OTF knives: Easiest deployment for combat?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by TTv2, Apr 22, 2021.

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  1. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    With an OTF price matters a great deal in quality. I have a large collection of OTF, auto side openers, and assisted openers as part of my larger collection of knives. I have junk OTFs, moderate ($50-$100) OTFs, and expensive OTFs. As you'd expect, the higher the price the better the quality of the basic mechanical system.

    The Desert Ironworks Sand Shark test is legendary. I've seen the same test done with a Harkins.

     
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  2. 1942bull
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    1942bull Contributing Member

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    I disagree. It takes fine motor skills are needed to release a magazine or pull a trigger, slingshot a slide, press a slide release. I had no problems doing either when clearing buildings using a M1911 in Hue City during the Tet offensive. I assure you it was really stressful. Marines train to operate under stress. Training works. It creates process/procedural memory, which in turn provides you the ability to do things under stress. There is an excellent article about fine motor skill under stress at this url. It is good reading.
    https://www.itstactical.com/warcom/firearms/do-we-really-lose-fine-motor-skills-under-shooting-stress/

    Quoted from the article:
    If you train properly — and I don’t mean hitting the range once a year, or an in-service class twice a year, or a professional firearms class every two to three years — you will develop something called procedural memory.
     
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  3. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    The benchmades button places your thumb on the side of the knife just like you hold a boot knife. Perfect in my mind. Might be worth mentioning.
     
  4. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I also note that that trainers for such knives are few and far between. I actually only came across a single one - which was not a whole knife but rather a blunt replacement blade - in about 20 minutes of searching online. For whatever reason, it does not appear that OTFs are taken very seriously by the fighting community.
     
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  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Bingo
     
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  6. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Why do you suppose that is?
     
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  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Because fixed blades are what are taken seriously by serious trainers followed by folders. The fewer the parts the fewer the parts to go wrong. The classes I've taken were all fixed or folder.
     
  8. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    The thing is most people aren't Marines clearing buildings during the Tet Offensive. Also, it raises the question of at what point does someone introduce or fall back to using a knife? Is this after they've had some issue with their firearm that disabled or from being disarmed during a struggle? Has the defender already been injured in some capacity reducing their dexterity in their fingers, hand, or arm? These are all extremely bad scenarios, but possible ones as well. Maybe I'm playing Devil's Advocate, but I think it's worth considering.

    Really, how often are people really training with drawing their folding knives from their pocket or wherever they carry the knife? I doubt it's much, if at all. Most people open and close the blade a few times to check function and get a basic feel for the knife and that's it.

    It's leading me to think that there is something to the OTF vs folding knives and also that fixed blades are the best. Of course the problem with fixed blades is the size and weight of them and also they're more difficult to conceal.
     
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  9. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    When it comes to a fixed blade I dunno where I'm going to carry it comfortably, effectively, and also concealed. I guess a boot knife around the ankle or a neck knife is an option, but anything near my waist or torso? No thank you, that's folders and OTF only territory.
     
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  10. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Just like a handgun, IWB, shoulder rig, ...
     
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  11. 1942bull
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    1942bull Contributing Member

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    You right. But how much do people with OTF knives train for stressful encounters. Back in the day we grunts trained for knife fighting. It followed the same basis for bayonet training. Slash, slash, slash, and when the adversary is bleeding bad Stab.. That is why my folder has a Tanto blade. It has two slashing surfaces and a perfect point for stabbing. The Jones’s designed that blad for exactly doing that.

    Most people have no idea how to knife fight. Those fights are CQB. That is a stressful as it gets. Fine motor skills are if minimal value in a knife fight. What matters is having the procedural memory to be disciplined. That takes training/practice. Be careful out there.
     
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  12. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    There are ways.

    I carried a Gerber Mark II Survival knife concealed quite comfortably for several years. About a 7 inch blade and nearly 13 inches long overall.
     
  13. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I bought my first, last, and probably only OTF knife in a combat zone. But I think that is where the usefulness of it ends. In a hand to hand fight there is less to go wrong with a fixed blade. Like flubbing the opening or something inside breaks.
     
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  14. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I've never considered carrying a fixed blade in a shoulder holster before, but I guess it can be done. Wouldn't care to pay the typical $100-$200 for the shoulder holster tho just to carry a knife.
     
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  15. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Few people are going to bother with doing it tho, which is why I excluded fixed blades from the discussion. It's not as convenient or practical as a folder or OTF.
     
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  16. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I'd imagine the same as those who carry a folding knife or a fixed blade, which is to say not much.

    I never based this around two people in a knife fight, you're making assumptions based on old military training. My situation was simply a person having to rely on a knife as a defensive weapon and when moments count and fumbling with opening a knife could spell doom, does the simplicity of pushing a button of an OTF have an advantage? That's it, forget about two guys slashing each other, it could be as simple as the aggressor already has someone cornered or pinned down and retreat is not an option.
     
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  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    What makes you think a shoulder rig for a knife is $100-$200? They're easily done with a piece of paracord.
     
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  18. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Of course they're not as convenient as a folder/OTF.

    That can be said about most of the firearms people choose to carry as well. But convenience is only part of the equation when it comes to carrying anything, not the totality.

    I chose to carry a full sized 1991A1, even though something like my wife's PPK/S would be more convenient, for example.

    What we choose to carry, knife or gun, week always be a balance of several factors... size, weight, convenience, effectiveness, concealability, esthetics, personal preferences/biases, body geometry, etc.

    I carry a small finding ceramic knife every day because it suits my needs. Certainly it's near the bottom of the list for an effective weapon, even if it's got an incredibly keen edge. But it has other uses and other properties that make it a decent knife for my needs. I'm not fooling myself on it's relative effectiveness as a weapon. If I feel I needed something suitable for that, I'd choose something else.
     
  19. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Member

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    First thank you for your service.

    Second, most people will not train to the point you are saying. It's unfortunate, but a reality. I don't see many of us taking knife fighting martial arts, sparring, using simulations, ect....... just either due to time or money. It's also why carrying with one in the chamber is most often recommended, fine motor movement, critical thinking, everything goes for most.

    So I respectfully disagree with you in that a majority of people will revert to their standard fight or flight, with some also at freeze.
     
  20. 1942bull
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    1942bull Contributing Member

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    I agree, and that is the smartest thing one could do when possible.
     
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  21. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    All those years ago when I first came out of our Academy and hit the street (winter of 1974), like most young guys I went through a variety of gear, weapons, etc - always trying to find what suited me. Time and experience resolved most of those questions and daily use on every shift (we rotated shifts monthly - days, afternoons, midnights) refined my usage and carry. I decided long ago that the best gear from your shoes to your weapons and tools was what you were so familiar with that you could operate it blindfolded. That was the principal reason I never carried a variety of folding knives, instead carrying the same one day in and day out. For me that resolved the "fine motor skills" question since repeated use left no doubt how to reach for, remove, and open the tool as needed.

    Under severe stress I never had to think about what tool to use - or how to bring it to bear... Keeping things simple and absolutely familiar was my mantra - and although I'm long out of police work it's still my chosen path. Hope none of those skills is ever needed again...
     
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  22. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    ok, didn't know they could be that inexpensive, but still, shoulder carrying a fixed blade isn't high on my list of preferred carry methods.
     
  23. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you ever carried a neck knife? They're about as practical and easy as it gets. If it's for dedicated get off me use, then you keep it hidden in the sheath and use your folder for your run of the mill cutting tasks.
     
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  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    An important point to reiterate, dedicating your defensive knife for that purpose keeps it sharp for that too important emergency use. Carrying an EDC for your usual tasks keeps your defensive knife in optimal ready condition.
     
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  25. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I hope we're all here to learn what we didn't know from folks that know more on the subject instead of clinging to ideas based more on opinion than real knowledge. Heck, I learn new things all the time.
     
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