April has come and gone so fast, I hardly realized it
was here. It has been a tumultuous time in our shop with 2 of my best guys
leaving in the last few months and trying to get new guys fully trained to
fill in. Both left due to personal problems with family so I couldn't say
anything but it sure left me hanging. My new guys are just about to where I
want them to be but if your order is a bit late, just hang in there. We are on
time with most but a few are going to be a bit later than I had expected.
More price hikes in the works on reloading supplies and
ammunition. But we knew they were coming and if nothing else we had a chance
to stock up somewhat. Remington announced another price hike in the last month
as did ATK Industries. This is the holding company that owns Federal, Speer,
CCI and a couple of others. Big price hikes came from them too.
These price increases will continue for the foreseeable
future. My advice would be the same as it was last month and the month before
that..stock up as best you can. The prices aren't going to go down. China is
buying up everything they can get their hands on and are in the middle of a
huge industrial revolution that I don't see slowing down for a long while, if
Some good new is cropping up in the firearms industry
though with several companies releasing guns and accessories that they either
announced at the SHOT SHOW or leaked out news in the months since.
As I mentioned a while back, Smith & Wesson is
getting into the long gun market in a big way. They have released their double
barrel shotguns and they are some really classy doubles, both over &
unders and side by sides. They have also just released a few of their brand
new I-Bolt rifle. It is being manufactured at their Springfield Mass. plant.
This in itself is a bit of a new thing for S&W. Their last efforts at a
long gun line were rifles and shotguns made by Howa in Japan for them. These
were excellent guns and very attractive rifles and shotguns. Howa has long
been known for making some of the most striking long guns on the market. They
build shotguns and rifles for Browning and have built them for Mossberg and
The few I-Bolt rifles that are out are in the hands of
gun writers and they hope to release a batch to the public before the next
hunting season. The first ones will be chambered in the 3 most common
calibers, 25-06, 270 and 30-06. The new rifle incorporates a whole new bolt
design and new trigger set up. The triggers are designed in conjunction with
Timney Triggers. You can adjust the triggers from 3 to 6 pounds without
removing the barreled action from the stock.
As most of you know by now S&W bought out Thompson
Center a short while back and TC is building the match grade barrels for
S&W's new I-Bolt rifles. S&W will incorporate a crown very similar to
our own Deep Dish Crown for added accuracy.
On another front Savage is now making their match grade
actions available to custom gunsmiths. The Savage rifles have always been
known for extreme accuracy if not for extremely good looks. Now they make this
available to the custom gun guys for special rifles and in both right hand and
left hand actions.
The college shootings in the last week or so in Virginia
have again brought gun control into the worlds headlines, with every liberal
mouth saying the same things that they always have. These anti gun slogans
seem to be falling on deaf ears though, as Americans do not want more gun
control. Most believe that if there had been guns on the campus, legally
carried by CCW holders, the chances of 32 people dying would have been much
The liberal crowd are simmering and sputtering trying to
find someone to blame for this rather than simply putting the blame on the
shooter, an evil insane young man. They want to blame everything but the one
place the blame should lie, on the shoulders of the shooter, and in a lesser
degree, on the shoulders of the college hierarchy who wouldn't let firearms
exist on the campus, making it another Gun Free Zone.
I think personally that we will continue to hear the
diatribe from the anti gun crowd but don't really believe we will see any more
gun bills passed. I am sure they will try but I just don't believe they can
pass more of them.
On the brighter side our newest calibers and guns are
doing well with quite a few orders and inquiries. We still don't have the
bullet moulds for our new 610 GNR and 586 GNR rifles. I have the prototype
guns built on the super strong Ruger #1 action but am holding off beginning
the testing sessions until we get the hard cast bullets in here. The jacketed
bullets in .620 and in .585 calibers are 750 to 900 grain solids and soft
points and these are simply too heavy for our new cartridges. The moulds will
cast a hard cast 450 and 550 grain bullets. These will be easier on the guns
and on the shooters and make these two new cartridges viable calibers for the
North American hunter.
We have taken quite a few orders for guns in the new 429
GNR and the 256 GNR. The 429 is sort of a 44 magnum magnum. It is simply a 454
case necked down to 44. The case holds from 8 to 11 grains more powder than
the standard 44 mag so it should fill a niche easily. We are rechambering
Rugers heavy duty Redhawk and the Super Redhawk and also building a whole new
series of single action revolvers in this caliber.
The new 256 GNR is also taking off very well. It is a
357 maximum necked to 25 caliber. 75 and 80 grain bullets at 2700 to 2800 fps
are my goal out of a revolver with an 8 inch barrel and a tight
barrel/cylinder gap. We are building this new revolver series on the Ruger 357
Maximum revolver that is furnished by the customer. It is also being chambered
in the G-2 and Encore barrels.
I haven't received the dies for the 256 GNR or the 429
GNR yet but by the time the guns are finished the dies will be here. The same
holds true for the 586 GNR and for the 610 GNR.
Our 455 GNR is doing very well. This one is the 475
Linebaugh case necked down to 45 with our typical short neck and sharp
shoulder. We have shipped several guns in this one and dies are available and
Sean Harper has all the loading data for this new cartridge.
Our Beast series of large caliber rifles is doing very
well also. The new June 2007 GUNS magazine has one of our new Beast rifles
featured as the playmate of the month and we are in the process of building 4
or 5 at this time. We test fired one this afternoon in the new 375 Ruger
cartridge and it shot very well. Open sights at 25 yards, it put 8 rounds in
one ragged hole with 2 people doing the shooting. This one is going to be a
Not all the news is bad these days. We have some black
clouds out there on the horizon but there is quite a bit of sunshine too. Hang