The Firearm Blog
| Industry News / New Products, Production Knives
Shield Arms has published a press release announcing the launch of their sister knife company called Norden Knives. The new company is located in Montana and their knives are made in-house. Norden means North in Old Norse and the n-shaped symbol of their logo is inspired by the Nordic rune Uruz. The company states that its vision is “to establish Norden Knives as the premiere knife supplier that is still obtainable to the everyday outdoorsman“.
Is it just me, or is there more than a shadow of a Canadian belt knife in its shape?
| Industry News / New Products, Production Knives
A handful of significant new options are available for the Bugout in the Benchmade Custom Knife Builder. A pair of new blade steels, one oriented for performance, the other for looks, and two additional handle materials further expand the options on offer for the popular folder.
As you probably know by now, the basic, out-of-the-box Bugout comes with S30V steel. While by no means an underperforming steel, S30V is now two super steel generations out of date; before now, the Custom Knife Builder let you swap it out for CPM-20CV or M4. Joining these options are S90V and Damasteel. S90V offers stain resistance and very high edge retention, at the expense of ease of maintenance; individual mileage may vary, but for our money it might be even harder to sharpen than M4. The Damasteel option trades in performance for beauty; this particular Damasteel is their Ladder pattern, a wavy, almost psychedelic pattern; it looks nothing like any ladder we’ve ever climbed, but we’ll let it slide because it’s pretty.
I am embarrassed to admit I am having trouble reassembling my custom Bugout, but the scales turned out pretty well. Need to get it figured out so I can post an update.
| Industry News / New Products, Modern Tactical Knives, Production Knives
Irving, TX – Cold Steel, manufacturer and innovator of purpose-built knives and blade tools for everyday carry, tactical, and hunting applications, has developed a new fixed-blade knife built in the same rough-and-tumble spirit as the company’s popular Leatherneck series models.
The Cold Steel Mini Leatherneck is a new series of fixed blades available as a Tanto model (CS-39LSAA), Double Edge Spear Point model (CS-39LSAC) and a stout Clip Point (CS-39LSAB) model that delivers “big knife” performance in a more compact package. The Mini Leatherneck boasts a 3.5-inch blade and 3.25-inch handle for an overall length of 6.75 inches. The blade is made of 8Cr13MoV steel, so it is easy to sharpen and tenacious at holding an edge.
The grip is constructed of Kray-Ex™ with an ergonomic contour and aggressive texturing to make it comfortable to hold and to control during difficult cutting tasks. Further aiding in a positive grip and hand protection is a generous stainless-steel guard with broad quillons and a thick pommel. Also included is a sleeved lanyard hole. The Mini Leatherneck fits in a rugged Secure-Ex™ sheath that accommodates a bead lanyard or a Cold Steel C-clip.
With its compact size, sturdy build, and robust grip, the Mini Leatherneck is an optimal balance between traditional fixed blades that may be too big and folders that may be too small for the mission. The Mini Leatherneck is easy to carry, diverse in function, and perfect any time you need a manageable knife with a big attitude.
Cold Steel Mini Leatherneck Specifications
Weight: 3.1 – 3.3 oz. Blade Thickness: 3mm Blade Length: 3 ½ inches
Handle Length/Material: 3 1/4-inch Long Kray-Ex™ Handle Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
Overall Length: 6 3/4 inches
Additional Features: Secure-Ex™ sheath, lanyard hold
MSRP: $25.99 – $29.99
As the United States routinely faces the tragedy of mass shootings, China is struggling to put an end to its own threat to public safety: indiscriminate stabbings.
Over the weekend, six people were killed and 14 injured after a knife-wielding man stabbed passersby on a pedestrian shopping street in the eastern Chinese city of Anqing. Videos circulating on social media show wounded pedestrians lying on the pavement, covered in blood.
Police quickly arrived at the scene and arrested the suspect, a 25-year-old unemployed man who was seeking to “vent anger over family troubles and pessimism,” according to a local government statement.
The incident is the latest among a spate of public attacks in China in recent months. With guns strictly controlled and out of reach for ordinary people, knives have become the most common weapon used in such atrocities.
In April, two children were killed when a knife-wielding man entered a kindergarten in southern China. An additional 14 children and two teachers were wounded, according to state news agency Xinhua. The police said the suspect had a history of schizophrenia — a serious mental illness characterized by symptoms of psychosis.
In December, another mass stabbing in a small city in northeastern Liaoning province left seven people dead and another seven injured. State media reported the 62-year-old suspect was socially withdrawn after losing his son and getting divorced, and carried out the attack to express his “dissatisfaction towards society.”
These incidents have stood out in China, which boasts a powerful and ubiquitous surveillance system and comparatively low rates of violent crime.
If you can’t control knives in a totalitarian Police State, how can you ever hope to control guns, knives, or anything else in an ostensibly free society?
| EDC, Knife & Accessory Review, Production Knives
This is one of the sturdiest knives of its type (EDC with pocket clip) that I’ve tested. For me, it seems like almost a hunting/camping knife with a bit more “substance” than a small EDC. The size and weight of this beast would disqualify it as an EDC in my pocket. Unfortunately, it does not come with a separate sheath or pouch for open carry on a wilderness trip, but it’s too big for comfortable carry in the pocket of my hiking shorts. It just flops around and I’m constantly reminded that it’s THERE! The knife is so very close in its specs and functionality as the Kershaw Lonerock folder, except that the Kershaw knife exchanges the pocket clip for a sheath (which I really like). The liner lock is substantial and does not appear flimsy or thin. It even has gimping to assist index finger grip along with the gimping on the blade. The handle has a full steel liner instead of a recessed partial liner.
A perennial contender for best bang-for-your-buck folding knife.
This past weekend Great Eastern Cutlery held their yearly open house gathering for enthusiasts, which they call the Rendezvous. I always look forward to the Rendezvous with great excitement, and was sorely disappointed that it had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. I was able to attend this year, and I want to share my experience here; there was a lot of what makes me love the Rendezvous that was the same, but there were also some new aspects to this year’s event.
What is the Great Eastern Cutlery Rendezvous?
The Rendezvous has always been the best time for Great Eastern Cutlery enthusiasts to gather and discuss the knives they love, and also an opportunity to obtain some of the more rare and unusual knives by GEC. I have gone to the Rendezvous each year since 2014, and you can read about why you should go to the Rendezvous at this link. I love the Rendezvous because it brings together a wide range of people all with one thing in common – a love and appreciation of the best production traditional knives being made currently, at the place of their manufacture.
We missed this one on the Event Calendar. Will have to remedy that next year.
The Knife Edge: One Man, So Many Knives
| EDC, Knife & Accessory Review, Production Knives
It an Endura, one of Spyderco’s top selling knives. But this one is a little different . It has the new K390 steel blade. The flat grind blade is quickly becoming one of my favorite configurations. I grew up with saber and convex grinds but I’m won over by the flat grind. The absence of shoulders makes for easier cutting. If you’re slicing a wedge of Swiss cheese, you may want the shoulders as they push the materials apart and away from the knife. But you also encounter drag. Drag just means you have to put more force on the blade, and for most applications, forcing a blade is never a good idea. So I’m running some test because K390 steel sounds like a step backwards.
It’s not stainless. In fact a product insert warns you to protect the blade.
Bohler-Uddeholm list the following reasons to use their K390 Microclean steel:
Good machinability because of uniform mechanical properties,
Excellent grindability even with deep engraving in the tool & die center,
Uniform low dimensional change during heat treatment,
Non sensitive against overheating or long soak times.
Optimal EDM characteristic due to uniform carbide distribution.
EDM is Electrical Discharge Machining and it is becoming industries’ favorite machining and milling tool because it is efficient, economic, fast, controllable and computer-driven. Many of these steel properties, like dimensional stability are a big draw for knife makers.
The Chemistry also looks interesting. C 2.4%, Cr 4.2%, Mo 3.8%, V 9%, W 1%, Co 2%.
I should also note, new steels aren’t simply made by dumping elements together. Tempering, stress relief and hardening cycles have a major part in any production metal. Still, I find these numbers amazing, especially the 9% vanadium and 2.4% carbon!
Strictly speaking chromium levels should be around 11% to be classified as stainless. Chromium forms carbides that stabilize the microstructure, so in ordinary steels you need an excess of chromium to react with carbon and still have enough to protect against rust. Here you have vanadium to form carbides. So is there enough chromium to form the transparent chromium oxide barrier? I don’t know.
Joyce gave me a Police 2 in K390 at the show. I am still getting used to such a large folder but I am certainly impressed with the steel so far.
Before lifting the ban on wearing kirpan by Sikh students in private schools of the New South Wales (NSW) province of Australia, the State Education Department has sought feedback on proposed changes to the wearing of kirpan by Sikh students in the government schools for genuine religious purposes.
NSW enforced the ban after a bullying-victim 14-year-old boy allegedly used a kirpan to stab a 16-year-old at a Sydney school. The Sikh community is in talks with NSW education minister Sarah Mitchell to get the order withdrawn or ensure an amicable solution to the issue.
The NSW Gurdwara Group has worked closely with the Department of Education NSW (DoE) and other government agencies over the last few weeks. To develop a solution for Sikh students to wear Kirpan and maintain safety at schools, a proposal has been finalized.
“As you can appreciate, a lot of work has gone behind these efforts, including consultation with Australian and International Sikh bodies. The proposal has also been submitted to Sri Akal Takht Sahib for their concurrence”, said the Sikh group in a communiqué.
If you read the whole thing, you will see that there are several proposals to allow kirpans again, but include stipulations that they must be mostly rendered inoperable, such as with a chain preventing it from being drawn from the sheath. Given that this is Australia we are talking about, it is probably as good as one could hope for.