H&R Pardner Protector Shotgun, by Pat Cascio

The first shotgun I ever owned was a Harrington & Richardson single shot shotgun in 16 gauge, and I’m here to tell you that thing really kicked because it was such a lightweight gun. I was a pretty skinny 16-year-old kid, too. I took it pheasant hunting a number of times, and it never let me down. I don’t recall whatever happened to that shotgun, whether I traded it, sold it, or what. There is a lot of controversy over what type of firearm a person should buy first for survival purposes. Of course, we have to define in our …




Springfield Armory 1911 With Laser, by Pat Cascio

My number one choice, if I could only own one handgun, is still the grand old 1911 in some configuration. Yeah, lots of new gun designs come along, and I’ve tested many different handguns over the past 25 years working as a gun writer, and most are outstanding in their own regard. However, when pressed, I’m going to still pick a 1911 in .45 ACP, of course. Here are some of my thoughts on my choice in a 1911. First of all, there is the proven fight-stopping .45 ACP round. Yes, I’ve read the report put out by the FBI …




Product Review: Enola Gaye Smoke Grenades, by Pat Cascio

Many years ago, I used to teach SWAT to police and security agencies, and I even co-authored a book SWAT Battle Tactics with my late friend, American Kenpo Karate Grand Master John McSweeney. The book, published by Paladin Press, is in need of a serious re-write, as there was some material added in the manuscript after I approved the galley copy. Still, the basic material is strong and one can build a SWAT team using the basics. When conducting SWAT training, I would often booby trap a house/building or an area where the team would be entering using various types …




FN PS90 PDW, by Pat Cascio

I first read about one back in the early 1990s and then again in 2005, when the civilian-legal version was released. Several years ago, I actually saw one and handled it in my local gun shop. Recently, my local gun shop got another one in. I hesitated because of the cost, and two weeks later a trade was worked out; I got it. I actually fired this caliber in a converted AR-15, and I liked it, but it offered nothing in an AR-sized gun. Long-time SurvivalBlog reader, Mike C., and good friend in Eugene, OR got one along with the …




Firefield Nightfall-2 Night Vision Scope, by Pat Cascio

We all know, or at should know, that there are certain pieces of kit that we should have if we are truly preparing for a SHTF scenario of any type. We always discuss firearms, and that is first on most lists. We then have to add food and water, as well as shelter of some type, because we never know what the emergency might be that brings us to a scenario where we might have to bug out or are left to our own devices to survive as best we can. To many of us, this is an excuse to …




Zero Tolerance 0804CF, by Pat Cascio

A famous gun writer once said “only accurate guns are interesting…”, and I certain concur with that statement. If a gun isn’t accurate and reliable, I lose interest and get rid of it. It can similarly be said that “only sharp knives are interesting…”. I have no use for junk knives. If a knife isn’t up to my high standards, I won’t waste my time testing or writing about it. For quite a few years, I collected (and designed) custom-made knives, and I really enjoyed it. Even though it was an expensive hobby, it was still fun. When we moved …




Ruger’s American Pistol, 9mm Compact, by Pat Cascio

The very first Ruger firearm I ever owned was a rifle in .300 Winchester Magnum. It was in November or December of 1979. My wife and I were working for the Salvation Army back then in The Dalles, Oregon. I was the youth pastor, and my newly pregnant wife was the church secretary. Both jobs were temporary; however we were promised they would be full-time after Christmas. Alas, it didn’t work out that way, and we moved back to our cold, lonely apartment in Portland, Oregon on Christmas Eve with an artificial one-foot tall Christmas tree that we bought at …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Remington R51

Most readers probably believe that gun writers get specially picked firearms to test for their articles. I used to believe it myself, until I started writing about firearms. If I ever received a hand picked firearm from a gun maker, I sure didn’t know it. To the best of my knowledge, all my guns came off the shelves at the gun companies without being checked over or hand picked. As a matter of fact, I’ve had more than my share of lemons in the 25 years of writing about guns, and that is probably because I’ve tested so many different …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Ruger P-89 9mm

In our ongoing quest to test and review more “metal” semiauto handguns, as requested by many SurvivalBlog readers, I thought it important to review the Ruger P-89, in 9mm. The P-89 is an updated/upgraded version of Ruger’s first centerfire semiauto handgun. The original was the P-85, and Ruger was hoping to get it out in time for the U.S. military trials for a new handgun. Alas, the Beretta 92/M9 won out. There were some early teething problems with the first batch or two of P-85 handguns. There were a few reports of the firing pin slamming forward when the pistol …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Survival Videos

I’m often asked by folks to teach them “survival skills”. This is a hot topic. Just what is meant by “survival” to one person might mean something entirely different to another. As I’ve stated many times, I’m no expert in anything. I’m just a very serious student in a lot of areas. In the past, I have taught some wilderness and street survival skills, but I’m no longer in that market. Survival skills just cover so many different areas that I don’t even know where to begin. If anything, I’m more skilled in street survival skills than I am in …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: SOG Knives Evac Sling 18 Pack

Many folks assume, when I tell them I was in the U.S. military, that I was in at the time when they still had a mounted unit– horses! Nope, I’m not quite that old just yet. Back when I was in the military, we had some boring OD green equipment. Everything was OD green in color– our uniforms, A.L.I.C.E. geat, well, just everything, except out boots, and they were all leather, which we had a shine on the toe that you could see your reflection in, plus something almost unheard of today. You could actually have your boot re-soled. In …




Blackhawk Waterproof Tactical Softshell Jacket, by Pat Cascio

In close to 25 years as a writer for firearms, cutlery, and survival magazines and websites, I have reviewed quite a few products. Lots of boots have come my way and, to be sure, I only report on the best-of-the-best in boots and other gear. I don’t want to waste my time, or our reader’s time, reporting on junk products. As I’ve said numerous times over the years, “You only have to buy quality once, but if you buy junk, you have to keep on buying junk…” Of course, when it comes to clothing and footwear, you do eventually have …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Glock 30 Pistol

There seems to be some kind of stigma with the term “step-child”, for some reason. I should know. I had a step-father and was, therefore, a step-child. I can’t say that I was always treated the same as my half-sisters, but that’s another story. How many times have you heard the phrase “I’ll beat you like a red-headed step child” in your life? I know I’ve heard it thousands of times over the years and probably used it myself for some reason. There are some firearms that are considered a step-child for some reason, and I don’t quite understand why. …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Springfield Armory TRP vs TRP Operator

The 1911 handgun has been around since, well, 1911, so the design is more than a hundred years old. For an old work horse, the design shows no signs of slowing down. As a matter of fact, there are probably at least 50 companies producing the 1911 in one form or another. We can have a 1911 in the basic mil-spec version or a fully decked out custom gun with more bells and whistles than we could ever use. We can find 1911s imported from The Philippines for well under $500 or acquire custom guns that easily cost tens of …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: SIG Sauer P250

I saw my first SIG handgun back in 1980, when I was running a gun shop and new to the gun biz but not new to guns. A customer wanted me to order him a Browning BDA .45 ACP pistol. I hadn’t heard of it, to be honest. So, I did some research and found that the Browning BDA (Browning Double Action) was actually made by SIG and was being imported by Browning. When the gun came in for my customer, I was more than a little impressed with it. It had excellent workmanship all the way around. That was …