That Old KaBar, by L.W.

KaBar Knife
KaBar Knife

Back in 1968 I was three years old and my Dad took a job with the Panamanian Government teaching them how to fly their newly acquired Lockheed Constellation. The plane crashed on take off killing everyone onboard. My search to know my father began at an early age in a country as small and confused as I was.

My mother began another quest. Single, she had to balance work, raising her two boys and sanity. She worked as a Kindergarten teacher in poverty stricken Norfolk, Virginia so we lived in reduced rent beach houses in the Winter and traveled to stay with family in the Summer. We simply could not afford the rent when the arrival of tourists drove it up. Looking back I consider this lucky.

The endpoint of our cross-country adventures were always the open arms of Grandparents. My Mom’s folks still lived in Lindsay, Oklahoma. We used to joke that my Mom was the Homecoming Queen of a one stop-light town. I have many fond memories of fishing & hunting with my Uncle and Cousins. Here a boy was allowed to be a boy and that meant carrying a knife everywhere. My first knife was an old buck folder. A gift from my Uncle. He helped me connect with manhood in small simple ways; filleting the catfish we just caught, telling me stories of my Dad and letting me shoot a rifle for the first time. I fell in love with knives and have owned many since.

One Summer in particular stands out. My father’s side of the family lived in Phoenix, AZ. Since we were on the East Coast trips all the way across the country were not common. This Summer we would drive to Oklahoma and then take the Greyhound bus to Phoenix. I don’t know how my Mom survived it, but for my little brother and I it was quite an adventure. Mile after mile of “flyover” country out our window, colorful passengers (met my first drunk!) and plenty of travel games. We were eager to arrive in Phoenix, but the bus was high entertainment.

Granny was glad to see us and welcomed us into her home. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for her to lose her son and spending time with us had to remind her of her loss. I can remember her taking us into the spare bedroom and pull out a box of memories. Pictures, his watch & wallet, matchbooks from every place he and my Mom visited on their Honeymoon and his Marine issue Kabar survival knife.

I hadn’t known that my Dad was a fighter pilot in Korea. Later my younger brother would take a job with the Army Corps of Engineers and out of curiosity track down our Father’s discharge papers. It took a lot of guts for my Mom to let her son keep that knife when Granny offered it. I find it amazing that I never did lose it. Knowing that my Dad carried it at his side while serving our country and brought it home with him with the dreams of sharing the outdoors with the sons he would some day have connected me to him through this knife.

When my own sons were just old enough to handle the Kabar without hurting themselves they got to hold the knife. It was their introduction to the GrandPa they didn’t get to meet. And as I retold the stories and help them connect with him that Kabar was the loadstone that gave tangible truth to the memories I found in my search.

A year ago my eldest daughter gave birth and I became a Grandfather. Right now my Addie Rose is too little to handle a knife, but the time will come when she will get to hear stories of her Great-Grand Father Earl while holding that old Kabar . Until then it will stay in my dresser where it awaits my occasional visits with Dad.

KaBar Short Fixed Blade Knives — SnapShot Review

Short KA-BAR 1251 Knife
Short KA-BAR 1251 Knife

KA-BAR is most well known for their classic fighting knives. Quite possibly the most famous fixed blade knives in the world, the KA-BAR combat knife features a no nonsense stacked leather handle, a 1095 steel full tang blade with black finish, and they come in a variety of sheath options.  What you might not have known, is that these same full size combat knives are available in a compact size as well.  These “short” 3/4 size KA-BAR fixed blade knives have all the same features, they are just a bit smaller. Still serious knives, these “short” knives have a blade lenth of 5.25″ and an overall length of 9.25″   These are perfect all around combat knives and work great in nearly every outdoor situation as well.  Check them out in our KA-BAR section.

BladeOps is Now an Official Ka-Bar Dealer

Ka Bar 5700
Ka Bar 5700

Although we have carried Ka-Bar knives since we opened back in 2008, we are now officially a Ka-Bar dealer.  So if there are any Ka-Bar knives that you want us to get our hands on so you can then get your hands on said Ka-Bar knife–shoot us an email, give us a call, or otherwise alert us.

Ka-Bar Zombie Killer War Sword — Quick Review

Ka-Bar Zombie War Sword
Ka-Bar Zombie War Sword, model #5701

Ka-Bar is a veritable icon when it comes to combat knives.  Having produced some of the most recognizable war knives since 1898, they have now entered the war against Zombies.  The Zombie Killer War Sword is a prime example  of Ka-Bar’s willingness to lead from the front in the battle for survival from brain eating menaces that seem to roam the world of our collective imagination.

The Zombie “War” Sword features a 9 11/16″ blade and has an overall length of 15 1/4″ giving you all the reach you need to take out the mindless attackers without getting close enough for them to unscrew your skull cap.  The blade, like each of the knives in the Original Zombie series is 1095 Cro-Van with a black finish.  The handle is toxic green glass filled nylon so you keep a good grip on your battle weapon even if things get a little slimy.  A little bonus that Ka-Bar has decided to throw into the package for free is the included black scales (in case you need to do a little Ninja work in your fight against the Zombies) as well as a skeletonized Acheron knife that is a great little 6 3/8″ fixed blade knife.

Made in the USA, the Ka-Bar “War” sword allows you to join the battle against the encroaching evil. Be prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse with your new “War” sword.  And while you wait for the encroaching, shuffle mob with no brains, this hefty knife will be perfect to help you get your camp set up.  A perfect chopping, clearing, cleaning, and all around useful tool.  Check it out on our website here.  And let me know, down below, how your battle against the Zombies is going.