Pat Cascio’s Product Review: CRKT Trencher

If you stop and think about it, everything I cover on our website, be it knives, guns, or water filters, are tools. They’re tools for survival in one shape or another. Many people simply look at a knife or a gun and consider them as “weapons”, and they are. However, they are still tools designed for specific tasks. Some firearms are designed for self defense, some are designed for hunting, and some are designed for target shooting. The same goes for knives; some are for self defense or everyday use, some for dressing out game, and some for use around …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Kershaw Knives Emerson Launch 5

When I think back to my childhood in Chicago, IL, I can’t help but smile about how good we had it back then. We had a tiny black and white TV, which had maybe half a dozen channels to choose from. My grandparents, who raised me, even had a coal stove for heat for many years. Remember, this was Chicago! My grandparents never even had a key for the front door to their apartment. Kids growing up in the 1950s really had it good with no computers, no video games, no MTV, nor any of that stuff that kids today …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Ruger American Rifle With Vortex Scope

When I first started writing about firearms, back in 1992, one of the first rifles I received for testing was the Ruger Model 77. It was a heavy barrel rifle in .308 that was meant for serious long-range shooting. To be sure, the rifle itself was heavy, with the wooden stock and the heavy barrel. It was not my first choice in a hunting rifle. However, it was a tack-driver! The late Bill Ruger, who owned Sturm, Ruger & Co., sent me a letter telling me to keep the rifle with his compliments because he didn’t have any use for …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Cold Steel Swift I & II

I’m one of these people who doesn’t sleep much at night. On a good night, I might get three or four hours of sleep. So, I spend a lot of time thinking. I sometimes come up with my best ideas in the middle of the night. I’ve often “written” my articles while in bed and put them down on paper later on. I’ve “designed” many knives while lying in bed wide awake, and then put the idea down on paper, and more often than not I can bring my idea to fruition. My long-time friend Lynn Thompson, who owns Cold …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Taurus 605 .357 Magnum

Once again, we are taking a look at a revolver, for survival purposes. We have received numerous requests from our readers over the past several months for more articles on revolvers. We sometimes tend to get so caught up with the newest and coolest semiauto handguns that we forget the good ole’ fashioned revolver. While the revolver is a very old design, it is not antiquated, as many think it is. We also have to take into consideration what is meant by “survival” in any discussion on this topic. For too many, myself included, survival means financial survival, and no …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: S&W 9mm Shield Performance Center Model

Right off the bat, I’ll admit my bias against Smith & Wesson– the company, not the guns. I used to be a huge fan of their firearms for a lot of years, but their warranty service is lacking. It’s something to keep in mind when purchasing one of their firearms. However, S&W continues to produce some outstanding firearms these days. For several years, as a private investigator back in Chicago, IL, I packed a S&W Model 586 with a 4” Bbl on a daily basis. It was a comforting (not comfortable) handgun to carry all day long. When I was …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Taurus Model 85 Polymer Protector

My wife and I were forced, by circumstances beyond our control, to move back to the Chicago, IL area in 1982. We stayed until the middle of 1984, at which time we moved to Colorado Springs, CO. While back in Chicago, I went to work for a large private detective agency that I had worked for in the past. I was the manager of the Investigations Division, and I not only supervised a good number of Investigators I also oversaw all the big cases from the many branches we had around the country. I was also the company gunsmith and …




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 …