Pat’s Product Review: Beretta M92FS 9mm Handgun

I’ve put this article off for the longest time, however I’ve had so many requests from SurvivalBlog readers, to give my honest opinion on the Beretta M92 9mm pistol that I decided to finally sit down and give my two cents worth. I honestly thought everyone was sick and tired of hearing about the M92FS – seeing as how it has been our military handgun for close to 30 years – but apparently, more folks want to hear about this handgun.   First off all, let’s get the boring stuff out of the way. The Model 92FS 9mm pistol is …




Pat’s Product Review: VitalGrill Stove

Back when I was in the military I would have loved to have had a way to heat-up my C Rations – yeah, I’m “that” old – that we were issued C Rations in the military, when out in the field. MREs (Meals, Read to Eat) were still only just a concept in the mid to late 1960s. Nothing beats a hot meal in the field, even if it was just C Rats – a cold meal just doesn’t seem nearly as comforting or filling, as opposed to a hot meal. My late friend, Chris Janowsky, who ran the World Survival …




Pat’s Product Review: The Echo Sling

When I was younger I didn’t give much thought to a sling on a rifle or shotgun. When hunting afield, I simply carried my rifle or shotgun at the “ready” position – ready to shoulder it and fire on game. When I went into the military in 1969, I sure appreciated a sling on my M14 in Basic Training. In Infantry School, we were issued M16s, and while quite a bit lighter than the M14, I still appreciated a sling on the gun for long road marches. Over the years, I’ve tried all manner of sling on long guns, and …




Michael Z. Williamson’s Product Review: Brite Strike LED Tactical Balls

I’m reviewing the Brite Strike LED Tactical Balls® RID-3, Rolling Illuminated Distraction and Disorientation Device. Awkward name aside, these are an interesting item. The LED balls come as a set of three, in a black nylon pouch with a MOLLE-compatible belt loop and Velcro closure.  They activate with a push button on the back, which is readily locatable by touch.  Once lit, you roll them into an area and they tumble, sending bright light in several directions each. RID-3 are a low-level substitute for a flash bang device, being less distracting, but much safer.  Brite Strike publicizes this fact; they …




Pat’s Product Review: Montie Gear Ultra-Lightweight Knife

Over the years I’ve probably handled and tested well over a thousand different knife designs. I know a lot about knives. I look for quality materials in knives, then I look at their intended purpose, as well as the carry system – be they folders with pocket clips, or fixed blade knives with sheaths. I also look at the design of a knife, and I look at the price point, too. I test knives for sharpness and durability – do they do what they are supposed to do?   Some time ago, I wrote an article on the Montie Gear …




Pat’s Product Review: Ruger SR1911 CMD

While I’ve always loved the Government Model 1911, in .45ACP, it isn’t my first choice – in a 1911. I’ve lost count of the number of 1911s I’ve owned over the years, and traded or sold, for some stupid reason, but I suspect, I’ve owned well over a hundred different types of 1911s in my lifetime. However, given my druthers, I’d druther have a Commander-sized 1911 – one with a 4.25-inch barrel, instead of the 5-inch barrel found on the Government Model. The 4.25-inch barrel 1911s just seem to balance better in my hand, and they are quicker on-target. Additionally, …




Pat’s Product Review: B.A.S.E. Ultimate Survival Kit

I hear from SurvivalBlog readers on a daily basis. I hear from a lot of you. I take the time to answer each e-mail I receive, too. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m ignoring them. Many times, I hear from readers, just thanking me for a particular product I reviewed, and they purchased, and found it to be exactly as I said it was. A lot of e-mails are “fan” letters of a sort, and I’ve made some new friends because of these e-mails. Although I don’t consider myself as any sort of celebrity, and I’m certainly no expert – …




Pat’s Product Review: Skinner Sights 10/22 Takedown Case and Sights

Some time ago, I did a review on SurvivalBlog about the Ruger 10/22 Takedown (TD) .22 LR rifle. I fell in love with my sample. I liked the idea of a .22 LR rifle, that could easily be taken apart, and put back together in a few seconds. I also liked the case that Ruger ships the rifle in – very nice, and you can carry the 10/22 Takedown rifle, with a brick or two of .22 LR ammo, half a dozen magazines, a scope and some clothes for the weekend. Not a bad combination, and whenever I travel more …




Pat’s Product Review: H&K Knives Entourage

For the life of me, ever since I was a little boy, who regularly carried some kind of folding knife, could I understand how a “switchblade” knife (read: automatic opening knife) is any more dangerous than any other knife. Somehow, I think we have Hollywood to thank for this nonsense going back many, many years, where they portrayed gang members using a switchblade to intimidate or kill someone. How on earth one can justify how a folding knife opens, to how lethal it is, is beyond my comprehension. I’ve said this many times in the past in my knife articles, …




Letter Re: Pat’s Product Review: Bardin & Marsee Waterproof Bible

James, After reading about the waterproof Bible, I went to the publishers web site, BardinMarsee.com and discovered that they also manufacture waterproof notebooks.  Many times during my military career I have needed to write something while in the rain.  These would have been great, but alas they were not available in the 1970s. These notebooks are available in both top and side spiral, and in the most common sizes, all at an attractive price. Thanks, – Greg L.




Michael Z. Williamson’s Product Review: Traditions Training Cartridges

Traditions Training Cartridges are weighted and built like real cartridges.  They include a rubber insert to function as snap caps. Unlike most aluminum snap caps, however, they are heavy and strong enough to properly cycle, without becoming damaged. I recently tested these in 12 gauge, .223 rifle and .45 ACP.  The .45 ACP pack contained 5 cartridges with 6 rubber inserts.  They were “loaded” with 230 grain ball projectiles, and apart from their black coating, were almost indistinguishable from live ammo.  I cycled these through an Auto Ordnance 1911 clone, through a dozen different magazines with no problems with the …




Pat’s Product Review: Ruger SR556E

I’ve always been a big fan of Ruger firearms – all of them! There’s many reasons for my liking Ruger firearms, first of all, I find their firearms robust, strong and well-designed. Ruger doesn’t simply copy some other designs for the most part – instead, they are innovators in many ways. I still remember when the first Ruger P-85 9mm handguns came out, and everyone thought they wouldn’t last because they were made from “investment casting” aluminum frames- Ruger proved everyone wrong.   A few years ago, I tested the Ruger SR556 piston-driven AR-style rifle, and loved it. Everyone was …




Pat’s Product Review: Speedy Sharp

I’ve been around knives since I was about five years old. For a time, I collected custom made knives, but that “hobby” got too expensive for me. For close to 20 years I was the West Coast Field Editor for Knives Illustrated magazine. I believe I wrote for them longer than anyone else did. During that time, I wrote numerous magazine articles, and had at least a thousand different knife samples pass through my hands. When I first started writing about knives, there were a lot of knives that came across my desk that weren’t very sharp – I’m glad …




Pat’s Product Review: UVPaqlite Forever Lite

I’m like many folks, and when I can get a good deal on a product, that can help me fill a particular need, I like that. However, when I can get a great deal on a product, I’m even happier. But when I can get a free deal on something I need, I couldn’t be happier. When the power goes out, we all reach for a flashlight, to help us find our way in the dark. When out camping, we need a light source of some type as well. Many folks carry flashlights in their BOB, or have lanterns for …




Product Review: Triple Eight Professional S.O.L. Knife, by Michael Z. Williamson

This tiny knife is a very durable piece of hardware. Construction is of steel, with a hard phosphate or oxide finish. The pivot is adjustable with a spanner wrench, very smooth and has slick bushings. The lock is of the rotating handle design, with strong pins to hold the blade rigid when open. The handles swing easily open or closed, and remain in place in the hand without slipping. The finish survived being dropped on a tile floor unmarked. The handle did open a fraction—the detent is fairly light. As can be seen from the photos of the knife, it’s …