The Benchmade 178 SOCP knife has been designed by Greg Thompson as the ultimate and optimal tool for self defense. Built as the single edge alternative to the incredibly popular 176 series–also part of the SOCP line of knives with a dagger blade–the 178 gives you the utility of a single edge fixed blade as well as providing a defensive tool regardless of what life throws at you. SOCP is pronounced SOCK-pe. It stands for Special Operations Combatives Program and was developed by Greg Thompson, after spending years working with the US Army’s Special Operations Forces. After countless encounters and combat situations a pattern emerged. Individuals needed a combat technique that gave them the ability to fight in full kit with weapons, to transition from any position, to deal with attacks from multiple assailants and from any direction.
In other words, operators needed a system to fight in close combat situations that correlated with real world situations. Out of this, came Greg Thompson’s SOCP program. An integral part of that program includes gear and tools that allows users to perform to their highest abilities regardless of the circumstances. One of these tools is the SOCP knife.
The knife is a single piece of 440C stainless steel with a black finish. At one end, there is an oversized finger hole that works perfect for hands or for hands with combat gloves on. On the butt side of the hole there is a small raised extension (very small) that has jimping across the face. This serves as a control point for your thumb when you hold the SOCP in a classic reverse grip. The finger hole is followed by a 2.5″ handle that consists of three matching finger grooves on both sides of the handle. With your thumb on the end and your forefinger in the finger hole, your remaining three fingers rest perfectly in the finger grooves. The knife can be held sharp edge forward or backward–either grip is identical with the only difference being the direction of the sharp edge. After the handle, the blade extends 3.25″ with the sharp edge taking up 2.5″ of this distance. The end of the blade ends in a sharp tip that serves for heavy piercing cuts. The edge is designed for slashing cuts. A 1″ section of the blade has serrations which makes the SOCP perfect as a utility knife for cutting cords, straps, etc.
Because of the geometry and size of the blade and handle, the SOCP allows the user to create space. The biggest problem in a close combat situation is getting to the maximum tool available. An attacker launches at you unexpectedly and grapples you around your shoulders. He is preventing you from drawing your duty weapon. But, hands are free to grab at the slim profile SOCP. You merely place your forefinger into the hole and pull. Instantly, you have a tool in your hands that allows you to slash, stab and create space. Once space has been created, an issue that arose for many operators was what to do with the weapon. Do you drop your knife in order to draw your pistol? If so, do you have time to fully draw your pistol before your assailant gets back into your space? The SOCP solves this problem because you can draw and use your pistol even while still holding onto the SOCP knife.
The SOCP fixed blade comes with a black or sand sheath. The sheath has an attached, deep carry pocket clip. The tip of the clip is dip coated to prevent it from coming out of position when the SOCP is drawn. An integral part of the SOCP, the dagger is easily stashed in a conceal position or in your MOLLE gear.
To my mind, the SOCP is one of the best defensive carry tools I have ever seen. It allows you to conceal carry, it gives you the ability to create space when necessary, and it allows you the peace of mind that whatever may happen, you always have a tool that is readily accessible. Get your own Benchmade SOCP on our website here. Watch the video below to see Greg Thompson describe the SOCP.
- Blade Length: 3.22″
- Blade Thickness: 0.185″
- Blade Material: 440C
- Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
- Blade Style: Single Edge, Combo
- Weight: 2.20oz
- Pocket Clip: Sheath Mounted
- Lock Mechanism: Fixed
- Overall Length: 7.25″
- Sheath Material: Injected Molded w/ Clip Class: Black