Gary's Gun Notes #54

For a change there is some good news on the political front. It appears that the gun ban bill, HR1022 has been dropped for the time being. Several democrats who are conservative democrats have urged that it be dropped as it was way too radical. Since that time, about 10 days ago, I haven't heard anything more about it, so I am hoping that is true.

It is a strange situation in our government. 50 to 75 years ago the democrats were the good guys and the republicans were off in la la land. The democrats were for the blue collar worker. Most were from the country and were gun owners and hunters. As the years passed, the democrats began to lean more and more to the left while the republicans began to be the common sense party. Then by the late 80's, it had totally switched with the democrats being fully liberal and the republicans the conservative party.

These days we are seeing more republicans leaning to the left and more and more democrats moving toward the center. The democrat party is still the most liberal and in my opinion, anti American, in history but the edges are crumbling with more and more young democrats being elected that are conservative. 

This is good news for us that are conservative and right wing as we need all the help we can get and it's these new democrats that are conservative that are urging this anti gun bill be dropped. So we'll see what happens in the near future, but don't sit back and say "we won " and forget it. We haven't won anything. We just got some breathing room. Keep vigilant, keep up with what your elected officials are doing, and always be prepared. A wise man once said "It is better to arrive fully armed to fight a battle that never happens than to walk unprepared into an ambush".

More gun companies are putting their names out in front of the public these days by sponsoring various things like boat racing, sports activities and NASCAR. Glock now is heading the team Glock on the NASCAR circuit with their cars sporting the familiar black Glock logo.

Back in December we mentioned here that we should expect some drastic price hikes in ammo, reloading components and such. Well, it's here. As a for instance, the low priced FMJ 223 and 7.62x39 that we were selling in December for $4.50 a box of 20 now costs us $6.25 wholesale. Which means it's going to go out on the shelf for almost $8 a box, almost double what it was in December. Our distributors are telling us to expect it to double again by mid summer. 

Part of the problem is that several countries, including China have realized that capitalism is good. They are buying up all the raw components they can get their hands on such as copper, brass, steel, lead, aluminum, zinc and so on. This means now we are in a bidding war with them. 

Take a hundred pounds of steel, for instance. If we normally pay $60 for this hunk of steel, by the time we get thru processing it and adding in the wages for doing so we now have $200 in it. The Chinese, for instance, with their highly underpaid workers can buy the same steel for $60 and after they finish the processing they now have $85 in it, so they can afford to bid higher for the raw materials. 

One of our distributors told me to expect the price of gun powder to take a large hike the second half of this year. He said due to India and Pakistan building up their reserves of ammunition and weapons, they have taken several large contracts out with the foreign companies that furnish Hodgdon and Dupont with their powders. From what he told me the companies that load the ammo for these 2 countries have made several extremely large orders of powder. How much of this is true I don't know, but we shall see in the coming months. If you reload my suggestion is to stock up now while the prices are at least somewhat competitive. 

Still some new products being announced, just months after the SHOT SHOW. Ruger continues to add new products and revise some of the older ones. The model 77 rifle has been totally revised and is now featuring the model 77 Frontier with the scout scope set up that is becoming so popular. As a side note to this Jeff Cooper pushed the scout scope set up for years and finally the public is accepting it, unfortunately not before Jeff died. It would have been nice for him to see this upsurge in the scout rifle use. 

Back to the model 77, they also now have the model 77 Hawkeye which features a much better trigger than on the older model 77s, a Mauser type controlled feed extractor, hammer forged barrels and a whole new slimmer look than before. The Hawkeye also features the new 375 Ruger chambering in their Alaskan and their African series. I just wish they had named it something other than Hawkeye as that was one of their older 1960s' era handguns.

Ruger's Mini 14 has taken on a whole new look with a thumbhole stock, satin stainless finish and a harmonic dampener on the barrel. For a target rifle I can see the value of the dampener but I see no use for it on a hunting rifle, but the new Mini 14 is being advertised as a target rifle, so I guess that works.

Several months ago we released the first custom bolt action rifle series we have ever built. I figured we would get a couple of orders for it, and it would taper off. I was totally wrong on this as we have almost 2 dozen orders on the order board for our bolt action Beast rifle. We have built 4 in the last 2 months planning to show them at a custom show or two but they have sold before we could even get pictures of them. I have another Beast on a bolt action, built on the Remington magnum action, chambered in 470 Capstick that will be finished within 2 weeks and hopefully this one will stay here long enough to at least get some pictures of it so we can get it on the internet and in the national magazines.

Speaking of new guns, Kase has finally released his new Tactical 12. This is a new full tactical shotgun with collapsible stock, extended mag tube, red dot sight, sidesaddle, and much more. This comes built on the Mossberg model 590 pump shotgun, one of the absolute best and most reliable pump shotguns on the market, plus it comes in a "violin" case, although whoever gave that large case the name Violin, doesn't know much about music. It is the same case that the Thompson Submachine gun comes in. You can walk out of your house with all the power you ever need and the neighbors will think you have taken up playing the fiddle. Little do they know. But Kase's new Tactical 12 will hit our web site this coming week and hit the national magazines in about 2 weeks. A good tactical type shotgun is by far the best home defense weapon you could ever have and Kase's new Tactical 12 is the best I have seen yet.

I have had quite a few people call or e-mail me asking about these new cartridges they are seeing mentioned on other forums across the internet. Sometimes I forget that not everybody gets on our forum and may now know about these new offerings. So here is a quick trip down wildcat lane.

The newest is our 256 GNR Magnum. This is one I developed many years ago for use in the Contender but for some reason nobody was interested in it at the time. I dropped it for a few years and have now brought it back out in a stretch frame revolver. It is chambered in the customer furnished Ruger Maximum revolver. It is very similar to the old 256 Winchester which was basically a 357 magnum necked down to 25. Our 256 is a 357 Maximum necked down to 25. It has 250 to 275 FPS more than the old 256 Winchester and should make an excellent whitetail deer and black bear cartridge.

While on the 25 caliber topic, Sean Harper is right in the midst of the testing and load developing for our 257 GNR Magnum. This one is another of our cartridges based on the 405 Winchester brass. This one is the full length case necked down to 25. The case has 18% more case capacity than the 25-06 so I am hoping for some good things out of this one. Sean is already reporting several sub MOA groups at 100 with each of the bullet weights. Dies and loading data are currently available.

Next up is our 375 GNR. This one is not new but is just now being chambered in a revolver. This one, our new Wyoming Hunter , is built on the customers Ruger 357 Maximum revolver. It does very well and comes very close to the ballistics of the 375 Winchester out of the rifle. This is basically the 445 super mag case necked down to 375. Dies are available and load data is in our loading manual. 

Next is our 455 GNR. This one is one of 3 of our newest that is not really new. I developed this one in 1990 but set it back as the parent case wasn't available yet and making it was a pain.It is basically a 475 Linebaugh necked to 45. In all our testing so far, it equals the 454 but with much less pressure and much less recoil. Sean is also working on more load data as I type this. It is available in our new 455 Alaskan Express revolver. Dies and loading data are available.

Next up is again one we developed a few years back but never continued with it. The reamer is stamped January 2003 but just recently was brought out of retirement due to people wanting a cartridge with more power than the 44 mag. This cartridge is our 429 GNR. It is basically a 454 casull necked down to 44. It holds from 8 to 11 grains more powder, according to the bullet weight, than the 44 mag and equals the power factor and speed of the 454 but without the recoil or twist. Dies should be available within a month. It is being released first in our Stealth Hawk series on the Redhawk.

Now we get to the big boys. And neither of these is totally new. The first is our 586 GNR. On this one I take a 577 Snider case, which is readily available from Jamison brass and neck it up very slightly to .585. The original 577 Snider was .570 in diameter but the common bullet these days for a 577 is .585. This one is strictly for a short barreled rifle, another of our Beast rifles in fact. This one, even if we only get mediocre velocities out of it should show a TKO of 70 or better. For reference, a hot 458 Winchester magnum is about 55 or so. Dies and loading data should be available within a month or so.

Next up and lastly is our 610 GNR. This one, like our 586 GNR is based on the 577 Snider case. You simply run it thru the expander die, necking it up to .620 and that's it. There are a couple of other .620 calibers on the market but both require you to buy the very expensive 577 Nitro or 600 nitro brass and go thru the hassle of trimming and neck reaming and so on to make the case. I prefer to keep it simple. I have ordered special moulds in 450 grain and 550 grain weights for the 586 GNR and for the 610 GNR. The factory bullets are 900 grains or more and this cuts down on your speed so drastically that you end up with much less than you should. This new 610 GNR is also designed for the short barreled Beast type rifle and again like the 586 GNR above, even if it just gives us mediocre speeds, the TKO should run about 80.

I know people will ask me WHY? Why a 585 and a 620 caliber rifle. Why not? Everyone wants something the average guy doesn't have, and this is that gun. Besides if you decided you wanted to buy a 600 Nitro rifle these days, the cheapest will run you $25,000 or better and our new Beast will run somewhere in the $3500 range, give or take and according to the options the customer wants. And with more and more guys going to Africa and Alaska for really big game, there is plenty of reason for these rifles and calibers to exist.

Lots of new items cropping up and as they do I will keep you posted. 

Good shooting!



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