Wednesday, July 27, 2016

CRKT Burnley OBAKE Knife Review

CRKT Burnley OBAKE Knife Review

From my perspective carrying a knife is a requirement to get through everyday life.  With all the opening of boxes, mail, and urban daily survival tasks, it is a tool which I feel naked without however they can be a thing of beauty as well.  One of my favorite designs are those which echo classic Japanese designs.

CRKTs new OBAKE, designed by Lucas Burnley, is not only a gorgeous representation of a traditional Japanese design, but each one is totally unique thanks to the etched grey titanium nitride finish. Your OBAKE's blade pattern be uniquely different from anyone else.

CRKT - Columbia River Knife and Tool was founded in 1994 by Rod Bremer in Oregon. By working in unison with the top knife designers around the world, CRKT delivers a broad line of innovative custom knife designs in affordable production knives and tools.  The result is that the hottest custom designs are available to the consumer for daily use at affordable prices.

CRKT has several various types of knives which vary from a working quality which negate the pretty surface finishes and handle materials and then there are their top end premium offerings such as the OBAKE which show off CRKT's custom capabilities. The OBAKE is one of CRKT's most gorgeous designs and is stunning to look at and handle as just a desk knife, however you would be short changing the capabilities as an everyday defensive knife.

The Samurai sword blade and grind is designed to be an excellent piercing and slicing blade for defensive use. Additionally many metropolitan jurisdictions have restrictions on fixed blade knives with blades exceeding 4" so this is a great option if your local allows the carry of a fixed blade knife.  

The handle is made from a faux ray skin and paracord wrap and Lucas added a paracord lanyard on the sheath with a pewter skull bead.  Its a little thing, but can add some utility and a whole lot of style.

The OBAKE includes a belt loop which can be attached to the glass filled nylon sheath, however my preference was to carry the OBAKE concealed under the shirt as a neck knife with a breakaway chain.  

The Paracord and skull loop on the end of the knife can also be used as a carry system as well by using to loop to form a half hitch around your belt and then tuck the knife into your waistline.  
With the lanyard at the bottom tip of the sheath, this allows a “tuckable” sheath attachment for concealment and still provides for a smooth and safe draw. Typically inside the waistband sheath knives pose a risk of exposing the blade edge to the user as the knife is drawn. As the OBAKE is drown the sheath clears the pants and then provides for a natural draw stroke.

The CRKT OBAKE certainly could take the abuse with a ti nitride finish but would not may not be my choice to put the beatdown on for everyday heavy use, it is simply too pretty.

Open Overall Length 7.63 inches
Weight 2.4 ounces
Length 3.64 inches
Thickness 0.67 inches
Material 8Cr14MoV
Blade-HRC 56-58
Finish TiNitride Grey w/Etch Pattern
Grind Hollow
Style Clip Point
Edge Plain
Handle Material Black Paracord Wrap
Liner Black Faux Ray Skin
Carry System Glass Filled Nylon Sheath
MSRP $59.99


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Friday, July 22, 2016

Asymmetric Lynx 308 Suppressor Review

Asymmetric Lynx 308 Suppressor Review

As of late 2015, I began the process of purchasing a number of suppressors for review and for personal use in hunting, plinking, target shooting and general training. Among those suppressors I now legally own through the purchase, ATF Application, $200 tax stamp, six month preprocessing wait, and entry into my Trust, is the Asymmetric Lynx 308 Suppressor.

This is not my first experience with a suppressor. I have shot a large number of suppressors in the market thanks to being a writer in the industry, however this is not a typical suppressor.

Historically suppressors are basically modified mufflers. Technical advancements in materials, computer aided fluid modeling and design has dramatically improved suppressor capabilities over the years. There are now suppressors designed and optimized around specific intents, general purpose, semi-auto firearms, accuracy optimization, overall sound level suppression, tonal tuning of the report, weight, lower backpressure, durability...etc. Generally you have a suppressor that can only be optimized for a couple of these goals, however Asymmetrics’ suppressors seem to hit all the goals except weight.  In a sea of titanium suppressors, the Asymmetric suppressors are not light. My other YHM Phantom Titanium suppressor is nearly a half pound lighter even though it is longer and has a much larger diameter than my LYNX.

A hot design concept has been caliber conversion. The convertible suppressor concept may seem new, however it has been around for a while now. Most people are aware at this point that a .308 bore suppressor delivers pretty much the same attenuation within a couple dB of a dedicated 5.56 bore suppressor when used on a AR15 firing .223/5.56 rounds. At this early point, I did not see that justifying a second suppressor made sense right away to support .308 calibers and another to support .223, so I chose the durable .308 9” Lynx series suppressor from Asymmetric Products for this versatility and performance of a .308 suppressor even on an 5.56 AR15.

An unusual feature is that the unique Asymmetric sealed construction and patented design on their suppressor even allows owners to use it with very dirty .22LR rounds. This is a very unusual statement for a sealed can suppressor manufacturer because typically .22LR cans need to be disassembled and cleaned frequently. Asymmetric says cleaning out the .22LR gunk is as easy as attaching the suppressor to your large bore gun and firing about 3-6 rounds - their design self cleans. It sounds like BS, however the company has abuse tested suppressors through the above process and noted that they are not gaining any weight (retaining deposits) after thousands and thousands of rounds cycling back and forth from .22LR to .223 rounds. This capability makes for a suppressor that can handle the hundreds of calibers which range from .22LR to .308 rounds and only requires one suppressor to be purchased. They also abuse tested several test suppressors with over 300,000 rounds and they do not weigh a gram more than they did when first made - this is impressive.

Why I choose a Asymmetric suppressor was due to their extremely unique patented design construction. This is a heavy science and physics based design and I love science.

Their suppressor is the only design which includes a vacuum chamber at the muzzle attachment point. This feature prevents the intense heat of the suppressor from being transferred to the barrel which effects shot-to-shot accuracy.

Asymmetrics’ LYNX and other suppressors all feature their factory tuned ICE - Interstitial Cellular Entrapment baffles. There are no conical baffles but are instead cells. If you imagine a dense narrow labyrinth you get the idea of the ICE baffles. The result of this patented design is approximately five times the internal surface area compared to even the most advanced baffles currently used in the market. More surface area equals better heat dissipation, and attenuation and flash suppression in a smaller overall suppressor. The Asymmetric LYNX is smaller and is quieter than my YHM Phantom and the YHM can has a heck of a reputation as a top and suppressor.

The ICE Inconel steel baffles are press fit into the body and then fused together with a proprietary fusion technique to create a highly durable monolithic suppressor without welds or any mechanically attached components. Metal fusing is welding without any filler or filament material. Two pieces of metal are compressed together and then heated to melt together to become fused as one piece of metal. No other manufacturer makes suppressors this way.

The fusion process makes the Inconel baffles and internal body become stick free, the patented design is self-cleaning when high pressure rounds are shot through the suppressor. The .22LR compatibility is a handy byproduct of the construction, however the big benefits are the monolith based structural strength which is achieved and that while being heated the entire suppressor equally heats and expands. This means components are not moving around due to filament welded or screw attached parts that expand and contract at different rates which can affect accuracy. The Asymmetric suppressor and fused ICE baffle will heat and expand at a controlled rate as a unit to maintain accuracy.

Their design also greatly reduces typically high back pressure and eliminates first round pop. Due to the design I also found that first and second round accuracy remained the same at 100-yard ranges.
A simple stainless screw in
thread adapter was used for adapting
the 5/8x24 .308 caliber threading to
1/2x28 TPI for use on .223 AR15 barrels.

My particular interest was for a good all around suppressor for use on any bolt or semi-auto rifle or AR pistol at a reasonable rate of fire. Of note, pretty much any .308 suppressor will work on both a bolt action and semi-auto firearm however not all work well. The most common complaints are that some suppressors do not mitigate enough recoil for the needs of some bolt action shooters, generate a notable point of impact change from first to second round, and some suppressors deliver far too much backpressure for semi-auto firearms thus requiring adjustable gas systems. From my discussions with the company and testing, I think Asymmetric’s design has addressed many of this typical issues plus a few we never thought of.

I do not have a lab or fancy testing equipment, however it sounds better, shot-to-shot accuracy has been consistent, has no first round pop, works with .22LR ammo as advertised, and does not deliver crazy forehead blackening backpressure I have witnessed from some suppressors when used on an AR semi-auto format rifle. In short I really like what I see in the LYNX and freaking love the versatility.

The Asymmetric LYNX delivers both the semi-auto and bolt action shooter a rugged and durable sealed multi-purpose suppressor which can handle pretty much any application and centerfire caliber from up to .308 Remington. Of note the LYNX is not designed for high rate or full auto. The suppressor can certainly handle multiple round burst here and there or some spirited training with your AR15 pistol or SBR however however it is not “full auto” rated. Asymmetric does have the 100% inconel steel 1712 models which are full auto rated if you want a full auto rated suppressor.

Asymmetric offers a number of models. Essentially the LYNX is their basic 6-inch or 8-inch models which can pretty much handle anything you throw at them on any rifle configuration. They are a little less expensive due to the 316SS body versus the all Inconel models. I have the 8-inch LYNX model and it does everything I want it to. The 1712 and HAVOC models are LEO and Military full auto rated versions featuring the same design and construction, but in a wider range of sizes and configurations including a new upcoming quick-detach option. The ION series is designed for the larger bore (.338 Lapua) long range precision shooter with a suppressor design that maximizes accuracy with higher recoil reduction. Asymmetric also offers specially tuned models for other specific calibers such as the 25-45 Sharps. Later this year the company will offer thread on sealed .22LR cans which can be cleaned just by attaching them to an AR15 for a few rounds. What I asked Asymmetric was where is my thread on 9mm can for my Sig MPX which is also rated as an entry can for 5.56 and .308… Keep your fingers crossed.

I do not own a calibrated dB meter and never will, however I am a picky guy and do notice that my LYNX suppressor is one of the quieter than many suppressors I have shot. I am not sure it is “the” quietest, however it works for me. After the newness of getting another new suppressor wore off, the coolest benefits above all is that the suppressor heat is not heating up the and of my barrel and I do see that my shots do not start wandering after the suppressor heats up like other suppressors I have tested. I also really like that I am “on” in the first round versus needing to compensate. Great newer supressor… Science is cool - in this case literally.

MSRP: $750.00 - 6.5"
MSRP: $900.00 - 8"
Designed & manufactured for multi-gun applications and addresses the unique needs of hunters and enthusiasts. Available in 6.5" and 8" models.
Negligible Gas Blowback
Low Flash
Effective dB
Length: 6.5" / 8"in
Diameter: 1.46in
Weight: 21oz
Caliber: All Popular
Material: Inconel/316SS
Reduction: 26dB - 32dB Typical


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Saturday, July 16, 2016

CRKT Amicus Knife Review

CRKT Amicus Knife Review
I will start off my saying that the CRKT Amicus is the best deal in the entire CRKT lineup and problem one of the best heavy duty folding knives under $60 anywhere. This is a brute of a knife, however it is comfortable and the blade is exceptionally well designed.

CRKT shipped one of these a few months back just before the public release to see what I though and was stunned to find that the MSRP was exponentially lower than I had imagined. My feedback was “are you sure you have the retail price right at only $59.99?” The reality is that the Amicus is retailing for around $40 on the street. There are plenty of knives on the market that have far cheaper steel, cut half as well, and have very inexpensive polymer handles and locks which are easily twice the price of the CRKT Amicus. This is a great knife for the price.

CRKT - Columbia River Knife and Tool was founded in 1994 by Rod Bremer in Oregon. By working in unison with the top knife designers around the world, CRKT delivers a broad line of innovative custom knife designs in affordable production knives and tools.  The result is that the hottest custom designs are available to the consumer for daily use at affordable prices.

Jesper Voxnaes from Loegstrup, Denmark, designed the Amicus to excel in the outdoors and then recently beat on the design in the toughest conditions he could. The Amicus is not light, in fact it's pretty darn heavy at 6.7oz, but that substantial heft is backup up with a lot of stainless steel that make the knife strong.

The heft is appreciated when you are using the integrated pummel to hammer the battery terminal back on your truck, crush a few walnuts you found walking in the park, and using it to tap out a pin on your AR15. From my perspective the Amicus is a work knife, so who cares if it is twice as heavy as any of your other knives.

The one handed thumb hole is large enough to use with gloves and complete ambidextrous and the knife can support tip-up or tip-down carry, however it only features right-handed pocket clip mounting.  The CRKT Amicus is available in either plain or partially serrated edge options, however based on the edge holding ability of the rather incredible 8Cr18Mov steel blade, I do not see any real need for a combo edge on this very aggressive cutting steel.

The big fat flat ground blade delivers enough size to assure you can spread your peanut butter for lunch easily, but affords a crazy sharp edge. I really liked this steel and the edge geometry. Honestly I have not seen a better cutting knife under $100. Maybe CRKT should use this steel on a lot more knives. Defensively, one of the things I really liked was that this is a 3.4-inch blade which is just under the majority of most city and state concealed carry blade sizes. No sense carrying a 2-inch blade when you can carry 3.4-inches.

The handle is super sized and easily accommodates use with thinner work gloves and can be used in any position. A few little complaints are that the knife is really handle heavy balanced which is not my preference, but it all still works and delivers a extremely rugged knife. The other nit pick was that the edge grind was well defined and ground, but not quite up to the usual symmetry I have seen on other CRKT knives, but for a $40 street priced knife, the CRKT Amicus is an awesome knife that can handle any field, survival, on the work site, or just household chores.

Available in plain edge version (5445) and the combination edge version with Triple Point™ Serrations model (5446).

Open Overall Length 8.125 inches
Closed Length 4.718 inches
Weight 6.7 ounces

Length 3.407 inches
Thickness 0.154 inches
Material 8Cr13Mov
Blade-HRC 58-60
Finish Stainless Steel Stonewash
Grind Flat Grind
Style Drop Point
Lock Type Frame Lock
Carry System 2 Position Pocket Clip, tip up/down
MSRP $59.99


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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Extrema Ratio Psycho 24 Kitchen Knife Review

Extrema Ratio Psycho 24 Kitchen Knife Review

Although I love firearms and tactical knives, I also love to cook and have accumulated an extremely comprehensive and notably quite expensive kitchen knife collection which spans from ceramic to laminated Shun to custom one-off handmade Japanese knives. As a self professed knife snob, when I saw the Extrema Ratio Psycho 24 Kitchen Knife that combined both tactical and culinary worlds, I had to have it.

From my perspective Extrema Ratio knives are some of the finest and highest quality tactical production knives available. With an Italian knife design that is the equivalent of its Italian Ducati motorcycle brethren, the Extrema Ratio delivers beautiful functional design paired with performance. The look is unique, ergonomics are excellent, edge geometry is perfect and the N690 Cobalt Steel is considered one of the best cutlery steels in the industry … although extremely expensive.

What I love about Extrema Ratio is they have a great sense of humor about their designs beyond their very serious tactical designs. The Extrema Ratio Psycho 24 Kitchen Knife is one of those incredible fun designs that includes a complete drop leg tactical level belt sheath which delivers superb safe transport for this exquisite kitchen knife. French and most Asian kitchen knives are designed around a very thin blade to improve fine slicing. Conversely, heavy thick German style kitchen knife blades designs like this 3/16-inch thick Extrema Ratio Psycho 24 Kitchen Knife always feel like they have enough heft could chop up a chicken and fell a tree all in the same day. The Extrema Ratio Psycho 24 Kitchen Knife is not a tactical knife though and it would be a shame to use this very fine edged for anything other than food-craft.

There is a tongue in cheek fun factor with a full MOLLE equipped belt sheath, desert camo finish and Psycho name (someone is a Hitchcock movie fan), but the knife performance itself rivals the best kitchen knives I have ever used. The N690 Cobalt Steel blade can take a edge rivaling my best Japanese knives, but the edge seems to last for months of meals. The balance is the perfect placement 1” forward of the handle and the top spine edges of the blade has been properly softened to deliver a comfortable blister-free “kitchen knife blade grip” where the thumb and index finger are gripping the top spine of the blade.  

Despite the novelty, the laser etched desert camo on the blade actually helps to reduce food from sticking to the blade though a more aggressive pattern would have helped even more.  The blade is plenty sturdy and wide for all the typical food-craft chores from thick skinned melons scooping up and transferring food. I will note that the removeable Forprene handle on the Psycho 24 has got to be the most comfortable kitchen knife handle anywhere and when wet, it still delivers an excellent controlled grip surface.

The Extrema Ratio Psycho 24 Kitchen Knife is available in either the Desert Camo or with a standard black handle and plain un-etched blade for those that want a knife does not clash with all their other blade knives. In the kitchen I prefer a larger knife in the 9”-11” range, so the Extrema Ratio Psycho 24 Kitchen Knife is perfect from my perspective. Extrema Ratio does offer smaller 6-inch utility knifes which match both the Psycho (chef style) and Kato (santoku style) blade styles. can special order either of these for buyers in the US.

The Extrema Ratio Psycho 24 Kitchen Knife delivers pure performance in the kitchen, it is a delight to use, and provides a wow factor every time we have a dinner party. With a very limited number of these coming into the US, you can almost guarantee that you will have the coolest and best performing food-craft equipment in the kitchen. Love it!


Heavy-duty Cordura sheath w/ removable belt strap
Made in Italy
Length of Knife (excluding extended tang): mm 419.10 (16.50 inches)
Blade Length (from handle to tip): mm 250.95 (9.88 inches)
Blade Length (sharpened area only): mm 241.30 (9.50 inches)
Total Length of Knife and Sheath (including extended tang): mm 488.95 (19.25 inches)
Handle Length (excluding extended tang): mm 116.33 (4.85 inches)
Weight of Knife: g 354.37 (12.50 ounces)
Weight of Knife and Sheath: g 521.63 (14.40 ounces)
Blade Thickness (widest part): mm 4.00 (0.16 inches)
Blade Width (widest section): mm 54.10 (2.13 inches)
Blade Steel: Bohler N690 cobalt stainless steel*
Blade Hardness: Rockwell 58 HRC
Grinding: Flat grind
Handle Material: Forprene**
MSRP $255.00


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Extrema Ratio Knives

Available at Xtreme Knives