Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Springfield Armory, Range Office Champion

I love taking folks out shooting who have never shot a gun before in their lives. I especially love taking anti-gunners out shooting for the first time. I was working as the Youth Minister for the Salvation Army down in Klamath Falls, Oregon back in 1988-1989 and also ran their Youth Center. The Officer (Pastor) there was a fairly young fellow, younger than me, and just out of training school. He was totally against “assault rifles” of any kind and had never shot any type of gun in his life. I took him out to my brother-in-law’s ranch and introduced …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Sawyer Mini Water Filter

“You Must Have A Source Of Safe Drinking Water. Without It, You Will Die!” I don’t know how many times I said this in my many articles over the past 25+ years, or when speaking to people about survival, but I still can’t drive the point home to some folks. I get questions like “but the water is crystal clear (from a stream or creek), so I know it’s okay to drink.” Many people just refuse to believe that it’s what you can’t see with the naked eye in crystal clear water that will kill you. You can die from …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Gerber Big Rock Camp Knife

I used to test and write about a lot of Gerber knives in the past. However, for whatever reason, Gerber rarely sends any writers knives for articles. I guess business must be good and they don’t need the free ink. Last time I toured the Gerber factory was back in the early 1990s, and it was busy. I understand that these days many Gerber knives are made in China, so let’s get that out of the way. The knife under review today is their Big Rock Camp Knife, and the model number is 22-01588. I can live with some products …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: S&W Bodyguard .38 Special

As I mentioned in a previous article, some SurvivalBlog readers have asked me to do some articles on good ol’ fashioned revolvers, so here’s another to consider. Many people mistakenly believe that a revolver is outdated or not of any use in survival. However, it depends on what you consider outdated and what type of survival we are talking about. Many people believe that “survival” means living off the land in the mountains or woods. Well, I guess that’s one type of survival. However, they are many other situations that can be considered survival. To many, it just means getting …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Benchmade’s H&K Entourage

I’ve known many of the folks at Benchmade Knives for more than 20 years. It is a credit to the company that there isn’t a very big turnover in those folks that I’ve worked with over the years. At some companies it seems like the turnover is like a revolving door. I’ve been friends with Benchmade’s own Les d’Asis for more than 20 years now, and he’s one of the nicest guys around. One thing I’ve often commented about with Les is that he isn’t a suit and tie type of guy, like me. Last time I put my suit …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Springfield Armory XDs 9mm

We covered the Springfield Armory XDs 45 pistol when it first came out, and I believe SurvivalBlog was the first in the media to cover this outstanding little pistol. We have many contacts in the firearms and cutlery fields and quite often get a first look at new products. The little XDs 45ACP was, and is, an outstanding concealed carry handgun. However, there were some teething problems with the first batch, and Springfield Armory was quick to take care of this minor problem. Several of our readers who lived neaby were also having a different sort of problem with their …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Leatherman Skeletool RX

I’m not exactly sure where the dividing line is between some disorders, like genius, driven mad, sheer genius, tortured mind, losing your mind, and other similar diagnoses. There are creative minds, like that of the novelist Stephen King, and I’m not sure if he has creative genius or a very tortured mind, after watching many of the movies that Hollywood created from his novels. I tend to think that, perhaps, just perhaps, he has a tortured mind. In any event, I’m sure I’ve lost my mind many years ago; just ask my own family! LOL Now, I’m not saying that …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Ruger GP100

Ancient. Obsolete. Dinosaur. Older than dirt. Old fashioned. These are a few of the terms, which have been used to describe…me! While I don’t believe they all apply, especially about being older than dirt, and just because I had a pet dinosaur when I was growing up doesn’t mean that I’m “that” old. I will readily admit though that I love the music from the mid to late 1960s, and when I do have the radio on in my pickup truck it is tuned to an oldies station. My favorite group from the 1960s was Peppermint Rainbow. Their song, “Will …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Cold Steel’s Broken Skull

It happens all too often, and I don’t know what people don’t understand when I tell them a knife is super-sharp and not to run their finger down the blade. The first thing they do, when I hand them a knife I’m testing, is to run their finger down the blade and cut themselves. I like to believe that I speak in a manner that folks can understand what I’m saying, but, alas, many just have to learn lessons the hard way. I usually keep one or two Band-Aids in my wallet for the slow learners who refuse to heed …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Tactical Walls

If you’re like me, you hate it when someone starts out with “this is a true story” and you know it’s not. Well, I’m going to relate a true story. People who know me, know that I just don’t lie. If you tell your lie, you have to remember that lie and cover it up with another lie. I don’t have time to make up stories or tell lies, and those who know me know that. If they don’t want to hear the truth from me, then don’t ask me. Life is too short to live it based on lies. …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: CRKT Ken Onion “Outrage”

I’ve personally been designing knives for about 30 years. I commissioned various custom knife makers to produce my designs, most of which were for my own personal use. However, several of my designs are being produced by Mil-Tac Knives & Tools and Columbia River Knife & Tool for retail sale. I’m honored that these companies thought enough of my designs to produce and sell them to the public at large. I make no claims to being any sort of world famous knife designer. I just know what I like and what works. I wish I had the talent to actually …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Black Hills Ammunition .380 ACP Xtreme Defense

I have been running Black Hills Ammunition through my firearms since 1992, when I first started writing gun articles. I have yet to have a single round fail me in any way. I think it is safe to say that I’ve easily fired hundreds of thousands of rounds of Black Hills ammo through various firearms for articles. And, to be sure, Black Hills is always on the cutting edge of new products. However, with that said, they do not just jump on the band wagon because everyone else is doing so. Jeff & Kristi Hoffman are the owners of Black …




Hawkins Pressure Cooker, by Pat and Mary Cascio

We’ve owned several travel trailers over the years but hardly ever went out camping. We live in the boonies, and I sincerely love where I live. There is no need for me to go any place else to enjoy myself. Basically, we used travel trailers as mobile bug out retreats, if the time ever came, or as a spare “bedroom” for guests. Approximately a year ago, we acquired a newer 21-foot travel trailer that has everything I wanted, except a/c, which would have been nice. (I still might have it installed and spend hot summer nights sleeping in it in …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Rockin’ 9mm for Survival

Without a doubt, the most often asked questions I get in my handguns classes is “What is your favorite handgun?” followed by “If you could only have one gun for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Of course, it is next to impossible to answer either of those questions, especially if you are a long-time gun owner. As to my favorite handgun, that’s an easy one to answer, and it confuses people. Put simply, my favorite handgun is the one I’m carrying at the moment! I’m not trying to dance around answering the question. If you stop …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Henry Rifles U.S. Survival AR-7 Rifle

When asked by my wife or daughters what I want for my birthday or Christmas, I have a pretty set answer– “something that goes bang or cuts.” So, I’m fairly easy to shop for these days. Last Christmas my beautiful wife bought me a Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 Survival Rifle, and it is a most welcomed addition to my meager firearms battery. While just about any firearm can be used for “survival” purposes, the AR-7 was designed specifically to be a compact rifle that was designed to aid in actual survival situations. Some history on the AR-7 is in order, …