Show 2003, as does every SHOT Show, highlighted all
kinds of new products as well as old standbys that we know and
love. The Gunblast
brothers viewed and touched practically every product there,
from guns, optics, knives, ammo, cases, and safes to clothing,
ATVs, tree stands, holsters, calls, and everything in between.
We make it not only a fun adventure, but a commitment to
our readers as well as an obligation, to review and reply
regarding new and innovative products to our faithful
In the past 11 months since
SHOT 2003, Gunblast.com has tested and written articles on
dozens of products. Some tests have been fairly simple; you get the product in
for testing, you fire it, use it, and sometimes abuse it for
days or weeks, then you send the products back to the
have demanded a long-term commitment to the test of these
products. While we
mostly write about guns (our passion), we also have a desire to
report to our readership test information on other products that
gun owners may use. Knives
are one of these products.
And, we discovered that the best way to test knives,
especially those used of a tactical nature, are to consider
these a long-term endurance and performance test.
So, here we are 11 months after first viewing the
products, writing articles on months of use and abuse on the
excellent tactical knives that make up this series of articles.
During SHOT 2003, we wanted to
extend a special challenge to the tactical knife manufacturers.
I spoke with top representatives at every tactical knife
manufacturer at SHOT to encourage them to send us samples of
their tactical knife products for a series of long-term tests on
“tactical knives”. We
chose this category due to the popularity of tactical knives,
but also to go along with tests we were performing on
“tactical guns” such as 1911’s, AR15’s, AR10’s, and
the like. A quick
look at our Articles Archive
section will reveal many articles of this type.
We extended this invitation to
many tactical knife manufacturers at SHOT 2003.
Electing to participate in these tests were the fine
folks at Cold Steel, Ka-Bar, Kershaw, SOG, Spyderco, Ontario,
and Buck. For
approximately 9 months now, we have been utilizing these
tactical knives, and now feel ready to report to our readership
about these products.
Our test knives included both
fixed-blade and folder models of tactical knives.
We consider “tactical” products to be those utilized
in stealth, police, military, and similar environments demanding
an exceptional quality product.
In our minds, a tactical knife should be one that could
be utilized as if your very life depended on it.
When we think of “tactical knives”, we think of those
used by our military and police units. The representative products in these articles are often
products utilized currently by special units of the US and
abroad military and police forces every day.
The manufacturers of these products must create knives
worthy of use in extreme situations, and to be selected as a
product vendor by our government requires that the product be
exceptional in terms of quality, design, and performance under
Gunblast.com elected to not
perform the same kinds of tests that the manufacturers
themselves have performed on these products.
Nor will we attempt to replicate military testing.
Some manufacturers, notably Ka-Bar and Cold Steel, are
well-known for the torture tests they put their products through
during development and testing.
Three brothers from Tennessee can in no way exceed the
performance tests of all the manufacturers whose products we
were privileged to use. If
you purchase one of the tactical knife products by any of these
manufacturers that have been selected for use by our US military
or police, you can rest assured that the product has undergone
extensive torture testing.
We don’t even pretend to be able to improve upon or
even replicate this testing.
Therefore, we chose to submit these products to use just
as you and I, gun owners and sportsmen, may use these products
throughout the course of a year.
This article represents the first of several reporting on
these tactical knives after 9 months or so of often rigorous
Our use included daily carry,
and cutting things typical as well as things we shouldn’t have
attempted to cut with a knife.
Over the past months we’ve not had one failure with any
of these products. We’ve
not broken one blade. We’ve
failed to significantly bend a blade.
Most have retained their edge even in demanding use.
We’ve nicked a blade or two while using a knife as a
screwdriver and in doing other things for which these products
were not designed. We’ve
cut tree roots with the Kukris, we’ve skinned deer, we’ve
cut through deer bones, we’ve pried items that would have been
better suited for a pry-bar, we’ve thrown the fixed blades
into rocks and trees and hard soil, we’ve cut ropes and wire,
we’ve carved and whittled, we’ve dug rocks, we’ve cleaned
fingernails, and yes, we’ve even almost cut one of our fingers
off at one time (we’re sworn to secrecy about this accident;
no fault of the product and we can’t discuss the fault of the
We’ll talk about some of
these manufacturer’s specific products individually in other
just say now that all of the tactical knife products we tested
by Cold Steel, Spyderco, Ka-Bar, Buck, SOG, Kershaw, and Ontario
were of high quality. Each
of us Gunblast boys have individual preferences, but every one
of these products performed exceptionally for use as designed.
Some of the military-issue products were practically
exhibited unique innovation, while others stayed true to
time-honored designs. We
don’t think you’ll be disappointed with any of these fine
quality tactical knives.
So, if you are in the market
for a tactical knife, one that can withstand harsh use and still
perform admirably in life-threatening situations, Gunblast.com
believes you have some excellent choices, and these represented
on the pages of Gunblast.com are among the best products on the
products represented in this and subsequent articles shouldn’t
fail you. They haven’t failed us through months of punishing use, and
should serve you very well for a long, long time.
Next month we go to SHOT
Show 2004. Watch
as we provide information to you throughout the year as we test
additional new knife products discovered at this year’s SHOT.
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