Kershaw Atmos Folder, by Pat Cascio

It’s a strange name for a folding knife, but we decided to check this one out and we’re glad we did! The Kershaw Atmos is worth a close look. As long-time SurvivalBlog.com readers know, I prefer longer blades on my knife, and I really like a folder with a 3.75-inch blade. They just seem to fit my hand better and can do more chores, well, better! However, I’m not a knife snob, and just because a folding knife has a blade less than my desired 3.75 inches doesn’t mean I won’t check it out. Enter the Kershaw Knives Atmos. A …




Blackhawk Products Rigger’s Belt with Cobra Buckle, by Pat Cascio

If you’re looking for one of the best of the best belts for concealed/duty carry, look no further than the Blackhawk Products Rigger’s belt that is under review today. Tip-offs For Someone Carrying a Weapon Having worked as a police officer in the past, as well as doing private security contractor work, I trained myself to be observant, always looking for someone carrying a weapon, and in particular, a concealed handgun. One of the first tip-offs that would catch my eye would be a poorly designed holster that didn’t really conceal a handgun very well. Secondly, the tip-off would be …




Accuracy Testing, by Pat Cascio

Readers contact me all the time about how I conduct my accuracy testing. Even though I spell it out in my articles, I still get the same questions. I make no claims to having any special power, when it comes to shooting. I just shoot a lot, and I’ve been professionally trained in long gun and handgun shooting. What I Do With My Handgun Tests Here’s what I do with my handgun tests. After I’m about halfway through breaking-in a gun for an article, I’ll conduct my accuracy testing. For this I use a rolled-up sleeping bag (usually) over the …




Stevens Model 320 Security Shotgun, by Pat Cascio

Not all shotguns are created equal. Some are meant for sport hunting, and some are designed for self defense. Today we’re checking out the Stevens Model 320 Security shotgun. Shotguns A lot of people find most shotguns pretty boring, and I might just be in that crowd these days. There are so many different models and makes of shotguns out there, and many look the same as the next one or the one before it. Most folks who purchase a shotgun do so with the thought of upland bird hunting or water fowl hunting. I have no problem with that …




Colt Combat Elite Enhanced 1911, by Pat Cascio

It used to be that Colt 1911 handguns were pretty much the only 1911 game in town, but many people thought they were out of business the past few years. Today we’re looking at the enhanced Combat Elite Enhanced 1911 .45 ACP handgun. Colt 1911 Handguns For the longest time, if you wanted a 1911 pistol you had to take a look at the Colt 1911 line of handguns. For the most part, they were the 1911 to own. However, today, there are more companies manufacturing 1911s than I can list. Most companies are producing some high-end 1911s while some …




Ruger SR1911 – 9mm Compact, by Pat Cascio

Ruger’s newest 1911 handgun is under review here. Ruger sure did it up right. Check out our findings. The 1911 Handgun The 1911 handgun has been around since, well 1911, in one guise or another. I don’t have the facts to back this up, but I suspect it is the best-selling model of handgun of all time, based on how many different companies have produced a version of it over the years. And, just when you think we have saturated the 1911 market, a new maker comes along or an established maker comes out with more models. There seems to …




Mag Pump 9mm Magazine Loader, by Pat Cascio

Tired of loading magazines by hand? Today, we’re checking out the Mag Pump 9mm magazine loader. I’m Getting On In Years I sincerely hate admitting that I’m getting on in years, but I am. We all knew we’d grow old, but we didn’t know how fast it would happen. And, what comes with growing older is we tend to grow weaker in many respects. Body parts don’t work like they used to. I suffer from severe osteo-arthritis in my hands, especially my right hand, which is my shooting hand, and my trigger finger. Osteo-arthritis is caused by wear and tear, …




CRKT Minimalist, by Pat Cascio

As the name implies, the CRKT Minimalist is a very small knife. There isn’t anything fancy about the design, but just wait until you hold one in your hand. We are reviewing one of the CRKT Minimalist this time around. Little Knives Long time SurvivalBlog.com readers will know that I’m just not very “big” on little knives. Yeah, they have their place in the knife line-up. However, I’ve always felt that bigger is better and can do more than any little knife can do. Well, I still stand by that statement, but there sure are exceptions to this rule of …




Kershaw/Emerson CQC-8K Tactical Folder, by Pat Cascio

Under review today is the Kershaw/Emergson CQC-8K Tactical Folder. It’s one of the most popular tactical folding knives, designed by custom knife maker Ernest Emerson himself. Knives Illustrated Many years ago, I wrote for Knives Illustrated magazine, and for quite a few years I was their West Coast Field Editor. In my experience, what you see today in what is called Knives Illustrated isn’t really a staff-written cutlery magazine. Instead, it is designed to appear like a magazine, when it is nothing more than paid advertisements that look like articles but are not. Don’t be fooled. What you read there …




DPMS Versus DPMS, by Pat Cascio

Two popular AR-style rifles are put to the test. We’re looking at a standard AP4 Carbine and Lite 16-A3 from DPMS today, in a side-by-side comparison. A Rare Side-By-Side Test I receive requests all the time from many of our readers to do a side-by-side test of various firearms. I rarely do these types of articles for one very good reason– no matter how fair I try to be, or unbiased, human nature takes over, and I’ll like one firearm better than the other. I could test a 1911 .45ACP from the XYZ company and a version of the same …




CMMG Banshee 9mm AR Pistol, by Pat Cascio

Today, we are taking an exclusive look at the all-new CMMG “Banshee” 9mm pistol. Some might even call it a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW). SurvivalBlog was the first to receive this new pistol, and it has been a confidential project. Hush-Hush Five-Week Test We conducted a five-week test on this new AR 9mm pistol. I had originally planned on running about 500 rounds of 9mm ammo through the Banshee, which is a more than a fair test. However, I had so many volunteer testers helping me that we ran more than 1,500 rounds of ammo through this new AR pistol. It …




Zero Tolerance 0920, by Pat Cascio

  If you want a custom-quality, harsh-use knife, then the ZT0920 that is under review today, should catch your attention. It is made by Zero Tolerance. Zero Tolerance Knives Zero Tolerance (ZT) knives is a division of Kershaw Knives, and they’re made right here in Oregon in the same plant where many Kershaw products are manufactured. Every ZT knife is only made in America. They claim their knives are over-built, and I’m sure not going to argue with ZT about this. We are talking about custom-quality knives that are every bit as well-made as any custom knives I’ve seen. I …




Ruger/CRKT All Cylinders, by Pat Cascio

We’re taking a look at the collaboration between custom knife maker Bill Harsey, Ruger firearms, and Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) today. And this one is a real winner. Col. Rex Applegate and Custom Knife Maker Bill Harsey I worked full-time for the late Col. Rex Applegate for three years, and he was not only my friend but my mentor as well. He taught me a lot about knife and gun fighting as well as military infantry tactics. It was more than I ever learned in the military. Applegate had his Applegate/Fairbairn double-edge fighting knife made by Oregon’s own …




SOG Knives Kiku Folder by Pat Cascio

If your tastes run along the lines of the great Japanese knife designers, then you’ll really enjoy the SOG Knives Kiku folder. It’s under review today. Talented American Knife Designers I know many American knife designers, and they are some pretty talented folks. I got to know quite a few of them when I was the West Coast Field Editor for Knives Illustrated magazine, for which I wrote for more years than any other writer. So I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of custom knife makers/designers over the years. However, many folks believe that when it comes …




Smith & Wesson Model 66, by Pat Cascio

Today, we are looking at the S&W Model 66 stainless steel 2.75-inch barrel handgun on the popular K Frame. With so many requests from SurvivalBlog readers, we are covering this, another good ol’ fashioned revolver. Early Years Carrying a Revolver Truth be told, in my early years as a police officer, private security contractor, and private investigator, I carried a revolver for the simple fact that in Illinois, at least at that time, you were required to only carry a 4-inch barrel revolver when doing private security. As a police officer in various areas of the country, I was pretty …