandfathered in would not be allowed to be sold. If a person sells off his guns, the high cap magazines would have to be turned in and be destroyed. In one place the bill says anything over 10 rounds and in another it mentions 6 rounds. There is so much lawyer talk in this bill as to be almost undecipherable. Also though the Clinton gun ban had a sunset of 10 years, this new gun ban would be permanent. 

This ban may not be as formidable as it seems at first glance. To my feeble brain, it seems that it may well be just too harsh and too radical to pass. Many of the new democrats just elected ran on a pro gun platform and are shooters and hunters themselves, so there is still a chance this abomination may not pass. But be that as it may, and as this is just my personal opinion, make sure and contact your congressman and let them know you oppose this bill. This may well be the most important phone call or e-mail you will ever make.



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