January 18, 2011


Since this blog is about coyote hunting I might as well start this post off with some calls. I stopped at the Flambeau booth today and talked with their coyote guy, Tad Brown. He showed me some of their new calls being sold under the MAD brand name. They have a couple of versions of a howler that he demonstrated
and it seems versatile and produces nice sounds (at least in his hands). They have a nice selection of new
calls under the MAD brand and they should be worth looking for when they finally get across the border. I'll try and leave here with one at the end of the show so I can give a field report as to how it works.

I think most of us know the MAD brand name more for e-callers than anything else, and they have a comprehensive line of those as well. From big rigs complete with decoy to small units with just the basic features. Here's a picture that gives you an idea of their line up. Remember these are being handled by Flambeau now...

Bipods are always an important accessory for any coyote hunter and I found a neat one of those.

It's marketed by Vanguard and is wonderfully flexible in what it can do. It works as a monopod, a bipod or a tripod, depending on how it's configured. This is possible because one leg is removable. That leg then works as a monopod gun rest if you put the "head" on it. The other two, which are permanently attached work as a bidpod. Put all three together and you have a tripod, with the added bonus, as shown in the photo, that the third leg can be put out at pretty much any angle you need to get that third support. Threads are standard, so you can put a camera or spotting scope on in place of the head. I like the flexibility and it's pictured on the left.

Vanguard has a line of folding bipods that attach to your rifle now too. They tilt and swivel and the legs extend to varying lengths. And Vanguard is one of those companies that actually seems interested in getting their stuff into the Canadian market. I've been seeing some of it on shelves and the prices seems good.

Moving on to rifles. Here's a new configuration from CZ. This is their standard 527 rifle in 223 Remington, but with a camo coating.

Being a little confused about the relationship with CZ USA and CZ Canada, I asked one of the reps on the floor. He told me there is no relationship. Each importer, of course has a relationship with the manufacturer in Europe, but the two entities don't talk to each other across our common border. He couldn't even tell me who the Canadian importer is, any more than he could tell me who the Australian distributor is. They have nothing to do with them. When I asked him if we could get this rifle in Canada, he told me they import this as a basic product from Europe and then contract out the camo coating in the US. So Canada can't import them from CZ Europe directly. A Canadian dealer may be able to get it from a US distributor, however. And now you know why we can't always get the latest CZ products we see in the gun magazines.

But if you want to camo your own gun, DuraCoat has come out with a complete do-it-yourself kit so you can do a durable, professional looking job yourself. These guys are well known for a good product that really is pretty easy to apply, but this new kit should make it even easier. It's big feature is that everything is in one kit, including the air. Yes, they've included an aerosol powered sprayer, so you don't even need a compressor or air brush any more.

Moving on to reloading; Lyman has a couple of new products, including a case preparation station that features a handful of revolving tool heads as well as some static neck brushes and various storage stations. It seems to run quietly and smoothly and should work well. They also have an ultrasonic case cleaner that will double as a small parts cleaner. To complete it there are two types of solutions available, depending on your needs.

 If you've never used an ultrasonic cleaner on small bits and pieces before, you're in for a treat. They work like magic. I grabbed a picture of the case preparation centre but didn't get the ultrasonic unit. At least there are no worries about getting Lyman stuff across the border as they are well represented by most major Canadian retailers.

I caught the Forster booth as well today, and found they have a new die for us obsessive compulsive handloaders who have to have everything perfect. It's a bushing die that allows you to control how much the necks are resized through the use of different diameter bushings. Depending on how you set up the die, it will also bump the shoulder of your case down to the correct headspace. This should allow control of those two measurements while maintaining concentricity of the case. From the outside it looks a lot like an ordinary die, the magic is on the inside. It's called a Bushing Bump Neck Sizing Die.

And finally, in the department that has nothing to do with coyote hunting but I think is cool, we have an entry in the firearm category. Here's a 22 rifle that looks a lot like a Ruger 10-22 and uses most of the same parts because it is built to take advantage of the huge number of aftermarket accessories that are available for that rifle. However, it's a bolt action. Actually, it's a bolt action that operates like a biathalon rifle, meaning you can flick the bolt with your trigger finger without having to break the firing grip. Why, you ask? It's because of the growing use of suppressors in the USA. To make maximum effective use of a suppressor the breech needs to be sealed. A good suppressed 22 rimfire with a sealed breech is about as loud as a mouse fart. Of course, we can't have a suppressor in Canada, but we can have the rifle. After all , it's just a bolt action 22. And they do have a distributor here; Questar International. The gun is made by Primary Weapons Systems. If they ever prohibit semi-auto's, this is just a hair slower.

That's it, I'm tired. More tomorrow.

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