Simplicity is always a good standard to stay behind. the simpler things are, the easier they are to fix and stay onto of, because everything requires maintenance of some sort. so if its easy to fix, and stay on top of it should in turn be reliable as well, right? Protecting yourself can double as utility. One thing you use to defend yourself, can also double as the thing you use to survive. I use the term survival as a blanket because it has different connotations.
Survival on one side of the coin could be a situation where you have to hunt for food, and on the complete opposite, you need to open a cardboard box to get inside. You always need a good tool though, something you can rely on daily and when the going gets tough. I carry a knife every day, and A pistol to almost every location I visit.
A knife is pure utility with a touch of protection. I use it multiple times a day for utility, and have only once ever had to use it as a tool to protect myself and even then it was only in a threatening manor. A handgun on the other hand, is pure protection with a dash of utility. I live in the United States, one of the premier first world countries. Do I really need to have a device of such power at my disposal on the level of frequency that I do? It’s debatable really, but thats hardly the point. The point is you never know what challenges and situations you will face, so its imperative you be prepared for them. These are the tools that I use:
The Knife is a Benchmade Presidio Ultra Automatic. I wrote an article about this knife last year. It has been, and still is, a fantastic tool. I won’t go into excessive detail about the knife because of the preexisting article, which if you go to the home page you’ll find under “Stitch Witch”. The knife is ambidextrous so that it can be operated by both hands with ease, and the design allows the blade to be actuated with one hand in the event of a situation that limits the use of a second, or the dexterity of the hand holding it. All Benchmade knives feature their patented Axis-Lock.
AXIS gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar which rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners, and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped, tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself. The blade is forged from 440C stainless steel, sheathed in a 7075 series aluminum frame wrapped in G10 synthetic gips. Its built like a brick shit house more or less.
Now onto the pop gun.
Its a modified Glock 21 Generation 4 in .45 ACP, the gold standard of American Badassery. Its your standard run of the mil polymer handled pistol. Double stack magazine fits 13+1 rounds of open-hand bitch slap, while maintaining a suitable size grip for large hands, and a appropriate weight. The slide is milled from a block of proprietary steel alloy. It has the factory white on black wedge iron sights that allow a quick snap-to in a precarious situation.
If you are in a situation that you are forced to draw a weapon, there is not any time to question whether it will work or not. Thats not to say that handguns are generally unreliable, or that you should question the reliability of a well made example to any extent. I love M1911 series pistols, that were designed over 100 years ago by the same man that designed the .45 ACP cartage that my Glock consumes. It isn’t any less or more reliable in action than the Glock is, in fact I would venture to say the design probably lends itself to being more reliable in the long run. However, you have to balance the merits of the design with your uses.
I selected the Glock because of its reputation in Law enforcement and military uses, its simplicity and ease of disassembly for field strip, its weight and its magazine capacity. The standard and original design of the M1911 allows for 6+1 rounds, with a magazine alteration you can increase that to 7+1 rounds, and only have a small portion of the magazine extend out of the well. The Glock can carry nearly double that number of rounds and end up being a similar weight in the end. That is a big plus for me, because carrying another loaded magazine increases the complexity of the situation. (and really, if I need more than 14 rounds of .45 ACP, I was screwed from the get go. I may be a soldier but the last thing I’m looking for is a firefight). Even in the event of a malfunction, its ease of use would quickly allow the clearing of the breach and recycle.
The Glock is a wonderfully reliable and simple tool, that is well paired with the .45 caliber. Its design is well thought out, simple and easy to use. It’s something i would easily trust my life with over and over again.
Check back for the continuation of our EDC series, as well as coming in-depth reviews.