The history of Smith and Wesson begins with Horace Smith and Daniel B Wesson, who both came from New England families. Horace learned the firearms trade while working at the National Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts. Daniel’s experience came from apprenticing with his brother Edwin Wesson, the leading maker of target rifles and pistols into eh 1840s. The two men formed their first partnership in 1852 in Norwich, Connecticut, with the aim of marketing a lever action repeating pistol that could use a fully self-contained cartridge. The first pistol venture was not a financial success, and by 1854 the company was having financial difficulties. Face with their financial difficulties, they were forced to sell their company to a shirt manufacturer by the name of Oliver Winchester. In 1866, using the original lever action design created by Smith and Wesson, Winchester’s company emerged as the famous Winchester Repeating Arms Co. IN 1865 Smith and Wesson formed their second partnership to produce a small revolver designed to fire the Rimfire cartridge they patented in August of 1854. This revolver was the first successful fully self-contained cartridge revolver available in the world. Smith and Wesson secured patents for the revolver to prevent other manufacturers form producing a cartridge revolver—giving the young company a very lucrative business. So, while Smith and Wesson is synonymous with high quality firearms, Smith and Wesson also makes knives. Actually, they don’t make the knives themselves, but they do carry the Smith and Wesson name and are still part of the rich tradition of this American firearms company. After they gained the experience from their first company, they were able to launch their first real success, which is the Model 3 American. This was the world’s first caliber cartridge revolver. They have continued to lead the industry for over 150 years.
But, they first started manufacturing knives in 1974. As a company, Smith and Wesson is heavily focused on the safety and security business, and knives were an obvious step from their core activities. Smith and Wesson knives used to be manufactured in house, although for a period of time Vermont Cutlery Co of West Rutland VT made knives for Smith and Wesson. Today, Taylor Cutlery makes and sells Smith and Wesson knives.
Today, a lot of the Smith and Wesson knives made today are manufactured overseas and cater to the police and military. Smith and Wesson provides a lot of rescue, tactical, automatic, and assisted open knives at affordable prices. Smith and Wesson’s Military and Police knives are some of the more popular knives that they make today. These are large folding pocket knives outfitted with Multipurpose Assisted Generational Innovative Cutlery (MAGIC) technology, a proprietary technology developed by the engineers at Taylor Brands.
Today, we will be talking about the Military and Police 13 spring assist series. This is the same knife, but with different designs.
The blades on this series of knives is made out of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. This is a popular budget brand of knife steel, which is made in China. In composition, this steel is close to the Japanese steel of AUS-8 grade. Even though it is a low cost steel, it actually offers you pretty high quality for the price. And, with a suitable heat treatment, the steel has the best qualities brought out and it can retain its sharpness for a long period of time. Plus, this steel has a good cutting steel and it does sport very good corrosion resistance—with the proper heat treatment. One of the biggest advantages of this steel is that it will keep sharpening well and because it is a softer steel (at 56-59HRC) this steel is very easy to sharpen. All in all, this steel is well balanced with regard to strength, cutting, and anti-corrosion properties. Do keep in mind that with steel, you get what you pay for, so while this steel is going to be able to stand up to and take on most duties, it will not excel at anything.
The blade on this series of knives has been finished with a black coating finish. There are some benefits to having a coated finish, but there is also a list of drawbacks. Some of the benefits to a coated finish is that they do provide corrosion resistance, they are matte so they won’t give you away in a tactical situation, and they help to prolong the life of your blade. However, coatings will scratch off after prolonged or heavy usage. Once the coating has been scratched off, you will have to re-coat your blade if you wish to have the benefits remain. Quality coatings do add cost to your blade, but they do provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.
The Military and Police 13 Spring Assist series have clip point style blades. This is the perfect blade if you are looking for a great all-purpose blade. A clip point is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today and the most common place that you are going to find this style is on a Bowie knife. However, you are also going to find it on many other styles of knives such as a pocket knife and a fixed blade knife. To form this style of blade the back edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and stops about halfway up the knife. It then turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be cut out or clipped out, which is where this shape got its name. On this series of knife, the cut out area is straight, instead of the commonly curved cut out portion. The point that is created by this clipped out portion is lowered, which means that you are going to have more control over the blade when you are using the knife. Because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the other features of this knife series that makes it so useful is that it features a large belly that is perfect for slicing. There is really only one disadvantage of the clip point blade and that is how narrow the tip is. Because it is so sharp and narrow, it does have a tendency to be weak and can break fairly easily. When you choose this knife, because of the clip point style blade, you are choosing a knife that is perfect for all-purpose use and ideal for almost any situation.
The blades on these three versions of the knife all have a combo edge. This is where half of the blade has a plain edge and the other half is serrated. The top portion is the plain and the bottom portion (closer to the handle) is the serrated part. You can really get the best of both worlds with a combo edge because you do have the plain part to do you detail and fine work and the serrated edge to do all your sawing. However, some people do feel like you don’t have enough of either portion to make it count. They feel like the plain edge isn’t big enough to get the work done and the serrated part is also too small to really take on the harder challenges. It really all comes down to personal preference, but keep both sides in mind.
The handle on these knives are all made out of the same materials, but what sets them apart is the colors that are used. They are all made out of aluminum and rubber. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. This is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. This material is extremely corrosion resistance. There are some definite drawbacks to an aluminum handle though. For starters, it is a very cold material, so if you are using it in the winter months, it’s going to feel like its biting into your hand. Aluminum is also susceptible to scratches and dings. And lastly, aluminum is pretty slippery. To combat the majority of those issues, this Military and Police series of knives have rubber inlays. Rubber is going to give you a solid grip, it’s not going to feel cold, and it’s not going to get scratched up. This handle stands apart from many of the other knife handles.
There are three knives in this series—each of them have been anodized in a different color. There is a black and tan version, a black and grey version, and a tan and black version. The black and tan vs tan and black are different—one of the rubber inlays is black and the other is tan.
On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole. There is a row of thick jimping on the spine of the handle where the blade meets the handle, and another row of smaller jimping where the lanyard hole lies. There is a wide finger groove and a finger guard to keep your fingers safe.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clips are all black. They are kept in place by two small, black screws that match the rest of the hardware. This is a deep carry pocket clip so it will stay very snug in your pocket.
This is a spring assisted knife. While an automatic knife deploys the baled on its own with a trigger, a spring assisted knife needs an external force to engage the spring. The spring mechanism in a spring assist knife is quite simple. While there are many different variations on the mechanism they are pretty much the same in essence. There is a spring or tension bar in the knife connected to the blade and the handle. When the knife is closed or lock, the spring or tension bar is engaged and kept in its active state by some sort of resistance. When opening the blade with your thumb or finger you push tension bar past the resistance. This then allows the spring or tension bar to continue to open the blade on its own. In other words, once the resistance is overcome the spring engages and does the rest of the work opening the knife for you. Because of the different mechanism than an automatic knife, a spring assisted knife is not subjected to the same strict laws as an automatic knife.
This knife is actually equipped with two different ways to open it. There is the dual thumb stud. The thumb stud is one of the most common one-hand opening features. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives—you grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flex thumb on the stud, and extend your thumb to wing the blade though its arc until the blade is fully open. Because stud extends through the blade, the knife can be opened with either hand.
This knife also features a flipper. This is a small protrusion that juts out of the spine of the handle that you pull back on to “flip” the blade out and lock it into place. One of the benefits about this opening mechanism is that it does keep your fingers out of the way while you are opening it.
The blade on this knife is 3.48 inches long. The knife has an overall length of 8.25 inches long. The handle on this series of knives is 4.77 inches long and the knife weighs in at 4.9 ounces.
Smith & Wesson already has an incredible name recognition in the firearm industry for their innovative concepts and rugged designs so it comes to no surprise that the Smith & Wesson line of knives, which are manufactured by BTI Tools, showcases the same vision–and all done at competitive prices. This liner lock designed model has everything you need and nothing you don’t–for starters, the ergonomic handle design boasts thumb rest jimping and a rear jimping platform for a secure hold in a reverse grip. The blade is manually deployed with the use of the dual thumb studs or the ambidextrous spine flipper function which truly solidifies the fact that this is a true no-nonsense tactical folder. This knife series features a rubber overmold with aluminum handle, stainless steel liners, a clip point style blade, that is partly serrated, in a black finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle.