Showing posts with label Self-rescue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Self-rescue. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Shadow Tech’s Claw


ST Folding Karambit
The large prototype folding Karambit
Originally, like so many martial art weapons, the karambit originated in southeast Asia. Inspired by the claws of big cats, the natives initially used this design for mundane activities, like raking roots, gathering threshing and planting rice.  Over time. circumstances forced the development of farm and every day implements into weapons of self-defense.


“The karambit is held with the blade pointing downward from the bottom of the fist, usually curving forwards however occasionally backwards. While it is primarily used in a slashing or hooking motion, karambit with a finger ring are also used in a punching motion hitting the opponent with the finger ring. Some karambit are designed to be used in a hammering motion. This flexibility of striking methods is what makes it so useful in self-defense situations. The finger guard makes it difficult to disarm and allows the knife to be maneuvered in the fingers without losing one's grip.
The short Filipino karambit has found some favor in the West because such proponents allege the biomehanics of the weapon allow for more powerful cutting strokes and painful "ripping" wounds, and because its usability is hypothesized as more intuitive, though there continues to be debate about this matter.”
It takes hardly any effort to find self-promoting YouTube videos of how to use a fightin’ karambit.  Any of these complete videos can be purchased, …our operators are standing by…

The problem with fixed knives is they are not easy to conceal, a necessary condition of modern society.  Shadow Tech has been making fixed blade karambits for some time now.  They are currently, in a secret laboratory/dojo, developing two folding karambits.  And joking aside, they look pretty great.  I’ve only seen prototypes but they were very close to production models. 

Two almost ready for manufacturing prototypes
Make that 2 to go, please.
I expect a there will be a little tweeking before and possible after release.  After all it is only mythology in which Venus springs forth from the ocean in all her perfection.  I do know the knives will be made from Crucible’s 154CM steel.  Some of the best knife companies use 154CM steel for their blades.  ST is using it for liners, liner lock and clips also.  The clip will be reversible and the knife rides tip up.  At least that was the plan when John and I talked about it.


liner lock has full thickness of lock behind the blade
Many knives, many fine knives have only a portion of the liner lock behind the blade

The liner lock will throw its complete thickness behind the blade spreading out the force of folding over a wide surface.  My limited experience suggests that may require a little more effort on your part to unlock the knife.  Pushing the liner lock over may require you to dig your thumb a little deeper in the lock, but you can image the painful consequences of having the lock fail.

ST tells me they will have two sizes, a large aggressive blade,
Large size

And a smaller blade. 

The small size

John tells me there will be several ways of snagging the blade’s opening stud and/or geometry to open the blade as you draw it from your pocket.  That’s very cool.  

Still remember what one veteran told me:
“I carry in my pocket.  If there could be trouble I move the knife from my pocket to behind my belt.  If I think there is going to be trouble, the unopened knife is carried in my hand.”

A karambit has the potential to increase even an unskilled person’s survival potential.  Give that and Shadow Tech some consideration.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spyderco vs.?????

The expression “It’s a poor knife that cuts only one way” has found its way, with some minor modification, into detective fiction, adventure romances, and science fiction, just to name a few.  I’ve even pointed out to students that a tactical flashlight points in both directions. 

But the Spyderco Civilian is a knife that cuts only one way.  It comes with a special note.

Here’s the text.  As an ‘abridger’, my apologies for any misrepresenting the sentiment behind Spyderco’s statement.  

“Spyderco has traditionally maintained what we call the “White Hat” position.  …that the future of mankind in the world must lie in cooperation and greater socialization.  …We recognize that a knife ... can be used (solely) to defend oneself…(but) we have never produced such an item.  Spyderco … caters to the law enforcement personnel on a worldwide scale.  They would be the good guys, or ‘White Hats’.  It has been requested that we … provide an effective last-ditch defense in assisting the “White Hats.”

The Civilian model is the first of several folding knives designed and produced as a law enforcement back-up defense weapon.  The Civilian model was not designed to kill. … It is designed to ‘hit and run’ in a self defense situation.


Spydeco's Civilian Pouch
I unwrapped the package and found, to my surprise, this collector-grade pouch.

While it’s true the Civilian isn’t designed to stab, it is designed to make an ocean cut.  With the reverse-S shape and the tremendously powerful Spyderco serrations, anyone you cut will be cut deep and wide.  It’s also well established that many effective targets on the human body are just under the skin.

The Civilian and its ilk (the Matriarch – versions 2 and Lil’) aren’t the only Spyderco folders that focus on the grittier side of self-defense.  The P’kal has very strong roots in self-defense as does the Yojimbo 2.  But only the Civilian was designed solely for self-defense.  It also comes with a tag that amplifies its purpose:  “Notice – This knife was not designed to be used as a utility knife.  Its unique design will not support everyday use…”


the Civilian on the pouch



Why does Spyderco feel it’s necessary to include this statement?

I don’t know.  It could be legal preemptive boilerplate; maybe it’s an attempt to assuage personal feelings that such things are still necessary in this world.  Maybe it is guilt from knowing that no matter what you attempt or intend, someone will misuse it.

Let’s get to the Civilian’s specifications:

  • Size closed                          132 mm*
  • Blade Length                      104 mm
  • Clip                                        Right side only, tip up or down
  • Blade                                     Hollow ground VG-10
  • Handle                                  Steel reinforced G-10
  • Edge                                      Do you have to ask?  Spyder-Edge!
  • Thickness                            10.4 mm
  • Cost                                       I’m not sure how to answer that.  When push-comes-to-graveyard, what’s your life worth?  If you never need it, what’s it worth to have your grandkids inherit the knife and wonder what kind of freaky stuff were you into?  The more conventional answer is it retails for $280.

The only Spyderco folder made specifically to cut people
The only Spyderco folder made specifically to cut human flesh.  The Civilian.

Do you need one?

This isn't a typical, "If I don't have one, I must need one" answer.

I just sold one to someone who, because of his job, will be going into dangerous surroundings.  Because of his job, he can’t take a firearm, nor will there be guards surrounding him.  He feels this knife might stand between the grave and his returning home. 

I, on the other hand, took his Civilian out of the soft-sided pouch it comes in and opened it.  The Spyder-Edge glittered like jewels set in silver.  The reverse-S blade has grace and flows outward from your hand.  The insulating G-10 is warm to the touch and the handle naturally finds a sweet spot in your grip.  My thumb, trained from decades of using Spydercos, found the hole without any thought on my part.

I made a few air cuts.  The Civilian almost seems to anticipate your movements before you do. 

It’s a work of art, lovely and f@^king scary as hell.




*Yeah, it’s metric.  The only four places in the world still using the English system are England, Liberia, Myanmar and the US of A.  Let’s get with it!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blade Show 2013



There are two important US shows for the knife world.  One is the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show.  That’s usually in Las Vegas in January.  Most of the commercial manufacturers will have their new products on display.  A knife that doesn’t capture the interest of the retail market at SHOT will find itself circling the drain.


The next biggest is the Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia in a few days.  Most of the commercial manufacturers will be there and use it to introduce tweaked and new knives driven by the SHOT Show.   It’s also a show about custom knife makers who may only make 20 true handmade custom knives a year.  It’s also a show about knives, blades, swords and their utility and artistry.

 
Spyderco Dragonfly ~ It's a cute as a bug! 



Like Spyderco’s Joyce Laituri say, “It’s more fun talking knives with knife people.”  I agree.


I’m leaving for the show and I’ll update my blog when I can.  I can’t stay for the entire show and there are more than a few lectures I would like to catch.  So I may not have much time for blogging. 

Tell me you’ve never attended the SHOT Show and I’m not surprised.  You need some access through a commercial endeavor.  But the Blade Show is open to the public.  Take the time and attend.  You’ll never be the same.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Be Prepared!


Living on the knife edge isn’t about doing crazy things or throwing yourself into the unknown willy-nilly.  It’s about taking manageable risks and experiencing everything life can offer.  The key phrase is manageable risk.  It’s different for everyone. 

Take Daniel Samuelsen.

ABC news reports he fell into a tunnel, near the mouth of Parleys Canyon and broke his leg during a hike on Wednesday morning and spent four days and three nights trapped in a drainage tunnel.

His cell phone died or was broken in the fall so no 911 call ("Excuse me operator, but I fell in a tunnel and broke a leg.  Could you send someone to rescue me?") to get the troops moving. 

He wasn’t able to attract the attention of any of the passers-by, but the acoustics of banging a rock inside a buried pipe can be daunting.

After four days without any food or water, he decided he would have to self-rescue if he wanted to survive.  The news media has confusing reports at this point in the saga.  He either made a splint and crawled out of the tunnel or got out and then splinted his leg.

Once he got out he was able to find someone who could help him.

Daniel made some mistakes and he may still lose his leg over them.  He didn’t apparently tell anyone who cared enough where he was going so they could look for him when he didn’t come home or into work.  His biggest mistake may have been to delay self-rescue!

He didn’t take any useful survival equipment, not a pack of crackers, not even the Yuppie Canteen, the plastic water bottle.

Okay, I don’t think you need to gear up with three days of rations and a three-season sleeping bag to walk through the local metro park, but depending on your cell phone to save your butt following an accident is stupid. 

Telling anyone you’d be back in three hours should have them thinking about what happened to you after a day has gone by.  Even leaving a note in the front windshield of your car about your hike could make a difference.  Surely, packing a shoulder bag, or stuffing a pocket with a mini-thermo blanket, carrying a button light and a power bar isn’t too much of anchor to Dullsville?  

I bet Daniel wishes he’d taken a whistle.  

I am reminded of what my co-worker Stan once said:  “Maybe your purpose on earth is to show someone what not to do.”

Don’t be that person.