Category Archives: Gear

Gerber vs CRKT

For a decent budget knife, CRKT and Gerber are both competing for Sub-80 Dollar knife budget. Both have some interesting knives, and both are knife companies I used to hate. But when you kinda start to groove on these new mini-cleaver type folders, these companies are a great choice. But which one is better?

Let’s look at their two very popular options. CRKT’s PILAR in size Large. The Large PILAR isn’t much bigger than standard PILAR, but it’s enough to make all the difference in everyday use. I am quite fond of it, and it makes small cutting tasks kinda fun. It’s a delightful knife.

The Gerber Flatiron is just cool. The blade shape, the handle shape… It’s a great knife to hold on too… and if your cutting jobs are mundane, this is a cool way of taking care of that work. You just like HOLDING it.

Both knives are of the same construction type… An asymmetrical frame lock on one side and composite scale on the other. Both sport a pocket clip. But that’s where the similarities come to a screeching halt. Because, let’s be frank here… The Gerber’s pocket clip blows. And as of yet, know one has stepped up to make a replacement that might work better. It carries just fine, but getting it to clip over your pocket is a real PITA, and I’m not talking about the bread. It almost ruins the knife.

Overall, the CRKT is the easier knife to carry, open, close and put back into the pocket. It fulfills the function of a folder better. And I think the build quality is a bit better too. The blade steel is D2, which is an advantage. Though, the Flatiron is available in D2 as well. But D2 out of China is pretty much just meaning its made out of some sort of actual steel and not just melted tin cans.

Once both knives are open though, the edge (sorry) goes to the Gerber with it’s longer cutting edge and straight razor geometry. It cuts better and can take a finer edge than the PILAR. And that sounds like it makes the Flatiron a clear winner… But the problem is that it’s stiff to open, even after a redesign has improved it. It’s stiff to close, even after a redesign to improve that as well. And again, the Clip is the worst thing in the world. It’s so bad, that I’d rather take it off completely and just carry it in a sheath… which doesn’t exist.

So which one wins? The CRKT wins. Overall it’s the better pocket knife – which is what these are. And it’s fun to use. Whereas the Flatiron just because a pain in the ass.

Grilling While Armed

The Grilling While Armed book is now Live on Amazon!
This is your Grill HQ Operations Manual. With this book, you will learn by the numbers! We will teach you! You will master your Grill as you master your life! You will become Grill Masters!
Mark Walters of Armed American Radio and I have worked very hard on this project, and it’s been a labor of love. Doing and enjoying what we do… Living the Freedom Lifestyle, with Guns and Grilled Meat!
Order your copy here!

Cleaning and Lubrication

Over the last month, I’ve had an abundance of questions regarding Weapon Lubrication, Cleaning, and about what oils I’ve been using as of late, and what CLP I recommend.

First off, I don’t recommend any CLP product. Because the functions of Cleaning and Lubrication tend to be at odds with one another so any single product doesn’t do both of those jobs well. Some products do one job better than it does the other, and other products the opposite. I favor using the right tool for the job. So I like a dedicated cleaner, and a dedicated lubricant.

MPRO-7 Cleaner is my cleaner of choice. In fact, I’m due to grab another bottle as I am getting low. Anyways.

For a Lubricant, I still have some Slipstream, but as supplies run out and production is stopped, I’ve been using something else more and more. Mobil 1. And here’s why. Oils designed for engines have a lot of other additives than just the base oil. These additives increase the lubrication properties, and they help break down carbon and helps prevent carbon from sticking to the metal. The additives in the oil keep that carbon emulsified and as those particles are in a solution, helps move it away from friction points. A firearm works a lot like an internal combustion engine. Heat and carbon are a result of a cartridge’s Combustion. And no matter how slick the surface is, carbon is going to want to stick to it, build up, and cause problems. This is why Crusader started recommending using the Slipstream oil on top of the permanent application process and eventually stopped doing permanent lubrication altogether. While a lube free coating sounds like a good idea at first, like Socialism, the actual use of it causes its own set of problems and eventually, it’s just a bad idea.

Guns can be Hot. Guns can be Dirty. Guns can be Dry. But they can’t be all three and keep having fun. If you want it to run Hot and Dirty, it’s got to be Wet. Just like a weekend in Vegas.

Spyderco Native 5

Spyderco’s Native has been one of my favorite carry knives since the first version. The Native 5 is a great continuation of that tradition, and yes, it’s still a favorite. I like the feel in the hand better than Spyderco’s other great EDC folder, the Delica. And for the record, this isn’t a 5th edition of it, because there’s practically a countless number of Natives out there with a myriad of handle and blade materials in just about every combination you could think of.

This version is designed to be a light weight version with easy of carry and great EDC properties. Such as a 3″ Blade, and overall length of 6.8″. The weight is only 2.4 ounces. And the blade steel is the delicious CPM S35VN steel. Which is one of the most ideal blade steels out there.

Size wise, the Native has always been a perfect pocketborne companion. Something you could just always have on you. And in the pocket, clipped properly, it still leaves you a pocket you can use for other things, such as car keys. And you wont get any new scars when you reach in to get those keys.

I got into Spyderco when I was going through my Police Academy getting my Colorado POST certification. That was a long time ago. The Spydercos tend to be simple lockbacks, with good blade steels and absolutely wickedly sharp cutting edges. The Native 5 is very very very sharp. One of the very sharpest blades I’ve ever felt. I’ve always liked the way one can open and close the blade one handed without much shifting in the hand.

The Clip isn’t the lowest or deepest carry. But it is reversible and changeable for tip up or tip down carry, left or right hand carry. Whichever way you want to carry it. And through the hole in the clip and scales… You can run a cord for whatever reason you feel like you need tassels on it.

One thing I found on the Native 5 that I didn’t like at first, but have come to appreciate it… is the molded in texture. It’s a directional pattern than allows it to slide in one direction and really grip and lock-in, in the other direction. So while it’s a tough carbon reinforced nylon type polymer… it is strong, and it’s not going to slip around at all in the hand.

The #1 Rival to the Native would probably be the Benchmade Buckout. As you can see they are similarly sized, with the Bugout being a little slimmer, and a little lighter, and carries deeper.

The Bugout is anywhere from 20 to 40 bucks more depending on your retail outlet… And while slimmer and lighter and deeper, I don’t know if it’s actually worth any more money. Because the Bugout is also a bit more delicate, and can flex too easily when you go to use it for anything more heavy duty than slicing open snacks or throats. The Native for it’s small size, isn’t actually a light duty knife. You can really use it for some serious work. The finger grooves really allow you to grip the hell out of the knife. So taking away Benchmade’s Political SNAFU and comparing both knives on their own merits… I think the NATIVE 5 is the better buy. You’re getting more knife for less coin, and most gun owners won’t give you stink-eye when they see you’re packing a Benchmade.

Craft Holster’s IWB Concealment RIG

Some time ago, my friend Luke at Craft Holsters sent me a wonderful little bag to review, that I’m still using. He left me with an open invitation to review a holster. So when I finally acquired my Unicorn Pistol… I dropped Luke a line to send me one, if the invitation was still good. Well, it was, and so is this holster he sent me. The photos were taken immediately upon arrival, as I was excited to get this holster. It impressed me the moment I pulled it out of the bag.

I’ve been running this rig for about a month now, so I feel like I can give it a good shakedown. Overall, the holster is well made and the leather quality is very good. The thickness is enough to be sturdy, and over the month of use, it’s holding up very well and not showing signs of wear. The finish is good, with deep penetration of the dye and I’ve not had any problems with any dye seepage or staining clothes, and the holster didn’t have that acidic fresh tanned leather smell.

The stitching is well done, with a nicely contrasting colored thread. Double row as well. The brown leather with this stitching gives the holster a rich, classic look. It looks like it could be from Galco or DeSantis. The body side of the holster is smooth, and contoured properly to wear comfortably against the body. At the same time the holster holds the gun nice and tightly against your side to keep the gun concealed. Which is the whole point.

The boning work is done beautifully. Boning the leather does two things for a holster… One is cosmetic. It makes the holster more attractive, making it look like an actual holster instead of just a sheet of leather. And Two, it fits the holster to the gun. And this is an important aspect. You can do this boning process too much, with the result being a holster that you can’t get the gun in and out of. I think this might be a good time to mention just what Boning is. It gets the name from the tool. Leather workers would use pieces of actual bone or antler to press the leather into shape. This work was, and still is quite often, done by hand. Some companies might use a roller to imprint the leather, or others will steam the leather and then pressure fit it like kydex. This was done by hand, the old fashioned way.

An important part of an IWB holster is the reinforced mouth. This allows the firearm to be drawn when needed, and then reholstered when it’s not. Some holsters I’ve dealt with in the past, don’t reinforce the mouth, and so when the weapon is drawn, the holster collapses and you have to undo your belt to get the gun back in. This was not a problem with this Craft rig. Drawing and reholstering is not a problem. Also in part to the classic FBI Cant, which tilts the holster slightly forward. This angle helps your draw to be nice and smooth, while pivoting the grip frame forward enough to help keep the gun’s grip nicely concealed.

The Belt Loops were just wide enough for my gun belt, and I had no problem at all with my dress belt. The holster fits and wears comfortably, all day long and allows you to completely forget it’s there. You forget it’s there, you can draw when needed, and you can reholster when you like. It does everything that a holster should do, and it does it well while looking good doing it. For sixty bucks, you just can’t go wrong with it.

Thank you to Luke at Craft Holsters. This rig is going to see many years of use.

Craft Holster’s Cargo Explorer Concealed Carry Bag

Some time ago I was contacted by Luke of Craft Holsters, with an invitation to review one of their products.  I checked out their site and found something I was interested in trying out.  A small Sling Bag type set up that I thought might work out great when riding a Motorcycle.    Hit that link to see the details and better photos than I took.

I used this bag for a couple months now.  You guys know I don’t like to do a review unless I’ve actually used the thing I’m reviewing.  And if I don’t like it – I’ll tell you that I don’t like it.  And I’d also throw down any Constructive Criticism that I have for the Item, so it could be used for further Product Development.   Continue reading Craft Holster’s Cargo Explorer Concealed Carry Bag

Invicta Pro Diver

No watch out there gets more controversial than the Invicta Pro Diver.  For this reason alone, I think the Watch Community is kind of odd.  Kind of conflicted.  Let me tell you why…

The watch its self is solid and well made, and certainly well worth the retail price tag.  It offers a very good 200 meter water resistance.  The automatic movement is by Seiko, which is very nice, and is the darling brand in the community.  Almost universally adored.   Yet the Invicta Pro-Diver garners some serious hate.  Overall it’s a very handsome watch.  What people hate about it is that it looks like a Rolex.  From a distance.  Yet many of the same people that hate on the Invicta for that reason, will give passes on other watchmakers who do a Submariner-Look-A-Likes.    Continue reading Invicta Pro Diver

Benchmade SOCP Dagger


I’ve had this knife for several years now.  And the one thing I can tell you about this, is that it isn’t a tool.  See, most knives regardless of their marketing-defined purpose, are cutting tools.  First and foremost, they are able to cut things and be used for many tasks.  The SOCP doesn’t do any of that.  The SOCP does only one thing.  Stab.  The blade is designed to puncture.  And it does that very well, thanks to its needle-sharp tip.  It does have some sharpening up the sides of the edges, but only to aid in penetration and to open the wound channel a bit.   There is really no other utility going on here.  And that’s okay. Continue reading Benchmade SOCP Dagger

Benchmade Adamas CBK Push Dagger


There’s not much to say about the Benchmade Adamas Push Dagger that hasn’t already been said on many a knife forum, blade magazine, or YouTube Video… at least when they first came out.  Really not much about them ever since.  And I find that a little curious.  Because this knife is with me quite often.  Even into places where weapons are strictly verboten.  It’s a frequent carry item because it’s just so bloody good at being exactly what it is there to be.  Your Backup. Continue reading Benchmade Adamas CBK Push Dagger