Durable Goods

Everyone and their bird dog has a blog or a space in print for product so-called reviews. So we here at MOF thought it might be useful to have one too, but not your average product review. You know that kind; a company hoping to sell a product to the masses contacts a fairly reputable writer and asks him or her to take their gear into the outdoors and give it a spin. Or conversely, a so-called writer looking for some free or sharply-discounted (think pro-deal) shit contacts a manufacturer and asks for the free or sharply-discounted shit for a “review” on their blog that gets read by one point five readers. The writer/recreator maybe takes the product out into the local city park or maybe it’s their back yard, and gives the product a spin. Or maybe doesn’t use it at all. Then they generate about fifty words on it—usually glowing to justify getting the free shit or the advertising dollar from the manufacturer—and the consumer is left to make a decision to buy or not buy. The fact is, product reviews are like where-to articles that send the masses by the hundreds into your favorite cover. Call it ethically shaky. Not shady. Shaky. Maybe the user really used it, maybe the product was taken into the backcountry and used hard, maybe it wasn’t.

You will never read a where-to piece on this blog. But a real product review? That seems like something an avid uplander could use. So, relying on about one hundred collective years of chasing and yelling at bird dogs after wild birds in cool places, we’ve found a few things we like almost as much as those dogs we run after. What will make Durable Goods different? For one, we purchased the gear at full retail price for the most part and in most cases way before MOF was a glimmer in our daddys’ eyes. If we got it free or discounted, we’ll let you know. These products are things we’ve used in the field, in real time, in real cases, for years. Not just a weekend. In the field, for years. This is the shit that works. That we like. That we’ve had for a long time. We weren’t bribed to write nice things. Durable Goods will be honest. Sometimes the words will be constructive (which is psycho-speak for critical) and sometimes the words will be complimentary. Maybe our products will have been made by a company that’s been dead for years. Maybe it will be a new company. But the reviews will be reviews, not hyperbolic gush for a free product, not the work of a writer looking to whore words for goods. No. These are Durable Goods. Enjoy.

Part I. Monte

Chukar did it to me. Those bastards. If you hunt chukar you will understand. Walk in on a point. Covey gets up. Empty your double gun and curse at the sky when a single or a pair gets up after the gun is empty. I gotta have another fuckin’ shot!

So. Monte. Benelli Montefeltro. I have been called many things for carrying an autoloader into the field. Low type. But, that third shot has been awful nice.

I installed a sling. If you’re a chukar hunter, you know why. Slings are nice on cliffs. Slings make nice belay devices. And I have three shots. That sometimes means I miss three times. That sometimes means I hit three times. That sometimes means I miss twice and hit a third late riser. That makes me happy.

A great gun and a great dog and a couple great birds. Monte, Sage and blues in the Wyoming Range, 2007.
A great gun and a great dog and a couple great birds. Monte, Sage and blues in the Wyoming Range, 2007.

It functions in all weather. It has been rained on, snowed on, frozen, dipped into the mud. This gun I have is a 20 and it has killed chukar, huns, all kinds of grouse, pheasants, all kinds of quail, a few ducks and countless European doves and starlings when I have the bloodlust in the off-season. Almost all with an improved-cylinder choke.

Right out of the box it fit me and the bead was up and the bird was down. Yeah, I go through streaks, but the gun fits and it works 9 out of 10 times.

Here’s one thing. I’ve hit the carrier release a few times accidentally while in the field and partially injected a shell. The gun won’t fire when this happens. I’ve missed a fair number of birds when I haven’t noticed this has happened. Bird goes up, gun goes click. You can imagine the invective. But this is operator error if it’s anything. Wouldn’t have happened with a nice double gun, though.

Last fall, I borrowed a friend’s unbelievably beautiful L.C. for a spin. First two birds that went up, I stoned to hell. Next 10, I missed flat. I went back to Monte and missed two pointed roosters bang FUCK bang FUCK!! But I carried it the rest of the trip and killed everything else.

Don’t worry about the nicks and the dings and the sling. It’s a chukar gun. It does its and always will. I’ll save the double gun action for when I am feeling special.

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7 thoughts on “Durable Goods

  1. Not sure where this was going. No mention of the trusty shotguns name, but it seems worthy of that. Your whiskey review mentioned brands.
    Sometimes our ethics or standards don’t measure the same way as the products we use. I have loved Patagonia for years. Their waders are the lightest, cleanest, easiest to use waders made. Their fleece is ideal in the hot sun or the freezing cold. This AM it is probably 24 degrees with 4 inches of snow. I am wearing Patagonia fleece as I walk out and load the car and as I sit here and type this. Overpriced? I think way over. Quality? None better. So do i mention them or not? Believe me they don’t send me shit for free. But when i asked them to repair a 15 year old pair of their waders and they could not…they sent me a $150 discount on a new pair. I thought that was great.
    There are not many companies that deserve real accolades. Most of them are victims of Wall St. manipulation. Cheapen this to make more product. Dump this for a bigger market share. The market guts most of these companies. And many companies have no pride anyway…they are companies not people. If the product is worth it, mention it. If you get it for free and it is a shitty product, say it, or write nothing at all.
    We cannot be on a higher plane and then expect everyone else to arrive there. And our opinions are only that. Some will never respect you or the words you write, but it is only your opinion. I used to buy lots of turkey gear from a company that got in on the beginning of the turkey hunting explosion in the 80’s. Today after using some of their products, I would not hit a dog in the ass with their stuff. Maybe I don’t need to mention their names here, but i don’t buy their junk anymore.

  2. JOHN

    TOM-
    you have been reading my mail I have been hunting northern nevada the same gun and with a sling for more than 20 years. It the ideal climbing combo.
    A GREAT GUN .Now i have added a 20 guage 26 barrel Benelli M2 for the lighter gun

  3. That’s a good one, but admit it, you’re taking it easy. It’s easy to review Bennies. Everybody loves Bennies. Everyone knows that if you want a semi that’s light, balanced almost like a double, and works all the time for years, Bennie’s the best bet. It’s when people can’t afford a Bennie, and have to deside between Baikal, Turk or forget those semis ans sstick to Grandpa’s J. P. Sauer & Sohn that they need good honest product reviews most! This said, will be looking forward to new reviews.

  4. Ah, reviews. One guy loves it, one guy hates it – but I like the idea of getting hold of something, reading something, or dealing with something and having no intentions beyond, then liking or not enough to honestly share the experience with no stock or stake involved. Let’s see where it goes.

  5. Pimping products on a blog? Nobody pays me or gives me free gear so I don’t do it – except for WingWorks vests and George Dickel number 12 Tennessee sourmash whisky. I mention these because they are fine products.

    Still, a free case of Dickel would not hurt my feelings. Or if WW would hurry and introduce their warm weather dove and quail vest. C’mon, Bob.

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