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Ka-Bar USN MK1 First Impressions

Discussion in 'KA-BAR Knives' started by mistwalker, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Ok, the new Ka-Bar USN MK1 that I won if the fire starting contests arrived. Thanks Moose and Ka-Bar! This thing is sweet! I have been busy lately so just some detail shots and first impressions for now. I’ll post shots from the field after I get it out next week.

    I really do like this knife, it is the design I was wishing they had done back when I bought my first small Ka-Bar.

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    I really like the new style of rivets over what they used to use on these hard sheaths. I’ve built several kits from their hard sheaths over the years that they have made them.

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    I also like how the retention strap rivet is not so tight that it’s a pain to switch sides with the retention strap for right or left hand carry, and various carry options.

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    I’m glad to see locking mechanism on these sheaths. The first hard sheaths for the small Ka-Bars lacked the locking mechanism that the larger sheaths had and that made inverted carry a pain at times. Like the sheath, the locking mechanism is ambidextrous.

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    I have some mixed feelings about the absence of the upper guard, but mostly I do like it. It does make it so that the lower retention strap will not secure the knife from the spine side. I kind of like having that type of retention so as not to cut the retention strap drawing the knife quickly.

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    On the other hand, it makes some holds much more comfortable. Since this one may well be left inverted on a pack strap, now that it has the locking mechanism, I think I’ll get along just fine without the upper guard.

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    Here are some other in-hand shots. The knife has a full handle that is easy to get a good secure grip on in various holds.

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    The grinds on the blade are very nicely done.

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    The sheath has 10 rivets that hold it together, and two sets of slots so there are lots of options there for carry and adding things. There is a large drain hole in the back to quickly drain any water, it has an attachment point for a drop system, and it fits on a pistol belt.

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    The knife also came with a good working edge. Not really hair-popping sharp, but easily handled some fine curls in some very hard seasoned sycamore so not bad at all.

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    Initial impressions are that I really like the knife a lot and I’m glad they brought it out. I think it makes a great blend of tactical usefulness and in the field all-around functionality. I think it is going to be a great little knife.


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  2. BluesStringer

    BluesStringer

    606
    May 16, 2006
    Really great pics, and I've been real interested in that knife since I first caught wind of it. Great review, thanks a bunch for it.

    Blues
     
  3. Mrwhitetailfanatic

    Mrwhitetailfanatic

    477
    Jan 3, 2011
    looks like a winner! Congrats man!
     
  4. BasiliOS

    BasiliOS

    226
    May 11, 2011
    Great review.

    For some reason tho I can't see the pics but everyone else says they can:(
     
  5. 1066vik

    1066vik Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    nice review -- I'll have to keep an eye out for one of those.
     
  6. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thanks for the kind words guys, it's just a partial review for now, but there will be a complete one later.
     
  7. slapper

    slapper

    Sep 2, 2010
    Very nice, I like it!
     
  8. hiwa

    hiwa

    Jun 7, 2009
    Thanks Mist for the review. So far , the features of that knife are hitting the nail right on the head for me.Features I particularly like:

    Carbon steel
    Flat grind
    swedge ( I actually like them)
    5" blade length
    Kraton handle
    flat buttcap
    Strong sheath system

    The black coating doesn't bother me as you could easily remove it. I bet a lot of guys will do that. This knife reminds me a lot of my SOG Northwest Rangers I have. A lot of similarities besides the blade steel itself. I find them to be very good general purpose knives and the USN seems like a winner too:thumbup:
     
  9. Jake Bauer

    Jake Bauer

    Sep 19, 2007
    Where are the leather handled ones?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Great review Mist.
     
  10. Idaho Guy

    Idaho Guy

    570
    May 22, 2011
    Sweet knife! I've been checking it out in the Ka-Bar catalog myself. I would have to strip off the black coating though.
     
  11. rabidsurefire

    rabidsurefire

    87
    May 27, 2011
    Damn now I want one. I should just stop clicking on threads like this, its starting to become very dangerous for my wallet.
     
  12. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Yep, right there with ya.


    Not sure, couldn't find them on Tomars, but they are out there somewhere. A friend just wrote me to tell me he had one on order. I really like the looks of the leather handled ones too!


    Only Ka-Bars I've ever seen come from the factory with no coating were the "Next Generation" versions, even the D2 Extreme I bought my nephew when he deployed has a coating but I've seen a lot of them stripped.


    This place can be hard on a wallet, and on the will power :)
     
  13. Guyon

    Guyon Biscuit Whisperer Staff Member Super Mod Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    Great write-up so far.
    BTW, if you Google Ka-Bar MK1 right now, this thread is the #1 hit on Google. :thumbup:
     
  14. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thanks man, glad you're liking it.

    That's wild because I forgot to even tag it...till just now.
     
  15. Junglas

    Junglas

    278
    Apr 18, 2011
    Now that's what I call review pics! Good review
     
  16. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thanks man, glad you lied the photos
     
  17. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    This thing carries good on a belt. I think, since I am not going to need it, that I am going to ditch the drop-leg attachment point soon.
     
  18. badJuJoo

    badJuJoo

    89
    Mar 24, 2011
    man i cant find the leather one and i have been looking all day, the ka-bar catalog says its a blue ridge knives exclusive, but their website wants you to become a dealer for them:rolleyes:




    anyone know where to look? this thing is calling my name
     
  19. numberthree

    numberthree

    Dec 14, 2000
    I'm with you...let's find the leather version!
     
  20. FAL'ER

    FAL'ER Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Don't think it's been released yet.
     

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