Kilimanjaro Gear Review PT: 1 The Knives

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

I was contacted by Kilimanjaro Gear asking if we would be interested in reviewing a few of their products. I had not heard of them prior to getting their email but after looking on their website I found 3 items we were interested in reviewing. This is a review of the two knives that I received.

The Back Story

I am not really a knife guy or know much about what makes one metal better than another. My only experience is, that I have carried at least one knife on my person everyday for years. My grandfather always carried one in his pocket and in the BSA we always carried one. When I turned 18 it was just natural to always have one on me.

My sister and I received our first knife from my father at a camp out with cub scouts. A few minutes after receiving the knife, my sister took hers and broke the tip off popping rocks out of the road tar.   Needless to say my father was not happy.

In the BSA, I carried many knives over the years. I had Victorinox, Kershaw and a Smith and Wesson, S.W.A.T Millennium Run Knife I received from my scout master for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. I carried the S&W knife until last year when my father gave me another knife that had a webbing cutter and a glass breaker on the end. I liked the knife for the most part but my biggest problem with it was that it had a half serrated edge. A half serrated edge is one feature I hate with a passion on my EDC knife.

The Knives: Vello and Shira

Kilimanjaro Gear has 5 categories for their knives. Every day, Outdoor, Tactical, Hunting, and Fishing. I looked over all of the knives and chose the Vello and the Shira from the tactical catagory.

 

Vello Specs :
8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel Blade
G10 Handle
Dual Thumb Stud
Liner Lock
Seat belt cutter
Pocket Clip
Bottle Opener/Screwdriver
Carbide Glass break

Overall Length: 7.8 in
Blade Length: 3.1 in
Closed Length: 4.6 in
Weight: 5.1 oz

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I liked this knife because it closely matched what I was already carrying. I have carried this knife most everywhere I have gone for the past 4 months. I haven’t used the glass breaker, but bottle opener and blade screw driver have been nice. The webbing cutting came in handy a few times.
The blades edge was poorly shaped and sharpened when I pulled it from the package but I quickly fixed that on the knife sharpener from Worksharp.

The knife holds an edge for a few weeks of use before I have to put it back on the sharpener. I would say it is light to medium duty cutting knife. I open a lot of boxes and so it has been good at doing that at the very least.

 

Shira Specs:

  • Full tang construction
  • Rubberized handle overlay
  • 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel Blade
  • Serrated edge
  • Titanium  Nitride Finish
  • Nylon sheath for carrying and storage
  • Overall Length: 10 in
  • Blade Length: 4.7 in
  • Weight: 6.9 oz

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The Shira is my current go-to fixed blade. I don’t carry this around all that much. I keep it on my desk for when I get into a fight with that ninja tape that always seems to want to stick to itself. When I carry it on me for a few days in a row I notice I still tend to go for it even when I don’t have it on me.

As I said before, the blades out of the factory are poorly shaped and sharpened. I have a very nice knife sharpener that I use, but I would recommend if you purchase these knives to get them professionally sharpened if you are not skilled at it.

The sheath is nothing to write home about. It is a molle sheath. It is standard webbing style clothe sheath that I plan to replace with kydex so it is a straight pull down knife off a molle vest.

The knife is half serrated which is something I really hate on a knife but I know a lot of people love that feature.

Overall

The knives are good utility knives. I liked that the Vello offered a good all around knife that can be used for EDC or can be kept in the car in case of an accident. I liked that the Shira is a full tang with a point on the butt of the knife so you can break glass or whatever you might need without using the blade.

The knives need to be better profiled and sharpened out of the factory. Once you get the knife you can easily get that done for a couple of bucks at your big box outdoor stores.

 

 

 

 

 

Poll: Tech in Shooting

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I have noticed as I go to the range lately, I carry out about 75 pounds of gear. This doesn’t even include my guns and their respective cases.

Range Tech in the Range Bag

While a lot of what I carry to the range is related to reviews and just normal work equipment, I have noticed that over the past few years my distance range tech as increased and yet my range distance hasn’t.

I have observed more people with lasers and lights and camera mounts on their $700 M&P-15. I have asked a few why they have this mounted at all times and they tell me that they just need it. Mind you this is not your SWAT officers or Texas National Guard, I am talking to, but that guy who has been in the semi-auto rifle game for 2 years.

Constant Evolution

Like most every other industry, we are subject to constant evolution with the tech world. I carry out my electronic spotting scope for any shots over 25yds. I wear electronic ear muffs to help me hear and still mute the shooting. I use laser trainers at home to help me with my rifle and pistol skill. Tech is replacing the old school shooting world which is helping us with our shooting skills.

Old School

I look back to my grandfather’s era of hunting and shooting and how the trail cameras were the tracks you saw on the ground, the e-spotting scopes were binoculars and monocular spotting scopes, the laser trainers were tin cans on a fence.

It is interesting to me, to see the distance shooters at my local range who are much older and the worries they have are about the clarity of their glass on their high end scope and the twist rates of their bolt action rifles. Then I see the younger shooters looking for every piece of tech they can get their hands on to make them the next top shot.

Controversy

Personally, I love the tech. Even with how tech is changing and making some interesting splashes in the gun industry. Some tech is even controversial such as the Barrett Optical Ranging System (BORS) or the Tracking point systems giving shooter an easier time making the right calculations to hit their target out at 1000+ yards.

Shooting World has Room for All

Change can be scary to some people. All I know is that you can adapt to the new tech in shooting or not. Old school and new school, both have their amazing shooters who defy what we think is possible.

Repost: Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener Review

I wrote a review on the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener over at AtticusJames.com. I review how I was able to get a razor edge on all my knives with relative ease after learning how to use the Work Sharp sharpener.  

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I designed AtticusJames.com to be review site for all things guy. I publish new guy stuff reviews every Monday

Extreme Beam Alpha-TAC SAR7

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

On the last day of SHOT 2014 I met the president of Extreme Beam, David Wilson. He introduced us to his company and and their mission to be “A shining light in the face of darkness”.

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After talking with him about flashlights, God and guns for about 30 minutes he offered me a flashlight so we could review and see what we thought.

Specs

Alpha-TAC SAR7

“The S.A.R. Series is ExtremeBeam’s answer for a subcompact, high- intensity, long range microlight. Designed to withstand severe conditions with its high density, waterproof aircraft aluminum housing and its impact resistant glass lens, the S.A.R. Series will meet your needs.
While small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, the output of the S.A.R. is anything but small. The S.A.R. outperforms many lights 3 times its size and is among the brightest and most advanced microlights available today, capable of working with both rechargeable and non-rechargeable CR123 batteries of any voltage.” Extreme Beam website

· Anti-Recoil® up to .223Cal

· Modes: On-Off

· Weight(with battery) 58.6 Grams (2.1 ounces)

· Total Length: 80.12mm (3.15 inches)

· Width: 21.59mm (.85 inches)

· Average Run Time: 1 hours

· Light Volume: 130 Lumens

· Light Projection: 137 Meters (450 feet)

· Battery Type: 1, 3.0 CR123 batteries

· Reflector Finish: Mirror-like

Everyday carry (EDC)

Since February almost every time I leave the house I have this in my front pocket (exception of when I am at my other job that involves corrosive materials). In February 2014, I made some changes to get back to better health and fitness. For anyone who knows me well enough in my real life, knows I love working out and that I work out late at night.  I am in the dark of night for hours on end. Something that shocks most of my friends, is that I do not conceal carry. I haven’t been someone who has a big EDC list.

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Since February this is the list of my EDC

1. iPhone with Magpul case

2. Wallet

3. iPod 160GB

4. Ray-Ban Aviator Glasses

5. Leatherman MUT

6. Keys with 2GB flash-drive

7. Headphones in a shredded beef jerky can

8. Paracord bracelet

9. EXTREME BEAM ALPHA-TAC SAR 7 Flashlight

10. S&W SWAT First Millennium Run Knife

Battery Life

I have had to change the battery once since I got this light. I did not run the battery empty. I accidentally washed and dried the Alpha-TAC SAR 7 Flashlight in my washer and drier. While you shouldn’t do this, I can tell you from experience that the only problem was, the battery died. I can not say for a fact that is what killed the battery, as I am not sure. I would guess heat from the drier or maybe the light turned on in the washer or drier and just ran the battery down. I am pretty sure it was not because water got in the flashlight, as there is no corrosion inside.

Overall thoughts

I love this light. It is small and light weight so I don’t notice it in my pocket. The batteries are CR123 which are used in most of my EO techs so I know I always have a backup when I need one. The 130 Lumens are plenty for me to see clearly at night even at distance of 100ft+.  I think this is a great EDC flashlight.

Leatherman MUT First Impressions

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

This is my first impressions of the Leatherman MUT (Military Utility Tool). I plan to release my full review later this month, after I have had a chance to use the tool more. I have had the Leatherman MUT for about a week now. I haven’t used it much in the field and it has spent most of the time in its pouch on my person or in the desk next to me.

SPECS of the Leatherman MUT

MUT SPECS

The Leatherman MUT weights in a 11.2 oz. or 317.5 g so it falls on the slightly heftier side of what I normally carry (Leatherman Wave 8oz).  The weight is not that noticeable on my hip.

I did take the 3/8 wrench/ AR front sight tool out of the pouch as I am afraid of losing it. I have been carrying the Leatherman Rail to the range since I got it Christmas 2013 which has the sighting tool on it. I think if maybe there was a way the wrench combo could have been added to the MUT that might have been better. I don’t know yet and I will get back to you on my finding later.

Serrations VS. Straight Edge

The Knife has serrations which I have never been a fan of on the same blade as your straight cutting blade. Since Leatherman was trying to make this the best battle tool they could, I get it, as there are a lot of people out there that like that. It is all about getting the tool to fit your hand and not weight 400 pounds.

A Gunsmiths Point of View

The carbon scraper will be nice when I am cleaning the review guns as they tend to be more worn than my firearms. I took this tool into my gunsmith who agreed that this was designed nicely for taking your guns down.

The pouch is sewn to handle even the heaviest of wear and tear. I will talk more on the webbing and how it adjusts for your belt or molle gear in the next article.

Overall Thoughts

I am very happy with this new (to me) Leatherman MUT.  I can see this replacing my Leatherman Wave for everyday carry.

 

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POLL – How often do you train with your conceal carry pistol?

 

Press release – CrossBreed® Holsters Introduces Purse Defender Holster System for Smart Concealed Carry

 

Republic, MO (November 25, 2013) – CrossBreed Holsters today announced the introduction of the company’s latest versatile modular holster made for use in purse, handbag or briefcase for concealed carry. The new Purse Defender is designed to fit most small to medium sized handguns in your favorite purse, handbag or briefcase securely and safely.

Purses and handbags are a matter of style and concealed carry is a matter of safety and security.  With the new CrossBreed Purse Defender, neither style nor safety needs to be compromised, giving those who concealed carry the freedom from expensive and ugly concealed carry purses or bags.

The Purse Defender is designed and built on a Velcro lined Kydex panel that fits easily and securely with the added feature of keeping the gun and the purse stabilized.  Combined with CrossBreed’s classic handcrafted modular holster, the firearm is easy to access, safe, secure and in the same spot in your bag or purse.

The Purse Defender system is available for either right or left hand and comes complete with the L-shaped Kydex panel, CrossBreed’s handcrafted modular holster and additional Velcro for outside of the purse or bag options. 

Pricing for the Purse Defender is at an affordable $52.95 with matching mag carrier $32.95.  Extra custom fit Velcro pieces are only $7.50.

Owners of the Purse Defender have the added confidence of a “Two Week, Try it Free Guarantee” and a lifetime warranty to go along with CrossBreed Holsters’ legendary handcrafted quality.

To learn more about CrossBreed Holsters, visit www.crossbreedholsters.com

About CrossBreed Holsters

CrossBreed Holsters, LLC was started in 2005 by Mark Craighead to bring all of the best holster features together in one product without any of the non-functional design elements found in many holsters on the market.  Mark’s new breed of all-American holsters has grown into a company strong with integrity, craftsmanship and customer service.

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Gerber Steady Tool

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  • Overall Length: 6″
  • Closed Length: 4″
  • Weight: 5.8 oz.
  • Cost: $64
  • Steel Type: 420J2 Stainless
  • Max Phone/Camera Weight: 170 grams/340 grams

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Gerber has come out with a multi-tool for the 21-century called the steady tool. This multi-tool is combines two features that seems like one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas which is the pliers based multi-tool with a camera tripod added.

As a gun blogger I have a number of different tools and equipment I carry out to the range to help my reviews, such as a multi-tool and a small table tripod. Gerber as designed this multi-tool to do both.

There are two ways to mount a camera. One being the standard screw mount for your typical camera and suction cup to mount your smartphone.

At $64 for the whole set up you are not going to be breaking the bank to pick one up.  For those of us who have a multi-tool in their everyday carry (EDC) this is an easy change.  Then in case something cool starts happening all you have to do is pop your phone and multi-tool  out and you are ready to roll.