Eclipse Traffic: This is What a Bug Out Would Look Like

Bug Out traffic jam

Oregon Traffic

Here in Oregon, because of this eclipse thing, people are flooding into the state. They expect at least 1.5 million to arrive here…tens of thousands already arriving since yesterday!

Today, on Oregon Highway 26, from Prineville, OR for 15-miles east, they closed the road – it is bumper-to-bumper traffic, nothing is moving – vehicles are running out of gas….with no place to go… Gas stations in Bend and Redmond Oregon are already out of gas…don’t know if they will get another delivery of fuel in the next day or two…

In our area,  gas prices went up 30-cents per gallon since yesterday…I needed to top-off the gas tank on my pick-up, I couldn’t get into any of the gas stations because of the lines…glad I keep spare gas cans full – at my digs, at all times!

I have never seen anything like this in my life. We … Continue reading




Maxxeon’s 2nd Gen WorkStar 620 Headlamp, by Pat Cascio

Maxxeon 2nd Gen WorkStar 620

Today we’re taking a close look at the Maxxeon 2nd Gen WorkStar 620 Technician’s Rechargeable Headlamp. We have tested several other lighting products from Maxxeon for SurvivialBlog readers over the years. One still sits on my desk, and I use it all the time when I need extra illumination for a project or looking for a lost gun part.

Maxxeon Varied Intensity Levels

Not all headlamps are the same. With that said, the Maxxeon 620 is quite the light. It has several intensity levels, with the highest being 700 lumens, medium 400 lumens, and low is still a bright 150 lumens. It is powered by a Cree light bulb, which is top of the line, too.

On the high setting of 700 lumens, the light will operate for two hours. On medium, it operates two hours and on low for eight hours. I’m impressed. Recharge time … Continue reading




Kershaw Launch 7, by Pat Cascio

Kershaw Launch 7

The new Launch 7 by Kershaw Knives is their newest folder. It’s an automatic push button opening knife.

Kershaw Knives

I still remember when I took my first tour of the Kershaw plant how small it was. If memory serves me correctly, there were 17 people on the shop floor making knives. Since that first trip, Kershaw has moved into a much larger building, and no sooner did they move in they had plans to expand their operation. My last tour of Kershaw was several years back, and they had several hundred employees on the shop floor, in the warehouse, loading dock, and front offices. KAI Corporation in Japan actually owns Kershaw these days. The daily operation at the Kershaw plant is overseen by “Jack”. He prefers to be called that, because it’s hard to pronounce his Japanese name. He’s a wonderful man who always has … Continue reading




Springfield Armory’s XDe 9mm, by Pat Cascio

XDe 9mm

The newest handgun in the XD line-up of Springfield Armory line-up is the compact XDe 9mm. I’ve been a huge fan of their XD line since the first one came out well over a dozen years ago. I purchased the first one I saw. It was used, and it looked “oh-so-GLOCKish” with a green polymer frame. But it was much more overbuilt than a Glock. And none of the parts will interchange with a Glock either. My first, but not my last, XD functioned with everything except Remington UMC bulk .40 S&W 180-gr FMJ ammo. I had numerous rounds that would not even chamber in that XD. And this isn’t an isolated case, either. Other handguns in 9mm and .45 ACP also had problems with this Remington ammo. I’ve even had primers installed backwards and sideways in this ammo, so I steer completely clear of it, … Continue reading




Ruger American Compact .45 ACP, by Pat Cascio

Ruger American Compact .45 ACP

Though some time back, we reviewed the Ruger American Compact 9mm pistol, today we are looking at the American Compact .45 ACP. The Compact 9mm was a winner in my book. Ruger hit it out of the ballpark. My oldest daughter fell in love with it and had to have one of her own, though she hasn’t bought a new gun in at least eight years. My name was on the list for the American Compact in .45 ACP. So not too long ago, I finally got my sample for testing.

Overview

The 9mm and .45 ACP compact models are very similar in size and most dimensions. However, here’s the .45 ACP specs, just the same. The sample I requested was the Pro model, which has no manual external safety lever. The frame is black polymer, and the slide is stainless steel. However, it is black in color (Nitride) and … Continue reading




CRKT/Ruger Hollow-Point Folder, by Pat Cascio

CRKT/Ruger Hollow-point Folder

Today, we are taking a look at the CRKT/Ruger Hollow-point Folder. It is a Ken Onion knife, and I’ll have more on that a little later.

Knives Are Tools

I love knives, all knives, big and small. They all have a use. I especially love well-made knives, because I don’t have a lot of use for junk knives. That is why our readers just won’t see me wasting my time reviewing junk knives. A knife is a tool, first and foremost. Many people forget that. Many claim that the knife is the first tool ever invented. I’m sure those first knives did not resemble what we consider a knife by today’s standards. But still, it did the job it was designed for— cutting!

Gun Companies Make Guns But Outsource Knives

Many gun companies offer up some knives with their name on it. And no matter how hard I try to … Continue reading




Taurus Model 85, Ultra Lite, by Pat Cascio

Taurus Model 85

Today, we are going to take a close look at the Taurus Model 85 Ultra Lite while I continue on with more all-metal handgun reviews, as requested by many SurvivalBlog readers. According to Taurus, which offers several versions of this model, the Model 85 is their best-selling handgun. Many people are so caught-up with polymer handguns, especially semiauto handguns, they are overlooking some outstanding firearms still manufactured out of metals.

An Old Dog

For quite some time, I only considered carrying a revolver for self defense. Yep, I’m old school but I’m not too old to be schooled! You can teach an old dog new tricks. For sure, I owned a lot of semiauto handguns early on, to wit, the outstanding Colt 1911A1 as well as the Browning Hi-Power. And when I was younger, much younger, I would sometimes carry either a 1911 or a Hi-Power while working in private … Continue reading




Kershaw’s Dividend, by Pat Cascio

Kershaw's Dividend

Today, we are talking about Kershaw’s Dividend. It’s a small folder.

My General View on Small Folding Knives

I’m not really big on small folding knives. Bigger folders can, well, do more chores better than most smaller folders. I like a folder with a blade between 3.5 inches and four inches in length. A blade length of 3.75 inches seems about perfect for my every day carry use. But that’s just me, I guess.

However, I won’t turn my nose up at a well-made, well-designed smaller folder, not in the least. I appreciate cutlery, period! All knives have a use. Keep in mind that the knife was man’s first tool. And a knife is first and foremost a tool. Any other uses are secondary. I know, I know. We all fantasize about going toe-to-toe against the bad guys, armed only with a folding knife. Excuse me? I’d rather run than … Continue reading




S&W M&P .45 Compact, by Pat Cascio

S&W M&P 45 Compact

Today, I’m writing about Smith & Wesson’s M&P .45 Compact. This is the “older” M&P rather than the 2.0 version.

Smith & Wesson

I used to be a huge S&W fan. I still love their guns, but over the years their customer service just isn’t what it used to be. So, whenever I have a S&W firearm, I know that I’m pretty much on my own if something goes wrong with it. Last time, S&W wanted $88 to repair something that was covered under the warranty. I told them to keep the gun. Instead, they returned it still broken!

S&W is still a leader in the firearms industry. There is no doubt about that at all. And, they are making a very strong come back in the law enforcement arena, which they used to pretty much own until Glock came on the scene. Still, S&W is doing great with their … Continue reading




CRKT Rakkasan, by Pat Cascio

CRKT Rakkasan

The CRKT Rakkasan was designed by Austin McGlaun as part of Columbia River Knife & Tool’s “Forged By War” program. Austin McGlaun is a military veteran who served in the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq and chose to donate 10% of net profits to the Green Beret Foundation.

CRKT- Rock-Solid Designs

Anyone who has seen my many knife designs knows that I like designs that are simple, uncomplicated, easy to manufacture, and tough. There are several knife companies producing some of my designs, with more on the drawing board. One company is Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT), of which I’ve been a fan of their knives since they first started out in the knife industry.

CRKT was actually started by two executives from another major knife-making company. They started out with some rock-solid designs and have continued to grow year-after-year.

While many will argue the point, you can get … Continue reading




Ruger GP100 .44 Special, by Pat Cascio

Ruger GP100 .44 Spl

Ruger GP100

Ruger recently introduced their GP100 revolver in .44 Special. I still remember the very first .44 Special handgun I ever owned and shot. At that time, it was the “new” Charter Arms .44 Special Bulldog. And, if I recall correctly, back then the only factory ammo available was some lead round nose ammo that wasn’t very accurate. I couldn’t hit the target very often. When I did, the round key-hole went through the target sideways. Still, I kept that gun for a good long time. I don’t know why!

My long-time friend, confidant, and fellow gun writer, John Taffin, is probably the biggest proponent for the .44 Special caliber that I’m aware of. He has written tens of thousands of words on the virtues of the .44 Special caliber, not to mention a book on big bore handguns, which … Continue reading




CRKT Homefront Folder – By Pat Cascio

CRKT Homefront Folder

Why?

When CRKT Columbia River Knife & Tool sent me the Onion Homefront folder for testing and review, I just had to ask why make a folding knife that you can take apart? Sometimes, when it comes to some new products, I just have to ask myself “Why?” I just don’t know what else there is that is truly new, especially when it comes to folding knives. This is especially true when it comes to the various locking mechanisms. Then again, I’m not known for designing folding knives, although I have one on the drawing board right now. If you ask me, I’m better known for designing fixed blade fighting knives, as nothing else will do in combat.

Don’t Second Guess Ken Onion

Some years back, when I was the West Coast Field Editor for Knives Illustrated magazine, I interviewed world renown custom knife maker/designer … Continue reading




Kahr Arms CW9 Black Carbon Fiber, by Pat Cascio

Kahr Arms CW9

Today, we are taking a look at the Kahr Arms CW9 Black Carbon Fiber handgun. I’ve reported on several Kahr Arms handguns over the years. Most are pretty much the same as the one before it, or the one after it. Still, Kahr manages to come out with different and exciting versions every single year. To be sure, Kahr makes handguns that are meant to be concealed. They aren’t full-sized service-type pistols, although they do have something coming out along those lines. Still, they are well-known for easily concealable handguns, for the most part.

Kahr’s Double Action Only Trigger Action

Kahr handguns are Double Action Only (DAO). And as I’ve reported before, they are the Rolls Royce of DAO trigger actions, if you ask me. You just have to experience it to understand what I’m talking about. Yes, the trigger pull is long but buttery … Continue reading




IndestructiBELT, by Pat Cascio

IndestructiBELT

IndestructiBELT- Thin, Stiff, and Comfortable

The folks at IndestructiBELT recently contacted SurvivalBlog and wanted me to test one of their belts. In short order, one was in my hands. Needless to say, when a company calls their belts “indestructible”, I just assume to take it with a grain of salt. Everyone hypes their products. We all know this. So, I put this belt to the test. As this is written, I’ve been wearing this belt daily for a month now, and I’m more than a little impressed with it. First off, the belt is thin, but it is stiff. However, the stiffness doesn’t make it uncomfortable in the least. From day one, it felt comfortable around my waist.

1970’s Guns Worn Slung Down On … Continue reading




Para Ordnance Elite Pro 1911, by Pat Cascio

Para Ordnance Elite Pro 1911

This week we are reviewing the Para Ordnance Elite Pro 1911.

1911 is the Best

Yeah, I’m prejudiced and freely admit it. When it comes to the finest combat handgun ever designed, I always fall back to the grand 1911 in some shape or form. I don’t think there is another handgun that is more famous than the 1911. It doesn’t matter which of its many guises or from any number of quality makers. John Browning knew what he was doing when he came up with the fighting pistol. There’s not a doubt in my mind. I know, I know. Send the arrows my way. But I’m entitled to my humble opinion on some things. Without a doubt, there are many more modern handguns out there. Many are manufactured out of polymer, and I own more than my share of them. I won’t argue that many of these newer handguns … Continue reading