Thanks to the generosity of Rick and John at Mission, I was allowed to purchase one of the new tanto A2 prototypes. And I can tell you it's worth waiting for!!!
As mentioned, the MPF has IMHO the best big folder handle on the market right now. The only back draw on the current all titanium MPF was for some the blade material. That's gonna change soon. A2 being the steel of choice you can look forward to one mean son of a blade. The tanto might not have the utilitarian efficiency of the current form, but it is wicked and extremely well engineered. It is pointy like a needle, the grind lines are perfect and make for a razor sharp edge and the coating is the best Ive seen on a tool steel blade. What I also noticed is that the balance of the knife change to its advantage. The all titanium version has the light feel of a toy, but the new is perfectly balanced and feels like a real knife. Mine has the shorter, rounded opening studs of the civilian version, which I actually prefer above the longer, edgy military version.
Being a pre-production knife, it has a patch in form of a steel ball set into the stop pin on the spine. That was necessary due to the fact that the blade didnt fit exactly. Now it does, and the final version wont have that ball anymore. The steel blades are going to be without any play which distinguishes them from the beta-alloy blades.
The tanto A2 MPF comes therefore as closest to the oxymoron tactical folder as technical possible. The choice of material, form, fit and finish are excellent. It almost doesnt get any better when it comes to big folders. For a general full size utility knife, I wish they would manufacture the current clip point style in A2. But Im sure that will come eventually.
If anybody is interested in high quality scans of this knife, he/she can drop me an email, I got a color scanner now.