Review of Max Velocity’s Defensive Concealed Handgun Class

Max Velocity

I am in my 50s and have been carrying a concealed handgun on and off since 1990.  Consistently every day for the last six (6) years.  I have read a number of books by Massad Ayoob, John Farnum, Jeff Cooper and others. I’ve studied a number of instructional DVD’s as well. I also practiced what I thought were the correct ways to draw and shoot. My training even included how I thought through the reasons behind why I carried a concealed weapon.   But I had a nagging fear that I couldn’t shake that I’d missed something or things weren’t as they seemed.

On April 20, 2017 I read (SB) like I do almost every day. I read the editor’s post on the upcoming training events that Max Velocity Tactical (MVT) had scheduled for May and June.  I went to the MVT website via the SurvivalBlog link, and … Continue reading

IndestructiBELT, by Pat Cascio


IndestructiBELT- Thin, Stiff, and Comfortable

The folks at IndestructiBELT recently contacted SurvivalBlog and wanted me to test one of their belts. In short order, one was in my hands. Needless to say, when a company calls their belts “indestructible”, I just assume to take it with a grain of salt. Everyone hypes their products. We all know this. So, I put this belt to the test. As this is written, I’ve been wearing this belt daily for a month now, and I’m more than a little impressed with it. First off, the belt is thin, but it is stiff. However, the stiffness doesn’t make it uncomfortable in the least. From day one, it felt comfortable around my waist.

1970’s Guns Worn Slung Down On … Continue reading

Para Ordnance Elite Pro 1911, by Pat Cascio

Para Ordnance Elite Pro 1911

This week we are reviewing the Para Ordnance Elite Pro 1911.

1911 is the Best

Yeah, I’m prejudiced and freely admit it. When it comes to the finest combat handgun ever designed, I always fall back to the grand 1911 in some shape or form. I don’t think there is another handgun that is more famous than the 1911. It doesn’t matter which of its many guises or from any number of quality makers. John Browning knew what he was doing when he came up with the fighting pistol. There’s not a doubt in my mind. I know, I know. Send the arrows my way. But I’m entitled to my humble opinion on some things. Without a doubt, there are many more modern handguns out there. Many are manufactured out of polymer, and I own more than my share of them. I won’t argue that many of these newer handguns … Continue reading

Bushnell Equinox Night Vision Scope, by Pat Cascio

Bushnell Equinox Night Vision

This week, I will be reviewing The Bushnell Equinox Night Vision Scope.

Most readers readily know that I’m a bargain hunting hound. I have to be. I simply don’t have enough income to purchase all the “toys” I want. It’s been this way my entire life, too. Several of my are amazed at my bartering skills and survival mindset, but I have to be this way. Now that I’m semi-retired and collecting my very meager social security benefits each month, I once again am forced by life to make do with what we have.

I know that many people believe that all writers make millions of dollars a year. If only that were the case! Most gun writers I know hold down a second regular job. They can’t live on what they are paid for their articles. What we do is akin to a “ministry”, if you will. Our hearts are in it. We love to pass along information to our readers. When testing various products, we all hope we get it right most of the time.

The local gun shop knows that I love a bargain. It has to be a bargain before I’ll even look at a firearm and consider purchasing it. Every now and then, the gun shop will set a firearm aside for me. They seem to know that I’ll probably buy it some how! I know I’m in trouble when I walk in the front door and someone starts waving a gun in the air to get my attention. Grrrr!! Continue reading

S&W SD9 VE, by Pat Cascio


Truth be told, I’ve never been rich. All of my life, I’ve been forced to scrimp and save every penny I could get my hands on. My extra I could come up with from time to time wasn’t put in the bank. Instead, it went to raising a family as best I could. My kids didn’t lack for the necessities in life. That’s for sure.

My interest in firearms started when I was 15 years old. I still have a great interest in firearms. Needless to say, I can’t buy, or hardly ever buy, guns out of my own pocket. Instead, I’m quite adept at working trades. Everyone who reads my articles probably believes I have hundreds of firearms in my “collection”. Well, I don’t! Many of the guns I test and write about are on loan from gun makers. They either get returned or, if I can’t afford to … Continue reading

Canik- 55 TP9SF, by Pat Cascio

As usual, I like to remind our readers that I’m a real stickler when it comes to buying just about anything. If what I’m looking at is a steal-of-a-deal, I have to pass on it. My finances demand that I spend every penny as wisely as I can, all the time.

I certainly appreciate some custom firearms or very expensive guns, and I’ve owned a few over the years. I didn’t have the cash to buy them, but I worked deals, trades, or barter. While I think we all can agree that there is a certain amount of pride in ownership, we don’t all need custom or very expensive firearms to achieve certain goals. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t “need” any more firearms. Yes, I do want more, but I don’t need them. So I’ve all but cut back on buying or trading into … Continue reading

Ruger’s SR1911, 9mm, by Pat Cascio

Even when I was younger I was pretty much “old school” in many things. Maybe it came from being raised by my grandparents and all their friends. It’s just one of those mysteries in life that I can’t explain. I still love to listen to “oldies” music on the radio. When I first started listening to “oldies” it wasn’t old; it was the music of the 1960s that I fell in love with. And, to this day, my favorite song is “Will You Be Staying After Sunday” by Peppermint Rainbow. Over the past several years, I have gotten to know several of the group’s members, and they are all super-nice people. Bonnie Lamdin-Phipps, her sister, “Peppermint” Patty Lamdin-Brown, and Doug Lewis are on my bucket list as people I want to get to meet in-person some day.

For many, many years, I was old school in that I believed with … Continue reading

S&W Model 15, by Pat Cascio

We are continuing to followup on the many requests for more revolver articles from our readers, and we are more than happy to comply. As I pointed out in previous articles, there are some shooters who believe that the “old” revolver isn’t a viable option for self-defense work, and I couldn’t disagree more. Now, we aren’t necessarily talking about a SWAT team clearing a building of an active shooter or a terrorist. We are talking about everyday people who carry concealed or want a home defense handgun, and for whom the revolver might just be the perfect answer.

In 1980 or 1981, I traded a customer in my gun shop out of a S&W Model 15; it’s also called the K-38 Combat Masterpiece. This was my … Continue reading

Product Review: Flamethrower from, by Mike Williamson

Flamethrowers are primarily a tool and, accordingly, are not regulated under federal law as a weapon. As they do not fire a projectile from a fixed cartridge, they are not restricted under BATFE regulations.

The flamethrower will be recognized by some as kitbashed from various industrial components. This, however, does not make it any less effective. You can buy the plans (as the site indicates), components, or a finished unit. I opted for the finished unit. The package is surprisingly compact considering the contents. There is the fuel tank, projector, hose, and pressure hardware. The instructions are very clear and simple. Also included is a modified propane torch as an igniter. All that is required is to charge the CO2 tank, fill it with fuel, and attach a propane bottle.

Safety is obviously paramount with something that projects burning fuel. The instructions recommend a wet test with … Continue reading

Ruger/CRKT All-Cylinders +P, by Pat Cascio

For some reason I just can’t get some people to understand that gun makers don’t make the knives with their names on them. Remington knives have been around for a long, long time, and some are highly collectible, too. It’s the same with Winchester knives, and some are collectibles. I even suggested to one gun company, and I won’t reveal who it is, that they do collaboration with a knife company and have knives made with the name of the gun company on it. They did!

This isn’t all that hard to understand, but it is for some folks. It takes a special kind of tooling and people to operate those machines and to manufacture knives. Gun companies simply aren’t interested in investing the time and money to do this, so they go to a knife company and have them produce knives with the name of the gun company … Continue reading

Cold Steel Extra Large Espada, by Pat Cascio

We get a lot of requests at SurvivalBlog to test and review many products. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of these requests, we simply can’t review every product, or we’d have a website full of product reviews each and every day. I personally take as much time as I possibly can with each product I test to make sure I give it a fair test, in that the product does what it is expected to do. When it comes to firearms, I shoot them a lot, and in the case of a handgun I carry it, too. I’m not going to recommend a handgun to someone else if it isn’t something I’d carry myself.

We get a lot of emails, at least I do, personally, for knife reviews. I’m happy to say I have some of the best contacts in the knife industry, and they are happy to … Continue reading

CZ 85B, by Pat Cascio

Continuing on with testing all-metal firearms, as requested by many of our readers, here’s one of my favorite double-stack 9mm handguns. The CZ-85B is simply an upgraded model of the original CZ-75. For many years, the CZ-75 was hard to come by in the USA, because it was produced in the Czech Republic when it was behind the “Iron Curtain”. The few CZ-75 handguns that were in the USA were very hard to come by and expensive, very expensive!

Because of the scarcity of the original CZ-75, a number of near-clones of this gun appeared. One of the most recognized, coming from Italy, was imported by several different companies into the U.S. However, some were a serious hit or miss proposition, and I owned many. They had feeding problems as well as extraction problems, and most were guns you sure didn’t want to bet your life on. That was … Continue reading

Kel-Tec SU-16B, by Pat Cascio

This isn’t my first Kel-Tec SU-16B rifle; I bought one around 2003 or 2004, if memory serves me correctly. What caught my attention back then was that it didn’t look like other so-called “assault rifles”. It was compact, lightweight, and shot the .223/5.56 caliber round. However, I had nothing but problems with that particular sample. The empty brass would stick in the chamber after firing, and quite often loaded rounds wouldn’t fit the chamber either. The gun was sent back to Kel-Tec, and several weeks later I got the gun back. I was told that the chamber reamer was worn out and the chamber wasn’t cut deep enough. Whatever! However, the gun still wouldn’t function 100%, so I got rid of it.

Some … Continue reading

Blackhawk Legacy, by Pat Cascio

As many readers will know, my wife is always chiding me about flashlights. She is somehow under the impression that I might have too many, until the lights go out and she asks, “Where’s a flashlight?”. To be sure, I keep flashlights within my reach– in my living room, bedroom, kitchen, and office. Living in the boonies does have some disadvantages; the power goes out quite often in the winter months, due to trees falling onto the power lines.

We are used to the power going out and have prepared accordingly. We have LED lanterns, and we also have a 4,000-watt generator, which rarely gets used. Most of the time, when the power goes out, it is only for four to six hours, so I don’t want to crank up the generator for that, especially if the lights go out during daytime hours. If I need to find something, … Continue reading

Review Of The Jøtul F 50 TL Rangeley Wood Stove, by S.T.

First let me state up front that I have heated with a wood stove for over 20 years, so I am not a novice and I understand the use of wood stoves. Additionally, as a person who worked for over 30 years in the defense industry, I also understand that there are products that are ill or poorly planned by engineers who never used the product and/or have large egos and refuse to accept any feedback from the end users of a product.

Our previous wood stove was a Regency brand, which we located in a single story home. In the more than 20 years we owned the Regency wood stove, we had zero problems with the stove.

When we purchased and moved to our new country homestead property, it was equipped with a 1940’s Warm Morning Coal Stove, which had a sheet metal housing that was just warm to … Continue reading