Custom Vs. Production Why do we have custom collaborations of production knives ???

Custom Vs. Production Why do we have custom collaborations on production knives ??? I have a soft spot in my heart for highly engineered folding knives, but some of the custom makers I admire are out of my league. Sure we all want full on custom knife from our favorite maker or makers, more than a few things hinder this. Firstly the maker may not be taking order meaning his or her books are closed to new orders, this alone would make it nearly impossible to to obtain an example, barring going thru the custom knife purveyor at an inflated selling price or getting lucky in a lottery at a show. The other way is to except a used knife from the secondary market at an where it will even be a more inflated price. I have seen knives from certain custom makers be one in a lottery and then within 20 minutes be sold to dealers or secondary customers at 2 or even 3 times the table asking price.

I for one don’t have the financial means to drop $500.00 to $2500.00 on a single custom piece. We knife collectors still ravenous fans of our favorite custom craftsman. We like the designs of these artists, but may never be able to own one of their masterpieces. Here is where the production companies have come to the rescue, enter the “Custom Collabarations”. By marrying the design aspects of a custom knife into a mass produced piece under the watchful eye of the maker, allowing us to have something close, but yet different. There are several companies that produce such pieces, Zero Tolerance, Spyderco, Columbia Knife and Tool, Benchmade and Kershaw just to name a few. There are even whole companies started by custom makers to service the market created by their custom knives. These companies produce what are called mid-techs, not full custom but not really mass produced production pieces. They can produce a higher volume of semi custom pieces than they could making one knife at a time, but less than a full on production company.

As a writer I depend on these collaborations to bring reviews and opinions to certain design aspects, custom makers don’t usually supply test items for review as they can only make a limited number of custom knives during a given timeframe. So without the collaborations or mid-tech versions of these knives I would not be able to expose my readers to the work of these craftsmen. Without the cooperation of the makers and production some people would not be able to enjoy the engineering that goes into a fine custom knife. What most people don’t know is that the large advances in knife design have come from custom makers., an example of this is the liner lock designed my Michael Walker, the frame lock that was popularized my Chris Reeve, the Axis lock designed by makers Bill McHenry and Jason Williams some of these locks are the strongest in the history of knife making. These are only a few of the advancements we have enjoyed in the last 20 or so years, so as you can see we need to have custom makers who can put in the R&D time to design because without them knife design may become stagnant.

In the pictures below you will see a few examples of Production/Custom Collaborations. Included are designs from Zero Tolerance/ Rick Hinderer , Spyderco/Ed Scheemp these are but a few in existence.

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EDC – What’s in your pockets

EDC - What's in your pockets

What do you carry everyday with you ??

For each person that reads this it will be different, as it should be because each one of us have different needs. We live in different climates, go different places and do different things. What works great for me may be an utter failure for you. That is the single biggest gripe I have about normal EDC posts and articles is that the writers seem to think what they choose will work the same for everybody. I will do my best to go into why I choose the items you see in the photo above. Remember that these work for me they may not work for you. Only you can pick what is needed for your EDC.

1. Firearm: Glock 19 Gen. 3 in FDE (Flat Dark Earth) This my choice for a CCW weapon for the following reasons.

A. The G19 is small enough to conceal about 90% of the time and it retains enough size and capacity to be a legitimate fighting pistol.

B. It uses a full power cartridge and uses a proven design.

C. Out of all of my pistols I shoot the G19 the best (i.e. speed and accuracy) I have other but this is the one that I seem to put in a holster everyday. I also have a spare G-19 you never know when you may need an extra.

D. Magazines and spare parts plentiful, along with the pistol being easy to work on.

2. Holster and Mag Pouch this can vary depending on weather.

A. Sentry Gunleather ( )Raptor OWB in a monochromatic scheme of Tan with varying textures I choose to use small custom shops for my carry gear, as they seem more receptive to ideas and are faster to react the the needs of the customer.

B. Green Force Tactical ( ) single mag pouch Tan with Od Green back with a G-17 for the reload. I like single mag pouches for the versatility that they offer for carry position, this is a great help to me for CCW.

3.  Ammo is either 147gr Hydra-Shok or the 147gr. HST. Both of these have a good track record and I find them very easy to shoot with good speed and accuracy.

4. Flashlight Olight S20 Baton   You can find the specs for this and many other EDC/Tactical lights on Going Gear’s website ( ). This light has more than enough power for its purpose while still retaining a rich feature set.

5. Folding Knife  I have a soft spot in my heart for the Spyderco Military as it is a large knife but still has a relatively light pocket weight. This above model is an older one using CPM440V and their patented Spyderedge.

6. Back up blade:  Alan Folts Kiridashi worn in a neck sheath unsure of blade material but it is stainless.

7. Belt of choice : The Original Special Operations Gear EDC Belt 1.5in. wide. Outstanding belt made by an outstanding American Company you can look at the belts available on their website ( )

One of the most important things you can get is quality training. Real training not the glorified politically correct kind, but learn how to fight with your choice of gun and gear. One place to look for it is Tactical Response ( ) another great American company of shooters.IMG_0064IMG_2742

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Shotgun for defending your home or office !!!

Shotgun for defending your home or office !!!

This is a topic that has been discussed by people with more knowledge and experience than I could ever hope to obtain. So this article will be from a more simple point of view. I really have a soft spot in my heart for a 12ga. pump action shotgun. My personal preference is a Remington 870, that is not to say a Mossberg 500/590 wouldn’t be a great choice. I just happened to be exposed to the 870 platform first and have chosen to stick with it. I know that some people love their semi-auto shotguns, heck I even flirted with a Benelli M1 Super 90 just wasn’t for me I traded it for 2 870’s as I just love the simplicity of a pump action shotgun. The Benelli is a great shotgun loaded with great features as is the Mossberg 930.

So the newest shotgun to the fold is model 25077 it has a 18.5in barrel with a 6+1 capacity of 2.75in shells. The barrels action is the only part of the gun that remains. I choose to replace the furniture with a Magpul SGA stock and MOE forearm in Flat Dark Earth I also added a SGA Receiver sling mount and MOE rail section for mounting a light ( , more about the light later. I believe that when you retrieve a long gun for defensive purposes it should have some additional ammo on the gun, not saying you just couldn’t stuff your pockets with extra buckshot or slugs but that takes time and sometimes that is the only thing we don’t have enough of.

I have added a a Doug Presson Custom Works ( shell carrier to fix this issue. This shell carrier is possibly the most overbuilt piece of gear that I have at the moment I think you could destroy the gun and it would still retain shells. Made entirely of T6061 aluminum with Type III hard coat anodizing it is a beast, does it add weight to the gun of course it does. I have peace of mind that when and if I need extra ammo for the weapon, it will be right where I put it. The shell holes have rubber inserts that provide friction retention either in a base up or base down orientation I have shot 3in Magnum slugs and that haven’t moved at all, so I think that this is a winning combination. These rubber inserts are machined in to the carrier it self so they will stay put no matter how rigorous your activity. Also this was so very simple to install, it really took me longer to read the directions then it did to install.

For those times when I really need to carry a large amount of extra ammo I use another severely overbuilt piece of kit for Original Special Operation Gear. Their 12ga. MicroRig is I think one of the best value items I have purchased in a long time. Cover by one of the best warranties in the business, wait for it …… if you break it they will fix it !!!!! This particular rig holds 24 rounds in 6 round trays. The first 12 rounds are open to use with the remaining 12 rounds located in pockets behind the front 12 rounds, as you empty the 2 front trays you simply pull them down off the velcro (yes they are retained with webbing) you then pull the back trays out and place them on the velcro. The process is much simpler to do then to write it out. Off the the side is a pocket that will hold a full 25 round box of whatever ammo you choose. It also could be used for a med kit if you are so inclined. Visit their website at ( to see what colors are available mine is in Olive Drab.

I believe in having a light on a defensive long gun wether it be a shotgun or a carbine, for this I choose a brand some of you may not be familiar with Klarus. The model I have chosen is the XT 11 this light provides 820 ANSI lumens with 3 lighting modes and 1 strobe mode. I mounted this in an Olight M20 weapons mount this is a simple yet high quality mount this will allow you to mount any 1in. body light to any picatinny rail as long as the head of the light will clear. You can also add a pressure switch for light control, but I decided to go the simple route and use the standard switch. This setup will allow me to light up and engage at any distance that the 12ga. platform would be effective indoors or outside. All of these items are available at GoingGear (

Ammo choice for the 12ga. can be an article of its own. But here is what I choose to use:

Buckshot: I use standard 2 3/4in this particular load holds 21 pellets each .24in in diameter I like this load a lot I would love to see a premium load with #4 Buck so we can get the pattern to shrink.

Slugs: I use 2 different loads depending what I can get 1. Winchester PDX 12 which holds a 1oz. slug with 3 000 buck pellets nested on top. 2. Remington with a 1oz. slug at 1200FPS these are pleasant to shoot all day long and still provide plenty of power.

I may try a 00 Buck load from Federal using the FliteControl wad it seems to get very tight patterns at the most common engagement distances.

The most important thing after acquiring your gear is to get quality training. One that stands out would be the Fighting Shotgun course from Tactical Response ( )

Please feel free to leave comments on what your choices would be.

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Battle Horse Knives made for Warriors !!!

Battle Horse Knives made for Warriors !!!

Born and Bred in Cambridge Ohio in the great USA with outstanding workmanship Battle Horse Knives is a shining example of american pride and craftsmanship. The have just released their first limited edition knife named the “The Black Knight” This is the first in what I’m sure will be an outstanding line up of custom cutlery. Dan Coppins, Alicia and John McQuain have a ton of experience designing and crafting custom cutting instruments of museum quality. This can range from Bushcrafting to Tactical or even Family Heirloom pieces. We all know that it is one thing to have a great knife but the device that you carry it in is almost as important as the blade itself. They  have a first class sheath making operation using both leather and kydex. You will always get a sheath that matches or exceeds your expectations. They also have a full line of outdoor gear available.

The Battle Horse team can be reached at or by phone at 740-995-9009. Give them a call you will not be disappointed.

Well on the “The Black Knight” here are the specs.

OAL: (over all length) 6″
Cutting edge: 2 1/2″
1/8″ O-1 tool steel
1/8″ pins
5/16″ lanyard hole

The Black Knight has a black oxide coating with a natural canvas resitin handle to complete the full Battle Horse experience. The limited edition with have the “DC” tang stamp. The “DC” stands for Dan Coppins.

The sheath will innovative yet practical allowing a wide range of carry options along with a secret compartment to hold various survival items. The sheath will be released shortly so stay tuned.

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Survive Knives Get’em while the getting is good !!!!

Survive Knives Get'em while the getting is good !!!!

We are a small, customer driven business with one goal: Your Satisfaction. Our mission is to provide users with high quality cutting tools, that you can trust and rely on when the chips are down. All for a fair price, so your satisfaction is both immediate and long term. We offer a lifetime warranty so our customers can always know that SURVIVE! will be there for them. We want you to know, first and foremost, that SURVIVE! has your back. That we aren’t happy until you are. That we don’t expect your business, we want to earn it.

The great thing about the pre-order is you will get a 20% discount off of the catalog list price !!!!! Believe me even at list price they are a great deal.

Pics of the upcoming GSO 4.1 :

I have a GSO-10 I can say it is one of the finest working tools I have ever owned.


Toxic Bushcrafter from BHK

Toxic Bushcrafter from BHK

The Bushcrafter is one of the core design that BHK produces. This one is special as it is made with 1095 steel and is 3/16th thick. This is from a run of knives (various models) made from 1095 it is a steel not always offered. Featured on this particular model Toxic Green scales with Black Liners. As always this knife was matched with a custom sheath.

The Bushcrafter and all of the BHK knives can be seen at