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The new Entrek Close Combat MK-II is not a knife for everyone but if your job brings you down to grappling range of the enemy, this blade will be your best friend. The commando knife next to the Entrek is an early WW-II British issue Birmingham Small Arms Fairbairn.

Virtually from the time the first blade was chipped out of a flint shard, double-edge daggers have ruled fighting knife designs around the world. Early bronze daggers looked much the same as the stone weapons that came before them, and later on, steel blades varied little from the bronze. During World War II, the Fairbairn/Sykes commando dagger gained a near cult following among elite raiding units of several allied armies. Even today when someone sets out to design a knife purely as an edged weapon, nine times out of ten it will still be easily recognizable as a dagger. With about 100,000 years of field-testing behind them, it is pretty hard to question the effectiveness of the straight, double-edge blade as a weapon.

Close Combat MK-II

Ray Ennis’ of Entrek Knives new “Close Combat MK-II” is a classic representation of this millenia-old technology. The place to start with any discussion of this knife would probably be an upfront statement that this is not a combat/survival, wilderness bushcraft, backpacking, hunting, fish cleaning or any other everyday kind of utility blade. Daggers are weapons first and tools last. While there are times when one piece of sharp steel is as good as another, daggers are seldom any knowledgeable person’s first choice for normal uses. What they specialize in is creating deep, penetrating wounds in close-quarters combat. Blade length is the cold steel version of firearm stopping power, and Ray’s 7-inch blade is a magnum in its field.

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While you need to be careful with the double edge spine, with a little effort you can whittle fire starting shavings and similar tasks with the Entek.

As all the armchair commandoes are quick to point out, the British F/S daggers were reported to have several flaws. The first was the round handle that makes it difficult to orientate the edges by feel in the dark. Ray’s design corrects this by having what might be called a flat saber grip pattern Micarta slab hilt. Anyway you grasp it, the knife will still provide a cutting edge on either side of your hand. The next supposed flaw of the Brit knife was that the blade and point were weak. Frankly, this was not as much of a problem on the early military issue Fairbarins as it was on the mass-produced post-war copies made for civilian sales. The Birmingham Small Arms version is actually 3/16-inch thick at the hilt and tapers to relatively heavy point. In any case, the 1.25-inch wide blade of the Entrek model is a full 0.25 inches thick with a broader point better suited to slashing attacks as well as thrusts. Like the Brit commando, the MK-II is a fairly handle-heavy design (13 ounces), something many knifefighting instructors consider desirable in a thrusting weapon.

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