Showing posts with label knives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knives. Show all posts

Monday, March 3, 2014

ESSE 5 Not For Me


My ESSE 5 showed up. Immediately did not like it. One of those things that can happen with her or mail order purchases I suppose. Too heavy for my concept of use. Also the handle was overly long like almost Hand and a half sized. Looks hell for stoutbut though. Also it had some sort of oil stains on the grip which just irritated me. Not a huge deal on a cheap knife but this isn't a cheap knife. I'm not saying it is a bad knife. Just that it is not for me. So it will get returned. I might get an esse 4 or a slightly lighter knife of similar size to replace it. Not sure yet. Thankfully Amazon has a pretty liberal return policy and I decided this immediately after seeing the knife.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Product Review Update: Pathfinder Trade Knife

 Pathfinder Trade Knife and sheath.
 Reverse view
 Close up of the handle. It is pretty nice looking. Also the bow drill divet thing is a nice little touch.
 Comparison of the Benchmade Bushcrafter and the Pathfinder Trade Knife. Note the difference in handle size. Small handed folks might not like the Benchmade and the opposite is true for the Trade Knife.

This knife was reviewed back in Dec 2012 and it is time for an update as I've had it for awhile now. Used it for a variety of tasks from food prep and accompanying my fork at the table to varied wilderness type tasks.

Without rehashing the entire old review here are my current thoughts.

The Good: It showed up sharp, held an edge well and resharpens very easily.

It handles cutting chores involving wood better than you would think it might

The sheath is excellent. Good thick leather in the pouch type setup bushcraft folks prefer. It is easy to draw the knife and put it back one handed. Retention is fair in general and good for such a sheath. It passes the hold upside down by the sheath test. That being said I would not jump out of a plane with this knife/ sheath or intentionally take it swimming. Suppose if pressed I would make a 550 cord thong and loop it through the sheath's loop a couple times then around the handle. The draw would be considerably slower but for that brief period it would add the needed retention. That being said the retention is totally sufficient for normal hunting/ camping/ bushcrafting type stuff which is this knife's arena anyway.

The Bad:

The handle is a bit small for my taste. I have large but not enormous hands and am consciously needing to squeeze my hand down to fit around the handle of this knife. That is fine for cutting a piece of rope or a stick or a steak but longer chores got tiring to my hand faster than they would with a larger handle.

The finish is not that durable/ consistent. I have used this knife but never did anything crazy with it. Some discolorations/ inconsistencies in the finish were present early on and they've gotten worse over time. It isn't terrible but if $50 Ka Bar's are doing better than this knife at twice the price something is wrong with this picture.

The Ugly: I really do not like the point. It is almost surely really strong but the angles come together more like a pick than a knife point. The downside of that strength is it makes all the little knife tip type tasks a real problem. Given that I am an adult and generally smart enough not to pry with the tip of my blade that strength isn't a huge plus for me. I would trade a little bit of strength for the dexterity of a pointier blade.

Overall impression:

Both of the issues that really bother me about this knife (small handle, not a great point on the blade) are somewhat subjective. A person with smaller hands who really wants a durable blade tip for whatever might see both of these downsides as upsides. It is a matter of perspective.

Past those subjective issues. The knife has some really nice features and a disappointing finish. Why they would put the effort into the nice sheath, handle and touches but not give it a decent finish (or maybe it's just mine and it's a QA/QC thing) I do not know. All that being said this is not a good candidate for a truck box and forget knife, you need to keep this knife oiled for storage and check on it periodically.

As to whether you should buy it. Street price is $110, I paid $99. There are a lot of good comparable medium sized fixed blade knives in that price range. Skip a casual dining burger and 2 beers dinner to save another $20 and there are even more good options. Personal preference on features, steel, etc will determine the way you choose. I'm sort of reshuffling knives since the purchase of the Bushcrafter so I'm not sure where this one will land but  on the balance I don't regret purchasing it.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Sibert Initial Impressions

A package showed up today. It was my Benchmade Bushcrafter 162.Fun times were about to ensue. Here are my initial impressions about the knife.
The good:
1) It's overall appearance is a lot more conventional looking in person.
2) The handle, while it's palm swell and thin lower part are unconventional, is pretty darn comfortable. Also it seems comfortable in multiple grip types which is nice. Some highly angled type grips only fit 1 way, not this guy.
3) The blade is about as thick as one can be without being a glorified pry bar. 
4) It is super sharp, like any Benchmade.
5) It cuts like crazy. Based on my initial impression I've never had a knife that was so good at food prep type type fine tasks AND cutting wood.
6) Seems like it will be a great all around belt knife.

The bad:
7) I'm really not sure what they were going for with the sheath design.
8) The leather is pliable and soft, almost like a suede.
9) The snap for retention and kydex insert for durability probably negate the issue of the leather. In that regard it's almost a classed up rendition of the nylon Buck 110 sheath which lasts roughly forever. While not as pleasing to the eye/ hand as good thick leather I can't see the thing really wearing out.
10) As to the sheath I'm not sure what is or could be them cheaping out, which is crap because it's an expensive knife and what is intentionally rustic looking to go with the whole Bushcrafting theme. I suspect a little of both.

Basically I really like the knife and am OK with, though confused by, the sheath. All in all as of today I'm quite happy with the whole package. As I use my tried and true 'cut everything with it' method of knife testing you will hear more.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 FTW!!!

After way too much deliberation I pulled the trigger and ordered a Benchmade Bushcrafter 162.
As a guy who owns 2 Benchmade folding knives I can say the only unpleasant part of them has been paying the tab. Anyway this knife seems like a pretty solid design. I appreciate that it has a fairly traditional design but with modern construction. So anyway that is done. It should fill a hole and scratch my knife itch for awhile. Honestly I was a bit put off by the $170 street price but with ESSE offerings in the $150ish range it's not to crazy. Both of the $100ish knives I was looking at either had an issue that bothered me or were just blah.

There is a pretty cool review of this knife at Rocky Mountain Bushcraft with lots of great pics.

After it shows up and I get to play with it you will surely hear more about this.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Knife Material?

Carbon steel? Coated or noncoated?

Stainless?

I do not spend much time near the sea. At the same time there is the balance that while I can take care of things decently an emergency tool might not always get the best care in those situations.

I know all the stuff folks say on the net. What has worked, or not worked, well FOR YOU PERSONALLY?

Monday, February 3, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Still working the issue with the 870. When I have spare time it'll probably be devoted to sawing, filing, sanding and refinishing the forend of the gun. Can't wait to be done with that.

Walker and I went camping this weekend. We were in the backyard in case it didn't do well. He hadn't ever slept in a tent before. Turns out that we were close enough to the house for the WIFI to work so that was nice after he went to bed. It was pretty fun for both of us. He got to eat dinner and hang out outside. I had a fire and did a bit of carving.We will do it again as soon as we can. After another run or two in the yard we'll go someplace nearby overnight.

Sharpened some knives. One I'd used pretty hard and the other I just wanted to tune up. Figure if I sharpen a couple knives weekly or bi weekly that should go a long way towards having a safe, sharp stable of knives.

Did a bit of gun maintenance also. A good excuse to open the safe and ogle my precious.

I'm in the market for a nice medium sized knife. Concept of use would be bushcrafting/ camping/ survival. Broad characteristics are a 4.5-5.5 inch blade, full tang preferably of the same width/ depth going all the way down the blade and handles slapped onto the side. A sheath I don't immediately want to replace would be a plus. Looking at a Tops Brothers of Bushcraft, the Ontario Blackbird SK-5 or maybe the Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter. I'm open for input if anyone has experience with these.

What did you do to prepare this week?



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Operational Cache Pack Out

So far it is looking like:
Rifle
about a dozen mags
full spare parts kit (gun minus barrel and receiver)
sling

Revolver, j frame lightweight type
3x speed loaders
IWB holster
pocket holster

A pretty comprehensive cleaning kit that will cover both weapons.
Good EDC type folder.
Tossed in a few common mags just in case I happen to need them.

Tomorrow I'm going to buy some ammo from Lucky Gunner to go into there. Also a chest rig for the rifle. That's what will come from here. The rest I'll put together on the other end.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Product Review: Benchmade Griptilian 551

Today I will be reviewing the Benchmade 551 Griptilian. As you can see the knife has seen a decent amount of carry as well as use. I carried it for awhile until I stumbled into the Benchmade 5000 Presidio Auto in a deal. No issues with the Griptilian, I just ended up with a cooler knife so it got bumped out of circulation.

Well I moved to Louisiana which turns out to fear well dressed gangs getting into rumbles AKA my frickin knife. So the Benchmade Auto knife had to be repatriated to a place where it can be free. That brought folder #2 back up from the Bush leagues to EDC status.

One of my failures as a low rent journalist is that I am quick to do an IPR (in progress review) but not great at getting actual full reviews done. Largely this is because I really like to get a sense of a piece of gear before doing them, also I'm forgetful and lazy. Well I've been carrying it again for awhile now so it seems like a good time for a full review.

The Good: Rugged, durable, ergonomic, excellent fit and finish, easy to deploy as well as close, pretty much everything. Especially enjoy the blade design which is a great combination between the centered (along the axis of the handle/ whole knife) point needed for optimal stabbing and the gently swooping clip point which is useful for an all around utility type knife. I LOVE the axis lock system. It is so smooth and simple to use without a pesky liner lock or the weird Spyderco releases in back lock. The grip is thoughtfully textured and rigged in all the right areas. Most excellent all around.

Prices vary but expect to pay somewhere between $70 and $110 for the Griptilian line depending on the exact model. Think I paid around $100 for this one. In this regards they are a good option between the Spyderco/ CRKT/ Cold Steel knives and the considerably more expensive rest of the Benchmade line, Emerson and other premium brands. For a couple twenties over the Spyderco/ CRKT/ Cold Steel you can get a Griptilian which I think is considerably more knife.

The Bad: The grip is really fat which is a bit annoying in the pocket. I didn't bother to measure it but did compare it to other knives on inventory. For perspective it's handle is wider than all of my folding knives, including the Buck 110.

The Ugly: It got me into liking Benchmade knives. Over time a lot more money than is reasonable will probably go down that rabbit hole.

Discussion: When you buy a Benchmade or any other somewhat more expensive upper shelf type item you are paying for something. In some cases it is aesthetics or the newest coolest whatever. In this case I would submit you are paying partially for the name but also for superior fit and finish, quality materials and a warranty that is second to none. Aside from testing and evaluation or times I specifically want a semi disposable knife (flying, murdering hookers, etc all) I have a hard time seeing myself carrying a folding knife that is not a Benchmade. Well unless I get all hood rich then throw down the cash for an Emerson.

If you are looking for a knife that is better than the (totally servicable) generic decent folder but do not want/ have funds for a $200+ knife I would look hard at the Benchmade Griptilian series in whatever blade style suits your fancy. I like the Mel Pardue 551 myself.

Do you own a Benchmade Knife? What about a Griptilian? If so what do you think of them?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tueller Drill's, Appendix Carry and Other Handgun Defense Thoughts

John Mosby's post Underground Tradecraft: Tactical Application of the Defensive Sidearm, Part III

is pretty much required reading to understand this post. I'm not so much replying to it as moving from it to a different train of thought but his post is the jumping off point.

It is my personal opinion that the Tueller drill's valuable information is used to jump to the wrong conclusions. The Tueller drill means 1) A person who has their weapon, including bare hands, ready will almost always beat a person who does not have their chosen weapon ready. Instead of being a knife it could be a brick or an open hand slap to the face. Folks often confuse this to say knives are superior to guns. Knife vs gun is a complicated conversation but the Tueller drill really isn't involved. 2) A handgun is not a magical talisman that will keep you out of a physical confrontation!!! I say again a handgun is not a magican talisman that will keep you out of a physical confrontation. You are almost surely not going to be able to use super awareness to detect a threat from 40 feet away then be able to (justifiably) draw a handgun then deescalate the situation or engage using lethal force.



This is yet another reason that Appendix carry is a really good option. The draw is wickedly fast which is good. Also more importantly you can easily control/ protect the pistol with the non dominant hand. In a serious fight I am inclined to protect the weapon with one hand and fight, probably employing a knife, with the other hand. Fighting with one hand is a less than ideal situation but at least this way it's my good hand. Conversely carrying strong side hip that is not an option.

Some folks have a hard time with the idea of carrying a loaded pistol pointed at their genitals. It doesn't worry me too much because I safely handle the weapon and honestly strong side hip in a reasonable concealment holster has it pointed at my thigh which is also important. I guess it's something you can either get comfortable with to have the advantages of appendix carry or not.

When it comes to fighting and the use of handguns at point blank range I am not a huge fan of the use of handguns. If you have a weapon out then just shoot the heck out of the threat. If the weapon is in the holster I am personally inclined to keep it into the holster, especially if it's concealed. I would take a handgun out after creating sufficient space to do so. Ways to create that space using a variety of H2H techniques exist but are beyond the scope of this post. Along these lines SouthNarc's ECQC is high on my training wish list.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.



Monday, August 26, 2013

Bug Out Bag Component List

I have been halfway meaning to do something like this for awhile. Part of the reason I haven't is that so many people have done their slightly different take on the same thing that my particular flavor would probably not bring much to the overall conversation. The other part is that it will be a bit of a hassle to pull everything out and catalog it. Honestly the reason this is getting done is that a friend asked me for a list. Not like an internet acquaintance (though I love you all) but a real 3 in the morning shotgun, bag of lime and shovel type friend. So here we are.

Before getting going it is worth touching on my concept of use for this 'Bug Out Bag'. My intent is for a bag that can sustain a person (not including all water) for at least 72 hours under situations they are likely to face. Obviously the winter BOB of a person living in North Dakota will be considerably different than one for a person in Florida. People in all but the mildest climates would be well advised to have a winter module to add to their spring/ summer setup.

 I am going to break this down into different sub systems. Will then list my opinions of what is necessary per sub system. You might disagree with a particular widget but think hard before leaving out a whole sub system.

Carry Containers
-Large bag aprox 3k cubic in size. Mine is an older REI brand model that luckily came out in earth tones. There are tons of great bag options from several hundred dollar brands like Kirafu or Mystery Ranch down to the terrible to carry but durable Alice for $30ish. Just get a good earth tone bag you will practice carrying.
-Hill People Gear kit bag to carry my survival load. Survival load components are bold and put in their individual categories. In a more kinetic situation the stuff currently in my kit bag would go into the fighting load.

Sub Systems

Tools- Pathfinder trade knife in survival load, Cold Steel trail hawk, leatherman multi tool, Lansky diamond rod sharpener.

Fire- Survival load: Lighter with rubber bands around it in small ziplock,  rod and steel. Fire kit containing 1x bic lighter with rubber bands around it, match case full of matches, 4x tea candles

Navigation- Compass in survival load. Maps. 1x 1:50k of my immediate area. 1x state map with as much detail as possible. Protractor and 2x pencils. All in 1 gallon ziplock bag. Wrist compass as backup.

Water- 2x 1qt water bottles, MSR bladder (empty) in ruck, water purification tablets in survival load, Sawyer water filter

Food- 72 hours worth of food broken into 1 day bags, Bag of hard candy

Cooking- Stainless steel canteen cup, Solo Stove with Solo Pot 900 (conspicuously absent from the bag today, MIA from the move I guess)

Shelter- Swack Shack for shelter, woobie for warmth (obviously a light system for summer in Arizona then Louisiana), Heavy duty space blanket just in case.
Spare clothes- Boonie hat, Gore Tex jacket, polypro top (waffle type), long sleeved shirt, short sleeved t shirt, pants, fleece hat, 2 pair of sock, leather gloves

First Aid- My first aid gear is broken up into an IFAK and a boo boo kit. The IFAK is my trauma stuff. The Boo boo kit is more of a kit designed to keep me moving and as comfortable as possible.

IFAK- Tourniquet, Israeli bandage, compressed gauze, Needle for chest decompression, Nasal airway tube, Glow stick in case it is dark when I need this stuff.

Boo boo kit containing bandaids, mole skin, duct tape, pain killers, liquid bandage, athletic tape, neosporin, crazy glue and yet another glow stick

Hygiene- 1x roll of TP in ziplock bag, wash cloth, bar of soap, toothbrush, floss (w/ large needle inside for emergency repairs, chap stick

Lighting- Headlamp in survival load, Glow stick left side pouch, battery powered glow stick in right side pouch, cheapo LED light in top pouch, glow stick in IFAK. Basically every pouch has some sort of light in it just in case.

Signaling- Whistle in survival load, strip of VS-17 panel, weatherproof notebook and pencil

Self Defense- This one gets a lot of play. Honestly aside from wanting to have some spare ammo it doesn't get much play in my bag. I carry 2x G17 magazines, 50 rounds of 9mm ammo and 50 rounds of .22lr. Obviously guns to go with these cartridges are implied and ammo is as a backup. I could certainly add to this admittedly minimalist setup if the situation dictated. That being said the lions share of that would go in a fighting load. At most a couple of spare bandoleers of ammo would go into my ruck.

Misc- Aprox 20ft of 550 cord in survival load, 1x heavy duty contractor type black plastic bag, 6x AAA batteries for my headlamp (2x replacements), 2x replacement batteries for the battery powered glowstick. Also in a bug out type situation I would add our important document folder, emergency cash and precious metals. That stuff does not live in the bag because it goes in the car on long drives and such.

Discussion: First and foremost obviously needs will vary by the scenario(s) you are worried about, your skill level in different areas, region and season. Also there is a reasonable degree of individual preference. For example I currently have a medium sized belt knife and a tomahawk while another person might carry a large knife and a folding saw. You get the idea.

I am not going to say my system is set, let alone perfect. It is sort of an evolving thing that I am not quite done with. Need to add more 550 cord beyond the survival load, build some skills then add a food procurement system of fishing stuff plus some traps. Second this also reminds me to take a look and maybe rotate out some pain meds, etc. Along with this I need to get moving on adapting the kit to Louisiana, getting local maps, probably adding some bug spray, etc.

Hopefully this helps my buddy and maybe a few other people. What is in your bug out bag?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

JP's Custom Knives Camp Knife Specs

More info on my Camp Knife by JP's Custom Knives. The steel is 1/4 inch thing 5160 Spring Steel and the handle is Teak.
The blade is 9.5 inches long. Total length is 15 inches. The edge is a full grind.
JP's custom knives also has several knives ready for immediate sale including a chef's knife, skinning knife, push dagger, double edged dagger,  and a Pirate Cutlass.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Camp Knife by JP's Custom Knives


My Camp Knife by JP's Custom Knives arrived today.


Blade length 9.5in 
Total Length 15 in
Weight 1 pound 2.2 ounces
 




My initial impression is this knife is just awesome. Well balanced, beautiful fit and finish, very sharp and easy in my hand. I recommend you consider JP's Custom Knives for any cutlery needs you may have.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Double Edged Dagger for Sale at JP's Custom Knives

A double edged dagger for sale at JP's Custom Knives. It has a 6 inch blade made from 5160 steel. Made to be handy for everyday life and still a functional fighting knife. The blade has an acid etched finish and the handle is made from Maple Burl. The price is $350. Sheath made on request. Buy it here

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Custom Chefs Knife For Sale

A knife for sale at JP's Custom Knives. It is a 10 inch chefs knife made from D2 Stainless Steel. Price is $300.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Custom Camp Knive Sheath by JP's Knives

The sheath for my Camp Knife is done. JP's Custom Knives did a great job. In addition to being the exact color and type I asked for the detail work is great, really cool, unique and a notch above other products. That sort of detail is what you get when working with a craftsmen. Check out JP's Custom Knives for all your knife and sheath needs. Cannot wait to get my hands on it, cut the heck out of some stuff then write about it.

Got knives?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Custom Camp Knife by JP's Custom Knives Finished


My large camp knife from JP's Custom Knives is done. Looks really nice with the finish complete. As soon as JP can make a sheath it'll be ready to ship. Can't wait to get my hands on it to do some testing.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Custom Camp Knife by JP's Custom Knives

 My large camp knife from JP's Custom Knives is done. As soon as JP can make a sheath it'll be ready to ship. So far it looks pretty awesome. Can't wait to get my hands on it to do some testing.
After talking to JP a bit it looks like the current finish is just a step towards a more practical corrosion resistant end product. Once it's finished JP will send me some more pics. For your custom knife, machete and sword needs I recommend checking out JP's Custom Knives.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Gratuitous Benchmade Presidio 5000 Auto Pic

This is my new EDC knife. It is a Benchmade Presidio 5000 auto. The auto axis mechanism is pretty awesome. Got is used with some scuffs n scratches and a corresponding good deal. Anyway I wanted a Benchmade auto for about a decade. Just recently it seems things worked out to bring one into my life. I am very happy about how it all worked out. The Griptillian was prefectly functional but this knife has a wonderful fit n finish and a lot of class. Sometimes life works so you get something you need and every once in awhile you get something that you really wanted. This is one of those rare 'really want' times. Anyway that's my new knife.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Caches Continued

 TEOTWAWKI Blog  asked  if anyone actually has caches (obviously bear in mind considerable OPSEC when answering) to which I responded "When it comes to caches I think we can get too narrowly focused to only stuff buried in the ground. A tuff box full of gear and food in Dad's barn is a cache. A couple guns in the basement of a buddy who you visit and sometimes go shooting with is a cache. A rental storage locker a mile from home (or in a neighboring town, whatever) that stores Christmas stuff, off season sporting goods/ lawn stuff and in the back has some gear, food and a couple of hidden guns is a cache.

In that explanation is a combination of things I have done, am doing or will do."


Now the discussion of different potential types of caches has come up. It seems like a worthy one to chime in on. In no particular order here we go.

Contents: Alexander is absolutely right that your concept of use needs to dictate the contents of a cache. What makes sense to have is definitely driven by your plan(s). Two thousand pounds of wheat isn't very handy if you really just need 30 gallons of gas, some water and a couple days worth of food.

That being said I think there is some small, fairly affordable essential stuff that is too useful to not put into just about every cache.  A few lighters, a good basic knife, a water bottle, some water purification tablets, a few batteries, a bit of food, etc. You could do this or under $20 if you have the knife already or $50 if you don't. Not perfect but better than nothing. If you need to get into a cache odds are somebody around needs this stuff. If space allows I would add a full change of clothes per family member (including footwear and appropriate outerwear) to that essential stuff.

Types:

-E&E. The point of this cache is to provide you the necessary equipment, clothing and food to make it from point A to B during an escape and evasion scenario. Since you might get away from an ugly scenario barefoot in boxers or gym shorts it makes sense for this sort of cache to have a set of suitable clothes including footwear and some basic survival type equipment, a bit of food and probably a weapon.

John Mosby described the contents of a 5-6 gallon bucket E&E type cache "What survivalist/prepper doesn’t have a metric shit-ton of plastic, five-gallon buckets with resealable lids laying around for food-storage. As long as they are not buried too deep, where crushing from pressure becomes an issue, these are almost perfect cache containers. One bucket can hold almost an entire outfit of gear for one man (LC-2 type LBE, a can of ammunition in magazines, a change of clothes, some boots, and some food. Even a small carbine or rifle, broken down, can fit. A shop-built SMG would be a good fit here, after it had been thoroughly tested for function. Snipped for brevity Ryan)

I think we need to fight the temptation to think all 'hide in the woods' here unless your environment and skill sets really lend themselves to that. Lets face it, bad things sometimes happen to good people. A pistol, some EDC stuff, a change of clothes, a bit of basic survival stuff just in case, a wad of cash and if you are so inclined and can wrangle it a set of clean ID might be a whole lot more useful than an ax to build a cabin in the woods.

[Note- In re reading John Mosby's excellent article on the matter I was able to better organize my thoughts on cache types by blatantly stealing his concepts of cache types.]

-Resupply. This would have a resupply of consumables and probably some likely to break key gear. I like the speedball idea. I am familiar with the concept though not in the cache context. For reference a speedball is a  relatively small  pre packaged set of stuff to resupply a unit in a prolonged fight. It would certainly include ammo, water and medical supplies, a bit of food and some batteries might be included depending on the situation. For folks operating mounted fuel would be included also. This sort of thing would be the perfect between point A and B cache. For those who might plan on a long drive it makes sense to have fuel, a bit of oil, water, some food and a bit of ammo stashed away. Driving beats the hell out of walking but you need a plan to support it.

-Redundancy. Redundancy in alternate locations like the coveted "Bug Out Location" is something survivalists generally understand. Redundancy in place is something I think people often ignore at their peril. Far too many survivalists have all of their proverbial eggs in the basket of their home and out buildings. If their home was lost due to fire or they needed to leave (maybe not by choice) they would be hosed. Even folks who plan on staying at home AKA bugging in would be well advised to spread their stuff out a bit. On a large enough piece of sufficiently isolated property burying stuff a terrain feature away (out of sight and ideally sound from the house) is an option. Other options exist.

Cost: Alexander Wolfe hit on cost. Tactical types and survivalists tend to accumulate stuff. Part of it is the nature of finding the right gear for us. We inevitably work out way through some knives/ flashlights/ chest rigs/ holsters/ in some cases guns that are perfectly serviceable but just don't quite fit us right. These boxes/ bags/ piles of stuff are the perfect starting point for caches. I sort of look at caches as a natural outgrowth of said accumulation. Get to a point where you have a bunch of stuff around, look at making a cache, repeat until you feel comfortable then stop.

[The topic of guns inevitably comes up. I cannot tell you what to do or whether you should or should not include guns in caches. First as John Mosby told me in his ever blunt manner a gun that is cached cannot shoot anybody in the face. It also will not kill a deer or whatever. If you have a basic firearms setup (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that) thren caching guns does not make sense. However many, probably most, of the people reading this do not fall into that situation. They have a few extra guns lying around, extra's we got as back up's as well as guns we got because they were too good of a deal to pass up or we moved on but could not bring ourselves to sell them, whatever.

If you have more than a couple extra guns lying around I would think really hard about spreading them out a bit. We talked about this before (albeit in the context of gun confiscation) and it brings up a variety of opinions. However I think a rational person can see that having a nice setup of guns at your house and a few that are not really used set away here or there makes a lot more sense than a whole bunch of guns at your house and no backup plans. ]

Other times we do need to procure stuff to go into caches. Cache gear is far more likely to come from Old Grouch's Surplus or Sportsmens Guide than the a cool tactical company or REI. Military Surplus stuff that is rugged, cheap and readily available are perfect candidates here. Ditto bic lighters, Mora and buck 110 knives, etc. If you can afford to toss in a Solo Stove and a bunch of emergency food  plus some sweet gear and guns that is cool but not required. When it comes cache raiding time pants the Mrs said you had to stop wearing, a ratty wool sweater from Goodwill, a Mora knife and a Maverick 88 12 gauge will be awesome to have.

Anyway I cannot think of anything else to say and am bored of writing so I will wrap this up. As always your input is welcome.



Monday, June 10, 2013

Crazy Days- Walther .380's, Benchmade Auto Knives, Shotgun Ammo and Trading

So I owned a Walther .380 for about a week. You might have guessed at that earlier. I had given up on finding the gun I was looking for and the classic small carry auto seemed like a good alternative. One came up and I snagged it. The .380 was a great gun. It was easy to carry and shot like a dream, certainly the most accurate gun of it's small thin size I have shot. Anyway the day after getting it a trade popped up out of nowhere for a slightly wider but otherwise similar sized gun that suited my logistical trail much better. The .380 was screwing up my logistics, had just became redundant and needed to go. Also I sort of spent money on it I probably shouldn't have (not like spending the rent, more like project AR money). Started floating it out there then ended up swapping the .380 off today.

In trade I got $200 cash, a Benchmade 5000 Auto Presidio with the black  partial serrated blade (like a used car with 500 miles it had a a few small scruffs/ scratches but otherwise like new), 100 rounds of 12 gauge buckshot, 100 12 gauge slugs, a Magpul CTR stock and 20 5.56 tracers. We also swapped my remaining .380 ammo for 35 rounds of 00B and 200 rounds of #7 shot.

The cash will let me pick up the rail I need to finally complete project AR. The knife is something I have wanted for a long time but have never been willing to pay for. Honestly I just haven't been able to justify it despite trying to do so and really wanting one. Nothing wrong with a Kershaw Blur or a Benchmade Griptillian. No real NEED to spend more on a knife than that which is why I didn't. Anyway a good deal popped up so I took it. Really it is what sealed the deal on this trade. As to shotgun ammo I was semi in the market for it, half because we can use more and half because it's the ammo that is currently available at prices that are reasonable for stocking up. The stock I didn't need, it might end up on my rifle but worst case a nice back up stock isn't a bad thing.

So anyway I spent a good chunk of the day figuring out the deal then after work went and made it happen. Between a cool new knife, a few bucks in my pocket and some more ammo I am pretty happy with the deal. Also the renewed simplicity of my logistical trail is nice.

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