Category Archives: Links

Rick Hinderer XM Custom Titanium Scales

Here is some amazing work that was done on the scales of two Rick Hinderer XM Series Knives.  These titanium scales were machined, then blasted for a beautiful finish:

The work was done by Barry H.  You can see more of his work here:


Knife Trade in Program

After hearing about all the gadget trade-in programs with major retailers, I wonder if there are any similar programs in the knife world?

I’m sure there are tons of lightly used knives that people would love to trade for quick cash.  Not everyone feels like doing price research and taking the time to post them on ebay or various forums.  Is anyone doing this already?

Spyderco Dragonfly Custom Wood Scales

This time we have some beautiful wood scales on a smaller knife: The Spyderco Dragonfly

The wood is Hawaiian Koa:

The work was done by the Custom Scale Division in Europe.

Good prices on the Spyderco Dragonfly.

Open Letter to Magpul Dynamics – Blade Training

Here is something I sent them this week:

I appreciate what you are doing with firearms training.  You have brought high-quality training to the masses with high-quality production values.  You are putting out some great material.

I hope you will consider doing something similar with practical blade training in the future.  If it is produced in the same manner as your previous work, I am certain that it would be well received.  It would have a market similar to your other work, but also a much wider base.  Even if this isn’t an area of expertise, I feel confident that you would do a good job finding competent and well spoken instructors and acting as a liaison to bring their information and skills to the public.

Thanks in advance for any consideration,
Rob Robideau
If you feel the same way, please let them know.  I would love to them produce some knife instructional products.

Custom Spyderco Endura with Cocobolo Rosewood Handle

More fantastic Spyderco customization work from Roman at


Handle: Cocobolo Rosewood
Liners: Titanium
Back Spacer: Titanium

According to their website, work like this would cost ~$370 USD depending on the specific wood.

I’m sure we will be covering more of his work in the future…

Here are some good prices on the Spyderco Endura



Magpul Dynamics – The Art of the Precision Rifle

According to Magpul Dynamics:

Magpul’s Art of the Precision Rifle is now available for pre-order and will be shipping to dealers and distributors mid-December. The Art of the Precision Rifle features nearly ten hours of actual live fire class instruction and additional instructional material.

Precision Rifle Expert Todd Hodnett and Magpul Dynamics Instructors Chris Costa, Travis Haley, Steve Fisher, Mike Olivella and Caylen Wojcik cover the fundamentals and “how to” aspects of long range shooting, advanced techniques and formulas, military and law enforcement sniping, precision shooting gear, and the sniper mindset.

Here is the full five-disc breakdown:

DISC ONE (142 min)
Course Part 1

  • Intro
  • Rifle Setup
  • Zeroing
  • Reticles
  • Truing
  • Special Features
  • Ballistics
  • Cold Bore vs. Clean Bore
  • Trace

DISC TWO (133 min)
Course Part 2

  • Broken Scope Field Zero
  • Accuracy 1st Wind Formula
  • Wind Course (Part 1, 2, Wrap Up)
  • The One Mile Shot
  • Wrap Up
  • Special Features
  • – Mindset

DISC THREE (126 min)
USMC Fundamentals

  • The Sniper
  • The USMC Sniper
  • The Law Enforcement Sniper
  • Tools of the Military Sniper
  • Military Semi-Auto Weapons
  • Data Books
  • Exercises
  • – Dialing and Scope Calibration
  • – The Milling Exercise
  • – Natural Point-of-Aim
  • Quick Reference Drills
  • – Rapid Bolt Manipulation
  • – Tac Reload
  • – Speed Reload
  • – Reaction Side Bolt Manipulation

DISC FOUR (97 min)

  • Bolt Action
  • Semi-Automatic
  • Ancillary Gear
  • Rifle Optics
  • Muzzle Accessories
  • Support Equipment

DISC FIVE (93 min)
Bonus Features

  • Additional Course Material
  • Unconventional Positions
  • Long Range Trajectory
  • The TReMoR Reticle
  • Cleaning
  • Raising the Bar
  • Bonus Material
  • – Bloopers
  • – The Whiz Wheel
  • – Reading Wind
  • – Formula Review
  • – More from Magpul (Trailers)
Personally, I can’t wait to check these out!

Knife Parts for Customization

I know that the vast majority of knife owners never even contemplate sharpening their knife, much less changing parts, customizing, or modifying it, but there is still a group of passionate knife owners that want to take their production knives to the next level.

Any knife enthusiasts who has been doing this for any length of time is bound to have a drawer or box full of spare parts.  Extra scales, screws, blades, etc. from parts knives.  For some of us, that pile of parts represents a significant monetary investment.

Maybe this is just a pipe dream, but I would love to see more production knife manufacturers offer individual knife parts for sale.  I can’t offer any hard numbers to convince them that they would make any money in this endeavor, but I can say with certainty that it would foster a great deal of goodwill amongst their most passionate customers.  Can you really put a price on that?

Spyderco Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189

I seem to be on a small knife kick lately and I’m looking at how I can make them better.  One of the first steps is a better knife blade steel.  I’d like to get some opinions from those of you that have experience with both the ZDP-189 blades and the VG-10 blades.

  • Is the ZDP-189 really that much of an upgrade?
  • How much extra time do you get between sharpenings?
I seem to be really hard on my blades lately and I like the idea of some extra edge retention.

I’d really like to get the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 in the ZDP-189 steel, but it’s only available in the British Racing Green.  Not that I don’t like the British Racing Green color, but I would prefer Stainless Steel.  Unfortunately, the only way to end up with at Stainless Steel Spyderco Dragonfly 2 in ZDP-189 would be to switch blades.  I guess I can still sell the Dragonfly 2 British Racing Green handle with the regular VG-10 blade and really confuse someone. 😉

Spyderco Civilian Custom Filework

I came across this work of art and had to share:

Very nice pattern on the back of the knife handle, but a bit plain on the base of the spine.  I wonder if it has any functional value like jimping?  I’d love to see some photos of the work being done.

The work was done by Exotic Custom Knives and Tools in the Phillipines

Price on the website was listed at Php 18,000 or about $415

4Sevens Preon 1(1xAAA) Review (photos)

Next to Benchmade Mini GriptilianAfter spending a year with this light, I figure it’s due for a review.  When the 4Sevens Preon 1 was purchased, I was carrying a 4Sevens Quark Mini AA2 as my primary carry light. The Quark Mini AA2 is by no means a large flashlight, but it dwarfed the Preon 1.  By moving to the Preon 1, my EDC light became 2 inches shorter, 21% thinner, and more than 50% lighter.  This translated to a major real world difference and I loved it.

The 4Sevens Preon 1 is a miniscule single AAA light.  According to 4Sevens, it weights .6 ounces.  When I place a AAA battery in one hand and the IMG_1199empty Preon 1 in the other, I can’t decide which is lighter.  In real life, when I clip it in my pocket, I don’t feel it or think about it.  A high compliment for an EDC light.

But what did I lose in performance?  The Quark Mini AA2 puts out 180 lumens maximum vs. the Preon 1’s 70 lumens maximum.  I can honestly say that I have never missed those lumens.  This light isn’t a weapon light, a camping light, or a high-performance light.  This is a small and light always-with-you EDC light.  The Preon 1 lumen settings(Low-1.8, Med-2.5, High-70) are very useful for:

  • Looking for a dropped screw in the dark.
  • Reading in the dark without waking the wife
  • Searching for something under the bed.
  • Examining something more closely in a dark corner.
  • Lighting a dark street while walking.
  • Strobing while crossing a busy road.
  • Spotlighting wandering cows from the roof of our 3 story home.

IMG_1182The 4Sevens Preon 1 is not a tactical light and is not intended for stunning with sudden, blinding light.  The light is activated by twisting/tightening the head.  It’s difficult to do this with one hand and not recommended for a “tactical” situation.  Also, to get to the highest output, you have to cycle through the two lower settings first.  In other words, you cannot quickly and easily turn on the highest light output.  I purchased the clicky tailcap for the Preon 1, but had a number of issues with it sticking or not working.  I really tried to work with it, but I eventually gave up and went back to the regular Preon twist only.

The twist interface is very simple. Twisting and untwisting the head cycles you through the following levels: Low -> Medium -> High -> Low -> Medium -> High -> Special Outputs  You can continue to cycle through the special outputs in the following sequence: Strobe -> S.O.S. -> Beacon (high) -> Beacon (low)IMG_1203

The battery is a snug fit without being tight.  When I shake the light next to my ear, I can’t feel or hear any battery movement inside the body.  The endcap has a traditional conductor spring for tension.

The clip is extremely sturdy.  The clip attaches via loop through which the end cap screws into the main body(see photo below).


There is no danger of of the pocket clip slipping off.  It came a bit tight for my liking, but it was easily adjusted with a little pulling and I haven’t had to mess with it since.  The end of the clip is extremely close to the base of the light and allows a very deep pocket carry position.  Even if I momentarily stand on my head or jump, the resistance of the deep pocket carry helps hold it in.IMG_1189

The tail of the flashlight is flat and tailstands easily.  I have not been able to find a great diffuser for lantern use, but I hear that the white crazy glue sticks work well.  After they are emptied 😉IMG_1183

The spot portion with the most light is about 2.5” wide when the light is 6” away while the flood area is ~10” wide.  I’m no expert, so I will refer you to this page where you will find beam shot photo comparisons: 4Sevens Preon 1 Beamshots


Battery life – Obviously, the battery life will vary with different batteries, but 4Sevens claims don’t seem far fetched when compared to my usage:

  • Low: 1.8 OTF Lumens, 23 hours
  • Medium: 8.5 OTF Lumens, 6 hours
  • High: 70 OTF Lumens, 0.8 hours
  • Strobe 1.6 hours
  • SOS 2.4 hours
  • Beacon (Hi) 8 hours
  • Beacon (Lo) 40 hours

I did not do my own runtime tests, but if you are into that stuff, check out this review: 4Sevens Preon Runtime Tests  The charts and graphs can get pretty nerdy, but it’s good information.IMG_1197

The 4Sevens Preon line is very customizable.  You can buy individual parts in various colors, finishes, and even materials:


  • Heads
  • Bodies
  • Tailcaps
  • Clicky tailcaps
  • Pocket clips

Aside from customization, this means that spare parts(which I have not needed) are readily available.

After more than a year of use, I can honestly say that this is a rugged light!  This flashlight has handled some hard use.  You can see in the photos that this light has not been babied.  Our home has marble floors that have caressed the Preon 1 on numerous occasions.  Once it fell on stone patio tiles from the second story balcony when my son decided to toss it over the edge.  I have carried and used it on numerous occasions during our monsoon season in heavy rain that completely soaked completely through all my clothes.  My son has also tested it by submerging it in water on occasion.  The 4Sevens Preon 1 light just keeps on working!

Because of where I live, my EDC light probably sees more use than most.  We have scheduled and unscheduled extended power outages for most of the year and the winter dry season leaves us with only ~4 hours of power per day.  This means that when stores, restaurants, and other public establishments lose power, I need a reliable, always-with-me light to find my fork, keep from tripping down the dark stairs, or even just keep my 1 year old son from getting scared.  I don’t leave home without my 4Sevens Preon.

It’s close, but not quite a perfect light.  Here are a few small changes I hope for in a future iteration:

  • Knurling – It can be turned with wet hands, but it would be much easier with just a little bit of texturing on the head.  The protruding clip is enough to keep the body secure during the twisting motion.
  • Clicky Tailcap – I understand that there may be engineering issues, but I would love to see a high-quality clicky tailcap for the Preon 1.  Preferably something that doesn’t protrude(and turn on when you sit down) and allows for tailstanding.
  • More Lumens – The light from this flashlight is more than adequate, but with new light technology and emitters, I hope we will see a few more lumens in future editions. Even if I have to change my batteries a little more often.
Other 4Sevens Preon Reviews:

Knife Training Class February 4-5, 2012

Tactical Defense Institute in OH is running a 2 day knife training course.


This course presents students with skills they need to effectively utilize a folding or fixed blade knife as a defensive tool to repel a lethal force attack. Contrary to most knife programs, this class is designed to address the realistic situations students are likely to face. The course introduces simple, effective movements that re easy to learn, court defensible and work well under stress. Topics covered include: knife selection, carry locations, legal issues, rapid deployment techniques, responses to life threatening physical assaults, knife techniques for handgun retention, and dealing with multiple attackers. The course utilizes a combination of live cutting drills and force-on-force scenarios using training knives to ensure that students gain a high level of proficiency. Join Greg Ellifritz and John Benner as they teach this expanded two day version of the class recently adopted by the Ohio Peace Officer’s Training Academy as the first defensive knife class to Ohio police officers. If you want to check out TDI:

Cost: $350

We have interviewed John Benner here on the podcast before and I feel confident recommending this course.

Zombies Deserve Some Credit

What’s so special or wonderful about zombies?  They’re disgusting fictional nothingness…

I really expected this meme to blow over by now, but it lingers with new and amazing levels of stupidity every day!

But I am broad-minded, so I sat down to think of a few positive aspects of the zombie apocalypse preparation movement:

  • People actually consider self-defense situations – Most people never put a second of thought into what they would do in a situation requiring them to fight for their life, but these decisions need to be made before an actual confrontation.  Sure they are only thinking about a fictional being, but it’s better than nothing.  I think…
  • A new and creative excuse to purchase more self-defense gear – I’ll always jump on this bandwagon!  If the wife asks why you need that new knife, another case of ammo, or a battle axe, remember, it’s for the zombies.
  • Politically Correct humanoid targets can be used at strict ranges – Because everyone knows that zombies aren’t real, many ranges that won’t allow you to shoot at a humanoid target will allow you to shoot at those imaginary zombies.  Any extra little bit of realism is a good thing.

Help me out.  I’m sure there some more.

My Shrinking Every Day Carry (EDC)

I have noticed a trend in my EDC.  It’s shrinking.  Not necessarily the number of items I carry, but the size of the items I carry.  Funny thing is, it doesn’t even happen on purpose.

I own knives, lights, and watches of varying sizes and consciously try to change up my EDC in search of that perfect setup, but when I’m in a hurry and not thinking about what I grab, I automatically pick up the small knife, the small flashlight, the small watch, etc.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll post a little bit more about my EDC items with photos, etc.

Spyderco Ladybug Colors



Don’t ask me why, but I love the idea of having the same knife in multiple colors.  I came across this picture on Flickr of a nice collection of the Spyderco Ladybug line in different colors.  Are all these colors still in production?Great prices on the Spyderco Ladybug models


Samson Evolution 12.35” Handguard

Shared by Rob
Sharp looking!
Super light and small diameter, am really liking these Evo guards from Samson. Just built this today. 12.5'' Barrel with a Noveske KX3. Nightforce NXS 2.5-10X32 Scope in a LaRue LT-104 QD Mount. Magpul Grip & Mag with VLTOR Mod4 BCM Gunfighter Charging Handle and EMod Stock. DPMS Chromed Bolt running in our Forged Mil Spec Upper. .223 Wylde Chambered 1:7 Twist on the barrel. Illumination kit is a Surefire Mini Scout Light M300A in a LaRue LT752 Offset Mount