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One of my new friends recently asked me about the gear necessary for launching out into the world of IDPA. When it comes to IDPA and other gun games, a lot of people will tell you to buy the best of everything to avoid wasting your money. Eventually you’re going to want the best as you become more competitive.

Jumping into IDPA on a Budget

Jumping into IDPA on a BudgetOne of my new friends recently asked me about the gear necessary for launching out into the world of IDPA.When it comes to IDPA and other gun games, a lot of people will tell you to buy the best of everything to avoid wasting your money. Eventually you’re going to want the best as you become more competitive. I’m going to argue the other direction. I think that you should get your feet wet in the sport. After you’ve begun to learn what you really like, you will be better equipped to make those major purchases if and when you’re ready. You can compete for quite some time with your initial purchases and there will always be a market for your entry-level gear. You won’t lose much money, if any. Truth be told, I’ll bet you’ll end up using that entry-level stuff as loaner gear to get your bros involved in the not-so-distant future. 1. Gun I’m gonna recommend a long slide/barrel version of whatever you carry. If there isn’t a long slide version of what you carry, I’d recommend that you carry something else. (Unless your carry piece already has a 5 inch barrel, if so I say bravo.) Be careful to make sure that you don’t select a weapon so long that it won’t fit into the IDPA box though. Also, I’d say that going 9mm makes a lot of sense due to cost effectiveness and recoil management. .4o is a viable beginners option too but I think you need to commit to reloading if you make this choice. (Learn to download.) 2. Holster & Double Mag Holder Go with something simple and relatively cheap. One could make a strong case for using the holster you normally carry, and I’d recommend you do that at least once, but it just isn’t realistic if you hope to be competitive. I’d point you toward one of the kydex IDPA competition paks, like this one from Bladetech will serve you nicely. Bladetech actually has a 5.11 branded set that is even more cost effective and nearly as user-friendly. 3. Timer There are lots of great timers out there, and I’d say get one. Don’t be afraid to buy a used one. Don’t put off the purchase, go ahead and get one at the outset. It’s difficult to gauge progress in practice without a timer if you’re actually practicing for competition improvement. Something like the PACT Club Timer III will do nicely. 4. Ears Splurge for electronic. Even if you don’t stick with the shooting competition thing, they will come in handy. If you continue shooting at all, electronic ears are nice. However, if you do continue competing, and I think you will, ears like these will make your time on each stage much more enjoyable. 5. Eyes Get a little vain in this department. Pick something that doesn’t look too nerdy. Especially if you’re going to wear one of those goofy gun vests ! 6. Concealment As I just said, I think the standard IDPA gun vests look ridiculous. That being said, the weighted bottom section of the vest does create a practical advantage when clearing your garment to draw your pistol. Still, I tend to opt for a more true-to-life concealment option. Does it cost me time? Probably, but I think that it helps my practice to better aid my training, even if that aid is ever so slight. So, take my $.02 for what it’s worth. I hope it helps! How ’bout it fellow IDPAers, what gear do you recommend?

The 4 Best Broadheads for Elk – Reviews 2020 Photo by Nick Perla / CC BY It should be noted right off the bat that there are numerous kinds of arrows out on the market that are more than sufficient for bringing down an elk. If you’re already an experienced bowman (or bow woman) who is looking into elk hunting for the first time, then your current system may be adequate. However, if you would like to truly find what is the most deadly and effective type of arrow for bringing down an elk, then you’ve come to the right place. Many bow hunters will agree that the arrow best suited for this purpose is the steel broadhead. In this article, we will explore the 4 best broadheads for elk followed by the criteria that your arrows must meet. By the end of this article, you’ll have received all the information you need for selecting the broadhead that will serve you the best on your next elk hunt. G5 Montec Crossbow Broadhead G5 Outdoors Montec Crossbow Broadheads (3-Pack), 100 Grain Price: $37.31 Price as of 08/14/2020 03:25 PDT (more info) Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. The G5 Montec Broadhead is a type of arrow that has been used by many hunters for many years on all kinds of big game from deer to elk. What attracts many bow hunters to it is its one piece design that dramatically cuts the chances of your equipment failing you while out on the field. Constructed entirely out of carbon steel, the sharp diamond cut of the arrow maximizes penetration into the animal and will crush bone. These are some of the best broadheads for elk on the market. Trophy Taker Shuttle T-Lock Broadhead Trophy Taker 100 gr Shuttle T-LOK Broadheads- Black 3-Pack Price: $27.88 Price as of 08/14/2020 03:25 PDT (more info) Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. If a smaller broadhead is what you desire (hunters who prefer the ability to fire faster follow up shots do so), then the "Trophy Taker Shuttle" T-Lock Broadhead is definitely worth your attention. Despite being on the lighter side, the T-Lock is still a very rugged arrow. For one thing, it’s made out of a single piece of stainless steel and utilizes a strong lade locking system. The arrow ( see full specs ) is also entirely silent in its flight thanks to the non-vented curves of the blade. The blades are razor sharp, but they are also tipped chisel-style so that they can penetrate deeply and ensure a heavy impact. These should be on anyone’s list of the best broadheads for elk. OTP Trophy Taker T Lock Broadheads.wmv Watch this video on YouTube

Best Stripped AR-15s: Easiest Way to a Custom Build

Best Stripped AR-15s: Easiest Way to a Custom Build

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s If you’re anything like me, you probably already have your favorite furniture picked out for your next AR. Once you start picking parts and get the base parts chosen (check our parts list if you think you might have missed something) the last step is to grab your stock, grip, handguard, and other accessories like slings and optics. But there’s another way to do it.  If you don’t want to go through the hassle of building an AR-15, why not just buy one? A pre-built rifle like this Stag 9mm AR-15 is a great option if you just want a gun that works, with minimal fussing. Well, there are some problems with that. First, if you’re buying a pre-built, you’re probably not going to get exactly the furniture or sights you want.  Of course, you could make do with what you get, but half the fun of AR-15 ownership is dressing up your rifle with new parts, right? So obviously you can swap those parts you don’t want for ones you do want, but then you’ve paid for parts you aren’t using. What if there’s a better way? Come with me children as I lead you to the promised land, the land of the furniture-less, stripped AR. Talk about a minimalist approach. You can, in fact, buy ARs that comes with just the barrel, receivers, and gas system, and then slap the rest of your hand-picked parts on it. Stoner be praised!  Doesn’t that sound great? You pay less, only have to buy the parts you want, and still get to build an tinker without doing all the fiddly assembling of the upper and lower. I’m going to show you everything you need to finish your furniture-less AR, and then we’ll go over some of the best options out there to make sure you start with a good foundation that you can turn into an accurate, reliable gun. What is a Furniture-Less or Nearly-Complete AR? A furniture-less or nearly-complete rifle is one that comes with a barrel, gas block, and assembled uppers and lowers (meaning you get an installed upper and lower parts kit), meaning it just lacks a stock, handguard, and grip. AR-15 Primary Furniture Why Buy One? Well, with a nearly-complete rifle you get everything you need, and nothing you don’t.  That means you can buy all your other parts separately to ensure you get exactly what you want without paying through the nose for them from a custom builder or paying for parts you’re planning on swapping out anyway. Now, you aren’t getting a true custom build because you aren’t starting from the ground up with an empty upper and lower, but you’re getting something that you can be reasonably sure will work properly and with minimal effort on your part. In fact, many of the manufacturers that sell these nearly-complete rifles do so because they’re already making them for other “manufacturers that are just going to slap their furniture on it and call it a day. Aero Precision, the makers of the receivers on this rifle, make receivers for a number of other rifle makers. They’re just making them available to you so you can do the same, and cut out the middleman (and the markup). For me, none of my rifles are ever going to wear a basic A2 grip or sport a GI M4-style stock, so why would I buy a rifle that has those on it when I can get a rifle that’s assembled and fitted by a professional that I can then slap my preferred stock and such on? Granted, you don’t get some of the benefits you do from just building a gun from the springs up, but if you aren’t a hardcore builder and you just want to get a good gun without a lot of fuss and monetary investment, this is an awesome way to go. In general, if you think you might want to start building rifles, or if this is your first attempt at doing so, this is a great way to start as the tools required to finish it are probably already lying around your home, and you don’t have to do a lot of the tedious (or fun if you’re weird like me) work of finishing the receivers. Finishing Your Nearly-Complete Rifle First, I’m going to recommend checking the sales listing for the nearly-complete you’re planning on buying against our AR-15 parts list so you know exactly what you’re getting and what you’re going to have to buy after. Generally, though, you’re going to need the following to complete your rifle: Buttstock Grip Handguard Sights You may need other things like a gas tube or trigger, but those are, respectively, cheap and commonly replaced parts anyway so it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for you. I’d also advise you to make sure your nearly-complete rifle comes with a BCG (bolt carrier group) and a charging handle like all the ones listed in my recommendations at the end of this article. The bolt carrier group and charging handle are included on most “nearly-complete” rifles, but it doesn’t hurt to check and make sure. Nothing about building an AR is particularly difficult, but if you can turn a screwdriver, you can handle the grip, buttstock, and handguard installation, and installing and removing the BCG and charging handle are part of field stripping your rifle for cleaning anyway. If you’re still worried, check out our AR lower build guide for the grip and buttstock and the AR upper build guide for the handguard to make sure you understand what you’re signing up for. Most of these parts will come with their own installation guide though unless you’re buying from a surplus bin at your local flea market. Best Stripped, Furniture-Less, or Nearly-Complete AR Alright, here’s the fun part.  I’ve included recommendations for nearly-complete rifles from manufacturers that I trust (Anderson and Aero) so these rifles, and they are rifles that have to go through an FFL, will make a great base for you to start building on. ANDERSON MANUFACTURING – AR-15 OEM 16″ RIFLE W/FRONT SIGHT BASE ( $419.99) Anderson Manufacturing A2 Carbine OEM Rifle 500 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 500 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing Anderson Manufacturing is one of the bigger names in AR-15 manufacturing, and with good reason.  They have a reputation for quality at an affordable price. My first rifle was built on an Anderson lower, and I never had a single issue with it that wasn’t my own (at the time inexperienced) fault. This particular nearly-complete rifle is set up to build a bog-standard, 5.56/.223-chambered A2-style rifle, so that’s what I’d recommend doing if you’re looking at going with this one.  I do love the classic A2 styling, and this rifle gives you the option to get one with or without the iconic front sight.  This is perfect for building an M16A2 Clone for that classic M16 look . Your Standard A2 Handguard is Purely Functional It includes a matched set of forged Anderson receivers made from 7075 T6 Aluminum, which is about as light and corrosion-resistant as it gets. The receivers are complete with all necessary parts including BCG and charging handle, so all you really need is an M4-style handguard, and the stock and grip of your choice and you’re good to go. AERO PRECISION – OEM MID-LENGTH 16″ RIFLE ($569.00) Aero is, by far, my favorite manufacturer of quality AR receivers and handguards.  I’ve built maybe a thousand AR-pattern rifles (I used to work as a gunsmith) and they have the highest quality-to-cost ratio of any manufacturer I’ve worked with. Their nearly-complete rifles are no exception to this standard of quality.  Of course, you’d be alright to just buy one of their complete rifles, but it’s perfectly understandable if you still want to just go with a nearly-complete one and then add the other parts you want. Aero-Precision Mid-Length OEM Rifle 570 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 570 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing These rifles come with a high-pressure tested and MPI tested BCG, which basically means it’s tested as much as they can test it to ensure reliable function under even the most adverse conditions. The 5.56/.223 rifle has a barrel machined from 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium steel to a Government, mid-length profile, then treated with a QPQ corrosion-resistant finish and capped with an A2 flash hider. It also comes with M4-style feed ramps that should function reliably with a wide variety of ammo. AERO PRECISION – 308 AR 18″ OEM RIFLE “But Matt,” I hear you say “What if I want to shoot long range/hunt/compete in heavy metal 3Gun comps?” Worry not, dear reader, I’ve got you covered. Aero M5E1 On The Grass, check out our full review . Aero’s legendary M5E1 rifle is one of the best AR-10’s around, and this nearly-complete rifle lets you get that awesome .308 performance coupled with all the furniture you want (a nice precision stock maybe?). Aero M5E1 (bottom) and a DPMS LR-308 (top) The 18” 308 Winchester, 1:10 Twist Barrel is machined from the same 4150 "Chrome Moly Vanadium" steel as their 5.56 offerings, and is finished with a tapered profile, before being treated with a QPQ corrosion-resistant finish and capped with a removable A2 flash hider over the 5/8-24 pitch threads that will allow you to attach whatever muzzle device you want. This AR-10 accepts standard DPMS-style mags and accessories, so make sure you aren’t trying to fit Armalite-style parts to it and you’ll be good to go. Aero Precision .308 OEM Rifle 940 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 940 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing AERO PRECISION – 6.5 CREEDMOOR AR 20″ OEM RIFLE Finally, we have my personal favorite, something for the true long-range enthusiast out there. If you’re looking for something that can ring the gong at 1000 yards, this is a great place to start.  My next rifle is going to be built off this nearly-complete set because I’m going to be using all-Aero stuff anyway. 6.5 Creedmoor is a great cartridge , and it’s already carved out space as one of the best AR-10 cartridges for when you really need to reach out and touch something from a long ways off. Aero Precision 6.5 Creedmoor OEM Rifle 1000 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 1000 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing It’s got all the same desirable features as the .308 version, but with an extra two inches of barrel (which can make all the difference, if you know what I mean) and it is of course chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Overall, this is probably the best value on the list as a lot of 6.5 Creedmoor guns are typically more expensive than their .308 brethren, but if you’re still going to replace parts with what you want (as most precision shooters are) then why not just go this route? Parting Shots That about does it for the nearly-complete ARs.  These guns are a great way to get into building or save a little money without having to invest in the time and tools needed to scratch-build a gun. What do you think of these stripped, furniture-less ARs?  Are you interested in building a rifle with one? Check out our AR-15 Definitive Guide .  And let me know in the comments below.

American designed for hard use: The M&P 45 from Smith and Wesson

American designed for hard use: The M&P 45 from Smith and Wesson

In the world of polymer pistols, none are so ubiquitous as the Glock. People often forget that before the Glock ever came into existence, Heckler and Koch had been building polymer-frame pistols since the 1950s. Today, Glock is hardly the only game in town, with perhaps the most stunningly diverse range of manufacturers and options available that utilize the same basic technologies. The polymer-framed handgun has truly become a class of pistols, and like any product class, some fit shooters better than others. The M&P: True To Its Name The M&P Line of pistols , which date back to the early 1900s, have always been designed and marketed for the Military and Police markets, offering features requested or required by law enforcement. The current line of M&P polymer frame pistols is no exception. Designed as an entrant to Military’s ill-fated Joint Service Pistol program, the M&P set the bar with the concept of removable backstraps to allow ergonomic customization, accuracy, and the option for a manual thumb safety in a striker fired pistol. Competing against the more expensive HK45, the M&P came in to the market offering all of the features at a much lower price point, which made it a hit with anyone looking for an alternative to the Glock while on a budget. Also, while initially designed for the .45 ACP cartridge, the M&P covers a wide range of popular cartridges, including 9mm, .40 Smith and Wesson, and .357 Sig. Variations are available in the full size, compact, and sub-compact models. The M&P is fairly unique in that it is one of the few polymer-style pistols that is available from the manufacturer in a competition configuration, which includes a reduced-weight, crisp competition trigger. Thanks to Apex Tactical , fire control mechanisms can be had that bring the M&P close to the 1911’s single-action trigger pull. These are recommended only for competition purposes, however I do run one in my M&P for carry use since my M&P has a thumb safety as well. Experience On The Range On first shooting this pistol I made sure to try it with all three variations of backstrap, finding that the slim width was the most comfortable in my hand, and I really liked the fact that the gun came with a takedown tool that also served as the pin holding the backstrap in place. Compared to the HK’s use of a roll pin, this made changing these out in the field far simpler, and reduced the number of tools I needed to carry. The tool is also absolutely essential for reassembly in cases where the magazine disconnect (if your pistol has one, some don’t have this feature) needs to be repositioned. After getting the feel for the gun as it came from the factory, I very quickly decided that the trigger group just had to change. Rapid fire with this pistol, or action pistol shooting, is no problem stock, however if you’re a student of proper trigger squeeze, the six-plus-pound trigger pull makes true precision shooting a real challenge. I found myself repeatedly checking the safety to verify that I hadn’t accidentally engaged it when I had trouble breaking the shot without a lot of pressure. A quick call to Apex Tactical and I received both their Competition and Duty kit , and the Forward Set Sear and Trigger kit , and I now had my choice of a light trigger pull, or a 1911-style trigger pull. We’ll talk about the Apex kits in a later interview, but for now, I’ll simply say that when they recommend the Competition and Duty kit for carry, it’s a good idea to stick to that (although I did replace the trigger along with the other components with one of Apex’s solid triggers, the two piece felt flimsy and was an annoyance for me). Once I had the trigger issues sorted out, I felt I could really put the pistol through its paces accuracy-wise. While the gun’s accuracy is acceptable for duty, carry, and competition use, it is not one I’d use if precision shooting was necessary or desired. The stock barrel is certainly capable of 2-2.5″ accuracy out to about 20 yards if you’re really trying, but for my personal taste, I felt it was a bit sloppy. Thankfully, Storm Lake offers semi-drop-in barrels that tighten up the fit of the barrel when in lockup, and this brought overall accuracy down to an acceptable 1.5-2″ range with only minor fitting required. Durability-wise, the M&P is up there with the Glock. While the pistol had reliability issues early on, I experienced no failures, whether induced or due to manufacturer fault. I performed no cleanings and only basic lubrication, and even had the temerity to give it the sand-dirt-mud-water treatment with outstanding results. Bottom Line The M&P is a fine pistol, and a worthy alternative to the Glock. It shoots well, it’s durable, and out of the box is an excellent choice. The ergonomics are excellent, featuring a 1911 grip angle and a fairly narrow grip that, in conjunction with the replaceable backstraps, will fit the vast majority of shooters hands well. I did find that the slightly egg-shape profile of the grip, with the narrowest part forward, presented the greatest challenge for me when combined with the length of the .45 ACP’s grip, as the gun tended to skew in my hand, requiring more frequent grip adjustments when shooting one-handed. Beyond that, my other biggest gripes were the trigger pull, which I found was easily correctable either through a kit, or a trip to a gunsmith for some polishing and reshaping, and the thumb safety’s fairly loose engagement (though a little shaping of the thumb safety’s detent took care of that). Once those issues were resolved, the gun performed excellently even without a replacement barrel, and I couldn’t find any reason not to consider this pistol a good, reliable carry gun. I’d give this gun a solid A-/B+ rating, knocking points off for the grip shape and length, as well as the fairly poor accuracy out of the box. The gun’s reliable, comfortable to shoot for most, and works well. I would advise anyone with fairly large hands to test-drive it a bit or pay attention to the grip before buying as after a lot of time on the trigger, I’ve found I prefer a fatter grip (or, altneratively, a grip wider at the front than the rear). Stay Safe and Shoot Straight. Guest Writer Erek Sanchez Posted on loadoutroom.com

New Handgun: Kimbers Super Jgare

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379d104dae6_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379d104dae6_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } Kimber's new Super Jägare sets to arm hunters with a trustworthy semi-automatic ready to take aim at large, medium and small game alike. Given the selection of large-bore cartridges, handgun hunting used to be exclusively the realm of revolvers. But as the discipline has gained favor with hunters seeking a new challenge, more and more semi-automatics have been heading afield. The venerable 10mm round has made the style of pistol a viable and reasonable option for a wide variety of game. Combined with a semi-automatic platform, it offers enthusiasts a number of interesting advantages, including relatively judicious recoil and the potential for fast follow-up shots. Best Starter Kit for Concealed Carry: S&W M&P 9 SHIELD $394.96 guns.com Safariland IWB Holster $43.99 brownells.com Safariland Duty Belt $88.99 brownells.com SnagMag Ammo Pouch $LOW! gundigeststore.com Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links. Caribou Media Group may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you! Kimber is the latest to go on the hunt, applying its 1911-knowhow to build a 10mm that aims to excel in function, as well as elegance. The Super Jägare is now available and comes purpose built to chase anything from whitetails to coyotes straight from the box. Related GunDigest Articles Choosing the Right Hunting Revolver Handgun Drills: The Things To Practice - Part 2 Super Singles: Ruger Super Blackhawk Revolvers Perhaps one of the more intriguing aspects of the 10mm is it comes standard without traditional sights. Taking the place of the customary blade and notch is a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro rear-mounted red-dot sight. This is a logical move in many respects, given most in the handgun hunting game opt for an optic anyhow. And in this case, hunters get a rugged reflex sight that facilitates fast target acquisition and hand-free operation. The sight features Leupold’s Motion Sensor Technology that activates illumination upon any movement of the unit. The 42-ounce Super Jägare is outfitted with a 6-inch barrel to maximize the potential of the round. And it is configured to keep the gun on target during multiple shots, utilizing a ported barrel intended to reduce muzzle flip. Aligned ports on the slide allow gas to escape more freely and add a touch of flair to the design, while keeping internal mechanisms cleaner. The pistol's controls have been maximized for easy operation in the heat of a hunt or in gloved hands. The ambidextrous thumb safety provides ample space to get the gun into the hunt and an aggressively checkered magazine release facilitates speedy reloads of the 8-round magazine — should the occasion call for it.

Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife Review for 2020: Worth It?

Like many who have their head on a survival swivel, you may have noticed a monster blade by the Schrade Knife Company that seemed too good to be true. Its huge cross section, full tang, combination serrated/reverse curve blade, and black tactical skin make it seem a no-brainer for the price it sells for in sporting goods stores and gas stations nationwide. Well, unfortunately it is too good to be true, but its not without a purpose. As a Get-Home blade, the Schrade excels, but for a Bug Out knife, forget it. Let me explain. Quick Navigation Schrade SCHF9 Review Is Bigger Better? Iron Maidens Grip Woes Chopped Dysfunctional Family Schrade SCHF9 Review Is Bigger Better? The Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife is an impressive slab of sharpened 1095 carbon steel that sure looks like a great knife. It’s specs in a nutshell are a foot and a pound. But looks can be deceiving. First of all, the steel is marginal at best, and wildly substandard if you have any experience and expectations of finer irons. In fact, this particular version of 1095 is troublesome steel when it comes to edge sharpness, edge retention, sharpening, corrosion resistance, and just about everything else but price. However, for short-term use, the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife has advantages. For one, the cost. Second, you can beat the hell of it without concern of losing your investment. Third, the sheer mass of the of the knife will demand fear and respect from every snowflake for miles around. And that’s about it. Poking holes in the Taiwan-made Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife facade is easy. But picking your starting point is hard. There is the blade shape, the steel, the edge grind, the handle, the tang, the sheath, and the coating, just to name a few launch points. Schrade SCHF9 12.1in High Carbon Steel Fixed Blade Knife with 6.4in Kukri... DIMENSIONS: 12.1 inch (30.7 cm) overall length with a blade length of 6.4 inches (16.3 cm) and a... DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 1095 "High Carbon Steel" with a black, ring textured thermoplastic... See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 05:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Also Read: Neck Knives for Everyone The blade shape is a drop point with reverse curve. Unfortunately a drop point of this size is somewhat contradictory. The drop point was designed to help keep the tip of a blade from catching on things or the unwanted tearing of flesh and entrails during intricate gutting tasks. But on a blade big, those finer movements are tough in spite of the blade shape. And worse, the drop point is not the best fighting blade due to its subdued point, yet a cutter as large as the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife should have both offensive and defensive potential. The reverse curve of the blade is shaped to keep the work-piece in place during cutting. Say for instance you are slicing something back and forth. As you press the blade into the work-piece there is a chance the knife could slip forward off the task. The reverse curve creates an uphill battle causing a more likely re-centering of the work-piece rather than sliding off it. While the reverse curve is common on knives from pocket to machete, it does limit the jobs that a survival knife should excel at. But chopping brush and hacking through branches is truly easier with a reverse curve. It’s just that reverse curve blade chopping chores are not front and center in most survival situations. Iron Maidens The steel of the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife is room-temperature working steel that has neither the desirable properties of a survival knife or a hatchet. The steel does not hold an edge well regardless of the quality of its temper, it does not sharpen easily, and it is prone to chipping and rollover compared to 21st-century knife steels. Even worse, the rust-prone nature of carbon steel is often armored against corrosion by a blade coating. Unfortunately the black paint on the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife blade flakes off easily and scratches even easier. Experience with high-quality blade coatings has proven that durability is possible. But that is not the case here. But for the price range what should we expect? Related: Benchmade Bushcrafter Review To make opinions about a knife, or anything for that matter, relevant, there should be comparable(s) in the mix. Any single knife cannot be compared to itself, only other blades. So for this review, my comparable(s) were the Ka-Bar BK-2 (at twice the price of the Schrade), the Boker Orca 2 (at six times the price) and the Fallkniven F2 Wilderness Knife (at ten times the price). The Ka-Bar offers similar blade steel and thickness. The Boker Orca 2 offers a similar blade shape and handle profile. And the Fallkniven F2 offers a similar overall length and weight. Personally, I would take any of the above over the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife , but in the short-term Get Home, there is little chance that unless traveling long distances across varied terrain, the major difference between the blades will rear its ugly head. Grip Woes The handle of the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife looks impressive from an arm’s reach, but reality tells a different story. The rubber grips do grip but will have a shelf life of about one hard Get Home. Technically, the grips are a rubber-like elastomer called Kraton. It is a polymer with many desirable properties for knife grips, but the execution of them is severely is knife dependent. Just like the blade. The grips, or scales really, are held onto the knife tang, but not held in place. Even when the four Torx-screws are tightened tightly, the grips still slide around. And given that they don’t match the contour of the steel tang, gaps ebb and flow as you use the knife. The combination of screw-mounted rubber grips is rare. Usually the entire handle is contained into a Kraton grip shell molded over the tang, or the grip scales are a more firm material like Micarta or G10, or glass reinforced polymer (aka Plastic). You can actually feel the rubber material of the grips move when twisting and turning the blade. Not so much with gloves on, but certainly enough to know it won’t last under sustained use. And given the blade steel and shape along with the grip, the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife may have a place in the immediate, but certainly not in the long term. Schrade SCHF9 12.1in High Carbon Steel "Fixed Blade Knife" with 6.4in Kukri... DIMENSIONS: 12.1 inch (30.7 cm) overall length with a blade length of 6.4 inches (16.3 cm) and a... DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 1095 High Carbon Steel with a black, ring textured thermoplastic... See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 05:48 / Affiliate links / Images from "Amazon Product Advertising" API Chopped But there is one more issue, one of concept. The Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife appears to be a significant chopper and wood processor. Chewing through wood is a serious issue with SHTF and survival blades. In fact anything that can bash and baton through pine is a friend when things go dark. Although the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife does chop, it does so more out of dumb luck than talent. In fact it is a fairly poor chopper compared to other choppers of this size partially due to the blade grind, and also due to the fact that the non-skeletonized metal of the tang places a proportional amount of weight behind your index finger as it does in front of it. So a knife of this weight is much less productive than a equally massive hatchet. The Fallkniven F2 is dynamite at chopping, while the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife is sluggish and subdued. The convex grind on the Fallkniven F2 throws wood far as its blade makes quick work of the wood. Sadly, the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife instead attempts to dive deep into the wood with its flat grind throwing no wood and doing surprisingly little damage given the muscle behind the swing. Worse, the heavy spine tends to spin the blade when angle struck rather than pry out wood chips and throw them across the forest floor. Related: Tops BOB Knife Review For a knife to remain a knife and not just a chopper, the blade must have a skill set beyond the crude splitting of firewood. Alas, the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife is an amateur when it comes to more intricate survival tasks. Which leads to the question of if it should be part of a bug out kit at all. My answer? No. There is so much more to survival than just chopping wood. And the knife is arguably the single most critical piece of hardware in your kit. Just because the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife chops wood does not put it anywhere near a good quality hatchet. And the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife’s chopping ability does not circumvent its use as a knife, and thus it fails spectacularly as a performance survival knife. Instead, you would be far better off with a decent hatchet and a quality fixed blade knife smaller than the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife. Dysfunctional Family The Schrade line of survival/outdoor fixed blade knives looks like a tree of life for beetles. There are dozens of them with minor differences and odd mixes of features. It’s almost as if the Schrade knife designers are throwing all sorts of shapes and grinds at the consumer wall to see what sticks. Frankly, I would like to see far fewer options, but better ones. Having such a diverse product line complicates the refinement process which is essential to develop a performance blade regardless of cost. Looking at the vast landscape of Schrade survival blade choices all but prohibits the necessary attention given to any one design allowing it to evolve into greatness. Instead, sales numbers will likely drive its destiny with bean counters determining its fate. Sadly, a promising design will be killed off rather than enhanced and updated according to public wishes. That said, the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife can run double duty meaning that if your needs include wood work and wet work, prying, pounding, and penetrating, as well as non-demanding fine knife work, then this Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife is a solution. One area where a blade of this quality and size comes in handy is working one’s way home after something bad happens. Or working your way to your bug out location. But once there you will need to transition to a knife of higher quality or you just made a tough situation even tougher. Schrade SCHF9 12.1in High Carbon Steel Fixed Blade Knife with 6.4in Kukri... DIMENSIONS: 12.1 inch (30.7 cm) overall length with a blade length of 6.4 inches (16.3 cm) and a... DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 1095 High Carbon Steel with a black, ring textured thermoplastic... See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 05:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Other interesting articles: Fallkniven F1 Review for 2020: Is This Survival Knife Worth It? Schrade SCHF36 Review for 2020: Good Survival Knife? Let’s Find Out! Kabar Tanto Review for 2020: Is It Worth As A Survival Knife? Spyderco Bushcraft Knife Review for 2020: Survival Knife

Summary

One of my new friends recently asked me about the gear necessary for launching out into the world of IDPA. When it comes to IDPA and other gun games, a lot of people will tell you to buy the best of everything to avoid wasting your money. Eventually you’re going to want the best as you become more competitive.