The slim handle of the ARS OTF auto makes it a dream to carry. For a relative newcomer to the industry, ARS builds a high quality knife!

Out-the-front (OTF) automatics have been always been an interest of mine. Fast and sleek, often with mechanisms and styling that screams “knife geek,” OTFs have continually been lambasted by tactical knife nuts as simple gimmicks—more akin to tactical jewelry than “real knives.” These distant relatives of the old, ubiquitous Rostfrei Nato Military still carry the stigma of the cheap import OTFs of the past. Have recent advances in technology and materials made them significantly better than those old junkers? Are the new breed of OTFs worthy to ride the proverbial river with?

Alex Shunnarah has been making some very interesting manual and fixed knives for several years out of his Alabama workshop. A self-proclaimed tactical nut and extreme sportsman, Alex has crafted some innovations: a great, hugely-popular little razor blade knife that fits in a dog tag holder, very nice conventional side-opening autos and folders, and now, his latest passion, a tactical OTF automatic that is built from high-end materials and slated for 2011 release.

All About ARS
The ARS (Attack-Rescue-Survive) OTF is a light and slim piece with machined aluminum handles and premium stainless for the button lock and ATS-34 stainless for the blade. All signs are that it is a well made knife. It is a “charging handle” knife, which requires you to pull the blade back manually via a lanyard—a decidedly two-handed affair—but it allows you to have a fairly robust action spring. The knife is a feathery 3.2 ounces. It is a joy to carry.

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The slim handle of the ARS OTF auto makes it a dream to carry.…