Ruger SR1911 – 9mm Compact, by Pat Cascio

Ruger’s newest 1911 handgun is under review here. Ruger sure did it up right. Check out our findings. The 1911 Handgun The 1911 handgun has been around since, well 1911, in one guise or another. I don’t have the facts to back this up, but I suspect it is the best-selling model of handgun of all time, based on how many different companies have produced a version of it over the years. And, just when you think we have saturated the 1911 market, a new maker comes along or an established maker comes out with more models. There seems to …




Mag Pump 9mm Magazine Loader, by Pat Cascio

Tired of loading magazines by hand? Today, we’re checking out the Mag Pump 9mm magazine loader. I’m Getting On In Years I sincerely hate admitting that I’m getting on in years, but I am. We all knew we’d grow old, but we didn’t know how fast it would happen. And, what comes with growing older is we tend to grow weaker in many respects. Body parts don’t work like they used to. I suffer from severe osteo-arthritis in my hands, especially my right hand, which is my shooting hand, and my trigger finger. Osteo-arthritis is caused by wear and tear, …




CRKT Minimalist, by Pat Cascio

As the name implies, the CRKT Minimalist is a very small knife. There isn’t anything fancy about the design, but just wait until you hold one in your hand. We are reviewing one of the CRKT Minimalist this time around. Little Knives Long time SurvivalBlog.com readers will know that I’m just not very “big” on little knives. Yeah, they have their place in the knife line-up. However, I’ve always felt that bigger is better and can do more than any little knife can do. Well, I still stand by that statement, but there sure are exceptions to this rule of …




Kershaw/Emerson CQC-8K Tactical Folder, by Pat Cascio

Under review today is the Kershaw/Emergson CQC-8K Tactical Folder. It’s one of the most popular tactical folding knives, designed by custom knife maker Ernest Emerson himself. Knives Illustrated Many years ago, I wrote for Knives Illustrated magazine, and for quite a few years I was their West Coast Field Editor. In my experience, what you see today in what is called Knives Illustrated isn’t really a staff-written cutlery magazine. Instead, it is designed to appear like a magazine, when it is nothing more than paid advertisements that look like articles but are not. Don’t be fooled. What you read there …




DPMS Versus DPMS, by Pat Cascio

Two popular AR-style rifles are put to the test. We’re looking at a standard AP4 Carbine and Lite 16-A3 from DPMS today, in a side-by-side comparison. A Rare Side-By-Side Test I receive requests all the time from many of our readers to do a side-by-side test of various firearms. I rarely do these types of articles for one very good reason– no matter how fair I try to be, or unbiased, human nature takes over, and I’ll like one firearm better than the other. I could test a 1911 .45ACP from the XYZ company and a version of the same …




CMMG Banshee 9mm AR Pistol, by Pat Cascio

Today, we are taking an exclusive look at the all-new CMMG “Banshee” 9mm pistol. Some might even call it a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW). SurvivalBlog was the first to receive this new pistol, and it has been a confidential project. Hush-Hush Five-Week Test We conducted a five-week test on this new AR 9mm pistol. I had originally planned on running about 500 rounds of 9mm ammo through the Banshee, which is a more than a fair test. However, I had so many volunteer testers helping me that we ran more than 1,500 rounds of ammo through this new AR pistol. It …




CRKT Septimo Folder, by Pat Cascio

Under review today is the very unique Septimo folder by Green Beret, Jeremy Valdez. This one is more than a little unique in design and intended purpose! My First Knife I’m not exactly sure when I was given my first knife, but it would have been when I was about five or six years old. It was a two part set containing a Bowie-type fixed blade knife and a small hatchet. I longed for this set. And when my grandmother and grandfather who raised me had enough S&H green stamps (anyone remember those?), my grandfather went to the redemption center …




Zero Tolerance 0920, by Pat Cascio

  If you want a custom-quality, harsh-use knife, then the ZT0920 that is under review today, should catch your attention. It is made by Zero Tolerance. Zero Tolerance Knives Zero Tolerance (ZT) knives is a division of Kershaw Knives, and they’re made right here in Oregon in the same plant where many Kershaw products are manufactured. Every ZT knife is only made in America. They claim their knives are over-built, and I’m sure not going to argue with ZT about this. We are talking about custom-quality knives that are every bit as well-made as any custom knives I’ve seen. I …




Ghost Gunner Review- Part 2

Yesterday, we started looking at the Ghost Gunner, running it through its paces and turning out the first completed lower starting with an 80% completed unit. Today, we’ll finish up that review and look at the problems we encountered while running the machine. First Completed Lower The only real test of the Ghost Gunner is whether or not a decent trigger control group fits in the receiver after that first lower is completed. I’m happy to report that, yes, it does. This receiver wasn’t as fulfilling to make as my first one on a milling machine (using a Tactical Machining …




Ruger/CRKT All Cylinders, by Pat Cascio

We’re taking a look at the collaboration between custom knife maker Bill Harsey, Ruger firearms, and Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) today. And this one is a real winner. Col. Rex Applegate and Custom Knife Maker Bill Harsey I worked full-time for the late Col. Rex Applegate for three years, and he was not only my friend but my mentor as well. He taught me a lot about knife and gun fighting as well as military infantry tactics. It was more than I ever learned in the military. Applegate had his Applegate/Fairbairn double-edge fighting knife made by Oregon’s own …




SOG Knives Kiku Folder by Pat Cascio

If your tastes run along the lines of the great Japanese knife designers, then you’ll really enjoy the SOG Knives Kiku folder. It’s under review today. Talented American Knife Designers I know many American knife designers, and they are some pretty talented folks. I got to know quite a few of them when I was the West Coast Field Editor for Knives Illustrated magazine, for which I wrote for more years than any other writer. So I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of custom knife makers/designers over the years. However, many folks believe that when it comes …




Smith & Wesson Model 66, by Pat Cascio

Today, we are looking at the S&W Model 66 stainless steel 2.75-inch barrel handgun on the popular K Frame. With so many requests from SurvivalBlog readers, we are covering this, another good ol’ fashioned revolver. Early Years Carrying a Revolver Truth be told, in my early years as a police officer, private security contractor, and private investigator, I carried a revolver for the simple fact that in Illinois, at least at that time, you were required to only carry a 4-inch barrel revolver when doing private security. As a police officer in various areas of the country, I was pretty …




Remington 1911 R1, Carry, by Pat Cascio

We’re taking a very close look at the new Remington 1911 R1 Carry handgun today. It is quite a piece of workmanship. Remington’s Track Record Over the past several years, the Remington group, or the group that owns Remington, haven’t had a very good track record with new firearms. As a matter of fact, it has been one failure after another, in my humble opinion. We had the Remington REM380, and it had a lot of problems. Then, there was the R51, and I’m not totally convinced they have worked out all the bugs in this one just yet. And …




Kershaw Shuffle DIY, by Pat Cascio

Regular readers will know that, as a rule, I’m not a big fan of small folding knives, but the Kershaw Shuffle DIY little folder deserves a close look today. Folding Knife Quite honestly, a mid-size or larger folding knife can do more chores better than a smaller folder can, most of the time. There are times when a smaller folding knife is called for. This is especially true when it comes to detail work. I’m a real sucker for a dual-purpose folder that can handle jobs other than cutting things. That is true as long as the added tools are …




Springfield Armory’s 911 .380 Handgun – By Pat Cascio

Without a doubt, Springfield Armory came late to the dance with a sub-compact .380 handgun. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t know the dance or came with a new and faster two-step dance. Under review today is the new 911 from Springfield Armory. Back When I Carried a .380 Pistol Many years ago, when I was a young private investigator back in the Windy City of Chicago, IL, I carried a Walther PPK/S .380 stainless steel pistol in a shoulder holster. It was very chic to say the least. Back then, the only ammo available was Full Metal Jack …