Reviews & articles for shooting sport enthusiasts.

Archive for May, 2012

Camping or hunting, SOG’s Woodline is an answer…

This author has had many opportunities to review knives of several manufacturers, and yes; even more are upcoming. However, once in a while, a slightly different knife comes about from the rest of those which have already been examined by the hands of TPF. Now as has been stated previously, and will be stated again, the authors of TPF are not knife experts, while the terminology and knowledge are still being accumulated, TPF should not be categorized as an expert. At this time, that is… Today we get to look at a sample of SOG’s product line, the Woodline series of knives. According to SOG’s website:

That feeling of leaving civilization behind as you move out of the valley and into the woodline is the inspiration for this series of fixed blades and folders.

SOG's Woodline

With an upswept tip, the cutting edge of the Woodline is long and flows into the overall design.

The Woodline series of knives consist of both a larger fixed blade and a smaller folding blade design. At one time a smaller fixed version was offered but it was discontinued for 2012. Now for the meat and potatoes of this review. The Woodline fixed blade is a non-serrated, trailing point design which measures 264mm (8.4″) overall and masses 235gr (8.3oz); resulting in a large knife for belt mounted EDC. In the author’s opinion this is a field knife, carried and utilized in specific situations such as hunting, camping and other outdoor pursuits which allow for extra bulk and mass to be carried.

The Woodline's Spine

With many thumb grooves on the spine and a large finger groove in the bolster, the knife has many good control features.

Sheath

Secured in 7oz leather

The extremely long curved cutting edge of the Woodline’s 122mm (4.8″) blade designed to a good knife for skinning, and with the 3.8mm (0.15″) thick spine the blade can withstand considerable abuse. Made with the standard SOG material, 8Cr13MoV Stainless steel, the knife itself should be able to keep an edge well and be readily sharpened. On the back of the spine are numerous thumb grooves to aid in fine blade control, which is required to prevent unwanted cuts and nicks with the upraised blade tip. The bolster, the metallic section between blade and handle, is made from cast stainless steel and creates the large finger groove in the handle’s grip profile. The tang of the knife is completely encased in very smooth hard wood which is retained by a series of stainless steel torx head screws. The final accoutrement is a lanyard loop consisted of a stainless steel tube imbedded in the end of the handle.

The sheath is composed primarily of 7oz leather with the reviewed piece having a nice uniform dark brown colouration. The leather sheath not only covers the entirety of the blade edge, but nearly the entire bolster and a small portion of the hardwood handle. Blade retention is accomplished though a single leather strap using a press snap button. This strap wraps around the generous finger groove formed in the bolster of the knife. A single belt loop, also made from 7oz leather and 20mm (0.8″) in width, is riveted place.  A basic SOG logo is branded into the face of the sheath.

Woodline ,the set

SOG’s Woodline fixed blade has nice curves and is complimented by the simple and functional sheath.

The Woodline fixed blade knife by SOG is an impressive looking product , appears to be very well made and creates an attractive package with the dark leather sheath. The only additional observation which can be made by TPF is that the knife itself is made outside of North America, which does keep manufacturing costs down, but may affect the purchasing decision of prospective buyers. The SOG WD-01 Woodline, large fixed blade knife as reviewed by TPF, has an MSRP of $60USD and is available with many Canadian retailers including various Canadian Tires stores across Canada.

The question, as always, posed to you, the reader, is whether this item is Tactical, Practical or Fantastical?


Getting into Action Shooting – Part 3

Actual book from 1960Combat pistol shooting has been around since the early 1900’s as military forces and law enforcement began to use handguns as a means of defense. Even back nearly 50 years ago, combat shooting was practiced by law enforcement as a means of training law enforcement officers (LEOs) to be able to effectively and accurately use their service pistols in a variety of shooting positions. A six shot revolver chambered in .38 Special was the standard staple of these LEOs so accuracy was an extremely important skill to have with their limited ammunition capacities. Remember that while a 1911 was designed over a century ago, most semi automatics were very expensive compared to the revolvers even just a few decades prior to today. This version of Combat Shooting has survived today as Police Pistol Combat (PPC) and is seen as the for-runner to current dynamic action shooting disciplines. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s and early 1970’s that the true combat shooting was starting to take shape in today’s version which incorporates drilling the concepts of threat identification and tactical awareness as well as accuracy while under stress. For readers who are in the younger generations, TPF recommends you go and look for the movie Magnum Force (1973), starring Clint Eastwood, and you will see a small snippet of the fore-runners of today’s action shooting with the “Combat Shooting Championships” in the . Please remember that movie is nearly 40 years in age and at the time action shooting sports had not been truly established. While PPC was, and is still today, practiced both a discipline and sport, it was the foundation for what developed into the modern action shooting sport, such as International Practical Shooting Confederation which was officially formed in 1976.

As the concept of getting into action shooting sports has already been addressed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, this installment is to those individuals have already tried their hand at the fun filled world of action shooting. As TPF has inferred in the aforementioned posts, the majority of the experienced people who participate in action shooting are extremely friendly and open. Now some of these people now train others and use their vast amounts of experience and knowledge and years of refined skills to help jump start newcomers into shooting, and to enhance skills of those familiar to the sport. TPF, on behalf of the CSSA was able to interact with many of the shooters in the previous installments and get a quick tip from them. Please recall that many of these people make a living from training people how to become a better shooter and as such will only give small snippets of advice outside of a training session. TPF is honoured by the following individuals for their time and efforts at promoting the shooting sports and for their willingness to assist new shooters in some tips which they have found helpful in being a superior competitive shooter.

A huge supporter of IPSC and the owner of Freedom Ventures in Canada, Mr. Sean Hansen graciously gives TPF readers a quick tip on improving your shooting ability.

STI International sponsored competitive shooter, Mr. Blake Miguez is very open and a great individual whom was very forthcoming when asked to share his insight of how to improve one’s shooting prowess in action shooting. Mr. Miguez’s Facebook site here.

Michael Voigt is one of the true veterans of the shooting sports with many years of experience and skill under his belt. You will not how much he enjoys discussing the sport he has loved for many, many, years of dedication. Mr. Voigt’s website here.

Rob Leatham is to Action Shooting what Wayne Gretzky is to Hockey. Considered by many to be the overall grand master of knowledge and techniques from years upon years of being one of the best in the world in action shooting. Mr. Leatham’s website can be found here.

Angus Hobdell has been shooting CZ handguns for so long that the two are nearly interchangeable when talking about one or the other. A great  great love for the shooting sports and a very friendly nature to all, means that Angus has no issues in letting TPF readers in on one of the small secrets for a successful shoot. Visit Angus Hobdell.s wesite here.

With a good sense of humour and a great demeanor, Ms. Tierani Hendrix is a credit to the shooting sports with her outgoing personality. While at the 2012 SHOT Show, she spared a small amount of time to give new action shooters a tip for improving. Her website can be found here.

Ms. Randi Rogers is pure gold in her enthusiasm for shooting sports and has an amazing level of skill and energy which she is always more than happy to share with new shooters. TPF was able to “co-erce” Ms. Rogers into offering a helpful hint just by asking her. Find Randi Rogers’ website here.

Para-USA Shooter, Travis Tomasie was yet another professional shooter who is happy to help out prospective shooters aquire higher skill sets and compete in action shooting sports. Travis’ website can be found  here.

TPF would like to thank all the professional shooters who were willing to spend a moment of their time to assist TPF in these videos. Unfortunately these videos were all done in a limited time frame and due to these time constraints only a few were approached. If readers have any specific shooters, or questions to have asked of these shooters, please ensure that you write us with your suggestions here!

Regardless if it is Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical; the popularity of action shooting sports is on the rise. Thanks for reading!


Back to basics – Lessons and results by Gerber

Packaged

The Card packaging for the Gerber Basic knife

With advances in technology and more advanced manufacturing techniques, ergonomic sculpting, exotic shapes, and highly technical mechanisms have seemed to become a mainstay of many of today’s manufacturers and Gerber is no exception to this as evidenced by the creation of the Flik multi-tool previously reviewed here at TPF-Online. Gerber has been around for quite a number of years and has made countless designs of knives, multi-tools, and other products which are used by a great many people around the world. However they realized that as technology advances, there is still a very basic principle which needed to be heeded.

What is the basic definition of a knife? A tool used for cutting. That was the entire concept behind the knife being reviewed today. The Basic, a fixed blade knife by Gerber was designed and began production several years ago. As stated, it was a throwback in design with the primary factors being size, generic functionality and durability.

The Basic is just that, a very basic everyday utility knife. Featuring a 76.2mm (3.0″) drop point blade design, the blade is very typical for many knives and follows a sabre ground profile for strength. The cutting edge is partially serrated for true multi-purpose design utility. With the spine/full tang measuring 3.8mm (0.150″) in thickness, the robustness of the design is very apparent. While the overall knife length of 168mm (6.6″) makes the handle small, the huge large finger groove/choil behind the blade edge allows for a very secure grip. Due to this large choil it almost appears that the small grip panels were added as an afterthought to the full tang of the Basic. TPF has noticed however that the blade length has been listed at various sites, including Gerber’s, as nearly 86.5mm (3.40″) in length which would be measuring from blade tip to the leading edge of the grip panels. The grip panels themselves are not spectacular, primarily being made of nylon, and each side is secured into the full tang by three small Torx head screws. However a large portion of these nylon panels mount Gerber’s TacHide™ grip material which is very soft and provides a very secure grip on the knife. The full length tang incorporates a trio of scalloped indents on the spine as thumb ridges, in addition to the large lanyard loop incorporated in the full tang and accentuated by the grip panels.

Presenting the Basic

The knife is truly basic in design, the sheath is not…

Grip and Loop

Showing off the TacHide inset panels and the large lanyard loop

TPF was unable to determine the mechanical properties of the steel used to manufacture the Basic, but a source says that the blade is most likely constructed with 420HC stainless steel, which is nearly a default for Gerber products unless otherwise indicated. The entire blade and tang are nitride coated for additional corrosion resistance and results in a generally matte dark grey finish. Overall knife mass is roughly 105 gr (3.7oz) which is considerable when combined with the very small size of the knife itself. It seems to be a success when measured against the basic design principles used for it’s creation. However, TPF will note that the handle profile, while designed for extreme comfort and great control, is somewhat diminutive for those individuals whom have larger hands as the knife becomes a three finger profile.

Sheath

Slightly pushing on the upper edge of the sheath reduces the tension friction retaining the Basic

The sheath of the Basic is the complete opposite of the knife in terms of simple design criteria. Created from two molded halves mated together, the completely polymer sheath is a marvel of modern design. A plastic tension catch is part of the molded sheath and securely retains the Basic knife with a force that would potentially overcome the reversible metallic belt clip. The clip is positioned for right handed carry and is made of a stainless spring steel. Retained by two small screws similar to that of the belt clip, a small metallic plaque is on the opposite side of the sheath proudly displaying the Gerber name. TPF did not try to reverse the clip as the durability of the sheath is most likely the weakest point of this entire package. Combined the Basic knife and sheath measure only slightly longer than the knife itself at 173mm (6.8″) and the small package, while fairly heavy is indeed a worthy addition to nearly person’s knife inventory.

Controlability

The large finger groove, TacHide grip and thumb scallops made the Basic very easy to handle.

The Basic knife as offered by Gerber Gear, is a fixed, partially serrated blade which has an MSRP of 43.00USD, and is available at many outdoor supply stores as well as online retailers such as www.canadiansafetysource.ca. As usual however, it is up to you the reader to decide if the Gerber Basic is Practical, Tactical, or Fantastical.


The First Annual Dead Registry Celebration – April 28th, Gatineau, Quebec

Since its inception back in 1999, the Canadian Shooting Sports Association has held a fundraising dinner which has since become known as a “Stick to your Guns” dinner. Originally an annual event, this dinner has been expanded to be held several times a year in various locations across Canada. These dinners have had such notable speakers like Sandra Froman (former NRA President, 2005-2007), and long time supporter and a true friend to Canadian firearms owners, MP Garry Breitkreuz. In recent years a specific annual version has become linked with the CSSA’s Annual General Meeting, and this one was held on April 28th in Gatineau, Quebec.

The last time the author was in the region, the city of Hull had not been amalgamated into Gatineau and the author had barely begun to become involved with firearms. It seems so long ago, but the city and region hold many worthwhile attractions for visitors. So if you get a chance, please ensure that you visit one of the many museums in the area. Now, as this was to be the first of the CSSA AGM’s held in the province of Quebec, there was some anxious times for organizers leading up to the event as turnout was an unknown factor, but all the their worries were for naught. Nearly ninety (90) individuals braved the somewhat chilly weather to attend the CSSA AGM, of which roughly half were from the province of Quebec. With many questions asked by individuals in attendance and a great wealth of information about the efforts of the CSSA, the AGM was alive and resulted in a large volume of information disseminated to those in attendance.  As always the CSSA is humbled by the sheer volume of support from its membership, and hopes to be able to do even more in the coming months and years both domestically and abroad.

The Speaker of the House

Never one to shrink from what needs to be said, Dr. Ackerman becomes Speaker of the House during the CSSA tour of parliament

With the AGM wrapping up just after noon on the Saturday, the CSSA had decided to arrange a tour of parliament for the late afternoon prior to the fundraising dinner and this was available for attendees of the AGM. TPF was unable to attend the tour, but had heard that the tour was phenomenal with people being right on the House of Commons floor and sitting in both the seats of the Honorable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House as well as the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada. The entire structure of the parliament building  is a monument to history and grand construction of generations gone by. With exquisite stonework and inlaid patterning, it is amazing how well made the building is when one considers that the wiring and plumbing is nearly completely hidden from casual sight as you walk through out the building.

Lovig and Bernardo

A pair of great people, Brian Lovig (l) and Tony Bernardo grin in anticipation of a great evening!

At 6:00pm the “Stick to your Guns” dinner officially opened and began the festive evening, with it being the first CSSA fundraising dinner since the historic April 5th, 2012. This was officially coined as the 1st Annual Dead Registry Celebration, as it occurred mere weeks after the historic passing of Bill C-19. Even with some last-minute scrambling for setting up the prize tables, the evening proceeded with very little snags and errors. With Tony Bernardo being the Master of Ceremonies and Mr. Brian Lovig of the Daily Split being a co-host, the evening was anything but dull. Not one, but TWO speakers were in attendance that evening with Mr. Garry Breitkreuz being the initial speaker and telling about the trials and efforts that have been endured and overcome by the CSSA and those who believe in firearms freedom. The keynote speaker was mister Phil Morlock, one of North America’s leading experts in promoting heritage outdoors activities that include hunting, sport shooting, fishing and trapping. The praise which came from the mouths of these two individuals was humbling to the CSSA but also invigorated those in attendance to continue to stand up and fight for the Canadian firearms community.

Doorprizes

Ranging from pens to gun-mugs, hats to gun socks; the door prizes alone were numerous and varied.

With good food and nearly one hundred attendees, the dinner started off on a great note and the sheer number of prizes were astounding. There were many spectacular prizes available and the top ones were two of the four rifles available that evening. To quote the host’s repeated mantra, “Did we mention that these rifles were UNREGISTERED?” Many thanks to those who won the Chaparral Winchester Model 1866, the Carl Gustav 63 target rifle, and the plethora of prizes that were available. Many thanks must also go to Mr. Brian Lovig for his professional assistance in auctioning off some prizes, such as the Model 1866, to the attendees. Some of the raffle draws were very well received and quite innovative such as the Joker Draw which was a beautiful stainless Ruger 10-22 rifle with laminated wood stock. The catch? There were only 12 tickets available so it was a 1 in 12 chance to win. Just amazing and so well received by the audience.

Topgun

The grand prize of the evening was this beautiful Chapparal Winchester 1866 chambered in .357 Mag. Many thanks to John @ Marstar for his support of the CSSA and these events!

A special thanks to the following for their support and help in what was a truly extraordinary evening. These companies and individuals are part of Team CSSA and contribute to the success of the organization to keep the fight in the face of the gun grabbers and ensuring what is accomplished is lasting and stays beneficial for Canadians.

  • John St. Amour, Marstar Canada
  • John Mock, Stoeger Canada
  • Bob Nichols, R. Nichols
  • Daniel Legault, Browning Canada
  • Anthony Toryni, Trade Ex Canada
  • Ken McRory, Vortex Optics Canada
  • Brandon Bulter, Battenfeld Technologies (Caldwell/Tipton)
  • Ben Krete, The Gun Centre
  • Mandy Esteves, Shooting Chrony Inc
  • Dave Landsborough, Triggers and Bows
  • Lee Morgan, Gunzilla Canada
  • Tony Bernardo, Canadian Institute for Legislative Action
  • Brian Lovig, The Daily Split
  • Garry Breitkreuz, CPC Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville
  • Hornady, Kershaw, Forster, Lyman, and several more companies
  • Luc Thivierge, Chris Youngson, Norm Lapierre, and so many more individuals

After all the food had been eaten and all the prizes had been doled out to winning attendees, the evening was far from finished. The CSSA went the extra step and provided a live band for the remainder of the night. “Reloaded” was a garage band made up of some veteran and professional talent from the ranks of the CSSA itself. Armed with his Gretsch guitar, Tony Bernardo lead the group with professionalism, Rob Alexander invoked his keyboard with practiced skill, Brant Scott wailed with purpose on drums and Dave Weston put up the backbone bass with fingers flying. With the occasionally addition vocals provided by Tony’s daughter, Kira; the night was filled with electricity and was possibly the finishing stroke in completing a picture perfect day of energy and enthusiasm.

Many thanks to all who helped make the entire day a memorable one and hopefully TPF will see you again next year at yet another CSSA AGM, if not sooner at more of these fund-raising dinners.