Monday, February 27, 2012

Guns and Gear Review # 12: Kershaw Crown

Hey folks, your old pal 12-Gauge Chimp here with another knife review. In the past two months, I have purchased two new knives, one being the Aranyik E-Nep I reviewed awhile back and the second being the Kershaw Crown, which I'm reviewing today.

First off, this is the first Kershaw knife I have ever purchased. Well, the first real Kershaw knife, anyway. I have a pair of Kershaw knock-offs I bought from a roadside vendor and they aren't that great. Getting back to the Kershaw Crown.

I was walking around the local Wal-Mart and spotted the knife on a clearance rack. I took a look at it and decided to purchase it. I'm a sucker for quality knives, especially when they are on sale. Now if I could just find a Spyderco or Benchmade knife on sale for less than 100 bucks. Anyway, I paid the price for the knife, which after taxes was 16 dollars US, and walked out of the store. I got home and proceeded to open the package and handle my new knife.

From what I could initially see, the Kershaw Crown is a well made knife. It is extremely sharp right out of the box, or in this case plastic clam shell package. I almost cut myself at least ten times just handling the knife and in one case, a family member managed to nick their finger just by barely touching the blade. So, in other words, Kershaw really means their blades are extremely sharp.

The Kershaw Crown's factory specifications are like this.
Blade length: 3-1/4"
Overall length: 6.55"
Blade material: 8CR13MoV satin finished stainless steel.
Handle material: polished Micarta (in the case of my particular knife, it's a blue colored Micarta)

Now onto the fun part, cutting stuff with it. This is where the Kershaw Crown excels. Everything I cut with it was cut cleanly and without any tearing. The 8CR13MoV steel holds an amazing edge, unlike the crap steel the knock-offs I have. I swear those knives get dull just by me looking at them. I'll be doing a review and rant about what I call "Gas Station Special" knives. Look for that coming soon.

The Kershaw Crown may not be the most expensive knife in Kershaw's catalog, but it is one of the nicest.

The Kershaw Crown gets the 12-Gauge Chimp seal of approval.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guns and Gear Review # 11: Rock Island Armory GI Tactical 1911

Hey folks, it's your old pal 12-Gauge Chimp here with a brand new gun review.

Over the last few months, you might remember me mentioning buying a new handgun. I went back and forth, trying to decide just what kind of handgun I wanted. First I wanted a 9mm because I already have a box of 9mm rounds sitting in my ammo drawer, but then I looked at some .45 ACP pistols and decided I wanted one of those. That opened up a whole new can of worms and lead me down some interesting paths. Well, after a few months of saving up the money and deciding which gun I wanted, I finally got one. In the end, I purchased a Rock Island Armory GI Tactical 1911 in .45 ACP.

Now, for those of you who haven't heard of Rock Island Armory (or as I'll call them in the rest of the review, RIA), the company that makes the RIA line of 1911's, Armscor, has been around since 1952. It was originally a part of a gun store in Manilla called "Squires, Bingham and Co."which was founded sometime in 1911. Now, Armscor is based in the Philippines, but has a subsidiary in the US located in Nevada. An interesting little bit of info is that Armscor makes the STI Spartan line of 1911s as well as guns for Charles Daly (which is once again back in business) and the Auto-Ordnance 1911 pistols.

Enough history, on to my new gun.

Well, I placed the order for it with a local FFL dealer and a few days later, it arrived. Originally, I had a bit of a minor hiccup with the order. Either the FFL ordered the wrong gun by mistake or someone at the distribution center read the order wrong and shipped the basic GI model, which isn't the gun I wanted. After a little bit of work, they shipped the correct gun and I had it in my hands a few days later. It was no big deal, just kind of annoying. Anyway, I received a call from the FFL and went to his shop to pick it up. I spent about 40 minutes there, 30 minutes just sitting around talking with the FFL guy and 10 minutes doing the whole 4473/background check thing.

After paying for the gun, I brought it home and proceeded to wipe off the oil Armscor puts on their guns for shipping. After cleaning it up, I took a closer look at my gun. It appears to be very well made and after I do the factory recommended 500 round break in, it will become my CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) after I receive my permit to carry a concealed weapon. A lot of people carry these guns, either in the full sized 5" model or the more compact 3" and 4" models.

Now, I haven't had the chance to get out and test my 1911 yet, but once the weather heats up and I get some more ammo, I will be giving you folks a full range report on the RIA GI Tactical 1911. I also can't give it the 12-Gauge Chimp seal of approval just yet, but I can say that if you're interested in a 1911 pistol that won't break the bank or make your wallet scream at you in seven different languages, a Rock Island Armory 1911 is the way to go.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.