Hank Williams Jr. Offers Cash for His Grandpas’s Lost Shotgun

Hank Williams Jr Shotgun reward poster

While “a country boy can survive,” to help carry on a hunting tradition, Bocephus is looking for a lost family heirloom 16-gauge, no questions asked. (Photo: Steve Smith/Facebook)

Country singer and avid hunter Hank Williams, Jr. is looking for his grandfather’s long lost Remington shotgun and is offering cash or trade for its return.

Williams, better known to his legion of fans as Bocephus, is on the prowl for a specific Model 11-48 made by Big Green. The 16-gauge semi-auto, whose serial number ends in 58111, is thought by the singer’s Alabama attorney, Steve Smith, to have been lost when Williams moved from rural “Cullman to Paris–possibly from his cabin on Smith Lake.”

While the country legend is offering “fifty $100 dollar bills, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, no chance of criminal prosecution,” Smith also says if the finder would prefer a gun or guitar “I’m sure that can be arranged with a proper certificate of authenticity.” In addition, a $1,000 finders fee has been offered for information that puts Smith on the trail of the vintage scattergun.

Introduced by the New York-based gunmaker in 1952, some 429,000 Remington Model 11-48s were made before the shotguns were phased out in favor of later models in 1968.

Williams, 69, said the gun belonged to his Granddad Sheppard and he now wants to “pass the Remington down to my own children and grandchildren.”

Earlier this month he posted photos of an Alabama turkey hunt in which 10-year-old Lane Murphy harvested two toms with a .410.

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President Trump Signs Bill Making It Easier to Build, Maintain Public Ranges

Shooting range table

The new law makes it easier for states to use already-existing federal funds to create public gun ranges (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

President Donald Trump recently signed a measure backed by pro-gun groups to increase the number of shooting ranges available on public land. The bipartisan proposal, H.R.1222, was introduced in February and passed in a voice vote in April while the Senate likewise approved a similar bill earlier this year.

Currently, states looking to begin work on public shooting ranges must match federal government grant funds to the tune of 25 cents on the dollar. The range bill signed by Trump this month drops the matching formula to 90/10 while also allowing funds to accrue for up to five years – up from two.

Now law, the move tweaks the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act. This 80-year-old law uses an 11 percent excise tax levied on all guns and ammo commercially sold or imported into the country to perform conservation-related tasks such as restoring habitat, funding hunter safety programs and establishing public ranges. Paid for by firearms industry manufacturers, conservation officials announced over $670 million in Pittman-Robertson funds would be available to states this year alone.

The change, which has been proposed in one form or another no less than 29 different times over the past 14 years, was a top priority for the gun industry’s trade group.

“We deeply appreciate President Trump’s swift enactment of this legislation that will give state fish and game agencies greater flexibility to build new recreational shooting ranges and expand and improve existing ranges,” said Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The latest National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, compiled by the federal government every five years since 1955, counted a population of least 11.4 million hunters in the country. These sportsmen, in turn, pumped $25.6 billion into the economy in 2016.

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane said the new range law is important as, “Now more than ever, America’s sportsmen and women need places to hone their skills and learn the fundamentals of hunting and the shooting sports.”

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Hornady Adds .350 Legend To American Whitetail Ammo Line

Hornady American Whitetail 350 LegendHornady is expanding their horizons with the new .350 Legend hunting cartridge in their American Whitetail hunting ammunition line.  The new cartridge will be loaded with 170 grain  InterLock®  bullets.  Hornady describes their Interlock bullets below: InterLock® bullets feature exposed lead tips for controlled expansion and hard-hitting terminal performance. Bullets used in American Whitetail®ammunition feature our pioneering secant […]

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Savage 99: The Non-Traditional American Lever Action

Model 99

This Savage Model 99 example from the Guns.com warehouse is chambered in .250-3000. It’s a good example of the design, which is commonly seen in well-loved yet completely serviceable condition. (Photo: Guns.com Warehouse)

Few things are as American as the lever action rifle, a major design offering from the U.S. to the greater firearms world. While the names Winchester and Marlin are more quickly associated with the platform, none may be more endeared in the hearts of American hunters than the Model 99 from Savage Arms.

The Savage Model 99

Arthur Savage was an inventor and man of the world, creating things from railroad and streetcar lines to naval torpedoes. In the midst of it all was born his design for a rotary magazine lever action rifle, and the rest is history. Savage saw the shortcomings of contemporary lever actions and set about to improve the platform.

Where traditional lever actions were limited in their use of spitzer-tipped centerfire rounds in a tubular magazine due to dangers of accidental detonation, the Savage 99’s rotary internal design solved that problem and allowed the use of more accurate bullets.

Model 99

The Ninety-Nine’s, manufactured for nearly a century, were chambered in 15 different calibers. Four of those were Savage’s own chamberings: .303 Sav, .250-3000 Sav, .300 Sav, and .22 Sav Hi-Power. Pictured here is a takedown Hi Power, takedown .250-3000, and standard .300 Sav. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

In addition to building a better mousetrap in terms of the magazine style when compared to Winchester and Marlin, Savage also did away with the external hammer in exchange for his patented hammerless, striker-fired action. This, in turn, allowed the use of a much heavier bolt, which gave the 99 the ability to safely handle higher pressure smokeless cartridges than comparable lever actions of the time. If those improvements were not enough, Savage also incorporated an angled side-eject that was a more friendly alternative to top ejecting lever actions, especially as the use of scopes was embraced by hunters.

Following proof of concept with a short Marlin production, Savage opened the doors on his own factory in Utica, New York and commenced building the Model 1899. Though Arthur Savage himself moved on from his firearms factory to pursue a sundry of other ventures from orange growing to radial tire patenting, the Model 99 would remain by far his greatest testament with over a million rifles produced in nearly a century’s time.

Calibers and Variants

The Savage 99 has a track record of success as a blue-collar hunter’s rifle, and as such, the majority of the calibers were ideal for harvesting the gamut of North American game. A few of the most popular calibers were the original .303 Savage, .30-30 Winchester, .300 Savage, .250-3000 Savage, .243 Winchester and .308 Winchester. One of my personal favorites, the .22 Savage Hi-Power–better known to our European counterparts as the 5.6x52R–was an ahead-of-it’s time heavy-varmint, light-bigger-game round that remains incredibly popular across the ocean.

Model 99

The hammerless, rotary magazine design of the Savage quickly won the hearts of American hunters and shooters, proven by the 99’s near-century-long production run. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

While the vast majority of 99’s to appear on local gun store shelves and online outlets will be one of the aforementioned, collectors of the model gravitate to the less common.  That means the shorter-run chamberings like .25-35 Win, .32-40 Win, .38-55 Win, .284 Win, and even the later .22-250 Rem, 7mm-08 Rem, along with the harder-hitting .358 and .375 Winchester calibers.  While the vast majority of 99’s utilize the blind five-round rotary internal magazine, a number of later variants made use of a dropbox magazine. There was even a .410 shotgun top end that was often partnered with the .300 Savage as a hunter’s takedown cased combination.

A short run of saddle ring carbine variants dominates the unusual, with perhaps the most rare being only a few known full-stocked Model 99 military muskets. If our production count holds true, that’s a total of fifteen rifle chamberings and one shotgun bore, all based on the ingenious Savage 99.

Guns.com Savage 99

Though used guns move in and out of stock quickly at the Guns.com warehouse, there always seems to be a Model 99 available in one caliber or another. Current stock at the time of this writing includes one of my favorite calibers, the .250-3000 Savage.  This specimen is perfectly representative of a typical Model 99. It has a 22-inch barrel with original iron sights, while the tang is adorned with an aftermarket peep.

Hints of case color remain at the lever, while the steel buttplate is reminiscent of the utilitarian nature of the rifle. Most of the specimens, like this one, weigh just over seven pounds and balance incredibly well in the hand at the oft-worn rounded lower receiver. The brass rotary round counter remains as one of the most immediately recognizable features on the 99.  The tang-top cocking indicator was unique at the time as well.

Model 99

The Savage 99 lever action design improved upon contemporary lever guns of the time by utilizing a rotary magazine which allowed safe use of spitzer bullets, an angled side eject compatible with optics, and a hammerless design with a stronger bolt allowing for higher-pressure rounds. (Photo: Guns.com Warehouse)

Walnut stocks on the Guns.com example are worn with the patina of age as is typical of the majority, while these are checkered, a later and deluxe option. The earliest models used a straight grip buttstock, and while this one wears a pistol grip, its shapely Schnabel forend is indicative of the trim and attractive lines of the 99.

While later models were drilled and tapped for scope mounts, early gems made use of Stith mounts—which attach at existing points of dovetail and tang—and such creative optics attachment helped save marring the virgin receivers of what are now much more collectible untapped rifles. Condition and scarcity always drive price, but even more common examples of the 99 such as this one have seen prices steadily climbing over the last decade.

Sentimentality of the Ninety-Nine

For their 125th Anniversary this year, Savage opted to commemorate the years with a beautiful Model 110 bolt action in chamberings including .300 Sav and .250-3000 Sav. While that is a fantastically beautiful gun, Savage lovers will always clamor for the return of the Ninety-Nines. While the Model 99’s have been out of production for several decades, the space they hold in the hearts of their owners knows no measurements of time.

Will we ever see the return of the lever action platform from Savage? Sadly, it is rather unlikely given the pure cost alone of building the rifle, coupled with the waning lever gun market. Yet for us lovers of that smooth-running, easy-handling, straight-shooting hunting rifle, hope springs eternal. Until then, however, the Savage 99 will remain both a collector and a shooter, a testament to the strength of American spirit and ingenuity, and an heirloom gun that–in my family as well as thousands of others–will continue passing from one generation to the next.

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Hot Gobbler Optics: Aimpoint Micro H-2 Red Dot Proves Itself on Turkeys

Aimpoint

Our test Aimpoint Micro H-2 sits atop the new Savage 220 bolt action shotgun. With Federal Premium TSS loads, we cleanly harvested trophy toms from 16 yards to 53 yards, and the dot size and brightness settings of the Aimpoint were ideal. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

While optics on turkey smoothbores are becoming the norm these days, many hunters — current company included — are reluctant to make the transition. That all changed when we spent a Texas Rio Grande turkey hunt with the Savage Model 220 bolt action shotgun topped with an Aimpoint Micro H-2 red dot. The rest is happy history.

Aimpoint Micro H-2

Though we have always hunted with irons or fiber optic open sights, there’s finally a red dot optic we can get behind for turkey slaying. We had the pleasure of using the Micro H-2’s atop Savage’s 220 bolt action 20-gauge turkey-specific smoothbores, and it worked flawlessly. The sight is classified by the company as a “reflex collimator sight with LED” but to us, it’s a hardcore red dot.

Integral Weaver/Picatinny-style base allows easy mounting on most guns, while Aimpoint offers a half-dozen additional mounts for easy mating with a variety of specific rifles and shotguns. It ships with a set of see-thru, flip-up lens covers and uses stainless steel mount threads for added durability. The housing is anodized aluminum finished in an unassuming matte black.

Aimpoint

The Aimpoint Micro H-2 with its 2MOA dot worked perfectly on gobblers. It mounted quickly to the Savage 220’s top rail, though if your gun is not picatinny/Weaver friendly, the company makes a host of other rifle and shotgun mounts. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

This second generation of Micro H-2 is advertised to allow greater light transmission, and while we have not viewed a Gen 1, we had no problem scanning the terrain at dusk and dawn. In addition, the twelve brightness settings were more than ample to master any lighting conditions.

Both windage and elevation adjustments can be made using the top of the protective caps, so no additional tool is required at the patterning board. Sighting in the Savage shotguns with the Aimpoints was a breeze, and we were quickly placing a devastating group at 40 yards. The unlimited eye relief of a such a red dot sight allows even inexperienced shooters to hunt successfully with both eyes open, thus allowing a full and brighter view of the surroundings.

Run-and-Gun Ready

The Micro H-2 — like other Aimpoint optics — is fully waterproof, not just water resistant, and submersible to a depth of 15 feet. Hunters have a choice of 2MOA, 4MOA, or 6MOA dot sizes. We used the 2MOA, which was perfect on both turkeys and the patterning board from 5 to 50+ yards. Larger dot sizes tend to obscure hunting targets, especially at longer ranges. Another boon, especially for the more mobile, run-and-gun hunter, is weight, or in this case, the lack thereof. The H-2 weighs in at only 3.28 ounces bare and 4.79 ounces with the flip covers and additional mounting base, making the Micro H-2 a lightweight addition to most any turkey rig.

Ridiculous Battery Life

Quality doesn’t come cheap, with the Aimpoint Micro H-2 retailing from $717-$812. But get this, the ACET technology using a 3V lithium, type CR 2032 battery allows 50,000 hours of operation on one battery. That’s over five years of continuous use! Twelve brightness settings handle everything from the brightest sun to faded dusk.

Aimpoint

Vista Outdoor’s JJ Reich ready to pull the trigger on a gobbler from behind a Surroundview Stakeout blind with the Aimpoint on point. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

There is zero worry about the battery giving out and ruining a hunt, nor about recoil breaking down the optic, which is a common occurrence with lesser sights. This piece is purpose-built for hunters.

Happy Hunting

Next time you find yourself wishing for a quality optic atop that turkey-thumping shotgun, give Aimpoint a look. Even if the Micro H-2 doesn’t fit the bill based on either price or compatibility, there are a number of other optics and mounting options, including a Micro S-1 that attaches directly to the ventilated rib of most shotguns. There’s no concern about lining up the beads or taking odd-angle shots when using a red dot. If you can see the dot and get it on the gobbler’s neck, pull the trigger and the shot should be right on the money. No matter your choice of aiming solution, we at Guns.com wish you a happy hunting season filled with turkeys in your sights.

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POTD: Carl Gustaf M/96 (1915) in 6.5×55 Swedish

Today’s Photo is from a beaver hunt. Hunting from a canoe on the water has a special feeling of freedom and harmony. Imagine sliding, almost without a sound, over the mirror-like water in tranquility. The rifle is a Carl Gustaf M/96, made in 1915. The caliber is 6,5x55mm Swedish Mauser, and the ammunition is the […]

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Finding Romance in a Single Shot .410 and Heavyweight TSS (VIDEO)

Savage is now in the business of bringing new life to previously forgotten platforms. First, it was the recent revamp of the Model 220 which resurrected the bolt action shotgun, and now, one of the most sought-after items is also one of the smallest and more inexpensive in the company’s lineup, the Stevens-by-Savage Model 301 single shot .410 bore.

There’s nothing generally romantic or terribly interesting about a single shot shotgun. They’re quite basic. They’re inexpensive. They are not usually overly attractive.  So how can a company bring that back and have it achieve stunning success?  All those things—save price—change with the introduction of the Model 301, a purpose-driven turkey hunting shotgun dressed for success and built to excel with the partner company Federal Premium’s ammunition.

Meet the 301

Heavyweight TSS turkey loads, with dense tungsten alloy #9 shot, have transformed the previously inept .410 into a serious gobbler gun.  Partner that capable ammunition with the most tightly-choked specialty gun hell-bent on putting out deadly patterns with minimal recoil, all in one of the most inexpensive platforms on the market and we have the Model 301.  There’s not much to say about the gun design-wise. It’s a single shot, break action which is a simple design with few moving parts that has a track record of reliability.  For looks and field stealth, Savage spruces up the Model 301 with molded details in the durable synthetic stocks, all finished in either Mossy Oak Bottomland or Obsession camouflage.

Model 301

The Stevens-by-Savage 301 Turkey single shot wears a 26” carbon steel barrel that is topped with an extended extra-full turkey choke, all optimized for the Federal Premium TSS 410 specialty turkey loads. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

The three-inch chambered .410 wears a 26-inch carbon steel barrel that is topped with an extended, extra-full turkey choke, all optimized for the TSS payloads. A removable one-piece rail makes it easy to mount an optic, a current booming trend amongst turkey hunters. Metalwork is finished in matte blue for an unassuming look in the field. MSRP is a surprisingly low $199, with real-world prices already coming in around the $150 mark.

Field Thoughts

Length of pull on the 301 is a reasonable 13.75-inches which fits me very well but may be slightly long for youth or small-frame shooters. The rubber butt pad is a clean addition, though really, recoil is non-existent.  Though the gun ships with only the one extra-full turkey choke, the company makes use of the Win Choke thread pattern, so additional tubes will be available. Swivel studs come standard and are a welcome addition for turkey hunters often carrying decoys and other gear. A manual hammer-block safety, while not entirely expected, is a nice addition.

One of our favorite features on the gun are the sighting options. The 301 has a brass front bead as well as a removable optics rail. So, right off the bat, it is suitable for either iron-sighters or red-dot, scoped shooters. Taking that one step further, the bead sight has been designed to be compatible with Tru-Glo fiber optic systems, meaning the front can be easily transformed without a gunsmith.

Model 301

Not only is the Model 301 a light-recoiling shotgun with the .410 bore, but it is also a lightweight gun, weighing barely over five pounds. What a treat in the turkey woods! (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

The most immediately noticeable thing about the gun is the weight, or lack thereof.  Tipping the scales just a few ounces over five pounds, the 301 is incredibly light while also remaining well-balanced.  This may just be the most pleasurable gun to carry afield that yet has next to no recoil. At 41.5-inches overall, it’s also a maneuverable gun that conjures feelings of youth, while at once packing the potency of a bonafide turkey killer. Either of the two Mossy Oak camo patterns are ideal for turkey hunters, with Bottomland perfect for thick timber or darker field terrain, while Obsession disappears in the greenery.

On the Patterning Board

Naturally, the bulk of our patterning was done with Federal Premium TSS loads. At 25-yards, that #9 shot on the turkey target appears to have nearly decapitated the bird, which represents a stunning increase in the lethality of the baby bore.  In fact, the shot on target at 25 yards with the .410 would easily rival the pellets in the kill zone put out by a 12-gauge a dozen years ago using larger lead shot. From 25, we walked that back to 30, 35, and even 40 yards with slowly expanding, but still incredibly tight groups in the vital zone. While I will never advocate for taking long shots on turkeys when I find the greatest joy in getting them in close, a .410 has never shot like this. Clearly, the extra-full choke works wonders with TSS.

We sent nearly 50 rounds through the 301, and the gun performs admirably, as we expected.  Though patterns were not nearly as impressive with either Federal Game Loads or Winchester Super-X, both functioned just fine. Operations on the 301 are smooth, from the hammer and safety to the trigger. The ejector, meanwhile, sends empties flying with authority.

The Case for Single Shot World Domination

Normally, I’d say I have little interest in talking to you about a single shot shotgun. But we’re both still here, and there’s a reason for that. First, the Model 301 is the most reasonable entry point into the specialized sub-gauge turkey hunting market.  With Federal Premium’s TSS .410 turkey loads putting devastating patterns on target with #9 shot from the small bore, the 301 has been optimized from the choke down to excel with that load.

Model 301

Our 25-yard pattern with Federal Premium Heavyweight TSS #9 shot fired through the Model 301’s extra full choke is absolutely devastating. That gobbler would not have taken a step. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

Second, not only does that combination make for an interesting and more challenging hunt for experienced hunters, but also, with the increased potency from the rounds, the .410 now becomes a viable youth and beginners gobbler-getter. The reduced recoil of the smaller bore, which heretofore had a severely limited range, has been rejuvenated with TSS and made accessible with the Model 301. The other smooth benefit to the platform is the ambidextrous nature of the single shot. Even for those not completely sold on the .410 bore, but still appreciating the affordable platform, the company offers the 301 Turkey in 20-gauge as well.

While Naysayers Nay, the 301 Bags Birds

There will always be hunters who proclaim the .410 as “not enough gun” to cleanly harvest turkeys, but those willing to buy the correct ammunition and put in some time at the patterning board quickly find that not only can a .410 do more now than ever before but is also both an incredibly pleasurable gun to take afield and a potent one as well.

There’s no one single gun or chambering that is “the” turkey gun. We hunters can all agree, though, that respecting the quarry means making a clean kill. And I have no doubt that with TSS loaded in the Model 301 Turkey, I can cleanly harvest a trophy gobbler inside of 40 yards with a single shot. Whether you’re new to the baby bore gobbler craze, have a new shooter in need of a gun, or just want a different challenge in the turkey woods, the Model 301 deserves a long look. There’s a reason that demand still outweighs supply, but trust me, this little baby is worth the wait.

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