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August 15, 2008

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Petzal: Notes on the Vomit-Colored Rifle

It occurred to me that as a responsible journalist I could not simply say that I had a vomit-colored rifle built and let it go at that. The rifle in question was a 7mm Weatherby Magnum, made by Ultra Light Arms in 1989. It was intended as a beanfield rifle, and therefore, since it was a gun made for use in the Deep South, I thought it should have an appropriate camo pattern.

However, I was sick of looking at trees and flowers and chirping birds, and wanted something original. So I hit on the idea of the puke pattern you see after a pig pull and asked the stock painter at ULA to make the background beer-yellow, and include green splotches that looked like okra* and dark brown gobs that looked like pulled pork. It was an artistic triumph.

The rifle, which had a No. 3 contour Douglas barrel, was one of the best all-around guns I’ve ever owned, and it went to such diverse places as Texas, Wyoming, Quebec, and South Carolina. I finally settled on a 160-grain Nosler Partition as my everything bullet. Velocity, as I recall was about 3,100 fps, which is plenty. On a hunt in Quebec, the stock was covered in caribou blood after I packed out the meat from one of the awful beasts, and it improved the gun’s appearance considerably.

Because the nature of my trade prevents me from keeping rifles forever, I sold it some years back and it has since been repainted in a drab and respectable color. But it was fun while it lasted.

One of you mentioned a piece I did years ago for Gun Digest titled “I Sold All My Lovely Wood,” which told the true and pitiful tale of how I said goodbye to just about all my wood-stocked rifles. There’s a subsequent story to that.

A few years after the article ran, I was seated at a table at the Swarovski cocktail party at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, stuffing down free food** as fast as I could. Across the table from me was a young man from Sweden who kept staring at my name tag, and then at my face, and then my tag again. And I mean he stared.

I tried to place his name, and whether I had insulted him at some point, and was looking for something to use as a weapon when he came across the table. Then he remembered:

“YOU…YOU…YOU…”, he said, pointing his finger like Bubba Clinton at a press conference. I braced to throw the first punch and then run. “YOU SOLD YOUR WOOD!”

I admitted that I had, and after stuffing my pockets with canapés, left in a hurry.

*In my yankee opinion, the best use of okra is as an ingredient for puke.

**Were it not for free food, most gun writers would collapse from starvation before the SHOT Show ended.


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Everybody's got a right to change...and change we will. Never, ever, thought I would stoop to having one of those plastic stocked sobs, myself... Now, I have three, four, including handgun, and use them more than all the others...(I just don't mind beating um up, and they don't change zero, what can you say?) And the oldies are still around, showing their scars, too! No puke colors, tho! Are you still welcome in the South, not liking okra, and it reminding you of puke...Dave, you need to quit drinkin so hard! At least go for the smoother stuff, next time!

WA Mtnhunter

Great tale, Dave. I love to look at and hold my wood stocked guns and use them once in a while, but my 'daily drivers' are synthetic stocked and gripped. My S&W Mod 28 Highway patrol .357 wears a set of Pachmayer grips and my M870 wears a hand painted synthetic stock. If one were to run amok and need some corrective guidance, those would most likely be the ones to apply the required measures. One of them is almost always close at hand.

But my favorite piece of all is a nickel plated S&W Mod 19 Combat Magnum with beautiful claro grips. I think I'll put it in my will to be buried with it.....

WA Mtnhunter

BTW , Dave, your yankee opinion ain't worth a hoot when it comes to okra. I never met a good gumbo that didn't contain some okra! If you drink too much hard liquor, you might puke anything up! LOL

Jim in Mo.

1. Your link to your vomit colored rifle doesn't work.

2. I saw your rifle after it was repainted. Drab? I thought it attractive even for a synthetic.


Dave I'm from the south and I agree with your opinion on Okra!

My grand mother made me eat the boiled slimy (an eel has nothing on boiled okra) stuff when I was a kid... nasty...

If I tried to choke it down today I could paint several of your rifles!

The Eds.

Jim in Mo.:
The link is to the post in which Dave first mentioned his rifle, not to a photo of the rifle itself. That, sadly, does not exist.

Jim in Mo.

I can't imagine anyone from the south would boil the stuff. Even up here I only bread and deep fry okra. Now its fit for eatin.


Having been born in the south (and forced to eat okra more times that I care to remember).

I too have to say okra (cooked by any method) is in my opinion, disgusting and a piss poor excuse for food.



Jim in MO.

Boiled Okra was lunch time staple of the older generation. My wife loves the stuff fried but she cooks it so crip that it is almost like popcorn! I Still don't care for the stuff...

It will thicken a gumbo or vegetable soup though...

Tony C.


Here I thought Petzal was "one of us" and he goes splitting us up again based on the Mason-Dixon line.

I had fried okra as a side item with my lunch and it was so good my tongue nearly beat my brains out.

Don't forget what those hopelessly outnumbered Rebs did with their shooting irons in the 1860s.

I hunted in Yankee country a few years ago. We had hashbrowns instead of grits, but that Iowa grub was mighty fine to me.

What is it about hunting and food that goes togehter anyway? I guess that's why I weigh 250.

Clay Cooper

A rifle isn’t a rifle without giving it a personality!

David, am I getting the impression you abused the privilege? LOL!

Clay Cooper

Tony C.
There is one thing those northern folks have in common.

Can’t read a road map or change a tire and they drive like Europeans!

Del in KS

Jim in Mo,

Fried Okra is one of my favorites. I have a patch in my garden every year. Don't care much for boiled okra. It does make a gentle laxative


I've had fried okra, and I thought it very tasty. The boiled stuff is rather sci-fi looking.

I do like grits....good grits with my eggs.

Chitling's.....Chirst, I can't even spell it.....Not for this Yankee Anglo-Saxon!!!

I believe I remarked, "What's this doing on my plate?" at my first exposure to Chitlin's.


Hell you guys need to find a good cook to boil or fry your okra, that is the only problem I see here. I bet you don't like baked moose nose either and dislike shooting magnum rifles as well.

Edward J. Palumbo

And I thought Dave meant a "varmint-colored rifle" but he'd written it with an accent.


Dave, I understand where your coming from on the free food issue. How are you supposed to afford all those beautiful weapons if you pay for your food. We can all learn a lot from you Dave.


Dave ... this is a reach ... next time you feel this way, load the printer with Charmin and flush the output :-D .

Clay Cooper


One would think individuals like David Petzal and group would get special deals on trips and equipment by the manufacturers as “PR” to get more sales by the editor.

Have you noticed
Weatherby has made it look like they got their head out of there butts and come out with a (here come the smoke and mirrors!)"As low as“ $399 dollar 257 Weatherby Mag rifle. I haven’t held one yet, but Weatherby ammo is still around like $500 dollar a barrel oil price and damn proud of it! I’ll take my Remington CDL 25-06 put it against one any day thank you!!

If you can’t feed it? Why own it!!!

Buddy Hinton  Sturmgewehr


WA Mtnhunter



Get yourself a Mark V in .30-06, .300 Win Mag, or other non-Weatherby caliber and beat the Weatherby ammo cost for a mere 50-100 fps! That's what I did! But I love my Remington rifles just as much, btw.

Gomer Pyle

http://nimbusters.org/forum/forum.php?board=8 Free 300 Win Mag Weatherby give away! Sweet!

WA Mtnhunter


Is it vomit or varmint?

A Southern lawyer once told me, "A vahmint is anything what will kill yore chickens".

Words to live by.

Steve Ferber

I've noticed that none of my condemned friends ever ordered okra--or eggplant--as part of their last meal.

Buddy Hinton  Sturmgewehr

When Obama is President my Intern and I are going to party naked with plenty of Vaseline!

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