Bills First of 02...also know as Volume 4 Number 1. So labeled because we began harassing your mailbox in 1999 with these diatribes. So here we are at the birth of another year. At this writing the weather is incredibly nice for all those except icefisherfolk and coyotechasers. But, who knows, in these parts, you may be stuck reading this while snowed in tomorrow.
It looks like this year will be a bit unusual in sporting goods business. The manufacturers are keeping a very careful eye on their pricing. There are rebates and even a couple of price rollbacks. And some companies are using the concept of introductory pricing on new stuff. These intro prices are for a year or two or even three. To that end, we,ll have a department called “Rebates and Rollbacks.
Further warning that this issue will deal with all that is new and improved for the upcoming year. Or so claimed.
So here we go into ye olde newsletter.
New Gun News. Rifles first; the big news is in New Calibers, a new rimfire cartridge, the .17 Hornady. With rifles from Marlin and Ruger. This is going to be a fun cartridge and inexpensive to shoot. At the other end of the spectrum are new Short Magnums from both Winchester and Remington. The 300 WSM was a big hit last year (pun intended) and Winchester followed suit with a 270 WSM and a 7mmWSM. Remington has some short ultra mags due soon also. In over/unders, Browning has the new 525. We have all seen new designs that would reinvent the wheel but were horrible. This one may well be a good one. It is not radical; it looks normal and works. Ruger and Weatherby have new side by sides that are rousing. And about 25 new black powder guns.
Rebates and Rollbacks............ And here begins our new ‘department’. Browning had a very successful 75$ rebate program on their 3and a half inch pump 12 gauges last year. So they continued until the end of 2002. Winchester will pay for your hunting license up to 25 $ if you buy a Super X 2 shotgun. And if you want a Benelli 12 or 20 gauge Nova pump in black or camo, it has about a 15 percent price rollback. Browning scores again with a 100$ rebate on their Gold semi auto shotguns in every form. Remington has a rebate on their express pumps that take you having to find a coupon in a magazine and bring it in. I think that the year will find some other ‘deals’ coming into effect, stay tuned.
Business Hours.... Our most often asked question it seems. Monday through Friday 9am to 9pm, all year round. Saturdays we roll from 9 am to 5 pm. Closed Sundays and Holidays. On Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day Weekend we close on Saturday as well. Basically we are open 69 hours a week year round.
Black Powder World.... Now here we have a field of firearms that is experiencing some pretty swift evolution. Guns and powders and bullets as well as all the little ‘extras‘. Knight has a change in their Disc system that basically protects the primer better than the old. And the old was pretty good itself. A lot of interest in 45 caliber. Remember that velocity and bullet weight equal hitting power. Bigger bullets don’t always mean harder hitting. Thompson Center has made a major change in their Single shot break opens. A change in the angle of the opening ‘lever’. And a change in the hammer system so that when you let the hammer down you do not have t re-cock. The Omega from T/C is sort of a rolling block inline with incredible ease of maintenance. H&R has a single shot Black Powder rifle that is going to be HUGE. And a number of fun single shot black powder shotguns are coming from several sources.
Handgun Training Class
...We are happy to host a series of training classes strictly dealing with handguns. This is a 5-hour course, which includes 2 classroom hours and 3 range hours. The class utilizes soft air pistols and all materials are provided. There will be a minimum of 4 in a class and maximum of 10. The schedule of classes will be weekend, weeknight, or weekday. Please stop in for further information. This course is not that which would be applicable to the subject below. If the Concealed Carry comes into effect, we will let you know about courses for that. This is a course designed to help you become a better and safer handler of handguns. Helps you use it more effectively for hunting, target or defense.
Concealed Carry Revisited...
First a definition. The ‘right to carry’ or “concealed carry’ proposed laws are all about you having the lawful right to carry a firearm for defense. These laws are already in effect in 44 states in different forms. The proposed law in Wisconsin would first require training certification. Only those persons legally able to own a firearm are eligible. And it would require a permit issued on a county level. The firearm could not be carried in schools, public buildings, bars and certain other places. So what do we think? These laws are in effect in 44 States at the present time. Certain variations on each one. Wisconsin is not inventing the wheel here. We have the advantage of many other States experience in this area. And in every state where this exists, there are not problems with legally armed citizens running amok. And, there are very large drops in crime against citizens. In short, there are no problems and there are very positive effects. It is a privilege that requires work and cost to attain. The Training proposed for Wisconsin is a 22-hour course. Those licensed will be responsible people, carefully screened, well trained and completely aware of allowable circumstances to enjoy this privilege/right.
Sportswear... we took inventory at the end of the year just passed, and when all was said and done we felt there was too much stuff back there. Lots and lots of really nice hunting/fishing/shooting and outdoor sort of gear. So we hung SALE tags on as much of it as we could tag in a day and a half. Save big, look stylish, and be comfortable. And most of all have fun. And we will spend another day hanging more tags on the stuff we missed.
Boots and Shoes..... Boots from Browning, Georgia, and LaCrosse. And some huge sales here for a rather different reason. We have tried to find the perfect line of boots to carry year in and year out. Keep honing the line. And then this year, beloved Browning revamps their entire line. So everything we have is discontinued. It’s got to go to make room for new models. And we added 3 Georgia boots to the mix that were dropped. As well as a couple of Lacrosse's. So come on in and find the perfect pair while sizes are still here. And you WILL be saving loads.
Over/Under Shotguns.... actually, we are fond of every single one of our ‘gun departments’ but we will talk about this one for now. We have a lot of Over/Unders, maybe more than you can find almost anywhere else. In every size and configuration. You just can’t find workmanship like this in any other kind of gun except Side by sides. This is classic firearm construction, craftsmanship at its very best. And your choices are great.
Fishin Hole... we have the fishin department starting to get filled up with ye olde rod reels hooks lines sinkers bobbers tackle boxes and more odds and ends than you can shake a worm at. Find some peace and meaning in your life this year. Go Fish!!
Optics... you know, scopes, binoculars, rangefinders, spotting scopes, that sort of thing. New type items here are the New Leopold Scopes, which is really a repositioning of product. The VariX II has become the V-1 and is gloss only, while a scope called the V-2 is in the old VariX slot and has 3 finishes. We will get it figured out.
And Laser Rangefinders continue to shrink in size. By this I really mean that there are more compact models and fewer of the bigger ones. Makes sense to us.
Bowhuntin... the really big scoop this year is the new DNR rule saying that ANYONE ages 65 and older may hunt with a crossbow. This has reopened deer hunting to a vast numbers of men and women. In other news: our basement range is running great. And Browning has tuned up their bow line to make an even nicer product group. It your not playing this game you might want to think about it. Way different kinds of hunting conditions dependant upon you mood. And the equipment has change so much. Stop in and try one of our demo bows and see what you may be missing.
Tech tips .. a.k.a. Do you know what's in that Shotshell???????? Remember how Great Grandma always used to tell you that for good shotgunning you had to have perfectly round shot that was perfectly uniform? Wellllllll, Bucky she may have lied to us. A product called Hevi-Shot which is now sold by Remington, hits harder, penetrates deeper, goes farther, patterns better, than any thing else around. SUPPOSEDLY. Come in to look at a shells contents and be amazed. The shot looks like it came out of your Weber after a rainstorm. But it works very well. This may just change everything.
Spring Turkey Outlook..... Frankly is pretty darned good. There are many many of these peterodactyls everywhere. This may well be another banner year. Have a good one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ve dozens of call to wet your whistle over. That Hevi Shot stuff we are so high on. Not to mention camo gear at sale prices. And on and on.
Our Trauma of the Year... you’re not going to believe what has us worried most about this year. We have been mainly stocking Outers gun cleaning products on our shelves. And this year they chose to change the thread sizes for the rods and brushes. The cleaning industry is going to a uniform size, which is great, but the changeover year is going to be confusing. So we are ordering lots of thread adapters. Bear with the change and life will somehow go on.
Our Other Trauma of the Year Also known as the Great Federal Bureaucracy Snafu of Feb 02..... when you buy a firearm you fill out out a Form 4473. The form was revised in October of 01 and was scheduled to go into effect sometime in February. On Feb 18 we got a letter saying that on the 19th, only the new ‘model ‘ could be used. The 19th dawned and guess what? No new forms. After a flurry of phone calls, faxes back and forth, photo copies made ,etc.etc. etc. We could then continue in business. And we were not an isolated case. Apparently 9 out of 10 firearms dealers nationwide were in the same bind. The correct form was finally rec’d by us 2 days later. Ahh, ya gotta just love it some days.
Knives.... Still having fun with these in an ever-widening array. If you haven’t stopped in and seen some of the huge replicas of that which preceded firearms, c'mon and be amazed.
Lights.... Could begin with a line like ‘we want to enlighten you here.. But no. The famous ballistic light systems are showing up with the new bulbs. You have to see to believe and then you get real happy after you leave one on and find you still have battery left. The giant swiveling remote control light is proving to be both fun and rewarding.
Armory guns..... Are still providing you and us with some historic insight. These show up almost randomly. From Fn-Fal’s, to SKS, to the grandfather of the HK 93, to Mausers from every place and every era. 2 generations ago our forefathers were getting these things and making sporting rifles out of them. They did that because they couldn't get sporting rifles in a post WW II. Now the want/need is for these same guns but they must be in original condition. They have more value in the original condition than in an expensive sporterized rehab.
Gun safes.... Calling this a weighty subject is only funny if you didn't load one of these half an hour ago. Just unloaded 15 more of these. Went heavy on the fire safes. One reason maybe we go through so many of these is that we know how the product line is made up and we know how to translate it for you. So here it is. These gun safes are all mostly 60 inches high and about 25 inches deep. They have three widths: 25 and 30 and 40 inches. Most all have the duo interiors meaning you get gun storage on one side and shelves on the other. Then if you need it, there is space for more guns by removing the side shelves leaving the tip shelf intact. And the fireproof ones are rated for 30 minutes at 1200 degrees. And that's pretty much it. BUT if you simply lift the door off when the safe is open, the weight is halved. And great feats are possible. (Tho I don't foresee ‘Safe Throwing ‘ replacing fire department water fights.)
Crow news.....ahhhhhhhhh, nothing in the world like that unmistakable black silhouette against the winter sky. The last pure sport left in America. C’mon you turkey dudes and dudettes out there, your perfect gobbler rig can use a tune up and what better place to try. You already have a small game license don’t you. The tight tube and #6. Rock on!!!!!!!!!!!
Used Guns.... Many of these in stock in every department. See the listing here. And since we looked at Semi auto shotguns and saw tooooo many, we marked em all down substantially.
Website.... Yes we have one and it evolves a little every day. This Internet thing is really primarily as an additional information tool.
Stop in for a visit, open 24/7.
Reloading...this is pretty broad subject to coner in a paragraph but here goes. RCBS jumped into shotshells with a Big Green progressive machine. Should be here soon to gaze upon. Meanwhile MEC keeps rolling along with the incredible simple and highly productive machines we all know so well. In the rifle/pistol field; Forster Products has reorganized their line of well-made case trim and care tools. In an aside, many have asked us when we will be running our reloading seminars again. We will do that, just watch for a sign in the store or in this newsletter. BUT we are ready willing and able to inculcate you, one on one, in the arcane mysteries of this practice. Any time, just ask. Rifle/Pistol takes a little longer than shotshell.
Politics... on a State level. Here is an interesting little story. Much talk this Jan/Feb about the proposed Wisconsin bill that would have made all sporting arms and ammunition illegal to possess, or something. Supposedly Jim Doyle authored this in his role as Attorney General. So I contacted Mr. Doyle thru e-mail and asked whether or not this was true. Mr. Doyle nicely and quickly replied that his proposal that he had passed on to the legislature was worded carefully in order to Protect sportsman's rights. But the drafting committee had changed the wording and then the bill became dangerous we innocents. So who is really at fault here? Will research this a little further and see who fingers should be pointed at.
Upcoming April.... Watch for our Nikon Taurus PMC Verona and everything else sale on April 19 and 20. That is a Friday and Saturday. The entire month of April we will be featuring lots of target shotshells as well as lots of center fire rifle and pistol ammunition as incredible prices.
Last Round..... This year started out a little busier than we figured. We thank you all for another banner year just passed. We are trying to get things set up so as to run a little more efficiently. Toughest part is keeping all those essentials in stock. And then the challenge of finding those special order items. We WILL figure it out. The ’business’ made getting this first newsletter out, a longer affair than we had planned. Some paragraphs were done while blizzards raged. Others were banged out during thunderstorms. We are still having fun and hope to heck you are too.
Thanks from all of us at
Bills On the Hill in Lomira