Gary's Gun Notes #63

Our yearly SHOT SHOW (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) is coming up in less than a month and there will be a gazillion new things shown there. Andy Rowe and I are planning to go there for a couple of days and I will have lots to tell you about when I get back, but for this Gun Notes I thought I would give you a few of the new items that I already know about or have seen and fill you in on some of the latest news and gossip.

I guess the biggest news is the buy out of several gun companies by one man. The company is Cerberus. This man is supposed to be an avid hunter and shooter, and I sure hope this is true. I have heard other whisperings about him that I surely hope is not true.

In the last couple of months he has bought out Remington, Marlin, H&R, New England Firearms, L.C. Smith, Bushmaster, DPMS Firearms and is reportedly bidding on a large handgun company. The Remington buy out was the first and already changes are cropping up, and so far all for the better. 

Lots of changes in the shotgun line up at Remington. Many of them are cosmetic and some actual changes. Lots of left hand rifles and shotguns coming this year. Several shotguns and rifles will be sporting thumbhole stocks. Many series available in full camo. Several of their shotgun and rifle Tactical series with urban camo and pistol grip stocks. Too many model 700 rifles to even mention, probably 10 new versions of the time tested model 700. 

They have 2 series of rifles coming out with the same series name, which might lead to some confusion. Both are called the Predator. One is the sleek little model 7 bolt action rifle. The other is their new AR-15 but we can't call it an AR-15 anymore as they are getting away from the "black rifle" image. The new R-15 is a flattop, full camo rifle called a VTR, or varmint, target rifle. Longer heavier barrels, full camo, free floating barrels, fluted barrels, and several other features make this R-15 at least look different from the Bushmaster that it was derived from. 

Now Remington also bought out DPMS, which is another company that specializes in AR-15 type rifles. One wonders exactly why they did this and if they do plan to continue building those evil black rifles. 

Remington has also gone the full circle from black rifles to camo rifles to pink rifles. That's right, full hot pink rifles. Their new model 597 22 LR semi auto is available in a hot pink camo. Now one wonders where in hell you would be to need a pink camo to help you hide. Actually I don't even want to wonder, but for those of you a bit light in the loafers, now there is a rifle for you. And if you are not sure that pink is your color, they have the same rifle in an orange camo. That might match your eyes better. 

Remington has enlargened their line up of their model 798, which is based on the 98 mauser action. They have a Safari grade now in 375 H&H and 458 Win magnum. 

With Marlin now under the same ownership as Remington, there may well be some changes for them also. They have already announced that they are trying the centerfire bolt action waters again. They did this years ago with the MR-7, which wasn't exactly the hottest seller on the market. Now they are trying it again with the new XL-7. The rifle looks good and features some of other company's better features, like fluted bolts, adjustable triggers, a barrel nut between the barrel and receiver, pillar bedded and of course, full camo. Like Remington, Marlin is adding laminated thumb hole stocks in a couple of colors.

Smith & Wesson is supposedly adding some new, old guns to their lineup this year. They were slated to come out last year but most never made it. They are bringing back the old model 36, which used to be called the Chief's Special. Now they have given that name to a semi auto, so the revolver will just have to be called the model 36. They are bringing it back in 6 new versions, from bright blue to color case to nickel and in 1 7/8" to 3" barrel lengths.

Another oldie but goodie was the model 40, which was called the safety hammerless years ago as it has a grip safety and concealed hammer. This one is 38 special like the model 36 and also comes in blue, nickel or color cased.

They are also bringing back the model 21 which was the old 44 special, fixed sight revolver on the N frame. This one will make the purist happy as it has no sights and the half moon front sight of years ago. It comes in 4 inch only and in blue, nickel and color case.

The model 22 is also raising it's nappy little head this year, this one being in 45 ACP. Like the model 21, this one is a fixed sight revolver in 4 inch with the model of 1917 in the model 22 being a 5 1/2 inch model. All slick top revolvers with no adjustable sights and the half moon front and coming in the same 3 phases of finish. 

The old model 24 in 44 special with a 6 1/2 inch barrel and the model 25 in 45 long colt with a 6 1/2 inch barrel join new old versions of the model 27 in 357 magnum. The model 27 comes in a 4" and 6 1/2" model and in blue and nickel. 

For you Dirty Harry fans, S&W is bringing the old model 29 back. The original model with the tapered barrel without the underlug. This one is just like the original in 6 1/2 inch barrel and in a 4 inch barrel and this model only available in nickel and blue. 

I talked to a Browning factory rep a while ago and he was raving about the new Browning shotguns. he said they were bringing back the hump back shotgun. We got to talking about other new guns and I didn't press him for more info about the "humpback shotgun". Now in my generation the humpback shotgun was the old model A-5, always was, always will be. You either loved it or hated it. Well, I saw the new "humpback" model from Browning this past week and if you look very closely you will see a slight raised area that I guess if you were blind drunk you could call it a "hump". But that is stretching it a bit. The gun looks very good and feels even better, in camo of course. It is simply called the Silver Hunter. 

Browning has long been known for the A-Bolt rifle which was an excellent rifle. Now the X-bolt is out which is an improved version of the A-Bolt. It features an unusual rotary magazine, unusual for Browning at least. Savage has long had an interior rotary mag and Steyr has a rotary magazine and of course in a rimfire the 10-22 from Ruger was well known for it's rotary magazine. I haven't shot one of these yet but it looks good.

And speaking of A-Bolts, X-Bolts and such Browning is bringing back the old T-Bolt. This was a great little 22 rimfire rifle of the 60's and I am glad to see it back. It has the same straight pull bolt that for newbies will take some getting used to. It also has a strange figure 8 magazine that they call a Double Helix magazine and is supposed to be better feeding than a standard stack magazine. This one will also be available in 17 HMR and 22 mag.

Several gun companies are adding archery products to their line up. Crossman, always known for fine pellet guns is now archery too. Savage Arms is also adding archery to their stable. No word yet on how deep they are getting into it but full coverage is what I hear.

Charles Daly, the company that has been around for almost a century and has in their line up everything from 1911 style 45 autos to high dollar side by side shotguns, is now aiming their sights at the replica market. They are bringing out what they call the Little Sharps Rifle. This one is an 80% scaled version of the original 1874 Sharps. This one is coming out in many of the old calibers like 38-55, 30-30, 44-40, 22 hornet and also in 22 LR, 22 mag, 17 HMR, 218 Bee, 357 mag and 45 long colt.

With more and more states and game & fish agencies caving in to the liberal extremists worrying about the health and well being of the condor and the cotton headed rattlemouth, lead free ammunition is rapidly becoming the way to go. CCI has a new lead free 22 LR and 22 magnum. This one is offered in sub sonic only (why?) and is said to break up into 3 pieces on impact. I'm thrilled.

Several component companies that make bullets are coming out with these "green" bullets that are safe for condors and such. Winchester has their E-Tip in several of their calibers while Nosler will be selling the bullets for reloading. Right now they are planned for 30 caliber and in 150 and 180 grain offerings. 

Speaking of Nosler, they are bringing out a series of custom rifles in deluxe and standard finishes. Both will be limited edition series and in several calibers. Retail prices will be somewhere around $4200 for the top end rifle and $2600 for the field grade. 

Ruger has some new products coming out including a new left handed model 77 Hawkeye and the new little 22 Charger which is a 22 caliber pistol version of the 10-22 and of course their new SR-9, 18 shot 9mm pistol. Their Mini 14 is coming out in 6.8 SPC, the newest military cartridge. The new 338 RCM and 300 RCM for Ruger Compact Magnum with ammo being made by Hornady is due out soon and hopefully this won't go the way of the short magnums from Winchester.

Several more pages of new items coming out but I will hold off on them until next time. Between now and then I will be at the SHOT SHOW and will have plenty of news for you. Hopefully all good. 



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