Well, with the new year and all the empty promises of the gun makers starting to fill up, I thought I'd get out and look over some of the new goodies.
That didn't go well. I was in Anchorage last week and tried to hit all the gun shops, large and small, and see what's out and what's not. I didn't find one gun that was promised for release. Oh, I know it's early, but I hear they are out in the lesser 48, even ordered one that's on it's way, maybe Alaska is farther away than I thought.
Of interest is the Ruger Hawkeye rifle, the Ruger Redhawk in 4" 44 mag (and maybe a 4" 480). Also the new Kimber Montana in a long action has been rumored but not found. I know I should have gone to the SHOT show but I just couldn't make it this year. I spend the price of a really nice rifle down there and bring back 50 pounds of brochures. So I stay here and save my money for more materialistic ventures.
Well, upon my return to Fairbanks, I find in a local shop, a new Kimber Montana in 338 Win Mag. I'm glad that caliber isn't forgotten. Very nice rifle, but I question the need for the 26" barrel and I would prefer a bit more barrel weight. Cut the barrel to 23" and add about 8 ounces to it. Sure I can cut it, but the balance would be gone, and it would still be light up front.
This S/S rifle is about $1200 but I believe it is about a $1200 rifle.
And what's with gun prices in Anchorage? In almost all the shops guns, new and used were higher than on this remote island called Fairbanks. Great Northern has better prices than some, especially on used guns, but others are way out there. I was in one shop when a customer came in and paid $600 for a used, rough Remington M700. And in that shop was a very nice mid eighties era Sako AV in 338 Win Mag for the low low price of only $1200! It is truly worth $750-$800 tops. Oh well, maybe I'm just behind.
All is not lost, however, when I returned home my local smith had called and said my new rifle was ready for pick up. And it was priced less than I expected. (how often does that happen?) This is my frog green cera-coated 338 WSM or what my smith calls 338 Alaskan Express. He has made a series of these rifles on the WSM case in calibers of 338 through 416. I have been doing the load development for the AK Exp. calibers and they are impressive. This little case really starts to shine when we neck it up. My new rifle is a rambling rifle. Sort of a do all kind of rifle, synthetic stocked (MPI) and coated action (MRC) and barrel (Broughton) of 22" with a good set of iron sights (NECG) and detachable scope mounts (QRW). I will start it's break in and load development this week end. I should see 210 grains at 2800 fps and 250 grains at 2600 fps. We'll see how that goes. It's a good life.