We’ve never been into knives like some are—there’s a whole blade subculture, and we ain't in it. What we know ‘bout knives can be summarized as: 1) Don’t cut commo wire with your folder or the First Sergeant’s fixed blade, 2) Boy Scouts need a Totin’ Chip before they can whittle, 3) if you pull a great big blade from a rock you get to be King of England. Even we though, knife noobs that we are, know who Darrel Ralph is. We had a chance to meet him at the 2011 Blade Show & Tactical Gear Expo, which was damn kewl. He filled us in on things he had going.
One of the coolest is undoubtedly the new assisted open version of the Gun Hammer. The Gun Hammer (named for its 1911 look) is 100% USA made. The stainless carbon steel blade is 59-61rc that comes with (and will hold) a serious edge. The handle is milspec type III anodized aircraft aluminum so it’s light and easy to carry, with an ETAC textured grip pattern and a DLC coated black blade.
That’s the tech explanation—now we’ll give you the visceral truth of it.
This knife is nice; feels good, looks good and no kidding has the smoothest operating mechanism we’ve looked at to date. “The Gun Hammer…well, we wanted a knife that was ergonomic,” Darrel told us, speaking with quiet sincerity, “with a grip that even when it’s wet won’t slip and you can use it all day and it won’t blister you up.”
Retail runs $220. However if you purchase directly from Darrel and HTM, using the code KUDR takes 15% off that price (not sure how long that rate will last, but we got the impression it would be quite a while).
“We have a passion for what we do,” he said. “I like money as much as the next guy, but not at the expense of the people who protect us.” Darrel is a straight edge and about as nice as anyone we’ve ever met in the industry. If he says it, he means it.
Our handlers are using their Gun Hammers hard. If the knives fail or
disappoint, we’ll advise, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it.