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What's wrong with...

Oct 6, 1998
1. Franklin Mint Knives

2. Buck M-9 Field Knife

I was just wondering about these, since I don't know anyone who likes them, but I've heard people say they're no good. Why is that? Bad steel? Not enough quality for the price? Feel free to tell me all about it.

The Franklin Mint Knives are high priced wall hangers. The Buck M9 is the current issue bayonet for the M-16 rifle. I would`nt mind having an M9 to go with my AR-15 but prices on the commercial market are quite high.

Never a dull moment!
I don't think there is anything wrong with the Buck knife. It is just one of those government issue things. The U.S. military doesn't like to pay for anything too nice, they would rather buy 5 cheap knives, then 1 excellent knife. Its the same with tools. Right when I was getting out of the military they were in the stages of buying Snap-On Tools. The tools we had worked, but were just junk. Someday the military will figure out its sometimes better to pay alittle more for quality. Of course this is just my opinion. I seem to have more opinions then knives.


[This message has been edited by Blades (edited 22 February 1999).]
There's nothing wrong with the Buck M9, although as with any knife designed as a bayonet, you can probably get a more versatile and stronger field knife for your money. The Buckmaster survival knife gets knocked pretty hard 'round these parts, too, but there's nothing wrong with it as a knife if you don't mind its weight and can overlook the design of the "saw tooth" spine or the useless little grappling-hook geegaws.

The Franklin Mint knives are all perfectly fine as display pieces; they're pretty and look expensive provided the viewer is far away. As knives they're positively awful, cobbled together with poor fit and finish of weak materials.

Since I used to be in R&D while in the Army, I sent for the Army document that is supposed to detail the reason the Army wanted a new bayonet (to replace the old M-7). The need is identified by the following statement, "A need exists for a high quality multipurpose knife/bayonet which can be used by the combat soldier to defend himself in close combat with the enemy and as a multipurpose knife to aid in performing daily field tasks; when used with its scabbard, it becomes an effective wire cutter. The priority of design functions are: (1) bayonet, (2) combat knife, (3) field craft knife, (4) wire cutter, (5) limited saw capability, (6) mine probe (anti-metallic), and (7) civil disturbance deterrent. It was proposed to have blade steel similar to a sportsman's knife (I think it ended up with 420J series stainless steel), be sharpened in the field, retain an edge, cut soft wire, have a saw to cut light sheet metal and plexiglass, be capable of attachment to the M-16 series of rifle, have a sharpening device as a component, have little to no weight increase over the M-7 bayonet, and have weight, handling, and balance characteristics required for hand-to-hand knife fighting. Some other features were considered such as a hollow handle.

Recently a product improvement program was undertaken to improve the M-9 such as eliminating the blood groove and the sharpening stone on the sheath.

If you've ever carried or even handled an M-9, you know it is very heavy, more than doubling the weight of the M-7 w/sheath. The sharpening stone embedded in the back of the sheath had a cover, but when removed, the abrassiveness of the stone wore holes in your BDU's so it was removed in the improvement. I would rather take the weight of the M-9 and split it between the old M-7 as a bayonet and furnish my own combat knife!
The current issue bayonet is made by Lancay.Most noticable difference is the absence of the blood groove.The last Military Bayonet(army) made by Buck was in '92(325,000 units). 5000 unit went to the Marines in '93 (I might be off on the dates)
The steel of the blade is 425 mod (420 hc W added Moly)

Jeff "Without data it's just another opinion" Hubbard
Welcome to the forum Jeff. I haven't seen you post a message over on the TKCL in a while.
Still fighting the bayonet battle I see.
I don't blame Buck for the poor quality anymore. I know it's due to the "high" standards the military calls for.(sneer)
BTW, FYI the one I used was issued to me in '87. It couldn't hang with 6 months of use in the deserts of Egypt.
I hear better quality is available with Buck now but unfortunately I am still a skeptic.
Care to convince me otherwise?

Norwegian Misfit

"For the word of GOD is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword...." Hebrews 4:12

Thanks for the replies, everyone. I've seen Franklin Mint knives in ads (two times) and they look pretty much like novelty pieces. If the finish is bad, then that's it...The Buck M-9 is quite expensive in here, some places sell it for over $300. I've never handled one myself, but it looks ok.

Franklin Mint junk are not knives! They are blade shaped pieces of metal with gaudy brightly colored handles attached. They are to knives what Elvis on black velvet is to fine art. As for the M9, it is an improvement over the older bayonet which was good at sticking but fairly worthless as a knife. A great bayonet makes a poor knife and vice versa. Since they are rarely used on the modern battlefield they are quickly discarded by troops who would rather carry more of something useful like ammunition or grenades. If the military insists on keeping the bayonet, they ought to look into something lighter and permanently attached to the rifle like the old SKS spike and issue the troops a decent light field knife like the old Blackjack HALO which took its design from the Randall Model 15. If my ass was on the line you better believe I would take my Randall model 14 or at the very least a Cold Steel Trailmaster.

1. Franklin Mint Knives. I put these on the pillows in the guest room.

2. Buck M-9 Field Knife. I like this knife after I re-profiled the edge to a more utilitarian angle. The US Army has a different need for a knife than most of us civilians. If I was given a select fire rifle and field support, I don't think I need a really good knife. I can shoot almost any thing apart with my rifle.

When I am out and about with my M16, I carry the M-9. The sheath is cumbersome but the included wire cutter and the sharpening stone is god sent. The bayonet option is a plus. When I am hunting with my bolt action rifle then I carry my MadDog ATAK2. When I am diving I carry my Glock17 and my Mission MPK.