On the cover, will Bushmaster’s state-of-the-art bayonet created for the experimental Remington ACR military assault rifle be the next SEAL combat knife? Retired Special Forces Sergeant Major John Larsen wrings out this multi-purpose battle blade to give us his own opinion.

SWAT knives are a special breed all their own. At the suggestion of Arcadia, California tactical team sergeant Jason Davis, photographer Ichiro Nagata enlisted the skills of one of Japan’s finest knifemakers, Kikuo Matsuda, to produce what they hope will be the prefect cutting tool for these elite law enforcement officers. We do our best to batter that blade into submission.

Folded sheet steel handled folders are not a new invention, but SOG Specialty has certainly brought the concept up to date with their SlimJim Series. One-hand assisted opening, a spring carry clip, and modern steel alloys make these compact knives ideal for discrete carry in the worst places.

Jason Brous seems to have discovered a real niche market in knives with lots of claw-like curves and Star Wars lines that are as much cutlery art work as cutting tools. Michael Janich explores the many defensive uses of the new Brous Silent Soldier as an EDC knife.

Retired law officer David Spaulding uses his years of experience on patrol to evaluate the new Benchmade Contego tactical folder. The knife proved to be a first-class tool for a wide variety of everyday LEO uses.

Ever wonder what kind of cutting tools elite Australian Spec Ops carry in the field? We discovered the little known company of Hardcore Hardware and their many different tomahawk models filling that requirement. Fred Demara does his best to destroy these all-purpose choppers and fails.

Along with pioneering the assisted opening folder, Ken Onion is well known for fixed blades with his own special curves intended to maximize cutting efficiency. Brian Griffin takes the new CRKT Redemption to the swamps and tropical jungles of Florida to field test this massive survival blade under real world conditions.

As many readers probably know, Michael Janich not only writes about self-defense, he is one of the most respected instructors in the business. Each year he conducts a series of “martial bladecraft” training camps in various area of the country. Jack Roman tells us all about his own experiences at this elite school for knife fighters.

And speaking of Michael Janich, this issue’s Street Smarts column explores the reality of throwing knives in self-defense scenarios. Pure Hollywood or a useful skill to learn, read the feature and decide for yourself.

Last, but not least, we are adding a new column this issue that will focus on non-edged alternative self-defense weapons called “Tactical Alley.” To lead off, well known author Phil Elmore interviews Todd Foster about his line of custom made blackjacks, saps and hybrid “coin purses.”

From the military battlefield to the dark alleys of the urban jungle, we have something to interest every lover of keen edged blade work.

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