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The Wait Is Over. From this thread, orders for the 2023 BladeForums Traditional Knife are open & here's your handy order button. OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS $200 ea, one per household, must have been a member prior to 3/2023
You can pretty much still buy the 970 in its revised version through Emerson Production Knives. As far as the lock strength comparison, as long as the titanium thickness is still the same (around (.060 of an inch or something like that), my bet would be that the Emerson would be stonger in that it might take the liner more pressure to collapse against a bead-blasted tang surface. That's my guesstimate, but I do think I like the asthetic styling and overall feel of the Elishewitz Stryker better. To me it feels more secure in the hand, and there's less of the lock exposed to the hand when open than the Emerson. I really like my Emersons too though (I don't want to hurt their feelings since their in the drawer beside me).
I haven't got a BM CQC-7 handy (though I have one in the "parts" bin of my shop), but I think you'll find that the locking face is not bead-blasted, but is roughly-ground just like any other BM. I think the two knives should be virtually indistinguishable in terms of lock strength, though Professor has a point that accidentally unlocking has plagued the Emerson design for some hand sizes.
In every respect besides lock (which is a toss-up) I'd go with the Stryker. The ergonomics are fantastic, the blade isn't chisel-ground, and it has a finer point and slightly slimmer profile on the primary edge. The only thing I see going for the Emerson is that it supports a hammer-grip much better.