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Old 09-24-2015, 08:34 PM   #1
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Quillion/Bolster/Guard Survival knife.

Posted this on another Rocks Rolling Forum and got the least educated answers I ever meet.

What (Survival Type) Knives do the members here use or recommend that have a Quillion/Bolster/Guard that will keep Hands off the blade while stabbing?

Not worried about Bushcraft, want to keep the novices hands off the blade if it's required to stab/strike.

Thank You for your sage wisdom in advance.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:15 PM   #2
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M118LR,

I guess that I'm too much of a cheapskate to buy a "special fighting knife". - Otoh, my "homebrew model" served me well for nearly 2 decades of Army service AND I didn't spend over 100 bucks on it.
(The air-hardening steel holds a shaving sharp edge well.)

It's a US .30 caliber carbine bayonet bare blade that I bought at the Baltimore Gun-show long ago for 5.00 & I handled it with a piece of bois d' arc, that I cut from a piece of nearly century-old fence post.
The guard started out a piece of <3/16 inch oval of plain brass, that I epoxied to the blade, filed down & polished with emery cloth.
(Altogether, I have maybe 10 bucks in the knife plus about 5.00 worth of leather scrap for making the sheath, from a saddle-maker's shop.)

yours, sw
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:54 AM   #3
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While most like the K-bar fighting knife I carried a Camillus. I used it as a work knife. I kept it sharp enough to shave but it was heavy enough to chop brush, etc. And as always, I had either a Camillus or Case stockman in my pocket for small stuff.

As a stabbing knife as always liked the looks of the Sykes-Fairbairn but it was always more than I cared to spend for a one purpose knife.

I'd bet there's no way to get that knife away from stand watie.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:17 AM   #4
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csmkersh,

IF my nephew, Kyle Thomas, accepts the direct commission as a 1LT, USAR, that he's recently been offered, I'll give him the knife/sheath if he wants it.
(I could always make myself another one; there's a LOT of nice blades out there.)

I agree 100% about the ridiculous cost of the REAL Sykes-Fairbairn daggers & most of the other "dedicated fighting knives".
(BEWARE of counterfeit WWII English commando daggers, as I'd bet that at least HALF of the "originals" that are offered for sale on places like ebay.com are copies.)

There is a factory near Pondicherry, India that is making EXACT copies of both the standard & the much rarer "baby" Sykes-Fairbairn. - I heard that they are also making quality copies of the V-42 "Devil's Brigade knife" & Applegate-Fairbairn dagger, too.

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 09-25-2015 at 07:31 AM. Reason: add
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:18 AM   #5
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This knife is hard to beat.
Amazon.com: Boker USA Applegate Fairbairn Knife w/ Sheath 120543AF: Sports & Outdoors
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:15 AM   #6
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Thank You Gentleman, your answers where definitely more on topic. The actual goal is to find a knife that Little Novice hands of the Tiny Troopers will have the hardest time slipping past the bolster and ending up on the blade. I've had them using the little igniter Blades that come with Ferro/Magnesium Strikers on cotton balls to start the BBQ Grill. But the time has come to increase the Training Level. Fish & Game Cleaning. Thanks for your assistance.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:06 AM   #7
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Col Applegate told me one of the problems with the Sykes-Fairbairn daggers was the round handle which tended to slip when it got wet with blood or other liquids. Here is a pic of Col. Rex and me at a gun show many moons ago. I miss him.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:28 AM   #8
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The Fairbairn-Sykes is excellent and still in use with the UK military. The Applegate Fairbairn is perhaps a better all around for stabbing slashing, but the blade is shorter. The handle on the FS was made more for balance (IMO) than sure grip; should have been wrapped in leather.

ETA, as a "survival" knife, I don't care for either.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:49 AM   #9
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Kevin Gibson,

EXACTLY SO. = That's why the V-42 FSSF blade has a handle made of leather washers & the "thumbprint", just above the guard.

yours, sw
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:49 PM   #10
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I like my issue knife- Camillus- the 'navy knife" mk 3 model 0- you notice how no one has mentioned the bushmaster yet?- that's b/c the hollow handle can break under certain conditions- now you can't/ shouldn't mention stabbing and survival in the same sentence- if you get a dual purpose anything, it's a COMPROMISE that does neither job well- define clearly what the job is , then acquire your knife accordingly- before I joined, I had a woolco 5 inch with a saw on the reverse edge- now that was one handy knife, but I wouldn't stab anyone with it- and if you knew how many sykes fairburns daggers I've seen with broken tips( presumably b/c they hit bone on insertion), you would give that a pass as well
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-star View Post
I like my issue knife- Camillus- the 'navy knife" mk 3 model 0- you notice how no one has mentioned the bushmaster yet?- that's b/c the hollow handle can break under certain conditions- now you can't/ shouldn't mention stabbing and survival in the same sentence- if you get a dual purpose anything, it's a COMPROMISE that does neither job well- define clearly what the job is , then acquire your knife accordingly- before I joined, I had a woolco 5 inch with a saw on the reverse edge- now that was one handy knife, but I wouldn't stab anyone with it- and if you knew how many sykes fairburns daggers I've seen with broken tips( presumably b/c they hit bone on insertion), you would give that a pass as well
I always found the K-Bar to be about the best compromise knife I've ever seen. It's excellent for slashing, competent for stabbing, and tough enough for survival, but a bit too long as a survival knife.

I personally don't have much use for a combat knife, I just like a good competent field knife. If I need a knife for fighting I better be tripping over piles of brass, already beat someone to death and destroyed my gun in the process, and for some reason found my Nikes just aren't up to a session of "Nike-Kwon-Do (translated, beat-feet the hell out of there).
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:38 PM   #12
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of course the other side of the argument is how well you're trained- a good knife fighting class would be of great benefit rather than just "some guy with a knife" - there's a lot of science in learning how to thrust, parry, etc and which parts of the body to hit where it'll do the most harm-the instructor I had didn't have much use for the stabbers- he was a slasher type as you use the blade rather than the point and most vitals are within 3-5 inches of the skin surface anyway- therefore your deep thrust is wasted energy- far better to leave a 1 inch deep gash 3-4 inches long than a deep pinprick
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:53 PM   #13
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To All,

I once served with a MSG of the Army's 75th Rangers, who always carried a WWI-era US Medical Corps "short bolo", in the bush & that was once issued for "cutting field expedient splints" for broken limbs by medics. = He used it "to good effect" numerous times.
I also used to see another experienced senior NCO, who was never without his "Woodsman's Pal" in the bush.
(I guess that a fighting/survival knife is what seems most USEFUL to an experienced/knowledgeable user.)

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 09-25-2015 at 01:55 PM. Reason: add
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:22 PM   #14
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nothing more deadly than a Chinese with a CLEAVER
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:27 PM   #15
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An excellent option for the price is the newer smaller size of the old Ka-Bar Marine knife.
Instead of the original 7 inch blade, these are the same knife only with a 5 inch blade.
For the price these are just impossible to beat.

The Fairbairn-Sykes knife was specifically designed for stabbing German sentries in Europe.
As such it was not a fighting knife and had some major deficiencies for a fighting knife.
It was essentially an assassination implement.

Since the First Special Services unit was heavily influenced by the British Commandos, the Case V-42 knife was much like it.. a pure stabbing implement with a blade even thinner then the F-S knife.
Like the F-S knife it had a far too narrow and weak blade that often got broken off and couldn't be used to slash.
It was better then the F-S knife because it had a thicker oval shaped handle but it would still tend to turn in the hand.
The "skull cracker" pointed pommel was ridiculous from the start. Far more Force men where hurt by their own knife when the needle sharp pommel stuck them.

Both the F-S and V-42 blades were pure stabbers that were more like an ice pick that would easily pierce, but caused little internal damage.
Since it was designed to stab into major arteries, as long as the target was hit it worked well. Miss and things didn't work out so well.
Both were very fragile, easily breaking off at the tip, (which is why many WWII knives are shortened) or worse, snapping off at the guard.

The F-S and V-42 blades could not take or hold a very sharp edge, so they couldn't be used to slash, which is necessary in a fighter.
Because of this, and the stabbing design the F-S and V-42 knifes were a one trick pony.

The cross guard on the F-S was barely adequate to keep the hand from slipping forward and offered little hold to pull the blade back out.
It offered no rest position for the thumb.

The worst feature was the handle shape which was a very thin, perfectly round "coke bottle" shape.
The round shape gave no tactile feel for where the edges were when the knife was quickly grasped. The user had to feel the guard to position the blade edges to the proper orientation.

The thin handle offered a very poor grip, made much worse when the original deeply checkered brass handle was changed to the later pot metal ringed design.
Due to the round shape, the knife easily turns in the hand.

Due to the thin handle shape it offered a poor grip to pull a stuck blade out, and if the hand was bloody a stuck knife could be very difficult to remove, which often led to broken tips or blades snapped off at the hilt.

Due to the specialized design the knife made a poor combat knife, which needs to be both a weapon and a tool to do all the other functions a soldier needed to do.
It was using the F-S knife as a combat knife/tool to open boxes etc. that often lead to broken blades.

Due to these deficiencies Rex Applegate designed a new knife to correct the deficiencies of the F-S knife.
Had the war gone on into 1946, British Commandos, American Rangers, and OSS agents would have been issued the new standard Applegate knife but the war ended and the Applegate knife was dropped.

When Applegate set out to develop a new knife, Bruce Fairbairn had only limited input before leaving to train personnel elsewhere but he's still given credit for the design.
Among the research Applegate did was to do extensive interviews with a Scandinavian resistance fighter who was famous for killing something like 100 Germans with a knife.
His thoughts on what a knife had to be led to much of the Applegate design features like a 6 inch blade that was long enough to reach all internal organs, but no so long as to be unwieldy and slow in use.

The Apple gate knife has a blade that's both thicker and wider than the F-S or V-42 and maintains the thickness almost all the way to the point.
This stronger blade is far less likely to break at the tip or especially at the hilt.

Unlike the F-S and V-44 punching blades, the Applegate blade is a cutter designed to cut into internal organs and cause massive internal bleeding.
Due to the blade shape it takes and holds a razor edge that is an excellent slashing blade so it works well as a fighting knife,
Due to the strength and sharpness of the blade, it also makes an excellent general combat knife.

The cross guard on the Applegate is near perfect in both size and shape.
It's large enough to prevent the hand from slipping forward, allows a good grip when pulling the blade back out, and gives a perfect thumb rest against the back.

The Applegate handle is as good a design as ever done for a knife of this type.
It has a "coke bottle" shape, but it's much wider and thicker and has a perfect oval shape that prevents the knife from turning in the hand.
The deep grooves on the front and back and notches on the sides offer an excellent grip under all conditions, even when bloody.

The handles are bolted on and can be removed for cleaning.
Inside, the handles have recesses in which steel or lead weights are positioned.
These can be moved to change the balance to suit the user.

Unlike most of todays fighting knives the Applegate is deceptively simple looking and doesn't have the often exaggerated design of many knives.

I used to collect American military knives, (along with any knife that caught my eye) and I always wanted an Applegate, but just never got around to it.
Earlier this year I was looking through Amazon and came on a very interesting new Boker Applegate model.
When Applegate came home from the war a number of people wanted an Applegate knife, so he ordered batches of his knives from various custom knife makers.
He was never really satisfied with the quality until he found William Harsey who made a number of Applegate knives, including his own improved version.

This Boker German made knife is made to Bill Harsey's improved design.
It features an even wider blade that's 5 1/2 inches long instead of the standard Applegate 6 inches. Harsey thought the shorter blade was "handier" and the slight extra width improved the edge quality.

The cross guard is stainless instead of the standard brass, and the handle is CNC machined green canvas Micarta.
It has a stainless bolt and lanyard hole liner, and unlike standard Applegate's, the handle is a full tang, with an exposed glass breaker/skull crusher.
Unlike the standard Applegate knives this version does not have removable handles and there are no internal weights.

The scabbard is a Spec Ops that's somewhat overly complicated. It's set up so that it can be carried in just about any way you could imagine but there's so many ways it all gets difficult to work with.
It includes a hard plastic liner to prevent the blade from cutting it's way out.
The scabbard was supposed to be a Boker exclusive Foliage Green, but they were temporarily out of those so it was shipped with a black scabbard.

William Harsey improved blade.
One side has etched Rex Applegate and William Fairbairn. The other side is etched William Harsey, Maker, Caswell, Oregon.
There's a serial number on the cross guard.


Green canvas Micarta full tang handle.


Spec Ops scabbard. Really complicated but can be carried an conceivable way.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:36 PM   #16
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Amen, dFarris, I believe if you take a closer look that is Creswell Oregon. I couldn't afford one when Bill Harsey was making them, I had to wait for the Boker. It is a fine knife.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M118LR View Post
Thank You Gentleman, your answers where definitely more on topic. The actual goal is to find a knife that Little Novice hands of the Tiny Troopers will have the hardest time slipping past the bolster and ending up on the blade. I've had them using the little igniter Blades that come with Ferro/Magnesium Strikers on cotton balls to start the BBQ Grill. But the time has come to increase the Training Level. Fish & Game Cleaning. Thanks for your assistance.
I am puzzled, you asked for information about a stabbing, fighting knife, and now you are speaking of tiny troopers cleaning game with said knife. Please explain.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:51 PM   #18
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I wondered about that too. Why do Tiny Troopers need to know about killing with a knife.

Last edited by csmkersh; 09-26-2015 at 05:20 AM. Reason: changed what to why
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:26 AM   #19
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Many moons agone when I was in the US Army I carried a Gerber Mk I boot knife.
Gerber Mark 1 - Georgia Outdoor News Forum

I have a pair, one bought at discount at the PX the other I paid full price at the PX. I can't recall the price.

Worked for eight years in the field, along with a Swiss Army Knife.

Geoff
Who notes this was pre-multi-tool age stuff.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:39 AM   #20
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was that at the px, or in the alley behind?
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