A trainer is also available...
Hey, guess what. I really like combat knives. This one by Boker is a great choice, and it reminded me of why I used (and abused) my first one; a half-serrated bead-blasted model that's been used to hack, chop, slice, pry, and be trhrown. This is the all-black version, model AF-11. It's advertised as Official Issue to the German Special Forces; whether that's KSK or Fernspah, I have no idea. The knife is well-built and obviously a great weapon. You can find them at the PX for around $130, and I assume "regular" knife stores sell them for a close price.
The Handle: The Applegate-Fairbairn (referred to in this review as "the AF") has a black Delrin handle, which is 4-3/4" long from the butt to the hilt. The handles is textured nicely, and has a shape that lends itself to a non-slip grip. The handle scales are held on with two (one on each side) blackened hex bolts. The hilt is turned toward the blade, and is also blackened steel. There are two rubber seals between the hilt and the handle. The hilt is serialized as well.
There's a lanyard hole, and it will accomodate two strands of non-gutted 550 cord easily. The entire handle is smooth, with no spots to catch clothing on or hurt your hand. The handle has two steel weights in it, one on each side of the handle, and they're removable. Just unscrew the hex bolt on either side. This will also reveal the full tang design...
I like the design of this one; not complicated, but very effective. It's a fighting knife, and it's been engineered perfectly.
The Blade: The AF has a blade made of 440C at 58 on the Rockwell scale. It's 6" long with twin 5-3/4" edges, and the blade is 3/16" thick. The edges are flat ground. The entire blade is coated black, and unlike the bead-blasted model I abused, there's no signature on this one. The blade has a very nicely-executed cruciform shape so it's strong while still being a great stabber.
Mine came razor sharp, just like a combat knife should be. The combination of handle and blade size / design makes this a very comfortable fighting knife in any grip.
The Sheath: This version of the AF comes with a black Cordura sheath. It's 11-3/4" long with the knife inserted. A Velcro closure keeps the knife from coming out, and there are three grommeted holes for alternate attachment.
The sheath attaches via simple, standard belt loop. It will accomodate a belt up to 2-3/4" wide, which is larger than most military-issue pistol belts.
The Applegate-Fairbairn is a great fighting knife, and has been used in the past (even by me) as an effective "user" knife. The blade will pierce with ease, and will slice with the best of them. For a long time, I've regarded this as the perfect balance between a main combat knife and a secondary utility blade. It's a great choice.
Last edited by JNieporte; 07-06-2012 at 03:18 PM.
A trainer is also available...
agreed that it's an excellent dagger.
something dramatically spectacular about the grooves and slots moulded into the handle...awesome feel.
German knife designer, Dietmar Pohl wrote a book on Tactical Knives; and it had some pictorial material on the knives used by German Elite Forces.
i vaguely recall some mention about the Kommando SpezialKraeft's (KSK) need for a more durable black finishing which is not found or used on the regular Boker production units.
btw, the new 5 1/2 inch Boker Harsey A-F 5 is just as enticing.
I've been wanting to get this somewhat already classic dagger, but they cost about double even in germany. It would become cheaper to order these from states, but since böker wants to rip us off in europe, I continue on buying USA made knives... good for you guys!
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