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August 20, 2008

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Petzal: Shameless Products Plugs

In case any of you were wondering where the hell I was for most of July, I was in Africa, and have come back at great risk and personal expense to make you aware of the virtues of the following:

Hardigg Storm Case Model IM 3300: This is a two-rifle case made of high-performance resin. It’s light for how strong it is, comes with two handles and wheels, six latches (which open by depressing spring-loaded tabs so you don’t rip your fingernails out) and hasps for four locks. Two of us had Storm Cases and wore big smiles. Two other hunters shared a lesser aluminum case and ended up with a busted stock and a wrecked scope. They did not smile. As the airlines descend into total chaos and anarchy, you would do well to visit Hardigg’s website, which is stormcase.com

Barnes TSX and MRX bullets: I used a .338 loaded with 225-grain TSXs at 2,750 fps; one of my friends used a .30/06 loaded with 180-grain MRXs at 2,700 fps. Between us we shot something like a dozen animals from 50 pounds up to 450 at ranges from 25 yards to 320. Nothing required a second shot. Not a single bullet was recovered; everything went clear through. How do you do better than that? Barnesbullets.com

Zeiss Victory 8x32 T* FL binoculars: These were loaners. The weigh 20 ounces, are 4.6 inches tall with eyecups extended, and were best summed up by a PH who took a look through them: “They make you want to take your own binoculars and throw them as far as you can.” Are they expensive? Of course, but on the other hand, what the hell are you saving it for? The end is near. Zeiss.com

Mystery Ranch Crew Cab Pack: This is an expandable daypack that employs a frame. There are three cells (plus two more in the cover) that expand from 1900 ccs to 5,000. You can pack it in all sorts of configurations, and it has the best suspension system I’ve ever used. Moreover, all those cells and straps and buckles appear to keep the TSA from asking you over to the little table to see what you’re carrying. Even loaded to near-max capacity, it fits in the overhead compartment of a jet. Mysteryranch.com


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I love Zeiss optics. The quality of the glass and extremely tight quality control(you know those Germans) make them some of the finest optical instruments in the world.


Where exactly did you go and what did you shoot? Knowing that information will assist us commoners in evaluating your products as well as your intregrity.

Dr. Ralph

Been bragging about those Zeiss optics along with my Vanguard and catching hell... the proof is in the pudding. So we want pictures. Dead animals, not pretty scenery. Party on Dave!

Jim in Mo.

Sure been boring around here.

Clay Cooper

What, no pictures!
Did you go by and visit Barack Obama's 'half-brother…
The youngest of Barack Obama’s half siblings has told of his shame about living in a shack and existing on a dollar a month whilst his brother plans to become the most powerful man in the world.


Great pack. I love multiple-function gear. This is on my good boy list. and local too!

Del in KS


After your recent comments I bought a first edition copy of "Horn of the Hunter". Did you by any chance go to any of Bob's old hunting spots? What is Tanganyika called these days anyhow? So many countries in Africa have changed names I can't remember them all.

"Lions and Leopards and Rhinos excite me but don't frighten me. But that buff is so big and mean and ugly and hard to stop and vindictive and cruel and surly and ornery. He looks like he hates you personally. HE LOOKS LIKE YOU OWE HIM MONEY. He looks like he is hunting you....He makes me sick in the stomach, and he makes my hands sweat, and he dries out my throat and lips".

What a book. I think just about all your peers have quoted the capitalized owes money line at some point in their career. Wish I had read this book before. Already bought "Use enough gun" will read it next. Are there any other books this good out there? Already have Jim Corbett's books. Bob drank like a fish and smoked Chesterfields no wonder he died young. That pain he descibed in his chest was probably his heart trying to tell him something.


I have wanted Zeiss glass since first reading "The Green Hills of Africa" almost forty years ago. Putting four kids through private colleges made this impossible but now is the time as you suggested Dave. And I don't want to hear anymore about that 338. I spending my money on the glass. Welcome back.

Chad Love

Del, you got a first edition "Horn of the Hunter" and you're still financially solvent?

My copy of "Horn" is the Safari Press reprint, while my copy of "Use Enough Gun" is an older reprint from New American Library.
Both hardback and very nice but no first editions.

I discovered Ruark through what I now suspect was a first edition "Use Enough Gun" at my middle school library back in the early 80s.

I've often been tempted to go back and swipe that book...

Everyone else will probably chime in in agreement here, but "The Old Man and the Boy" is essential Ruark.

I'm not as big a fan of Ruark's fiction as I am his non-fiction, but "Uhuru" and "Something of Value" are both pretty good.

Alas, no first editions for me there either, but I'm still looking.

One of these days I'm going to open up a book/gun/vintage tackle shop modeled roughly after Shakespeare & Co. in Paris. I'll call it "Ye Olde Book & Bullet."

Bet if I did that sooner or later those first editions I covet will start floating into the shop...

And to keep things on topic, I'll be trying the 130 grain TSX this year in my 6.5x55. Been reading too much positive feedback not to.

Jim in Mo.

Dave, you picked a good gun case to fly with. Some months ago Am. Hunter mag did a torture test on gun cases and Hardig Storm 3300 did extremly well, and those guys actually tortured the cases. I bought two truck cases based on that article (plano airglide) and very happy.

Jim in Mo.

Chad Love,
'The old man and the boy' should be required reading at hunter education courses.


For $490 that pack had better be good! How's it compare to the Eberlestock? Looking forward to reading about your latest African adventure.


Dave, Ditto on the Barnes bullets, especially the TSXs. I use them in my 257, 300 and 338 and will nothing else. They are the best bullets available - period! I've had good results with other bullets but now they jsut sit on my loading bench and are used for practice. From little pronghorns to whopper elk, I've yet to shoot a second time or find a bullet. Just got done loading a bunch of 115 TSX for goats and mulies next month and can't wait!


Tuff life Dave ... just don't know how you get thru it :-D . Just a FnA hero I guess?


DEP- We all welcome your return, even at great risk and personal expense. Please wax eloquently on the .338. Win Mag? RUM? Ruger? ???
The extra all purpose handy dandy and supremely useful .30-'06 does not need any introduction, as it is just about everything you need for anything, but a few words about loads, animals taken, etc. would make interesting reading.

Lone Star 45

Where’s the pictures of the hunt!!!

tom warner

Dave: While I would certainly agree that the Zeiss glasses are wonderful, I think that you will find that the Nikon Monarch ATB 8+42's are so terrific that I doubt that you will be able to tell the difference between the two. The REAL difference is the price! Give 'em a try.I think you will agree with me.


John Johnston

To be completely honest why don't you tell us, with product name, about what did NOT work so well.


The first pair of Zeiss binoculars I ever saw was in the late 60's and was a pair my Uncle had liberated from a German tank commander in Africa during WWII. They were painted the desert tan color that the Germans used. I had read enough outdoor magazines by then to know I was holding quality glass and looking through them proved it. He is deceased now and I wonder if my cousins have the glasses. I hadn't thought of them in years until this posting.


Yeah Dave, how about some shameless product Bashing?
One thing I don't like about gun and hunting mags, they never say when something is CRAP! Guess they have you trained pretty well to not mention what failed miserably!


Like the "lesser aluminum case", why not give us a make and model there? We would appreciate knowing what to avoid like the Plague as well!
(especially us po' folk who can't always afford the "good stuff")


Shameless is correct Dave!!

"made of high-performance resin". Just a fancy name for plastic. Don't fall into the Trap dave!.

Seems like when marketing folks get involved everything ends up better; unfortunately they are typically a coverup for inferior materials.

Take for example the concept of "free floated barrels". Based on what I read lately this is the best thing to happen to rifle manufacturing since stamped parts. Truth be told, any good gun guy can tell you, the reason guns are manufactured with free floating barrels is because it is cheaper than properly bedding a barrel to a stock.


I live about 30 miles from the Barnes factory. I have used the X bullet since it came out. It is the best. The Winchester/Nosler Failsafe was great but is now caput.



I found the Storm case at this web this web site:


I think $180 is a good price for a case that gets Dave's Approval.
I spent about $250 for a similar case in steal (that I am happy with) But I am sure the storm case is lighter.

Dave Petzal

To all: This was a hunt I paid for (oh, the shame of it). I and a bunch of friends went to South Africa, first to the Karoo, which is open country that looks a little like the real estate near Las Vegas. Thirty degrees; we froze our asses. Second half of the hunt was near the Limpopo River on the Botswana border; brush country mostly.

I did very little shooting: one mountain reedbuck, one warthog, and one baboon. Hammered the baboon because they are hell on young wildlife, sort of like coyotes, but with bigger teeth. I also finished off a kudu that a poacher had wounded.

The rifle I carried was an Ed Brown Savanna with a Swarovski AL 3X-10X.

You want some stuff that didn't work? A wood-stocked Ruger 77 that had to have an emergency rebedding job. The scope that was busted was a Leupold VX-III 3.5X-10X. It is the third busted Leupold I've seen inside a year and a half, and this is after using them for 40 years with never a problem. A Nosler Accu-Bond 180-grain that shed what looked like 75 percent of its weight. It was out of a .30/06, and that shouldn't happen to a bonded bullet.

The aluminum case was made by ICC; had not heard of them before. By the way, if you'd like a resin case that's less costly than the Hardigg, Boyt now makes very good one, as does Penguin and Browning (same case), but the latches will rip your fingernails out.

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