Thursday, May 30, 2013

The DoubleTap Ships!!!! - 2013 Wishlist Update


It's been a long and winding road, but this is the press release I've been waiting to see since October 2011.  It would be so nice to get one this year since it's number 2 on my 2013 Wishlist.  If I can get one at a reasonable price, you can bet I'll let you know what I think of it. 

Winchester Ranger 38 Special +P 130 Grain Bonded Ammo Test

First off a word of thanks to Justin D. for sourcing the ammunition of this test and sending me some to work with.

Filling the only 38 Special slot in the Ranger Bonded line, this 130 grain JHP boasts 960 feet per second muzzle velocity from a 4" test barrel.  I was very curious to see how much performance we would lose when stepping down to a snub nose revolver with a barrel length of less than two inches.

Test Pistol:

Test Protocol:
I've recently changed my standard test protocol.  This is one of the first tests run under the new protocol.
Step 1)  Measure and record temperature and relative humidity.
Step 2)  Run a 5 shot velocity average over a ProChrono Digital Chronograph at a distance of 8 feet.
Step 3)  Run first bare gel test shot into a block of Clear Ballistics Gel that is calibrated to 10% Ordnance Gel density.  Shot distance is 8 feet.
Step 4)  Run second test shot through 4 layers of 14 oz/yard heavy-weight denim.  Shot distance is 8 feet.
Step 5)  Run a 600 fps calibration test bb shot into the Clear Ballistics gel block and record penetration depth.

Test Results:

Video Documentation of the Entire Test from Range to Bullet Recovery:

My Thoughts on This Load:
As I mentioned above, I really wasn't sure how this load would perform from the short barrel revolver used for testing.  I was pleasantly surprised by the velocity we achieved and the text book terminal performance of this load when fired into bare gel.  Performance was virtually identical to a similar test done on the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain 38 Special +P Short Barrel load back in December 2012.  I've included the results from that test below.


The 4 layers of denim test shot indicated that this round may have problems expanding through heavy clothing barriers.  Even with the partial expansion, the bullet did not demonstrate unreasonable penetration.


Pick or Pan:
Based on this test, this load is definitely a pick.  I found it to be a bit stout on recoil, but that may be due to extremely light weight of the test pistol.  I'll be looking for these as ammo supply starts to catch up with demand.


As I was looking into the specifications of this Ranger LE loading, I noticed that Winchester catalogs a S38PDB load in their Elite PDX1 Defender line of ammunition.  This may be the Civilian version of the Ranger LE loading, but I could not confirm this with Winchester at time of publication.  Easy enough to comparison test in the future now that we have a benchmark performance test completed on the Ranger loading.  I have seen the PDX1 Defender available at many retail outlets previously.






 
Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested.  All tests represent actual performance in ballistics testing media.  Terminal performance in all other media will show different results.  It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision on which specific ammunition to use for their needs.  It's also critically important to test any ammo in YOUR SPECIFIC FIREARM before relying on it for any purpose.

Ammunition labeled as +P or +P+ should only be used in firearms that have been certified by the manufacturer as safe for the additional pressures generated by these ammunition types.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My 4 P's of Ammunition Selection


As Pocket Guns and Gear celebrates it's second anniversary, I thought it might be appropriate to share a bit of what I've learned over the last two years and more than 100 terminal ballistics tests.  In addition to my own tests, I've also viewed the work of others that share my hobby.  I also receive occasional emails with links to, or digital copies of, law enforcement ammunition briefings.  I have taken all this in and come up with my own personal observations on personal defense pistol ammunition.  I sum it up in two statements.


All hollow points expand, except when they don't. -or-  All bullets behave like a full metal jacket, except sometimes they expand.
 

In a real world situation there are simply too many uncontrollable factors involved in ammunition terminal performance.  A great performing load in a 4" barrel may be a dismal performer in a 3" barrel.  There may also be various barriers between the bullet and the target that can also impact terminal performance.

After sponging up data from others and assimilating my own data with theirs, I've come up with my own personal ammunition selection criteria.  I'll share it with you, but understand I'm in no way, shape, or form anything other than a hobbyist.  Regardless of which ammunition expert's doctrine you subscribe to, I hope you can appreciate what I think is a rational and common sense set of ammunition selection criteria.

My Four P's of Pistol Ammunition Selection In Descending Order of Importance

Placement - I must be able to place multiple shots on target quickly under any potential self defense scenario. Period.  Misses do not count.     

Penetration - The ammunition must be capable of penetrating to at least 12" in ballistic testing media. 

Performance - The ammunition must feed, fire, and extract with 100% reliability in my pistol.  Validating this with hundreds of rounds is better than just testing one or two boxes.

Price - Ideally, I would like to practice with the same ammunition I choose to load for self defense.  Faced with two options that meet the first 3 P's, I would pick the less expensive option in order to allow myself to practice more frequently for the same cost.  If I practice with my carry ammunition, I'm also validating the Performance criteria above.

At this point you may be wondering why I have not mentioned velocity, expansion, energy, or weight retention.  I don't consider those metrics as primary selection criteria.  No amount of expansion or weight retention will ever trump the shot placement or penetration criteria.  Bullets don't expand if they don't hit the target. 

So, does this mean I'm turning my back on my terminal testing hobby?  Absolutely not!  I'm still very interested in learning more about projectiles and studying how they perform in a controlled testing environment.  If I'm facing a purchasing decision with two loads that meet all 4 P's equally well, but one consistently expands more than the other, I would be foolish not to take advantage of that secondary benefit of greater expansion.

That's the practical side of the article.  Let's turn our attention to something a bit more entertaining, albeit less practical.  Last week I mentioned the high-speed camera I've been working with that was provided by Aimed Research.  I'm finally starting to get comfortable with the camera and captured some really interesting video over the long weekend.  For a geek like me, this high-speed video really helps me better understand what happens when bullet hits block.  They are mercifully short, but I think they are super cool.  Best viewed in 1080p HD if you have the band-width to support that.



As I was recovering the bullets from the gel blocks and prepping them for reprocessing, I snapped a picture of the stretch damage and permenant would channels left in the block by the 45 +P HST rounds featured in the first video above.  The first side view photo sure does look impressive.


Now contrast that picture with the front view of the block showing one of those wound channels in close detail.  All six stretch wings are distinctly visible, but everything has healed back up.  It makes me pause and wonder if a similar thing would happen if the bullet traversed an organic target.  And so it goes with this hobby.  One observation leads to more questions, but I find it all interesting. 


For those expecting a Terminal Test Thursday this week, I'm publishing early in order to spend more time getting prepped for my last weekend with the high-speed camera.  I really wanted to wow you all with an updated 380 vs. 9mm test with  the six loads pictured below.  As I was packing I also grabbed the Remington UMC bulk pack 380 and 9mm so the plan was to test all four.


Unfortunately, what you get is this.  A behind the scenes look at what goes into terminal testing when things go bad.  In a way, it's a fitting two year celebration video bringing me full circle to two years ago when I tested just for fun and didn't worry so much about capturing data.


As I was looking back at the last two years of Pocket Guns And Gear, I found the first picture of me that appeared on the blog 2 years ago.  I'm wearing the same tee-shirt in the video from this weekend.  I really have come full circle and I'm much better at not chopping the top of my head off in pictures.

Thanks for reading and following the blog.  I'm looking forward to a great 3rd year. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Federal Premium 45 Auto 230 Grain HST - 6 Shot Terminal Test


I've been hearing some negative reports about this load and how it performs from short barrel 45's.  I started hearing the reports at about the same time as I received a few boxes of factory fresh ammo to replenish my dwindling supply.  Last Fall, I decided to make this load my carry ammo in the Springfield XDs, so these reports were concerning to me.  At about this same time, I was thinking through my test protocol and testing some improvements in my testing process.

I ended up running the most comprehensive test I've ever done on a single load.  I sent 11 rounds down range between the velocity testing and terminal testing.  I really wish I could be this thorough with all my tests, but there simply isn't enough time available to run through a test like this each week.  As I go through the results of this test, I'll let you know what parts will stay and what will be dropped from future tests.

Test Pistol:

Test Protocol:
The test protocol used for this test was a bit different than the normal process.  I used two blocks of Clear Ballistics Gel as well as a barrier block of Clear Ballistics gel with a 5/8" diameter Poplar hardwood dowel suspended in it.  I took 3 shots at each block from 8 feet away and impact velocity was measured at various distances ahead of the block.  Clear Ballistics Gel is calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density.  I shoot the blocks at the range and then bring them home to recover the bullets.  Immediately prior to shooting the block, I do a 5 shot velocity test over the chronograph.

Test Results:


This video documents the entire test from the range to bullet recovery.

My Thoughts:
As I mentioned earlier, I've been considering some changes to my testing protocol.  One of those changes includes shooting through a bone substitute.  My initial thought was to try and replicate a rib bone with an appropriate sized dowel.  I selected a 5/8" hardwood dowel for my first trial.  Suspending the dowel wasn't too difficult.  Contrary to what you heard in the video, I actually did hit the dowel with all 3 test shots.  Shot 1 very nearly a miss, but the bullet did make contact.  Shot two had substantially more contact.  Shot 3 hit the dowel solidly.  I was actually surprised to see how little difference the dowel made to penetration.  


Recovered bullets 1, 2, and 3 are displayed from left to right in the pictures below.  All bullets were slightly deformed by their contact with the dowel, but I was surprised to see how little they were impacted.  I was also surprised by bullet 1 with the single petal wrapped under the bullet base.  I never would have expected the bullet would have expanded so much in the first inch of travel that just that single petal caught the dowel and wrapped under the base.  



After running this test as a pilot, I decided to do away with the dowel.  Instead I did a little research on the sternum and have substituted a 1/2" thick red oak plank in place of the dowel.  It suspends equally well in the Clear Ballistics gel.  I've also switched to a pan with flat sides so it mates up with the backing block much better.  Faux sternum tests will be used from time to time in future tests.

The bare gel, 4 layers of medium weight denim, and 1 layer 5/6 weight leather with denim shots are displayed from left to right below.  I wasn't surprised by the performance on any of these tests.  I would have been surprised to see uniform expansion from the leather and denim shot.  Defeating that formidible barrier requires a much higher bullet speed.  Lopsided expansion caused this bullet to tumble as it passed through the block, which again was not surprising as we have seen this happen with other tests.

 
Shortly after completing this test, I found a source for true FBI testing specification 14oz denim.  I will be doing more tests with 4 layers of this denim in the future.  I will be scrapping the medium weight denim I have been using for testing.  I will also be dropping the leather and denim test going forward.  The leather and denim test is somewhat realistic, but I fear that any load that doesn't start with .357 will have a hard time expanding normally through this barrier.  The photo below shows 1 square yard of the new denim and how much it weighs on my postal scale.

The most surprising part of the test for me was the consistent velocity measured across all 11 shots taken during the test.  The 11 round sample had an average of 797 feet per second with a standard deviation of 8.4 feet per second.

Terminal performance was as I expected it would be.  I have found that HST bullets expand well in both short and long barrels.  While no bullet is "magic", I find the ability of the HST bullet to expand optimally at a wide range of velocities very unique and somewhat magical.

The only negative thing I can say about this load is that I wish it penetrated a bit deeper from short barrel pistols.  If anything less than 12" of penetration across all test scenarios is unacceptable, you will probably need to step up to the P45HST1, which is the same round loaded to +P pressures.

 
Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested.  All tests represent actual performance in ballistics testing media.  Terminal performance in all other media will show different results.  It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision on which specific ammunition to use for their needs.  It's also critically important to test any ammo in YOUR SPECIFIC FIREARM before relying on it for any purpose.

Ammunition labeled as +P or +P+ should only be used in firearms that have been certified by the manufacturer as safe for the additional pressures generated by these ammunition types.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Hi-Speed Hijinx

 
I love high-speed video.  I find it fascinating to see everything that's going on so quickly that it's impossible for the human brain to absorb.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on a high speed camera for my ammunition tests once I started using the clear gel from Clear Ballistics.  Unfortunately, my desire for a quality high speed camera doesn't come close to my ability to financially afford one.  Luckily, I managed to track down a Casio pocket cam that does a fair job capturing high speed footage while not crippling my budget.

I've been using that Casio for several months now and my only real disappointment with it was that, even at 1000 frames per second, I couldn't capture a bullet in flight.  Some folks aspire to own a Porsche, others want to climb Mt. Everest, I wanted to capture images of a bullet in flight.

Enter Nathan Boor of Aimed Research.  Nathan contacted me through my YouTube channel a few weeks ago and we struck up a conversation.  Nathan's company specializes in high-speed Vidography and Analysis including Ballistics Research.  You can see some examples of his work on the Aimed Research link above, his YouTube channel, and the opening image of this blog post.  As you can see, Nathan has no problem at all catching images of a bullet in flight while it's splitting one of my business cards.  I'm not sure if I could split one of my cards, but Nathan can.  I really encourage you to go check his YouTube channel.  His videos are awesome if have one even one iota of ballistics geek in you.  Check this video out.  I always wondered if those flechette rounds you see at gun shows were worth the price.  After seeing this video, I think not.


Nathan also rents out professional high-speed equipment.  I was really quite shocked when Nathan offered to loan me one of his cameras for a hands-on trial.  With a bit of trepidation, I decided to take him up on his offer because it could turn out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I simply can't thank him enough for this very generous opportunity.

If there is a downside to high-speed videography, it's the learning curve on the equipment.  Regardless of what you think of my pictures and videos, it's mostly point and shoot with the cameras doing all the heavy lifting with shutter speed, light balancing, frame rate, etc.  Nathan spent some time with me on Friday and got me through the basics of running the camera.  Without his help, I would have been lost.  I did manage to catch my bullet in flight last weekend.  There was a two hour time slice of reasonable weather with full sun and low wind.  I made the best of it and shot my first high-speed footage.  I'm proud of it, but it sucks.  My focal point was about 3 feet off so the bullets were not in sharp focus.  I'll do better next time.


Speaking of next time, the Memorial Day weekend is coming up so that gives me an extra day to shoot.  I really hope all the Tornado Warnings and Watches are out of our area by the weekend.  After passing through Oklahoma City after their last tornado disaster and seeing the devastation, my thoughts are with them today as the again endure the wrath of Mother Nature.

The Hijinx Part
While cooling my heels on the range last weekend waiting for a favorable weather event, I thought I might get in some rifle practice.  I often neglect my long guns for months at a time because I'm too busy testing ammo or reviewing handguns or other gear.  It might be surprising to you, but shotguns are my first love with pistols coming in second.  I still enjoy shooting the rifles from time to time, but it can be a challenge to find a suitable range facility.  My local range is perfect for some short range 22 rimfire plinking.  Rather than risk the equipment from Aimed Research, I opted to use the Casio for the high-speed footage. 

I know my ammo tests can be a little dry, too detailed, and maybe even boring to some so it was a nice change of pace to do something a bit out of the ordinary and fun.  I hope you get a kick out of them.

 

   
I did manage to squeeze in two terminal tests so Terminal Test Thursday is still on track.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

22 Long Rifle - The Cheap Stuff Ballistics Tests



Back in December of 2012, I came across a really good deal on a pair of pocket Berettas.  I decided to pick them up primarily for short barrel testing the abundance of 22 LR and 25 Auto ammunition that stores like Walmart always seemed to have on hand.  I decided to start 22 LR testing at the bottom of the price curve and purchased the cheapest 22 LR hollow points from the big 4 US makers that I happened to see on the shelf at my local store.  This consisted of Remington, Winchester, and Federal bulk packs and a 100 round box of CCI Mini-Mags.

I tested all four of these loads back in December, but only published the Winchester and Remington results before other test priorities came along and distracted me.  I'd like to recycle the gel block for other tests, so this week I'll go through the two remaining tests and recap the two tests that were previously published. 










Test Pistol:

Test Protocol:
My testing process is pretty simple.  I take one shot at the end of a Clear Ballistics Gel block.  I take the shot from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured 2 inches away from the block.  Clear Ballistics Gel is calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density.  I shoot the block at the range and then bring it home to analyze the block and recover the bullets.  Immediately prior to shooting the block, I take a 5 shot velocity test over my chronograph.

Test Results:


The videos below document my entire tests from range testing to bullet recovery.




My Thoughts:
Since I did all the video work for these two tests at the same time, I really searched for some reason why the CCI Mini-Mag was the only bullet that tumbled in the trip down the block.  My theory is the relatively short and fat CCI bullet nose and much taller driving band are the contributing factors.  The close up photos below show the CCI and Federal bullets in close up detail.  You can really see the variation in bullet nose length.   


As a refresher, I have included the test videos for the Winchester 555 bulk pack and also the Remington 550 Golden Bullet.  The Winchester tested well and penetrated a bit deeper than the CCI even though it was going slower when it hit the block.  That's logical because the Winchester bullet didn't appear to tumble like the CCI did, but it did achieve a small amount of expansion.

The Remington load suffered from inconsistent velocity and was not gel tested.





If I had to choose between the 4 tested loads, I'd definitely choose the CCI Mini-Mag.  If the Mini-Mag is taken out of contention because it's not a true bulk pack round, then I would be equally comfortable with the Winchester 555 load.  I'll close this out with a picture of the 4 tested loads side by side.  From the left CCI, Federal, Winchester, and Remington



Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested.  All tests represent actual performance in ballistics testing media.  Terminal performance in all other media will show different results.  It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision on which specific ammunition to use for their needs.  It's also critically important to test any ammo in YOUR SPECIFIC FIREARM before relying on it for any purpose.

Ammunition labeled as +P or +P+ should only be used in firearms that have been certified by the manufacturer as safe for the additional pressures generated by these ammunition types.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Beretta Nano BU9 Range Review


I started working with the Beretta Nano back in late March so this is the last part of a 3 part review.  You can find the previous posts on the Gun Reviews page.  My initial trip to the range had an unhappy ending when I discovered the pistol had some problems extracting empty cases after firing.  Rather than try to de-bug the issue myself,  I called the problem into Beretta Customer Service.  They quickly issued a call tag and my repaired BU9 Nano was back in my hands in no time.  While they had it, they polished the chamber and replaced the extractor.  The repair order stated that the trigger spring was within specification and it is normal for the slide to retract slightly during the trigger pull.  This was my first experience with Beretta Customer Service and I am happy to report it was a good one. 

Two weeks ago I had some time off and took the Nano back out to the range to make sure my failure to extract issue was resolved.  I initially planned to finish up the review that day, but it was too windy to make good video.  I did run 125 rounds through the pistol on that trip and felt good that my problems were resolved.

I did notice I was having some difficulty keeping my shots centered on the target when shooting quickly.  Slow fire was no problem, but when shooting a fast string of fire my shots would drift off to the left near the end of the string.  The target below is a good example of what I noticed in my shooting.  Two or three good shots and then they started to scatter.


I've experienced this control issue before on other pistols with very slim grips.  I fix my problem with a Hogue Hand-all Jr.  I install the grip sleeve upside down while making sure I don't block the magazine release at the top of the grip sleeve or block the magazine well at the lower end of the sleeve.  The picture below shows how much I had to trim off the bottom of the sleeve in order to keep it flush with the magazine well opening.  Your best bet is to use the sharpest razor blade or X-acto knife you can find for this trimming task.  There may be other grip sleeves available with a precise fit, but I like the Hogue Jr. finger groove.  It helps me assure my hand is properly indexed on the grip during the draw and also aids my control of the pistol during firing.


Yesterday was my first chance to get the Nano back out on the range and wrap up my shooting impressions and the review.  I was out on the range for several hours and ran another 200 + rounds through the pistol.  The Nano fed, fired, and extracted anything it was given.  I cut the range video down to 11 minutes of just the highlights of the two range trips after the Nano returned from service.  The most important thing I learned from my two range trips was that I didn't need to stiff arm the Nano to get it to feed and extract reliably.  The pistol functioned just fine if I kept a little bend in my elbows.  That bend helped me absorb the recoil and get back on target faster after a shot.  Not all small 9mm pistols are so forgiving.


Keep or Trade?
Definitely a keeper and you will be seeing more of this pistol in my 9mm short barrel ballistics tests.  I purchased a set of Beretta/Trijicon night sights back in March.  I'll get those installed and the Nano will be ready to assume a spot in my carry rotation.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hornady Critical Duty 40 S&W 175 Grain FlexLock Clear Gel Test


Critical Duty is Hornady's newest line of pistol ammunition.  Unlike Critical Defense, the Critical Duty line features a bullet that has been constructed with an "Interlock Band" to help the core and jacket stay together as they penetrate various barriers.  I like the Critical Defense line of ammo and it has tested well for me.  I tested this load last year in SIM-TEST so I wanted to test it again in the Clear Ballistics Gel for a better understanding of what the bullet does inside the block.

If you are interested in the previous test, you can find the recap HERE.

Test Pistol Specs:

Test Protocol:
I take one shot at the end of a Clear Ballistics Gel block that measures approximately 6" x 6" x 16" and weighs approximately 16 lbs.  I take the test shot from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured with the chronograph less than 2 inches away from the block.  Clear Ballistics Gel is calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density and periodically validated with the standard BB penetration test used with Ordnance Gel.  I shoot the test block at the range and then bring it home to analyze the block and recover the bullet.  Immediately prior to shooting the test block, I conduct a 5 shot velocity test over a ProChrono Digital chronograph. 

Test Results:
The test results are summarized in the data sheet below along with several close up shots of the recovered bullet.  Recovered weight includes the 2.5 grain red plug because it was still deeply seated in the hollow point cavity when the bullet was recovered.


Video documentation of the entire test from range through bullet recovery is available below.  The high definition video is best viewed on YouTube, but you can also view it here.


My Thoughts on this Load:
This load is amazingly consistent in the PM40 test pistol.  This test shot as well as the prior test shot were both measured at 959 feet per second.  The 5 round velocity test averages, captured at the time of each test, were both  959 feet per second.  That's spooky consistent.  

This load feeds like a dream in this PM40.  This PM40 is probably the most ammo fussy pistol I own and regularly chokes on just about anything other than FMJ.  That's a big plus for this ammo.

Unfortunately, the lack of expansion causes this round to penetrate well beyond the 12" to 16" ideal penetration depth.  The 130% expansion ratio also falls short of the desired 150%+ expansion target.

Pick or Pan:
Hornady created this load to perform best in duty length barrels of 4" or more.  After two tests in the short barrel, I see their point and would not recommend using this load in a short barrel 40.  Critical Defense is probably the better choice for a short barrel 40 S&W.  Critical Defense is optimized for short barrels and it will also have the same bullet nose profile as the Critical Duty.  It should feed and function well in my PM40, but I'll have to test that first to be sure.


   
Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested.  All tests represent actual performance in ballistics testing media.  Terminal performance in all other media will show different results.  It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision on which specific ammunition to use for their needs.  It's also critically important to test any ammo in YOUR SPECIFIC FIREARM before relying on it for any purpose.

Ammunition labeled as +P or +P+ should only be used in firearms that have been certified by the manufacturer as safe for the additional pressures generated by these ammunition types. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

EDC For the Minimalist - Streamlight Nano and CRKT Shrimp Reviews



I'm really bad at gearing up before I leave the house.  Wallet, phone, CC (if allowed where I'm heading), and I'm out the door.  Occasionally, I will remember to drop the kydex knife and light combo holster in my cargo pocket if I happen to be wearing cargo pants.  Most often, I just forget to pick it up.  That's pretty sad because I made that holster specifically to make it easier for me to remember my knife and light.  What can I say, I'm hopeless.

Luckily for me, I don't need a knife or light every time I leave the house.  Occasionally I will need it, and it's a pain when it's not in my pocket.  I slowly came to the realization that I needed to try another approach.










Enter the Streamlight Nano Light and CRKT Shrimp.  This keychain class knife and light combo weighs in at 1.787 ounces and now rides along with my car keys.  I can't leave the house without my car keys, so I've idiot-proofed having them with me whenever I leave.  

Both the knife and light were less than $8 each.  With such modest prices, my expectations for both were pretty low so I was really surprised by the overall quality of the pair.

The CRKT Shrimp arrived sharp and ready for business.  While only 1.75" long, the blade is .125" thick.  It opens easily with the extra deep thumbnail notch.  The stainless steel side of the frame securely locks the blade in place when deployed.  The alter handle is machined from aluminum and has been drilled through for weight reduction before anodizing.  In my case the aluminum was treated with a matte black finish.  I've cut paracord and cardboard quite easily with this little knife.  If the knife has a weakness, it's the bail that provides attachment to your key ring.  It's functional, but cheapens the look of the knife. 

Having no use for the pocket clip, I tried to remove the three attachment screws.  Whomever builds this knife for CRKT, loves thread locker.  If  you plan to remove the clip, make sure you heat the screws first with a pocket torch or soldering iron.  If you go after them without heating them first, you will probably strip  out the Torx screw heads before they loosen.  Final weight after removing the pocket clip was just under 1.5 oz.  Total length closed is 2.5".  I like this knife so much that I now have a second one in my range bag. 
 
 

The Streamlight Nano Light is a 10 lumen LED light with an 8 hour run time.  Constructed of aircraft grade aluminum, it is anodized with a glossy finish.  In my case, the finish was black.  The light is activated by turning the light head.  The light is also shock resistant and weather proof.   10 lumens is actually much brighter than I thought it would be.  Easily doubling the brightness of the flashlight utility on my iPhone.  If the light has a downside, it's the 4 LR41 batteries that power the light.  A battery change will cost at least $3.

I think I've landed on a workable EDC solution that covers my needs.  We'll see how they hold up over time.  So far, it's working for me.

 

If you are a frequent flier, you might try my carry set up.  The Beretta key fob, light, and knife are on one split ring.  The keys are on another.  I separate the two rings before leaving the car and heading to the gate.  The keys come with me and the rest stays in in console.