Monthly Archives: July 2009

OP-X Compass collection

Categories: Wilderness Survival,Adventure.outdoor skills,Bushcraft,GO! | Tags: , , | Leave a comment


from center left 3 phases of the Bolt a SOG.Lone Wolf and Spyderco

from center left 3 phases of the Bolt a SOG.Lone Wolf and Spyderco

Here’s something I sent out awhile ago,thought it may be of interest.some details have been left out.enjoyOperationalExtrasTee_browninkcopy

Hello all,
  I just wanted to send this out and see what comes of it.I’m trying to get an idea on whats being used and whats sitting in the “chow box” Im not looking for to much detail unless you what to share a story or two.If there’s something you were issued or purchased that’s great or just didnt make the cut I’d like to hear about it.OK here we go.
   What: folding knife
             Sheath knife
              Multi tool
              Axe…………..Were you issued,and what of the list above do you really use if not the same as issued. In advanced thank’s and take care.also feel free to forward this to the folks you think might be of help.
    see ya in the high grass.
          Mr. Black
Reply #1
Mr Black et al.,

While I anticipate that I will likely get some grumbles/sneers from my esteemed colleagues in your recipient listing, I have found that the gear issued during S-V81-A (SERE instructor training) has proven to be the best bang for the buck. And yes, I have tried some of the more Gucci-esque gear that’s floating around and still come back to what was issued because it just plain works. 

Folding knife – U.S. knife. Yes there are sharper knives out of the box with ultra-ninja-cool urban camouflaged blades that open via mind control… Nevertheless, when it comes to having one folder that can skin an animal, make feather sticks, be sharpened easily, punch through leather with an awl, and open a can-o-pork-n-beans, the U.S. knife comes through.

Sheath knife– Bolt knife. Again, this is by far one of the toughest knives I’ve ever used. It sharpens easily and can be pounded straight through the middle of a piece of bolt of wood beer can in diameter… or larger, IF you know what you’re doing. Moreover, if you bite off more than it can chew and the knife bends, you can typically bend it back into its original configuration and press-on. Try doing that with some new fangled composite blade… it’ll break every time. Lastly, I have yet to find a knife that throws as well as the bolt knife. Sticks almost every time at 7 paces (thrown from the tip), whereas my **** ***** “throwing knives” broke within a week of heavy throwing and threw like crap to begin with.

While I acknowledge that my affinity for the gear that I was originally trained with might partially be attributed to the law of primacy, when I’m gearing up for a trip, anecdotally I notice that my $250 Tom Brown Tracker knife stays at home, while my $18 bolt knife makes the “cut” every time.

Then again, I’m just a lowly Lt… what the hell do I know about cutting implemements!

BTW- As I write this, I am sitting here staring at the finest knife I’ve ever laid my eyes upon… A finely knapped brown flint blade, elk antler handle wrapped with sinew, set upon a fine piece of ****** river driftwood, encircled with barbed-wire from ** ****** ****. Thanks again bros. Truly one of my most prized possessions.

I look fwd to hearing from the others. 


I too will more than likely get some of those grumbles from the peanut gallery but here goes…

Folder…I have to agree with Jeff here that the US is really good but over all I like the Gerber EZ-out with a straight blade, light weight, easily sharpened and can do anything the US can “in the right hands” at about $20 bucks or so it’s a good value.

Fixed blade…for the most part my Tom Brown tracker stays in the “chow box” also but its little brother is mighty fine.  The Tops knife called the cougar claw is awesome at everything the bolt knife (still a fine blade) can do and you cant bend it.  But doesn’t throw as well so for that the Bolt is hands down the best.  Touché Mr skull tracker!

Axe…as far as axes go I don’t use one enough to weigh in.

Multi tool…Well Mr Black you know how I feel about these things. For those of you who don’t know let’s just say there great for people who don’t know how to use a knife.


Hmmm. I think WWI was started over a less volatile situation than the can of worms you may open up here Mr. Black…
I would agree with my esteemed colleague on the merits of the US knife. You can do almost anything with it, however fine detail work may require a finer blade with fewer multiple use functions. Say perhaps an original Schrade old-timer 340T model. If you see one of these three bladed high carbon steel knives I will gladly pay you $20.00 for it. Ahem,
Now for the fixed blade, while the bolt knife is invaluable for those less skilled at the finer arts of sharpening… Primarily LUMP’s, the Alaskan Knife issued to us at ****** has proved invaluable in my travels… From prying open a truck door to insert an improvised door unlocking device, to digging up unexploded “baseball” sub-munitions in the steamy jungle of Laos. Insofar as throwing is concerned, Ninja like capabilities should allow for a stealthy approach, precluding any needed throwing skills.
Multi-tools… There are many out there and I have been given pretty ones that sit on a shelf and some made in China by unskilled five year olds, but the Gerber Leatherman Wave, current addition, provides a plethora of tools that you wouldn’t ordinarily carry on your belt. I’m not sure how long it would take to cut through 1/4 inch plywood with a bolt knife, but I can attest to less than 10 minutes with the saw blade on the Gerber. The line was straight, and the General was happy. Again some detail work requires a different tool for a different result, if you continue to throw hotdogs down a hallway, you just end up with a messy hallway no one is satisfied with.
Machete, Again, I’m partial to my handmade Zins Bolo. There are none like it, it is mine, there will be no more. Nuff said.
Ax,  I don’t have one currently… Yes I’m sad to report that, however, if I had one issued to me I’d have to go with the Hudson bay boys ax, or a good double bit… Wood handles only, that resin, plastic, epoxy shit has a place, but not sliding through my hands as I am chopping on a tree.
These are my druthers…  If women ran the Pentagon… What would missiles look like?

Mr. Black and others…


Well there you have it! thanks guys see ya down the trail,more of this kinda stuff later.

Note: knife and “hawk” throwing,almost a traditional way to spend down time around the camp and friendly competition.NO GOOD BLADES ARE HARMED…and its really unsafe! OK go have fun.
Mr. Black       
Categories: OP-X R&D | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

OP-X Quick note:

Reading some reports and blogs /vid reviews on knife and tools that relate to survival and wilderness pursuits…If I opened a survival pack and found a rusty nail I would jump fer joy! alot of potential!  I see some people really ripping on some great kit,and really think its a waste of space,the good side is alot of common every day tools and edges will be overlooked and left for the small few who can still think outside of the toolbox.
To me, the ability to improvise is the key on getting out of a tight spot,or a temporary fix till you get back to the “world”.
Take care and have fun.

Sun shades made from 550 cord/ scare yer friends

Sun shades made from 550 cord/ scare yer friends

Categories: Operational Extras Main | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Primative Tools

Rockart W/ Tika lighting OOOOOOO!

Rockart W/ Tika lighting OOOOOOO!

A painting I did on a shield cover
A painting I did on a shield cover
rockart on limetsone(etched w/flit chip)

rockart on limestone(etched w/flint chip)

a small "Medicine Shield" I made many years ago.
a small “Medicine Shield” I made many years ago.
Lizard Headdress I made after readin a ISHI book.Dont really just felt like making it

Lizard Headdress I made after reading a ISHI book.

One of my old Rabbit/digging sticks
One of my old Rabbit/digging sticks

Guess thats all for now,I will post more pics as I find this type stuff in my garage!dont do to much Native art anymore, maybe I’ll post the reason sometime.

all stuff here was made with primative Tools and methods. more tools to follow!

Steel and bone Knife and a slate Point.Low tec...GO!

Steel and bone Knife and a slate Point.Low tec...GO!

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Tracker Knife update!

101_2159101_2300For the last couple of weeks I have been using the hell out of this knife.I have found that every task I’ve used it for, it has blown me away with the performance!

 You do have to get in the right mind set and you use some modified gripping and cutting angles that are more like you use with stone and bone tools more than you would use with modern blades,

if you just start choppin away you might be disapointed,but if you back off and think more hand axe or chopper you will be amazed at the amount of stock you can remove with little effort.Some things I’ve done,Notches,grooves,split wood,scraping,shelter poles,stakes.a spoon,fuzzsticks,large chopping chores and tons more!

 The” testing” is going well in a sence that this blade has passed with flying colors.I wont be doing any vice and hammer strength test or other distructive BS test,Just normal use heavy/light duty chores.Wont be wearing any knee pads or face shields but I do recomend a light pair or work or flight type gloves.I will post more later in more detail later

Have fun!

Categories: Wilderness Survival,Adventure.outdoor skills,Bushcraft,GO! | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Wildlife list

the last couple of weeks for some reason seemed like I was hanging out near the ramp of the Ark! heres a few beast I failed to photograph of course but just thought I might write it up in here!

  1. White tail deer- too many to even count.
  2. 3 Wild hogs
  3. 30+wild turkey
  4. 1 Corral snake
  5. 1 Copperhead
  6. 1 Western Diamond back 4 1/2  feet-that one got the good news.Sorry dude but that was my AO and you were messin my Chi.Thanks fer the buttons
  7. tons of Toads big and small
  8. smallmouth Bass-tons
  9. largemouth Bass-tons
  10. Crappie-tons
  11. birds of all kinds whatever,
  12. 1 Axis buck- cool camo!
  13. 5 Porqupine
  14. 4 Raccoon-ripp’in to some frog arse
  15. Frogs-most dead
  16. what the hell am I writing this down for.I should of just left It at saw a load of the usual critters!and no I wasnt at _ass Proshop,dont have any need for Chinese kit.

Oh well, get out there and look around. theres still tons of stuff left to look at!



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