Custom Vs. Production Why do we have custom collaborations of production knives ???

Custom Vs. Production Why do we have custom collaborations on production knives ??? I have a soft spot in my heart for highly engineered folding knives, but some of the custom makers I admire are out of my league. Sure we all want full on custom knife from our favorite maker or makers, more than a few things hinder this. Firstly the maker may not be taking order meaning his or her books are closed to new orders, this alone would make it nearly impossible to to obtain an example, barring going thru the custom knife purveyor at an inflated selling price or getting lucky in a lottery at a show. The other way is to except a used knife from the secondary market at an where it will even be a more inflated price. I have seen knives from certain custom makers be one in a lottery and then within 20 minutes be sold to dealers or secondary customers at 2 or even 3 times the table asking price.

I for one don’t have the financial means to drop $500.00 to $2500.00 on a single custom piece. We knife collectors still ravenous fans of our favorite custom craftsman. We like the designs of these artists, but may never be able to own one of their masterpieces. Here is where the production companies have come to the rescue, enter the “Custom Collabarations”. By marrying the design aspects of a custom knife into a mass produced piece under the watchful eye of the maker, allowing us to have something close, but yet different. There are several companies that produce such pieces, Zero Tolerance, Spyderco, Columbia Knife and Tool, Benchmade and Kershaw just to name a few. There are even whole companies started by custom makers to service the market created by their custom knives. These companies produce what are called mid-techs, not full custom but not really mass produced production pieces. They can produce a higher volume of semi custom pieces than they could making one knife at a time, but less than a full on production company.

As a writer I depend on these collaborations to bring reviews and opinions to certain design aspects, custom makers don’t usually supply test items for review as they can only make a limited number of custom knives during a given timeframe. So without the collaborations or mid-tech versions of these knives I would not be able to expose my readers to the work of these craftsmen. Without the cooperation of the makers and production some people would not be able to enjoy the engineering that goes into a fine custom knife. What most people don’t know is that the large advances in knife design have come from custom makers., an example of this is the liner lock designed my Michael Walker, the frame lock that was popularized my Chris Reeve, the Axis lock designed by makers Bill McHenry and Jason Williams some of these locks are the strongest in the history of knife making. These are only a few of the advancements we have enjoyed in the last 20 or so years, so as you can see we need to have custom makers who can put in the R&D time to design because without them knife design may become stagnant.

In the pictures below you will see a few examples of Production/Custom Collaborations. Included are designs from Zero Tolerance/ Rick Hinderer , Spyderco/Ed Scheemp these are but a few in existence.

IMG_0050 IMG_0051 IMG_0053 IMG_0062 IMG_0064 IMG_0065 IMG_0066 (1) IMG_0069 (1) IMG_0068 (1)

Glock 41 “The Practical Tactical side of the 45 Auto”

The year is 1904 and from the inner workings of John Moses Browning’s, mind a cartridge emerged. It was the great 45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), 45 Auto or an even more modern nickname “The Flying Dump Truck”. The US military had been buying and using various calibers while searching for the perfect combination of size and power. Having moved from a 250 grain 45 Long Colt to a smaller 150 grain 38 Long Colt during this transitional period many unfortunate and very deadly failures to stop occurred. While the light cartridge was easier to control, it didn’t yield the necessary effects on the target. This lighter bullet combined with a smaller diameter left our fighting men with something that they couldn’t depend on when the chips were down as handgun bullets during this period were not designed to expand.

So Thompson-LaGarde commissioned to study the effectiveness of various calibers and bullets. This led the US Calvary to request that a new handgun be developed for their use and it had to be .45caliber Interesting enough, the first loading of the 45ACP was a 200gr bullet, but after a few revisions a 230gr, bullet moving at 850 ft/per sec was chosen. This loading is only slightly less powerful than the 45 Long Colt that was deemed to be outdated. Since it’s inception the 45 ACP has been known for its knockdown power. Some of the claims were exgarrated but it has been proven to be a fight stopper if the shooter does their part.

Fast forward to 1991, a span of 87 years, we find the the 45ACP being introduced in a state of the art fighting pistol. Fixing what some believed to be the downfall of existing 45cal. pistols, the magazine capacity was increased to 13 rounds providing enough firepower to sustain a fight. I think that the 1911 has enough capacity to do this,but the more bullets the better. This pistol is the Glock Model 21, a full size polymer fighting pistol that provides a modern corrosion resistant platform launching the big powerful bullets. Some people found the thickness of the G21 to be too wide for all hand sizes. To alleviate this somewhat, in 2007 Glock introduced the SF or Short framed versions of their large frame pistols. These SF versions didn’t change the width but decreased the distance from the back of the grip to the trigger by .098in. They also shortened the heel of the pistol by .16 inch. This allows the pistol to be operated by people with smaller hands.

In 2010 Glock took another step forward to modernize an already hi-tech design by releasing the Generation 4 Glocks (Gen4) across their whole product line. This allowed the the use of user installed backstraps to customize grip size to the shooter. These even include 2 with pronounced beavertails. The shooter can also forego the use of any backstrap, this will give the smallest overall grip size. The Gen4 also uses a reversible magazine catch to make the weapons more user friendly for left handed shooters along with a recoil taming dual spring setup.

Glock has never been slow to produce products geared to law enforcement. The Practical / Tactical models were a result of that offered in 9mm and 40cal. these were the G34/35. They feature a slide and barrel which is .8in longer than the service models. This allows faster follow up shots and a longer sight radius. These 2 features also lend themselves to the competitive world. For years the 45 shooters wanted the advantage of the longer platform in both the tactical and competition world. The longer barrel would allow the already good performance numbers to get better by providing higher velocity and enhanced accuracy do to the longer sight radius. Well Glock listened,and in 2014 they introduced the Glock 41, basically a G34/35 length gun in 45 ACP with a 5.3in barrel.

The slide of the G21 has always been fairly wide and really blocky. The G41 uses a slide almost the same width as the 9/40/357 guns, providing a slimmer profile. While providing a slimmer profile, it also lets the longer weapon weigh in at only .7 of an ounce heavier than the standard G21. I will admit I have been a 9mm Glock user with no use for other calibers, but the G41 fits me very well. In fact I hope that they introduce a 10mm version of it making it a perfect woods gun for anything  in North America for anything on 2 or 4 legs.

On to the G41 experience, I find it balances well while allowing me to shoot a wide variety of bullet weights from 165gr to 230gr. I don’t really find any recoil difference shooting range ammo (FMJ) or self defense (JHP). The gun just gobbles them up ! My particular gun likes the heavier bullets, which is fine with me. This gun will never be a hot weather concealed carry gun for me, but I would carry it in 3 seasons without reservations. I will be providing you an updated review once I run the round count up. I currently have 200 rounds thru it and have a plan for a 500 round afternoon in the near future. I will also be reviewing some gear that I have for the G41, holsters etc. I will also try to shoot a wide range of ammo thru it also.

As of right now I can’t find much to complain about, it’s a Glock you just load it and shoot it.

IMG_0054 IMG_0055 (1) IMG_0014