Review of Hossom's Millennium Fighters.


Here's a review of some Hossom fighters I got a while back:


I saved my pennies for quite a while for a custom pair of fighters, and I happened upon Jerry Hossom's website . I'd heard his name before, and that he was a fine gentleman to work with (his knives took "Best of Show" and "Best Fighting Knife" at the first couple of shows he attended with his new design). So, I held my breath and contacted Jerry. He responded immediately and very graciously answered all of my questions about his knives and what he felt he could do.

I tried to stay clear about what I wanted, and I must have succeeded, because Jerry made exactly what I had in mind. The blades are 11" long, 3/16 thick hollow ground with elongated tanto points (as Jerry points out, tantos were designed to punch through wooded armor, and it's just not that common anymore). They're made of highly polished ATS-34 steel (I just heard a couple of people groan). I know that ATS is unpopular with some knife enthusiasts, but this particular steel has been has not only been heat-treated and tempered, but cryogenically treated by Paul Bos for even greater toughness (RC of 60). This is the same procedure Trace Rinaldi uses for his knives (see ).

The bolsters are 416 stainless, and the handles are made of black canvas micarta (my choice). The handles terminate in a blunt but angular point for a "skull crusher" effect. The total length is 16.5". When Jerry made these blades, he took into account my height and weight, as well as my hand measurements. The fit and finish are, of course, superb.

When I finally received these blades, I stood in the company of several of my friends, who are martial artists and fellow blade-enthusiasts. The experience seemed nearly religious as I pulled the knives out of their box. The balance and quickness of the blades left us stunned. The blades are long and light (emphasis on point rather than belly), and dance in the hands due to the center of gravity resting right along the top of the bolster. The handles fit my hands perfectly, and running through repeated knife reversal and flow drills these blades felt like extensions of my hands. The edges came with a tough skinner's edge (we call it that because it's a tough, sharp edge that you can skin three elk with before it needs to be re-touched). The points are very scary, as sharp as any hypodermic I've ever handled.

I couldn't wait to test it, and as soon as I got a chance, I did just that. These knives are first and foremost fighters, not designed to dig holes, break rocks, act as a wedge, chop down redwoods, etc. They are designed strictly for interpersonal combat. They're back-up to my custom .45 Colt Autos, carried in a Blade-Rigger SB3 Rig Being 6'5" has advantages, I can carry long knives under a long, loose shirt this way (my wife custom makes the shirts for me).

Two tests are most applicable to the design of these blades. First is the sparring-tree test, and the second is the beef-joint test.
My sparring tree is a 4X4 buried into the ground, with four 2X4 extensions attached parallel to the ground, but point out at 35-45 degree angles from the center. The primary post and each arm are repeatedly wrapped in layers of carpet padding and duct tape. The whole thing stands 6' and is buried a couple of feet into the ground for stability.

I took after the tree with abandon, cutting along 16 angles and three gates, and practicing thrusts at each gate. I kept after it, and I realized first off that these blades were very quick in practice, but also very light. I could feel each impact of blade against target more profoundly than with a chopper like one of my kukris or heavy bowies, but the speed of these blades more than made up for this. Even after repeatedly driving the points into the wood and yanking them back out again, they sustained no damage, and are still eerily sharp. The edge didn't even notice the workout, it remained the same as when I first removed them from the box.

The second test involved much the same techniques, but I used a leg of beef (a friend of mine is a rancher, who could spare one). For this test I hung the joint up, and went after it the best I could, using both cuts, reverse grip cuts, and thrusts. Again, I could feel how light these blades were in both their speed and the feel of impact. The shock of impact felt lighter in this test than the other, and soon the joint hung mangled. The fit of the handles did away with any discomfort I would have felt, even though they are not rubber handles. After getting winded, I stopped to test the edge and point. This time, with contact against bone, the edge did demonstrate some very slight wear, but the points remained true, even after having been driven into bone. The edges are still true enough it would be redundant to re-sharpen them.

At running the risk of repeating myself, I give both the knives and their maker my whole hearted endorsement. Jerry managed to construct, by hand, two matching blades, and two matching handles. That, in and of itself, is a herculean feat approachable only by the true artisan. He remained patient with me, despite my great anticipation, making sure all of my questions were answered, and always checking with me to describe the blades' progress (and I didn't have to wait 2-4 years for it, unlike some of my other blades). I have found him to be a man of distinct honor, and I cannot wait for the day when I can order yet another knife from him. I own knives far more expensive than these, but the two blades from Hossom Knives will have a proud place in the pinnacle of my collection, and my carry arsenal.

I encourage you to visit Jerry's website at or to e-mail him at

You won't regret it,


"A fear of weaponry is a sure sign of neuroses."

[This message has been edited by Zog (edited 07 October 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Zog (edited 07 October 1999).]

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[This message has been edited by Zog (edited 28 November 1999).]
I did it! I was able to order a 20" OAL mega fighter from Jerry. I'll put a review up of this new knife once I get it.