As we’re in the last of the summer doldrums with fishing being poor because of rain and dove hunting is only upcoming, now’s a good time to catch up on what’s new in the outdoor related marketplace.
If you’re firearms buff, collector or historian, Jerry Lee’s 2018 Gun Digest is a necessary read. In fact, you can spend the remainder of the summer reading this vast collection of firearms information Lee has assembled in his latest work.
This 1.25-inch, 567-page softcover has enlisted the top shooting and gun writers in the business to cover a variety of stories, test fires and reports from the field on subjects covering rifles, shotguns and handguns new, old and vintage collectables. There’s also history lessons on the cartridges of Smith & Wesson, Savage Arms, pistols from behind the Iron Curtain, even the Fitz Special one of the most collectable Colt handguns and invention of John Henry FitzGerald.
Lee covers the eight great rifles for dangerous game, the 1855 Rifle Musket, custom gun works by such notables as C.J. Kai, Lee Griffiths, Keith Heppler and many more.
For those contemplating the purchase of an AR rifle, Lee offers a primer. If you’re a .44 Special aficionado, read how it’s still special after 100 years.
Lee also lists hundreds of ammunition calibers with their velocity, energy and trajectory specifications. And towards the back of the book, a comprehensive list of all firearms including flint and percussion and their respective nomenclatures and varying prices and collectable values. There’s even a section on airguns.
Available at better bookstores and Ollie’s, this all encompassing encyclopedia of firearms is offered at $36.99 or can be ordered direct from F&W Media, Cincinnati Ohio by calling 513-531-2222.
While on the subject of firearms, and if you’re like me who likes to shoot them but not clean them, listen up. You can throw away those messy cotton cleaning patches because Swab-Its has a better idea.
This Springfield, Mass., company has a line of innovative patchless, lint and fiber-free foam Bore-Whips, Bore Tips and Gun Tips to make gun cleaning chores easier.
Bore-Tips are tough, reusable and washable foam tips engineered for a specific tight bore fit, providing 360-degrees of contact within the lands and grooves of the rifling, says the company. There’s no more need for jags or having to load poor fitting patches or cleaning rod and they’ll thread onto standard 8-32 and 5/16-27 cleaning rods. Just looking at them it’s easy to see that they can perform better than patches and can effectively deliver cleaning solvents and oils to the firearm.
Their tips are available for most small calibers, and 12, 20 and 410-gauge caliber shotguns. And they’re color coded for easy caliber identification. Without a doubt, you’ll now enjoy cleaning your firearms.
They’re available at many gun shops and specialty sporting goods stores, even Amazon. Or direct by calling 413-543-1442.
If you’re a crossbow hunter, have you heard about the hottest crossbow to hit the archery market?
Rick Weaknecht of Weaknecht Archery in Kutztown says he can’t get enough of them. This, even though they’re priced at $1,300 and $1,800 depending on model. And that’s his price as the R9 model lists for $1,549 and their R15 for $2,049. That’s a lot more than a good rifle or shotgun.
Ravin, a Superior, Wisconsin company, has engineered a crossbow that is claimed to deliver 3-inch groups at 100 yards. No decent bowhunter would take a shot at game animals at that distance. But the company merely wants to show the crossbows’ accuracy.
According to Rick Weaknecht, all the shortcomings of crossbows have been corrected in the Ravin. For example, Weaknecht says most crossbow breakages result from bowhunters shooting a bolt into something to release a cocked arrow. Ravin, however, allows the hunter to crank the cocked arrow down for release with their nifty Versa-Draw built-in cocking system.
Both Ravin models have an extremely compact cocked width of 6 inches and an uncocked width of 10.5 inches. The R9 is listed at 390 fps arrow speed while the R15 is rated at 425 fps. In addition, the bow has a frictionless flight system whereby the arrow and string free float above the rail thereby eliminating friction for accuracy and longer string and cable life. This is part of the company’s unique HeliCoil design that is unlike any other crossbow.
For more information, call Weaknecht Archery (610-683-7405) or check Ravincrossbows.com.
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Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.