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Hybrid Guns, Ahoy!
February 03, 2012

Freak guns, ahoy!

Weird gun hybrids are popping up a lot these days. Budget gunmakers Rossi, Taurus, and H&R seem to be leading the charge. What's up with those guys? Who's in charge? I sense wild characters at work. Some "car guys" have been given the keys to the factory and is cranking out some seriously creative firearms that are keeping the big outfits second-guessing.

Mainly it seems like the new kids are thrifty breech-loaders with a wide variety of extra barrels and accessories. And plainish revolvers and pistols that shoot both bullets and shotgun shells with long barrels and/or butt-stocks. Then there are the semi-budget-priced retro-styled revival guns. Whew!

The Taurus Circuit Judge .410/.45 revolver rifle is a big new deal. Rossi Wizard seems cool. H&R used to have the short pistol "Handi Gun" but now have the versatile Handi-Rifle. (Since Rossi seems to have a pistol Wizard I don't know why H&R isn't doing the same and reviving their Handi.)

So far the short-barrel pistol/shotguns don't seem all that useful to me as "daily drivers." Although, I believe one can hunt with pistols in shotgun territory, at least in Michigan. So maybe these are pistols that get around the no-rifle rule downstate. The usefulness of a pistol that shoots .410 shotgun shells seems sketchy at best -- but they're selling like hotcakes and everyone is having fun shooting watermelons with them (see YouTube). So now S&W is getting in on the act. But this new gun-making "out of the box" might hit on an actually good idea pretty soon now.

ATF rules seem to be changing, too. If you have money you can get a special license for most anything -- silencers, machine guns, no problem! Seems like it's about $200 to get a permit for either.

The ATF probably knows the simple truth that they can make money doing this and that such firearms have no relation to increasing crime. It's win-win. I'm pretty sure that mail-order firearms of the 1950's or so didn't increase crime either and so the ban on them didn't cut crime. It's time for all that to go. Re-open opportunity, baby!

So, what's next?

I'll tell you what!

Here's my guess...

*A combi-pistol with folding stock. Yes, the Marbles Gamegetter is on its way back. I smell it. It's illegal right now but seems oh so handy. It's only illegal for silly reasons, anyway. They're gonna fall. Talk about a pack-basket canoe trapline gun. OK, so hardly anyone uses pack baskets or runs traplines or goes on canoe trips where guns are needed but still... The holster for that old gun is so sweet. Ya know that sheaths make a knife, right? Well, the solution of how a gun is carried determines its use, too. Maybe the new version would be hardshell, maybe not. Maybe it'd make a good under the truck seat gun. It's handy to have both rifle and shotgun in a truck in rural places, ya know. Might be just plain handy all around.

[NEWS FLASH! I just found out that Marbles DID re-issue the Game-Getter in 2010, apparently. I can't tell if they're all gone. They went for $2k each.]

*An American drilling. 7 lbs. 20-ga/.243/.22. $750.

*Silencers on hunting barrels. Oh yeah! ...It's a thought, anyway.

Taurus Circuit Judge -- .410 shotgun, .45 bullet combo revolver.

Cheap Rossi Wizard breech-loader with matched second barrel (hmm, looks like somebody's Photoshop slipped)

Thrifty Rossi Wizard pistol rifle-ish thing...

The Classic.

Hey, the Game-Getter *IS* available again! Well, maybe. It was announced in 2009. Then I see mention it'll be released in 2011. I don't find ANY reviews...yet. C'mon!

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