Q&A: Dave Petzal Answers Questions on Zombie Guns, Shooting, Hunting, and Life

Q: You know, of course, that the Zombie Invasion is imminent. So what gun will you reach for when the dead rise?
--Walter Iman, El Prado, N.M.

A: Ordinarily, I'd say my .308 Ruger Scout Rifle. However, it's become so hard to find ammo in any of the military calibers that I'm inclined to say, "Over here, you scroungy-looking bastards," and not fire a shot. (Also see my next response.)

Q: When I compare new midpriced binoculars to my high-end stuff, I swear I don't see much difference, which I find depressing. Can you cheer me up?
--Thomas Cole, Lusk, Wyo.

A: No, in a word. Along with the fact that Hillary Clinton is surely going to run for president in 2016, and we will have to listen to her air-raid-siren voice for months and months, the thing that depresses me most is just what you're pointing out: There's but a hair's-breadth in quality between the really expensive glasses and a lot of the medium-priced stuff, and there are even a couple of low-middle-priced glasses that will take your breath away, they're so good. What's the point in living anymore?

Q: I want a light-kicking, flat-shooting deer gun in .25/06. But the rifles I like in this caliber come with a 22-inch barrel. Is that O.K., or should I look for one with a 24-inch barrel?
--Harold Davidson, Geneva, N.Y.

A: In .25/06, a 22-inch barrel is a hissing and a byword. Because of the small bore diameter, you don't have much space in which to burn powder, and you need 24 inches, not 22, in order to get the speed you deserve.

Q: I am taking my .270 Winchester on an elk hunt this fall. What bullet do you recommend I use and why?
--David Schiappa, Lorane, Ore.

A: Elk are big, tough animals, and while a .270 will do the job, you need a tough bullet in order for it to work. I prefer the 150-grain slugs over 130s and 140s, and here's a list of good candidates: any of the all-copper bullets; the Nosler Partition; the Swift A‑Frame; the Hornady GTX. I've killed elk or elk-size animals with all of these, and they will put a wapiti on the ground for fair.

Q: I have a Keystone Arms ­double-​barrel shotgun patented 1883 with fine Damascus barrels. What ammo can I safely shoot in it?
--Curt B., from the gun nuts blog

A: Safely? Nothing. I have no idea how strong the barrels are, and anyone who says he does is guessing. Hang it on a wall and get a modern gun.

Q: I have read great things about the .30 RAR, but I can't find a single source for brass. Is there something I'm missing, or did Remington drop the ball here?
--Aaron Wallace, Avalon, Ky.

A: I don't know where you read those great things, but I'd look elsewhere for information from now on. The .30 RAR's light, low-ballistic-coefficient bullets lose velocity rapidly, and the fat cases limit magazine capacity. My guess is that Remington is trying to forget the thing exists.

From the September 2013 issue of Field & Stream magazine.

Ask a Question, Win a Jacket
Send inquiries to ­askpetzal@fieldandstream.com. We cannot guarantee polite answers to all questions. But if we use yours in the upcoming October issue, you'll receive a new Dickies Waterproof Breathable Jacket.