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  • September 29, 2011

    Camo Systems Netting: Blind Material That Lasts

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Camo Systems netting is the best camo blind material I have found. How good is it? It is so good I buy it at retail, which is the rarest compliment an outdoor writer * can bestow.

    The ripstop, rubberized die-cut netting is more or less a civilian version of what is known as anti-aircraft netting at surplus stores. It comes in sheets sized as small as 43” x 9’ 10” for one or two person blinds up to giant 60’x 150’ pieces in case you want to hide a house.

  • September 28, 2011

    Yet Another Reason To Break The Bank

    By David E. Petzal

    by David E. Petzal

    For years I’ve been whining at you that while it’s OK to buy an inexpensive gun, it’s stupid to cut corners on optical equipment, because the cheap stuff will not hack it.

    Exhibit A here, is a Leica spotting scope that elk guide Amos Ames has used for the past 13 years. As you can see, it’s had a hard life, and then some. It is, however, still fully functional, where a lesser piece of equipment would be in a trash bin somewhere.

  • September 27, 2011

    Review: Small Bore Hevi-Shot Ammo

    By Phil Bourjaily

    The good news is, if you want better-than-lead non-toxic performance from your small bore, Hevi-Shot now comes in 28 gauge and .410. The bad news is, it will cost you $2-$3 per shell. The further bad news is, no, the price of tungsten-iron loads won't ever come down, because raw tungsten is very scarce and expensive stuff.

    Nevertheless, some people love to hunt with little guns and, at decoying duck ranges, a light load of Hevishot 4, 6 or 7 shot is completely adequate. My friend Dave (shown below with his Lab, Jazz) is a smallbore nut, and when we duck hunted together last week I brought him some of the new 28 gauge 6s to shoot out of his SKB.

  • September 26, 2011

    The Ten Commandments of Elk Hunting

    By David E. Petzal

    I went on my first elk hunt, to Montana, in November, 1971. I did not get an elk. This year, four decades later, I hunted in Utah and did get one, which you can see here. He’s a 6x6, 8 ½ years old, and about 800 pounds. The handsome devil on the right is my guide Amos Ames, which is the finest name I’ve heard for an outdoorsman since Ted Trueblood. Amos has guided for elk for over 30 years, and is a forest-fire fighter, a rodeo clown, a cowboy-boot maker, and a general hard-case geezer.

    An elk hunt is about the finest experience you can have standing up, and since I’m in a benevolent mood, I thought I’d pass along what I’ve learned from four decades of chasing the crazy bastards up and down mountains. Forsooth:

    I. Thou shalt be in shape, for elk dwelleth not in the flatlands, nor where there is oxygen.

    II. If thine ass resembleth 20 pounds of chewed bubble gum, bitter shall be thy lot.

  • September 23, 2011

    Marking Birds and The Importance of Persistence

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Marking the exact spot where a bird falls and never taking your eyes off of it until you get there is an important part of hunting without a dog – and I make a point of marking birds even when the dogs are involved. 

    If you get an imprecise mark on a bird you need to make up for it with persistence, which is how I found this dove last week. I had hit it hard and watched it sail into a grove of evergreens. I went to the last place I saw it, dropped my hat on the ground for a marker and searched in widening circles without finding it. Eventually gave up. I stepped back into the field having almost convinced myself the bird kept flying, then I decided maybe my mark hadn’t been right so turned around, went back in, made an even wider circle, and finally found the dove dead.

  • September 22, 2011

    Jeff Cooper, Cape Buffalo and the .375 H&H

    By David E. Petzal

    While poring through Jeff Cooper’s Gargantuan Gunsite Gossip books  (well worth the read) I noticed that he took a couple of occasions to savagely attack the .375 H&H. It was the classic criticism--kicks too hard to be generally useful, lacks the flat trajectory for long shots, and is not enough gun for Cape buffalo. I can follow him part way, but only part.

    What I agree with is the buffalo. It’ll kill them, but it won’t impress them. The first one I ever shot was at 15 yards, right where the dewlap runs into the chest, with a 300-grain screw-machine Nosler Partition. He ran off a little ways to think things over while I continued to pump bullets into him. He was not so much hurt as aggrieved. Finally he collapsed under the sheer weight of the lead. The next three followed the same pattern, and that was the last time I used a .375 H&H on old nyati. Since then, I’ve shot them with a .416 Remington, .458 Winchester, and .458 Lott, and all three did much, much better.

  • September 21, 2011

    Cali Paterson Colt Revolver Fetches Nearly $1 Million at Auction

    By Editors

    The gun recognized as one of the greatest Paterson Colts fetched a record $977,500 at auction in Dallas at Heritage Auctions on Sept. 18, the most a single firearm has ever fetched at open auction. It surpassed the previous record firearm auction price of $920,000, also for a Colt revolver. The buyer of the Paterson Colt was identified only as a “Silicon Valley mogul.”

    The entire Cali collection sold extremely well, a testament to collector Al Cali’s eye for quality according to Greg Martin of Greg Martin Auctions. In addition to the Paterson Colt, a pair of revolvers tied for second highest price at the sale at $805,000 apiece, both well above their pre-auction estimates. One was a cased, engraved presentation Model 1861 New Model Navy; the other, a cased ivory-gripped Colt Third Model Dragoon revolver, engraved by Gustave Young and inscribed to “Colonel P.M. Milliken.” The “Thumbprint Walker” brought $690,000.

    For details and photos of the Paterson, the 1861 Navy, the Dragoon, the Tumbprint Walker and other amazing items from the Cali Collection, click here or on the photo above.

  • September 20, 2011

    Petzal on Shooting Snakes, Bullet Packaging and NYC Police Shooting

    By David E. Petzal

    - A while back, I advised that if one sees a venomous serpent crawling along, the proper response is to open fire. This was wrong. A crawling serpent presents hardly any target at all. If it’s a pit viper, such as a rattlesnake, the proper response is to fire a shot just ahead of its nose, which will cause it to coil. Then you have something to shoot at. Aim at the base of the reptile. I recommend high-velocity quick-expanding bullets. If the serpent is a cobra, a mamba, a krait, etc., which does not need to coil, drive to the nearest airport and leave.

    - I figured out what happens to the people who flunk out of industrial design schools—the go on to profitable careers designing boxes for .22 ammo. A few weeks ago I got sick of boxes that crack, shatter, delaminate, rip, and otherwise implode and got three Rubbermaid food containers at a hardware store.

  • September 16, 2011

    Stuff You Can (Probably) Afford

    By David E. Petzal

    by David E. Petzal

    It has come to my attention that some of you have not been able to buy a new Aston-Martin this year and have to stick with the 2010 model. This means you’re probably looking for things that are affordable, as opposed to what I usually write about. Here are two such:

    The Cold Steel Bolo Machete. This is one of six models that the company offers, and is my favorite. It’s patterned after the bolo knife which is much loved in the Pacific Rim countries. The 16 ½-inch blade is made of 1055 tool steel, and swells at the tip, giving the knife a weight-forward balance. Weighing just an ounce over a pound, the Bolo Machete comes with a decent, but not frightening edge. A dozen passes through a Work Sharp sharpener will change that pretty damned quick, however.

  • September 15, 2011

    2011 Gun Nuts Target Photo Contest Winner Announced!

    By Editors

    Our editors have scoured the hudreds of submissions to this year's Gun Nuts Target Photo Contest and a winner has been chosen:

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