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Best Pocket Knife?

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Just now, fattyflattie said:

Alright knife guys, need a recommendation on a fixed blade, mostly used for skinning type blade.  I'm a buy once, cry once type, but never really got into knives too much.  Moore maker trapper for edc and a couple of benchmades have gotten me over the last 25 years, but need something with some more ass.  Just looking for a very reputable, higher end brand I wouldn't know about, like the Randalls upthread.  Not opposed to customs by any means.  Any advice appreciated.

Really skinning or more game dressing?  Define "more ass."

Typically, field dressing blades have gotten shorter and narrower over the years, but a true skinning blade has a lot of curve or belly to it so you can slice membrane without having to saw too much and that tends to mean a broader, longer blade with not much point.

Fiddleback Forge and Bark River are two brands of semi-custom or semi-production knives that tend to emphasize field use over tacticalness.  Especially Bark River.  Some of the BR knives are pretty similar to Randalls and also to the long-gone Marble's fixed blades, which were hunter favorites back in the day.

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1 minute ago, TwiceHorn said:

Really skinning or more game dressing?  Define "more ass."

Typically, field dressing blades have gotten shorter and narrower over the years, but a true skinning blade has a lot of curve or belly to it so you can slice membrane without having to saw too much and that tends to mean a broader, longer blade with not much point.

Fiddleback Forge and Bark River are two brands of semi-custom or semi-production knives that tend to emphasize field use over tacticalness.  Especially Bark River.  Some of the BR knives are pretty similar to Randalls and also to the long-gone Marble's fixed blades, which were hunter favorites back in the day.

Will end up with something with more curve/belly, something more situated for skinning.  "More ass" - something with more heft than the very very light benchmade I use 90% of the time.  

*note - Ranch manager of a place I used to hunt was well into the thousands of animals cleaned with his trusty old benchmade, so I know they absolutely work for it.  In fact, pretty sure that's when I went and bought mine.  Just looking for something different, and I'm ignorant on high end fixed blade knifes. 

I've used the disposable scalpel bladed knifes and they've worked great too, but like above, hunting something with a bit more heft, for better or worse.

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27 minutes ago, Llano Estacado said:

Mass produced “Holy shit $300” Benchmade.

Literally in the literature.  Nice.

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Curious what others here say?

 

From real life you know I usually have a throw down Mora (ss fishing, carbon camp knife or hunting season) I’ve taken apart a deer or two with one, but not ideal for skinning. Highly recommend as a camping or duty knife is they’re 1/5th the price of comparable ESEE, CRKT, etc.

 

These days it’s grandpa’s drop point Moore Maker for field dressing & skinning - looks like they’re still sub $100 but fit in finish of my late 2000s MM folder was pretty shitty. Actual breakdown is done with a custom “file” knife I picked up from a welder at work (would post pic, but it’s at the deer camp). Full tang and fat spine give it a nice heft in cold wet hands. Looks pretty similar to this:

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/759690194/hand-forged-drop-point-knife-with?ref=related-2&frs=1

 

After looking a minute lots of nice “custom” knives from Etsy at reasonable prices, but always the chance you get a tater and appears lots of shops are ate up with the “hand forged Damascus!”

 

Lastly, have this which was my father in law’s father’s Western (before they sold out) set. Looking up the stamp inter web says 1978 or 79. He used it well, but I never have. Going to add cleaning it up and conditioning the leather to the ‘Rona project list. Don’t think it’s really what you’re looking for, but similar sets in worse condition are $100-200 on eBay.

 

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That Western set is a classic.

I think Bark River would have something you'd like.  See the selection at knivesshipfree.com.

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FFlattie - https://fiddlebackforge.com/collections/available/products/fiddleback-forge-snowbill-burnt-orange-canvas

Do it.gif

I put Flattie onto Anza last night IRL. Any other little hidden gem shops like that out there?

3 Putt - Guy at the office (pre Rona) has that knife in stag. Gorgeous. Well married modern and old school. Just wish the could hide the scale hardware a little bit or just pin it. Who would change the scales on a bone or stag knife?

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17 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

I think Bark River would have something you'd like.  See the selection at knivesshipfree.com.

Very good.  Thank you.   I know what I'm looking for wrt blade/size, I'm just not familiar with higher end knife brands.  One of the few outdoorsy things I never took a full plunge into, oddly enough. 

Also, thank you to @Llano Estacado   Spent quite a bit of time down that wormhole last night.  I've now decided I'll need several, to make sure I'm thoroughly covered.

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Posted (edited)

PSA for Austin folks....I don't know when they will reopen but the State Surplus Store on Bolm/183 is a great place to go knife hunting on the cheap. I've found a number of knives there, including a few old Case knives. That place is weird af and you may just walk out with a handful of blades to go with your filing cabinet and 1994 wood credenza. 

Edited by Gourmand

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1 hour ago, fattyflattie said:

Very good.  Thank you.   I know what I'm looking for wrt blade/size, I'm just not familiar with higher end knife brands.  One of the few outdoorsy things I never took a full plunge into, oddly enough. 

Also, thank you to @Llano Estacado   Spent quite a bit of time down that wormhole last night.  I've now decided I'll need several, to make sure I'm thoroughly covered.

Knives of Alaska?  They are hella' stout.  If you go "custom", check of Half-Face Blades or Winkler.  Tons of good options. 

Also, check out the Camillus Becker knives - specifically the Becker Necker and BK2

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22 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

Knives of Alaska?  They are hella' stout.  If you go "custom", check of Half-Face Blades or Winkler.  Tons of good options. 

Also, check out the Camillus Becker knives - specifically the Becker Necker and BK2

Actually, I believe it's Ka-Bar Becker now.  Very solid knives, but more "tactical"/survival than hunting, methinks.  Still, a good knife is a good knife.

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I've went to using a bunch of different Victorinox knifes for game work. Have a couple of big cimitar/breakers and several different styles of boning knives.  Put blade guards on them and keep them in a plastic tote with sharpening tools, cut gloves, cutting board and ziplock bags.  I have a couple of different fillet knives in there too but a large percentage of the work goes to either 4" rapala fillet knife or an old carbon steel Case trapper.

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2 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Actually, I believe it's Ka-Bar Becker now.  Very solid knives, but more "tactical"/survival than hunting, methinks.  Still, a good knife is a good knife.

Yep, the big ones are - but their smaller ones are perfect for dressing out large animals and they hold an edge really well and are tough as nails.  1095 cro-van carbon steel blade.  Marketed as "fieldcraft" or bushcraft knives, seem suited to the stated purpose.  Hell of a knife for < $100.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTUXW8t6hgfXA4n0U3gFRb

 

@fattyflattie, we have a guy in our group that does a lot of the game prep.  He has a few ANCIENT buffalo skinners that do a HELL of a good job.  Old wooden handled knives with carbon steel blades.  Not fancy, but we always wind up using them as much as any other.  

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I really don't see a lot of need to improve on a good 1095 for a fixed blade. Because you rarely touch the blade, you don't have any real corrosion problems, unlike a pocket knife.  Maybe if you are in a humid environment.

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On 2/25/2020 at 1:42 PM, Patricio Swayze said:

I picked up this CRKT knife for about $30. The finish definitely fits the price. I am not a big fan of GFN handles, but I like Voxnaes designs. It is also deep carry and a good length for EDC (insert joke). If they made a version with G-10 and the fit and finish was better, I would be all over it. This is basically a throw away.

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I was bored and had some amazon "bucks' to burn so I ordered one of these.

I have flirted with "tactical" or more modern folders and haven't really had one "stick."  All but the Leek use studs to open, with various locks that I am fairly agnostic about.  While I don't mind using studs to open, they tend to bother me during use and sharpening.  I should probably bite the bullet and buy a Spyderco, but I figure I'd give this a try since it's cheap and I really like the aesthetics. 

Size, weight, and materials seem to be right in my wheelhouse. I'm ok with FRN, I kind of like the feel of it most of the time actually; and while I am a competent sharpener, I am used to slipjoint steels and don't really have what's needed for supersteels and am just used to touching up a blade, so 8Cr is probably ok by me.  Plus, I am a desk diver, so I'm not really challenging a blade very often.

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I was bored and had some amazon "bucks' to burn so I ordered one of these.
I have flirted with "tactical" or more modern folders and haven't really had one "stick."  All but the Leek use studs to open, with various locks that I am fairly agnostic about.  While I don't mind using studs to open, they tend to bother me during use and sharpening.  I should probably bite the bullet and buy a Spyderco, but I figure I'd give this a try since it's cheap and I really like the aesthetics. 
Size, weight, and materials seem to be right in my wheelhouse. I'm ok with FRN, I kind of like the feel of it most of the time actually; and while I am a competent sharpener, I am used to slipjoint steels and don't really have what's needed for supersteels and am just used to touching up a blade, so 8Cr is probably ok by me.  Plus, I am a desk diver, so I'm not really challenging a blade very often.

I carried it with me to a trip to nueces and devils river last weekend. I wanted something that if needed would work well. Be light and if it got lost, no big deal considering its price.

Hope you enjoy it.

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9 hours ago, Patricio Swayze said:


I carried it with me to a trip to nueces and devils river last weekend. I wanted something that if needed would work well. Be light and if it got lost, no big deal considering its price.

Hope you enjoy it.

What do you think of it having used it some?

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What do you think of it having used it some?

I like it. Meets my usual requirements for EDC (blade 3” or less, deep carry, acceptable locking mechanism). It’s built well enough considering the price point and does what it is supposed to do.

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I think one thing that impedes me from adopting a modern folder is blade thickness/geometry.  Although I can appreciate a 1/8" thick hunk of steel, slipjoints have accustomed me to using thin blades.  I think, but it may just be habit, that I have little use most of the time for a blade that heavy, and when I do I have a few fixed blades that I carry. I'm even accustomed to using thin-bladed slipjoints for tasks that they are ill-suited for (prying without involving the joint, cuts that might chip or roll the edge), while I'm not accustomed to using a thick blade to cut up an apple or something similar.

I'm relatively certain most of you who are modern fans are rather the opposite.

Also a funny thing, when I impulse buy a slipjoint, I'm often surprised how small it is, whereas with moderns I'm usually surprised how big it is.  Unlike women, I have a pretty good mental measuring stick and I can see the dimensions so I "know" how big it is, but don't really "know-know" until I have it in my grubby paws.  I do have a smaller tactical folder, one of the original SanRenmus that I like pretty well, but the studs are in the way and the clip is too stiff.  Most of my others are rather large and heavy.  So maybe this hits a sweet spot.

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Hmm. Interesting. When I think of good thin blades, I think opinel. Pick your size. I didn’t think of other slip joints as having relatively thin blades but you have a point. I guess they tend to be Shorter, narrower and thinner.

As for modern folders, I have never liked the real thick, robust knives. It seems like I always end up going with the “mini” version of a model. Benchmade Mini griptillian, mini bugout, delica (vs endura), Small sebenza. Kershaw leek ( vs a Blur). I want a knife I will carry and for me to carry it has to be unnoticeable until I need it.

Most slipjoints I have don’t have pocket clips. I don’t want anything sitting at the bottom of my pocket with my keys. And I don’t really like needing two hands to open like most of my small Buck folders.

I do have a Kizer Zipslip which is a slip joint but has the blade and body shape of a mini-grip.

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Best pocket knife is whichever one I use to plant into [mention=98]Patricio Swayze[/mention]'s back the next time I see him.
Which will also be the first. And last.
Pegue isso, brasileiro!

Cuidado cara. Tomara que você pisa igual numa japonesa.

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8 minutes ago, Patricio Swayze said:

Cuidado cara. Tomara que você pisa igual numa japonesa.

LMAO! My Portuguese is so rusty, I had to cheat and use Google Translate.

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LMAO! My Portuguese is so rusty, I had to cheat and use Google Translate.

I have English and Portuguese keyboards on my phone. And the damn thing autocorrected uma to numa

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Piet came in today. Pretty impressive for the money.  Blade has a great grind, maybe not Kershaw sharp, but pretty good.  Hope the heat treat is decent.

I'm even pretty impressed with the fit and finish.  As mentioned, the blade is pretty flawless. The opening hole is chamfered. It has a pretty substantial (almost full length and width) steel frame under the FRN, so the FRN doesn't feel flexy as it sometimes does.  With whatever you call the surface finish and its rigidity, it's not giving up much to G10 or micarta.  And, I was hard pressed to find the frame inside it, because the plastic fits close over it and the frame is colored black even on the inside.  The spacer seems substantial and nicely finished.  Being a liner lock, it's not the smoothest and I'm sure it has cheap plastic bushings in the pivot, but what the hell.  Actually, within the realm of liner locks, it is pretty smooth and locks up tight and with a nice thunk.  Blade is centered and no play.

Solid little knife.  Has a pretty decent sized handle that's comfortable.  Blade is a chonker, so we'll have to see about that.

 

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Posted (edited)

The OP said best pocket knives

The posters here talking about their fixed blade knives need to know, they are certainly ruff on the jewels when carried in your pocket. Especially bending and squatting.

Ouch!

Edited by Alex Karev

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Been on a bit of a "classic" kick lately.  Bought a Buck 110 folding hunter while Buck was having a sale.  Also picked up a KA-BAR USMC fighting knife.  I don't know how much I'll use either, but they are fun to mess around with. 

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4 hours ago, Carl Spackler said:

Been on a bit of a "classic" kick lately.  Bought a Buck 110 folding hunter while Buck was having a sale.  Also picked up a KA-BAR USMC fighting knife.  I don't know how much I'll use either, but they are fun to mess around with. 

Yeah, they are.  The 110 is kind of the outer limit of a folding knife and you just don't see too many 7" fixed blades anymore.  I bought a small (5.5"") Kabar for that reason and still kinda wish I had got the OG.

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On 6/16/2020 at 2:55 PM, fattyflattie said:

Alright knife guys, need a recommendation on a fixed blade, mostly used for skinning type blade.  I'm a buy once, cry once type, but never really got into knives too much.  Moore maker trapper for edc and a couple of benchmades have gotten me over the last 25 years, but need something with some more ass.  Just looking for a very reputable, higher end brand I wouldn't know about, like the Randalls upthread.  Not opposed to customs by any means.  Any advice appreciated.

http://hendrixknives.com/gallery.html

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Carrying the Piet for a while, I figured out something else that's a little irksome about modern knives:  pocket clips.  They are handy for getting the knife out, but I find them kind of fiddly to put back, especially if the handle scale under the clip is textured.  And the look is somewhat suboptimal.  And it feels like it's going to tear up your pants pretty quick.

I like textured scales quite a lot and tend to dislike slick metal ones.  But the Leek clip works the best all around because it just glides back in/on your pocket.  

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I have a Bugout and a mini Bugout. But I’ve been on a copper kick. Copper supposedly has an antimicrobial property to it, but true or not, it got me looking at copper scaled knives. That google rabbit hole brought me to the idea of just buying copper scales for a knife I own.

Flytanium copper scales for the Bugout were sold out but I found that SMKW was selling their own line of copper scales and they cost less than flytanium.

The result removes the Bugouts biggest selling points (thin and light) but makes for a cool knife.

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Less than a day of use and it is showing wear, which I expected. I look forward to see how it changes over time.

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Story time:
(Cliffs notes: some things change. Some things don’t).

My knife “hobby” has evolved over time. It all started with cheap Chinese crap and some less crappy (sanrenmu and others) and lower end CRKT and Kershaws. Average price $25.

Spydercos (Byrd lineup, tenacious lineup) and mid to higher end Kershaws (Leek, Blur, etc) were next. They had fun knives with cooler designs and better finishing than the cheap eBay imports.

Then I hit the mid range Spydercos (delica and sage series) and lower Benchmade’s (griptillians). I started to understand there was a difference in steels and quality. I sold all my cheap stuff and started buying custom scales and trading for higher quality knives. Again I sold my cheaper things to find the more expensive options. I was too good for a kershaw or crkt anything. The leek wasn’t good enough for my pocket when I was choosing between Delicas and custom mini grips.

I finally ran out of steam on the custom scaled mini griptillians (I had at least 10 at some point) and focused on getting higher priced Chinese knives (Kizer, Stedemon, We) and eventually a good old American Chris Reeve Sebenza, small sebenza and one other CR model.

I went on to pick up some really cool autos and some fixed blades. I’ve bought and sold between 100-200 knives in the journey.

When my interest waned, I paired down my collection to this. The photo is about 75% of what I own but I have things spread out and I’m too lazy to collect them.

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That is until this week. I came across the perfect Kershaw Leek at Walmart on clearance (grey and blackwash blade) and CRKT CEO exclusive at Blade HQ with green micarta scales and copper liners.

 

98bbd2eeb3649f302f7b728b2fcdd46e.jpg

 

Both are badass and immediately going into rotation.

 

TLDR; some things never change.

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cad324725d7c353206dab3c47ff90ba6.jpg

Fixed blades Esee izula, dpx hest, Bradford guardian. Not pictured: Benchmade hidden canyon and more ESEE.

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That is until this week. I came across the perfect Kershaw Leek at Walmart on clearance (grey and blackwash blade) and CRKT CEO exclusive at Blade HQ with green micarta scales and copper liners.
 
98bbd2eeb3649f302f7b728b2fcdd46e.jpg
 
Both are badass and immediately going into rotation.
 
TLDR; some things never change.

2fe079579975c7d0f1d37f35bda7674c.jpg

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2fe079579975c7d0f1d37f35bda7674c.jpg

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I’ll probably remove the pocket clip on the Kershaw (always hated this type of clip) and it bugs me the thumb studs are not black but whatever.

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How do you like the CEO?  It looks really cool, but I heard some mixed reviews on opening and blade geometry.  Is that variant D2?

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I like it. It is D2. It’s not ergonomic in the since that your thumb doesn’t naturally land where it needs to open the knife, but I can open one handed without a problem. The detent isn’t a challenge.

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Got my first Kizer during the blade HQ sale a few weeks ago. Good EDC. A tad small, but I love the blade shape. I’m a sucker for a sheepsfoot

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Posted (edited)

Crazy me.  I'm a fan of true sheepsfoot and wharncliffe blades on a slippy, usually as a secondary, but I have one or two with wharny primaries and a spear or pen secondary.  I like them for fine work with the point, and whittling-type tasks or whittling.

I don't care for the looks of the drop-tip "tacticals" or modern folders.  Without having actually used one, I also tend to think that the lack of belly destroys whatever slicing ability modern blades have left.  I have some mighty pointy "drop point" moderns in the Leek (which some consider wharncliffy) and the Piet, but I don't feel like I can control the point very well with the heavy blade and handle, so I tend to think that would be a problem with an actual drop-tip tactical.

Opinions  . . . assholes   . . . ymmv.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Just picked up a Spyderco Dragonfly 2 in ZDP-189.   She's a little bugger, which is what I was looking for -- something light and small to carry on certain days when weight matters. 

This is my first knife in that steel.  Have heard good things about it.

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Got my first Kizer during the blade HQ sale a few weeks ago. Good EDC. A tad small, but I love the blade shape. I’m a sucker for a sheepsfoot

c86bf1cf5fc4292876359fc8f5c0fd8b.jpg

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Bhq has an exclusive on this knife where the handle is micarta and the blade is coated black. It looks awesomec74c80e2bb8d6df066e567755f9dc297.jpg
(Not my pic)

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Just picked up a Spyderco Dragonfly 2 in ZDP-189.   She's a little bugger, which is what I was looking for -- something light and small to carry on certain days when weight matters. 
This is my first knife in that steel.  Have heard good things about it.

Dragonfly is great. I have a green g10 that is use a lot during the summer. For a small knife, it has great grip and a lot of usable blade. The dark green in that zdp looks great.

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The little Dragonfly is a nice knife -- slicy as hell and weighs next to nothing.  It also got me to pull out my old Delica 4 for comparative purposes.  I had kind of ignored the Delica for a time while I was consorting with other knives, but it's been good to make its reacquaintance.

At some point, I'm going to want something in between the Delica and the Dragonfly from a size standpoint.  Was thinking the Native might fit the bill.  What say ye, Spydie lovers?  

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Native is a good size. It feels more stout or fatter than the delica but it is shorter. and unlike the dragonfly, the native has a pocket clip that is not deep carry. It’s the only downside for it and the delica.

If you would like that size with a deep carry clip, the chaparral fits the bill.

Both the native and chaparral come in lightweight FRN.

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