Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Sharpening

Fighting knives today, with my current carry boot knife on the far right for a size comparison. The one next to it is a NATO fighting knife, which when most NATO rifles are issued with a bayonet, makes me wonder who gets issued the fighting knife? The officers with their 9mm pistols won't wear a knife, so who gets the fighting knife? Maybe machine gunners and medics? I don't know, it is a lower carbon blade and gets sharpened with a file like a bayonet and can't be used to shave. It will cut in a slash and loves to be a stabbing weapon.

Next to it is the Gerber, with the angle so the handle would stay away from the body and sheath. It was one of the surprise great things that came out of Portland, Oregon. It came with a sharpening steel, and the serrated wasp waist edges in both directions - a great design but not necessary, a bit artsy for the true cutter and gutter - but one has to have soul. Gerber doesn't get made there anymore (Gerber isn't really Gerber any longer either). I picked it up during the Vietnam years, but it didn't go there with me, the Army and mail order got me many other blades, all left in country.

The famous Fairbairn from Britain, mine is marked England, but without the British Armory marks so it is only a great copy. A fully functional, if I had one worry it would be that the blade might snap near the point under pressure of the moment and a bone or hard joint in the way. Simple design, sharp edges in both directions and a point picked for ease of entry - slides into meat well.

Last is my prized possession from Fort Bennings School for Boys (Infantry OCS), a real Randall, from Orlando, Florida. My first "made for me" knife. I ordered it in 1967 and waited, went to Korea, and waited and finally got it in 1969, before Nam. I didn't take it to any wars, it with the Rosewood handle is waiting for that maple inlaid library desk, to sit posing as a large letter opener for the day some fool thinks I am under-armed. Nice knife, but an inch too long, I didn't know as much as I thought did then and I ate more ice cream, too. Eyes bigger than my stomach or any good sense. Still a lovely weapon, utility is important but I will never love an electric carving knife nor vaporal blade as much as my Randall.


Tam said...

My favorite fixed blade wasn't intended as a fighter, but could probably be used as such. It's a McCann Industries Puffin Magnum. I paid just over $100 for mine some years back; it was the very one that Kim Breed couldn't kill in his test for BLADE magazine. Despite having been put through testing hell and several hard years of use since then, it's still holding up fine. I loves it.

Earl said...

A very nice blade, and they say they are just down the road from where I mow my lawn, will have to drive by this morning. Don't think that anyone can kill that fine a knife, they will be around when the next species takes over. Yep, you could use it as a fighter, Jim Bowie would have - may you have much less demand on it.

CTone said...

I like them all, though the US issue bayonet the least. It is better than the crappy one they issue now, the one with the wire cutter built into the sheath.

That thing falls apart like a two dollar watch with every use. Your boot knife is the perfect size for day-to-day.

I enjoy knives, and have one in my pocket every moment I'm wearing clothes. I have been seriously considering picking up a fixed blade sized for everyday carry. Folders are great for utility, but will never be serious for a self defense tool considering they have to be opened under stress.

Jeffro said...

I've got three fixed blades that reside in my center console. One is a Gerber survival knife - they quit making it some years ago. The other two are made by Harvey King from Alta Vista KS. I've got the Small Game and Model #2. The pics on his site don't do them justice - they are hand fitted and polished, red liners under the scales, and custom made sheaths. Needless to say, they are sharp and keep an edge.