THE COVERT CUS­TOM KNIFE

A PER­FECT CONCEALEDCARRY COM­PAN­ION

Knives Illustrated - - News - BY CLINT THOMPSPON

Biegler Blade­works uti­lizes ex­ten­sive mar­tial arts train­ing and Asian travel ex­pe­ri­ence to re­de­fine the fixed blade EDC. Find out how it per­formed.

Brian Biegler is a Texas man who has amassed con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge about South­east Asia. For much of 10 years, Brian trav­eled and lived there.

When I in­ter­viewed Brian at his shop in Dal­las, Texas, I found him to be soft-spo­ken and highly in­tel­li­gent. He told me he has al­ways loved mar­tial arts and the feel of a good knife. He ex­plained that he had been mak­ing his own knives for the bet­ter part of 15 years. That ex­pe­ri­ence led to the de­sign of the Covert Cus­tom Knife.

Stu­dent Turned Teacher

As Brian ad­vanced to the top of his mar­tial arts train­ing, he be­gan train­ing with masters who sup­ple­mented sticks with knives and other edged weapons. It turns out that Brian is a highly skilled Thai-boxer who has taught this mar­tial art in Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land. It is noth­ing short of amaz­ing that a Westerner was teach­ing Thai-box­ing to Thai stu­dents.

Brian went to Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land, to con­tinue his stud­ies and to achieve his goal of get­ting his doc­tor­ate in bio­med­i­cal science (bio­med­i­cal science is an ap­plied science for fur­ther­ing pub­lic health, find­ing cures for dis­eases and other sim­i­lar types of re­search). In fact, he was the first Westerner to re­ceive a doc­tor­ate in science at Chi­ang Mai Univer­sity.

The Third Time is the Charm

As a Westerner liv­ing and trav­el­ing through­out South­east Asia, Brian be­came aware of per­sonal se­cu­rity con­cerns. He soon found a need for an eas­ily car­ried, fixed-blade knife—one he could carry con­cealed. He could not find a suit­able fixed blade he felt he could rely on. As a re­sult, he de­cided to de­sign and make a cus­tom, ev­ery­day com­pan­ion. Brian was a re­searcher by na­ture and via his aca­demic pur­suits, so he stud­ied ethnographic blades in places such as Malaysia, In­done­sia, Laos and, of course, Thai­land.

“BRIAN WAS A RE­SEARCHER BY NA­TURE AND VIA HIS ACA­DEMIC PUR­SUITS, SO HE STUD­IED ETHNOGRAPHIC BLADES IN PLACES SUCH AS MALAYSIA, IN­DONE­SIA, LAOS AND, OF COURSE, THAI­LAND.”

While in Laos, he be­friended a se­nior monk at the 16th-cen­tury Wat Mai Bud­dha tem­ple. The monk would some­times al­low him to visit a locked tem­ple to view and han­dle stacks of an­cient polearms and other weapons used to fight bat­tles … or tigers.

This re­search, along with a good feel for what he needed, pre­pared Brian for his own knife­mak­ing at­tempt, so he ac­quired a small stock of ATS 34 stain­less steel. He at­tempted three dif­fer­ent knives be­fore he felt he had reached per­fec­tion. He calls this de­sign Caprica Six, which served as his con­stant com­pan­ion while trav­el­ing. It worked so well, the ex­pe­ri­ence in­spired Brian to con­tinue ex­pand­ing his knife­mak­ing ca­reer.

The Covert Cus­tom Knife

Brian part­nered with Tim Waid, a for­mer Marine and Pek­iti-tir­sia Kali (Philip­pine mar­tial arts) ex­pert, af­ter re­turn­ing to Texas. Tim is the pres­i­dent of PTKGO, which pro­vides train­ing in knife de­fense and of­fense world­wide for mil­i­tary, law en­force­ment and cor­po­rate se­cu­rity, in­clud­ing the Philip­pine marines and po­lice. He also

has de­signed sev­eral blades that are com­mer­cially pro­duced to­day. To­gether, Brian and Tim cre­ated the Covert Cus­tom knife. In my opin­ion, it is the per­fect mar­tial arts, per­sonal-pro­tec­tion, fixed-blade knife. The de­sign was mainly Tim’s, with Brian’s as­sis­tance and knowl­edge of knife­mak­ing.

I am truly im­pressed with this de­sign. The Covert Cus­tom is very well bal­anced (this is in­ten­tion­ally in­cor­po­rated into the over­all de­sign) and com­fort­able to hold in the hand. With my mar­tial arts, law en­force­ment and in­ter­na­tional trainer back­ground, I can see the ap­pli­ca­tions this knife will have in the hands of trained mil­i­tary per­son­nel, as well as in the pri­vate sec­tor.

My Covert Cus­tom sports a 4-inch CPM154 stain­less steel blade that mea­sures 1 inch at its widest point.

I call this blade de­sign a “su­per-mod­i­fied tanto.” The OD green-tex­tured G-10 han­dle has a grip of about 4 inches. Mak­ing this knife ex­cep­tion­ally strong is the full tang blade that is 0.125-inch thick. The en­tire knife weighs 5.6 ounces, and with the neatly de­signed Ky­dex sheath, its to­tal weight is 7.4 ounces.

“… I CAN SEE THE AP­PLI­CA­TIONS THIS KNIFE WILL HAVE IN THE HANDS OF TRAINED MIL­I­TARY PER­SON­NEL, AS WELL AS IN THE PRI­VATE SEC­TOR.”

Any­thing You Can Dish Out …

I put the en­tire pack­age through some se­ri­ous test­ing.the Covert Cus­tom took ev­ery­thing I put it through. I used a ¾-inch-thick treated board for the pen­e­tra­tion test. Us­ing a leather glove, I one-handed an over­handed stab into the board, penetrating slightly through. I found this amaz­ing for a 5.6-ounce knife.

I re­moved the blade from the board and found no change in the sharp­ness of the point or edge. Then (with one false start), I chopped two times, cut­ting through a 1-inch stalk of green

bam­boo. Not bad for a light­weight knife not in­tended for chop­ping.

“TO­GETHER, BRIAN AND TIM CRE­ATED THE COVERT CUS­TOM KNIFE. IN MY OPIN­ION, IT IS THE PER­FECT MAR­TIAL ARTS, PER­SONAL-PRO­TEC­TION, FIXED-BLADE KNIFE.”

As you know, most knives are not made for pry­ing things open. They are tools—but not that type of tool. Even so, I used the Covert Cus­tom’s point for some pry­ing; there was no break­age or dam­age.

Ex­cel­lent Carry Sys­tem

The Covert Cus­tom comes with a Ky­dex sheath made to carry this fixed blade con­cealed in­side the pants. The sheath slides in­side the pants at the belt­line. The at­tached leather strap then comes through un­der the belt and up to snap to the sheath. As a re­sult, the sheath stays in place when the knife is drawn. I car­ried my sam­ple Covert Cus­tom con­cealed for a two-week test pe­riod.

The first time I went out, I for­got that the knife was even at­tached to my belt. It car­ries very com­fort­ably and re­mains con­cealed, yet handy for use.

I also had my 1911 .45ACP on. The Covert Cus­tom and the 1911 make a per­fect part­ner­ship. Draw­ing this knife with the off­hand from its Ky­dex sheath is smooth and nat­u­ral.

A word of warn­ing: The Covert Cus­tom is a very sharp knife. When prac­tic­ing the draw, use ex­treme care. No mat­ter how good you are, you can in­jure your­self in prac­tice. The carry sys­tem re­quires the knife to be very close to your side. It can hap­pen to any­one. To il­lus­trate: A friend of mine, an of­fi­cer and mar­tial arts ex­pert in sev­eral dis­ci­plines—in­clud­ing edge weapons— had a mo­ment of re­lapse in prac­tic­ing a draw of an­other brand of knife. He in­flicted a se­ri­ous, 4-inch slash to his torso.

Made in Amer­ica

The Covert Cus­tom is a well-de­signed, well-made knife with an ex­cel­lent carry sys­tem. I highly rec­om­mend this knife for those of you who re­quire qual­ity equip­ment. Each Covert Cus­tom is made in­di­vid­u­ally in the United States, by an Amer­i­can and made with U.S. steel. KI

34

Right: Covert Cus­tom is an ex­cep­tion­ally made and de­signed knife. Many trial-and-er­ror ef­forts went into the fi­nal prod­uct.

Top If you are a pro­fes­sional in the mil­i­tary, law en­force­ment, con­trac­tor or se­cu­rity busi­ness, or some­one who sim­ply ap­pre­ci­ates the finer things, the Covert Cus­tom is worth in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Bot­tom Left: The Caprica rep­re­sents the knife Brian Biegler first con­ceived a need for. The need for se­cu­rity, self-de­fense, mo­bil­ity and con­ceal­ment dic­tated this knife.

As the Covert Cus­tom is drawn, it is in a per­fect po­si­tion for an of­fen­sive strike or de­fen­sive block.

Tuhon Tim Waid be­gins to de­ploy the Covert Cus­tom. No­tice that he pulls up his shirt with his left hand and slides the right thumb down his side to the knife han­dle.

Tuhon Tim Waid is pic­tured here with a Covert Cus­tom on his right side with just a shirt­tail con­ceal­ing the han­dle. This knife and its car­ry­ing sys­tem work amaz­ing well.

Top Right: The Covert Cus­tom’s blade point. Af­ter the au­thor slammed it into the board and chopped through the bam­boo, he found no dam­age to the point or edge.

Top Left: The 5.6-ounce Covert Cus­tom is a light knife that is not in­tended for chop­ping. How­ever, the au­thor chopped this 1-inch green bam­boo stalk with just two whacks.

Bot­tom Right: With a glove on the au­thor’s right hand, he uses an over­head stab­bing strike, penetrating a ¾-inch treated board. Be­cause this knife is light and not a true dag­ger de­sign, he found this im­pres­sive.

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