Monday, November 30, 2020

Tag: by Pat Cascio

EMP Shield, by Pat Cascio


by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

First off, let me state that I’m no expert in anything, just a serious student, who is always learning. I’ve spent a lot of time researching the effects of an EMP attack on our electrical grid. One thing that I’ve learned is that there doesn’t seem to be any one source that agrees with others on just what exactly will happen when there is an EMP strike. No one seems to know how long there will be an electrical outage — will it be weeks, months, years, or longer? Some people in this field state that it might be a decade or longer, before we could have an electrical grid up and running once again. And others state that a grid-down collapse could be a multi-generational dark age.

Springfield Armory 9mm 911


by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

Nope, that’s not a typo, I’m sure many believe I meant to type “1911” – such is not the case…this is Springfield Armory’s new 9mm sub-compact handgun, that looks much like a Model 1911. Albeit one that was washed and tossed in the dryer, and it shrunk down to a tiny size. Last year, Springfield came out with the 911 in .380 ACP, and it was an instant hit with concealed carriers all over the country. So, the folks at Springfield did some re-engineering, and produced a version in 9mm, and it is only ever-so-slightly-bigger than the .380 ACP version.

S&W Model 6906, by Pat Cascio


by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

Many readers probably aren’t aware that, the US Navy SEALs packed the Smith & Wesson Model 59 in Vietnam back in the 1960s. This wasn’t the only handgun they used, but it was their preferred handgun to use a suppressor on.  And it held 15+1 rounds of 9mm ammo.

The S&W Model 39 came along long before the Model 59. However, the Model 39 only held 8+1 rounds of ammo — still, it was a great handgun, I carried one for several years doing PI work. It was fairly “compact” all things considered, and it was light-weight, due to the aluminum frame. While serving as the assistant security manager, of a large department store back in the Chicago, Illinois area, one of our off-duty cops, who kept watch over the store at night packed a Model 59. And that was my first exposure to it.

Glock 19X, by Pat Cascio


by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

I can just hear it now from our readers:  “Another Glock! Don’t they make enough different models?” Well, quiet honestly, this Glock – that they are calling the 19X is quite a bit different in many ways, so hang in there, and read this article to the end. This isn’t your everyday Glock 19.

Several years back, the US military decided it was time for a new handgun for our troops, as the Beretta M9 is reaching the end of its service life. The Beretta M9, and its civilian version, the M92, are very good guns – Yes, I know, they are big guns, not especially designed for concealed carry, but many folks do carry these guns concealed. I have, with the right holster and covering garment. In any event, it was decided that our military needed a new handgun. However, this time around, there wasn’t a lot of “hoopla” about it for some reason. It was an open competition, and anyone who could build a gun to the specifications, could enter the trials. Strange as it may seem, several big gun makers, like Smith & Wesson, pulled out on their own accord, after entering the game.

Glock 17 RTF 9mm Handgun, by Pat Cascio

by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

Many readers have asked me to review the Glock 17, even though I’ve already reviewed the Glock 19 – which is my favorite Glock model. Other than their size, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two models per se. However, since I received a lot of requests for my input on the Glock 17, we’re taking a close look at it today.

It was 1987, and my family and I lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado – actually we lived slightly outside of The Springs, right next to the Peterson Air Force Base. Even though I was in partnership with my friend Tim, in a gun shop – although most guns were sold at gun shows – I loved going to Payless Drugs to see what the latest firearms selections they had. And, I might add, at great prices. I had never heard of a Glock at that time – they were new to America. I picked up the new Glock 17, and was more than a little confounded at the “plastic” frame – but the darn gun felt good in my hand, and it held 17+1 rounds of 9mm and came with a second magazine. Back then, not many gun makers included a second magazine with their handguns. I was sold, and went home with the Glock that very day.

Concealing Handguns – Pat Cascio


by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

Carrying concealed is no easy task, if don’t do it properly. We’re taking a close look at some clothing and accessories today that aids in concealing your handgun on a daily basis.

Conceal With The Best, Not Necessarily Easiest

I’ve always looked for the best, not necessarily easiest, method of carrying a handgun concealed, as most of the work I’ve done in law enforcement and in private security/private investigations have called for working in “soft clothes” rather than a uniform of any type. I’ve lost track of the number of times over the years I’ve spotted a “concealed” handgun on someone. That telltale bulge under their shirt or jacket, or even spotting the “concealed” handgun, is not good. You don’t want to draw attention to the fact that your are carrying, period!

Stevens Model 320 Security Shotgun, by Pat Cascio


by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

Not all shotguns are created equal. Some are meant for sport hunting, and some are designed for self defense. Today we’re checking out the Stevens Model 320 Security shotgun.

A lot of people find most shotguns pretty boring, and I might just be in that crowd these days. There are so many different models and makes of shotguns out there, and many look the same as the next one or the one before it. Most folks who purchase a shotgun do so with the thought of upland bird hunting or water fowl hunting. I have no problem with that at all. It’s a great sport to get involved in.

Home Protection
Then there are preppers and just plain ol’ home owners who want something a bit “more” for home protection than what a handgun affords them. They chose to go with what we used to commonly call a “riot shotgun”. I’m not quite sure how the short(er) barrel shotgun earned that title, other than I know more than a hundred years ago police were using the short barrel shotgun to quell some labor involved riots that turned into street warfare. Still, many police departments issue a short barrel shotgun, usually with an 18-inch barrel for officers to carry in their patrol cars. It is a force multiplier when you are in a solo patrol car. And it is comforting to have this “partner” close at hand.

Ruger SR1911 – 9mm Compact


by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

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 be no end to what can be done with a 1911 platform.

Beretta APX 9mm Handgun, by Pat Cascio

by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

The new Beretta APX 9mm handgun is a hot seller, and it’s the subject of our review in this article. No other handgun has fit my hand better than the grand old Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistol, and I’m not alone in this feeling, either. I’ve heard the same thing over and over again from folks who own a Hi-Power. Well, all of that changed the moment I picked-up the new Beretta APX 9mm handgun. I have never, and I mean never, had a handgun feel so good in my hand, no exceptions! I just had to get that out of the way at the onset of this review.

SurvivalBlog First to Review U.S. Military Adopted SIG Sauer P320 9mm

As many readers know, the U.S. Army, and now all the other military services, have adopted the SIG Sauer P320 9mm handgun. SurvivalBlog was the first to review this outstanding handgun. We often get the jump on others with new product reviews. I own the SIG P320 Compact model and love it. The competition for a new U.S. military service handgun had many competitors. However, in the end, the SIG was the winner. Needless to say, there were sour grapes from some other competitors, and the usual lawsuits were filed, though they have been dismissed. Beretta modified their outstanding current military issue handgun and called it the Model 93A3. I don’t understand Beretta’s thinking. It really wasn’t a “modular” handgun, and that is what the U.S. Army was looking for. Though there’s nothing wrong with the new Model 93A3.

Beretta’s APX Might Have Beat SIG Sauer P320

Now, if Beretta had entered the APX in the competition, it may have well beat out the SIG Sauer P320. I kid you not. It is “that” good of a 9mm handgun. However, the APX wasn’t manufactured in time to enter the testing, which is too bad. It would have been an outstanding contender against all comers. I’m sure of it. BTW, the APX is also available in .40 S&W. However, since the FBI switched from the .40 caliber and back to 9mm because of improved bullet designs and stopping power, numerous law enforcement agencies are doing the same and dumping the .40 S&W. Now everyone is looking at the APX in 9mm over the .40 S&W.

Beretta APX Barrel and Frame

The APX has a 4.25-inch barrel, which is a nice length for duty carry. There is the polymer black frame, and the slide is also black with slide grasping grooves from the front to the back of the frame on both sides. This is another outstanding feature that I love. The magazines (and you get two) hold 17 rounds, and this is my only source of contention. The magazines are extremely difficult to fully load with 17 rounds, even with the outstanding Butler Creek ASAP magazine loader. That last round is a bear to get into the magazine. The slide has the three dot system, and the front white dot is a little bit larger than the two white dots on the rear sight. The system is very fast to pick up under stress. Of course, as is the trend, the APX is striker-fired. The unloaded gun weighs in a 28.24 ounces, which is about par compared to other polymer framed handguns.

APX Disassembly

There is a button you can press with a pointed object or tool on the right side of the frame that deactivates the striker, so you can safely disassemble the APX without pulling the trigger. However, it is a little bit of pain to do this. So, I simply racked the slide to make sure the chamber is empty and then pull the trigger to deactivate the striker. Then, I press the slide release button, which is stout, on the right side of the frame and turn the take-down lever on the opposite of the frame. The slide then comes off. It’s easier done than said but very Beretta Model 92 in design.

APX Grip and Backstraps

The grip frame can be replaced. You can do that by removing the serialized chassis from inside the frame, very much like that of the SIG Sauer P320. So, the chassis is actually the “firearm”, because it carries the serial number. There is an ambidextrous slide release/stop on either side of the frame. Also, there is a trigger stop lever built into the trigger itself, so there is no trigger over-travel when the gun is fired, in theory, making the gun a bit more accurate. You can also change out the backstraps. Several backstraps come with the gun, however it is tedious to change them out, and I don’t see people swapping out the backstraps on a regular basis.

The backstrap on my sample, which I purchased out of my own funds, fit my hand perfectly. The magazine release is switchable from side to side, so it’s not ambidextrous, but it’s easy to change from one side to the other. The frame has the Picatinny-style rail for installing lights and/or lasers, too. The texturing on the frame is also perfect. It grips you but isn’t overly aggressive, which is another outstanding feature I like on the APX. The front of the trigger guard is squared off without serrations on it; they’re not needed. No one wraps the finger of their off-hand around the trigger guard these days. (It was very popular at one time, for some reason.)

Seventeen-Round Mags

The above is quite a lot of features on the new Beretta APX 9mm handgun, and there isn’t anything I would do away with. However, I would sure love it if the 17-rd mags were a little easier to load. I rarely have to use a magazine loader, as I have been loading hi-cap mags for many years with just my hands. But the last round is difficult to get into the APX mags. Even after I loaded them and let them sit for several weeks and emptied the mags. Then, during target practice when I went to reload them, nope, I still found it hard to get that last round into the mag. Yet, the mags easily seat when loading them into the APX.

Read More @

CRKT TSR Knife, by Pat Cascio


by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

The Columbia River Knife & Tool – TSR (Terzuola Survival & Rescue) fixed blade survival knife is one of the newest designs from the mind of legendary custom knife maker Bob Terzuola. I’ve covered Terzuola’s background before, but a quick glean of his background is in order.

Custom Knife Maker Bob Terzuola

Before becoming a legendary custom knife maker, Bob Terzuola was into carving jade jewelry in Central America at one point. Then he moved to New Mexico and started making custom knives. Back in 1984, I saw an ad for his knives and sent away for his brochure. It was nothing but drawings of his designs and no pictures! However, I was taken by his clean and simple designs. The order was placed for one of his knives. I also had a conversation or two with Bob while awaiting my knife. I was not disappointed in the least when the knife arrived either.

CRKT Knives – Columbia River Knife and Tool

Many will agree that Terzuola might well be considered the Father of Tactical Knives.  I’m not about to dispute that title either. Bob produces both fixed and folding knives, and they are rock-solid designs, too. The BT70, which CRKT produces, is one of the stoutest folders to be had; we are talking super-strong.


A Fixed Blade “Tactical” Design Survival Knife

I was more than a little interested in Bob’s newest fixed blade design collaboration with CRKT– his TSR fixed blade knife. This one is a little out of character for a tactical knife designer, at least at the onset. However, once you see the TSR for yourself, you can see the fixed blade “tactical” design to it. Yet it is still a survival knife, and we aren’t talking about an overly large, fixed blade knife with saw teeth on it, either. While those types of survival knives have their place, most of us will be better served with a smaller knife.

Overview of TSR Knife

The TSR has a 4.350-inch long blade, manufactured out of 8Cr12MoV stainless steel that is heat-treated to a Rockwell hardness of 56-58, making it easy enough to re-sharpen and not brittle – like so many stainless steel blades are. It is also an affordable steel, too. The edge on the blade is plain with no saw teeth, as mentioned. The knife only weighs a mere 4.3 oz so it’s very light-weight. Its overall length is 9.25 inches. The handle is glass filled Nylon and is removable. (There’s more on this later.)

I like that there is a lanyard hole in the butt of the blade, and it has a length of 550 paracord attached to it. There is a hole in the lower rear of the blade, so you can lash it to a stick or tree limb and use it as a spear in a survival situation. Friction grooves are milled into the top rear of the blade for a sure hold when using the knife in the fencing position. The blade has a drop point design to it, which is very useful.

The Special Sheath

The sheath, at first glance, really isn’t anything more than, well, a sheath to hold the knife in on a belt. However, such is not the case! The sheath is molded to the knife and holds it nicely, but I would have liked a safety strap as an added form of protection against losing the knife. Ya never know… Upon closer examination, you will note on the back of the sheath, under some tape, is a signal mirror. It’s very handy for signaling, if you have the need if lost in the wilderness and need rescuing. That’s nice, very nice. However, the sheath extras don’t end there.

On either side of the sheath are a couple dandy survival devices. On one side is a ceramic sharpening stone. It’s small, but it will get the job done of re-sharpening your blade when the time comes. On the other side of the sheath is a magnesium stick for starting fires. This is very, very cool indeed. Both of these small rods are securely embedded in the sides of the sheath and are easy to miss, if you don’t know they are there. There is also some more 550 paracord laced around the sheath, if you need it to help build a shelter or for other uses.

Why A Survival Knife?

So, what makes this medium-sized, fixed blade knife a “survival” knife? Just about any knife can be used to help you survive, right? Well, as already mentioned, the sheath has some unique features that will sure help you survive out in the wilderness. The glass filled Nylon handle scales can be easily removed from the knife itself. Simply use a coin or any similar object to turn the screw holding the handles on the blade. The slot in the screw is overly large and easy to unscrew. Under the handle, you will find it is hollowed out, and there are some very important survival items– a fishing line, dental floss, fish hooks, and needles. And, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t catch fish with this set-up. You can! In the past I’ve tested this fishing method and have caught fish myself with a little patience.

Wilderness Survival Teaches Fire Is Extremely Important

In a wilderness survival situation, you just don’t know what you might be up against, and making a fire is extremely important. My long-time friend, the late Chris Janowsky, ran the Wilderness Survival Institute up in Tok, Alaska for many years, and he put out a series of survival videos. In one video, Chris talked about the “magic” of a fire that talked about how it can not only keep you warm and help you cook some food but be therapeutic too. It is. If you’ve ever sat around a camp fire, you know what I’m talking about. So, the magnesium rod on the side of the sheath is one mighty good idea. Using the edge of the knife’s blade and some tinder, you can start a fire that will most likely save your life.

Read More @

CRKT/Ruger Hollow-Point Folder, by Pat Cascio


by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:
Today, we are taking a look at the CRKT/Ruger Hollow-point Folder. It is a Ken Onion knife, and I’ll have more on that a little later.

Knives Are Tools
I love knives, all knives, big and small. They all have a use. I especially love well-made knives, because I don’t have a lot of use for junk knives. That is why our readers just won’t see me wasting my time reviewing junk knives. A knife is a tool, first and foremost. Many people forget that. Many claim that the knife is the first tool ever invented. I’m sure those first knives did not resemble what we consider a knife by today’s standards. But still, it did the job it was designed for— cutting!