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, …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: S&W Model 459

Some SurvivalBlog readers often question me as to why I don’t do more articles on old, used, or classic guns. Well, if you cruise through my many articles, you will see that I do cover these types of guns quite regularly. For example, if you look at my many articles on the Model 1911, you’ll read about this classic, which has been around for more than a hundred years. Even though there are many improvements made to the 1911 by various makers, it is still basically the same gun it was when it first came out. I think many of …




Letter Re: Comments on Savage Bolt Action Rifles

The Savage I tested has a detachable magazine, and in the past Savage Arms has had some problems with these types of magazines simply falling out of a gun. I believe that Savage got it right with the AXIS II XP that I tested for this article. I had no problems with the magazine falling out of the gun. However, you are comparing apples to oranges when you talk about the Savage rifles with the built-in magazine. I have never had a problem with any Savage rifle with a built-in magazine in loading all the rounds into it without any …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Savage Arms AXIS II XP

I’m one of these people who doesn’t brag very often about my accomplishments in life. The walls in my office are lined with various certificates I’ve earned over the years, from all types of training, too, and I only have about half of my certificates displayed. One of my few military training certificates I’ve managed to hang onto over the years is from the United States Army Marksmanship Training Unit. It’s from April, 1970 and certified me as completing the Rifle Instructor and Coaches clinic. I’m extremely proud of this earned diploma. Oh, it’s not that I didn’t know how …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Springfield Armory MC Operator 1911

I first saw one of the very first Springfield Armory MC Operator 1911s at a gun shop in Idaho some years ago. The MC Stands for Marine Corps, and this particular 1911 was designed with the specs laid out based on what the US Marine Corps wanted in a 1911 for their special ops guys. It wasn’t until just recently that the Corps was even allowed to refer to their special ops guys by the term Special Operators! Like many in the military SpecOps community, they prefer the proven stopping power of the .45 ACP FMJ round in the 1911 …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: UV Paqlite Mule Light

As a rule, I very seldom test prototype products, for a couple of good reasons. One is that the finished product is quite often quite a bit different than the prototype. Secondly, at times, the product never even comes on the market. Over the years, I’ve seen more than one firearm prototype covered in a magazine article, and the gun never came out. I covered one such handgun from Taurus some years ago, when I was the editor/publisher of a rag called Police Hot Sheet. My readers weren’t very happy to read my article on the gun that never came …




Esee-4, by Pat Cascio

My long-time friend and fellow gun writer, John Taffin, has been on a life-long search for what he calls the “Perfect Packin’ Pistol”, and it has been a long but fun search for him. I suspect that each and every one of us has also been on that search, even if we didn’t know it or want to admit it. There is that “one” handgun that we all are searching for– that one handgun that will fulfill every chore we’d need it for. I’m sure there is a Perfect Packin’ Pistol for each and every one of us, but the …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Survival, Escape & Evasion

Back in November of 1969, during my infantry school at Ft. Lewis, WA, we were afforded a one-day Survival, Escape & Evasion training course. The entire day was spent learning how to forage food and cook it, along with learning to read the sun during the day and the stars at night, for navigation purposes. We were also taught how to escape and evade capture by enemy troops, who were played by soldiers from other military units. During our training, we were shown a map of where we were. It also showed some of the terrain we had to cover …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Pat Law Tactical AR Folding Stock Adapter

I still remember, arriving at Ft. Lewis, WA in the Fall of 1969 and being issued the M-16 for my Infantry School training. It was a real joy to carry that rifle, especially after having carried the M-14, which weighed at 10 ½-lbs, in my Basic Training. The M-16 was only about 5½ lbs, so it was about half the weight of the M-14. There were some flaws in the early M-16, one of which was that the first ones to go to Viet Nam didn’t have chromed barrels, and the barrels themselves were considered “pencil” barrels, because they were …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: North American Arms .32 Auto– A Closer Look

Over the years, I’ve gotten quite a few requests for a followup article on a gun I tested either on SurvivalBlog.com or when I was writing for the printed gun magazines. I usually decline to do these articles for several reasons. First of all, it’s next to impossible to get one of the firearms printed magazines to accept a followup article. Secondly, I can’t duplicate the torture tests that most gun makers put their guns through. However, I have received quite a few requests for a followup article and report on several firearms I’ve tested for SurvivalBlog.com, and I thought …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Benchmade Steep

I think I’ve been getting knife samples from Benchmade for articles about 23 years now, and I’ve toured their factory several times, though I haven’t been up there for a while. So, I’m over due for a visit to see how much they have expanded since my last visit. Les d’Asis, the owner at Benchmade, always seems to find the time to sit down and visit with me, and it has never, ever been a visit that was cut short. Les is “good people”; with no dress shirt and tie, and I’ve mentioned this before about him, he’s a real …




Zero Tolerance Model 180, by Pat Cascio

I hate to admit it, just hate it, but I’m a knife addict! I always have been, since I was a little kid back in Chicago. I’ve always carried some kind of folding knife in a pocket, and, to be sure, most of the kids in the neighborhood also carried pocket knives, even to school. Guess what? No one got stabbed, murdered, or expelled from school. Today, that’s a different story. In most states, it is a mandatory one year expulsion for students who have a knife at school. Instead of using good ol’ common sense and talking to the …




Pat’s Product Review: The Saiga 12 Shotgun

Awesome! That’s the best word I can come up with, to describe the Saiga 12, 12 gauge shotgun. Most people believe that only full-auto assault rifles, machine guns or submachine guns can offer-up “fire-power.” Well, I’m here to tell you that the Saiga 12 shotgun, can hold its own against many full auto guns – at least, given the limited range of a shotgun. Right now, the Saiga 12, is one of the hottest selling firearms across the country. There are several reasons for this, first of all is that, this is one fantastic shotgun for self-defense. Secondly, the BATFE, …