Petzal on Camera: Interviews from the 2008 SHOT Show

Knife Designer Bill Harsey

I say in this interview that Bill is the foremost designer of tactical knives now working. That's not quite accurate; there may be two or three other guys who are as good. Anyway, he is a very bright and interesting guy who got into making knives by being a welder, and doing a few just for the fun of it. One thing led to another, as they say, and now he designs for Chris Reeve Knives and Lone Wolf. He probably knows more Special Ops personnel than the general commanding.

Melvin Forbes, of New Ultralight Arms

In the 1980s, Melvin revolutionized hunting rifles buy building guns that were not only light beyond belief, but super accurate as well. He didn't do it by taking a standard-weight rifle and hacking chunks out of it, but by simply eliminating all the weight while the design was still on paper. He began as a country gunsmith who made his living by fixing other designers' mistakes, and has a horror of doing things wrong. At my peak of consumption, I owned 13 of his rifles.

The Montana Rifle Company

What is interesting about Montana Rifle Company is their low prices (for what you get; they charge about ¼ of what Dakota asks) and the unbelievable diversity of what they make. Although these guys specialize in conservative classic sporters, there's apparently nothing they won't tackle, provided it's not too absurb.

Surefire's Monster Flashlights

I think I own 14 SureFires; some were given to me and others I bought in moments of consumer frenzy. They're the only flashlights I've used whose switches don't break. And while the lithium batteries flame out pretty fast, you can have a lot of fun until they do. A couple of years ago I bought a $300 SureFire on a whim, and the odd thing is that it's proved to be very useful. You can bounce its beam off Pluto; and if you want to flag cars off an accident at night, this will get their attention.

Sophia Bush and Elisha Cuthbert

We at the Gun Nut feel very badly about the shortage of booth babes at SHOT. And so, even though we are not responsible for same, we are including some photos of two young actresses named Sophia Bush (no relation) and Elisha Cuthbert. If you were actually in the presence of either one, you would become either stupid, or mute, or both.

In the 1980s, Field & Stream employed a woman who was in a league with these two, and she worked our booth at the SHOT Show. It was a great joy to watch men walk up to her and start speaking in tongues or simply stand there speechless. She said you got used to it after a while.