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


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

IndestructiBELT, by Pat Cascio


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

S&W SD9 VE, by Pat Cascio


Truth be told, I’ve never been rich. All of my life, I’ve been forced to scrimp and save every penny I could get my hands on. My extra I could come up with from time to time wasn’t put in the bank. Instead, it went to raising a family as best I could. My kids didn’t lack for the necessities in life. That’s for sure.

My interest in firearms started when I was 15 years old. I still have a great interest in firearms. Needless to say, I can’t buy, or hardly ever buy, guns out of my own pocket. Instead, I’m quite adept at working trades. Everyone who reads my articles probably believes I have hundreds of firearms in my “collection”. Well, I don’t! Many of the guns I test and write about are on loan from gun makers. They either get returned or, if I can’t afford to … Continue reading

Canik- 55 TP9SF, by Pat Cascio

As usual, I like to remind our readers that I’m a real stickler when it comes to buying just about anything. If what I’m looking at is a steal-of-a-deal, I have to pass on it. My finances demand that I spend every penny as wisely as I can, all the time.

I certainly appreciate some custom firearms or very expensive guns, and I’ve owned a few over the years. I didn’t have the cash to buy them, but I worked deals, trades, or barter. While I think we all can agree that there is a certain amount of pride in ownership, we don’t all need custom or very expensive firearms to achieve certain goals. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t “need” any more firearms. Yes, I do want more, but I don’t need them. So I’ve all but cut back on buying or trading into … Continue reading

S&W Model 15, by Pat Cascio

We are continuing to followup on the many requests for more revolver articles from our readers, and we are more than happy to comply. As I pointed out in previous articles, there are some shooters who believe that the “old” revolver isn’t a viable option for self-defense work, and I couldn’t disagree more. Now, we aren’t necessarily talking about a SWAT team clearing a building of an active shooter or a terrorist. We are talking about everyday people who carry concealed or want a home defense handgun, and for whom the revolver might just be the perfect answer.

In 1980 or 1981, I traded a customer in my gun shop out of a S&W Model 15; it’s also called the K-38 Combat Masterpiece. This was my … Continue reading

Ruger/CRKT All-Cylinders +P, by Pat Cascio

For some reason I just can’t get some people to understand that gun makers don’t make the knives with their names on them. Remington knives have been around for a long, long time, and some are highly collectible, too. It’s the same with Winchester knives, and some are collectibles. I even suggested to one gun company, and I won’t reveal who it is, that they do collaboration with a knife company and have knives made with the name of the gun company on it. They did!

This isn’t all that hard to understand, but it is for some folks. It takes a special kind of tooling and people to operate those machines and to manufacture knives. Gun companies simply aren’t interested in investing the time and money to do this, so they go to a knife company and have them produce knives with the name of the gun company … Continue reading

Wertz’s Farm Market Canned Meat, by Pat Cascio

I’d like to clear up a misconception that some readers have. Number one, I’m still not Jim Rawles; many readers just refuse to understand this. I am who I say I am, and you can Google my name if you’d like. Secondly, neither Jim Rawles nor Hugh Latimer have ever once demanded that I write an article on any product or, for that matter, ever asked me to not write about any product. Third, I am not an employee of SurvivalBlog. I am an independent journalist. I write articles for SurvivalBlog, and if Mr. Rawles or Mr. Latimer like my articles then they accept them and I send them an invoice for my work. So, I’m not under the control of anyone. I’m a freelance writer, and Jim and Hugh kindly awarded me the title of Senior Product Review Editor, which was very nice of them.

So, when you are … Continue reading

Cold Steel Extra Large Espada, by Pat Cascio

We get a lot of requests at SurvivalBlog to test and review many products. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of these requests, we simply can’t review every product, or we’d have a website full of product reviews each and every day. I personally take as much time as I possibly can with each product I test to make sure I give it a fair test, in that the product does what it is expected to do. When it comes to firearms, I shoot them a lot, and in the case of a handgun I carry it, too. I’m not going to recommend a handgun to someone else if it isn’t something I’d carry myself.

We get a lot of emails, at least I do, personally, for knife reviews. I’m happy to say I have some of the best contacts in the knife industry, and they are happy to … Continue reading

CZ 85B, by Pat Cascio

Continuing on with testing all-metal firearms, as requested by many of our readers, here’s one of my favorite double-stack 9mm handguns. The CZ-85B is simply an upgraded model of the original CZ-75. For many years, the CZ-75 was hard to come by in the USA, because it was produced in the Czech Republic when it was behind the “Iron Curtain”. The few CZ-75 handguns that were in the USA were very hard to come by and expensive, very expensive!

Because of the scarcity of the original CZ-75, a number of near-clones of this gun appeared. One of the most recognized, coming from Italy, was imported by several different companies into the U.S. However, some were a serious hit or miss proposition, and I owned many. They had feeding problems as well as extraction problems, and most were guns you sure didn’t want to bet your life on. That was … Continue reading

Kel-Tec SU-16B, by Pat Cascio

This isn’t my first Kel-Tec SU-16B rifle; I bought one around 2003 or 2004, if memory serves me correctly. What caught my attention back then was that it didn’t look like other so-called “assault rifles”. It was compact, lightweight, and shot the .223/5.56 caliber round. However, I had nothing but problems with that particular sample. The empty brass would stick in the chamber after firing, and quite often loaded rounds wouldn’t fit the chamber either. The gun was sent back to Kel-Tec, and several weeks later I got the gun back. I was told that the chamber reamer was worn out and the chamber wasn’t cut deep enough. Whatever! However, the gun still wouldn’t function 100%, so I got rid of it.

Some … Continue reading

Blackhawk Legacy, by Pat Cascio

As many readers will know, my wife is always chiding me about flashlights. She is somehow under the impression that I might have too many, until the lights go out and she asks, “Where’s a flashlight?”. To be sure, I keep flashlights within my reach– in my living room, bedroom, kitchen, and office. Living in the boonies does have some disadvantages; the power goes out quite often in the winter months, due to trees falling onto the power lines.

We are used to the power going out and have prepared accordingly. We have LED lanterns, and we also have a 4,000-watt generator, which rarely gets used. Most of the time, when the power goes out, it is only for four to six hours, so I don’t want to crank up the generator for that, especially if the lights go out during daytime hours. If I need to find something, … Continue reading

Kahr CT40, by Pat Cascio

I’ve been a huge fan of Kahr , since I laid my hands on the first one I ever spotted in a gun shop. The double-action only trigger pull on their handguns is second to none; it is butter smooth. Some have described the trigger pull as the Rolls Royce of DAO triggers, and I’m not about to argue the point either. The one “problem” I have with any of the Kahr handguns I get in for testing and for writing an article on is that I simply can’t return the samples; I end up purchasing them eventually, because I like their guns so much.

My youngest daughter gave me a Kahr CW45 about three or fours years ago as a Christmas present. I also purchased a second one from the local gun shop, because I loved the way the gun felt and operated. A couple … Continue reading