Friday, January 29, 2010

Market Hall Gun Show

January 17. It has been a while. Here's a quick update. I'm now in Las Vegas on my way to Reno. Dallas was a GREAT show. Lots of double rifles there at the tables of Westley Richards, Lewis Drake, Champlin Arms, and Jack Puglisi. New doubles were represented by Krieghoff, Heym, and Verney-Carron. I was at the booth of the African Hunter magazine with Anthony Williams and my .600 and 4-bore were on the table drawing in lots of interest. In fact, I left my .600 with a friend in Texas to shoot and hunt with on his ranch as the .600 didn't get much interest when it was next to the huge 4-bore. Lots of interest in my book on the .600s and my website as well with all comments very positive.

At the SCI show in Reno I will be with Anthony again at the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters booth and will also be signing my books with Safari Press between 2:30 and 3:30 each day (or, as they say in Zim, between half two and half three). I have been gathering and will continue to gather information for my next book on the bore rifles as well as additional .600 info for a second volume--not a revised book, but entirely new info and photos. Since publication I have found 4 additional .600s and know of another 30 (22 English and 8 European) but the owners are somewhat secretive. Perhaps when they see the first book, they will know I am serious and will relent to using their rifles--anonymous is fine if they wish.

Lots of interesting data about African hunting. Many PHs and outfitters have not lowered their prices much in the economy. Perhaps they will do so later in the year when they realize they may not sell all of their quota. I still see buffalo hunts in Zim for 13,500 to 15,000 USD and that is way too high for this market. Top end hunters still opt for Tanzania and bargain seekers look to Zim. South Africa has good buffalo (on ranches--but some are certainly big enough to offer a fair chase hunt) but the price is about 13-15K. Tanzania is a bargain if you want to take two buffalo and some outfitters in Zim are offering a second buffalo, too. South Africa will offer a second buff but at 2x the price which puts many outfitters higher than in Tanzania. As to low prices, beware of the buff hunts that are 5-7,000 USD. This may be too good to be true. Get references of as many past clients as possible--not just the few that took great buffalo. Mozambique is opening up nice with some nice trophies coming out of that country.

I'll add to the site more upon my return to Alaska in a week or so. I have over a dozen vintage articles on double rifles mailed to me by a viewer and I will scan and add them as well as any info from the Reno show.

Thanks, all, for looking and your positive comments.