View Full Version : War knives and mine probes....

Les George
08-26-2009, 04:17 PM
I was talking about this on another forum and thought I would share it here too. It's a big part of my knife thinking these days.

I'll start with a knife I made in Iraq. I was using a Mission MPK-ti at first, and while that was a fine knife and was doing the job just fine, I didn't think it was right to be in Iraq and not have a knife I made. With the notice that I had and the work ups and unrelated deployments prior to departure, I just didn't have time to make one before I left.

Once I got there, and didn't die right away, I got a hold of my bud Gary Bradburn and he sent me out some steel and a few files.

Here is what happened:



I gave it a saber/chisel grind, mostly outta my desire to make the knife as simple as possible and leave as much steel there as possible.

I knew that I would be diggin more than cuttin with this thing anyways.

Being ground only on one side actually worked out pretty well. It gave me some different angles to pry with in tight places.

Funny thing about this knife, it and the way I used it, changed the way I thought about some things. Granted the purists among us may point out that it's more a knife shaped pry bar than and actual knife and you would be pretty much correct to say that. But it was exactly what I needed before I needed it.

One night near the end of my time in the cradle of civilization, I was out the the team that was to replace us. We where doing the turn over where the out going team leader rides along and helps the new guys get going handling things.

We where on our way back to the house when, the new driver side swipes a tree and ruptures the line on the air brakes. You know what happens when the air brake got no air? They lock up and your 30 ton truck stops.

It was a bad neighbor hood and sitting there was not what I wanted to do on my last week... I took a screw driver and jammed it into the open hard line and beat it into it until we got enough air pressure to uncage the brakes.

It worked, and we rode off into the midnight.

I have had some pretty self important thoughts on what I think I knife should be and have. Some of those ideas I still hang onto, some I have let go and some I have found out where dead wrong. The more I learn the more there is to learn.

Keep an open mind, I guess is the moral of the story...

Thanks for indulging me!

More pics of later renditions I have sent over with my boys....



Les George
08-26-2009, 04:18 PM
Digging with the knife kinda went like this, average IED call...

We showed up to the guys that found it, in this case it was the MITT guys attached to the Iraqi Army, and they pointed out "right where it is" to us.

Well of course, as is my luck of late, it was in a spot where the robot could not get. In this job, it's the Senior guy that gets to do the long walk, by his lucky self in these cases, so I take my dumb ass down there and look all over - nothing.

I look more, dig around a little in the dirt with my knife, nothing... I go back and find the Army guy and the Iraqi Army guys that "saw" it. The Iraqi moves up a little and does the point with enthusiasm thing some more. I walk over to where he is pointing and say, "right here?" He indicates that the whatever he "saw" was right there. I see nothing.

At this point I am pretty sure that there is nothing there. I say out loud, "there is nothing here!" Then I stab my knife into the ground to illustrate my point. My knife responds with a very distinctive metal to metal sound...

I say, "F&#@*@! I found it!" I would have told them to back off, so I could deal with it, but when I got about half way though saying "found" I was talking to myself, they where gone.

So, it gets dug up, I cut the wires (I like to cut the red one first, but there are a lot of schools of thought on this) and we go home.

All and all, easy living..

As for serious and repeated diggin like we did all the time with our blades it seemed that the tanto point took most of the abuse and wear and left the longer edge in pretty good shape, considering what it had been though. a lot of times I would face the edge towards me and rake it back though the loose dirt, rocks and sand looking whatever was to be found.

Next version I make of this knife is gonna have an integral guard and G-10 scales. Pretty much a coffin handled tanto. I think I may put just enough curve in the handle so you can tell where the edge is without having to look at it.

That is something else I thought was kinda dumb before. It turns out though that there is a real possibility you may need a knife in the dark. It seems stupid for me to have thought that, but that's me....

...and so is this guy :)

(this post does not reflect any protected TTP / OPSEC sensitive info, details are left out in that regard. No worries)

Don't tell my wife either, she thinks that I worked in the chow hall....

Les George
08-26-2009, 04:18 PM
And don't forget about your pointy sick! I made us some better mine probes out there and have made quite a few of them since I have been back.

When we where in Iraq, we where issued probes that where stored in a pouch and screwed together for use. That is a great idea, except it turns out that if an EOD Tech needs a mine probe, he needs it right now!

There is no time to stop and put one together. So as a result everyone kept them screwed together stuck in the MOLLE loops in their vest.

Problem with that is there they stuck way out
the top and you ran the risk of eating the handle every time you went over a bump. That and everyone, that's right everyone of the take down probes broke right at the joint. I broke two myself and decided enough was enough. I designed these probes to fit a Medium Flack Jacket. They go down to the bottom of the SAPI (bullet "proof" plate) plate and stop just above the top of the vest for maximum dental safety. R and D from the front lines of the Global War on Common Sense.... <ba> /hide>




Les George
08-26-2009, 04:23 PM
These are the last 2 EOD War Knives I am gonna do in cord warp. I realy hate cord wrap... I have a special replacement handle in the works, details to follow... ;)




08-28-2009, 02:48 AM
Thanks for sharing , I really like the look of the EOD Knife, can't wait to see more
and one more thing
Thanks for your Service

08-28-2009, 04:45 AM
That's why you're my hero!!

08-28-2009, 07:00 AM
Always a Marine..I didn't know you were over there. Thank you for your service.

great post.

The bomb tech thing really explains a lot about you though...

Les George
08-28-2009, 07:22 AM
I dont know what you mean... :confused:


10-21-2009, 06:08 AM
Thanks Les, people like you are the reason so many of us have a safe place to live in this world. And that is a great looking knife. I like the cord wrap.

Les George
10-21-2009, 09:24 AM
I am currently reworking this design... It's gonna be pretty cool - I think.... :)

10-21-2009, 12:24 PM
Looking forward to the new pics.

Allen Newberry
10-21-2009, 12:28 PM
Very interesting! Thanks for your service!

Dan Pierson
10-21-2009, 01:15 PM
Thank you. Both for your service and for a very interesting and informative post on what some soldiers really need.

Why do you hate cord wrap? I'm not terribly fond of it myself but I'll bet your reasons are much more practical than mine.

Giving a handle a shape so that you can feel where the edge is without looking makes lots of sense to me. Back when I was a kayaker we used to tape some cord right where your first knuckles fit on round handled paddles so you could tell where the blade was pointing upside down in a rapids.

Les George
10-21-2009, 01:51 PM
Why do you hate cord wrap? I'm not terribly fond of it myself but I'll bet your reasons are much more practical than mine.

I hate that when you get it dirty, you can't get all the dirt out of it. Mine still has pieces of Iraq caked in the cracks of the handle wrap. When you stick it (a knife) in the ground between two 122mm chinese projectiles and stomp on it to get them outta the frozen ground (yes deserts get COLD) you can never get all that mud outta there... So I have been told ;)

Giving a handle a shape so that you can feel where the edge is without looking makes lots of sense to me. Back when I was a kayaker we used to tape some cord right where your first knuckles fit on round handled paddles so you could tell where the blade was pointing upside down in a rapids.

That's a pretty cool idea right there.... 2thumbs

10-21-2009, 06:24 PM
That is a great looking tool/knife. Thank you for your service.

Les George
10-21-2009, 09:25 PM
speak peak..... 2thumbs

Denny Eller
10-21-2009, 09:39 PM
You might know, a jarhead poking around for things that go boom. You Devil Dogs will do anything for grins. Welcome home, and thank you for your service and the lives you saved. And God bless all our troops.

10-22-2009, 10:12 AM
Thanks again Les.