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Picking the pepper from the flyspecks.

M118LR

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To begin, everyone shall have a strong opinion and I'm not about to attempt to change anyone's opinions!

The top three references for this conversation shall be U.S. Military Manuals, Richard Graves "AUSTRALIAN BUSHCRAFT", and Mors Kochanski "BUSHCRAFT".

So the beginning of the Survival Knife can be traced back to the US Military and the Flyer/Pilot Survival Knife.

In the beginning the Military Survival Knife could be closely related to the Bowie. (I'm hopeful that others have photo's/collection pieces/experience to display/share)

Now Richard Graves once trained folks in the military with Bowie style Military Survival knifes in the arts of Australian Bushcraft. Then around Nam the Military adopted the AFSK/PSK A499 Survival Knife. ( https://ontarioknife.com/collections/classic-tactical-1/products/499-survival-knife) It wasn't until Mors Kochanski published his works that standards for a bushcraft knife became defined. (Chapter 3 BUSHCRAFT) Currently the Military Survival Knife system is the ASEK. (https://ontarioknife.com/products/a...3&_sid=65408aa9f&_ss=r&variant=31397358305366)

So when picking the pepper from the flyspecks, there is a strong difference between Bushcraft Knives & Survival Knifes.

The first noticeable difference is that a Military Survival Knife shall have a hand guard & Mors Bushcraft knife shall not.
A knife not used for stabbing has no need of a guard, and a guard distracts from many simple operations and prevents the use of a simple, secure, and deep sheath according to Mors.

Awaiting Y'alls insight, input, and opinions.
 

Raven

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I've had a lot of good times on the water with a customized USAF pilots knife. I cut the top guard off and filed down flat the leading edge. Also filed down flat about an inch of the sawback closest to the grip, for a thumb rest. Then I wrapped the leather stack handle in a rubber heat-shrink tube. It rides in a Navy surplus black polymer dive knife sheath, after my leather sheath started to rot from being wet every weekend, and I had to start replacing rivets. I love it. This rig has been my faithful companion now for over 15 years. I bought a new ASEK to replace it if and when the day comes I lose it somehow. I also have an Ontario SpecPlus Navy dive knife version and SpecPlus USAF knife version and the SpecPlus Kabar knockoff, and they're all still like new and on standby. I want to also say that I'd sooner carry a SpecPlus than an ASEK into the ditch any day of the week. Also want to say that the US Navy dive knife is a real decent design, too, but I find myself only buying them for the sheath and then using the sheath for my pilots knives. It's hard to beat the Navy sheath' spring retention and longevity.
 
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wildrider666

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I've been issued Fighting knives (Ka-Bar) and surival knives as survival kit. I have a shadow boxed Ka-Bar that my Marines gave me but my duty Ka-Bar and ceremonial sword were passed to my Sons keeping years ago. I don't need a survival knife and have a better fighting knife. Like guns, you will press what you have to try and meet your needs. YMMV
 

M118LR

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Raven it sounds like you have modified your AFSK enough that perhaps it's time to consider the KABAR D-2 Extreme?


I have the serrated version and strongly recommend the straight blade if whittling is a high priority.

The weakest link when using rat tailed carbon steel for routine submerging in salt water , is the rat tailed tang corroding then failing catastrophically. Back in the 70's there was an NSN for the leather washer kit and you could routinely poke the pin out of the bottom cap, clean and preserve the tang. Then reassemble the entire tang grip with new leather washers. Don't know if kit is still around. As to the coated kraton grips on the Spec Plus models, they are great for Landlubbers but require shorter service periods than maintainable tangs with leather wrapped grips when facing continuous use in/out of a salt water environment. Just my experience with them. YMMV.

PS: the Navy used to drill 2 holes in the guard and runs a lanyard to secure the knife to your Survival Vest so if it's accidentally dropped it's not lost to Davy Jones Locker.
 
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M118LR

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I don't need a survival knife and have a better fighting knife. Like guns, you will press what you have to try and meet your needs. YMMV
I can't say that I don't/won't need a Survival Knife, but since I've Surrendered to Good Times & Gravity during retirement, the time span between incidents has grown disproportionally. LOL.

Yet I still have an A499 & Magnesium Bar/Striker tucked into the emergency kit of every craft/vehicle. As to the saw back teeth, they where always just for comic relief like the bailing sponge in the rubber rafts. LOL.

Although I didn't mention Fighting Knives, I hope that I can only mimic your need for a Survival Knife. Should the need ever arise I have to agree that I'd press whatever knife I had at the time to try and meet my needs.

Now if I was going to spend all my time ashore in timbered areas the Mors Kochanski described Bushcraft knife would probably be a better choice?
(Although I'll take his strength test with a grain of salt!)
I mean if your 5-8 & 165 lbs standing on your knife while stuck four centimeters into a tree without it bending or breaking Meh. But if 6-6 & 320 lbs ????
With that said, there is a video of a 200 pound Iowa Man supported by/standing on his BK17, so perhaps Mors wasn't kidding?????
 
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M118LR

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So is it time to address the elephant in the room?

About those fighting knives:
Is your advantage power? Hey that AK47 Bayonet is an advantage over the M9 Bayonet that currently isn't issued.

How about agility & a fencing background? Ain't that Fairbairn Blade something?

Yet all those Martial Arts Trained folks are biting thier tongues about other purpose designed fighting knives.

Bottom Lines: What's your EDC? Odds are either it, or one of the knives in your Butcher Block are going to be involved in your next knife fight.

There can only be one winner, but nobody is walking away without getting cut in a knife fight. (Reality)

A complete sudden an inescapable ambush isn't a knife fight, and it's the only way you are walking away unscathed. JMHO.

Have I left my opinion of fighting knives unclear? If your involved in a knife fight regardless of the knife, you have already lost the Battle. Should you fail to prevail in the knife fight, Y'all shall probably shall lose the War but you won't be around to hear them play taps. More than Just My Humble Opinion. JMHO.

My EDC is the Original SOG Pentagon Elite II Japanese AUS8. Nearest relative:
 
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M118LR

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Ideas , like the Marine K bar , not it’s guard or handle . Survival / in fight or survival situation ?
Can you clean fingerling trout with it's clip point without mauling the fish?
Can you perform the puncture cut on a Deer Anus and circle it without tainting the meat?
How many squirrels have you dressed via the Marine KABAR?
Perhaps it's time to recall KABAR's claim to fame? Can You Kill A BAR with just a knife?

The 498: https://ontarioknife.com/collection...ducts/498-combat-knife?variant=31397367447638

Marine KABAR is a long thin bladed knife. It's profile is strikingly Military. But it was designed as a utility knife first & as a fighting slashing knife second. If there is such a thing as a "Fighting Knife"?

If you have already lost the Battle if you need to rely on the strengths of your knifes construction to provide your victory over the opponent? It would be prudent to match your fighting style to your selected blades best performance.

Now I'm going to assume that your conversing with me about Non-Combat (Bushcraft) Survival situations?

First item in Survival, man needs fire to reign supreme! What do you need to complete a fire if you have a 498 F/U Carbon Steel Knife? How many surroundings can you find hard rocks, fools gold, or even find or carry a flint stone into the survival scenario? What tinder do you have and what tools can you manufacture with your 498 F/U carbon steel knife that will allow you to survive the situation you find yourself in? A knife is a wonderful survival tool, but fire is the thing that granted mankind dominance in survival! If you have no timber and can't make a fire with your knife being the most essential tool, then perhaps you don't need a steel knife as a tool at all? Ever heard of striking a fire with a flint & Stainless Steel???????

Obsidian cuts better than any steel, yet even though a knife is a cutting tool it's almost impossible to strike a fire with 2 pieces of flint or obsidian. So for survival perhaps that chunk of high carbon steel is a survival requirement?

About that Blade Guard, how many hours can you stand with your hands in a zero freezer? Now when you can't stand anymore take them out and make a fire with a piece of flint and your unguarded carbon steel knife. Just assume that you are on the Tundra above timberline and have nothing more than moss or blubber to fuel your fire. How much dexterity do you think your hands have to avoid being cut by your razor sharp knife blade??????? Want to guess why the Military added those hand guards? You don't need to like them when timber is plentiful, but attempt to avoid that razor blade when in a survival situation without them and perhaps they have a different meaning? (I.E. life or Bleeding to Death!) JMHO.

Bottom line on the USMC F/U Knife. If you fail to survive the scenario equipped with a modern and maintained version of this blade, your failure is within your skillset not the knives abilities! JMHO.
 
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