BuckMaster Knives: The Authorized History of Models 184 & 185 By Richard Neyman
Probably no topic in cutlery circles is more controversial than “What do the U.S. Navy SEALs really carry?” While some are certain it is a secret wonder blade that the rest of us have never heard of, others cynically reject any supposedly Navy-issue knife as a cheap marketing ploy. One of the early knives to suffer the scorn of these self-proclaimed experts was the BuckMaster Survival Knife. The author has put together a complete history of how this knife was actually created at the request of the SEALs by Phrobis Ltd. in the early 1980s, manufactured by Buck Knives, and issued for a relatively short period of time.

I was surprised at how many variations in design and size Phrobis came up with before settling on the model we all know. SEAL Team Six even had their own unique models. The purpose of the highly controversial screw-on anchor points is also explained in detail. After the SEALs adopted the knife, it became a bestseller for Buck, which led to a spinoff model: the stripped-down, all-steel Model 185. Using the research from the BuckMaster and their connections with Buck, Phrobis later entered and won the competition for a new bayonet for the M16 family of rifles. Designated the M9, it remains the primary edged weapon of our combat troops to this day. The author covers the early days of the M9 in equal detail.

Mr. Neyman has told me that he is considering a second book covering later Phrobis-designed SEAL knives. If he does as excellent of a job on the second volume as he has on the first, both books will be must-reads for anyone interested in military knives. Soft cover, 352 pages, $49.95

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