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  • September 28, 2007

    Watching the Deer Drop

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    It just occurred to me that this title may be insensitive. That's OK; I'm insensitive. But I digress. Deer season is about to get under way, and I thought the following might be useful.

    For about a dozen years, I hunted whitetails in South Carolina every year. Because I was hunting in a private plantation, and because South Carolina has extremely generous bag limits, I could shoot two deer a day for four days. This adds up to a fair number of deer. During that time I carried a number of different rifles, the smallest of which was a .257 Roberts, the largest a 7mm Weatherby Magnum. I could see no difference whatsoever in "killing power" between the various cartridges.

    This experience has extended itself elsewhere. I've killed whitetails and mule deer as small as 70 pounds and as large as 300 with cartridges as small as the 6mm Remington and as large as the .340 Weatherby. No difference. Deer, of any size, are not hard to kill. There are animals that do require some horsepower, but not these.

    If called upon to kill a deer these days, I will choose either a 6.5x55, or a 7mm/08, or if there may be a long shot, a .270. All you have to do is shoot good and the deer will drop.

  • September 26, 2007

    The Gear Game

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    Here is a nice game we can all play, and the worst thing that will happen is that we will spend money. The rules are: Describe an unlikely, but highly useful, piece of hunting gear. Not guns, or boots, or any of the obvious stuff. Second, give the price. Third, give the web site (or email address) of whoever sells it.

    These three should get you started.

    1. Wiggy's Cagoule
    Wiggy makes the best sleeping bags I've ever used, and lots of other useful stuff besides. The cagoule is sort of a raincoat on steroids. It will fit over everything you're wearing, plus your backpack, and comes down to your knees. It's truly wind- and waterproof, and folds up into a package about the size of a large cow turd. The hood is big enough to fit even if you have two heads. $140, wiggys.com.

  • September 24, 2007

    Mondo Bizzaro: Politicians, Guns, and Election Season

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    This past Friday, Rudy Giuliani and a number of other republican candidates spoke to the NRA's Conference on American Values. Giuliani's appearance was strange beyond words. It was rather like Rosie O'Donnell speaking at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study. Few active politicians have done as much as Rudy to make life hard for guns and gun owners. The sum of what he had to say amounted to, in my words:

    "I know I've been an anti-gun prick for my entire career, but now that I need your votes, I'm a different guy."

    Then he took a cell phone call from his wife. Different interpretations have been placed on this, but mine is, he's simply as rude as every other jerk who is slave to a cell phone.

    I think the only honest dialog between a politician and the NRA took place in 1966 or 1967 when Bobby Kennedy spoke to the organization and, in a room that seethed with mutual hatred, said:

    "I'm going to put you people out of business."

  • September 20, 2007

    14 Rules For Choosing A Custom Rifle

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    More and more people, it seems, are deciding to spend some major bucks to get a serious rifle that is built for them and them alone. I got my first made-to-order rifle back in 1971, and I've learned a bit about the process‚ most of it the hard way. Here are 14 rules to live by.

  • September 19, 2007

    Join the Navy, Steal a Gun?

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    Here is a smallish news story that further illustrates these facts: a) the government is a chief supplier of a lot of the dangerous stuff the government doesn't want us to have and: b) the press, upon which we rely for our news of the military, knows hardly anything about the military.

  • September 19, 2007

    Introducing The Gun Shots

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    I would like to announce that Outdoor Life's website is starting up a new blog called The Gun Shots, which is being run by their Executive Editor John Snow, a young man who has committed no major crimes that I am aware of.

    Now I'm sure that many of you are asking why Field & Stream would be giving aid and comfort to an enterprise of its arch rival when it should be trying to pistol-whip their aged aunts, figuratively speaking, of course. The answer is that roughly 20 years ago, in a corporate maneuver that was probably illegal and certainly unnatural, Field & Stream was acquired by the same money-grubbing company that owned OL, and since then we have gotten along like Rosie O'Donnell and Tom Selleck.

    But enough of that. I'm sure that you'll enjoy The Gun Shots, and urge you to log on. I did, and happened to see that Gerry Gibbs is still alive, and for someone who went fishing with Warren Gamaliel Harding, he looks remarkably youthful.

    I was told to say this.

  • September 17, 2007

    On Microstamping and Ted Nugent

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    Whether I ask for them or not, I am sent e-mails from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and sometimes they contain interesting stuff. The latest one informed me that California's legislature has passed a law requiring that all automatic pistols sold in that state after 2010 have their breech faces and firing pins microengraved. This process would stamp the serial number of a gun on the case of any round it fired, enabling the police to trace the firearm from brass left at the scene of a shooting.

  • September 14, 2007

    A Sympathetic Place For Us Southpaws

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    Very seldom does this blog bother itself with such vulgar matters as commerce, but I feel obliged to, as it might ease the burden of suffering of my fellow left-hand shooters, we who are rebuked, scorned, ignored, and tossed only occasional crumbs by the gun biz.

  • September 13, 2007

    The Gun Nut Takes The 3:10 To Yuma

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    I saw the original version of this movie when it came out in 1957, and remember it mostly as Glenn Ford and Van Heflin sitting in a hotel room talking, and thinking For God's sake shut up and somebody shoot somebody.

    In this remake, plenty of people get shot. It is, however, a dopey movie, filled with lapses in logic and a script that tries for profundity and fails. It has plenty of Old Western Funk, and people carry Old Western guns like Colt 1860 Army revolvers converted to cartridge use, and Smith & Wesson Schofields, and Sharps, and Spencer carbines. But there are some lamentable lapses in authenticity.

  • September 11, 2007

    Dear Dr. Gun Nut

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    Recently, I bought a high-grade factory varmint rifle in .204 Ruger. I paid $1,000, which was considerably below list. However, it does not shoot worth a barrel of old hog s**t. I've tried two or three brands of ammo, but nothing prints better than 3 inches. What should I do?
    --Dissapointed In New Jersey

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