TACTICAL KNIVES/November 2009
TACTICAL KNIVES/November 2009
wise, it is like trying to split a log wrappedin a tight leather belt. Once the bark wasslit, the RC-5 had no problem batoning itsway through the cherry.
In my mind, one o the primary tasks o asurvival knie is to help the owner abricateother tools and basic needs in the wilds. Atleast one British survival instructor sug-gests adding a hatchet head to your sur-vival kit. The thought here is that you can“easily”carve an axe handle rom whateveris available in the eld. I just happened tohave a small hatchet head I had picked upin a fea market or around a dollar thatneeded a handle, so I put the RC-5 to work hating it. One problem the Brit nevermentions is that wild hickory is not avail-able or handles outside the eastern U.S.Other woods may or may not be strongenough or the pounding an axe handle
changed to a narrower, saber ground edge.As with the issue knie, the RC-5 utilizesplain 1095 carbon steel or its blade. Thesheath was also changed to a “jump sae,”heavy duty Eagle Industries Cordura nylonmodel with a hard liner, accessory pouch,and leg strap. I have been told this will bechanged again in the near uture to a Kydexversion with the nylon sheath only oeredas an option. A “glass breaker”point wasadded to the end o the blade tang and asmall divot on the side o the linen Micartahandle scales creates a re bow socket. O course, the extra beeness comes at a price. The new RC-5 tips the scales at 23 ounces inthe sheath compared to the standard pilotsurvival’s 12 ounces. The RC-5 is available inblack/plain edge, black/partiallyserrated, OD/plain edge or ODpartially serrated. The suggestedretail price runs around $130, de-pending on the source.
A Case For Batoning
writers will tell you,I’m not a big an o “batoning”rewood with a knie. In general,I consider this abuse o mostblades, totally inefcient com-pared to an axe and, basically, alast ditch emergency techniqueor the wilds. Ater all, breakingyour only cutting tool could be amatter o lie and death in a realSERE situation. I understand a lost pilot willprobably not have an axe handy and will beorced to use what ever they have on theirbelt. Given the requested thickness o theRC-5, I’m guessing that was what the SEREinstructors were thinking, too.Heading out to a pile o rewood logs Ihadn’t hauled to the woodshed yet, I pro-ceeded to baton several seasoned big lea maple rounds and a couple o wild cherry(green wood would have been easier butthat isn’t realistic i you are looking or re-wood). This .25-inch thick blade wedgedthe chunks apart with ease. I you haveever split wild cherry, you probably areaware that you are required to slice thebark lengthwise rst on two sides. Other-
My rst task or the RC-5 was to cut and shape a new handle orthis hatchet head. While the knie is not ideal or ne whittling, itwill get the job done in a pinch. I let the hat thick both or extrastrength and because I don’t eel a person in a survival situation isgoing to spend any more time than necessary on the project.PHOTO CAPThe RC-5 actually has a dimple on the handle scales oruse as a socket with a rebow. While the materials ormaking a rebow are normally always available in theeld, it takes constant practice or this to be a reliablemethod o kindling a fame.
“Does $130 really soundlike that muchif you feel there isa possibility of beingshot down over enemyterritory?”
S T E V E B O T T E i c H E r P H O T O