Thursday, January 28, 2016

What the Hell's Wrong with Petzal?

God, I get tired of this crap:
Range Day is the Monday prior to the Show’s opening when manufacturers demonstrate their wares. People like me are bussed out to handle the goodies. This year, Range Day sounded like the Battle of Dak To, or perhaps Fallujah, with the distinctive pop-pop-pop of full-auto fire, which was extremely popular amongst all the SEAL wannabes. Indeed, this was symbolic of the whole show, which has now become so heavily militarized that you have to look fairly hard for something designed to kill animals instead of people.
Maybe it's time Dave Petzal popped out his buttplug and quit whining about the 21st Century. One of my dream trips is taking a Colorado elk with my .458 SOCOM Wilson Combat AR, one of the finest rifles I own. At the same time, I had a long conversation with the owners of some of the finest classic riflemakers in the world about building me a classic bolt action hunting rifle in, say .300 Win Mag, God's own caliber.

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. Except in the mind of aging, atrophied gun writers who dreamed of becoming Elmer Keith and who, quite honestly, fell far short.
I love my pre-'64 Winchester 30-30 every much as I love my AAC .300 Blackout pistol. I routinely carry a .44 Special Vaquero single action on my ranch and a Glock 26 with an RMR when I "go to town." If you want to wear 5.11s and a tactical vest, so what? You want to wear jeans and a flannel shirt, I'm good with that, too.

I pull the trigger, and if you pull the trigger, I stand with you…pretty simple, huh?

And Dave, you might want to take note…guns are guns. Simple.


Tim Burke said...

Yep, guns are guns... and if the gun banners get their way, they won't make any distinctions.
We can stand together, or go down separately.

Unknown said...


I too am tired of some of the old guard having such a hard-on for anything outside of a 1911 or a "turnbolt". We are way too small a community for such divisiveness. I, like you just dig the tools and the art and the machines that are guns! 03-A3's to Ulfbert's and 1911's to VP9's, it's all good stuff. Let's enjoy our sameness...or as a onetime infamous drug addled street philosopher once said..."can't we all just get along?"

Sasquatch said...

Time to Zumbo that old fart. Put him out of work for good. He be flipping burgers. If you ain't with us then you are the enemy. Go to the nursing home Petzman and count your gray hairs.

KevinC said...

He went full Metcalf.
Never go full Metcalf.

The Freeholder said...

What Fudds like Petzel don't understand is that their precious walnut and blue steel deer guns are really sniper rifles, and their $5000 shotties are actually weapons of mass destruction. He and his ilk will quite happily sell us down the river, thinking all the while that no one needs "those guns" and not realizing that all he is doing is persuading the sharks to eat him last.

Kansas Scout said...

I see Petzal's point. I remember a time when guns were beautifully made and hunting was the focus. I miss those days too. I do think the gun world is tipped pretty heavily towards military weapons and as that happened the nicer bolt guns have begun to fade from the scene. The newer economy models may work just great but they look cheap and they are. I do question the emphasis on "tactical this and that" and the over militarization. Not that I would impose any restrictions on anyone else's choices nor would I tolerate that from any quarter. I guess I'm just old fashioned that way. I'm glad there are tons of Ar's and Ak's and others out there available for us all. I just don't want to see the sporting aspect get drowned out.

Charlie Foxtrot said...

Amen, Michael.

We're all in the Fellowship of the Rifle. Friends amongst a world of foes. And we damn well realize it, and quick.

Unknown said...

It's called capitalism. The market will sell what the people want to purchase. There are great bolt action rifles to be had made with all the blued steel and exotic woods your heart desires.
Belittling this generation of gun owners won't bring you many fans and it may turnoff some people from joining the gun culture during a time when we need more young people to join us. If you like blackpowder, bolt actions, lever actions or you are a "Navy SEAL wannabe" we welcome you, don't mind the grumpy guy in the back whining about the good Ole days. He has cool guns to shoot you will just have to put up with stories about hunting elk, moose and other stuff you don't care about but you will have a great time shooting his pre-64 Winchester.

Robert Kuntz said...

Well said, Bane. Well said.

Robert Kuntz said...

Well said, Bane. Well said.

DamDoc said...

Lets just say Field and Stream isnt a magazine for Gun Culture 2.0. We arent welcome in that house i can see! I am 62, and i think i remember my father read f&s back in the early 60s.. Doesnt seem to have evolved. When 2008 arrived, i still had my boyhood ithica single shot 20 gauge, a winchester 1894, and a reminton model 11 12 gauge... had not shot any of them for 20 years.. Then suddenly, BHO came along and woke me up to the importance of the second amendment. In those seven short years, shooting, collecting and reloading have become my life when not working to pay for this "obsession". In that recent time ive joined two local ranges, become an rso, and a life benefactor nra member, and support alot of more open minded gun writers. Petzal? I have never been so turned off by such an arogant ass in my life. I can now see why there has been no need for field and stream in my mail box. It may well be the only reason he will be able to keep his bolt gun from the likes of the Diane Feinstines of the world is that us "seal wannabes" came along. Talk about totally tone deaf.

Unknown said...

I heard comments similar to Dave Petzal's just before they forced the NY SAFE act on us. Beware…

Michael Bane said...

Kansas Scout…yes, the "Overton Window" has shifted, but I believe the best bolt action rifles in history are being made RIGHT NOW by companies like Montana Rifle and GA Precision; the best Sharps single shot rifles ever custom crafted are coming from Shiloh Sharps RIGHT NOW; Westley Richards is making magnificent 4-Bore double rifles again; Ruger, Remington, Kimber, Mossberg, Winchester and Savage are making affordable bolt action rifles capable of a reliability and accuracy that my father and grandfather could only dream about; you and buy a flawless Winchester 94 30-30 that is, yes, every bit as good as my pre-64 Winchester 30-30.

This is the Golden Age, brother!


Unknown said...

way to go Mike. Who is david petzel any way? Is there still a field & stream magazine? or is it just stream now.

Jeffersonson said...

Kansas, high-quality bolt guns are selling well today. And they're better made than a pre-64 Model 70. Personally, I shoot everything from an 1871 Beaumont-Vitali, to my grandfather's Remington Model 8 and S&W .32-20, to ARs and Saigas. And I like all of them.

Unknown said...

Who isn't SEAL wannabe ? Men amongst men. The guys who took Bin Laden and rescued the captain of the Maersk Alabama. He sounds like an old man complaining about walking five miles, uphill, barefoot, and in the snow to school in his day.

Unknown said...

Who isn't SEAL wannabe ? Men amongst men. The guys who took Bin Laden and rescued the captain of the Maersk Alabama. He sounds like an old man complaining about walking five miles, uphill, barefoot, and in the snow to school in his day.

Unknown said...

Mikey you never be as good a writer as Dave Petzal. Maybe in your wildest wet dreams you think you are.
Now why dont you get back to writing the great American novel about some jerk gun blogger who saves the Good Ole USA from ISIS armed with beef jerky,a MP15, and his single action revolver. Now go back to surfing the internet to find the latest in tacticool fashions for your mall crawling and checking out the 15yo teen boys.

Sixgunner said...

I really enjoy Petzal's writing, but I agree his comments about Range Day are strange. Personally, I wouldn't hold it against him. He's having trouble moving into the 21st century (not unlike a lot of us).

Apparently he finally broke over and went all AR-10, though:

Jess Jessup said...

I like wood and steel, but today's classic rifles are yesterday's battle tools. I suspect my kids will look back on the good old days of the AR platform. If they get the chance!


Anonymous said...

Petzal has a butt plug? Dang. Prbably maple.

Anonymous said...

@ Fred Mertz: that was really uncalled for. Really. Just don't comment at all if you're going to say stuff like that...

CJ said...

While not reading the article myself, I can imagine it has more to do with the ever growing "range day" crowd, than with the weapons themselves. Now, instead of a few writers getting to handle firearms made specifically to impress the writers, crowds of videographers are pushing in to finger fuck the latest and greatest. Pushing out the olguard, and insuring even the most carefully prepared display models are pawed like a $5 whore on payday. Yes I miss the wood and blued steel of yesteryear, and if you still want them they can be had at a premium. That still doesn't stop my acquisition of black poly/alloy framed, navy seal wannabe, awesomeness.

Jeff said...

Petzal jumped in a LONG time before Zumbo or Metcalf, and has never backed off or been contrite like Zumbo. His gunny friends say he's a good guy, but I say anyone who wants to take away your guns, like Petzal does, is not a good guy, no matter how "nice" he may be.

Anonymous said...

Petzal is now trying to save himself by posting an article on buying an AR15:

Typical spineless Fudd. Says what he really thinks of the right to keep and bear arms, then tries to backtrack when career suicide becomes apparent.

Michael Bane said...

Aw Fred M, darn it! But one of the things you learn as a professional writer — I made my living exclusively as a writer for 25 years — and as a television producer is that when you put yourself in front of the public, not everyone will love love love you. In face, you face the same curve as any business…at one end of the scale are the people who do indeed love your work; at the other end are the people who want to burn you at the stake.

Note that I didn't say Petzal was a bad writer. He's not Elmer Keith or Skeeter Skelton, but he's better than most and he certainy has a following. What I said was that his content sucks. Not the first time I've said that, either. Which is a world of difference.

I am also deeply insulted by your slurs on my fashion sense. I'll bet YOU down even one one pair of Steampunk goggles, much less a custom-made cowboy hat.And I'll bet I have more Wilderness Taciical belts than you do.

As to trolling the Internet and malls for 15 year old boys, it has been my experience that men who throw gay slurs so casually do so from their own personal issues and inadequacies as opposed to any outside referent.

I give commenters a lot of leeway on this blog and have since its inception. We discuss grown up issues here, and it is a rough and tumble conversation. You are welcome to despise me as much as you like, but I would caution you against wording that directly or by implication are slurs against gays, blacks, women or any other group. Consider yourself nicely warned.

And THANK YOU for signing your name!

Michael B

MrApple said...

I love when the Fudds of the world bash the tacti-cool guys and girls. Do you honestly think that the anti-gun crowd is going to be satisfied when they rid the US of all those super mega ultra evil black rifles. Your hunting firearms will quickly show up on their "Registration, Ban, Confiscation" list and the number of people fighting for firearm rights will that much smaller.

Unknown said...

Fred M, Mr Petzal and the like, I really don't understand the hate and slurs. People show their true person when they sling hateful remarks. If you do not agree with someone at least be respectful....

People have become way to willing to insult others, it's kinda depressing.

clark myers said...

Granting Mr. Petzal is both sincere in his affections and as opposed to gun grabbers as the rest of us. Given that the Shot Show is associated with the National Shooting Sports Foundation. It follows that Mr. Petzal could be touting shooting sports that use the guns he likes. Mr. Petzal could go positive by touting Quail Walks and other games. "New animals are appearing on the Safari Walk and North American Game Walk [at Gunsite] as well.

It's far from the greatest but my own best walnut is on my shotguns; my hunting rifles both big game and varmint are mostly modern materials.

Given the current enthusiasm for 3-Gun and other practical shooting events it follows that the enthusiasm in Las Vegas will match the enthusiasm in general. And it should.

Much like the ancient advise to use the active voice there is little to be gained by going negative in the face of the enemy. Those who do go negative in the face of the enemy and so give aid and comfort to the enemy are especially contemptible; all the more so when they could instead advance our cause on a front of their choice.

DamDoc said...

Regarding the overton window, gun culture 2.0, and the 5 ar's and 2 m14s, ak, and sig collection this "wannabe seal" has picked up over the last 7 years, my latest aquisitions are a henry big boy in 38/375 and a g100mc.. so evolution in gc2.0 is occuring too.. the window continues to drift... maybe Petzal is more distraught than he needs to be...

Michael Bane said...

And, would I love. CT shotgun Win 21 o/u, custom wood, tasteful engraving...sigh...a gun for the ages!


Publicola said...

If I recall correctly, lever actions rifles, such as the Winchester 1894 & Winchester 1895 were indeed sold to militaries, both foreign & domestic, especially around the time of WW1. Bolt actions rifles, including the Mauser 1898, Springfield 1903 & SMLE, garnered large military contracts. Yet somehow these implements that were (to paraphrase the jack-ass) "designed to kill people instead of animals" have accounted for a helluva lot of critters over the last 100 plus years.

Blackfork has some pics up over at his place of deer he's taken in Texas with both M1 Carbines & M1 Garands, which had undeniable martial origins. Despite "hunting" being an optimistic term for me (it's been more akin to me taking long walks in the woods while bearing arms under false pretenses) I've carried Garands afield in pursuit of game, as well as a sweet little sporterized 1917 Enfield that was made for that war to end all wars.

For quite a while Griffin & Howe did a brisk trade in taking a surplus 1917 Enfield & altering it for folks that wanted to take it after quarry much larger than humans. In fact if I did hit the lotto I'd scrounge up a few '17 Enfields & send them off to G&H so that I could properly explore this new fangled .35 Whelen ca'tridge I've been hearing the youngins make a fuss about, & perhaps some flavor of .416, just cause.

& let's not even get into how many deer in the South have fallen to SKS's & AK's, whose martial ancestry is unquestionable.

If I recall correctly, aren't are armed forces currently still using a slightly tricked out Remington 700 as a sniper rifle? Why yes, yes I do believe they are.

So the notion that a rifle is designed to kill either humans or animals is ludicrous. Firearms are designed to propel a projectile. That projectile may be more or less suited to a particular endeavor, but there's no more scandal in taking down a deer with an M1A than there would be in using an L.C. Smith SXS to fend of intruders in ones home, or use a 30-30 to stand watch on a ship or to clear mines (which the Royal Navy did in WW1).

Yet over at the comments of that linked piece I note some "sportsman" lamenting the fact that Wal-mart carries 00 buck, when his state doesn't allow that load for deer season. The same asshat expresses his hope that the amount of .223 brass at his local range is a fad. What appeasers-to-be like that commentor don't realize is that when there stops being an abundance of .223 brass at the range we'll have much more serious problems than which pair of dockers to wear with the Fox double.

& MB, hope the recovery from the knee overhaul goes well.

Pastafarian said...

Victor Torres hit the nail on the head above: That slur of the "SEAL wannabe" -- where does that come from? In what situation is this Petzal fellow, that he can fling it around?

It's like saying "major league baseball player wannabe" or "international jetsetting ladies' man wannabe". Yeah, no shit, Sherlock. Who would not want to have the skill, talent, and guts to be any of those things?

And I'm an older guns guy, for the most part -- my aspirational gun is a beautiful new walnut-stocked blued-steel safari-grade Mauser bolt-action rifle in 7mm Rem mag. A lot of my guns are made by Uberti -- you can't get much more old-school than that.

But even I admire the AR system. Great ergonomics, reconfigurable and customizable without a gunsmith, the most accurate semiauto rifles I've ever fired, reliable, light weight. You can even find nicely made, pretty versions (although all I have are a couple of DPMS, which are nothing to look at.) This guy's slam on automatics and military rifles doesn't make any goddamned sense -- if there are 5 or 6 guys using full auto at the range, does that make it less enjoyable for him to use his bolt-action? Does he suppose that there are fewer options out there in more traditional weapons, because of the availability of the AR?

And this guy writes for Field & Stream? That's sad. I once subscribed to that magazine, when I was 13 or 14.

Anonymous said...

If Mr. Petzal hasn't noticed, the guns he's criticizing ARE the new "traditional guns" and those shooters that shoot them are the NEW traditional shooters. He sums-up his article appropriately: "Enough whining".

I never put any stock into F&S. I stopped buying and reading it a loooooong time ago; better'n a half-century ago. And I don't have any respect for either of those mealy-mouthed jabber-ers from F&S that sometimes show-up on the shooting shows. It's time for them to just fade-away. They're not informing, nor helping the sport.

Life Member

Anonymous said...

And to "Freeholder",

Man, I wish I'd said that: " He and his ilk will quite happily sell us down the river, thinking all the while that no one needs "those guns" and not realizing that all he is doing is persuading the sharks to eat him last."

Very well said!

Life Member

Michael Bane said...

If you want to read an excellent outdoors magazine, go for OUTDOOR LIFE. Of course John Snow, one of our regulars on SHOOTING GALLERY, is the firearms editor and has an incredible depth of knowledge. I've never picked up a copy whereI didn't learn something pretty cool. Also SPORTS AFIELD, the uber-big game hunting magazine.

2016 is the toughest year we've ever faced...we've done a wonderful job of reuniting the various elements of our culture. Petzal's the outlier, thankfully.


NotClauswitz said...

I haven't read F&S since I was a 10-yr old kid at my Grandpa's house, forty-eight years ago - but I have Grandpa's Krag and his '03 Remington sporter that has taken many deer and a bear in Alaska. I also have Grandpa's Belgian A5 Humpback, but it's so pretty I had to get a plastic & steel Mosssberg 590 (with a bayonet lug, like the Krag) just to shoot-shot, and a couple AR's and a M1 Garand. My accumulation is mixed, and I am building an AR upper just for fun now.
I guess I'll check-out Outdoor Life and Sports Afield when hunting-season comes around, but most Hunting magazines remind me of fishing lures, they catch more fishermen than fish.

Louis said...

Unfortunately I am going to have to disagree about Ruger turning out impressively accurate rifles. My Ruger American Rifle Ranch in 300 BO so far has been a 3 -8 moa gun with any ammo I have used in it. I'm better off with some of my handguns.

Unknown said...

DD, I'm like you. There's not much I don't like. I cerakote AR's and then build them out. I have a many semi-auto pistols. I will be getting tax stamps for SBRs and suppressors soon. I have percesion "tactical" bolt guns.
I also have an obsession for S&W 686's, Ruger Blackhawks and Marlin 1895's. One thing that I can't stand is a scope on any level gun.
I guess we're just unusual.....

El Duderino said...

F&S is about as close to a gun rag as you'll find in the dentist's waiting room.

I appreciate fine hunting arms as I appreciate all the "black rifles" and such. They're just tools.

To all those reminiscing about the "good ol' days" may I remind you that all those M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, NFA machineguns, HK41/91s, FALs, etc didn't purchase themselves.

I think one would find that the desire to own "military-style" weapons is directly proportional to the general public's level of trust in the competency and accountability of government.

Anonymous said...

Correction - inversely proportional. :)

Michael Bane said...

Louis…contact Ruger if you bought the gun new…they will stand behind it…


Anonymous said...

But Louis, I would like to add: The .300 B. O. is not known to be a "1 M. O. A. " round.

Life Member

Anonymous said...

I'd have more respect for him if he owned his differing opinion. However, his immediate "conversion" tells me all I need to know about his character.


HighDesert71 said...

Why don't these guys ever get it?
In the mid 1990's when I was a rangemaster in my mid 20's, one of the old rangemaster was lamenting about the $69 Russian SKS's that were all over at that time.
He was an old Ruger #1 shooter. I made the same case about us all needing to stick together. I had him fire my L1A1, and he liked it.
We need all hands on deck to secure our firearms freedoms.

patrick kelly said...

Black Rifles Matter

Sheepdog1968 said...

Well, Dave has got us all talking which is probably a good thing even if he may have offended folks. Glad I don't have to live such a public life. I have a semiauto rifle for self defense uses but they don't get me super excited. In fact, when I see anoth company coming out with an AR or 1911, I don't find there to be much excitement because there are lots of other manufacturers already making them. It's not that often something really new and exciting comes out. 2015 had the DP-12 and the Ruger precision rifle. Those are both game changers and got me quite excited. A few years prior was to see a renaissance of the scout rifle. Most of the stuff is just slow incremental changes which while important isn't very exciting. For example, it is now common to be able to buy a low price point rifle that is at 1 MOA. This is amazing if you think about it, getting there was a slow evolution of improved technology.

Lee Williams said...

"... pop his buttplug and quit whining... BEST LEDE I'VE EVER READ! KUDOS, SIR!

Thirdpower said...

The difference between 'Gun Culture 1.0' and 2.0 is apparent even in the game world. Take the 'partisan' pieces from 'Fortress America'. First released in 1986, The original is one of the most highly detailed of the set. You can make out an old style cap w/ fold up sides, a pistol holster, canteen, small backpack w/ blanket roll, hunting knife in the boot and a scoped rifle.

The new partisan (2012) has a turned around baseball cap, 8 ammo pouches, bunches of other pouches attached to his arms and other places, knee, shoulder and elbow pads, sundry other gear (but no canteen or backpack) and an M-4gery w/ the proper finger placement on the trigger.

I'ld say that's a statement on the changing firearms culture in the US.

Writers like Zumbo, Metcalf and Petzal isolated themselves into a clique of like minded individuals and didn't realize that things were moving around them.

Anonymous said...

Thirdpower, I'd like to add to your spot-on piece:

Zumbo, Metcalf and Petzal all regard themselves as the "Ruling-Class" of guns. They're no different that the "Ruling-Ruling-Classes" in government. They think that they've been there so long that they not only know everything, but that they should also tell everyone else what to think and do. As you put it, they didn't notice things "morphing" around them. What arrogance! Too bad.

I respect opinions, even if different than mine. I also know when not to crap in my own nest.

Life Member

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