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January 12, 2007

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Miscellaneous Whining From The 2007 SHOT Show

Editor's Note: Dave is reporting live from the 2007 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in Orlando, Florida.

I've been wandering the aisles, dodging curses and punches. Jeff Foxworthy has his own line of jerky. You may be a redneck if you have enough money to come up with your own line of preserved strips of dead cattle.


A company that I will not name is not only selling John Wayne commemorative rifles, but John Wayne commemorative ammo, it being the Duke's 100th birthday. I don't get the John Wayne craze. He was a fine and much-underrated actor, but that's all he was. Wayne never punched a head of cattle, or fought in a war.


If someone would like to put out commemorative guns for a real hero, they should do it for Audie L. Murphy. In case you haven't heard of him, Murphy was a scrawny Texas kid who grew up dirt poor and became the most decorated American soldier of World War II. He won every medal we had to give, including the Medal of Honor. He went on to become a reasonably successful movie actor, but died in his 40s in an airplane crash. Murphy was what Wayne pretended to be, and we should remember him.

A Cold Steel Bargain
The SHOT Show abounds in cutlery manufacturers, and Colt Steel is always one of the most interesting. They make all sorts of lethal stuff, but also some very good hunting knives, and some very fine bargains. Shown here is one of the latter. It's a knockoff of a very famous design called the Russell Canadian Belt Knife. There have been plenty of imitations of the RCBK, most of them worthless, but this one is terrific. It's very light, razor sharp, comes with a good sheath, and costs only about $16, or so I'm told. It will not hold an edge forever, but then you resharpen it.

No need to thank me; it's my job.


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Ralph the Rifleman

Wish I was there...nice knife for the money, too.
By the way, there was an Audie Murphy commerative rifle a while back you may recall? By JW does bring the gun buyers out of the woodworks..it's just one of those cultural phenomenons we may never understand?

Mike Diehl

I think I get it. Who made more movies posing with a lever action -- Wayne or Murphey? Putting Wayne on a lever action is right as would be putting Murphy on an M1 Garand or Alvin York on a 1903 Sprinfield. Or if you want a real lever action old west type on a rifle, maybe a commemorative lever action .30-40 Krag with Teddy Roosevelt etched into it.

And for "traditional" muzzleloader types we could issue a commemorative culverin with Bilbo Baggins face etched into it. ;)


Enjoy the show, walk many miles to find the truly unique items, soak your feet, and let us know what you find.
Thanks for the report.

Matt Kime

Why are you being so negative about John Wayne? He is a real American hero. He has touched the lives of a lot more people than Audie Murphy has, who is also a hero. Heroism is a lot more than just receiving awards and being brave/couragous. John Wayne knew his role during WWII, how many people have joined the military when they were 34-35 years old. There are a lot of people who deserve commemorative items to be made in their memory. I guess I just don't like it when someone is negative about a hero of mine.

Thomas Hall

Dear David,
I suppose the first commemorative guns were few enough and far enough between to have been meaningful but enough is enough. I think it's coming to where they're going to issue a commemorative lever action rifle to commemorate their 100th type of commemorative lever action rifle. Personally I think stamping someone's name along with some second-rate wildlife art on a perfectly good rifle is almost in the same class as painting graffiti on subway cars.

Now that we've seen the mediocre gunmaking I for one would love to hear about the best of the best that's there at the show.

Have a great time & send lots of postcards.



Yea, I agree about Audie Murphy, he was a true hero and the film “To Hell and Back” is a great picture about his life. As to John Wayne, I remember his in films slinging his lever action. There was a commemorative rifle in 32-40; that might be the one now released. I would think it possible that the character Wayne played might have been using a 32-40, but I can’t remember any subtitle flashing on the screen saying, “ Winchester model 94 in 32-40” and it seems most of those old westerns were earlier time periods, therefore, most Winchesters would have been 1873s or 1866s. One with Jimmy Stewart titled, “Winchester 73” made the case obvious.

Murphy was a hero of WWII and it was a great time to be alive in America! John Wayne was an Icon of the myth of the old west and individualism and we live vicariously through such an icon and dream about being once so free. For some just looking at one of those commemorative rifles makes them feel better about the reality of modern life. I get the same feeling looking at my father's 300 Savage model 99.

Oh about the show.. well it is all too modern for me, I like a few gun shows where old timers display old rifles and shotguns and pass the weekend chatting, not all that energy in a madhouse arena! That is what I would expect at one of those shows to be like today and from the picture, it looks more like a congested airport than, well … something comfortable.


The Duke shot a Model 92, not a 94.

Bill in VA

To Hell And Back was a good movie, but Murphy did a great job in The Red Badge of Courage too. The supporting actor in that film was Bill Mauldin, the notible WWII cartoonist. He was another fine American.

Ralph the Rifleman

JW is my #1 western actor, but when interviewed about his career, he actually preferred not to act in western theme movies. He said when he, and his family, were young he needed money so he took anything he could. As JW said about making western movies,"at least I could afford a couch to sit on, and a house to put it in!"
Personally, I think he was equally as good in his military roles...As for Audie M., he actually preferred the M1 Carbine in battle which a commerative model was made in his name.He never thought of himself as an actor, but wanted to give viewers a real taste of war in hopes that it wouldn't happen again!


Winchester, Model 94, John Wayne commemorative, cal. .32-40, carbine


whatever the Duke shot this was a 94 not a 92 and he might have shot many older models as would fit the time period.


Yup, the commermoratives were model 94s, but he shot 92s in movies - even movies that were set 30 years before the 92 came out!


John Wayne was an actor; he played heroic characters. That makes him a hero no more than it makes George Burns divine or Dustin Hoffman autistic. I had the privilege to visit Murphy's grave at Arlington. It was non-descript, really, and from what I gather that's the way he would want it. He was a hero.

Anything new from Marlin there, Dave? Or Kimber?

Dave Petzal

To KJ: From Marlin, the new lever-gun in .308 Marlin, which should give considerably more range than the average lever gun.

From Kimber, a new side-by-side with beavertail fore-end and semi-pistol grip. Lovely gun, but in 20-gauge only right now, I think. Also, a new rifle in .375. I like it, but am not crazy about the old-fashioned cheekpiece, and the barrel is too light for my taste. On .375 and above, a barrel the diameter of a sewer pipe is about right.


Hey Dave....Have a great time! Nice to know there are a few folks who recognize the name Audie Murphy. Certainly a hero.


Dave, is that cold steal or colt steal?

Ralph the Rifleman

Dave P-
Anything NEW from Savage, or Ruger, worth mentioning at the show? Maybe some models to be chambered in .338 Federal for 2007?

Dave Petzal

To Russ: It's Cold Steel. And no one appreciates a smartass. I can tell you from firsthand experience.

To Ralph: Savage has a new, high-grade .22 rimfire bolt gun, and a nifty varmint rifle that you can actually lift without a winch. My stuff is not back from the Show, so I'm weak on specifics, but I'll put them on the blog as soon as I get my catalogs.


Dave, how can you insult someone who makes jerky? That stuff is the best after a cold day outside.


John Wayne was a role model depending on your political leanings.

Audie Murphy was a hero and role model regardless of your leanings. He was also very modest and would not like the idea of a commemorative gun.


Dave, did anyone have any new products for the most intelligent, rugged, handsome, and noble of all men, i.e., lefties? I was wondering if/when Browning is going to bring out a LH T-Bolt but I know that deep down I won't be satisfied till I get a .22 from NULA (which I will hopefully do this summer).

Dave Petzal

To Matt WV: No, sadly. We are taking our customary savage screwing.

To Ford: Actually, I'm a fan of Jeff Foxworthy. I saw him in person at the SCI convention last year and he was funny for a solid hour without using the f-word once.

Retired Hunter

The question on the Gun Test regarding Parallax has a wrong answer or choice (A) is incorrectly worded. Parallax is when a scope is NOT focused for a specific distance.

Or else ther rest of the world is wrong.

Retired Hunter

The question on the Gun Test regarding Parallax has a wrong answer or choice (A) is incorrectly worded. Parallax is when a scope is NOT focused for a specific distance.

Or else ther rest of the world is wrong.


My three Heroes! Of course there are more, but for the sake of this commet, I'll use these three for humor.

Audie Murphy,
John Wayne,
Dave Petzal.





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