amtac blades northman

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Amtac Blades

Old friend Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills ammo and I had a good visit at the last SHOT Show. While we chatted, Jeff said, “Oh, let me show you this cool knife.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out what I thought was going to be some sort of folder. Suddenly, he was holding a nifty, pointy fixed blade. How’s that again? He showed it to me and I found it to be a stout, 3.5"-bladed “thruster” and cutter with a grippy handle. Jeff pulled the sheath out and I saw it had a clever clip allowing it to be carried very low in the pocket. It looks like a typical folder clip when in the pocket. Jeff told me of his friend Bill Rapier who developed it and hooked me up.

Bill retired from the Navy after 20 years. He was on SEAL Team 3 and spent 14 years at Naval Special Warfare Development Group holding many positions. He’s an avid shooter and is heavily involved in combatives. He also runs his own shooting school and has a fiercely supportive client base.

Due to Bill’s experience he wanted to develop a fixed bladed knife for front-pocket carry, replacing the folder he carried. He started the process with his friend, the “Northman” and soon brought in others to add ideas. Many versions later, the final design resulted in the “Northman” design concept. I’m extremely impressed with this tool. It’s impeccably built of the highest quality materials and shows attention to detail and craftsmanship at the very top of the class. The design elements are spot-on too, and particularly clever.

The fixed blade design is fail-safe, and the deep pocket position allows a uniformed cop to carry a fixed blade. When I was a cop I could never figure out a way to manage it — and Bill and his team did. Even the sheath has several exceptionally clever design elements, including a built-in ferro rod you can use for fire-starting. The sheath front has a double fold of Velcro you can use to hide a cuff key, money, ID, tinder, etc. There’s a matching “Trainer” included with each knife, encouraging you to seek training — and practice.

Each knife is serial numbered and can be had in several styles, including serrated, non-serrated — or “sterile” — without markings. This is an excellent EDC knife for any cutting job and is obviously geared toward self-defense — with the right training — which Bill’s school (amtacshooting.com) can supply. The $450 price for the entire “kit” is amazingly reasonable for this sort of quality and well-thought-out design. My hat’s off to Bill and his sterling team! For more info: http://www.amtacblades.com /

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