Here’s another guest blog entry from the newest member of the Browning Web team.
Browning Black Label Tactical Knives debuted in 2012, a bold move that surprised and pleased many in the shooting, hunting, and outdoor industry. Our line of hunting knives and other cutting tools are well known to outdoorsman – to quote Dale Weathers, Browning VP over Black Label Products, “We’ve always made excellent knives for the outdoor sportsman and dabbled somewhat in the world of tactical knives. This is quite simply a line for our customers that want or need the utility of tactical edged tools.”
Russ Komer, renowned custom knife maker, has collaborated with Jared Wihongi, a world recognized Law Enforcement officer and expert in the field of close quarters combat, in order to create a line of tactical knives that provide maximum utility, reliability, and visual/tactile appeal across an affordable range of price points.
Having carried knives in combat, I have my own unique perspective on tactical knives. As we say, “opinions are like armpits, everyone has them and the all stink”, but here’s mine anyways…
Prior to deploying to Kunar, Afghanistan, in 2009, I bought a fixed blade knife which I promptly strapped to the front of my of my chest rig to be worn over my body armor. Soldiers joke about such items, calling them the ubiquitous BAK (Big A#$ Knife). I’m sure that more than one individual has pictured themselves using their knife to silently take out Taliban guards as they cleared caves in Tora Bora.
Reality was far less exciting – during my year in the most kinetic provice of Afghanistan, I used my knife primarily to open MRE’s and cut parachute cord. I found my knife especially useful when we encountered low hanging electrical cable over a narrow road leading up through one of the less friendly valleys in the area. I cut a branch off one of the only trees growing in the area and made an improvised tool to lift the cables so the gargantuan antennas on our MRAPs could pass underneath without tearing down the primitive electrical grid to the nearby remote village. The villagers stoically looked on – nodding their approval of our small but considerate act that was an essential part of winning “Hearts and Minds”.
In spite of the more mundane purpose of the modern tactical knife, the morale-boosting factor of a knife can be just as important as its actual utility. During WWI, the American soldiers were issued trench knifes, easily identified by their brass knuckle handle, as a way of improving their moral as they suffered in the freezing, muddy, and rat infested trenches of Europe. Whether you’re going into a possible gun fight, the great outdoors, or just headed out into the uncertainty of life – carrying a quality blade makes you feel a little more prepared for whatever task may lay ahead.
Browning Black Label Knives fill these niches and more – providing morale boosting confidence and practical utility in a high quality and affordable package. Our new offerings for the 2013 SHOT Show demonstrate new innovation, such as the Tripwire, with an integrated wire cutter capable of cutting through chain link fence. We also have drawn from exotic proven designs – as seen in our Fear Factor and Strike Force Karambit-style tactical knives. If you like historical tradition, you’ll see the OSS roots of the Backlash double edge blade.
All of our fixed blade knives come with either and adjustable Blade-Tech kydex sheath, or a MOLLE compatible ballistic nylon sheath for the Tripwire. Many of the fixed blade and folder knives come standard with glass breakers.
Stewart B. — Browning 2013
Posted: January 18th, 2013 under * 2013 SHOT Show *.