Ruger American .243 Rifle and Vortex Scope, by Pat Cascio

I used to enjoy a day of fishing, even if I never got a nibble – it was still a great day. During big game season, I used to love humping up and down logging roads, or in some areas, driving logging roads, looking for big game, in particular black tail deer in Western Oregon. I’m no spring chicken any longer, and I hate to admit that. My days of going around on foot, looking for game are over. Same for driving the logging roads. My advanced age and osteoarthritis just don’t allow me to spend hours on end driving, …




Columbia Trailstorm Hikers, by Pat Cascio

I’m very picky when it comes to footwear! I stopped purchasing cheap shoes at least 35-40-years ago, always remember, you get what you pay for. I don’t purchase footwear from any discount shoe stores, nor at any of the big box stores. I’ve found it much better to save up for better shoes and boots. I want to buy something that will last me a very long, and give me the support I need. Unlike a lot of senior citizens, I have high arches, instead of fallen arches. So, I wear prescription insoles, instead of the insoles that come with …




Gryphon Knives M-35 Combat/ Survival Bowie, by Pat Cascio

I love big, fixed blade knives – you can do more with them, than a smaller knife when out in the field camping, hunting or surviving. However, I don’t like a fixed blade knife that is too big, either – they are too heavy to carry and too heavy for a of chores as well. About 25 years ago, my lovely wife, bought me a Gryphon Knives M-35 fixed blade knife. It is one of the best of the best, Bowie knives I’ve had the pleasure of owning. Sure, there are other Bowies that are better – but not “that” …




Glock 48, by Pat Cascio

No doubt about it, I’m a huge fan of Glock handguns, all of them — even the larger Model 20 and Model 21. I still recall the first Glock I saw, it was a First Generation Glock 17. At that time, it was the only model in production. Today we’re looking at the fairly new Glock 48, and this is one of the slime-line 9mm pistols, that doesn’t take a double-stack magazine and holds just 10 rounds. I know, I know, I’ve read about an after-market magazine that will hold 15-rounds, without sticking out of the bottom of the grip. …




Smith and Wesson MP9 EZ, by The Novice

This is my review and range report on the Smith and Wesson Performance Center M&P9 Shield “EZ” variant. The Smith and Wesson Performance Center M&P9 Shield EZ is an easily-loaded and easily-racked 9mm handgun with the best overall handgun sights that I have ever used. I am not really a fan of the grip safety, and I wish that the sights were adjustable for elevation as well as windage. Other than that, I can’t think of any way to improve this fine design. The Backstory A friend of mine, “Running Man”, recently acquired his first handgun. It was entrusted to …




CRKT Shenanigan & Stylus, by Pat Cascio

Today, I have a couple knife reviews. Both knives are made by the same company, both from the same designer, and both manufactured in Taiwan — Free China. It’s a pretty rare thing for a knife company to re-introduce a knife design, but that’s exactly what CRKT did with the improved Shenanigan folder. Some years back, I reviewed this folder for our readers, and didn’t find anything “wrong” with it – so I was a little disappointed when it was retired. A really good knife design, is good for about two-to-three years on the market, before people tire of it. …




Shake Light 40B, by The Novice

The EcoCentricNow Shake Light 40B is a human-powered flashlight. It is fairly reasonably priced, reasonably water resistant, reasonably shock resistant, and reasonably heat resistant. It is charged by a powerful magnet that presents a danger to sensitive equipment, so I do not recommend it for field use or as a children’s toy. I think it could be useful for applications like tornado preparedness kits or as a nightstand flashlight. The Back Story I recently submitted an article to SurvivalBlog that included a review of the IKEA Ljusa hand crank flashlight. The beauty of the Ljusa is that the hand crank …




Glock 19 – Gen 5, by Pat Cascio

Glock has been running ads in firearms publications for many years stating “Glock Perfection” and of course, that is their hype. When it comes to firearms – and I don’t care who makes them, there are no “perfect” firearms, they all have their various quirks. Still, Glocks are largely about as perfect as they come. I remember purchasing my first Glock. It was called the “Glock 17” and many folks believed it was called that because it held 17 rounds of ammo. Not true! That came from the 17th patent that Gaston Glock applied for, so he assigned “17” to …




Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 7.62×39, by The Novice

I recently tested the Ruger American Ranch Rifle, chambered in 7.62×39. I found it to be suprisingly accurate while shooting inexpensive steel-cased ammo. The only major change I recommend for the design is to make it available with an AK-compatible magazine well. The Ammo Backstory In the early summer, I contacted Ruger to see if I could borrow one of their American Ranch Rifles chambered in 7.62×39 for testing and evaluation. I was interested in the rifle for several reasons. Firstly, the 7.62×39 cartridge produces less recoil than many other calibers suitable for taking deer-sized game. That would make it …




Springfield Armory XDm Compact Elite OSP 9mm, by Pat Cascio

I readily admit that I’m a huge fan of Springfield Armory firearms – all that they now produce. My very first Springfield pistol was a basic 1911 .45 ACP. When I first got it, the stupid thing wouldn’t even function with 230-gr FMJ ammo – very strange to say the least. I’m a trained 1911 armorer and I still enjoy working on 1911-series handguns. In no time at all, I had that early Springfield working well. I could have simply sent it back to the factory, but since I could work on these guns, I decided to fix the problem …




Smith & Wesson Shorty .40, by Pat Cascio

I used to be a huge fan of Smith & Wesson handguns. At one time, they were my preferred handgun for duty and concealed carry. However, after several bad experiences with their customer service/repair shop, I rarely look at S&W handguns these days. S&W used to have one of the best customer service departments bar none. So, these days, I don’t look at many of their handguns. I remember when S&W came out with their Model 469, 9mm handgun. It was a winner in my book. At the time, they were a compact pistol, that held a lot of ammo …




Heckler & Koch USP .45 ACP Compact, by Pat Cascio

Anyone who is the least bit familiar with the HK line of USP handguns, will surely know that these are large guns – even their “compact” models are large. Their USP line-up was designed to last a lifetime with very little chance of things breaking or going wrong. I had an early HK USP 9mm full-sized model, and to be sure, it is one big handgun – it was designed for duty use, by military and law enforcement. They are not especially suited for concealed carry – although I carried the full-sized USP 9mm concealed for quite some time – …




Hand Sanitizer, A Knife, and Eyeglasses Cleaner, by The Novice

I would like to pass along some odd discoveries for your amusement and edification. Repurposing Surplus Hand Sanitizer With the advent of Covid, many micro breweries and chemical companies in our area turned their production capacity to making hand sanitizer. They wanted to do their part to help slow the spread of Covid. No good deed goes unpunished. On December 29, 2020, the FDA notified these companies that they needed to pay a $14,060 Monograph Drug Facility Fee and $9,373 Contract Manufacturing Organization Facility Fee by February 11, 2021. After significant media outcry, the fees were withdrawn. They are a …




Kershaw Innuendo, by Pat Cascio

In my 29 years of testing and writing about knives (and firearms) I have always been on the lookout for the next “big” thing in these products. And, let’s be honest here. It is really hard to find something new and unique to write about, especially when it comes to cutlery. All knives have one major function, and that is to cut something – pure and simple. I used to design knives, and still do, to a certain extent – and it is difficult to find a new style or design to come up with. Once again, all cutlery has …




Desert Eagle .44 Magnum Pistol, by Pat Cascio

Much as I hate to admit, there was a time, a long, long time ago, when I lusted after every new type of firearm I saw in the gun magazines. And, truth be told, I did lay claim to a lot of those guns. As I grew older – and maybe a little wiser – I stopped this foolishness. I discovered that any number of firearms were pretty much the same – in many ways – as some of the guns I desired to own. I believe it was back around 1975, when I was reading an issue of Soldier …