Rorke Denver probably qualifies as a ‘trusted’ source for the low-down on what combat gear works and what sucks. The SEAL-turned actor has had plenty of opportunities to watch guns and knives (and the people who carry them) fail in the crucible: he served in the teams for 14 years as a SEAL platoon commander and training officer. What knives went downrange with Lt. Cmdr. Denver? SOG.
In his book Damn Few, Denver debunks the myth of the Rambo knife and names names when it comes to his favorite edged gear:
For most SEALs, the big Rambo knife is mostly a myth and I never carried one. But like most warriors, I always had a fixed-blade knife with me, a SOG Desert Dagger with a six-inch blade or the slightly smaller SOG Pentagon with a five-inch blade.
I have buddies who are knife pros. They’ve convinced me that a folding-blade knife is a broken knife, great in your pocket at home, not so great in battle. Fixed is just stronger. I used it to cut a line, open a package, slice open a mattress in a hunt for hidden weapons. That knife was in action many times a day. The handles and the grips are easy to hold whether hands are wet or dry.
I hung my knife vertically on my body armor, handle up, blade down. That way if someone came at me in close quarters in such a way that my hands were pinned against my chest, I’d still be able to grab the handle of the knife. It would have to be a highly motivated bad guy to still hang on as I was slicing at his hands or his eyes.
The Bride famously used a Desert Dagger in her knife fight with Vanita Green in “Kill Bill: Vol. 1.” SOG stopped production of the Desert Dagger shortly after the film made it famous, a marketing move which makes sense to absolutely nobody.
Thanks (in part) to Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarentino, you’ll be lucky to find a Desert Dagger for sale these days. If you do it’s likely to be at an auction site, and you’re going to say goodbye to several hundred dollars.
Thanks, Quentin. Just for that I’m not linking to your movie, but here’s a link to the Act Of Valor trailer instead.