Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced, by Pat Cascio

Its always fun to test 1911 handguns — at least its fun for me. I never tire of them, and I can’t begin to count how many different gun makers are producing 1911s these days, or the number of models being made. Today, we’re looking at the Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced variant. (You may recall that I already reviewed the R1 “Carry” variant, back in 2018.) As many readers may know, Remington-UMC produced a few M1911 pistols in .45 ACP during World War I, and Remington Rand–best known for its typewriters–produced an even larger quantity of M1911A1 pistols, during World …




Craft Leather Holsters, by Pat Cascio

There were a few instances, many years ago, when I didn’t carry a handgun in a holster. Several of those times were when I was doing some undercover work as a Private Investigator. One of those times, I carried a tiny Bauer .25 ACP pistol, strapped to my ankle – no holster. One such instance was when I worked a very strange case, where several misguided people planned on hijacking a cruise ship that was sailing from Miami, Florida. I worked closely with the FBI on this case, and to this day, more than 40 years ago, I still have …




Kershaw Launch 8, by Pat Cascio

Growing up in Chicago, many in my neighborhood carried Italian stiletto folding knives, except they didn’t work. Oh sure, it had that button that you’d push, but it didn’t work…it was there for looks only, but those knives looked mean. Only problem was, they were pure junk, I never owned one that even had an edge on it – and odds were good if you dropped it or threw it, it would break. But still, a lot of us kids owned them. I will admit to being involved in a couple knife “incidents” that ended just as quickly as they …




Beretta 92FS Stainless, by Pat Cascio

In 1985, the US military adopted a new handgun for our warriors, and right from the beginning, and even through today, the Beretta Model 92FS (M9/M9A1) continues to get criticism from all sides, for any number or real or imagined reasons. I won’t go into all the details, on this, you can find article after article about the Beretta 92FS on the Internet – some people simply have nothing better to do with their lives, other than to complain about things – anything – based on their wild imagination. The number one complaint was, and still is, we switched from …




S&W Model 642, by Pat Cascio

As many long-time SurvivalBlog readers will recall, I worked for the late Col. Rex Applegate from 1990 to 1993 as his assistant. It was one of the greatest honors that I ever had. The good Colonel taught me a lot over those three years. A small trip, back in time is in order: My wife was offered a teaching position, at a very rural two-room school in a place called Ash Valley, Oregon – at one time it was a large rural community, that stretched about 14 miles down a winding road, about 25 miles outside of Reedsport, Oregon. It …




CRKT Helical, by Pat Cascio

If you’ve been around knives for any length of time, you know the name Ken Onion. He is one of the best custom knife makers of all time, and he was the youngest knife maker to be inducted in the Hall of Fame for knife makers. I’ve never met Ken, but we had several conversations some years back, when I was doing an article on one of his collaborations with a major knife company.  Ken lives in Hawaii – and I used to – and he is an absolute wild man to talk to on the phone. He is also …




Taurus 1911, by Pat Cascio

Let me begin by assuring you: This review article is not a repeat. Today I’m reviewing a Taurus 1911 that is a different 1911 than the one that I gave a sternly negative review, in April, 2019, also here in SurvivalBlog. Taurus USA apparently has taken a new approach to their line of 1911s. The first thing I noticed is that, this is not labeled as a Taurus PT1911, instead, the slide is simply stamped “1911”. Technically, this is a 1911A1 version, some slight changes over the original 1911, that was produced in well….1911. Around 1927 there were modifications done …




Kershaw CQC-4KXL-D2, by Pat Cascio

Right off the bat, I’ll admit that I’m a huge fan of Ernest Emerson knife designs – all of them. Over the years, I’ve done a number of articles on their factory made knives, as well as some of their knives they had made overseas. I’ve also engaged Emerson in a number of conversations by phone. We both have a similar background, especially in the martial arts, and our love for good cutlery. One article that I wrote about some folding knives that Emerson had made in China, didn’t exactly please Ernest. I pointed out that of the six samples …




ETS Magazines, by Pat Cascio

I’ve said it thousands of times, that when it comes down to firearm magazines, its just hard to beat those that come shipped from the factory with the firearm. Many aftermarket magazines just aren’t up to the quality we would like to have in our guns. You know something isn’t quite right, when the aftermarket mags don’t come in any packaging, and there are no markings on the mags as to what company made them. I won’t mention any particular magazines – aftermarket brands – that are still in business, but there are some big name companies out there, that …




Zero Tolerance 0640, by Pat Cascio

To those many readers who have requested, once again, some high-end folding knives, here’s one that is quite unique. Its not all that easy getting our hands on high-end folding knives because, well…they are very expensive and always in-demand. Today we’re taking a close look at the Zero Tolerance Model 0640 and it’s a winner in every respect. As I’ve said numerous times, you can buy a knife for $5, or one for several hundred dollars, but don’t expect the less expensive knife to stand up like a quality knife. There are some really nice knives on the market, that …




Work Sharp Sharpeners, by Pat Cascio

Two questions, that I receive all the time from readers are: 1.) What is your favorite gun? And, 2.) How do I re-sharpen my knife back to factory sharpness? Of course, the first question is impossible to answer, because there is no single gun that can take care of all my needs. The second question is a bit hard to answer, as well. You have to remember that there are folks in the knife factories who spend their entire day sharpening knives, on a power belt machine, and they sharpen hundreds of knives each day, they have a special talent …




S&W Model 5904, by Pat Cascio

Many of our readers are requesting more articles on all-metal handguns, and its getting a bit harder to do these, as most semi-auto handguns today usually have a polymer frame. So, I had to dig down and find a nice representation of an all-metal gun – this doesn’t mean a gun with a steel frame, but one manufactured out of metal – in this case – the frame is manufactured out of Aluminum alloy – the S&W Model 5904. I was introduced to the S&W Model 59 while working as the assistant security manager of a large department store, in …




Kimber Custom II, by Pat Cascio

I’m a sucker for well-made 1911 handguns, especially when chambered in .45 ACP. It is just hard to beat this combination. I don’t think that John Moses Browning had any idea that his 1911 design would be popular for so long. We are closing in on 109-years since the 1911’s adoption by the U.S. military. Who would have believed that a gun that was first designed around 1904 would still be alive and kicking more than a century later. In fact, .45 ACP M1911 variants are still in limited issue by the U.S. Marine Corps, as the M45A1. The USMC …




Cold Steel AD-15, by Pat Cascio

I’ve been an amateur knife designer since the early 1980s, and several of my designs have actually been produced by custom knife makers, as well as some factories. One custom designer went so far as to add my design to his inventory – never giving me credit for the design, nor paying me any royalties, but that’s okay, I don’t hold a grudge. Another knife company has been producing several of my designs for quite a few years now, and I actually gave them my design, to help them get their company up and running – no problem there at …




Blackstone Griddle, by Pat Cascio

I learned to cook at an early age. I was raised by my grandparents – mostly my grandmother, since gramps passed away from a stroke when I was 12-years old. I had a good childhood – we were dirt poor, but so was everyone else in our neighborhood – but most of my friends and I didn’t know we were poor. I don’t want to bore our readers with much of this, but as an example of being poor, my grandmother would send me to the corner grocery store – there weren’t any big supermarkets like we have today, and …