SHOT SHOW 2014–Attleboro Battle Knife

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I never pass up an opportunity to check out the edged weapons, at any of the outdoor shows, for a couple of reasons. First, I developed an affinity for the Japanese Katana through my study of Bushido and some marshal arts. Second, the level of craftsmanship and raw creative talent that exists in the edged weapon industry can be found, on the aggregate, nowhere else. This is indeed peculiar to edged weapon artisans.  So, while visiting GEMTECH’s booth, one of the staff members showed me a knife that thoroughly impressed me. First words out of my mouth were an mild utterance to the effect that this is a Chris Reeves Commemorative. I was partially correct and there certainly is a detectable Chris Reeves influence, which is plainly visible in the knife handle and the knife point location at the longitudinal axis of the knife where it belongs.

As it turns out, the Attleboro Battle Knife is the product of a young company, Attleboro Knives, located in Eagle, ID. This is its story…

“The Attleboro Knife Story is a true story of sacrifice and honor. In 1966, the Vietnam War was escalating with operations ever increasing. The conventional war was intensifying with the largest battle up to that point in the war looming on the horizon. In III Corps, Tay Ninh Province, along the Cambodian border just northwest of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) Operation Attleboro commenced. Its general goal was to find, then destroy the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong (VC) logistical resources plus any enemy units operating in the area. Attleboro would slow enemy support and infiltration into the Saigon III Corps area. Among this conventional operation was a very unconventional unit, the III Corps MIKE (Mobile Strike) Force, led by an Army Special Forces (SF) Team and manned by ethnic Chinese Nung soldiers. The “Attleboro” is named to honor and commemorate those SF soldiers who fought and died during this operation. We recognized one heroic soldier who, during this operation epitomizes, the spirit of our knife, Master Sergeant William B. Hunt. His heroic actions during the battle led to several saved lives but in the process causing his wounding then his loss. He was declared missing in action for ten years with the Army declaring a presumptive death in 1976.”

Time constraint prevented me from drilling down into the knife’s design but initial impressions were positive. You can pickup a firearm and generally get a good feel for how it will shoot but a knife is quite different as it becomes an extension of the body; thus, it must flow with it and that cannot be assessed by cursory examination – it must be used.

The blade is a modified drop point design made from S35VN steel. The handle is Chris Reeves throughout – very hand filling with gimping and finger coils all precisely position to provide superb control. There was nothing that was really disappointing except for the hollow ground. I felt that it was a bit too aggressive for a battle knife. I would have elected a flat grind to give the edge a bit more robustness. However, keep in mind what I said earlier. You can’t judge an edged weapon by its cover so I reserve the right to modify any of my statements. What I liked most about the Attleboro Battle Knife is the elegance with which a son remembers and honors his father, and that alone is worth the M.S.R.P. of $349.

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