Petzal: Barrett's Law

While at SHOT Show and SCI last month, I saw a great deal of New Stuff that we will not be able to live without. The downside to New Stuff is that it comes at the cost of Old Stuff, and sometimes, the Old Stuff is a lot better than the New Stuff that replaces it. And that is why Peter Barrett, Field & Stream's late Executive Editor, would take a puff on his pipe and say "Kid, if you find something real good buy two, because as true as God they'll stop making it."

A case in point is the Leupold M-8 3X rifle scope which was made from 1965 to 1979. It was light, simple, strong, took in 43 feet at 100 yards, and was one of the best scopes ever made for short range shooting, or for use on a dangerous game rifle. I don't know of anything comparable made today.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Danner made a boot called the Elk Hunter, not to be confused with the present boot of that name. It was 5 inches high, lace-to-toe, no Gore-Tex or Thinsulate, and came with a heavy Vibram sole and a high "logger" heel. Elk Hunters weighed a ton, but you could walk straight up a mountain or straight down and never slip. If you were to make it today it would probably cost $400.

In the 50s and 60s L.L. Bean sold a parka that was two layers of olive-drab poplin of a quality seldom seen on this earth. It was pretty much wind- and waterproof, and would not roast you if you wore it as a top layer while snowshoeing.

And on, and on. Buy two. Hell, buy three.