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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

    SOG Zoom: New Assisted-Opening Knife

    By The Editors

    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

    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 Over/Under Shotgun: Cabela's Revives the Beretta Onyx

    By The Editors

    Beretta hasn't offered the Onyx model in years, but, now, Cabela's has resurrected it. The shotgun is offered in a sporting version, trap gun, and field gun. It has the standard features of any other Beretta over/under with a low profile and strong action. It's a handsome gun with a black anodized receiver and an upper mid-grade walnut stock. The gun sells for about $2,500.

  • January 16, 2014

    New Duck Gun: Remington Versa Max Waterfowl Pro

    By The Editors

    The original Versa Max is a great waterfowl gun, but this year Remington is looking to make it even better. Borrowing some features from the tactical version of the Versa Max, Remington added an extended bolt handle, an oversized bolt release, and an extra-large safety for easier operation with heavy gloves.

    Add these features to a shotgun that already does a good job of cutting down on felt recoil and has an adjustable stock for different shooting conditions, and you've got a duck and goose gun that's tough to beat in adverse weather.  

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