Hello and Happy newsletter number three of 2002.....This issue is the grand experiment to see if we can totally lay out this thing on our own computer. Partly the challenge and perhaps save a dollar or two. We promise to maintain all the usual miss-pellings tho.
Its an unusual year filled with unknowns and uncertainties for all of us in many areas. Probably the overriding thing is CWD. We hit that in our last issue and will touch upon it in this one.
Election Time AGAIN..... And that clichéd question comes up AGAIN. Are you going to vote your beliefs and sports? The biggest copout is the line that “my vote doesn’t matter“. That was well proved in the last national election as well as a number of local and regional races. Vote, durnit, Vote.
Rebates and Rollbacks....... A hot new one from Ruger: a 40$ rebate from the factory to you on any Super Redhawk Revolver or on almost any model 77 Centerfire Rifle. Still on is the great rollback on Benelli Pump Shotguns. And the $100 on Browning Gold Shotguns. Browning 3 and a half inch pumps carry a $75 dollar rebate. Winchester Auto shotguns 25$. Remington Guns are carrying assorted Rebates.Franchi 912auto has 75$ back.
Chronic Wasting Disease.... It has been months since this broke as a news item. A reminder for us all, this is a NEWS ITEM used by the media to sell advertising. Yes it does exist but don’t count on your paper/radio/ or TV to give you rational information. We all need to figure this out for ourselves. As of now we have a special season in the affected area. A ban on feeding deer. And a fall testing system being set up by the state. This will test a batch of deer from every county as well as the ‘hot areas”. We think that this deer season will be what you make it. If you wish to say no to deer hunting and stay home, then you will have a lousy deer season. But if you take the other attitude, that the deer are still out there. That there are many many opportunities for good quality hunting experiences. That the intensive zone is someplace you should go and find a willing landowner for some great hunting. If you look at it that way, you’ll have a great season and help ensure the future of Hunting. Visit our web site for a lot of information on CWD and be able to look at the big picture. A final thought on this. For as long as we can remember we’ve been told that we need to hunt to control the number of Whitetails. We were told we had to hunt to keep the numbers down because of the possibility of disease, or starvation. Deer have been really thriving as Wisconsin population grows. If Wisconsin hunters get gun-shy about hunting deer, the deer numbers will increase A LOT. Well folks, we have a slightly sick deer herd. May well be caused by overpopulation. So now is the time to take that buck and a doe or two or whatever you have a permit for. The DNR is publishing a great deal of good information . Come get a copy.
New Gun News.....
We don’t even want to talk about how hard to find those darned 17 rim-fires are. These are now being built by Ruger, Marlin, Taurus in a Pistol, H & R in a single shot, Savage, and soon a Remington in semi auto. This is fun stuff.
This month I am going to throw a batch of statistics at you from the world at large. This is intended to help us all put it in perspective. Firearms Production by American Companies in year 2000. These numbers do not include foreign built firearms, so keep that in mind. And note a couple of weird names in here. No, we haven’t heard of them either.
Top U.S Shotgun Producers in - 2000
1. Remington 355,178
2. Mossberg 352, 494
3. H & R 162,706
4. Winchester 74,564
5. Maverick 22,344
6. Sturm Ruger Co 18,000
7. Springfield 4377
8. Savage 2528
Top Rifle Producers in U.S. in 2000
1. Sturm Ruger Co 309,017
2. Marlin Firearms 287,418
3. Remington Arms 250,249
4. Savage 158,136
5. Wright Productions 127,922
6. Winchester (U.S.R.A.) 116,116
7. Argus Publications 61,387
8. H & R 55753
9. Bushmaster 39,932
Top Handgun Producers in US- 2000
1. Sturm Ruger Co. 345,711
2. Smith and Wesson 220,993
3. Bryco Arms 116,664
4. Beretta 90,532
5. Southwest Met. Fin 61,957
6. Beemiller 49670
7. Kimber Mfg 49,075
8. Kel tec 42447
9. Colts Mfg 35413
10. North American Arms 32,932
11. Davis Industries 28723
12. Heritage Mfg 24170
13. Springfield 23021
14, Phoenix 21,584
15. Arms Tech (Browning) 18,996
16. Taurus Inter (US) 10786
17. Thompson Center 9329
These figures are not exact but close. And no guns manufactured overseas are listed here. If the guns actually sold here in the U.S.A. were listed in order, it would be a slightly different view.
Federal and State Gun Laws... For this one we have to spend a minute giving a lot of credit to the Feds for something. Really!! Ready? The Feds handle the part where we check when selling a rifle or pistol. It took a while but they revamped their system and now do a better job, more quickly for us, and you. With something like 70 per cent fewer delays. As for the State of Wisconsin, well, they have always been efficient. At one point they (the State) did not know how to word a document, but they fixed it. DO NOT, please , take this as any form of endorsement of Mr. Doyle.
Black Powder Shootin...... So here it is with half the year to go and this is what is new and/or improved. H & R has this incredible new single shot black powder rifle in 50 caliber. If you want you can get other barrels for it. And it’s only $125 dollars with the high viz sights. This is going to be tough to get, Meanwhile Thompson Center has their improved Encore rifle in production. And T/C also has another winner in their Omega rifle, which can best be described as a falling block inline. Winchester has a pretty neat couple of rifles built to some rather high standards. Knight continues with an improved disc rifle. And CVA is building the usual array of economical yet accurate inlines and sidelock guns. Savage is delivering a few more of their own great smokeless powder muzzleloaders. And bullets, bullets you can find an even broader array to meet you wants and needs. And, we have powder in granulated form, and pellets, and now we have 50 grain sticks. Who woulda thunk it? And Hodgon now has Triple 7 granulated in 2 and 3 F.
A Little Firearms History Then and Now...... There is a book that has been out with the subject being John Browning and all that he is responsible for insofar as firearm development. Besides the Browning Guns we all know, he is responsible for the guns that made Winchester famous. And Colt owes its 1911 to him. The list is Huge.
And now another American Legend has passed away. I speak of William, Bill, Ruger who left his earthly bonds this summer. He started out 50 years ago to make a little 22 pistol and this year his company is Americas largest gunmaker. Like Browning, the Ruger Legacy will continue to serve our needs and wants.Huntin License News.. First off we want to remind all you Patron License holders of a little known fact. You already know you get a park sticker with your package. But do you know that you can get a second sticker for 10 bucks for your second car? Or Cycle? And on other fronts, license fees remained the same this year once again. This years tag color is a light blue.
Concealed Carry.... Where is this now? After all the hoopla? As an issue for this years legislature to deal with apparently it is off the table. We should see it resurface next session. Perhaps. Interesting point here, our Governor, in a comparison with other candidates, was asked about his stance on the concealed carry issue. He chose not to respond to this. I thought about what this non-response meant. Since we feel his self-chosen role is to govern the people according to the will of the people. He will see what the Senate and the House decide. If they both pass such a bill I am thinking he will sign it since it represents the will of the people. Please remember that that is our theory. So lets put a little pressure on our elected officials. Remember that you are the employer of the government. And we feed them darn well.
Open 9 to 9 Mon to Friday
9-5 on Saturday,
Closed Sundays and Holidays.
Internet.... www.billssport.com We have worked to make this an information tool for you. If you check this address on your computer you will find a ton of different links. Links to companies and products that you may want to know more about. Try it and if it works for you, mark it on your computer for fast access to the sporting goods world. We’ve even thrown in a few places to shoot and hunt, near and far. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Reloading............ Stop in and see the new RCBS Grand Shotshell Loader. And if you want to start loading center fire, stop in any time for an explanation of what metallic reloading is about. Great bullet availability now, and the new reloading books from 2-3 companies are due out in September.
Knives........ Now here is sharp subject upon which we do not want to be on the cutting edge of. Got lots and lots of these in almost every shape and form. From 2 bucks to 200 dollars. Another product line, like firearms, where the heritage of quality workmanship still lives and thrives from days long gone.
Crow Hunting..... The last true pure sport left in America. The great current debate? Is it worth spending the money for hevi-shot shells in the pursuit of this incredible game animal?
Boots..... We are putting our best foot forward here. Browning, LaCrosse, and Georgia Boot. Sizes and styles that run well and run long. Men Women and Boys and Girls Sizes. Just received about 50 pair of Georgia boots. Plus, we have 40 pair men's and women's that are closeouts because the models have changed. Step lively and save.
Ducks Unlimited/Oshkosh.... was on August 16--17-18. We were fortunate enough to be up there as part of the PMC/ Verona/ Doctor/ Springfield/ Savage expo trailer. This was a great show and the greatest part we thought were all the people having a chance to shoot every pistol rifle or shotgun you could think of. And the work the DU club members volunteered for and did was just huge.
Hunters Safety...... Is the future of all of our shooting and hunting sports. These people build better sportsboys and sportsgirls, soon to be sportsmen and sportswomen. Carrying on where we leave off.. Support your locals. For there is power in our numbers.
Gun Clubs... All these kind of go together. It seems like every where you turn in these parts; there is a club that offers some combination of activity for anyone wishing to participate. And frankly ladies and gentlemen, it isn't that good in other parts of our nation. Supporting your local club or clubs can only keep em strong and make em stronger.
Gun Safes... new colors, some new sizes, but save your back and do not lay these on the counter to trade in. We have sold more of these and bought more of these than ever before. GREAT on hand inventory. Haven’t dropped one on myself in two years now. C’mon in and look at the selection if your in need of great security for your firearms, papers, or any other valuables.
Calendar of Events...
Sept. 1 - Dove Season Opens ???
Sept 3 - Early Goose Season Opens
Sept 14 - Deer Archery/Squirrel Opens
Oct. 19 - Noon - Pheasant Opens
Oct 24 - T Zone Opens
Oct 27 - T Zone Ends
Nov 17 - Deer Archery Closes
Nov 23 - Deer Gun Opens
Dec 2 - Muzzleloader Deer Opens
Jan 17 - Bear Apps. Deadline
Tech Tips.....actually this month we just want to say this about scopes, binocs, and rangefinders. If we all hunted on sunny days from 9 to 3, I would skip this. If you are looking for a optical device, you should only shop for it beginning a half hour before sunset and shop til a half hour after. Which one holds the light longest. And remember not to plan on getting binoc or scope quality optics out of a rangefinder.
Bowhunting..... Is upon us, should be a little more success this early season with the dry and the heat. Foliage a little thin. It can be a great season if you make it. A host of crossbow hunters will be returning to the woods to enjoy what they may have missed for a couple of years.
Huntin and Sportin Togs.... We shopped this carefully this year and then hung yellow sale tags on virtually everything. Notice the huge assortment of shirts, jackets, sox, coats pants and on and on. Save big and look good. .
Politics...... Kind of quiet at least at this moment. Those who would try to impede the rights and lives of responsible citizens are perhaps at the seashore. But there are some running who want to step into your life. Vote.
Last Round.... Actually, every year/month is different and interesting. This one is shaping up the same. What is deer hunting, and what will it be for the future generations? It’s up to us. What will politics bring our social environment? It’s up to us. What will our lives turn out like? Yup. it’s up to us.
Thanks...... From us halfway up (or halfway down) the hill. Its another fun year in which we have grown some and plan on keepin on. May the fall and winter seasons bring us all satisfaction.
Ken. Paul, Dan, Joe, Olde Dick,
Al, Older Dick, Kathy, Mike