By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
A judge of my acquaintance--a regular reader of this blog and a hard and pitiless man to whom the mere mention of mercy is a mortal affront--takes issue with my prediction that Plaxico Burress will skate because of who he is. There are, says Ye Judge, ways around mandatory sentences, but the uproar over Burress’ Glock groping has eliminated them, and he is surely looking at prison.
Whether I am right or the judge is right, what Burress gets will not be justice, but public relations, and the whole wretched business points out how capriciously gun laws are often enforced.
Anyway, back to greed and covetousness:
Vero Vellini rifle slings. I have no idea who Vero Vellini is, but he makes the most comfortable rifle sling I know of. It’s heavily padded, has just a little spring to it, and best of all, does not slip off your shoulder ever 7.5 seconds. Depending on model, $20-$50. Widely available.
HSM rifle ammunition, sold by Cabelas. Much cheap ammo is loaded with bird droppings and melted-down T-34 tank hulls by people who subsist on cabbage and other cheap, gas-producing vegetables. HSM is loaded in the USA by people who go to Taco Bell to get gas, and it’s extremely good stuff that always shoots well, and sometimes spectacularly well.
From Battenfield Technologies (battenfeld.com): Wheeler Engineering’s 72-Piece Screwdriver Set. In terms of quality and versatility, the best I’ve ever used. It’s $81, and if you need to get the sideplate off a Velo-Dog revolver, there is the 89-piece Professional version for $116. A couple of years ago, I mangled a bit from my set, and was sent the correct replacement, plus a couple of extras, at no charge. This is very encouraging.
Wheeler’s Professional Scope Mounting Kit contains scope ring alignment bars, ring-lapping compound and rod, a torque wrench with 10 bits, thread locking compound, a reticle level, and a DVD that shows you how to mount scopes (This is a good idea, as the directions that usually come with scope mounts vary between worthless and useless.). I’m not so sure about the lapping; it’s a quick way to wreck a perfectly good set of scope rings and is very seldom needed. The kit is $130 in 1-inch or 30mm versions.
Caldwell Shooting Supplies’ Stable Table is a good, solid, simple shooting bench that anyone can assemble (I did it in 15 minutes, and was not hauled away foaming at the mouth.) for $320. It is not so infinitely adaptable as the RCBS Rapid Acquisition Shooting System bench, but it is cheaper, lighter, and breaks down smaller for transportation.
Hornady ammo generally, and the Hornady SST bullet in particular. The ammo is first-rate, and the SST is a super-violent-expanding polycarbonate-tip slug that is very accurate, carries well at long range, and does not cost a fortune. SST stands for Super Shock Tip, and trust me when I say that Hornady is not kidding about this.
Lansky Professional Crockstick Knife Sharpener comes with medium and fine ceramic rods and a handguard (which takes some of the adventure out of the experience) and is the best device I’ve seen for getting and keeping a shaving edge on a knife. Only Bill Heavey has been unable to use it successfully. It will bring a very dull edge back from the dead, but the process takes forever. That is about its only drawback. $28 from knivesplus.com.
RWS Diana Air Rifle. This is a very fine air gun that comes in .177 and .22, has a 19 5/8-inch barrel, and excellent fiber-optic sights. The stock is walnut, and can be used by either a right- or left-hand shooter. There are no bells and whistles. It is very accurate, and very, very powerful. If you haven’t used an air rifle before, or have been embittered by a lousy one, the Diana will show you the light. The price is $430, which is an investment, but the ammo is dirt cheap. The Diana is available from umarexusa.com, which does not carry it on their website (they swear they will get it up there), but they have it nonetheless.