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Author Archive | Matt

The ESEE RAT Pack

ESEE Knives (formerly RAT Cutlery) maintains a forum on BladeForums that is an excellent source for survival information, product information, and fellowship with good people from across the world. Mike and Jeff (the owners of ESEE) formed the “RAT Pack” to encourage people to contribute meaningful content to the forum. RAT Pack members must have 25 meaningful posts in the forum and are eligible to take part in the many giveaways that are offered on the forum. Recently, my RAT Pack number was drawn in a random giveaway and I am now the proud owner of a brand new RC-3MIL!

Readers of Jerking the Trigger will know that I mention ESEE Knives fairly regularly on this blog. It is just this sort of generosity, community, and access to the owners that draws me to ESEE. They make straight forward, hard working knives that are functional and backed by the best warranty in the business (many claim this, but in ESEE’s case it is true).

Read more about ESEE on Jerking the Trigger.

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Contact Jerking the Trigger

There is a new easier way to contact Jerking the Trigger with your comments, questions, suggestions, and leads on new products, services, and information sources. Simply click the “Contact” link at the top of any page. You can use this form to contact me at any time.

BSA Hot Spark – Ultimate Keychain Fire Starter

Many of you are familiar with ferrocerium rods (aka ferro rods and firesteels). It is basically a rod made of a special alloy that creates a shower of hot sparks when scraped. The advantage of something like this over a lighter is that it never runs out of fuel. These have become very popular with outdoorsmen everywhere.

The Boy Scouts of America Hot Spark is essentially just a scaled down ferro rod. It is small enough to keep on your keychain but still large enough to be very functional. If you are practiced at recognizing and using natural and improvised tinders, you will have no problem starting a fire with a Hot Spark.

I have used these for years and they never let me down. I would definitely rather use a larger fire steel, but you can’t beat the convenient size of the Hot Spark. I keep one on my key chain, in my laptop case, and stashed just about everywhere else. You will never know it is there until you need it. I have also used a ranger band (just a piece of bicycle tire inner tube) to lash these to my knife sheath.

At $2.99 these are an amazing bargain. Add one to your keychain soon!

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Good Stuff From Other Blogs

The Machete: To Lanyard, Or Not to Lanyard – Armed & Christian – On the occasions that I do use a lanyard, this is how I do it.

Protecting Against Home Invasions – ITS Tactical – ITS Tactical has done a lot to tear down the illusion of security that many people have by showing how easy it is to pick locks, escape handcuffs, etc. Now they are offering some no nonsense tips for protecting your home.

Negligent Discharges vs. Accidental Discharges – Vuurwapen Blog – All too often these two terms are used incorrectly. It is time we started calling a spade, a spade. 99.99999% of the time you hear a news story about an accidental discharge, they are actually talking about a negligent discharge.

Bayonets for NAA Mini Revolvers – The Firearm Blog – Check your calender. Mine must be wrong. Is it April 1st?

A-TACS Nylon Cordura Fabric, Webbing and Hook and Loop Now Available – Soldier SystemsThe components needed to build gear with the interesting new A-TACs camo scheme are now available.

Cocoon Grid-It

A friend of mine passed me a link to the Cocoon Grid-It organizers and I was extremely impressed by the clever design. It is sold as an organizer for laptop bags, messenger bags, briefcases, luggage, and the like, however I think it would make a great organizer for an EDC bag. I could even see it holding magazines for a truck gun in a Bug Out Bag. There are several sizes available and the prices seem pretty reasonable to me.

Global Tactical Thunder Bolt

Global Tactical has been selling an excellent bolt carrier group (BCG) called the Super Duty Bolt for years now. I have been very pleased with the one that I have in my range/training rifle. It is in excellent bolt that meets or exceeds mil-spec. The Super Duty Bolts were basically hand built by Global Tactical. Now Global Tactical has found a manufacturer who will make BCGs to their specs. This will help keep costs down which is good news for consumers.

The new BCG is called the Thunder Bolt. Check it out at Global Tactical.

Lancer L15 Lower Receiver

Lancer, the folks who make the excellent Lancer L5 magazines, are now bringing to market a new lower receiver for the AR-15 family of weapons. It has a pretty unique feature – interchangeable magazine wells.

The modular magazine wells will allow the user to tailor the size of the magazine opening to their preference. There will be three sizes: Competition (largest), Tactical (medium), and Standard (similar to standard lower). The lowers will be sold in various package deals ranging from stripped to premium with high ends stocks, grips, and triggers.

It will be interesting to see if these take off considering that they are not inexpensive and the functionality may be over-kill for most users. Still, it is exciting to see innovative manufacturers like Lancer continuing to press the limits of the AR-15 platform.

Check out the L15 at Lancer’s website.

Battle Arms Development Ambi Safety Selector

This is a pretty clever new take on the AR-15 safety selector. The Battle Arms Development, Inc. Ambi Safety Selector is an ambi selector that allows the user to choose between several different sizes and shapes of selector lever on both sides of the rifle.

Click to enlarge.

There are good reasons to have an ambi selector even if you are a right handed. For instance, you may have to switch to your weak side in order to clear a corner or you may lose full or partial use of your strong hand. The nice thing about this lever is that you could put a short or slim lever on the side that you do not typically use so that it is out of your way or you could put a larger lever on your weak side to make it easier for your weak hand to manipulate.

If I were to install one of these, I would give the screws a good dose of Loc-Tite and I would suggest that you do as well. Screws always make me nervous and they certainly could be a downside to gear like this. Shooters should always weigh the pros and cons carefully if they ever choose to replace a simple part with a more complicated one.

Bargain Knives

This will be not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it a list of cheap knives. My intention is to make a list of knives that I have owned/tested that are a good value. For the purposes of this article, value will be defined as “delivering a lot of function for a fair price.” Some knives might be a bargain at $10 and others might cost over $100 but still be a great value.

In the first installment of this series we will cover fixed blades. We will cover folders at a later date.

Fixed Blades:

Becker Knife and Tool (BK&T) – The entire BK&T line is an excellent value. These knives are made from tough carbon steel, have utility based designs, and are priced very attractively.

Mora Knives – Moras are well known in the knife community. They are available in a multitude of configurations in stainless or carbon steel. They feature a “scandi” grind which may take some getting used to for some users. This particular grind excells at working wood which is why they are popular as “bushcraft”/survival knives. Most Moras cost $8-15.

Ka-bar TDI Line – The TDI line represents an excellent value in the self defense/back up knife role. You may want to look into a custom sheath since the factory sheath may not be ideal.

Emerson Perrin La Griffe – The Perrin La Griffe is a timeless classic in the self defense/back up knife role. It offers compact size and excellent retention. It also comes with a well made and versatile kydex sheath. These can sometimes be picked up for as little as $65.

Fallkniven F1 – The Fallkniven F1 is a classic all around field knife. It has a well deserved reputation for being bull strong thanks to the use of a VG-10 laminate steel. It features a convex edge that cuts very well. It is also available with a number of decent sheath choices. If you shop around these can be picked up for around $100.

Condor Knife and Tool – Condor makes a wide variety or machetes, knives, and other tools. They are all well made and all reasonably priced even though they are some of the most expensive production machetes you will find. They are some of the few machetes that actually come ready to use (great handles that don’t need fitting and polished convex edges). Their knives are less known but they are excellent utilitarian designs. Most of the knife designs can be had for less than $20. These are an amazing value.

Pick of the Litter…

ESEE Knives/RAT Cutlery – These knives offer an excellent value. They are not the least expensive option on the list but, in my opinion, they offer the most function for the dollar. I am not aware of a warranty that is the equal of ESEE’s warranty. It is the best warranty in the business. You will not find knives with better sheaths out of the box. On top of all of that Mike Perrin and Jeff Randall are great folks.

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