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  • February 21, 2014

    Knife Review: The Spartan Harsey Difensa

    By David E. Petzal

    Spartan Blades, of whom I have written before, is a maker of very high quality tactical and survival knives. It was founded, and is run, by a pair of career Special Forces NCOs. Spartan had a booth at the SHOT Show, but it was so crowded with throat slitters and kidney stabbers who were admiring the goods that I didn’t have much of a chance at conversation and so I’m reviewing Spartan’s new knife a bit after the fact.

    It’s called the “Spartan,” because that’s who makes it, “Harsey,” because it’s designed by Bill Harsey, whose knives have won several Best of the Best awards, “Difensa,” which takes some explaining. The Difensa was designed for a Canadian special ops group which does fun things in the forests, and since they are Canadian, the knife takes its name from the First Special Service Force, which was a joint Canadian/US Army unit that served in World War II, and was comprised of some of the finest throat slitters and kidney stabbers to ever pull knives from sheaths.

  • February 6, 2014

    Reader Tip: How to Sharpen a Knife with a Coffee Cup

    By Phil Bourjaily

    In the second of our sporadic series of reader tips, here is one sent in by Hugh Bryan, who writes:

    "I have bought almost every knife sharpening tool and gimmick over the years (almost everything Dave Petzal has recommended).  Some have worked better than others. Unfortunately, they are seldom with me when my knife needs a quick touch up."

  • January 28, 2014

    New Hunting Pack: Alps Outdoorz Crossfire

    By The Editors

    Features are the name of the game when it comes to new hunting packs and Alps' Crossfire has plenty of them. It sports a vented mesh back panel, a frame system, and a detachable accessory pocket. It also features a gun or bow carrier, a blaze orange pack cover, and more compression straps than you'll need.

  • January 28, 2014

    Bulletproof Seaduck Decoys: Greenhead Gear from Avery

    By The Editors

    Seaduck decoys have come a long ways in the last few years, and these new dekes from Avery are the latest evolution. The Greenhead Gear decoys are foam-filled, which means they should be able to eat some steel and keep floating. As seaduck hunters know, their hunting gear is going to take a beating. This is especially true for decoys that draw in low-flying birds that often take more than one shell to kill. So, give these dekes a shot the next time you head out for seaducks.

  • January 27, 2014

    Great Budget Binoculars: Leupold BX-1 Yosemite and McKenzie

    By The Editors

    This is one of the brand-new full-featured, roof prism binos we saw for well under $200. Again, this one has the phase-coated BaK-4 prism and fully multi-coated lenses; it’s also waterproof, rugged, comes in 8x42 or 10x42, and has a full lifetime warranty—all for around $150. But while we were looking for new bargains, we spotted an old friend, the Porro prism BX-1 Yosemite, which goes for around $75.

  • January 27, 2014

    Buck Marksman: New Tactical Folding Knife

    By The Editors

    This new knife from Buck is being marketed as 'tactical' but it could just as easily find its home in a hunter's pack. It has an aluminum handle and a blade of 154CM steel. The most interesting feature on this new knife is the locking system. This system makes the knife very strong and allows it open quickly. It will retail for about $125.

  • January 24, 2014

    New Hunting Knife: SOG BladeLight Hunt

    By The Editors

    This 4-inch drop-point knife from SOG was one of the most innovative products of SHOT Show. It has a stainless steel blade and an injection-molded handle. The most intriguing feature is the six LED lights that give you 90 minutes of burn time. If you've ever found your deer after dark just as your headlamp batteries were dying, you'll fully appreciate the intelligent design of the SOG Bladelight Hunt. 

  • January 24, 2014

    SOG Zoom: New Assisted-Opening Knife

    By The Editors

    http://ak.c.ooyala.com/U2anY2azqnUFIu8an-bzuOccONrBfDDm/DLOokYc8UKM-fB9H4xMDoxOjA4MTsiGN

    It's not a switch blade, but you can definitely open the new SOG Zoom with one hand. The 4-inch, drop-point blade is made of AUS steel and the handle is made of aluminum. The safety is designed to keep the knife from opening in your pocket. It will retail for about $100.

  • January 21, 2014

    New Rifle Scope: Nightforce SHV

    By David E. Petzal

    http://ak.c.ooyala.com/NtcXU2azqx7zP2oi4Z8jNb7LbqYpwm7N/3Gduepif0T1UGY8H4xMDoxOjA4MTsiGN

    Nightforce was able to keep the costs down on its new SHV (Shooter, Hunter, Varminter) by utilizing simpler controls, employing a less complex manufacturing process, and by reducing the overbuilding that goes into their tactical scopes. The SHV will stand up to any kind of sane treatment, but you can’t break rocks with it, or chock truck tires, or beat recalcitrant mules, as you can with the higher-priced Nightforces.

  • January 19, 2014

    New Tactical Scopes: Burris XTR 2 Series

    By The Editors

    http://ak.c.ooyala.com/V1ajl4ajp4ytM2yebcyiyPeAQEFZ6KBM/QCdjB5HwFOTaWQ8X4xMDoxOjA4MTsiGN

    The XTR 2 Series is Burris' latest push into the tactical scope market. This series of scopes has a wide range of magnification options, from 1-5 to 8-40, and includes a ton of features. The scope in the video is a first focal plan mil scope, but it utilizes a donut-shaped reticle feature on the second focal plane. This reticle doesn't change sizes as you zoom up or down in magnification. The scope also includes an offset mount and a red dot sight. 

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