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Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by Sam Wilson, Dec 5, 2013.
You'd think Brian would at least remove his real name from his photo hosting account.
Here's an M7 recently completed. I will post more pics soon. Had the full M.O.A. System and just about every possible option.
Here are a couple more with the rest of the components. Flashlight and tinder aren't pictured.
Got these pics from a customer recently, just goes to show some people do use them! I'll have more later.
These Explorers and Garcia work well.
where did your web gear come from?
Oh man, what a flashback! I packed around one of those for years back in the day! Wish like heck I hadn't sold.
JD how was the performance of your Explorer?
I liked it, the 440C did fine, the saw teeth on the back aren't really good, would have loved a version without them. All in all, it was a solid knife, that was just about the right size for a camp/field knife, and I'll take the fingergrooved handle over totally round ones any day.
Nice Explorers. A couple more pics of the M8 in action.
He caught those fish with a trap that he made with the knife. Him and his Dad are part of my official R&D Team, lol.
great photos, looks like a fine day
Man, I love everything about the blade profile on that M8
US Army. 20+ years and still serving.
Here's a prototype I just finished up, the W.U.R.Knife (Wilson Utility and Recreation Knife). I will post more pics and specs later, but thought I would share a little now.
Some more pics of the WURKnife.
Nice looking stuff Sam.
Out testing the edge. The owner has allowed me to test it a (little) bit before cleaning up and sending it out.
So, I’ve been into hollow handle survival knives for a number of years. I have had numerous examples over the years and have posted some of them in this thread. I have or have had hollow handle knives from Martin Knives (Aparro, MCE II), Voorhis, Andrew Clifford, Blackstar, Buckmaster, Chris Reeve, Randall 18’s (several) and the 1980’s cheapo models. Some of these knives I have never used and some I have beat on but I feel that I have a decent handle on the genre of these knives.
I’m retired out of the Army system and spent most of my time in aviation. Have chopped some LZ’s with belt knives and spent some time in the woods building shelters, fire starting, etc. Most recently I have been in law enforcement to include 13 years in SWAT as an explosive breacher and entry guy. Have never passed up an opportunity to use my knife for something.
I recently got in my head that I needed a Greg Wall First Blood knife. I spent a lot of time on the internet looking for reviews on his stuff. Not very many reviews of his knives. He has some stuff on Facebook that sounds good. I had some money that my wife didn’t know about and called Mr. Wall a few weeks ago. After our discussion, I ordered my First Blood.
Well, my patience isn’t great and I recently had opportunity to buy a Wall version of the model 18. I got it at a price that I liked and it arrived brand new to my post office box the other day. Brand new and shaving sharp as I received it.
Since I have the First Blood coming and there is a lack of reviews, I thought I would put this 18 through some “practical” exercises, see what happened and get some sort of review on the internet.
Pictures will be thumb nailed and I will try to get them into an order that makes sense.
Environment: I live about an hour west of the continental divide in the Colorado Rockies. High desert is how my area is classified. Carbon steels do well here as humidity is nonexistent. There is not a lot of variation in the types of wood in the area with pine, aspen and cedar type trees being the most prominent. I can take a short walk and find prickly pear cactus to process if I want. No exotic hardwoods in the area for me to cut into. The flip side is that within 20 minutes of my house, I can find snow that lasts into August. We keep winter jackets in our cars year around and have seen snow in July.
Knife has a 5.5 inch blade of ¼ inch thick O1 steel. Arrived shaving sharp. Wall claims a 60-62 Rockwell on this model with brass fittings and an aluminum handle. I don’t remember the aluminum make up but after our phone conversation, I felt pretty good about giving it a go. Fit and finish of the knife is excellent. Grinds are even and beautifully done. All in all a very attractive knife.
The brass pommel has a compass built in and pointed very favorably next to my GI lensatic compass. Interestingly, after screwing in the compass the distance to the epoxy in the handle is about 1.75 inches +/-. I have had other knives with short handle compartments like this one and some that are huge. Not sure what will go in this one but I will probably put storm matches or Vaseline soaked cotton balls as starting a fire is huge where I live. My participation in various search and rescue operations around here have shown over and over that the people prepared to make a fire have a exponentially higher chance of surviving a night in the snowy wood than others.
The sheath is absolutely beautiful. It fits great and the stitching, snaps, etc are done right. In the pocket on the outside of the sheath is a magnesium fire block with a small hacksaw blade/striker. Nice touch in my opinion, just need to keep a sharpener elsewhere nearby.
To clarify, I am not involved with Wall Knives in anyway and am getting no benefit from putting this together.
Tried to figure out what people would want to see with this knife. Decided that some rope cutting, trap building, fire building, fire starting and whatever other ideas popped into my head.
At the onset of this, I said to myself that I would not chop much with this knife. It’s fairly light, short bladed and has the pointy saw back that would prevent me from batoning it through much. Ended up chopping with it more than I had planned. A bigger knife would have been more efficient but it got the job done.
Rope cutting. Cut 6 feet of ½ inch hemp rope. Cut it up into small pieces on a board and checked the edge when I was done. Knife went through the rope as one would expect. Cut better on the curve near the tip and when pressed down near the guard. Cut approximately every inch until the rope was consumed. Knife still shaved when done.
Chopping. While I was cutting the rope, I was mulling over the knife as a chopper. I spied a 2X4 in the pile and thought what the hell. I chopped through the 2X4 attacking it on both sides. I didn’t expect the blade to slice through the board in one swing but it didn’t perform badly. I chopped at the board with a variety of light and heavy strikes alternating the angles. Would not be my first choice for a competition chopper but it got the job done.
Aluminum handle left my hand pretty black after the 2X4 chop. I plan to wrap the handle after my testing with thicker cord or with fishing line and hockey grip tape. This knife may be a cerakote candidate in the future also.
Positives from the 2X4 chop were that the handle, guard and silver solder stayed as tight as when I got it. Blade still shaved after the 2X4.
Stabbing. Decided after chopping the board that I would stab the knife repeatedly into a seasoned willow stump that I have. Stabbed approximately 40 times into the stump with a decent amount of force. Did not do the full Forged in Fire attempt to snap the tip but did pry it out a few times and the tip held up great and it retained the edge. Again, no loosening of the guard, handle or cracking in the solder.
Saw. I am aware that this is not a wood saw per se but I started to use it to cut a 3 inch green maple branch on a 30 degree morning. The saw started great but was not going cut any more after I got about ¾ inch into the branch. I ended up chopping through my branch. Where I did find use for the saw was when making some fine notches for my trap trigger. Made nice little cuts and stayed sharp after use.
Trap building. Used the knife to build a basic trigger for a trap. Used the saw to make notches in the sticks. Used the primary edge to sharpen the stakes and cut the 550 cord used to make the trap. Places the smaller sticks on a branch and chopped through them easily.
Fire building. Used the knife to get the tinder ready, split some dried willow sticks and made a fuzz stick for the fun of it. Ended up batoning through a couple of dried maple branches to make the fuel for my stove. The saw was a little hard on my club but it worked fine. Used the included magnesium fire starter to get the fire going.
I like it. I’m aware that my testing may not check all of the boxes someone would like to see tested. I chopped with the knife more than I thought I would and was happy to find it just as tight as when I started. The O1 steel cut and hacked a reasonable amount of stuff and was still shaving sharp. The knife is light and lively in the hand and fun to play with.
As stated earlier, the grinds, fit and finish are awesome on this knife and it cleaned up easily.
I always have an unreasonable expectation with the storage in a hollow handle knife. I think I have landed on packing the handle with tinder in this knife. More storage would be awesome but honestly, I’m not sure if I would get much more value out of it.
I talked with my Cerakote guy today and we have plan to coat it in the next couple of months.
I think more importantly than my like of the knife is that I’m going to put it in my daily carry bag and am certain that it will do what I need it to do.
If you’re still reading this, thanks for putting up with the post and I welcome any comments or questions.