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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.
The handle is polypropylene, and the blade has a rustproof coating which will not last indefinitely. Wipe the blade down with an oily rag after you use it. This is one of the handiest tools of which I know; it can cut down, or through, just about anything. The price, with a good nylon sheath, is $25. Coldsteelknives.com

The Primos GunHunter's Vest. I got this at Cabela’s in East Hartford, CT. It’s light, tough, quiet, can be used by a left-hand shooter as well as right-handers, and comes in sizes all the way up to 3XL. But what I really like are the pockets. There are nine of them outside, a couple more on the inside, two huge ones on the inside, and a big bellows pocket in back.

Whoever designed them has actually hunted. They are of the right size and shape, and you will not lose your s**t out of them, and you can get at them even with gloves. Unless you’re truly a gear pervert, you can do without a pack if you have a GunHunter's Vest.

The GunHunter's Vest is not in the Cabela’s catalog as far as I can tell, but it is online, and the price is $60-$65, depending on size. Cabelas.com

Comments (48)

Top Rated
All Comments
from chargeaway wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The title of this article and the Baikal shotgun crack me up. People keep whining about how the only things F&S review are expensive items that no normal person could ever afford. For me, it just inspires me to save my money for the high quality items that Mr. Petzal is so fond of. Maybe Dave can write an article on how to save your money for quality firearms.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jim in nc wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I think I see a lot of snaps. To prevent losing my proverbial you-know-what, do most or all of the pockets have snaps, buttons, or zippers?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ableskeever wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

With the "you get what you pay for" saying in mind (besides the fact that the inexpensive 870 lasts forever), I like to see a good mix of products. Many times consumers are convinced to pay more for features that they won't need.

Since the expensive and cheap products are still out there, I suppose that there are markets for the whole spectrum.

I think it would be interesting to see a product review with a spectrum of price ranges to consider.
Durable knives under $20, $75, $200 could be a good comparison. Yes, you get what you pay for, but many times you can end up spending more for what you won't necessarily need.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowman77 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I for one am tired of readers bitching about reviews of higher priced products. Yes, there are many who can't afford them, but here's the shocker, there are many who can as well. I'm pretty sure Swarovski has been in business as long as they have because they for the very reason, people own and buy their products. And because Swarovski can afford to watch their profit margins end up in the red year after year because nobody want to buy a scope that is expensive as their's are. And even if you can't afford the products in the reviews, it always interesting to see what's out there and the new technology coming out. I don't know about you, but I find it a lot more interesting to read about the newest model corvette that is out there, rather than the newest model economy car.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

if you cant afford it, then dont read the blog and dont comment, nobody is forcing you to...and i doubt petzal gives a s***, hes given a product to test and he does so very well.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Well Scratch, somebody cares, or at least grudgingly accepts the legitimacy of such remarks, since there's been a little string of references to such complaints by the bloggers here.

In point of fact, in the recent past I've picked up the magazine, flipped through the reviews, seen not much I could hope to afford within half a decade, and put it back down and left the store. If enough people do that (and this is a great economy for that to happen in), circulation drops. Circulation drives advertising, which in turn pays the bills. The magazine has gotten thinner through the last decade, just like every other print publication this side of Mars, because of a confluence of intensely unfortunate market trends.

Field and Stream, I think, understands the importance of appealing to a wide swath of its readership. Witness the issue a few years back about things to do on the cheap. That issue received a tremendous response, I thought.

I know that I've been working as a field hand in my off hours lately to make up for furloughs at my day job. Lots of other folks are sweating hard to make ends meet. Expected vital purchases have gone from best quality mid-price I can afford to whatever I can afford. Discretionary purchases will be put off probably at least a year. We're not saying never cover anything we can't afford. We are saying please make sure to include coverage of things we can, so that your magazine will be of use to us.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

And then, with that out of my system, two questions on the machete for DEP:

1. Why is this incarnation the one we want, as opposed to the other five? (I'd guess it's the weight-forward design, but I'm not sure.)

2. What sort of outdoor applications do you recommend a machete for? If I'm carrying something beyond a knife it's usually a tiny hatchet or a bow saw. Is there an error to my ways that needs rectifying?

Thanks for any knowledge you care to dispense.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

GunHunter's Vest

Pockets, love pockets, big pockets!

Pockets! Pockets! Pockets!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The bolo is nice, but i prefer the kukri.
That is a spanky lookin' vest, though- good pocketry on it!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from AlaskanExile wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dr. Petzal;
I don't like the new Astons (I don't think too much of the old ones either). Keep doing what you do. If gear is expensive, it's usually worth it!
I have a vest that my schtick usually falls out of the pockets. I will look for this one.
"Gear Pervert" I love it!
AKX

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

To Teodoro: Fair question. This one is shorter than most and therefore handier, and does seem to whack harder than the others. Although you can cut almost anything, as I said, mine has been used mostly for cutting firelanes in front of blinds and in front of target butts that have been neglected. I've done that a ton. It seems to get through stuff growing up from the ground better than anything else.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Thank you, sir.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from etexan wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Interesting subject, affordability. Once set my sights on a Browning Superposed when the pricetag was an unbelievable $565. Its price inflated faster than my income so I would have been better off financing it back then (probably mid-60's). Never did get it.

I have a $5 machete with a wooden handle that I can't find any reason to replace. It's not like a gun where you just get that fever to add to your collecion.

Old Dave probably makes so much money that he cannot identify with the likes of most of us. I saw somewhere that Carmichel was selling off much of his gun collection and it was enough to indicate that we were NOT in the same tax bracket and I have way too much of my net worth in uncollectible firearms.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

You can get a fine Tramontina bolo machete for $7.99 (plus shipping). I've always been a big fan of their working knives, however, they don't come with sheaths. The vest looks great---does it come in camo?
D.P.---thanks for reviewing affordable merchandise---we will have you shopping at Harbor Freight before long.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Greene wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I like reviews of the value menu items.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from spuddog wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dave, Keep up the variety. I love hearing about the high quality and high cost stuff, but I admire anyone who can make a good quality product at a reasonable price.

I own the Primos vest. Hunted with it for the first time last season. It can replace a pack. I still use my lumbar pack, as I don't like that much weight on my sholders. The pockets seem to be made for tree hunters. In Colorado we don't use the same stuff so I've modified the pockets and shell loops a bit. I love it. Got it at Cabela's in Phx. I will say that the water bottle pockets on the sides are a bit slim.

I've been drooling over the CS machetes for awhile now. I do hem and haw over $20. I can't decide between the bolo or the kukuri (sp?). Any pointers? I think either will work well but I over think things. I bought a USMC machete when I was 17. Then, I spent time in Colombia doing missionary service while Pablo Ecobar was blowing everything up. I saw machetes put to many uses and realized what an awsome tool I had. I can prune and trim faster and better with one than with shears or pruners.

Anyway, great to see products that I actually have and use along with the one's I'll never have. Helps me know I'm thinking straight.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I am going to have to agree with Country Road and add that dropping in with a list of necessities to Harbor Freight is not a bad call.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from firedog11 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dave good article I hadn't seen the vest before will keep an eye out also I have found that many so called machetes are so light as to be worthless. For something to cut through unless it is sawing action you have to have some mass to enable it cut through by splitting the material to be cut. It is why broad swords were designed to weigh 13 lbs. or more while sabers which were lighter were slashing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from white bison wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Yeah, and you can buy a Thompson Center Venture Rifle
with 5R Rifling & shoot MOA for around $400 with the factory rebate & Cabelas coupon discount. Now, That's
good value! The bargains are out there.
Best Regards,

Tom from Cody

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

DEP good article, but as usual, it proves that SOME people will B*tch if you hang 'em with a new rope. Continue what you do best, articles at both ends of the spectrum, I suspect the majority of people here can afford
to buy what they like.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Nice vest !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mjenkins1 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I would rather read about the expensive things, that machete is cool though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fortycal wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Bootsuk this.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Being Cold Steel I assume that machete is well worth $25. Note to all, DO Not buy the $15 machete that they sell at WalMart, it's crap. American Camper I believe is it's brand but not positive, The steel is soft and won't take a good edge, let alone hold it, the handle is loose and rough. I have a good GI Surplus machete I bought for just north of $20 about 16 years ago. I can (and have) cut down trees with it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

As one of those readers who has occasionally lamented F&S's omisson of genuinely affordable stuff in its gear guides, I appreciate Dave reviewing a couple of things in reach of the average Joe. I particularly liked the vest review since I happen to be in the market for another one right now.
I can't vouch for everybody who's wanted to see a few bargain basement items, but I have never complained about seeing the really good stuff reviewed. No one likes to drool over a custom rifle or shotgun more than me, especially if the cost is readily evident in good engraving, fine checkering and equisite wood. It's just that every once in a while some of us need to actually BUY something, as opposed to lusting in our hearts, and we need to make sure it's not the last purchase we ever make once our better halves see the bill.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Seems like a nice item for the $$, but I feel a good bowie is more handi in the field. One item to serve as wood wacker,meat slicer, and sushi maker.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Urbane_Redneck wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Cold Steel makes blades that work and stay sharp, that is value.

As to the budget buster reviews, it will always be little numbers vs. big numbers, i.e. a rack full of ho hum guns/optics vs. one great rifle under a equally great scope. Whatever makes you happy.

UR

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fruguy101 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Thanks for posting about some stuff that is affordable to everybody. Many people would probably buy something that you use and recommend.

When it comes to expensive items, yeah, some are worth it. Some are deemed more valuable because of their limited availability or their uniqueness or because they are very old. As it is, there is a market for every price range of items. that's why you see guns for $100 and guns for $10,000, and then there's the priceless ones. buy what you can afford, say 'wow' at what you can't, and appreciate the innovation that got us to where we are today.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian W. Thair wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I don't think that the Primos vest is anything better than a forest industry "cruiser's vest,." like the one I've worn hunting for 30+ years. Had it been crappy, I would have long since tried something else.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I have used the Cabela's Ultimate Pack Vest for years and they are very durable and handy. Not quite as many gizmo pockets as the Primos, but an excellent item. Mine are the older ones with the button chest pocket vice the zippered one.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Clothing/Mens-Hunting-Clothing/Mens-Blaze...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dave: For a big knife, I'll stick with my Woodsman's Pal. The machete is too much like the corn knives I swung as a youth. I'll try the vest because I deserve it and it comes in XXXL.

Country Road: Thanks to the mental image you created of Dave at Harbor Freight, I broke into a giggle fit at church. Thanks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

PS:

Forgot to add that I have two of them; one blaze horizon pattern for a little breakup where legal in WA and MT, etc. and a solid blaze one for Colorado and other places where solid blaze orange is required. I guess the black piping on the seams might technically bust the "solid hunter orange" rule, but have not been pimped for that yet. The fleece is durable and quiet and it holds all the gear I wold carry in a vest anyway.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from eva888 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Indeed, as a reader to this blog I am truly impressed by it`s content, have been coming across posts that are so very informative for me, keep impressing us! well worth the read.I found it very informative as I have been researching a lot lately on practical matters such as you talk about.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I love the "Pacific Rim countries" reference.

Here are some more ornate "Filipino" swords you might want your favorite smith to make for you:

Kampilan (famous for [probably] killing Magellan)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kampilan

Barung/Barong (the hooked design of its hilt was used by Star Wars props masters for Christopher Lee's (Count Dooku) lightsabre
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barong_(knife)

And the Filipino variation of the "kris"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalis

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Seems like an awful lot of money for an orange vest that 1)isn't bullet proof and 2)will take you straight to the bottom should you fall overboard with all those pockets full.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Baileymade wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Whether done begrudgingly or not, I as well as many others apparently appreciate DEP's opinion on the cheaper things in life. Sure, we can all dream big but at the end of the month our paychecks don't always reflect our ambition. Thanks for the pricey reviews and even more for the more affordable ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nelsol wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

DEP, wow between you an Phil not only have I blown my 2011 gear budget, I'm close to maxing out the 2012. Guess I need to buy some stock in Cabelas. Great suggestion on the vest. Gotta have one. Thanks, been taking your advice since '99 and you've never steered me wrong.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I have seen the Cold Steel Bolo Machete offered for as little as $12.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

We have to remember that Dave was one of a few major gunwriters to write glowingly about Savage, especially during the early years of the Ron Coburn era. I still remembers column where he went to the Savage factory to observe and help assemble his own .338, and how well it functioned and shot. (At the time, Dave had five .338's and four of them were custom rifles. The Savage outshot all but one of them.)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ZCORR wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I agree with ableskeever that it's good to see reviews done across the entire spectrum of goods offered. Spending more can mean better quality or more benefits but it can also only be for the name on the package so these reviews really help keep us informed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

It's the Bugatti Veyron now, Dave. On and Off Fastest production car in the world (its record gets beaten by a low "production" supercar every now and then, then it gets the record back). 1,000 Euro horsepower (about 860HP). So quick and fast it actually makes the Viper GTS look slow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

make that 987HP (1,001 metric HP)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Mercy,metric horses?!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter55 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Gear does not make the hunter. I know people who kill deer every year in simply their every day clothes. Yet, having nice equipment is a huge asset. If you can't afford the top of the line gear don't worry about it. Do the best with what you have, and have a good time doing it. It's not a competition between hunters to have the best camo and the most expensive scope, it's about the thrill of the hunt.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ethan_3 wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

the title killed me, especially the "(probably)"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

" (Commandment) IV. Thou shalt not stuff thy pack with all manner of goods. Thou needst it not, and it shall do naught but rob thee of thy breath and turn thy knees to Jello."

Machetes fall under this Commandment. I have no business hunting where one would be useful.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from billyjo bondurant wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

I am always looking for that one hunting, casmping or fishing item i absalutly need. and the price is a GOOD FACTOR AS well as the qualty of the item.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from billyjo bondurant wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

I am always looking for that one hunting, camping or fishing item i absalutly need. and the price is a GOOD FACTOR AS well as the qualty of the item.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Teodoro wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Well Scratch, somebody cares, or at least grudgingly accepts the legitimacy of such remarks, since there's been a little string of references to such complaints by the bloggers here.

In point of fact, in the recent past I've picked up the magazine, flipped through the reviews, seen not much I could hope to afford within half a decade, and put it back down and left the store. If enough people do that (and this is a great economy for that to happen in), circulation drops. Circulation drives advertising, which in turn pays the bills. The magazine has gotten thinner through the last decade, just like every other print publication this side of Mars, because of a confluence of intensely unfortunate market trends.

Field and Stream, I think, understands the importance of appealing to a wide swath of its readership. Witness the issue a few years back about things to do on the cheap. That issue received a tremendous response, I thought.

I know that I've been working as a field hand in my off hours lately to make up for furloughs at my day job. Lots of other folks are sweating hard to make ends meet. Expected vital purchases have gone from best quality mid-price I can afford to whatever I can afford. Discretionary purchases will be put off probably at least a year. We're not saying never cover anything we can't afford. We are saying please make sure to include coverage of things we can, so that your magazine will be of use to us.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from ableskeever wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

With the "you get what you pay for" saying in mind (besides the fact that the inexpensive 870 lasts forever), I like to see a good mix of products. Many times consumers are convinced to pay more for features that they won't need.

Since the expensive and cheap products are still out there, I suppose that there are markets for the whole spectrum.

I think it would be interesting to see a product review with a spectrum of price ranges to consider.
Durable knives under $20, $75, $200 could be a good comparison. Yes, you get what you pay for, but many times you can end up spending more for what you won't necessarily need.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowman77 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I for one am tired of readers bitching about reviews of higher priced products. Yes, there are many who can't afford them, but here's the shocker, there are many who can as well. I'm pretty sure Swarovski has been in business as long as they have because they for the very reason, people own and buy their products. And because Swarovski can afford to watch their profit margins end up in the red year after year because nobody want to buy a scope that is expensive as their's are. And even if you can't afford the products in the reviews, it always interesting to see what's out there and the new technology coming out. I don't know about you, but I find it a lot more interesting to read about the newest model corvette that is out there, rather than the newest model economy car.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from chargeaway wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The title of this article and the Baikal shotgun crack me up. People keep whining about how the only things F&S review are expensive items that no normal person could ever afford. For me, it just inspires me to save my money for the high quality items that Mr. Petzal is so fond of. Maybe Dave can write an article on how to save your money for quality firearms.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

And then, with that out of my system, two questions on the machete for DEP:

1. Why is this incarnation the one we want, as opposed to the other five? (I'd guess it's the weight-forward design, but I'm not sure.)

2. What sort of outdoor applications do you recommend a machete for? If I'm carrying something beyond a knife it's usually a tiny hatchet or a bow saw. Is there an error to my ways that needs rectifying?

Thanks for any knowledge you care to dispense.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

You can get a fine Tramontina bolo machete for $7.99 (plus shipping). I've always been a big fan of their working knives, however, they don't come with sheaths. The vest looks great---does it come in camo?
D.P.---thanks for reviewing affordable merchandise---we will have you shopping at Harbor Freight before long.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Seems like an awful lot of money for an orange vest that 1)isn't bullet proof and 2)will take you straight to the bottom should you fall overboard with all those pockets full.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

if you cant afford it, then dont read the blog and dont comment, nobody is forcing you to...and i doubt petzal gives a s***, hes given a product to test and he does so very well.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

GunHunter's Vest

Pockets, love pockets, big pockets!

Pockets! Pockets! Pockets!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

To Teodoro: Fair question. This one is shorter than most and therefore handier, and does seem to whack harder than the others. Although you can cut almost anything, as I said, mine has been used mostly for cutting firelanes in front of blinds and in front of target butts that have been neglected. I've done that a ton. It seems to get through stuff growing up from the ground better than anything else.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Thank you, sir.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from etexan wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Interesting subject, affordability. Once set my sights on a Browning Superposed when the pricetag was an unbelievable $565. Its price inflated faster than my income so I would have been better off financing it back then (probably mid-60's). Never did get it.

I have a $5 machete with a wooden handle that I can't find any reason to replace. It's not like a gun where you just get that fever to add to your collecion.

Old Dave probably makes so much money that he cannot identify with the likes of most of us. I saw somewhere that Carmichel was selling off much of his gun collection and it was enough to indicate that we were NOT in the same tax bracket and I have way too much of my net worth in uncollectible firearms.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jim in nc wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I think I see a lot of snaps. To prevent losing my proverbial you-know-what, do most or all of the pockets have snaps, buttons, or zippers?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The bolo is nice, but i prefer the kukri.
That is a spanky lookin' vest, though- good pocketry on it!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from AlaskanExile wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dr. Petzal;
I don't like the new Astons (I don't think too much of the old ones either). Keep doing what you do. If gear is expensive, it's usually worth it!
I have a vest that my schtick usually falls out of the pockets. I will look for this one.
"Gear Pervert" I love it!
AKX

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Greene wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I like reviews of the value menu items.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from white bison wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Yeah, and you can buy a Thompson Center Venture Rifle
with 5R Rifling & shoot MOA for around $400 with the factory rebate & Cabelas coupon discount. Now, That's
good value! The bargains are out there.
Best Regards,

Tom from Cody

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Being Cold Steel I assume that machete is well worth $25. Note to all, DO Not buy the $15 machete that they sell at WalMart, it's crap. American Camper I believe is it's brand but not positive, The steel is soft and won't take a good edge, let alone hold it, the handle is loose and rough. I have a good GI Surplus machete I bought for just north of $20 about 16 years ago. I can (and have) cut down trees with it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Seems like a nice item for the $$, but I feel a good bowie is more handi in the field. One item to serve as wood wacker,meat slicer, and sushi maker.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

PS:

Forgot to add that I have two of them; one blaze horizon pattern for a little breakup where legal in WA and MT, etc. and a solid blaze one for Colorado and other places where solid blaze orange is required. I guess the black piping on the seams might technically bust the "solid hunter orange" rule, but have not been pimped for that yet. The fleece is durable and quiet and it holds all the gear I wold carry in a vest anyway.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

We have to remember that Dave was one of a few major gunwriters to write glowingly about Savage, especially during the early years of the Ron Coburn era. I still remembers column where he went to the Savage factory to observe and help assemble his own .338, and how well it functioned and shot. (At the time, Dave had five .338's and four of them were custom rifles. The Savage outshot all but one of them.)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter55 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Gear does not make the hunter. I know people who kill deer every year in simply their every day clothes. Yet, having nice equipment is a huge asset. If you can't afford the top of the line gear don't worry about it. Do the best with what you have, and have a good time doing it. It's not a competition between hunters to have the best camo and the most expensive scope, it's about the thrill of the hunt.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from spuddog wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dave, Keep up the variety. I love hearing about the high quality and high cost stuff, but I admire anyone who can make a good quality product at a reasonable price.

I own the Primos vest. Hunted with it for the first time last season. It can replace a pack. I still use my lumbar pack, as I don't like that much weight on my sholders. The pockets seem to be made for tree hunters. In Colorado we don't use the same stuff so I've modified the pockets and shell loops a bit. I love it. Got it at Cabela's in Phx. I will say that the water bottle pockets on the sides are a bit slim.

I've been drooling over the CS machetes for awhile now. I do hem and haw over $20. I can't decide between the bolo or the kukuri (sp?). Any pointers? I think either will work well but I over think things. I bought a USMC machete when I was 17. Then, I spent time in Colombia doing missionary service while Pablo Ecobar was blowing everything up. I saw machetes put to many uses and realized what an awsome tool I had. I can prune and trim faster and better with one than with shears or pruners.

Anyway, great to see products that I actually have and use along with the one's I'll never have. Helps me know I'm thinking straight.

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from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I am going to have to agree with Country Road and add that dropping in with a list of necessities to Harbor Freight is not a bad call.

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from firedog11 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dave good article I hadn't seen the vest before will keep an eye out also I have found that many so called machetes are so light as to be worthless. For something to cut through unless it is sawing action you have to have some mass to enable it cut through by splitting the material to be cut. It is why broad swords were designed to weigh 13 lbs. or more while sabers which were lighter were slashing.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

DEP good article, but as usual, it proves that SOME people will B*tch if you hang 'em with a new rope. Continue what you do best, articles at both ends of the spectrum, I suspect the majority of people here can afford
to buy what they like.

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from Mjenkins1 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I would rather read about the expensive things, that machete is cool though.

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

As one of those readers who has occasionally lamented F&S's omisson of genuinely affordable stuff in its gear guides, I appreciate Dave reviewing a couple of things in reach of the average Joe. I particularly liked the vest review since I happen to be in the market for another one right now.
I can't vouch for everybody who's wanted to see a few bargain basement items, but I have never complained about seeing the really good stuff reviewed. No one likes to drool over a custom rifle or shotgun more than me, especially if the cost is readily evident in good engraving, fine checkering and equisite wood. It's just that every once in a while some of us need to actually BUY something, as opposed to lusting in our hearts, and we need to make sure it's not the last purchase we ever make once our better halves see the bill.

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from Urbane_Redneck wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Cold Steel makes blades that work and stay sharp, that is value.

As to the budget buster reviews, it will always be little numbers vs. big numbers, i.e. a rack full of ho hum guns/optics vs. one great rifle under a equally great scope. Whatever makes you happy.

UR

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from Fruguy101 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Thanks for posting about some stuff that is affordable to everybody. Many people would probably buy something that you use and recommend.

When it comes to expensive items, yeah, some are worth it. Some are deemed more valuable because of their limited availability or their uniqueness or because they are very old. As it is, there is a market for every price range of items. that's why you see guns for $100 and guns for $10,000, and then there's the priceless ones. buy what you can afford, say 'wow' at what you can't, and appreciate the innovation that got us to where we are today.

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from Brian W. Thair wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I don't think that the Primos vest is anything better than a forest industry "cruiser's vest,." like the one I've worn hunting for 30+ years. Had it been crappy, I would have long since tried something else.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I have used the Cabela's Ultimate Pack Vest for years and they are very durable and handy. Not quite as many gizmo pockets as the Primos, but an excellent item. Mine are the older ones with the button chest pocket vice the zippered one.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Clothing/Mens-Hunting-Clothing/Mens-Blaze...

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from PbHead wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dave: For a big knife, I'll stick with my Woodsman's Pal. The machete is too much like the corn knives I swung as a youth. I'll try the vest because I deserve it and it comes in XXXL.

Country Road: Thanks to the mental image you created of Dave at Harbor Freight, I broke into a giggle fit at church. Thanks.

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from eva888 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Indeed, as a reader to this blog I am truly impressed by it`s content, have been coming across posts that are so very informative for me, keep impressing us! well worth the read.I found it very informative as I have been researching a lot lately on practical matters such as you talk about.

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from O Garcia wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I love the "Pacific Rim countries" reference.

Here are some more ornate "Filipino" swords you might want your favorite smith to make for you:

Kampilan (famous for [probably] killing Magellan)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kampilan

Barung/Barong (the hooked design of its hilt was used by Star Wars props masters for Christopher Lee's (Count Dooku) lightsabre
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barong_(knife)

And the Filipino variation of the "kris"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalis

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from TED FORD wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Mercy,metric horses?!

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Nice vest !

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from Baileymade wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Whether done begrudgingly or not, I as well as many others apparently appreciate DEP's opinion on the cheaper things in life. Sure, we can all dream big but at the end of the month our paychecks don't always reflect our ambition. Thanks for the pricey reviews and even more for the more affordable ones.

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from nelsol wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

DEP, wow between you an Phil not only have I blown my 2011 gear budget, I'm close to maxing out the 2012. Guess I need to buy some stock in Cabelas. Great suggestion on the vest. Gotta have one. Thanks, been taking your advice since '99 and you've never steered me wrong.

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from 99explorer wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I have seen the Cold Steel Bolo Machete offered for as little as $12.

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from ZCORR wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I agree with ableskeever that it's good to see reviews done across the entire spectrum of goods offered. Spending more can mean better quality or more benefits but it can also only be for the name on the package so these reviews really help keep us informed.

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from O Garcia wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

It's the Bugatti Veyron now, Dave. On and Off Fastest production car in the world (its record gets beaten by a low "production" supercar every now and then, then it gets the record back). 1,000 Euro horsepower (about 860HP). So quick and fast it actually makes the Viper GTS look slow.

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from O Garcia wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

make that 987HP (1,001 metric HP)

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from ethan_3 wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

the title killed me, especially the "(probably)"

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

" (Commandment) IV. Thou shalt not stuff thy pack with all manner of goods. Thou needst it not, and it shall do naught but rob thee of thy breath and turn thy knees to Jello."

Machetes fall under this Commandment. I have no business hunting where one would be useful.

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from billyjo bondurant wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

I am always looking for that one hunting, casmping or fishing item i absalutly need. and the price is a GOOD FACTOR AS well as the qualty of the item.

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from billyjo bondurant wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

I am always looking for that one hunting, camping or fishing item i absalutly need. and the price is a GOOD FACTOR AS well as the qualty of the item.

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from fortycal wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Bootsuk this.

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