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Growing up I loved the RAMBO movies …

The RAMBO movies were based off a book written by David Morrell called “First Blood”(hence the name of the first movie). After I read First Blood, David Morrell has since become one of my favorite authors after I found him in my pre-teen years (I’ve always been a voracious reader of topics that interest me).

Thank God my parents didn’t shelter me too much during those years.

It’s also the same years I made it my life’s mission to become a Navy SEAL when I got older. Around 3rd grade I remember my mom refusing to let me jump into my neighbor’s pool with handcuffs on so I could do the “drown proofing” drills I had seen in Navy SEAL training on TV (Bummer!)

Anyways, for various reasons I chose not to become a SEAL when I turned 18, but obviously I still read like crazy and these things still interest me …

Being well read and somewhat knowledgeable about firearms and whatnot, it always drives me CRAZY when I watch a movie or read a book and the obviously do no research on the weapons or guns used.

David Morrell NEVER makes that mistake …

His books are always thoroughly researched, and many times he actually goes through intense training while doing research for his characters.

So what does David Morrell have to do with my new favorite pocket knife?

One day, I read the newest David Morrell book “The Protector”The Protector not only has the main character, a former Delta Force operator named Cavanaugh, using an Emerson CQC-7 knife, but the cover art itself is a blood-stained Emerson CQC-7.

Now, of course, I figure I can’t ever afford an Emerson knife, and after a little research the CQC-7 looked like it was out of reach too …

Who Is Emerson?

Emerson, to make a long story short is a “famous” knife maker.

Specifically, he was one of the first guys to custom make — as in hand make — folding knives for the US Navy SEALs. This custom version was named the CQC-6 — either after SEAL Team 6 or because it was the 6th model of design. CQC stands for “Close Quarters Combat”.

Ownership of a CQC6 soon became something of a status symbol among members of various elite military units, including Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, German GSG 9, and British SAS …

When a bigger commercial manufacturer came to Emerson and wanted to produce them large scale, Emerson licensed them a similar design called the CQC-7.

Even though it obviously wasn’t handmade, everyone loved getting Emerson’s work, at an affordable price and without the five-year wait.

They’re still popular with elite special forces groups, in fact, in May 2013, a non-custom factory-made Emerson CQC-7 knife carried by the Navy SEAL who served as point man on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden was auctioned off for charity, netting over $35,400!

The problem with Emerson knives?

The price. I wouldn’t really consider myself a “hardcore” knife collector or aficionado. I might be getting there though …

Anyways, for a knife that starts around $150 and only goes up in price — it was a little steep for me to ever use as an EDC knife (that I’m going to use 90% of the time to cut boxes and other mundane chores–not take out terrorists).

Enter Kershaw …

Kershaw is a knife manufacturer that’s rather popular. In fact, for the past year or so I’ve been carrying almost every day a “cheap” kershaw pocket knife. I say “cheap” because it was low in price not quality.

I love it actually. It fits my hand good, has a nice tanto blade, is tough, and does every job I’ve thrown at it …

I actually respect Kershaw as a maker of pocket knives that you can count on for LESS than $50 all in.

Recently, we all lucked out because Kershaw teamed up with Emerson to make the Emerson designed knives available to everyone without deep pockets!

Introducing The Kershaw-Emerson CQC-7

As soon as I heard my favorite CHEAP knife maker — Kershaw — was teaming up with the maker of the most respected knives I knew — Emerson — I got super excited and ordered it the day I found it on Amazon.

For just $32.95 (shipping was free because I have PRIME) — I got this bad boy delivered to my door …

To make a long story short, I love it.

The cool thing about the Emerson design is the unique “Wave” feature. In short, it allows the knife to open as soon as you draw it from your pocket because a “hook” part of the dull side of the blade catches on your pocket as you draw it out.

Very useful if you ever need your knife out and deployed with just one hand.

Anyways, I’ve got this thing sitting here on my desk right now, it looks gorgeous.

The only complaint I might have is the size, it’s a lot bigger than my little EDC Kershaw folding knife — so I might try one of the Emerson CQC smaller knives — specifically the CQC-3k — as it will probably just a little bit smaller than the Kershaw I carry right now (see below):

Anyways, I feel any of the Kershaw Emerson CQC knives are the best you can get for under $50 (under $40 in most cases!) and I can’t wait to add a few more to my collection.

Pick one up if you’re looking for a new, proven, EDC knife.

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I wanted to real quick give you a quick rundown & review of my “night stand” setup …

This is actually something that I just setup recently and I forgot to tell you about it.

You see, before I had my guns closeby, but hidden away. AKA they weren’t that close to my bed … and they weren’t locked up.

And that worked well before the kids — heck when I was single I kept a handgun between my mattresses (it was never once a safety problem, but insert comments here about being young & dumb).

Anyways, I’ve always debated the practicality of locking up the guns you NEED in a life-or-death defense situation — slowing down your ability to get to them to defend yourself and your family.

However, I’m happy to report that thanks to the innovations of the free market and corresponding technology I can now trust some of the new gun security products.

So let’s get to it …

What I Have On My Nightstand …

Right now, sitting on my nightstand is a Gunvault MV500-STD Microvault Gun Safe from Amazon:

I was worried because this thing either has 5 star reviews or 1 star reviews. Some people must have got a lemon I guess, but out of 509 reviews … my thoughts are the factory probably just made a few lemons (it happens I guess, right?)

However, I took the plunge and got one because my good friend Jason Hanson trusts this same brand and make and model.

When I got it, I had to get the battery for it, then it’s a simple process to setup your own finger pad code.

gun vault

NOTE: I recommend this model over the newer “finger print scanning” models or whatever (that are more expensive anyways) because I just don’t trust that the technology is there yet to accurately read your finger print if you’re sweaty, adrenaline pumping (so you’re moving your finger around because you’re shaking), and need your gun fast.

With this, you set a 4-touch code and in less than a second your safe is open and the gun is in your hands.

Now, inside this are my Sig P225 carry gun and my new (to me, lol) Ruger LCP carry gun. These aren’t even really setup for home defense, they’re my Concealed Carry guns.

Why?

Well, basically because I go to the safe, open it to get one of the guns when I leave the house. Then when I get home, I open it and stick that gun back in there when I’m taking stuff out of my pockets after I get home.

So convenient.

The great thing is this gunvault is, literally, an arms length away on my bedstand. So all I have to do is roll over and hit the code and grab the gun.

It’s ALMOST as fast as having the gun sitting right there on the nightstand.

But, if the kids ever sneak into my room when I’m not around, the guns are locked up. Which is the whole point right?

I highly recommend one of these and the next purchase I believe will be one of their bigger models so that I can fit more “stuff” in there.

I need to get a light in there and I’d like an extra mag (kind of crowded already with the two guns in there because this is the small model).

Also on the night stand are a couple of daily carry pocket knives, again for the same reason they come out of my pockets when I get home, etc

And the cell phone is typically there charging.

So the home defense plan starts with turning over grabbing the phone and getting the first gun (hand gun). Calling 911, and making my way to the home defense shotgun with the light on it (my home defense shotgun is a completely different topic and I’ll share that with you soon).

For now, if you’ve been nervous (like me) about trusting these new gunvault type gun safes — give the Gunvault Microvault a try — Amazon has a great price and you can read all the reviews there so you can see what to expect.

Ideally, I’d like to get a number of these, and place them all throughout the house — so I have access to a gun anywhere in the home — I’ll keep you updated if (and when) I do this.

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Recently, I decided I wanted to get a good pair of “general purpose” boots.

Now, here’s the thing …

I’ve been a “flip flops” kind of guy for most of my life. I mean practically my entire adult life. Because I spent so many years going in and out of dojangs (martial arts schools) — I have worn flip flops 80% of my walking career.

The good news is: wearing as little as possible on your feet is great for your foot, ankle, and toe health (I don’t have time to get into it here, but you may have noticed that “barefoot running” has become all the rage the last few years. That’s why).

The bad news is: I knew almost nothing about what makes good boots, what is out there and how to wear them for things like hiking/rucking. Now I know a little less than nothing.

So I started doing research …

Take a look at this Spec Ops group from the Sandbox:

All the sources I’ve read label these guys as Navy SEALs, but the point is almost all the spec ops guys overseas ditch the standard issue desert boots for high(er) end commercial/civilian hiking boots (case in point, 3 out of the 4 guys in this pic are wearing Merrel).

After doing some research and looking for a pair of “light duty” hiking boots/shoes, I decided to get my feet wet (hopefully not literally, it hasn’t happened yet) on the Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe pictured below:

Merrell Men's Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe
Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe

I knew I’d be doing some light hiking/rucking with a “light” pack (less than 50lbs), plus general walking around/outdoors stuff, so this was my first foray into the hiking shoe/boot world.

The first thing to notice when you click here to check these puppies out on Amazon, is the 4.4 out of 5 star reviews. Obviously, this is a popular entry level hiking shoe.

So what do I think so far?

Well, as I said, I’m far from an expert, but here are my impressions.

*** Standing all day: at the one-day Dynamic Shooting Class I took, my heels and lower back were KILLING me from standing up all day in the concrete floored inside shooting range when I was wearing New Balance minimalist street shoes. I’m conditioned to short runs/sprints in barefoot running wear. I’m NOT conditioned to standing up all day at all, so the minimalist footwear didn’t help at all. And that was just 8 hours.

After getting the Merrels before my last class at Academi, I got to see how that was. The Academi class was outdoors (little more forgiving rockbed shooting range) but it was 2-days. My feet felt great afterwards. Not a perfect test for sure, but meaningful to me since it seemed to help. Also, I wore these during the 3-day instructor bootcamp out in Utah, and through all the traveling (airports, more indoor walking/standing, and they were great).

*** Hiking/Rucking: I’ve only worn these hiking/rucking with 25lbs in a pack once since I got them. They held up great, my feet definitely did not hurt at all and I obviously had plenty of grip, etc in the mild woods near my house.

*** Support: I look at this two ways: I’ve never felt like I have weak ankles (knock on wood), so “high top” shoes never felt more supportive to me. But, I can definitely feel — even with these low tops — more support in the heel region and with more weight over my feet (with a pack on, etc).

*** Looks: I think these are pretty popular from what I can tell (1,278 reviews on Amazon as I type this). And they don’t look too “military” or anything. I feel like you could wear these almost every day and most people would not bat an eye (which is good because I don’t think anyone wants to look like a “crazy survivalist”). I got the regular walnut color but Amazon shows like 11 colors so you can match them to your purse (if you’re into that sort of thing) …

*** Price: I gotta say, jumping into the “good shoes/boots” market had me a little scared. These are under $90 shipped from Amazon. You can’t beat that.

*** Final Verdict? For what I bought them for — light duty hiking/rucking and general wear during the winter or outdoors — they are great. I know they’re not water proof, but I hope they’re a little water resistant, I’ll probably get to test that this winter.

Now, when I get into doing some serious miles and rucking with a bigger pack, I might move up to a more serious hiking boot such as the Merrel Sawtooth (very popular with SOF too) pictured below.

 

Merrell Men's Sawtooth Hiking Boot
Merrell Men’s Sawtooth Hiking Boot

Merrell Men’s Sawtooth Hiking Boot

But until that time I’ll be putting these Merrel Moabs through their paces.

One more thing:

I bought a couple pairs of “hiking” socks to try out because … well I’ve never had “hiking” socks.

I tried both these Wigwams:

Wigwam Men’s Cool-Lite Mid Hiker Pro Quarter Length Sock

Wigwam Men's Cool-Lite Mid Hiker Pro Quarter Length Sock
Wigwam Men’s Cool-Lite Mid Hiker Pro Quarter Length Sock

And I also tried these “Darn Tough” Merino Wool Socks:

Darn Tough Vermont Men's Merino Wool Boot Full Cushion Socks
Darn Tough Vermont Men’s Merino Wool Boot Full Cushion Socks

Darn Tough Vermont Men’s 1/4 Merino Wool Cushion Hiking Socks

Darn Tough Vermont Men's 1/4 Merino Wool Cushion Hiking Socks
Darn Tough Vermont Men’s 1/4 Merino Wool Cushion Hiking Socks

I really don’t know what I am doing when it comes to good hiking socks, but I heard the Wigwams were good and I wanted to try some type of Merino Wool.

My verdict?

Both worked great! That’s about all I can tell you now as I haven’t worn them multiple times each but the Wigwams seemed very “breathable” and your feet dont sweat while the Darn Tough Merino Wool’s kept my feet warm in Utah mornings in the desert and … not too sweaty when it warmed up to like 60F and sunny.

Anyways, if you’re in the market for some hiking shoes check out the ones I recommend.

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Speed Loader
Mag Lula Universal Pistol Magazine Loader

Recently I found myself in the middle of some intense multi-day firearms training.

While there we were doing handgun training all day and the instructor had us shooting hundreds of rounds over the all-day class …

That meant LOTS of running back and forth to your gear to “load up” your magazines.

The lady next to me was having the same problems I’ve seen practically every female I’ve ever taken shooting have. No, she was not a bad shot — she was shooting great (like almost every female I’ve ever seen at the shooting range) — she was having trouble loading her mags.

What’s more: while I can load mags with pure muscle memory at this point … after 8 hours on the range … firing hundreds of rounds … my thumbs and fingers were getting rubbed raw.

Simply put, loading 1000’s of rounds in your shooting career can be a PAIN (literally!)

That’s why if you shoot, you absolutely MUST get this “weird” little plastic device that will make all your range trips more enjoyable (and once the lady in your life learns how to use this — she will love you for it!)

The Mag Lula Universal Pistol Magazine Loader

Speed Loader
Mag Lula Universal Pistol Magazine Loader

The downsides of loading mags have been known for some time. That’s why modern handguns like Glock usually throw a simple plastic “loading” device in the new gun box to at least take some of the wear and tear off your thumbs.

The Mag Lula is the absolute pinnacle of magazine loading devices though!

PROS:

*** Universal (works with all pistol magazines)
*** Speeds up and saves your skin/hands/thumbs/fingers
*** Makes filling magazines easier because you just squeeze
*** Compatible with 9mm, 10mm, .357, .40-, and .45-caliber mags
*** Works with single and double stack pistols-Again-universal
*** Only about $30 bucks!

CONS:

*** Only ONE: learning how to use it and the rhythm takes a couple tries. After that you’ll LOVE it!

The Bottom Line?

You have to get one of these!

Look, here’s how awesome this thing is:

Click here to see the 4,980 reviews on Amazon (at time of this writing, by the time you read this, there will probably be more) — it has a 4.9 out of 5 star rating!That’s so close to perfect as to not even matter …

And these things are flying off the shelves because everyone loves them.

Look at these reviews ALL published within just 24 hours:

“A Must Buy”
“First thing I bought after my handgun purchase. Best money I’ve spent. Most magazines are notoriously difficult to load. This makes the range more fun.”
— Posted just 8 hours ago by lj

“The only loader to own!”
“Fast loader and easy to use. There is a very short learning curve to this loader and then it will become indispensable. I bought one for my wife and daughter.”
— Posted 11 hours ago by cpwutah

“Save Time and Avoid Pain”
“This tool actually works exactly as advertised. I guess I am getting old. I could barely load a six round clip without wrecking my thumb”
— posted 16 hours ago by william wetherell, II

Seriously, ALL those reviews were FIVE STARS and came in during the last 24 hours — if you don’t have one of these magazine loaders you are MISSING OUT!

Click here to see for yourself on Amazon and get you one. There’s really not much else to say. (best price I’ve found, as almost always is right there on Amazon).

 

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Glock 19 Gen 4
The Glock 19 Gen 4

If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, you know I’ve always preferred metal guns. And my daily carry has always been my trusty Sig Sauer P225 (P6 if you want to get technical, it’s an old German Police gun).

Anyways, the reason I always preferred metal guns was because I HATE Glocks.

Or … uh … well … I used to hate them.

When the Glock 17 first came out decades ago … If you remember, it was on the cover of EVERY gun magazine. All the stories talked about how it NEVER jammed! Torture tests of 1,000’s of rounds and mud baths, and all kinds of abuse and they never jammed.

My dad figured “hey, if I want a gun to protect the family, I should get the most reliable one possible” — so he saved up and bought a Glock 17 when he found a good price at a gun show.

(You should know that I do NOT come from money. My Dad is the quintessential hard American worker — always had at least 2 jobs when I was growing up).

A Glock That Jams?

I was so small, and the Glock 17 1st generation grips were SO big and blocky, that almost every time I fired it — it jammed! That’s because the polymer frame makes the gun light, plus a loose “limp wristed grip” will make any gun jam.

At a local gun club though, I could shoot the Beretta 92F with no problems (no jams) and even did some pepper popper (steel plates) and bowling pin “competitions” somewhat well for a pre-teen at that time. 

(The same thing happened when my mother would shoot the Glock by the way, for the same reasons).

So, that combined with the fact my dad couldn’t get the sights he bought adjusted right — he eventually sold it. I got a Beretta 92F when I was older. And my dad got the Taurus that looks just like the Beretta.

Beretta was a great gun, and even though the grip was STILL too big for my hands–I could shoot it reliably and accurately. 

Then, I once got the chance to shoot a Sig Sauer P225 as a young man, and that gun fit my hand the BEST at that age, so I promised myself when I got older I would buy one. So I did. And that’s my “metal gun” love story …

The Glock enters my life again …

So I’m shooting with my buddy AC at the range a couple months ago and he has his new Glock 19 Generation 4. I shoot it. The grip feels REALLY different.

WTF is going on?

So it turns out — after what two decades lol — that Glock finally offered their Gen 4 guns in a Short Frame (SF) configuration out of the box — reducing the grip by a small amount, and you can ADD included backstraps to the gun to make it a bigger grip if you want.

As it sits in the box, the Gen 4 G19’s handle is more slender than the Gen3, decreasing the distance-to trigger by .08” (it actually feels WAY smaller now).

Should the grip feel too small, you can add either a medium or a large back strap that’s included in the box. The medium attachment adds .08” to the handle, bringing it back to Gen3 dimensions. The large back strap adds an additional .08” to the handle, making it suitable for you giant pawed people out there.

Anyways, this was the first time a Glock felt GOOD in my hand. Dare I say it … as good as my Sig P225.

And the Glock is actually slightly SMALLER than the P225 (the Sig was state of the art “sub compact” in the 80’s or 90’s when first designed … nowadays not so much) making it easier to conceal.

Plus it weighs less (important for a carry gun)… and this is the big thing … it comes out of the box with standard 15-round magazines.

So it’s smaller, weighs less, has almost exactly DOUBLE the capacity of 9mm (Sig has 8 rounds, G19 has 15) … I had to face the facts … it is the logical choice.

And lastly, the new Glock 19 Gen 4 actually LOOKS good.

I have always HATED the way the blocky Glocks looked … but … this new Gen 4 look is growing on me.

So after shooting it … researching it … and having the Glock 19 Gen 4 on my radar for a couple months I saw a great private sale package that I couldn’t pass up. (I got a GREAT deal on the gun (with trijicon HD night sights), plus two sets of holsters, a magazine pouch, a surefire weapon light, 6 magazines, and some more stuff I can’t remember via a private sale.)

Anyways, that’s my Glock story, and I’ll be talking more about them (and the accessories) in the future.

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You’re out late at night, maybe two in the morning…

You stop at an all-night convenience store and gas station. While you’re inside in line to pay for your gas, a couple of guys come in and start raising a ruckus, maybe yelling at the clerk, tossing things in the aisles, making asses of themselves.

You watch and wonder if you’re about to see a robbery, or just a couple of belligerent drunks beating up a convenience store clerk. Knowing that there are two of them and only one of you – minimum wage isn’t worth fighting over, so the clerk won’t be of much help, and who could blame him?

So what do you do? Read on…

You reach into your pocket, palm your ComTech Stinger, and wait for trouble.
Knuckle

The moment passes and the drunk guys leave. You ease your grip on the stinger, letting the pointy knob slip out from between your fingers.

You didn’t have to mix it up with anyone, so you’re better off than if you had. Just the same, you’re glad you had an equalizer.

The ComTech Stinger has been on the market for quite some time and can be had in multiple opaque and translucent colors. It is basically a keychain pressure point tool that can augment a punch.

Of course, this is nothing new.

It’s been around for a while now and James Keating of ComTech probably sells a boatload of them in any given month. They’re on the keychains of countless self-defense-minded citizens and preppers.

They’re plastic, so they won’t give metal detectors any trouble – though of course you would never try to take this into a high security area or onto an airplane.

Still, it’s good to know that on your keychain is something you can carry into many guarded but lower-security venues where metal detectors screen the visitors (such as certain amusement parks, etc.).

The ComTech Stinger is cheap enough that you have no excuse not to carry one. It’s light enough that it disappears in your every day carry gear.

Why Carry Something Like This?

By magnifying the power of your strike – it’s simple physics that when you concentrate the power of a blow in a smaller, more rigid (stronger) area, you’re going to do more damage to the target – the stinger makes it possible for you to deal out more force than you could with your bare fists (and feet, and knees, and elbows) alone.

There are a lot of people out there who seem to think that hand held items like these are “toys” – distractions that are the last resort of those not confident in their abilities to dish out pain and suffering with their bare fists and attitudes.

This is foolish.

You’re not an animal, but a human being.

You should use a tool.

Why on Earth would you risk breaking your knuckles or exchanging blood with an adversary when you could instead use a rigid tool?

Plastic keychain tools are perfect for this type of application. And they’re cheap enough that if you do have to leave one behind at a security checkpoint, you won’t be out much money.

Alongside the ComTech stinger, another great tool is the Cold Steel Koga. The model has changed over the year, but it’s basically just a big plastic dowel that is contoured for traction and ease of grip, as well as to make the points a little smaller to intensify the power of a blow with the tool.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t ram my fist into a picnic table or a brick wall without hurting myself. I can’t make much of a dent in either, because my hand is less rigid and more fragile than either of those striking surfaces.
Koga

With my Koga or my Stinger, however, I can do real damage to either hard, unyielding surface. Imagine if that brick wall or that picnic table were somebody’s skull!

I can also do that damage without feeling any pain, which is a bonus. The less pain you feel, the harder you can hit, and the more you can concentrate on dealing with your opponent.

The Koga, when held in the fist, leaves serious dents in wood surfaces and will also chip brick. The wood doesn’t harm the Koga, but the brick scuffs it somewhat.

The Stinger, at least in my hands, leaves even deeper dents, I think because I am able to use the full structure of my punches as I was taught to do them when holding the stinger as an extension of the fist. It’s harder to do that with the Koga, though hammer fist blows are indeed powerful.
Stinger
Either way, the Koga and Stinger can do far more hurt to somebody than just your knuckles.

You ought to carry one or the other, or something similar, because why WOULDN’T you?

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My Pocket Carry Holster
My Pocket Carry Holster

So … I almost forgot to tell you about the newest member of my family here … my brand new Ruger LCP .380 handgun!

 

Ruger LCP .380
Ruger LCP .380

 

Well, “new” to me at least. I bought her used from a fellow Virginian and she came with a few extra mags as well (4 total to be exact, 2 of which are useful).

Quick tip: when buying extra mags, in general, avoid “Pro Mag” magazines or other “cheap” mags. Only go with factory magazines to be sure they work–the magazine is a critical part of modern guns that can easily fail. When I was checking it out and asked the seller how the mags all worked, he said: “well, of course the pro mags suck, but the other two feed fine and reliable” and that’s usually what anyone with experience will say.

Anyways, today I’ll cover …

*** Why I felt the need to buy ANOTHER gun (even though I already have a concealedcarry handgun)

*** Why I chose a .380 (GASP!!!)

*** My thoughts so far and …

*** the specific holster I’m using with this little guy

Let’s get started …

Well, let’s start with this one first …

*** Why I felt the need to buy ANOTHER gun (even though I already have a concealed carry handgun)

I’ll start here because this is an explanation that I’ve practiced MANY times in order to tell my wife (I’m half joking).

But the truth is my Concealed Carry handgun has always been a Sig Sauer P225. It’s Sig’s old single stack 9mm that they don’t make anymore. Mine is actually a used police version from Germany designated the P6 (story all in its own).

Anyways, it’s basically 8 rounds of 9mm in a somewhat compact package. At least “compact” for a handgun made in the 1980’s. I bought it because it fits my hand like a glove, I like metal guns, and it’s reliable as all get out.

So here’s the thing …

1. Compared to modern 9mm guns like the S&W Shield, the Sig really is NOT that small for the capacity … but more importantly …

2. I don’t work a “normal” job or routine.

I’m lucky enough to work from home and as such, I don’t have a normal time that I take a shower, get dressed every day and put on the “clothes I’m going to where when I go out of the house”. (I basically start working as soon as possible after I get up in the morning).

.380 vs Luger 9mm
.380 vs Luger 9mm

We can talk the best ammunition to buy for a .380 carry gun at another time because it’s beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say, there are a good amount of JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) rounds that will reach the FBI standard 12″ of penetration and fragment nicely while doing it.

So in conclusion, I think the 380 will do its job for me … which I can summarize as:

6 rounds of SOMETHING is better than 0 rounds in a gun fight.

*** What Do I Think So Far?

So far … I love it.

I simply can’t believe how small this little guy is.

It simply disappears in my pocket.

Well, that depends on the clothing, but at most it looks like the front pocket wallet I carry in my left pocket if it “prints” at all through clothing.

I took it out shortly after I got it (and before I started carrying of course) to test it out and shoot it.

I fed a box and a half of regular ball point ammo through it with no malfunctions, and then half a box of the hollow point ammo I had on hand (I didn’t have much ammo that day, so I cut the “test” short, but I feel confident it’s reliable).

I could easily dump the whole mag (6 shots) inside a chest size target up to 7 yards or a little more (point shooting range basically) even though the sites are basically almost non existent because they’re so low profile.

*** My Pocket Carry Holster

So here’s the thing, to make sure you don’t have an accidental discharge, it’s a good idea to have a pocket holster.

And to not put anything else in that pocket if you’re carrying a gun there.

Some quick searches online and I found a great holster on my FIRST try (ha! that’s a 1 in a million shot if you ask ANY concealed carry guy!)

Check this pic out:

My Pocket Carry Holster
My Pocket Carry Holster

First off, the gun fits in there really snug.

Second, you just drop it in your front pocket and the little “L” shaped thing at the end near the barrel will snag the corner of your pocket as you draw making sure that you only draw the pistol when you go to grab it from your pocket (and not pull the holster out with you).

Lastly it’s made of a “anti-slip” neoprene thing that really sticks to your clothing that helps keep it in place and keep it in the pocket if you draw the pistol.

It also breaks up the outline of the pistol well enough that people might be able to see a bulge in your pocket but it looks like you’re carrying a cell phone or a big wallet or something (not a pistol).

Best part?

I got it on Amazon for LESS than $20 — can’t beat that!

Click here to check it out on Amazon — 4.6 out of 5 star reviews!

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A knife is a very powerful weapon and can really go a long way toward stacking the odds in your favor. Whether you are facing someone bigger and stronger than you, or facing multiple opponents, a knife makes it possible for you to do more damage with less work than is required with your bare hands alone.

That is why a weapon is called a “force multiplier.” It is like a lever, amplifying the force of human effort.

In our previous issue we also discussed the fact that carrying a knife doesn’t make you special. Everybody and his uncle has a knife.

They’re easy to get and they’re easy to carry.

Given this, it makes sense to carry a knife. As long as you can do so legally, you are almost obligated to have a good blade on hand.

Why wouldn’t you? It takes no real effort except rearranging your pockets, and it needn’t cost you more than $40 to $50 USD for a good-quality, name-brand tactical folding knife.

As we discussed before, my new favorite pocket knife (and also a favorite of the Navy SEALS) is the Kershaw Emerson designed CQC-7.

Kershaw Knife
The Kershaw CQC-7, a favorite of the Navy Seals and mine.

There are some basic guidelines for knife handling …

Follow these guidelines and tailor them to your specific needs, your specific mode of dress, and how you conduct yourself on a day to day basis. Everybody’s situation is different.

What is the perfect combination of knife, clothing, and deployment for me will be different for you, and so on.

Let’s get into it …

** Carry Close to Center …

This will depend on the features of your knife. With the Emerson Wave feature of the CQC series of knives for example — it’s made to be clipped towards the rear of your pocket so that you can deploy the blade by simply drawing the knife out of your pocket …

All other pocket clip knives, carry it as close to the centerline of your body as possible. This means that if you do clip it to your pocket, don’t clip it to the rear of the pocket. Clip it toward the front.

When you are positioning any knife, the closer it is to the centerline of the body, at the front (not the back), the more easily you can grab it and draw it.

If you want to prove this fact to yourself, just lay your hands in front of your body as naturally as you can. You’ll find your arms tend to lay across your waistline at angles to each other.

These are, coincidentally, the same angles that the two portions of an ergonomic keyboard employ — because that’s how your arms fold naturally. They don’t sit straight forward unless you force them to.

With your knife as close to the centerline as possible, you can more easily drop your hands to the waistband area in order to find it, whether that means drawing it from the front of the pocket or from anywhere else.

This brings us to the actual deployment of the knife. You have your knife; you selected a good one; it is now carried by you, consistently and discreetly, day in and day out.

** So what happens when time comes to draw it?

Understand first that to deploy a knife is to do two things.

First, it escalates the encounter to a lethal force scenario unless you have reason to believe your life is in danger. This means you cannot deploy your life unless you believe it is needed to save your life or the life of someone else. It is a weapon with the power to kill. If nobody is trying to kill you, you do not have justification to introduce it.

Second, your knife can be a target in a fight. If you fixate on the knife, if you are thinking about “knife fighting” and not simply “fighting the other guy while you happen to have a knife,” you may be distracted and your opponent may try to attack or even take away your knife.

The thing to do, then, is to protect your knife. That may sound silly to you. You may be thinking, “My knife is here to protect ME, isn’t it?” Well, it is… but there is a right way to deploy it.

Never deploy your knife in such a way that the opponent can get his hand on it and snatch it away from you. Typically this would be when you are clinched up and grappling with somebody, on your feet or even on the ground. You need to keep your side with the knife on it away from the opponent. That means turning that side of your body away, or protecting that side with your other hand.

When you make the decision to go for your knife, you protect the side of your body that the knife is one. Slap the knife with your strong side (your weapon hand) so that you can make sure it is where it’s supposed to be. (If it shifts around a little in your pocket or wherever you keep it, this is how you’ll ascertain where it is. Daily carry of a knife is never perfect. Sometimes they move and we forget about them.)

Once you have slapped the knife, again while protecting that side, get your hand down deep on the knife and deploy it, either by pulling it out of the pocket or yanking it out of its sheath. While it’s still low against your body is the time to deploy the blade (if it’s a folding knife).

From here, use your knife to protect the rest of you. Put the strong side, with the blade, in front, and the rest of your body behind that. Keep the knife low and continue to protect it.

From here you can execute basic attacks and defenses while you wield your knife. (We’ll get into that in an upcoming issue, in fact.)

Deploying a knife basically says to everyone in the area, “I believe I am in fear for my life and I am prepared to initiate lethal force to preempt the threat.”

If these conditions aren’t met, don’t deploy the knife. You must be legally and morally justified before you use a weapon in an altercation.

A knife is a powerful weapon and should be respected as such.

 

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Growing up I loved the RAMBO movies …

The RAMBO movies were based off a book written by David Morrell called “First Blood”(hence the name of the first movie). After I read First Blood, David Morrell has since become one of my favorite authors after I found him in my pre-teen years (I’ve always been a voracious reader of topics that interest me).

Thank God my parents didn’t shelter me too much during those years.

It’s also the same years I made it my life’s mission to become a Navy SEAL when I got older. Around 3rd grade I remember my mom refusing to let me jump into my neighbor’s pool with handcuffs on so I could do the “drown proofing” drills I had seen in Navy SEAL training on TV (Bummer!)

Anyways, for various reasons I chose not to become a SEAL when I turned 18, but obviously I still read like crazy and these things still interest me …

Being well read and somewhat knowledgeable about firearms and whatnot, it always drives me CRAZY when I watch a movie or read a book and the obviously do no research on the weapons or guns used.

David Morrell NEVER makes that mistake …

His books are always thoroughly researched, and many times he actually goes through intense training while doing research for his characters.

So what does David Morrell have to do with my new favorite pocket knife?

One day, I read the newest David Morrell book “The Protector”The Protector not only has the main character, a former Delta Force operator named Cavanaugh, using an Emerson CQC-7 knife, but the cover art itself is a blood-stained Emerson CQC-7.

Now, of course, I figure I can’t ever afford an Emerson knife, and after a little research the CQC-7 looked like it was out of reach too …

Who Is Emerson?

Emerson, to make a long story short is a “famous” knife maker.

Specifically, he was one of the first guys to custom make — as in hand make — folding knives for the US Navy SEALs. This custom version was named the CQC-6 — either after SEAL Team 6 or because it was the 6th model of design. CQC stands for “Close Quarters Combat”.

Ownership of a CQC6 soon became something of a status symbol among members of various elite military units, including Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, German GSG 9, and British SAS …

When a bigger commercial manufacturer came to Emerson and wanted to produce them large scale, Emerson licensed them a similar design called the CQC-7.

Even though it obviously wasn’t handmade, everyone loved getting Emerson’s work, at an affordable price and without the five-year wait.

They’re still popular with elite special forces groups, in fact, in May 2013, a non-custom factory-made Emerson CQC-7 knife carried by the Navy SEAL who served as point man on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden was auctioned off for charity, netting over $35,400!

The problem with Emerson knives?

The price. I wouldn’t really consider myself a “hardcore” knife collector or aficionado. I might be getting there though …

Anyways, for a knife that starts around $150 and only goes up in price — it was a little steep for me to ever use as an EDC knife (that I’m going to use 90% of the time to cut boxes and other mundane chores–not take out terrorists).

Enter Kershaw …

Kershaw is a knife manufacturer that’s rather popular. In fact, for the past year or so I’ve been carrying almost every day a “cheap” kershaw pocket knife. I say “cheap” because it was low in price not quality.

I love it actually. It fits my hand good, has a nice tanto blade, is tough, and does every job I’ve thrown at it …

I actually respect Kershaw as a maker of pocket knives that you can count on for LESS than $50 all in.

Recently, we all lucked out because Kershaw teamed up with Emerson to make the Emerson designed knives available to everyone without deep pockets!

Introducing The Kershaw-Emerson CQC-7

Kershaw Emerson

As soon as I heard my favorite CHEAP knife maker — Kershaw — was teaming up with the maker of the most respected knives I knew — Emerson — I got super excited and ordered it the day I found it on Amazon.

For just $32.95 (shipping was free because I have PRIME) — I got this bad boy delivered to my door …

To make a long story short, I love it.

The cool thing about the Emerson design is the unique “Wave” feature. In short, it allows the knife to open as soon as you draw it from your pocket because a “hook” part of the dull side of the blade catches on your pocket as you draw it out.

Very useful if you ever need your knife out and deployed with just one hand.

Anyways, I’ve got this thing sitting here on my desk right now, it looks gorgeous.

The only complaint I might have is the size, it’s a lot bigger than my little EDC Kershaw folding knife — so I might try one of the Emerson CQC smaller knives — specifically the CQC-3k — as it will probably just a little bit smaller than the Kershaw I carry right now (see below):

Folding Knife

 

Anyways, I feel any of the Kershaw Emerson CQC knives are the best you can get for under $50 (under $40 in most cases!) and I can’t wait to add a few more to my collection.

Pick one up if you’re looking for a new, proven, EDC knife.

 

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The Cold Steel Recon 1 was first introduced quite a few years ago…

The basic knife back then was your usual black-on-black folder. I liked it then, but over the years, Cold Steel has really beefed up the model, making it heavier, thicker, and stronger…

The result is a great all-around daily carry knife that, while not small or subtle, is strong, powerful, and shows good fit and finish.

Knife

Here are the stats (from Knifecenter):

Blade Length: 4″
Blade Thickness: 3.5 mm
Steel: AUS 8A coated in Black Teflon
Weight: 5.3 oz
Overall Length: 9 3/8″
Handle Material: G10 (5 3/8″ length)

The pocket clip on the Recon 1 is a little small for so large and heavy a knife, but I actually like that, because it helps the knife to ride low and appear unobtrusive.

The G10 handles are aggressively textured, providing a firm grip, and the scallops in the handle scales really fit my hands well.  This is a blade that just kind of locks into your mitt when you grab hold of it.

The Recon 1 is one of my favorite blades for working what’s called pattern drills (you’ll find more on pattern drills as a paid up 3-Percenter Report subscriber!).  The generous clip-point blade has good belly for slicing and slashing, and the point is nice and sharp for deep penetration on thrusts.

The lock might look like a traditional rocker-bar lock, but this is Cold Steel’s Tri-Ad lock.  It operates like a rocker-bar lock but has some added features for greater strength and security.

Say what you want about Cold Steel, its marketing, and Lynn Thompson, its often bellicose owner, but the company prides itself on the strength of its knives and you can generally count on a folding Cold

Steel knife to stay open when you want it to.

This is a great all-around EDC for both self-defense and general utility. It also isn’t terribly expensive. That puts it within the reach of just about anyone.

If you’re in the market for a great knife, you should pick one of these up right away. You can click here to see the reviews for it on Amazon and pick it up at a decent price.

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