Tacticals Made by Us for Special OPS Forces

Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
4,591
Concerning this thread subject, many or most us have already paid our dues a plenty in one or more ways. I primarily intend this thread as a call or offering to those of us that have yet not but would like to contribute a little of our expertise in knife making toward a particular cause. As commented to above many here have served our country and the free world in general while either previously or currently in uniform. Some also have friends or relatives they have made or are making knives for while them in service of our country. Some, perhaps, for strangers who are within our military service or the service of an allie. Some have contributed even much more. Those of you I do not speak to here directly but certainly do not exclude you from this either.

Primarily the recipients of this thread will be a particular unit of American Special Forces now fighting in Afghanistan. Depending on the success of this thread other unit or units of Special Forces could become beneficiaries as well.

The knives, one per maker, should be made for the purpose of carrying into engagement and with the knowledge that the primary knife function and probability of function is to kill the enemy when and if necessary. This is a course thread starter. Many seeing this will not be comfortable about it. Many though will be. Those that are not, so far as I am concerned, can say so if they like and all will be fine from this end. Radio reports of people donating such things as air conditioners and other comforts for our troops gets me teary too and if I made or could afford an air conditioner I’d donate one also. I don’t make air conditioners. I make knives and you make knives too and there is more to the real world and the real war than just feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. My meaning of that is enemy has to be destroyed for us to win.

I have received emails and so far it seems the most frequent question is where to ship. That is not going to be a problem. I have a SF contact in the field of engagement and I will be corresponding with it concerning the possibility of me giving each of us that shipping address. My guess right now is no problem. Regardless though the knives will get to the correct SF men. At the moment it is a matter of me finding out what I can share without me being the one to just start presuming to do so on my own. Another thing of concern to me is that I think it best I have him give redundancy in names to mail to because of the relative possibility of casualty before knives are complete. For the moment just assume myself being the point of depot until I can find another one of us better suited for that or it is decided shipments should be made direct from the maker.

Thanks and I hope all that have so far indicated their commitment will reaffirm that on this thread. I am one of those and do commit here and now.

Any of us not properly equiped for heat treating the blade or steel you choose can send to me for that. There will be no charge to you and I will pay return shipping. On this figure absolute maximum OAL of 13 inches and not all steel types can I properly do at that length. Just correspond if needed.

Roger Linger
 
Joined
Oct 6, 1998
Messages
2,300
I'll be the first maker to step up and say that I won't be making a knife for this project.

In my opinion, it's a good thing to do. I'm glad that Roger decided to follow up with a new thread. Hopefully, this one will stay on track and will generate some knives for the group he is in contact with. Rest assured, it will be strictly voluntary with no arm twisting or peer pressure.

A couple of weeks ago I shipped an SD-1 to a friend of mine serving on a special team in Baghdad. This week I will be shipping a C2O folder to another member of his team. For me, it's a constant project of shipping stuff out to service members. Having spent over 20 years in the Army as a tanker and scout, I still have many contacts that are on the receiving end of shipments. If it wasn't for this, I'd be the second maker to step up with a knife for Roger.

I'd also add that if you are a maker that can't make a knife for this project, that's ok. There will always be another time. Putting shoes on your own kids is more important. I've been a maker for over 32 years and know what it's like to want to give but have to pass for a little while.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
4,591
That is about as good and concise support as I could hope for from any of us. In fact, just so we all are aware, there is even one of us from another country who has a donation knife in mail transit now. He is not a maker but felt inclined to donate a fine knife. Thanks Kit and you are one of those I ment when speaking of within the opening paragraph, even though I did not know you were at that time. Thanks for your support for the thread intention too.

I feel real good about this so far as knife making for it will go.

Roger
 

Gossman Knives

Edged Toolmaker
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Messages
9,392
Roger I'd be interested in this project. I'm caught up on most of my orders and would have time to do this. Can you give me more of the specifics of what type of knife would be best suited for this project. (Fixed blade, not folder.) Another factor is the sheath. I know kydex is the most practical but I only make leather sheathes. Maybe another participant could make the sheath unless leather would be ok, then I could do that.
Scott
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
4,591
Scott,

Welcome aboard and thanks. Gosh, I really don't know about the sheath thing. I'm thinking leather is great. Kydex is good if you do it. You say you don't but you do leather. I'm thinking leather as my choice but I ain't there either. I will say this; my sheath will be of leather. Jamie will make it and it will be of leather and my man wants that. I'd guess since he's there in the middle of it, and has been, leather is not a bad bet.

Your question about style and length is another one of those I have gotten emails about. It is one I will include in my next email to him. I'll try to do the email that includes most pressing answers from him tomorrow. One thing for all us to remember is that these men are not always able to respond very quickly. I have noticed a weeks time pass between emails. These are Special Forces and they do -- well they do special things for extended time.

but ... - you bet Scott; real happy to have you.

Roger (from hence forth just plain ol RL)
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Messages
3,824
I'm in, if you can wait a month or two, offshore keeps my time screwed up and I've got one more order to start and finish. With any luck I'll be able to work on both at the same time.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
4,591
Will,

No problem at all. I think there will time and enough enemy left for you to help our men out with. Love ya Will. Hey, besides you'll be back before I finish mine as slow as I am.

Great.

RL
 

Gossman Knives

Edged Toolmaker
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Messages
9,392
Roger, I forgot to ask, what is the time frame? When would this have to be completed? I can do a pretty tough leather sheath. Never had one in a battle zone though. :eek:
Scott
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
4,591
Scott,

It is my desire and expectation that there is no time frame. I think it best though for us to complete before war's end (I'd like to put a smilie there but think that not in good humor). For shipping, I am hoping I can confirm all shipments direct from maker to end user (end user group) is best. It is a Army base address but I will not release it until told I can and if given permission will only do it by email to you and rest of us. That is just another one of my upcoming questions to SF in my next email. All will be well.

RL
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2001
Messages
351
I sure don't know enough to open my mouth but that has never stopped me before. :D I would think leather would be fine. I know the conditions are nasty but won't most service men and women only be there a year tops? I would think a leather sheath would hold up. Maybe one assembled with those cool brass screws so it could be taken apart to clean the sand out periodically? I don't know. Wish I had better skills. My buddy is going over in Jan. and I would sure like to make him one.
 

Gossman Knives

Edged Toolmaker
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Messages
9,392
Ok Roger, all I can say is keep me informed. Email me when necessary. I have two email addresses. One on my website and the other in my profile. I don't have any connection to anyone in the military and feel this would be a way to show my appreciation of what these fine people are doing to help defend our country.
Scott
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Messages
3,824
One question Roger, since it's for spec ops, should the blades be sterile? No identifing marks?
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
4,591
Let's go with leather as the default. I will go ahead and call that one right now. If any us are more into kydex I see nothing adverse to that. Since most, I think(?) us that make sheaths, are into leather and since my man wants or is happy with it let's go with it as the default choice.

Razorback, we can put a call out for sheath makers too. I don't and will not make sheaths. There will no doubt be others such as me. I believe we can encourage a couple or three sheath makers to help us a little when needed. Think knife mostly right now and how you want it. Remember what I suggested its primary function for. I might also suggest fancy and flashy furnishings ain't going to go well with this ones intended use.

Will, I think that a good one. As far as markings go I am putting my mark on mine. As far as special stuff that might help identify anyone other than the maker; I would have to ask their advise on. If I were to guess on my own I would guess no. We will figure all that out as correspondence proceeds a little bit further.

RL
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2000
Messages
5,179
Will that's a good question and I meant to ask it before, just had another senior moment. I'm in too.
 

Mark Williams

Moderator
Joined
Nov 28, 2000
Messages
4,760
One thing for you guys to consider that are not to sure of themselves with the sheath is this.

If you have a military surplus place nearby, have a look around. Sometimes the place near me has some sheaths available.

Another option is the web belts themselves. I have 2 that were made for a retired maker many years ago. There are just folded web belt that has been stitched and riveted with a strap that would cross the guard. Use your imagination. ;)
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Messages
58
Roger I have a knife design which I have been working on for about a 1 1/2 years, I would say that it has about 1 or 2 months before I'm happy with it just need a few more changes in the design. email me and some ideas might finish the design more quickly. Though it will be a hard knife to build. Already have a name for it "special ops boot" or "S.O.B". :cool:
 
Joined
Nov 24, 1999
Messages
4,981
In regards to marking the blade, I thought about that alot when I started mine. The outfit I am sending it too was recommending Kabars , and I figure they are going to say Kabar USA on them in at least one place if not multiple times. I figured that wasn't any better or worse than me carving my last name in the handle so I went ahead and marked it. It doesn't really identify anyone but me.
 

Gossman Knives

Edged Toolmaker
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Messages
9,392
Roger I can handle doing a leather sheath. Will, as far as a mark, I going to mark mine as usual because I only use my initals and don't think that would cause a problem. I was thinking about making sure that all metal on the knife is subdued. Roger you just clarified that. Even bead blasting would be sufficient to subdue the shiney parts. Mark that's a good idea. I'll keep an eye out at the gunshows.
Scott
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2002
Messages
2,942
Aww, geeze. This is something I'd really love to help out with. I want to, but I don't think I can commit either way right now, with some other very important things going on with my family right now. I've got a big knife sitting here waiting for me to ship to my buddy in the Air Force, but suddenly I haven't had any time in my shop at all. Hmmm.... Maybe I could do this: I'll see if I can start working on one, and if I have it done in time, I'll just let you know.

However, since I specialize in miniatures, I'd need some help from others in the areas of heat treatment and a sheath. So, I guess if any sheathmakers are watching this, speak up. Otherwise, even if I get it done, it will be of no use without a scabbard.

Now, as to the knife itself,

rlinger said:
The knives, one per maker, should be made for the purpose of carrying into engagement and with the knowledge that the primary knife function and probability of function is to kill the enemy when and if necessary. This is a coarse thread starter. Many seeing this will not be comfortable about it. Many though will be.... I make knives and you make knives too and there is more to the real world and the real war than just feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. My meaning of that is enemy has to be destroyed for us to win...

Any of us not properly equiped for heat treating the blade or steel you choose can send to me for that. There will be no charge to you and I will pay return shipping. On this figure absolute maximum OAL of 13 inches and not all steel types can I properly do at that length.

Well, I don't know how to say this...
When I think of a knife designed specifically for the stated purpose, I think of something a lot bigger than 13" overall. If there was a good chance I'd need a blade for that, it would be as big as I could carry. At least, I figure that's what I'd do, after using my great big Bowie. Once you go big, you never go back! Having said that, is there anyone here who could give some pointers on what length would be most appropriate for these guys to carry? I personally will not make something in the 9"-11" blade range. (with rare exceptions) It will either be shorter, for the same thrusting ability while being easier to carry, or it will be bigger for real cutting power. Hopefully one of these two philosophies will match the requirements.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2002
Messages
2,942
Well, I just reread this thread, and realize my above post must make me look totally unqualified to make a blade for this purpose.

That may very well be.
I feel I know enough about the grinds, geometries, balance, tapers, handle shapes, etc. to make a serviceable blade, but I'll leave that up to you guys to decide (through pictures) if I get one finished. I acknowledge I don't have equipment or experience needed for heat treating, so I would find a specialist for that. I can make scabbards well enough for my own purposes, but have no idea how to make one that will work with a soldier's "system" of web gear, other equipment, etc.
 
Top