Gary's Gun Notes #76

Well, it's been a month since I typed up the last Gun Notes and boy have things been happening during that time. Some good and some not so good. In the good department the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has made a pro gun decision, which is very unusual for an appeals court that is normally very liberal and anti gun. That stated that the 2nd Amendment right to keep & bear arms is "deeply rooted in this nation's history and tradition". You can read the whole thing here ...

Another tidbit in the "good" department is that the Obama administration has stated that they will not push any gun control this year. Now whether this is good or not is debatable as Obama seems to be trying a back door run to take them away by signing on with the UN's International ban on trafficking in guns and ammunition. Here is the story .. 

What all of us need to do is call or e-mail our senators a couple of times a week and let them know in no uncertain terms that we will not support them in the next election if they ratify this bill, and that we will work hard to see that they are not re-elected. If you do not have your senators phone number or e-mail address, go to and click on Contact Elected Officials. 

Ammunition, powder and primers continue to get more expensive. I laughed a week ago when Kase told me there was a case of 1000 rounds of plain jane FMJ 380 ammo on one of the auction gun sites with a starting bid of $1000. Surprise surprise. It sold almost immediately. Then Friday one of our distributors called and had some Federal 380 FMJ ammo and wanted to know if we wanted a case. He only had 2 cases allocated to him. The price..$900 per case plus shipping. That works out to our cost, wholesale, being about $47 a box, almost $1 a round. We told the distributor we would have to think about that. We called back 5 minutes later and the 2 cases he had allocated to him were gone. 

Primers continue to ease up. Who would have thought this time last year that primers would be going, on the average, for $40 to $60 a thousand? And at some gun shows they are going for up to $80 a thousand, with small rifle even higher. Some people are telling me of places where they are still $35 a thousand so I get the phone number and when I call they laugh and say "sure, 2 months ago they were." I don't see an end to this anytime soon. Sure there are some shops gouging the customer but for the most part the gun shops have the same mark up they had a year ago. The cheapest we have found primers in the last couple of weeks is almost $40 a thousand including the Haz Mat fees and the shipping charges. I had a fellow call me Saturday and say they had primers for $28 per thousand at his local shop. I called and they were shotgun primers. Duh. I really have no recommendations for you. If you need them, try to get the best deal you can. I shoot around 1000 rounds every week in test firing the custom guns, so I have to have them. I will probably get raped on the prices but I have no choice. The custom guns have to be test fired, which means I have to reload for that firing.

We have instituted a change in the custom guns we build. I posted this last week but it bears repeating. Due to shortages of just about everything, we are dropping all package conversions on all lever guns. We still have about 10 of them that we are currently working on but as soon as these are finished, that is it, at least for a while. Parts are extremely hard to get for these guns. Most of the 10 that we are working on have been in pieces waiting on parts for almost a year. Things like blank levers that we build the wide levers out of, the steel piccatinny rails for them, special sights, specialty internals, some barrels in special calibers and even ammo to test fire them are extremely hard to find. This is not just limited to lever guns either. Stainless steel that we build our cylinders out of, that comes in 12 foot bars is taking 3 months to get rather than 2 weeks, internal parts for the revolvers are taking 3 to 4 months, some barrels are taking 3 to 4 months. Nobody has anything in stock due to the economy. Normally when I call for something, they pull it off the shelf and get it out to me in a couple of days. Now they say, we will put you on the list and make whatever I ordered, which means 3 to 4 months in many cases.

This change includes all full package conversions. We still will do rechambering, like the 44 mag to our 429, 357 mag to our 356, etc. We will also continue to do the engraving, action jobs and the Black Chromex finish on the lever guns. I may include all the Ruger #1 packages also. I am thinking hard about this and will know in the next week or so. I sent out over 200 letters a week or so ago explaining this to those that have been waiting so they wouldn't think I had simply forgotten them. 99% have been extremely patient. A few would rather chew my ass off. 

Let's see, there was some good news here somewhere. The gun companies continue to announce new guns for '09 and some of them have actually been seen. Tactical, police type shotguns are being snapped up as quick as we can get them in and the custom Tactical 12s that Kase is building are going out the door as quick as he can get them built. This Tactical 12 is an extremely good buy and may be a limited production run as the prices may cause us to drop this series like we did the original Tactical 12. The original had about $1900 worth of gear on it and we had it priced at $1995. Obviously we had to drop that one. The new Tactical 12 is the Mossberg 590, with the 9 shot capacity, a 6 shot sidesaddle, the M-4 collapsible stock, a special forend with built in laser and accessory rail and more and it's priced at $995, which is a great deal. The parts themselves retail for just about that. 

If you are in the market for an AR-15 type rifle, lots of new ones are being released which should loosen up the market a bit. We have several AR-15s coming in this coming week. Guns that have been ordered since before Christmas. Bushmaster has an all new Urban Interdiction Rifle coming that is a very unusual looking rifle, not like an AR at all. H&K has 2 new entries to be released soon that like the Bushmaster, don't look like ARs at all. These are the MR556 and MR762. Even Ruger is taking advantage of the demand for the "assault" rifles with a totally revamped Mini 14 Tactical. 

Considerable new handguns will be seen, hopefully, over the next few months. SIG has a couple of new autos in 9mm and 40, Taurus has 3 new handguns coming out, S&W has several, although some are revamps of older guns, like the old model 57 in 41 mag is coming back in the same configuration that it was in for 40 years. S&W has additions to their Night Guard series, the matt black revolvers with snubbie barrels. The new model 357 (this is going to be confusing) is a 41 magnum Night Guard in a 2 1/2" barrel. It would seem they could have come up with a better model number than 357 for a 41. They also have the new model 310 Night Guard out in 10mm or 40 S&W and in a 2 1/2" barrel. A bit unusual seeing a rimless cartridge in a double action revolver although S&W has had their model 610, a stainless 10mm, out for several years and they had the model 25 out in 45 acp for many years. But speaking of rimless cartridges in a revolver, Charter Arms has their CARR coming out soon. This stands for Charter Arms Rimless Revolver. It will be offered in 40 S&W, 9mm, 380 and 45 acp. The 2" revolver will be rated for +P ammo. 

Lots of new super dooper high velocity whiz bang ammo coming out this year. Remember the old Black Talon? Winchester is coming back out with a new cartridge called the Supreme Elite Dual Bond and it has 12 petals that mushroom out into segments that look like claws. Sounds like the Black Talon, doesn't it? This specialty ammo will be available as a shotgun slug too. I bet that is a thumper. 

Hornady has their Critical Defense ammo out. We have some in 38 special but haven't had a chance to try one out yet. This one is supposed to open up similar to the Winchester I mentioned above. Some of the new ammo is hunting ammunition. Winchester has their new Super X Power Max Bonded ammo that comes out in most of the standard calibers from 270 up thru 300 Win. Mag and is said to be a special load and bullet especially for whitetail deer. 

Mossberg has a new rimfire rifle model coming out that I haven't fully understood yet. It is their Plinkster models, the 702 for the sighted 22 LR and the 802, the scoped version. They have added muzzle brakes to these 2 series. And not just any muzzle brake either. Did you ever see the muzzle brake on a tank? It is flat on top and bottom with wide flaring out sides with big square holes in the sides. That is what they are putting on the 22 rifles. Why, I have no earthly idea. 

Last year Kase came out with a little compact bayonet for semi autos. He welded extremely sharp knife blades to an adaptor that went on the accessory rail of a semi auto. Well, whether it had anything to do with Kase's idea or not, Lasetlyte has a little 2" knife blade "bayonet" that fits the accessory rail of a semi auto. It is made by Ka Bar and is a neat little unit. We had a SIG 9mm in our showcase that had been there a good while (SIGs don't sell well in our shop) and I put one of these little "bayonets" on it and put it in the showcase. It sold within an hour. Amazing. 

I am going to put on another "combat shoot" in the next couple of weeks. It is a 3 gun match, running thru the deep gullies here and shooting at shoot/don't shoot targets. It is good practice. It doesn't do you any good to put a pump shotgun next to your bed if you aren't completely familiar with it. The same goes for that AR-15 and the handgun you have stashed under the mattress. Get them out and shoot them. Get proficient with them. Know them inside and out. Ammo is costly but your life or your family's life may be at stake. Think about it. 

Til next time, God Bless, and get out and shoot!



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