new thoughts on tip up/down

Jan 14, 1999
I was playing with knives for an upcomming edged weapons for cops class (will do a review) and was plaiying with my new BM 800hss. Tip up knives is specifically recommended. I wore my uniform and duty belt and found that the tip down carry was really awkward to draw. My Endura was much easier. To draw and deploy a tip down knife from a pocket under a midride holster holding a Sig 229 took alot of fine motor skills. With the tip up knife I just slid my thumb in and down, and was able to draw and open the knife with a lot less effort.

Then I pointed out to a friend of mine (one of the Edged Weapons Tactics Unit) that why would I reach past my weapon to speed draw a knife? If I need a knife that bad, that fast, a contact wound with a .40 would problably have more desireable effects. He changed the subject.

I then looked at my new BM and realized that the most likely scenario for needing to do a speed deployment of my knife is a handgun retention scenario. My strong hand secures my weapon in the holster while my left hand draws my BM from my left front pant pocket (my knife is right handed) and flicks the knife open. With the same gross motor skills as the right hand tip up draw I now have my knife open and in a reverse grip.

Not ideal for getting control of my gun, but better than the harsh language I also intend to use.

That said, tip down doesn't work really well in uniform, but does work well when in soft clothes, where my holster is IWB (or higher ride than duty) and does not block access to the pocket.

Quick reference: High ride= backstrap of weapon 2" or more over belt line. Mid-ride= backstrap of belt line, low-ride= backstrap below belt line. Try a paperback book in each of these positions and see how it effects your access to your knife. My radio rides lower than my weapon, but I can index my knife for the draw by putting my thumb into the pocket and sliding down behind it.

Sorry, shift change week, little sleep, long class.

Are cops allowed to carry a fixed blade? Seems to me that if your primary interest is in the knife as a backup weapon, then a small fixed blade would be much quicker to deploy.
I opine from a history as a L.E. officer in two states and as an erstwhile law enforcement academy deputy director and instructor (included firearms, baton teaching).

Keep your knife in your pocket and use it to cut seatbelts, open mail, clean your nails, etc. It is a lousy weapon when compared to a number of other things already available to you. It is also one that both criminal and civil juries will have a hard time dealing with.

Desert Rat

Actually my department has shouldered the liability by offering us a course (now required). We also have policies in place that the DA has signed off on to govern the use of the knife as a weapon. I will (probably next week) post a review of the class.

We can carry fixed blades (I plan to carry 2 fixed blades and 2 folders) but folders are much more convienent and more likely to be carried. Concealability is also an issue, as fixed blades tend to get shorter and shorter when you need to hide them.