NoVz from Colonel Blades features shortened grip for additional concealability. Kydex sheath (shown) is optional. Injection-molded sheath is standard.

THE CUTTING EDGE: Colonel Blades Colonel Folder & NoVz

In a close-quarters lethal-force encounter, we may not have the time or ability to deploy our firearm. A dedicated knife for personal defense is an essential component of everyday carry for anyone serious about self-defense. We not only need to carry a knife but must also be able to deploy and use it effectively. I…

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Marines with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines prepare to clear building after throwing flashbang at Camp Pendleton, California in 2014. Photo: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray / Released

GET THE MOST FLASHBANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Training With Distraction Devices

The noise flash diversionary device (NFDD), also commonly referred to as a flash sound diversionary device (FSDD), diversionary device, Distraction Device®, flash grenade, or flashbang, is an essential tool of the trade for tactical teams. NFDDs produce dramatic pyrotechnics that are intended to provide a brief distraction without causing permanent injury. Although often used generically,…

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Gearward HemiSERE is modernized version of classic OSS/SOE Lapel Dagger. It’s made of a special titanium/ceramic composite and has a single-edge Wharncliffe blade profile.

AGAINST ALL ODDS: Gearward Escape Tools

We live in an age of increasing terrorism and criminal activity. Hostage taking and kidnapping have dramatically increased as preferred tactics. No country is totally safe. Those at greatest risk include military and government personnel, foreign aid workers, and journalists in conflict zones, as well as recreational and business travelers in countries with a high…

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HatchetHawk has a tough, one-piece drop-forged multi-function head made from 5160 tool steel. It combines the best features of a Frankish axe, bearded axe, and tomahawk. It has a hammer poll for utility.

THE CUTTING EDGE: Spyderco Genzow HatchetHawk

Axes have served as a tool and weapon throughout history, from the dawn of toolmaking through today. The hand axe or tomahawk is a diverse instrument with multiple applications from general utility to tactical. It’s a true multi-mission tool. In a survival scenario, it can be your best friend. Tomahawk is a derivation of the…

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U.S. Air Force officer builds fire to help combat frostbite and hypothermia during SERE exercise. Knowing how to build a fire is one of the most important survival skills. Photo: U.S Air Force

OFFBEAT: C’mon Baby, Light My (Survival) Fire

The ability to start a fire is a key factor in surviving in the wild. It can mean the difference between life and death. The conditions won’t be ideal. You need redundant ignition methods to ensure at least one works in any environment. THE SURVIVAL LIGHTER A good lighter cannot be matched for its all-around…

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Strat Ops has a reversible low-carry pocket clip for tip-up carry. Knife disappears in a pocket. Only clip is visible.


SOG Specialty Knives & Tools was founded in 1986 by designer and toolmaker Spencer Frazer. Named after the elite Vietnam-era Special Forces military group known as the Studies and Observation Group, the company’s first knife was a replica of the original SOG Bowie knife. The SOG Strat Ops Auto is an impressive recent addition to…

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SureFire M312 Mini Scout Light and Cloud Defensive Light Control System are an outstanding combo, especially for applications where rail space is at a premium. M312 and LCS are on San Tan Tactical STT-15 .300 BLK pistol with Gear Head Works Tailhook MOD 1 Pistol Brace.

OFFBEAT White Light Performance Redefined

The use of a remote tape switch allows for optimal placement of a weaponlight without compromising light activation, a major benefit especially with SBRs and PDWs. A tape switch also provides an optimal method of light activation under stress. In the past, poor mounting solutions, cable management issues, increased potential for negligible light discharges, and…

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HK Karma is versatile new knife from Hogue Knives designed for duty. Author tested this version with spearpoint blade and black G10 handles.

THE CUTTING EDGE Hogue HK Karma First Response Tool

Heckler & Koch and Hogue, Inc. have partnered to release a family of high-performance knives designed and built for law enforcement, military, and first responders. Hogue is now the exclusive knifemaker for Heckler & Koch. The first three knives of the HK Knives series collaboration were unveiled at SHOT Show 2018. They’re the HK Exemplar,…

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SILENCE IS GOLDEN: Gemtech GMT-300BLK Sound Suppressor

I’m a big fan of the .300 AAC Blackout (.300 BLK/7.62x35mm) because it gives options not found in any other factory cartridge for the AR-15/M4 platform. The cartridge was developed to provide improved performance from the AR platform with only a barrel change, using standard bolts and gas impingement systems. Standard 5.56mm magazines can also…

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TOPS Mini Pry Knife was designed at the request of law enforcement officers who needed a compact, easily carried, low-profile breaching tool.

THE CUTTING EDGE: TOPS Knives Mini Pry Knife

TOPS Knives Mini Pry Knife (MPK-01) is a hardcore tool for hardcore tasks. It was designed at the request of a group of law enforcement officers, many of whom were involved in high-risk warrant service and fugitive recovery. They weren’t looking for a team tool but a smaller pry knife for individual carry that could…

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