A New Knife, Same As The Old Knife…

Back in 2017 I posted about my carry knives (Knives Tale). In that post I detailed my affinity for the STL 2.5 from Gerber. I still carry this little knife on a regular basis although the finish is wearing off and the edge has been worn down from use and resharpening it is almost the perfect knife for me under many situations. Although this is Texas and having a knife clipped inside a pocket is generally a non-issue there are times when I prefer to carry very discreetly. The STL 2.5 can ride in the pocket without showing or getting in the way. I actually have two of these little knives as I purchased a spare some time back in case I lose or break it. I like it so much I might even buy a third at some point.

When I wrote that post back in 2017 I had just started carrying a Kershaw OSO Sweet. It is a great little knife but a little too big and bulky for discreet carry. Somewhere along the lines I broke the tip off that little knife and replaced it with another of the same model but with a black coated blade which addressed the staining issues of the initial knife.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching an interview with Michael Janich of Martial Blade Concepts discussing the evolution and advantages of the wharncliffe blade shape.

Even though my approach to the knife as a defensive tool is very different than what he teaches I still respect his opinions. He believes, based on his testing, that it is the best shape for cutting and self-defense. So, I wanted to pick up a knife with a wharncliffe blade and check it out.

Then I realized I used to carry a knife with this blade design, the Kershaw 1660CKT Leek.

It was a good alternative to the STL 2.5 and I really liked it but the blade is fairly thin and I ended up bending the tip while using it for something other than cutting. Instead of using the right tool for the job I changed to a different and sturdier knife. Well now I have come full circle and I am carrying the Kershaw Leek again. We will see how it works out. I have gotten a lot better about using the right tool for the job after all.

I will carry that one for a while and see how it goes.

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.

Violence In The US: Short Term EDC Changes

Last week after the news of the mail “bombs” being sent to leftist leaders in this country I posted that I would be changing my daily carry and the Ruger LCR would go into the safe for a while and that I would be reviewing my EDC gear as a whole (link):

With the elections underway I was already focusing on being more alert for potential threats. For the foreseeable future my little Ruger LCR will be relegated to the safe. Replaced by something with a little more capacity and quicker reloads. I also plan to review my EDC gear and see if anything in there needs to be beefed up.

The attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh further strengthened my push to reevaluate my EDC.

Well, the little Ruger is still in my pocket and not in the safe.

I was planning to switch to my Glock 43 as my primary carry gun but for now I am staying with the LCR. Although reloads are definitely faster than with the LCR, the G43 only gives me two extra rounds on tap (6+1 vs. 5). Are those two extra rounds (and faster reloads) worth giving up the slightly better reliability of the revolver? Not at the moment.

I might do so later but for the  moment I have decided to stick with what I have carried for the last year or two. I am familiar with it. I am well practiced with it and all the gear that goes along with it. That may change in the future but for now I will stick with what I know.

RATS Tourniquet

Based onsome additional research I have been doing especially some articles by Greg Ellifritz (this being a good overview: Post Election Riots?) I have changed up some of the other gear I carry. I have had a tourniquet sitting on my desk for a year waiting on the time to take some training before carrying it. It is now in my pack and online training will have to do for the moment. Pepper spray? Yup added on the outside of my bag. Knife? Moved from inside the back to a spot where it is more easily reached and deployed (this is in addition to the one I usually carry in my pocket or on my belt.

Pepper Spray

I will be adding an additional bandana and a bottle of water to my pack as well. Which means I may have to start carrying a small backpack instead of the sling bag I carry now.

I will continue to reevaluate my carry gear until thigs start to subside…if they ever do.

Keep alert, be prepared and take care.

God bless.

Knives Tale

First off, I want to make it clear that I am not a “knife guy.”

Yes, I carry a knife almost every day.

Yes, I have a nice collection of knives of various sorts.

Yes, I love checking out cool new knives.

But to me, knives are just tools. Tools that are to be used, regularly, for whatever I need to use them for. Most of the time that involves cutting something whether that is opening boxes and packages, trimming plants, opening the mail, or preparing food. They also get used for any sort of other purpose that may come up; pry bar, hammer, screwdriver, or even for self-defense should the need arise.

I sharpen them as needed but don’t use stones or fancy equipment. Generally I use a Smith’s Two Stage Sharpener like this one:

They are cheap, easy to use, easy to carry, easy to use and result in a serviceable edge.

Knife guys cringe when they read or hear about how I use, abuse and “care” for my knives. Which is how I know that I am not a “knife guy.”

For a big chunk of my adult life a cheap single-bladed Barlow picked up on a whim accompanied me every day, generally in a pocket with keys or in the coin pocket of my jeans. It did everything I needed it to for years and cost less than $10 at a small town WalMart. Eventually, the blade snapped off (completely this time) and I went looking for a replacement. Knives like this are apparently no longer in favor with most folks and the ones I could find were either super cheap knives made in Pakistan that I wouldn’t trust for anything other than being a display or really nice, really high end knives.

After trying quite a few different knives and styles I finally found the STL 2.5 from Gerber.

Gerber STL 2.5

I picked one up from a large sporting goods retailers based on how thin and light it was. I worked in an office that was non-permissive when it came to “weapons” and I wanted something as thin and light as possible to carry in my pocket. That was at least five or six five years ago and I have been carrying it ever since on an almost daily basis.

Despite being a pretty simple, and cheap knife it just works and, more importantly, lasts. Despite being used and abused in a high humidity and somewhat corrosive environment (lots of saltwater on the Texas Gulf Coast) it hasn’t rusted. The black finish is a bit worn in areas mostly from living in a pocket with keys and other random items but the finish is unbelievably tough for the price. I like this little knife so much I bought a spare for when I lose or finally destroy this one.

I have tried several different knives during the time I have carried the STL but none have been able to replace it on a daily basis. The Kershaw 1830 OSO SWEET has come about as close as any.

Kershaw 1830 OSO SWEET

The 1830 is a little too big and bulky to carry in most office settings or when wearing nicer clothes but it has replaced the STL outside of those situations. The blade is about a half inch longer and a good bit thicker. The profile of the blade makes it a lot stronger than the STL but it still holds a nice edge. The only complaint that I have is that the un-coated 8Cr13MoV steel stains easily. I haven’t seen any rust but it has picked up discolorations from several tasks including cutting steak and potatoes for a camp dinner one night.

Based on my experiences with this Kershaw I tried the 3840 Freefall. It was a bit bigger and heavier knife but seemed to be a good choice for a more “survival” oriented knife plus the blade is coated with a “stone washed” finish that I thought might prove more stain resistant.

Kershaw 3840 Freefall

Unfortunately, the finish on the blade does seem to stain pretty easily compared to my cheap little Gerber and, to be honest, the extra weight and bulk has been tough to get used to. It get’s left behind most of the time.

The newest knife in my carry line up is also from Kershaw. On paper, the 1660CKT Leek seemed to be an almost perfect replacement for the STL 2.5. It had everything I was looking for. It is thin and light so it could replace the Gerber in non-permissive environments but with a longer, heavier blade and it is coated (also in black). It has some other features that I really like as well. It is super fast and easy to open (almost scary fast). In fact I can open it as fast as any auto opening knife I have ever tried. It has a lock to keep it from opening in my pocket (has never happened) the the clip is removable and reversible. To be honest it is more than double the cost of the STL as well. However, in just a few months of carrying this little guy I did discover one weakness, the tip of the blade is very thin and is already bent from using (inappropriately) as something other than a cutting tool. It is still usable and, to be honest, the bend is very slight and not terribly noticeable. Nevertheless, it will probably end up in the drawer where I keep my knife collection rather than in my pocket…

That’s my knive’s tale. What’s yours?

God bless

Modular EDC Project: The Results

This was, overall, a good exercise. Even after spending several hours digging through and organizing my stuff I honestly didn’t change much but what I did change is good. As a personal exercise, this really was a pretty good investment of my time. I found some items that were either expired or ruined, tons of duplication in what I was carrying and I reorganized all my first aid supplies.

Probably Shouldn’t Use Light Colored Carpet In A Shop Area…

Goal Number One: A Smaller “Critical Items” Bag

It is not perfect, it is not as light or small as I would like but it works and it has what I consider to be my “critical items” and a few that are not so critical but it works.

Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizer

It is nowhere near what I would call “micro” but this little pouch/bag/organizer does fit in any of the cargo pockets I have tested it in. It is a little heavy but I should be just a matter of getting used to it being there as I have with my gun, knife, etc. I added a small carabiner clip which allows me to attach it to a belt loop or another bag. I can also just toss it into another larger bag. The front pocket holds a few packets of hand sanitizer.

Opening it up I have a small tube of lip balm, a little container of over the counter pain relievers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen), flashlight, over the counter antacid (rantidine), and the first truly critical item Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Wonderful wife has a sever food allergy that we have, as yet, been able to identify. One of these as soon as the symptoms start to show saves a trip to the emergency room (or worse).

(Very) Minor First Aid

In the pocket to the left I have a few first aid items to treat (very) minor injuries; antiseptic wipes, band-aid, bandage, antibiotic ointment and eye drops. I won’t be able to deal with any serious injuries but it is small and light enough to carry and will help when the grand kids (or Pappa) get a little injury. I plan on adding a few more items as there is plenty more room in the pocket. I keep all of it in a sealed plastic bag to make it easier to get in and out and to help keep the antiseptic wipes from drying out.

The right hand pocket contains a surgical mask (thanks thoughtfullyprepping for the suggestion) and glucose tablets. Both of these items could be considered “critical.” I have issues with my blood sugar and the glucose tabs can help keep my going until I can get some real food in me. The surgical mask can help protect against airborne toxins and contaminants. I plan to upgrade to a better mask shortly and to include a second mask as well.

Everything in here is TSA (and other restricted environments) safe and can be easily pocketed or carried with most of my clothes. It has just the basics and some critical items so it is not too bulky or heavy.

Goal Number Two: Better Organization

Starting out, I had visions of several small packs that could be combined and recombined as needed depending on what was going on and where I would be. That was probably just a little bout of OCD and I got over that quickly. I did however combine all my TSA unfriendly stuff into one of the organizers I bought. That way I know quickly and completely that I am safe for airport travel and I can also tell at a glance that I have restored it when I am done.

Not TSA Safe…

I will probably change out the knife for a better one shortly. The rest will stay.

Goal Number Three: Deduplication

This part worked pretty well. Other that work related items I only have a few things in my work bag.

Work bag contents

Gone is almost all the stuff that is in my EDC bag and the only items left are things that make sense. Yes, everything here duplicates what I have in my EDC bag but this is WAAAYYY less that what was there before. By cleaning out my laptop bag of the duplicate items I can fit the entire EDC bag into it if I need to. The “critical items” bag can be tossed in or kept in a pocket.

All in all I am pretty please with the (small) changes I have made. I think it will go a long way to making sure I have what I need, when I need it and that it is still usable.

God Bless

What Did You Prep This Week?

We bought the supplies to finish the “extra” bucket for my son and his wife. We also bought five more pounds of red beans which is what they would prefer to have stocked since they eat those more than pinto beans or black beans. Unfortunately, red beans are more expensive than pintos so this may take another month or so to fill their last bucket.

Galco Stow-n-go and Ruger LCR
Galco Stow-n-go and Ruger LCR

I purchased a new holster for my wife and the Galco Stow-N-Go for me. I returned two other holsters that we purchased and didn’t like and used that money (plus a little more) to buy 200 rounds of 5.56 ammo. We are now at the inventory level I want to be so we’ll start working on building up our supply of 12 gauge small game shells next. Should be able to reach that goal in a couple of months.

200 rounds of 5.56
200 rounds of 5.56

I painted the back of the sights on two of my revolvers. The white paint makes for better visibility. I tested on my Ruger LCR since I had already ordered a fiber optic sight. The fiber optic sight from HiViz came in and I installed it on the LCR. It wasn’t hard but I am impatient so there is a little nick in the finish of the revolver…

Painted front sight
Painted front sight
HiViz fiber optic front sight on Ruger LCR
HiViz fiber optic front sight on Ruger LCR

I also bought a Ka-Bar TDI LDK (Last Ditch Knife) to test out:


That’s it for us. What did you prep this week?

God bless.

Gerber Bear Grylls Scout: Initial (and Final) Review

First off, I have a confession to make. I loose knives. I loose knives a lot. At least the knives that I carry on a regular basis. I also have a tendency to abuse knives in ways they were never intended to be causing the to break. I have broken or damaged a lot of knives. These are the reasons that I don’t buy expensive knives.

I generally have two different knives that are part of my everyday carry (EDC) gear. A small, discreet knife that conceals well, especially in dress clothes, and a larger heavier duty knife for the rest of the time. Until a week or so ago, my heavier duty knife was an Oso Sweet from Kershaw. It was sturdy and well made and, for the most part, I liked it. The one think I didn’t like was the uncoated blade. I live close to the coast, have a saltwater pool and tend to use the knife around a lot of odd chemicals. Uncoated steel blades tend to discolor or rust pretty quickly. This happened on the Kershaw pretty quickly. The blade was still in good shape and held an edge well it just looked like a junk pile knife.

In any case, I have misplaced the Kershaw. No idea where or how but it’s gone. Maybe it will turn up someday but in the meantime I needed a replacement. After way too much time looking at the “wall o’ knives” I really didn’t find one I liked but as I walked out I noticed a Gerber Bear Grylls Scout on a discount rack. I don’t usually buy “designer” knives but it was on sale and seemed to be a decent option. Better than the alternatives anyway. So, I bought it and here is what I think of it after a good 20 minutes playing with it.

Bear Grylls Scout from Gerber

Meh…So far, color me unimpressed.

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It has most of the features I was looking for. It has a decently sturdy and sharp 3.24 inch coated blade. The grip has a non-slip material on it of some sort and seems to lock fairly securely.

From that perspective, it seems like it would be everything I was hoping for…but it’s not. Or at least it doesn’t seem to be. The knife is a lot lighter than I was expecting. It lacks the sturdy heft of the Kershaw. The handle is a bit thinner than the Kershaw as well so it doesn’t seem to fill the hand as well.

There is no assisted open on the Scout, something I didn’t realize I would miss.

The knife as a whole seems more cheaply made than I would have expected. When opening the knife it feels gritty. A few drops of machine oil helped a bit but it is still rough as the blade rotates. The materials in the handle also seem cheap.

Will it do the job? Will it last (at least until I loose it)?

Only time will tell.

I wrote this post last week and I’m only now getting around to posting it. In that time I have made my mind up on this knife.

It’s going into the unused knife bin.

As I mentioned above the knife does not open smoothly. Even after applying lubricant it is very gritty and binds while opening. The end result is that when using the thumb stud on the blade to open the knife about three times out of five my thumb ends up making contact with the serrations on the blade. The contact was never enough to draw blood but it was definitely enough to cut into the skin a little bit. This could be quite dangerous if my hands are wet as they frequently are when working outdoors.

The bottom line is, this is not a knife I will be using and it is not one I will recommend.

God Bless