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Field Test of M1911 Folding Knife (Gen I) with 440C Blade

Jeff Hogan

December 8th, 2009


I was given the opportunity to sample and test an M1911 knife from Ultimate Equipment. A little history about myself so you know what kind of testing and what application I would be using this knife.

I have been a LEO for over 15 years. SWAT team leader for 10 of those years. I am a partner in a large training company and own a small 1911 manufacturing company where we manufacture our own line of 1911's and customize customer guns, with a retail store for gear and guns. I've spent several years training foriegn counter terrorism units since 9/11. I've also tested gear and tools from big companies. I would be beating this knife to death needless to say.

When I initially saw this knife, I thought it was a cool novelty item. Then I looked at it further and studied the photos and realized that along with being a cool looking knife, it may actually be a GOOD knife. I received the knife a few days after Terry and I talked about testing it to add with our guns as a package and carry in the retail side. I received the blackwood/black oxide 440C knife.

First impression was that the knife is well packaged and you could see the pride that Terry has in his company. Big plus in my book. There is nothing I hate more than a company hyping up their product , then spending less on presentation than it costs for a stamp.

I ran into the same problem a few others had with the locking mechanism being stiff. I worked the action on the lock probably 50-60 times and it loosened right up to where I could disengage the lock and fold the blade with one hand.

So far a pass. After talking with Terry, he stated that the above issue was normal with the first few due to the mainspring being stiff. No worries here.

I know that a knife is not a pry tool, but in our line of business, sometimes you have to break the rules. A few years ago, I broke a Benchmade CQC7 when I responded to a fire call. I won't get into the whole story but it involved me having to pry open the front door so as to not feed the fire too much oxygen. I sent Benchmade a copy of the report and they would not warranty the blade. fair enough.

I went to the shoot house for some firearms training and figured this was as good a time as any and pried open a door inside the house. Guess blade snappage. SWEET!!! That right there gave me a huge feeling of confidence in the knife. I checked the operation of the knife and it worked just as good as before. No bent blade, no contorted handle. (I know Terry's cringing right now that I treated his knife that way)

Next I went over to the wrecked cars we use for training. I wanted to see how well it cut through seat belts. All I can say, is like butter. Pass.

I then went over to one of the cars that had the windows intact. I held a firm grip with the knife and punched the glass out with the sharpe corner on the handle. I honestly don't know if Terry designed it for this but I thought what the hell. It worked well and only scuffed the handle a little.

At this point, I felt that I had abused the knife that Terry so graciously provided me enough. Now was time to use it the way intended. I commenced to using it to cut the excess paper around the edges of freshly pasted targets. I started with paper and worked my way up to bigger items to see how long it held an edge. I cut 550 cord, then several strands bundled together of the same material. I cut through yellow nylon rope. I then tried my hand at wood carving. An artist I am not but it did what I wanted it to do.

I then went back over to the car and cut through the seat belt. It was a little tougher this time but considering what I had put it through, it did well.

I took it back to the shop at the end of the day and put an edge back on it with a run of the mill Spyderco sharpener. I figured, a kit like this would be what most guys would use anyway. I cut some more 550 cord to test the edge and it sliced through like butter.

So, at this point, I wouldn't really call it a novelty knife. In my eyes, it is a beautiful working tool. And yes, I think tools can be beautiful.

I pretty much can't say anything bad about this knife. The clip was my only issue but it was fixed right away with a change in placement. It took a beating from a guy who can break an anvil with a gym sock.I think it is a great looking piece of kit and I consider it a good partner for a well made 1911. Terry is great to work with and I know he will go far with this design. I'm looking forward to more knife designs from Ultimate Equipment.They have gained a customer in me and I am not easily impressed.

I hope this is helpful to anyone sitting on the edge wondering if they should buy one or not. To me, money well spent.

Jeff Hogan


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