As we ease into June more and more our thoughts are heading toward hunting season a couple of months away. The elk hunters now know who has been lucky enough to get drawn and the other game drawings will be out soon. I have been consistently unlucky in the draw with 2 or 3 elk tags in the last 15 years. Colleen has been considerably luckier than I have and has had several elk tags, taking a couple of nice elk bulls and one spike. Not getting drawn doesnít bother me as much these last few years as it did in the past, mainly due to getting to go on our 2 HHCs each year. The HHC which stands for Handgun Hunterís Challenge, is a very special hunt we book twice a year, usually in March and October. It is held in Monterey Tennessee at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge. The lodge has 15,000 acres of Tennessee hillsides, rolling fields and dense woods. They have large herds of Elk, Red Stag, Bison, Water Buffalo, Yak, Longhorn Steers, plus all the exotic deer and sheep and hogs by the thousand. And the good part is that their prices are less than half of what the other preserves charge. Plus they treat you right with no sneaky hidden charges. Our next hunt is October 1-4 and we currently have 49 hunters booked for the hunt. We have room for 2 or 3 more hunters and then we will stop the booking. The lodge holds 56 hunters but I like to hold at 52 or so, just in case someone brings a buddy that I wasnít planning on. If you are interested, call 931-839-2091 and give them a deposit. Tell them you are with the Reeder group. If you donít get thru the first time, try again. They are in the boonies and phone reception is patchy at best.
We have introduced a few new handgun series in the last couple of months that are getting a lot of attention. Our new Black Mamba is a full custom revolver built on the Ruger GP-100 frame. It has a full underlug barrel with vent rib and looks amazingly like the Colt Python. Must be coincidence. It comes in calibers from 357 mag up to 44 Special. We have received several orders so far for the 41 Magnum, which seems to be the most popular chambering so far. It comes in blue or stainless. We have a new special revolver on the way built on the Ruger Redhawk. It, like the Black Mamba, will have a full underlug vent rib barrel and several special features. More on that a bit later. Our new American Classic is doing well. That is a new 5 shot black powder revolver built on the customerís Ruger Old Army. It comes in 475 caliber and in 50 caliber, actually 51 caliber, as it is intended for the .510 lead bullets or .511 lead balls. Jeff Jones too a large 400 lb hog with the prototype American Classic in 475 caliber on the last HHC about 4 weeks ago. The first shot knocked the big hog down and Jeff put one more in him to end it. And it was done in a hard pouring rain, which is normal taboo for black powder guns.
For the last couple of years we have been building a special series of lever action rifles based on the Marlins that we call Bad Medicine. We have a new caliber coming out and it will be introduced in the Bad Medicine rifle. It is the new 400 GNR. This new caliber is simply a 30-30 case blown out straight with a 200 to 230 grain hard cast gas checked bullet of .400 caliber. This new rifle promises to be a real thumper and the Marlin base guns will be the standard model 336 and the brass is easy to find as it is the 30-30 brass, so this one shouldnít suffer from some of the shortages we have seen over the past 2 years. The new 400 GNR is also going to be available in the Encore pistols and rifles, and possibly in the Contender also. We will know as soon as Sean Harper gets finished with all the ballistic testing and pressure testing. We just finished a Bad Medicine in 357 Magnum on the 1894 Marlin and will release a new Bad Medicine in 429 GNR on the Marlin 1894 within a day or two. The 429 GNR is an extremely powerful cartridge but without the extremely abusive recoil you would expect. The 429 GNR is mu favorite revolver cartridge and goes on every hunt with me. It is simply a 454 case necked down to 44. Strangely enough it seems to like the medium weight bullets better than the heavy ones. The 240 grain up to 270 grain seem to do the best, giving lots of hydro static shock that puts animal down immediately. In the rifle it should do even better.
The Bad Medicine will soon be expanded into special built revolvers. But more on that later. Our new Hellcat is getting lots of attention. The new Hellcat is a new series of guns built on the Bearcat. What is unusual about the new Hellcat is that it is chambered in 32 H&R and maybe other calibers down the road. We take a Bearcat in 22 LR caliber and convert the gun to centerfire, fitting a new 5 shot cylinder and a new barrel and sights. This gives the owner a great packing pistol with some decent power.
Another of our series is coming back. We had our Grim Reaper out for almost 2 years and built a total of 100 guns, all on our own stretch frame and most in 500 S&W. Over the last 6 months or so I had several calls asking if the Grim Reaper was available in smaller calibers, not as abusive in recoil as the 500 S&W. After some thought we designed a brand new series we are calling the Grim Reaper 2. It will be built on the customerís base Ruger single action and will be available in calibers from 357 Magnum up to our 510 GNR. being made on the Ruger single action keeps the cost way down and gives the owner a great big game hunting revolver with all the bells and whistles but without the nearly $3000 in cost.
Another of our older series is getting a new face lift. That is the Javelina Classic. We have revised the revolver somewhat plus adding a couple of new calibers. One of the new calibers is our new 250 GNR. This is simply the 32 H&R case necked down to .257. The cartridge is surprisingly potent. Nate Henning, who is my main man in the shop, took a nice Russian hog on the last HHC with the prototype Javelina Classic in the new 250 GNR. Using the 75 grain Sierra JHP the round knocked the hog to itís knees with the first shot and Nate finished him off with another shot.
We have a couple of new calibers on the drawing board right now and one that we just released is the new 30 Raptor. This one joins the other Raptors, the 240 Raptor, the 257 Raptor and the 6.5 Raptor. Built on the 204 case, the cartridge has an amazing amount of power but very little recoil, even in the little G-2 frame. Sean Harper is doing the ballistic testing on it right now and we should know more shortly.
A couple of other new series include the new Flattop Hunter, the Southern Pride and the Alaskan Grizzly. Each of these are intended for large game, and will do very well on dangerous game. Each is built on the Ruger Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk frame and available in calibers up to our 510 GNR.
One other that is dear to my heart is our new Classic Magnum. This one is built on the customerís magnum Smith & Wesson. We take a S&W 357 Magnum, 41 Magnum, 44 magnum or 45 Long Colt, (I know, itís not a Magnum, but sure could fool a lot of folks),and completely rework the gun adding classic style engraving and our deluxe refinish and custom grips. It turns the S&W Magnums into the classic revolvers they really are.
Another magnum is our new Magnum Carry. This is a short barreled magnum single action built on the Ruger frame and in the standard Magnum calibers mentioned above. It makes the perfect carry gun for hunting or back packing. The 44 Magnum will cover probably 90% of our hunting needs and the new Magnum Carry brings the 44 Magnum, 41 Magnum, even the 357 Magnum back to the prominence they deserve.
Our new Texas Ranger Classic is doing very well. We have built over a dozen in the last 2 months, both in 45 ACP and in 10mm. The Texas Ranger is built on the Commander size slide and the standard Government size slide, and in both calibers. The gun features pretty much all the bells and whistles as well as being very accurate and at a price any gun person can afford.
The new Glocks are getting a lot of attention these days. The Model 40, longslide 10mm, the Model 42 in 380 and the newest Model 43 in 9mm are all very popular. Colleen grabbed the first Model 43 that came in our door a month or so ago and carries it everywhere with her. For the person with smaller hands but who wants something with more punch than the 380, the new Model 43 is the gun for you. In 9mm, it gives you the portability and concealibility but still has the power to stop most any problem that might arise.
I got some into from the Sporting Goods dealer magazine recently that surprised me. It listed the 9mm as the #1 cartridge for defensive handguns in the U.S. The 45 ACP was a close second. I would have bet on the 45 ACP in first place and the 9mm second. It also showed more 9mm handguns being sold than 45s or any of the other calibers. I guess those 2 statistics go hand in hand.
The magazine listed reloading gear as the fastest selling accessory and that I can understand. When you figure a box of ammo that costs you $30 can be reloaded for less than $10, it only makes sense to reload. And with the superior dies, bullets, powders and primers, not to mention the excellent reloading equipment themselves, it only makes reloading the best way to go.
Other accessories are expected to be big this year, most of them accessories that will go on your AR-15. Six years ago we had 8 companies making AR-15s. Today we have well over 200. A lot of those, rather than fight the competition with the huge glut of ARs on the market, are using their heads and selling the parts to their guns rather than try to sell the guns at super cheap prices, making very little profit. There are still thousands of shooters out there building their own AR-15s and each wants to make his rifle special and different from the fellow down the street. So the accessories will be a big market this year. Plus more and more ARs are being used in the hunting field in calibers up to 300 Winchester Magnum. Most donít even look like an AR-15 with slimmed won forends, full camo, scoped and filled out with lots of special accessories. Plus with most states now legalizing hunting with suppressors and hunting hogs at night, the thermal and night scopes are becoming very big now. Thermal scopes that were $10,000 or more a year or so ago are down to under $4000, as are night vision scopes. Large capacity magazines are in vogue for hunting these days. No longer are most states sticking to a 3 or 5 round magazine for hunting. Most allow magazines of any capacity for hunting. Here in Arizona, you can take your AR-15 in whatever caliber you like, put a suppressor on it, a thermal and night vision scope on it and a 100 round drum magazine and hit the fields and do it fully legal. The times they are aíchangin.
Crossbows are coming back into vogue these days with most states allowing them for hunting. Most allow then during gun season but some allow them during bow season too. Years ago Barnett crossbows were the only decent ones on the market. These days there are dozens of crossbows out there with some priced at well over $1000, and some I have seen over $1500.
I notice tomahawks are becoming popular again. During the Zombie craze there were several companies making special tomahawks especially for those undead stinkies. Now with the Zombies pretty being wiped out the tomahawk makers are having to do some changing SOG now makes a Voodoo Hawk and a Mini Voodoo hawk. .Not really sure where we are going to find the Voo Doo creepies to use them on, but in case you run across one, there is a tomahawk made especially for these dudes.
For the last few years special handguns and rifles have been coming out from major gun makers but are specially ordered thru various firearm distributors. One of the distributors, Davidson's is bringing the long barreled Ruger back in 45 Long Colt. That makes me happy as to me the best double action revolver for hunters is the Redhawk. The Super Redhawk is good too, but the regular Redhawk is my favorite.
Another distributor, Lipseyís, is bringing out a new 10mm made by Sig. This one is the model P220. Three different models are coming out, all with the 5Ē barrel and adjustable sights.
Remember the Jericho? It was a pistol made in 9mm and in 41 AE back in the late 80s. It was designed after the very well made CZ-75. The 41 AE died on the vine, mainly from lack of ammo, but the 9mm was very popular. Well, the Jericho is coming back. Redesigned but as sleek and smooth as the original. And still made in Israel, and everyone knows the Israeliís donít make anything but the best firearms on the market. This should be a welcome return for a fine firearm. It will be available in 9mm, 40 caliber and 45 ACP.
Speaking if the Israelis. A good importer friend that we got a large batch of Israeli guns a year or so ago that were used by the Mossad, is sending me a small batch of Browning Hi Powers that were Israeli guns. They are surplus Israeli guns and have been used. When they get here, we will go over them completely, replace any worn parts with new ones, completely refinish them from top to bottom and offer them here on the web site. Not sure how many there will be yet but probably less than 10. So if you are a Hi Power fan, watch the forum. The last group of 8 guns went very quick. They were the Belgium made Hi Powers and the CZ-75 copies made for the Israelis by Tanfoglio.
Several companies are now making the half breed AR-15 and AK-47s. These are being made by a couple of companies and feature the finest points of each rifle. Also Kalashnikov USE is now making true AK-47 rifles and 12 gauge AK shotguns here in the states. Since Obama banned any more AK-47s from coming in the country, a couple of new companies have cropped up making the guns here in the states.
That is going to do it for this month. Lots of new stuff coming out between now and fall hunting season, so more next time. Until then, take a youngster or lady shooting. Introduce them to hunting. Remember, they are our future.