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 …




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 …