CRKT Clever Girl

I’ve been looking at the Clever Girl for some time.  And I’ve met the designer some time ago at SHOT SHOW, and I liked him right off the bat and consider him to be a fine fellow.  He showed me his design, the Clever Girl, and I did like it then.  But I just couldn’t afford to get one.  And then CRKT came out with their Forged by War series with proceeds going to Veteran Organizations, and blades designed by Veterans.  So I just had to get one of these.  But timing put things on hold until recently.  So as soon as I could… I ordered it.

Okay, so the blade came pretty dang sharp. The belly is nice and thicc, the way I like a Bowie knife… and the tip has a needle-sharp point, like a Bowie. It’s just a clip point.
Note:
All Bowies are Clip Points, but not all Clip Points are Bowies.

Okay, back to the CG. Because of the belly and tip being like a bowie, I am naturally inclined to like it. Which I do. Very much so. The grip is properly grippy but doesn’t snag. And the handle area is generous. Its shape allows the comfortable use in a number of different grip techniques.

Overall the design is a good combination of fine-edged blade and an overall rugged use knife. For under $100, it’s a very good knife and a very good option.

CHANGES I’d Make to the Production Design: There are only two.
1. I would much rather have the grip scales being bolted on rather than riveted.
2. I would much rather have Micarta scales rather than G10.

I will put this blade up against the Cold Steel SRK, and Ka-Bar Marine Ka-Bar knives as being good Field Use knives. With the knowledge that the #1 use of such knives is Food Prep and whittling some fur sticks to get your fire started. This knife will do that just fine. The other purpose of say, blood-letting and sentry-removal type fantasy work – I’d say the Clever Girl could do that JUST FINE. Its sharp point will penetrate any part of the human anatomy with little problem and sever nerve and vein with equal ease.
Two thumbs up. Way up.

Boker XXL Kalashnikov Desert Warrior

I like big knives. Big knives make big cutting tasks small. I know a lot of guys like a smaller blade because they say smaller blades are easier to carry. And I can see their logic behind such statements, but I’m kind of wondering just how less difficult a smaller version of the Boker Kalashnikov would be. Because I don’t think it is. Now, I wear blue jeans every day. I have other pants, but I just don’t actually wear them. Because with my job I might have to jump on a motorcycle and do what I do… And I am not comfortable jumping on a bike while wearing dockers or some other flimsy pants. I tell you this because pretty much every red-blooded American person knows how the pockets of jeans are.

The Boker’s pocket clip is made for deep seating. And even with this bigger knife, going in deep… it fits just fine. Standing up, sitting down, jumping in and out of cars and on and off bikes… It’s not too big. It’s not caused any problems or discomfort. And I can still carry my car keys in the same pocket I carry my knife, like I always do. One of the reasons it’s comfortable while being so large is the thinner profile of the folded knife… it’s nice and flat.

This knife in particular is a BladeHQ exclusive called the Desert Warrior. Which gives you a copper colored blade coating with a green handle. BladeHQ has a lot of exclusives in this color combo from various makers… it’s their thing. I think it looks nice, but I’m not about to go nuts on it. Having lived in a high desert location for over a decade of my humble life, I’m not all that impressed with the desert. In fact, I could have easily have just taken a satin finished blade with a regular black handle. Because I pretty much don’t find coated blades all that special. Hard use makes all of them look shabby in short order. But the copper color does look nice on a new knife. We’ll see about this in a year or two how it has held up.

Being an Auto, it uses a very simple Button Lock. It’s slightly recessed and requires a firm and deliberate full in press for the blade to deploy. Having had an Auto deploy in my pocket and stab me – I appreciate the reduction in a possible repeat of that experience. It was very painful and it bled like a war wound… making a mess of a brand new Mazda Miata.

Size. Let’s look at it next to my Kershaw Launch 5. A Kershaw Emerson collaboration that was unfortunately a shorter run than I’d have liked. The blade is 4.75 inches long and the handle is a comfortable 5.8 inches. 10.6 overall when opened. And it weighs in at 6.4 ounces. It’s a Chonk, but it carries its weight well. It doesn’t feel heavy… but that is a lot of steel, so it’s no Benchmade Bugout.

The blade steel on this knife is “D2”, which is like saying “It’s made out of Steel”. D2, as I’ve said in other reviews is a broad spectrum description. There’s a whole range of formulas and hardnesses that can fall in that title. It’s a step up from AUS-8, to be sure. Really I put it on par with simple 440… in that the quality of the steel comes down to how well it was heat treated. But Boker does a good job of putting out a consistent quality… so I have no reason to question it. Manufacturing of this knife is done in Taiwan, so that is also a big step up. China will stamp D2 on blades made of aluminum foil, because China can simply not be trusted with anything.

Opening the knife is satisfying. It has a nice “Thwack!” It opens with some authority even for a big blade. But closing it isn’t like trying to reset a bear trap either.

Using the knife for cutting tasks in the kitchen is a lot of fun. The Bowie style blade is fully functional for food prep and well as any fantasy you might have of silent sentry removal. The blade actually reminds me of the AK-47’s Bayonet, which is pretty much where the knife gets its name from.

Other factors in quality such as blade play and blade centering and such… all good. I think this one of those cases where you are getting a bit more for the money you paid for it. The whole line is like that. Tough work-horse knives… Huh… Another good reason for the name. Well… there you have it.

I got this through BladeHQ. And you should too.

Fenix PD35 V3.0

Fenix has sent yet another light for my examination. And this one is a little different. The PD35 V3 has two buttons… One on the side near the bright end, which functions to select your output mode. The other is the tail-cap switch which activates the light. This is different from the other lights I’ve tested from Fenix and took a few moments to get used to. Since then I’ve been carrying and using it so I can formulate my considered opinions on it.

Like the other lights, this one is built just as solid, with the same high-quality construction and assembly that I’ve come to expect from Fenix. I wasn’t disappointed at all. And this one is a good chunk less money than some of the others I’ve reviewed.

The PD35 V3.0 has a Turbo Mode output of 1700 Lumens, which is a little less than some of the others I’ve tested. But in actual practical use… It’s more than enough output. I’m not signalling edgy solitary masked crime-fighters over here. I’m using them for more mundane tasks. Like finding that little spring that shot out of the firearm I was working on and bounced off the wall and back under my desk. I felt it hit my leg so it should be around here… somewhere. So here’s what you do. Take the Light, and on Medium Mode, which is 150 lumens… hold the light down low parallel to the floor and use the beam to scan around… There it is! Perfect. Oh, and here’s that Micro SD Card I was missing. How did that get down here?

Turbo Mode: 1700 Lumens with a run time of 1 hour and 25 minutes.
High Mode: 600 Lumens with a run time of 2 hours and 35 minutes.
Medium Mode: 150 Lumens with a run time of 8 hours and 30 minutes.
Low Mode: 50 Lumens with a run time of 26 hours and 25 minutes.
Eco Mode: 5 Lumens with a run time of a staggering 230 hours.
There is also the Strobe Mode at 1700 Lumens, for those that like to throw flashlight raves.
I find the steps between the light modes to be pretty good. As you jump between them, the difference is enough that you wont be doubting which is which here. In pitch black spaces, Eco Mode puts out enough light so you can see close by objects and is far more handy than one might think. The Medium’s 150 Lumens is actually brighter than my weapon-mounted light, which claims to be brighter. But it’s not.

The tail cap switch feels good too. Nice and tactile. It can be partially depressed for instant on and off work… Good for Room Clearing and such. And then all the way down you press till you feel the click and now you are in a Constant On until you click it again. The forward button will then cycle through the different light modes. If you press and hold the forward button, you get the disco mode. Which I find to be a completely useless feature but some Tactical Instructors claim it to be absolutely fabulous as a dazzler distraction device for use against bad guys. Frankly, I find it to be problematic as it dazzles both the operator and the target.

The clip is the same as on the other lights in this category. This means it’s good and functional and you never have to futz around with it or worry about it. And that’s about as high of praise as I can give a pocket clip.

If there is anything else to praise about the light – It’s the rechargeable batteries that Fenix is using. I didn’t use to be all that keen on Rechargeables as they never lasted as long or put out consistent power for consistent light. But Fenix has absolutely converted me. These batteries work great and are easy to recharge… I dig the hell out of these things. I also like how Fenix handles the recharging. There is no janky port on the light itself for recharging. You do have to open the light up and pull the battery out… That’s fine. Because when you put the charged battery back in, you have a nicely sealed unit. Unlike another brand which I wont mention that went tits up when I was caught out in the rain and they won’t even honor the warranty because I let it get wet.

This is a damn fine little Torch and is a member of a great family of lights. Direct from Fenix it’s retailing for $79.95. I’ve spent twice as much on lights that I don’t like half as well.
Check this one out here, and while there… browse the other lights in the PD Series!

crkt tuna

I used to really hate on CRKT. Just like I used to hate on Ruger. But over time when a company just keeps on making consistent improvements and good products, I’ll give them a nod of approval. Ruger has been hitting grand slam home runs on their guns for some years now… and so has CRKT. Now, they still make products I don’t care for. But I don’t instantly dismiss the entire brand anymore and in fact… seeing something new from CRKT will actually make me raise an eyebrow. And this “Tuna” actually raised both.

The Tuna is designed by Lucas Burnley, and it gets its name from the overall tuna-like shape. Unlike the Seiko Tuna series which gets the nickname from the can… The CRKT Tuna gets the name from the actual fish. I guess it kinda has that shape? Maybe? But not really. Still… It’s a nice shape.

It’s a sturdy design and feels very solid in the hand. Part of that is due to the Frame Lock design, which I like. The orange spacer and pivot ring give it a nice touch. The clip is a fairly unique design as well and is probably one of the best out there.


The clip affords a very deep pocket carry while staying nice and low profile. The above image shows the spacer giving you a little slot to attach a lanyard tail or something if you wish. Carrying it around other Knife Guys, more than a few asked about the knife I had on me… or challenged a Pocket Check just to see what it was.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the Tuna is peak CRKT… For $44.95, it’s probably their best choice for an EDC knife. Now I say that because I’ve been comparing it to a couple of other knives that cost a whole lot more. But before we get to those… Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. And that’s going to be the blade steel. The Tuna is made with 8Cr12MoV. Which is China’s version of AUS-8. Now, you guys know that AUS-8 isn’t my favorite flavor of stainless. I hold it in about the same regard as bottle Equate Ibuprophen instead of a bottle of Advil Liquid Gels. Not everyone can tell the difference when you take it… But I can feel the difference. I’m well familiar with the characteristics. Also, there’s the whole CHINA factor, which I’m just not going to get into.
Now, a good friend sent this knife to me… And he sharpened the hell out of it. This thing slices insanely well. In fact, I used it for Food Prep shortly after getting it, and it sliced and diced like a gem. And it held that edge very very well compared to other knives with the same steel. Part of that reason is the nice curve to the blade’s cutting edge. It’s very similar to a Spiderco Native, but with an advantage… So let’s compare that.

Using the knife for some time now, I’ve found that the overall design is so fantastic for EDC, that I started to compare it to the Spyderco Native. It’s just a little bit larger folded, but thanks to the Native’s ricasso/choil area, the Tuna has a lot more cutting edge for not much more actual blade length. This makes the Tuna feel like a much large knife when in actual use. And the frame lock is quicker and easier to use to close the blade when you’re done using it. Advantage – Tuna. The Native is truly a fantastic EDC knife, but they go for pretty much double or more the cost of the Tuna. And if you are looking at things objectively, there’s little reason to justify it over the Tuna save for the myriad of options for clip placement on the Native. So if you are a backwards Lefthander from Down Under and have specific opinions on tip direction and pocket location… well, then maybe the Tuna isn’t the best option for you. It’s Tip Up Only in Tunaville.

I also like the fact that the Tuna’s Clip pretty much evaporates when the knife is in hand. It’s not a bother like on some knives. And the whole handle shape fits well in the hand for hard use and for delicate tasks. It’s just a very GOOD design. Combined with the low price… The Tuna is a very astute knife choice. You should get one for your rotation.

Allett Original Nylon Edition

Ever since I got my first Driver’s License, I’ve been using Leather Trifold Wallets. All my life. Save for that time in High School where it was the fad to use those nylon wallets with the velcro closure. I used one of those for like maybe a month or two. And then it was back to my classic leather trifolds. And a good quality one would last me a lot of years. And now that I’m older and I don’t carry lots of cash anymore, and I’ve pruned the number of cards that I feel like I need to carry around… Well, I just don’t need to carry around 1.5 inches thick worth of leather and plastic cards. I had been contemplating switching to something thin and light. So when I was offered the Allett Original, I thought “Sure, why not?”

At first, when I got the package and opened it up… I thought maybe perhaps this was a mistake. There’s no weight to it. No heft. No gravitas.

The material looks like the same kind of Ripstop material my last pair of issued BDU’s were made of. Super light, this thing weighs nothing. And it feels like there’s something in between the layers?It’s a bit “crinkly”. Light and crinkly. No, I wasn’t impressed. At first.

With four card slots and a main pocket for cash that’s sectioned… I was thinking “Wait a second, I thought this was supposed to be a wallet?” But I told myself that I was going to be objective. So I pulled out my old wallet, which was thick and heavy. Probably as thick as a dozen of these skinny little Alletts… so I took a deep breath, and I transferred things over.

All of the sudden was like “Hold Up”. By dividing the card loadout instead of stacking… Huh. Okay, I can see maybe Allett is actually on to something.

I had decided that I would give this Wallett a go and after some time, formulate my opinion. Maybe after a week. Well, let me cut to the chase. I didn’t need a week. I only needed a day. This thing is so skinny and light, that I don’t even feel it. Driving to work or throwing a leg over a motorcycle, I don’t have that old familiar wedge under my hip bone. I don’t have that heavy lump on my ass like a giant tumor. It’s just… Comfortable. That very top photo in this Post, that’s after a few days of use… And it’s well… It’s my wallet now. It just is.
As a BONUS… It’s said to be RFID Blocking. So that had to be put to the test. One of my cards has an RFID chip embedded into it. So I can just tap it to a reader and there’s a transaction for a Breakfast Burrito and a Monster Energy Drink. So this morning I pulled out my wallet and tapped the reader… and nothing happened. Tapped it again with the card in the wallet and the Cashier kinda looked at me funny. So, not wanting to waste any more of her time, I pulled the card out and tapped it, and Presto! The Burrito and Monster were now mine to consume. The wallet had blocked the RFID as advertised.

Back in my car with a mouth full of breakfast burrito, I snugged back into my seat, wallet where my wallet always goes… and I couldn’t even feel it there. I had to double-check that it was there. And thankfully it was. Of course it was. So, there you have it… The wallet performs perfectly as a wallet, it’s super comfortable, and it blocks RFID readers from reading the chip.

The best thing about it? It’s less than half the price of what I normally spend on a leather wallet. So in my mind, it’s functional and affordable. And if someone was to scan your card without you knowing? Stealing your info and accounts? I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t afford that. You need one of these Allett Originals.

Get One: Fenix e12 V2.0

The E12 V2.0 by Fenix is proof that you don’t have to be the Biggest and Brightest to be the most useful. In essence, Size Doesn’t Matter. Not really when it comes to Lights that is. Okay, so the E12 is a compact little LED light powered by a single AA battery, that has proven to be far more useful for common tasks than it has any right to be. Small and Simple, sure… But at the same time, damn near perfect.

The previous Fenix lights I’ve reviewed are much larger by comparison, and by order of magnitude, far brighter. They project enough light to make even a Lighthouse blush. And that’s fantastic for the purpose of signaling for edgy superheroes or for hunting German Bombers over London… But sometimes you just don’t need to fire off that many photons. Like if you are in your office and drop a contact lens, or you’re trying to follow a cable under your desk… Or the supply closet is just too dim to read which printer toner cartridge you need because they all look the same and you have to actually read the code in small print and it’s not your job to find a ladder to change the lightbulb overhead… But I digress. No, that’s not oddly specific… just a plausible example, you know? Don’t judge me.

As you can see, the E12 isn’t as long or as girthy as the others. But it’s about how you use it… and it gets more play than the others because it’s never “Too Much”. It’s sized just right. And while the others use Rechargeable batteries, the E12 is only using a single AA battery type which is as common and basic of a battery as a pumpkin spice latte is in the hands of a white girl in October. I’m not judging, I’m just saying they’re everywhere. *Gestures around* Just look. Every line at the Grocery Store has them hanging there waiting for you. Every 7-11 or Quick Trip has them for you at 3:00 AM if you need them. And they’re cheap. You can buy a pack of 4 for the same price as 1 of another popular tactical-type battery that I won’t mention. It’s probably the most universal battery type on the planet. I was once in a place that didn’t speak English as a norm and when I said “Double A Battery” they still knew what I wanted and I got them. Now, just for safety sake, if you have to go to LA, bring an extra set of batteries just in case… you know?

But you’ll probably not need an extra battery… because at the Low Setting, that little AA battery is going to last 70 hours. Using the battery that came in the package with the light, the longevity was as advertised. With an ADVANCED LITHIUM, well, I don’t know… it’s still going strong and I’ve been using the hell out of this E12 because it’s become just so very useful. It’s replaced my STREAMLIGHT Pen Light that uses two batteries. I liked the Streamlight for the same reasons, useful output without being too much, and a common battery type. But it’s too long, and it doesn’t have selectable brightness modes. This makes the E12 a clear winner if you’re looking for a flashlight that is just flat-out USEFUL. It’s small size is handy “EDC” purposes and it saves the batteries in my more serious use lights from mundane purposes that don’t involve blinding Antifa Zombies.


At HIGH, 160 Lumens is more than enough for going into the basement to find that can of paint you knew you put away. Medium’s 30 Lumens is actually perfect for most things. And if your wife is asleep and you don’t want to wake her up, the Low setting’s 5 Lumens will get you to the bathroom and back without stubbing the everliving crap out of your little toe, again.

The body of the little E12 is solid aluminum, with some ridges going around it to help prevent it from getting slippery. This is important because it is small in the hands and could be difficult to keep hold of without it. Small, lightweight, but doesn’t feel “Cheap” at all. Sturdy. Like Gimili from LOTR. And if you don’t know who that is, you are sad, and Google is your friend.

The Tailcap Switch is great… A quick tap to change between the three modes, and a firm Click to turn it on and off while staying in the last mode you used. This is about perfect, and is a feature missing from the other light I mentioned that this has replaced. In fact, I gave the other light away. I don’t need it anymore. I have the E12 now.

The Clip allows for “Tip Up” or “Tip Down” carry and it does carry very well… and I find it goes nicely in my pocket alongside a folding knife without competing for space. I also find that I’m carrying this light more than the others and after using it for a couple of weeks, I can find no fault with it.
If you are interested in this light, or the many others Fenix makes, take a minute to browse their Site. They have no less than a Dozen lights for EDC use, and they have lights all the way up to serious Search and Rescue use and everything in between. A truly impressive array of options. But get the E12… It’s too damn good not to have one of these. Just Get it:
FENIX E12 V2.0

Review: Fenix E35 V3.0

As soon as this little light arrived, I knew I was going to like it. The compact size is the perfect form factor for this type of light. It’s not taking its self as seriously as a “Tactical Light” does… I’m not even sure what a “tactical light” really is supposed to be. Because the most Tactical Flashlight was used during the Vietnam War.

But these new fangled LED lights, I have to admit, have some advantages. Size, Weight, Power, and you can recharge them… Okay, so our light throwing technology has come a long way. And I’m grateful. I’m still packing a 1911 though… Two World Wars, bitches!

Okay, so one of the reasons I really dig this E35 V3.0 is the fact that it’s got a simple button that is intuitive to use. Intuitive is a fancy 2 Dollar word that means you don’t have to read the manual. The clip is a good size for securing the light to webbing, pockets or even a belt. The is about as perfect as you can get. This thing even feels good in your hand. It’s easy to hold and it’s not going to slip out of your grip. This is great. Some tactical lights I know of have gripping surfaces like cheese graters as if you are going to be using a flashlight while your hands are coated in slick blood. Amateurs, that’s what your NVG’s are for… Kids.

If there is anything I’d change on this light, for a V4.0 version… I’d add small protective ears on either side of the activation button. Partially to protect the button from accidental activation, but also to help index the light in the hand so it’s easier to use in the dark before you get the light turned on. You can’t really index off the clip as the clip rotates. And really that’s my only nit-pick. This flashlight here is damn near perfect. And I don’t say that lightly. It even LOOKS cool. And I don’t really ever take looks into consideration for something like this. But it’s fact. The brass colored button and bezel just make the Light seem that much cooler.

Now this is where… Sorry in advance… The light really shines. 3,000 Lumen output on Turbo with 1 hour and 15 minutes run time. (When I tested mine, I found that it actually ran longer) In High, 1200 Lumens for 2 hours and 40 minutes. That’s staggering for a light of this size! 450 Lumens on Medium lasts 7 hours. And to test that I brought it with me to work, fully charged and set it on my desk. It probably could have run longer, but when I clocked out for the day, it was still going strong over seven hours later. I turned it off before it ran out of juice, so I don’t know how much longer it could have gone, but my impression is that Fenix’s time statements are a bit conservative. Low and Eco modes were not tested for run time, because life is too short and I’m going to take their word for it.
Now, at 50 Lumens, the claimed 50 hours of run time is impressive. 50 hours is a very long time and highly useable if you are in a dark area… because 50 lumens is a good deal of usable light for camp chores after dark, walking a rocky trail, or in a survival situation like being stuck in an underground bunker playing poker with Russian Stalkers. Whatever the situation, 50 lumens for 50 hours is probably going to get you through. Going up to 1200 and you’re blinding people. 3000 and your blinding the Search and Rescue aircraft.

In the above photos, you can see the stepped progression of light output. In the Eco and Low modes, my camera’s automatic night mode kicked in and helped illuminate the view… You can tell by the orangish light from a street light on the left. So those are not a great indicator of what the light is actually doing. In Medium mode, the 3rd image is pretty true. The light thrown was enough to see quite well at the distance. In High, it was impressive. 1200 Lumens is a lot of light here and was more than enough to see everything. In Turbo Mode, 3,000 lumens was incredible and it made the Guy across the street come out and ask just what the hell I was using. I kid you not, he ordered his own Fenix light off Amazon right then and there on his phone.

It comes with a USB Type C cord for recharging the battery. A spare O-Ring for the battery compartment seal. And a little strap that I’m never going to use.
So to sum it up, this light is now – hands down – my favorite hand-held light that I have, have ever had, or probably will ever have in the foreseeable future. I like it better than the PD36 TAC light – which is an awesome flashlight. The E35 V3.0 puts out the same light, but it’s just a bit more compact and “Friendlier” to use. If that’s even a thing. I don’t know if that’s a fair metric to compare lights by. But I just did. That’s my personal opinion. You can form your own opinion by getting one of these for yourself. Click this link here:
Fenix E35 V3.0

Budget Semiauto shotgun

I was asked about the Black Aces Tactical Semi-Auto Shotgun, because TFB did a Video on it. No, I don’t know anything about this shotgun, and like James, I don’t trust it. Because Turkey can be slim shady and not very cash money on the products they export. I’ve seen things. Things I can’t unsee. There is one Turkish budget builder that I don’t instantly puke over, and that’s Stoeger. Mainly because of the ownership and the design which is a trickle-down Benelli. His budget of 500 bucks, that’s just an artificial self-imposed challenge and I’d rather save money for another month or two and splash out for the Stoeger M3000 Freedom Series. It’s 200 bucks more than Jame’s pick, but comes with better sights and an optics mount, and an action that is seriously Tried and True. I used to sell these Great Value Benellis left and right and they were SOLID and RELIABLE. So don’t take a chance on unknown factors. I sold them to guys that shot CASES of shells through them every single weekend. I don’t remember any of them having issues save for one guy that “cleaned it” but didn’t put it back together right. I fixed it within about a minute and it was good to go again. Maybe the Black Aces thing is fine. Maybe it’s not. Here’s the thing though. This is a DEFENSIVE SHOTGUN. That means it CAN NOT be allowed to fail. I’m not rolling dice on that. You don’t need a side saddle… The fanny pack thing is JUST FINE. In fact, I actually dig that as you can carry a LOT of shells instead of wasting time futzing around with elastic loops and velcro. Yeah, having shells on the gun is fine, but having a whole bag of shells on tap is even finer. And putting shells on the stock – that’s stupid. Try firing a shotgun from the weak shoulder with a face full of 12 gauge shells waiting to break your face. You still gotta be able to switch shoulders. I would think that James, having taken a class or two now and running The Gauge now… would have picked up on that. Oh well. He’s still learning.Anyway, don’t worry about the accessories which are not absolutely necessary… get the better gun and take accessories off another gun if you think you have to have them. Also, his choice of light is a good one.

The Stoeger is also just flat out better looking… Which isn’t important, but a nice bonus when you can get it. The larger bolt handle, better feed gate, and higher capacity out of the box. Winner on every metric. This is the Poor Boy’s Benelli for a good reason.

Fenix PD36 TAC

The ubiquitous Tactical Flashlight… Something that every Self Defense Expert says you should always EDC. You should always have a Flashlight on you, always. Everyday, all the time, like your wallet, knife, and Roland Special modified Glock, and a Trauma Kit. Because you’re permanently out of bubblegum.

I’ll be honest, I do not always carry a flashlight on my person. But do always have one handy, nearby, and ready to go.

The “Ready to Go” part is often a pain in the lamp. Surefire lights have been the go-to standard for tactical operators at every shooting range. But I’ve found they have two issues. One, they are really just not that bright. Like a lot of tactical operators at every shooting range. And they are very thirsty. They guzzle the juice from a set of batteries like a Frat Boy at a Party Keg. And CR123’s are not the most price point friendly. That being said… Standard. Surefire does some things very right. The light output is good. But better yet, they are solid. Rock Freaking Solid. I’ve literally never had one fail. The Switches always work. The water-proofing is flawless. And I’ve taken them on many adventures and miss-adventures and grand adventures. The failure point though has always been me, because they’ll start to drain and I could have freaking sworn I brought the spare batteries with me in the pack’s zippered compartment, right where I… Ah, I used them already.

The PD36 is sized well… Appropriately for the purpose. And it’s equipped with a fully functional pocket clip. Though, I’ve never used any clips on any lights for clipping to a Pocket. That’s where my knife goes. But they do clip on other things in other places just fine, thank you. Such as Molle loops. When did Molle become more popular than Alice? I liked Alice. Anyways… So let’s talk about the most important thing for a Light. The Light.

This thing is insanely bright. THREE THOUSAND Lumens. Good Hell. You could hunt for German Bombers over London with these things. You could signal for edgy loner anti-social super-heroes with this. It’s bright. Do not look directly into the LED. It’s like looking into a nuclear reaction. Trust me.

At 3,000 Lumen output, the lamp will get hot. That’s expected. Hot enough that there’s actually a warning etched onto the light. Disregard that warning at your own risk. Now, pouring out 3KL is going to drain that battery pretty quickly. It’s only going to last an hour and a half. They call that TURBO mode. That’s the highest of the Modes. Welcome to the 80’s.
Now here’s where it’s interesting. The Tail Cap has two switch positions. Tactical and Duty. I don’t know who’s naming this shit, but they need to step away from the X-Box. “Tactical” gives you a simple on and off into HIGH mode that puts out a reasonable, useful, and honestly the best balance of output and firepower… 2,000 Lumens. But if you press it right you’ll find that dumbass strobe mode… Because Lightswitch Raves are something REAL OPERATORS do. Just ask MARSOC. Anyways, that’s at 2KL as well.
The Duty Mode gives you the same Strobe mode, but then you can get to some good stuff… Eco Mode, which is 30 Lumens for 160 hours. Low Mode for 150 Lumens for 18 hours and 45 Minutes. Medium for 350 Lumens for 10 hours and 10 minutes, and then Duty-High, not the same as Tactical-High… 1000 Lumens for 3 hours and 15 minutes.
All of that is just overkill and tapping the endcap button to select the mode you want is just 2001 Space Bullshit. This is 2021 and Simplicity is Gold. You already have to twist the end cap to select Tactical or Duty. Why not just twist to HIGH MEDIUM LOW with the tailcap button for On and Off?
Look, Fenix, I like what you’re doing… But this PD36 is just complicated. The Output is awesome. The Longevity is awesome. The form factor, size, weight, is just awesome. This is a GREAT LIGHT. But the intended use is for the same people who consider that a Thumb Safety is Too Fecking Complicated and that a DA/SA Trigger is something that trips them up. A Flashlight – especially one where the user is in a high-stress situation – isn’t something that should be thought about when there are other highly kinetic things to worry about.
Oh, but that’s why there’s the Tactical Mode…
Dude, STFU. Fix that Tail Cap Switch, trim down the modes. Or make it like a Dimmer Switch where you twist for the brightness from Eco to Turbo and then activates with a pressure switch that only gives you temp on and hard on.
This is why Surefire pretty much owns the tactical market. They know their customers. Fenix, you need to do some research. You’re building some good stuff. This one, it’s good… But it could be better.
Overall, yes, it’s a Buy. It’s a solid Buy. It’s absolutely worth buying.
For more details on this and other Fenix Lights, hit them up directly:

https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-pd36-tac-flashlight

Harley Davidson Pan America

So Harley Davidson finally put out the Pan America, their first true ADV bike. And I was sent out to California’s Mojave Desert, to a location called “ZAKAR”, Rawhyde Adventure’s training compound.
There, I was introduced to the awesomeness that was Rawhyde Adventures, and to the Pan America.

I had very expectations for this bike and I had joked that if it didn’t live up to them, I’d have to go work for Yamaha. But I’m pleased to report that all expectations were either met or exceeded.

The Pan Am, AKA “Dirt Glide” is a radical departure for The Motor Company. They decided some time ago to delve into the realm of Adventure Touring to take some slices off the pie owned by the BMW GS series, Triumph’s Tiger, Ducati’s Multistrada, and some other worthy models out there. ADV bikes have become the fastest growing segment of motorcycling, with brands putting out more different models all the time. This is for a good reason. ADV Bikes are the ultimate type of motorcycling, fullfilling the promise of motorcycles… Freedom. An ADV bike has no limits. They can go anywhere, and do anything… and generally speaking, they do it very well. They are a Multirole Fighter like an F-18 Super Hornet on two wheels.

Harley’s new ADV bike is truly a home run. The bike weighs about the same as a Sportster 48, yet packs 150 Horses and 125nm of Torgue. And you’ll never have to deal with Valve Adjustments ever again. This is the best engine HDMC has ever produced. It’s so good, a lot of folks out there are just shocked. It’s not the Potato Potato Potato V-twin HD Naysayers like to hack on. This engine is a Rev-Happy Beast. But like a Triumph Tiger 1200, it’s smooth and well-mannered. Exactly what you want for a competent ADV machine.

Some Video: Sorry the embedding isn’t working:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkTTihoqztY

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The Internet's Original Critic