Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Plasman193, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Plasman193


    Jul 19, 2018
    So recently I noticed that RMJ tactical has started making their shrikes out of 1075 rather than their 80crv2 steel. I was a volunteer fireman when i descovered RMJ solely since I wanted a weapon that was just as strong as our 4140 steel halogen tool. I bought their kestral with 4140 steel and have yet to regret it. This steel can handle pretty much anything. The things we did to those halogens was frightening and I knew I wouldn't Regret getting the tomahawk. Since then they changed to 80crv2 which im told is easier to make, but a little weaker in comparison to 4140. Now they go to 1075 and my biggest concern is RMJ tacticals quality failing? I have so many wish list knives and tomahawks I wanna get, but is this a bad sign?
    Greeneyesblackrifle likes this.
  2. Ryan M Johnson

    Ryan M Johnson

    Aug 12, 2019
    Hey this is Ryan - Founder of RMJ Tactical. I’ll start with a short answer and work from there.
    The quality at RMJ Tactical has never been better. Over the last few years the edge geometries have been refined, the machining improved dramatically and the heat treat tuned by metallurgists. We use a variety of high grade materials but more importantly the materials are worked by true artists and craftsmen.
    Each time we’ve looked at a steel change we personally test the hawks and knives to determine performance. The 1075 passes my personal testing with flying colors. Some of the crew test in the woods, some on the 55 gallon oil drum, I tend to test in the junkyard on cars.
    Here’s where most people (especially on this forum) will disagree with me. Any blade performance depends on a three legged stool: Steel, Edge Geometry and heat treat. I’ve tested Shrikes in more steels than we’ve offered. It is my opinion that most of the modern made high carbon steels would pass a hard breaching test if the blade geometries and heat treat were both dialed in properly. And if most makers were being brutally honest they would agree. I like the 1075 more than the 4140. Over the years feedback has shown us that the original thicker blade geometries we used needed thinning down and to be slightly harder. 4140 is an awesome steel but falls short with the thinner geometries compared to higher carbon steels. Also, we were already pushing 4140 towards the end of it’s hardness range. To go harder meant finding something that could be hardened to a higher rockwell and tempered back. You mention that 4140 is stronger - technically it has three times the tensile strength of other carbon steels. That sounds great and is great on a bull dozer where forces are huge. But for a handheld tool it doesn’t buy you anything. You already can’t develop the forces required to catastrophically break it using your arms. 80CrV2 is awesome steel - no two ways about it. You mention that it is easier to work than 4140. This is exactly opposite of reality. 80CrV2 is a big pain in the ass to machine. It costs us over twice as much in tooling to machine as 4140. It is my goal to transition Shrikes back to a forging in the future - 80CrV2 is not available in the sizes we need for forging and quite frankly the erratic availability of it has pushed us to 1075 - what I originally started making Eagle Talons with. I know there are guys out there trying to hype super steels for their hatchets and hawks - that’s great and more power to them. But when you see someone putting all of their eggs in the steel basket they are often trying to cash in on the flavor of the month steel. 1075 is not sexy. But it’s been made into a lot of hatchets, crowbars and hammers over the last 70 years and it’s continuing to break locks, cut safety glass and cut wood for us. Hope that helps. And thanks for serving your community!
    954Ink, OnceBitten, skippyW and 19 others like this.
  3. Ryan M Johnson

    Ryan M Johnson

    Aug 12, 2019
    And thanks to the excellent James Helm for bringing the question to my attention - I’m slowly but surely working my way back to being on this forum.
  4. Riz!


    May 5, 2014
    @Ryan M Johnson

    Great answer man! Glad to see you here!

    On a side note I have a Loggerhead from one of your first runs and its a beast. I also got my hands on two of your ATC Model 1s and I couldnt be happier with them. One is wood and one is the nylon handle and the are both fantastic. There couldnt be a better company to make them. Also the guy who sharpens them deserves a pat on the back, because they both cleanly shaved my arm right out of the box.
    Organic556 likes this.
  5. rpn

    rpn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Also glad to see you here- welcome and awesome answer.

    I'm also a fan- I love my Shrike 13. If I catch a deployment..it's coming with me!
  6. David Lennon

    David Lennon Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 26, 2017
    I had wanted a Shrike in 80CRV2 to try it out just because I had other hawks in 1075
  7. plumberroy

    plumberroy Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    I am an old hillbilly but the more of the modern "super steels" I try this more I like 10 series steel
  8. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    I think 1075 is a significant step up from 4140. I applaud the change.
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.
  9. shortwinger

    shortwinger Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Thanks Ryan,

    This is a great recipe for a successful business and is why so many people that are out on the front lines depend on RMJ. It's nice to see a business that can engage with their customers and potential customers with in depth answers to technical questions without sounding like they are talking down to them or being angry.

    Great customer engagement, technical expertise, integrity, and top notch products. I wish I had a Shrike or Kestrel when I served, I wasn't any high speed spec-ops guy but cant count how many times I was in the middle of no where and needed something bigger and stronger than a Ka-Bar to get into a crashed aircraft, crate, etc.
  10. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    Awesome news and Thanks for the info, now all I need is a Krestrel but haven't decided on which to get the lighter or heavier version.
  11. ROCK6


    Feb 8, 2004
    I've deployed with a couple Shrikes on a few Afghan deployments (original and the 13" version...which is my preference) and even took an original Eagle Talon with me on my first deployment to Iraq. Having met Ryan and crew a few times at the Blade Show, I'll fully trust his recommendations as they test and standby some pretty incredible tools in this category. As a contractor my S13 Shrike mostly road in my Mystery Ranch 3DAP, but I did get to "disassemble" several pallets for firewood :D These are very much niche tools and while you can (and I have) used them for some outdoors testing, they excel as a portable breaching tool and potential backup weapon.

    Only word of caution is make sure you can travel with it. I couldn't fly back through Dubai with it and both USPS and FEDEX wouldn't ship it back. I was able to get it stashed in tough-box that was shipped later and I was able to "sneak" it through...freaking shipping Nazis!


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