This week’s continuation of my letter to Santa begins with a “must have” I’ve wanted in my gun cabinet since it was first introduced on March 28 — the new Ruger 10/22 long rifle (LR) caliber Take Down rifle.
Santa, the way this new little gun has been selling, I didn’t want to wait, so I took the liberty of ordering one you can pick up on your way through Prescott, Ariz. Stop by Ruger, pick it up and bring it to my house on Christmas Eve.
This gun is quite a bit different from the company’s traditional 10/22, introduced in 1964, that quickly became America’s favorite .22LR semi-auto rifle, and they sold millions. This new model still offers the tack-driving accuracy of a target rifle, feels and looks good and can weather heavy use. What makes it unique is its “take down” feature. All that’s required to separate the action from the barrel is locking the bolt back, verifying the rifle is unloaded, pushing the recess lever and twisting the sub-assemblies and pull them apart.
Other features include black synthetic stock, 18 1⁄2-inch stainless steel, clear matte finished barrel with 1:16 inch right-hand twist grooves, gold bead front sight and adjustable rear sight. It’s drilled and tapped for a scope and includes a rail mount for Weaver-style rings. The overall length of the rifle is 37 inches, and it weighs 4.67 pounds. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $389 (www.ruger.com).
I believe a stainless rifle should be matched with a stainless scope, and I found the perfect match made by Simmons. It’s the 22 Mag series 3-9x32 Silver Truplex that includes the rings needed to mount the scope. Additionally, it has a TrueZero adjustment system with a quick target acquisition (QTA) eyepiece, high-quality glass and fully HydroShield-coated lens for bright and sharp target acquisition, and the new SureGrip rubber surfaces sighting knob adjustments are easy to use in all weather conditions. Squirrels are definitely going to be in trouble now. Siggested retail price is $71, but you can find them for under $50 (www.simmonsoptics.com).
JOHNNY MORRIS OUTFIT
Every angler, regardless of his/her current fishing equipment, can use another rod and reel. The one I’m impressed with is the Bass Pro Shops’ Johnny Morris CarbonLite combo. This line offers three reels and 21 rods to choose from. The reel has a molded carbon frame, aluminum and carbon pipe handle, six stainless-steel bearings plus one line roller bearing, ported spool face, seven-part drag stack with stainless washers and powerlock instant anti-reverse. All have a 5.2:1 gear ratio.
The rod is made of an 85-million-modulus carbon fiber blank with Pac Bay DLC stainless steel framed guides that can handle all line textures, including superline, and a super lightweight polyfoam grip with two-piece reel seat and maximum blank exposure. The Johnny Morris CarbonLite Combo retails for $150 (www.basspro.com).
As a part-time Florida snowbird, I fish the Intercoastal Waterway every morning and evening around a series of 70 docks outside of our rented condo. It was there I saw the Humminbird SmartCast RF15 fishfinder, and the fisherman using it was definitely catching fish.
This mobile unit is the ideal fish finder for the shore fisherman. It has a four-inch diagonal display screen with a grayscale display that operates out to distances up to 100 feet and 100 feet deep. Features include a backlight for night fishing, surface temperature, ultra-wide sonar coverage twice that of the water depth, fish alarm and sensitivity control. It will operate for 500 hours in water. The RSS Sensor (transducer) is waterproof and programmable for either Channel A or B. Powered by eight “AAA” batteries, it comes in a rugged case with non-skid bottom and RSS storage.
Attach the RSS to another rod and reel combo, cast it out and start finding the fish. The SmartCast will work anywhere and would be a big help to those fishing from shore and/or the lock areas of the Mohawk River. Suggested retail price is $170 (www.humminbird.com).
All outdoors men/women have and use knives, hunters for deer and anglers for fish. The Edgecraft Chef’s Choice Diamond Hone two-stage Model 450 sharpener will fit easily into any backpack and/or tacklebox to keep those knives sharp, ready for woods and waters. Its precision angle guides, two-stage sharpening and 100 percent diamond abrasives will provide a razor-sharp blade. It sharpens the full blade edge of fine-edge (straightedge) kitchen, fishing, hunting and pocket knives, and it is dishwasher safe. Suggested retail price is $25 (www.edgecraft.com).
Speaking of knives, they’re like fishing rods — you never have enough — and I saw one I liked in Bass Pro Shops catalog that’s something every deer hunter should have in his/her backpack. It is the RedHead Big Game Hunting Knife Set that includes a 5.75-inch clever, 4.33-inch gut hook and a 3.3-inch caper. All have 3Cr13 steel blades and rubber handles. The set comes with a nylon sheath and is on sale for $25 (www.basspro.com).
There is one other tool that will make field-dressing a deer a lot easier: the Butt Out 2 by Hunter Specialties. One of the toughest jobs when dressing out a deer is the removal of the alimentary canal. Hunters laugh and joke about the Butt Out, but they know it makes the job a lot quicker, cleaner and definitely a lot safer. Drop one in a deer hunter’s stocking. They’ll use it. Suggested retail price is $12 (www.hunterspec.com).