For some reason I just can’t get some people to understand that gun makers don’t make the knives with their names on them. Remington knives have been around for a long, long time, and some are highly collectible, too. It’s the same with Winchester knives, and some are collectibles. I even suggested to one gun company, and I won’t reveal who it is, that they do collaboration with a knife company and have knives made with the name of the gun company on it. They did!
This isn’t all that hard to understand, but it is for some folks. It takes a special kind of tooling and people to operate those machines and to manufacture knives. Gun companies simply aren’t interested in investing the time and money to do this, so they go to a knife company and have them produce knives with the name of the gun company on the blade and/or handle. Some knives are designed in-house; some are designed by well-known knife makers. Some of these knife makers/designers may or may not get credit for their efforts.
Another area that remains a mystery to many people is that gun makers don’t make the magazines that go in their semiautomatic firearms. Yes, I know; magazines for Colt 1911 handguns are stamped “Colt” on them. So are magazines made for Ruger firearms and all the other gun makers who produce semiautomatic firearms. But trust me, the gun companies have well-established magazine companies produce their magazines to the specifications outlined by the gun company. The magazine maker stamps the name of the gun company on the magazines. Again, it is quite a process to tool-up and train people just to make magazines, so it’s easier to let a company who specializes in manufacturing magazines do it.
A couple of years ago, Columbia River Knife & Tool– CRKT started producing knives for Ruger firearms, and they also stamp CRKT on the knives as well as Ruger on the blades. Best of all is that most of these knives are designed by some pretty well-known knife makers/designers. As many readers will undoubtedly know, CRKT produces one of my knife designs– the OC3 double-edge fighting knife. It was a joint collaboration between Brian Wagner and me. I can design knives, but I can’t make them, I’m sad to say. However, Brian Wagner and I met at a knife show, and I could see his designs were on the same wave length as I was. He has produced several of my designs over the years. Believe me, it is no small task to do any sort of collaboration and get it into the hands of the public. In my case, the OC3 took four years to finally come out.
Let’s get back to the knives that CRKT is producing for Ruger. If you know anything about Ruger firearms, you will know that, at least in my humble opinion, they over-engineer most of their firearms. Their firearms are strong, very strong, and that’s a good thing. I’ve always said that Ruger produces firearms for blue collar types, like myself. I requested one particular knife sample from CRKT, which they are producing for Ruger, and I picked this design because it was the brain-child of fellow Oregonian, Bill Harsey. Harsey was hand-making the Applegate/Fairbairn double-edge fighting knife for the late Col. Rex Applegate when I was working for him. For whatever reason, my path never crossed with Harsey’s whenever he brought a run of knives to Applegate’s home. However, Harsey’s reputation is well known in the knife industry, and he produces some stout and well thought out fixed and folding knives.
The sample I requested from CKRT is the All-Cylinders +P, and it is definitely a +P design. It is a massive folder with a five inch blade. You can also get a smaller version, too. The All-Cylinders +P has a locking liner and a thumb stud for fast opening; however, on my sample, the blade tension screw was a bit too tight. A few seconds later with a Torx driver, the blade was easy and quick to open with the thumb stud. I like the black stone-washed look on the blade; it’s very tactical looking, and the black/gray G-10 handle scales is made of super tough stuff that I’d expect with any knife with Ruger’s name on it.
The bolsters on the front of the handle are black anodized aluminum, and there is one really cool feature– the revolver-style cylinders on either side of the blade where the tension screw is. Well, as I said, it looks like the cylinders of a revolver. The blade is a drop point design, but it’s not your everyday style. It has the well-known Harsey shape to it. There is a two position pocket/clothing clip on the front of the handle, and you can switch the clip from right hand/pocket carry to left hand/pocket carry.
The blade steel is stainless steel 8Cr13MoV, and it has a Rockwell of 58-59 hardness. The knife is massive, and it is 6.18 inches closed and 11.25 inches opened with the 5-inch blade. This is no light-weight folder, either. It comes in at 11.6 oz. There is also a lanyard hole in the handle, but it isn’t positioned at the very rear of the handle; it is forward of the butt about an inch. The knife is slightly more than half an inch wide, too. The blade has a raised ramp on the back of it with friction grooves for a sure thumb placement when holding the knife in the fencing position. The liner-lock is very thick, with no worries about it slipping or breaking under some harsh conditions, either.
I have but one concern, and that is the narrow and thin clothing/pocket clip. Compared to the rest of the knife, it seems to be a little flimsy. However, I’m not about to second guess Bill Harsey’s design. I carried the knife if my right front pocket. The clip did catch on some items, but the clip didn’t bend or break, and I’ve had this happen with lesser folders, where the clip completely snapped off. Still, I would have liked a much more robust pocket/clothing clip, in keeping with the overall massive appearance of the knife.
Hands down, this may be the sharpest knife I’ve ever tested right out of the box, from CRKT. It was hair popping sharp, and it held the edge during my testing, which consisted of kitchen use, cutting open cardboard boxes, and easily slicing through blackberry vines. All things aside, this is one super-stout folding knife and one that will serve your daily carry needs, as well as hunting and survival needs. Many of our readers have asked me to test some “bigger” folding knives, and here is one that won’t let you down; it’s a brute. Saving the best for last, the full retail price is only $99.99. Yep, you read that right. It’s under a hundred bucks, and you can shop around and find it even less expensive on the ‘net. And, for those who are interested, this knife is made in China, but you get as good as you want from China. I suspect if this knife were made in the USA, it would be double or more in price.
I’d love to see Ruger sell some of their handguns or rifles and include this knife, or for that matter any of their knives that CRKT is producing for them, as a package deal. I’m sure a lot of gun buyers would jump on a package deal– a gun and a knife all at the same time. Check out www.shopruger.com for full details and ordering information on this and the entire line-up of CRKT/Ruger knives. The line-up is growing.
– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio