Kershaw Knives, Fraxion, by Pat Cascio

Today’s knife under review is called the “Fraxion” and is from Kershaw Knives in my home state of Oregon. Kershaw Knives has come a long, long way in a very short period of time, and is a leader in the cutlery field.

Kershaw Knives

It was just back in 1974 when Pete Kershaw left another major knife company in Oregon that he started Kershaw Knives. His products were, and still are, a big hit with the knife-loving public. Just a few short years after starting Kershaw Knives, Pete Kershaw sold out to the KAI Corporation from Japan, and they continue to carry on his name and legacy in the cutlery field.

I have toured the Kershaw factory here in Oregon several times, from their humble beginnings when they only had a dozen or so people actually working on the floor manufacturing knives until their move to … Continue reading

Kimber Ultra Carry II SP – By Pat Cascio

In this article, we’ll take a close look at the Kimber Ultra Carry II SP 1911. This is one of the smallest 1911 based handguns chambered in .45 ACP on the market.

Limited, Discontinued Splash 1911

I’m sad to say, it appears that Kimber has discontinued this particular base model 1911 and gone to some upper crust, more costly, smaller 1911s. It’s too bad! The gun under review here is the Ultra Carry II SP, and the SP stands for “Splash”. It was a limited product run available for sale at a SHOT Show a few years ago. I believe these guns were done up in five different “Splash” colored frames. They were, if the information I received was correct, limited to only 300 guns in each color. The sample I have has a “Splash” of red on the anodized aluminum frame.

An 1911 in .45 … Continue reading

Beretta Nano, by Pat Cascio

The trend continues with subcompact 9mm handguns, and today we are reviewing the Beretta Nano.

Market for Itty-Bitty Handguns

For quite a few years, the handgun market was awash in itty-bitty .380 ACP handguns, and for good reason. A lot of people were getting their concealed handgun permit, and most didn’t want to strap on a big gun each day. I can certainly understand that. For many, many years I carried either a full-sized 1911 in .45 ACP or a Commander-sized 1911 again in .45 ACP. However, as I age, and I seem to be aging much faster these days, I don’t always want to carry a big, heavy, full-sized handgun on a daily basis. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t; it depends on where I’m going and what the threat level is I might perceive. When that happens, a 1911 is on my … Continue reading

Zero Tolerance 0055, by Pat Cascio

Zero Tolerance knives is a division of Kershaw Knives, and they produce some of the most hard-core fixed and folding blades to be found. Today we’re looking at the ZT Model 0055.

Kershaw Plant in Oregon

I still remember the very first time I toured the Kershaw plant, here in Oregon, many years ago. If I recall correctly, they had a mere 18 people on the floor assembling knives. All of that has changed over the years. They have a huge operation these days. They moved into another building and have already expanded their operation further. The operation is very big, to say the least. I easily lost count of the number of employees Kershaw has just assembling knives. Then add in the shipping department, front office, design crew, and many others. They must surely have several hundred skilled employees working there these days.

During my … Continue reading

Cold Steel’s Chef’s Knife, Commercial Series, by Pat Cascio

Surviving the kitchen with the Cold Steel Chef’s Knife is our topic today.

People Talking About “Surviving”

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it repeated; people are talking about “surviving” whatever it is that is coming our way. More often than not, I hear people telling me they are going to bug out to the mountains or the wilderness and survive there without giving it any thought or preparations. I’m sorry, if you believe that you are living a lie or a fantasy, or you are misguided. I used to live in Chicago, and I couldn’t tell you how many times I heard people say if “something” happens, they are heading to the “hills”, the mountains, or some place remote, without even having can of beans to eat. It’s not real. Wake up!

Misguided People Plan To Bug To Mountains

I hear from preppers all the time. Many … Continue reading

Kahr S9, by Pat Cascio

Always looking to improve and upgrade their handguns, Kahr Arms  just released their latest compact 9mm, the S9, and that is under review today.

Kahr’s Rep of “Rolls Royce” of Trigger Pulls

Many years ago, I remember reading about Kahr 9mm handguns, and how all the gun writers raved about their DAO (Double Action Only) trigger pull. The writers claimed it was the Rolls Royce of DAO trigger pulls. Having been a writer for more than 25 years in the gun, knife, and survival fields, I took it with a grain of salt, knowing how some gun writers hype things in their articles. I don’t! I don’t need to. It was quite some time, after reading those many articles about the Kahr 9mm handguns that I actually ran across a used one and was sold on the spot. The DAO trigger pull is that good; it’s super … Continue reading

Guns for Bugging Out, by N.B.

My Situation Is Likely Not Yours

First off, my situation is not yours. What works for me may not necessarily work for you. Seeing as that I am yet another guy on the Internet with an opinion, I strongly recommend you read what I have written and then make an informed decision about whether this information applies to your circumstances. If it does not, please disregard it. If it does, I am glad I could be of service.

Intro To Bug Out Firearms and Ammunition

This essay refers to the firearms and ammunition load I would take along with me if my wife and I were to bug out. I am personally not a fan of the bug out philosophy. If you leave with nowhere to go, you are a refugee and will have a slim chance of survival. If you already have a retreat, you are either close enough … Continue reading

Springfield Armory TRP Operator 1911, by Pat Cascio

The Springfield Armory TRP Operator 1911 is one of the best of the best 1911s available, at any price, and we’ll report our results from testing in this article.

Bear With My Sad Story

Bear with me, before I give my findings on the TRP Operator 1911 in this article. This is a sad but somewhat humorous story about the start to my testing this outstanding 1911. I received the TRP Operator 1911 from Springfield Armory during the past winter. Before testing this gun, I noticed that the Tritium front sight wasn’t glowing at all. I have had this happen with more than a few brand new guns out of the box. It’s no problem; a call was placed to my contact at Springfield and a replacement front sight was on the way through next day FedEx.

The day the new front sight was to arrive, … Continue reading

Reload Your Own Ammo, If You Want To Be A Good Shot!, by Steve Collins


Common Sense and Facts About Shooting

Common sense tells us that if you want to be a good shooter, you need to shoot often. Facts tell us, though, that our wallets won’t allow us to shoot as often as we want or need to. While resorting to the .22 caliber firearms is often cited as an acceptable alternative, at some point you need to shoot your primary gun. The answer to buying factory ammo is to reload your own. I started reloading in 1984 when I got my first Colt 1911 .45 auto. Shortly thereafter I received a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum revolver for Christmas, along with my first reloading kit. Mom must have known something, or it was Divine Providence, that led her to get both of those items at the same time, because I found out very quickly how expensive .44 ammo was!

Not Somewhere … Continue reading

The Legislative Entrepreneur: Investing in Some Key AR Parts

TacCon 3MR trigger

Binary Triggers In Your Future?

The recent terrorist attack in Las Vegas is spurring Federal lawmakers to introduce new legislation. These laws would ban any device or combination of parts that can “accelerate” the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm. This includes bumpfire stocks, Gat Crank triggers, Autoburst trigger, Hellfire and other gadget triggers, binary triggers, light match grade triggers, and 3 mode triggers. Sadly, the U.S. National Rifle Association (NRA) gave up on this issue without a fight less than a week after the tragic massacre.  This means that there is now a strong likelihood that some legislation will be passed within a month. Once passed, I suspect that it will be signed by President Trump and possibly go into effect on or before January 1st, 2018. The clock is ticking, folks!

In my blog writings, I’ve often mentioned the futility of  so-called “gun control” … Continue reading

The NRA Has Capitulated on Banning Fast-Firing Semi-Autos

NRA Logo

Bump Fire Stocks Legislation

The U.S. National Rifle Association (NRA) just caved in on the issue of fast-firing semi-autos. On Thursday, they issued a public statement that encouraged bump fire stocks legislation. It said in part:

“In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas…”[lots deleted]

“…Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations…”

This sort of panicked wholesale capitulation to the mainstream media’s demands will surely cause a cascade of executive orders and/or Federal legislation.

My Objections

I have some huge … Continue reading

Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308- Part 4, by Alpine Evader


Today, I’ll wrap up this series by writing about fire teams and our planning and training regimen. Also, I’ll outline some of our desires for the future.

Fire Teams of Four (or Three)

In SHTF, two fire teams of four would be absolutely fabulous, but we practice with one less person. This factors in SHTF reality, when we’ll suffer injuries, illness, homestead security, et cetera, into our planning and training regimen. A command element of four people– a squad leader, radio, two NCOs– would round this fantasy of a full-strength fire team out. We aren’t into fantasy, but that’s what we would wish for, four-man fire teams.

Fire Team Option A

Fire team option A is the best and most efficient fire team. This team consists of two 12.5″ or 14.5″ 5.56mm operators and two 6.8 SPC operators, one with a DMR of 18″. The fire team is most cost … Continue reading

Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308- Part 3, by Alpine Evader


Yesterday, in part two of this “sweet spot” series, I moved beyond telling about my high altitude survival group and our plans and I began telling about my loadout long-term results and recommendations. I’ll continue with this by recommending some ammo.

115 Grain 6.8 Ammo

You’ll find that 115 grain 6.8 SPC Sellier & Belliot (S&B) ammo just got undercut by 115 grain American Eagle; both are about $0.62 per round. 6.8 ball ammo will crush cinder blocks within 200 yards far more effectively than any 5.56 ammo. That’s true even if you include green-tip SLAP rounds out of either a short or long barreled rifle. Try it out yourself on a few cinder blocks and tell me I’m wrong.

I find that 6.8 SPC consistently provides about 50% more sectional density than the best 5.56mm semi-auto round. And within 300 yards, it drops CXP2 game up to black bear … Continue reading

Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308- Part 2, by Alpine Evader


Yesterday, I began writing by telling the summary up front. I said we recommend against adopting the beautiful, survival standard of .308/7.62x51mm caliber semi-automatic rifles. Instead, I stated, “The least expensive and best upgrade to any existing AR-15 fire team for high altitude blended threats is to purchase standardized barrels and stock up on single-use, heavier bullets.” I also shared about our survival group’s location decisions. So, who am I to make these statements and recommendations?

Author’s Relevant Background

I climbed my first 14,000+ foot peak at the age of 12 in a summer camp located smack dab in the middle of the Colorado Rockies. I am a father who looks out (logistically, physically, and spiritually) for six children within a blended family. My age is between forty and fifty years old and I’m in moderately good shape. Twelve to sixteen mile hikes with lightweight packs are something I still … Continue reading

Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308- Part 1, by Alpine Evader


This week I finished my five-year analysis on five intermediate range cartridges. I did an overview of semi-auto rifle logistics in six calibers. Scope of operations must support mounted vehicle extraction (Getting Out of Dodge/Bugout). Hostage recovery (Close Quarter Combat) and  a more typical three to four-person Fire Team foot patrol/maneuver element 6,000 feet above sea level must also be supported. We train for pain. But we are smart, hairless apes/intelligently designed, free-thinking primates, so we plan-do-check-act (or use the OODA Loop) wisely.

“Amateurs study tactics,” goes an old saying, “armchair generals study strategy, but professionals study logistics.”

The Sweet Spot That Wins Wars

If you add physiology and endurance athleticism to those fields, you get the fusion of high altitude light infantry– the sweet spot that wins wars.

Have you heard of this saying?

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one … Continue reading