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Making the Best Counterterrorism Knives:
"Ari B'Lilah" counterterrorism, combat knife, obverse side view in ATS-34 high molybdenum stainless steel blade, 304 stainless steel bolsters, G10 fiberglass/epoxy composite handle, hybrid tension-locking sheath in kydex, anodized aluminum, stainless steel, HULA, UBLX in polypropylene, polyester
"Ari B'Lilah"

Random Access Two

"Random Access Two" obverse side view in CPM154CM high molybdenum powder metal technology stainless steel blade, hand-stamped vertical and horizontal sheaths in leather shoulder
"Random Access Two" Working/Counterterrorism Knife
  • Size: Length overall: 8.0" (20.3 cm), Blade Length (to choil): 3.25" (8.3 cm), Thickness: .200" (5.1 mm)
  • Weight: Knife: 4.8 oz. (136 grams) Sheath-Vertical: 4.5 oz. (128 grams), Sheath-Horizontal: 4.3 oz. (122 grams)
  • Blade: CPM154CM High Molybdenum Powder Metal Technology Martensitic Stainless Tool Steel, Cryogenically Treated, Hardened and Tempered to 61HRC
  • Sheaths: Hand-stamped leather shoulder in brown basketweave
  • Knife: Asked to make skeletonized, lightweight working knives that can be used to work the nightshift in double duty as counterterrorism defense, I've upgraded and reinvented an older pattern of mine. The Random Access (version 1) is a great older model of mine, made for and used by craftsmen, carpenters, roofers, and all types of guys who demanded a very lightweight, simple, tough and durable blade made to the best reasonable quality for heavy work. This is Version Two, a larger, more robust version of the original. The blade is longer, the handle is fuller, the blade is thicker, but the basic sweeping geometry is the same. This knife was noticed for its counterterrorism potential, that is, a working knife that would be unobtrusive in style and carry, yet with the necessary strength, durability, and geometry for basic defense. Though it looks outwardly like a working knife, even perhaps a skinning and fleshing knife, it's much more than that. I started with a special steel, CPM154CM, a powder metal technology stainless tool steel blade. This steel has high carbon, high chromium, and high molybdenum; it's essentially a high chrome-moly tool steel on steroids. It's very tough while being hard and wear resistant, so tough that I can temper it to 61 Rockwell on the C scale and still be confident that it will not be brittle. I've given it the maximum treatment: deep cryogenic processing with many hours of cryogenic aging at -325°F, followed by three tempering cycles with deep cryogenic holds in between for the maximum benefit of thermal cycling and stability. This is the best this steel can be, though you wouldn't notice it from the working-class flat media blasted finish. The finish is non-glare, all business, and muted. The hollow grinds are extremely deep and the edge is very thin and sharp, yet durable, and the squarish-shaped dropped/clipped swage point is very tough. I've included a short yet effective swage at the first inch of the blade to reduce cross-section at the point, and the knife is a serious penetrator without appearing so. The design of the finger rings is a standout with this pattern, and it offers extreme security of the knife and complete control. The knife can be easily held without threading fingers through either ring, or just the forefinger through the front ring, or the small finger or ring finger can be threaded through the back ring. This forms the hand into a solid, reinforced fist, and aids in defensive posture, or aids in adding rigidity and pressure to the blade for working chores. The upward sweep of the blade spine is best controlled with the thumb resting on the spine, and tremendous pressure can be applied to this slicer. The deep choil gives a definite point for the sharpening, while adding an unnoticeable sharpened hook. The knife is comfortable in reverse grip as well. All areas of hand-contact of this skeletonized knife are rounded and contoured and smoothed for comfort, so no abrasive corners are available in a forward or reverse grip. What this knife offers is steel technology, strength and durability, low maintenance finish, and extremely light weight and maneuverability.
  • Sheaths: The knife needed two sheaths, one horizontal wear, one for vertical wear. The leather is 9-10 oz. leather shoulder, a very thick and tough leather that I treated and hardened. I applied standard basketweave hand-stamping and dyed the sheaths a working-class medium brown (vs. the more noticeable Law Enforcement black), and hand-stitched the sheaths with polyester sinew. The vertical sheath uses standard tension for security, the rear handle ring is easily and quickly accessible. The horizontal sheath uses my original and unique ring retaining stud of thick leather, which holds the knife in the sheath until the sheath is forced to bend away from the ring, allowing easy withdrawal. The knife stays put, even in horizontal position at the middle of the back, under a shirt, jacket, or coat, or in a horizontal position in the front just to the right or left of the belt buckle. The belt loops for both the horizontal and vertical sheaths are designed to tightly grip the standard tactical 1.25" web belts, such as the Wilderness, La Rue, or other tactical web belt of double thickness. These sheaths will be tight and secure on these belts, standard for the industry. The particular sheaths I included for this model are: vertical: left side wear with cutting edge facing back, and horizontal: left side wear with cutting edge facing down, either in left front or left side middle of the back. For traditional wear, this is a left-handed rig. If the blade is worn edge up, or is expected to be used in reverse grip style, this rig accommodates right side wear.
  • A knife that is all work, but can double as a counterterrorism defense when necessary without a lot of flash and gimmick. A real performer, a super-tough stainless steel workhorse, and a bit of security at the side.

Thanks, S. H.!


Please click on thumbnail knife photos
"Random Access Two" obverse side view in CPM154CM high molybdenum powder metal technology stainless steel blade, hand-stamped brown basketweave leather vertical sheath "Random Access Two" reverse side view. Vertical sheath tooled back side, even in belt loop. Belt loop designed for tactical web belts. "Random Access Two," obverse side view with horizontal wear sheath, front side. Rear ring of knife handle engages leather stud that retains the knife in the sheath even in activity, until needed. "Random Access Two," reverse side with back of horizontal sheath. Belt loops designed to tightly engage standard 1.25" tactical web belt with little to no play or movement of the sheath "Random Access Two," spine detail. Thin knife is very strong, all hand contact areas are rounded, contoured and smoothed for non-abrasion grip and security. "Random Access Two" sheathed view, vertical sheath. This is a sheath for the left side wear, edge back, deep and protective, sealed for longevity, hand-stitched with polyester sinew "Random Access Two" sheathed view, horizontal sheath. Knife is retained in sheath with leather stud, which has to be depressed in order for knife to be removed. Secure wear for middle of back or front side left. "Random Access Two" point detail. This is a very thin, yet extremely durable point, and a small top swage to reduce point penetration profile.

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