THREE FOR THE TRAIL

TEST­ING THE NEW ABE & MOE SERIES OF KNIVES MADE BY GEISSELE AUTOMATICS

American Survival Guide - - CONTENTS - By Sean Cur­tis

We test the new Abe & Moe series of knives

It’s not un­com­mon to see knives at gu shows. Af­ter all, many peo­ple con­side a firearm a multi-faceted tool ca­pabl of solv­ing var­i­ous is­sues. This won­der­ful qual­ity is also found in knives; hence, the at­trac­tion. What is un­com­mon is hav­ing a firearms com­pany en­ter the world of cut­lery—and knock­ing it out of the park on the first try. How­ever, whe you learn of the com­pany back­ing Abe & Mo Knives, all the pieces be­gin to fall into place.

Bill Geissele (pro­nounced “Guys-lee”) is an en­trepreneurial soul who at­tacks prob­lems and conquers them with qual­ity so­lu­tions. When he en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion shoot­ing arena years ago, he could not find a trig­ger that met his needs, so he de­signed one. That so­lu­tion soon be­came an em­pire named Geissele Automatics, a com­pany that makes high-qual­ity gun parts, tools and other ac­ces­sories. (If you don’t know any­thing about Geissele, it is known for over-en­gi­neer­ing its prod­ucts—an it en­joys a ster­ling rep­u­ta­tion.)

More re­cently, Bill’s son, Abra­ham, ap­proache him and asked him to make a knife. True to char­ac­ter, he built the knife and then cre­ated a com­pany called Abra­ham & Moses, named af­ter his sons.

While the Good­man Knife (Spe­cial Forces/ com­bat) de­buted at SHOT Show 2017, three more knives ori­ented to out­door uses filled

out the line in 2018: the AM-1, AM-2 and AM-3.

UNBOXING

These three knives all ar­rived with a card­board sheath around the blade. Tak­ing these off, I found a deep-green wax had been used to cover each blade nearly to the hilt. A warn­ing comes with the knives that tells you they are ra­zor-sharp, which ex­plains all the ex­tra pro­tec­tion.

I took each out and set it on the bench. Af­ter peel­ing off the wax, I was able to ad­mire the three dif­fer­ent ap­proaches. (Ev­ery time I see thre sim­i­lar things of small, medium and large size, I am re­minded of the tale of the "Billy Goats Gruff" and the beat­ing given to the mean, old troll who lived un­der the bridge.)

The AM-1 is a beast. Marveling at its shape, I see camp use, bushcraft and hunt­ing writ­ten into its DNA. The G10 scales are curved in the mid­dle with a bit of a belly to the bot­tom of the grip that adds ex­tra fit in my hand. The han­dle is very er­gonomic and de­signed for hard use. Weigh­ing in at 11.9 ounces, the bal­ance is nice, al­though grip-ori­ented. The blade is 4.6 inches long an .188 inch thick, with an over­all length of 9.5 inches. You don’t get a Rambo sense from the knife but when you pick it up, you un­der­stand it is a hard-use tool.

The blade de­sign is a drop point with a nice belly. The full-tang knife (not skele­tonized) has a built-in for­ward quil­lon on the bot­tom, pre­vent­ing the hand from slip­ping onto the cut­ting edg

he scales come with a light, grippy tex­ture, and there is a lan­yard hole to­ward the pom­mel end. The AM-2 is the mil­i­tant mid­sized “brother”—smaller, quicker, but still very ca­pa­ble. This knife ells me it wants to be mounted to a tac­ti­cal vest for those “just in case” mo­ments. The blade is drop point also, but leaner and with no belly. The style strikes me as a re­laxed tanto. The grips re thin­ner and flat and not swollen any­where to fill the hand as does the AM-1.

Be­cause of its blade length of 3.6 inches, .156 inch thick­ness and an over­all length of 8.5 inches, ou can see the knife is still very ca­pa­ble. The weight comes in at 7.3 ounces—much lighter but till up for hard use. Also full tang, this is the only knife of the three that has jimp­ing on the pine of the blade. The for­ward quil­lon is very pro­nounced and is sup­ported fully by the scales, hich are de­signed to cover it. This im­plies the knife was meant for thrust­ing and re­trieval, a ore tac­ti­cal ap­proach.

Last, but not least, I picked up the AM-3. The first thing I no­ticed about this knife, de­spite be­ing he small­est, is the clip-point blade—a diminu­tive Bowie, if you will. This is a go-any­where, ck-of-all-trades type of knife. With a blade length of 2.75 inches, a thick­ness of .125 inch and n over­all length of 6.5 inches, the AM-3 won’t frighten any­one, but it will cut any­thing you eed—and will do it well.

Even though it is the small­est, at 4.1 ounces, the G10 scales still fit in my hand, al­though arely. This lit­tle knife can do just about any­thing: skin small game, process plants and even ome wood if needed. It would be at home in a tackle box, back­pack, bug-out bag or even as an very­day-carry knife.

F YOU DON’T KNOW ANY­THING ABOUT GEISSELE, IT IS KNOWN FOR OVERENGINEERING ITS PROD­UCTS—AND IT EN­JOYS A STER­LING REP­U­TA­TION.

OMMON THREADS

All three knives have sev­eral ge­netic bless­ings from Geissele. They are made from D2 steel and re sharp­ened (flat grind) to 20 de­grees. Right out of the box, they each push-cut pa­per and haved hair. In ad­di­tion, the blades are com­mer­cially dif­fer­en­tially heat-treated. This means heir spines are softer than the cut­ting sur­face, mak­ing them flex­i­ble, as op­posed to frag­ile.

The blades I re­ceived were cov­ered with some­thing called Nanoweapon coat­ing. This is a gift om the firearms side. As you might imag­ine, Geissele has some ex­pe­ri­ence with me­tal un­der lot of fric­tion. This com­pany is great about cus­tomiza­tion, so the nano-coat­ing is an op­tion. can tell you it is tough ... and very black. The sub­stance cov­ers the blade, even the tang un­der

THE BLADE DE­SIGN IS A DROP POINT WITH A NICE BELLY. THE FULL-TANG KNIFE (NOT SKELE­TONIZED) HAS A BUILT-IN FOR­WARD QUIL­LON ON THE BOT­TOM, PRE­VENT­ING THE HAND FROM SLIP­PING ONTO THE CUT­TING EDGE.

the scales; every­where but the very cut­ting edge.

The blades all have a for­ward quil­lon to one de­gree or an­other, pre­vent­ing for­ward slip­page of the hand. All three have G10 scales, which can be or­dered from the Abe & Moe web­site in a coarse or fine tex­ture. I found the fine tex­ture of­fered enough grip with­out wear­ing blis­ters dur­ing re­peated test­ing.

The leather sheaths that ac­com­pany the test knives are ab­so­lutely qual­ity rigs, al­though you can or­der the knives with­out them. These are the same sheaths that are made for Ran­dall Knives—hand crafted, heav­ily stitched and fash­ioned from oil-tanned sad­dle leather. I have dropped some coin on qual­ity knives be­fore and have lost them later, be­cause the maker in­clude a poorly made sheath. You will not have this prob­lem with Abe & Moe. The sheaths all have a builtin belt loop and a strap that closes over the quil­lon with a classy, sil­ver snap em­bossed with the Abe & Moe logo. The AM-1 has an added bonus of a para­cord han­dle re­tainer and leg tie for ex­tra re­ten­tion.

I WENT INTO THE WOODS …

I looked for­ward to test­ing these knives—with pretty high ex­pec­ta­tions. Mr. Geissele is no the type to let any­thing sub­par out the door with his name on it. With a week­end trip into the moun­tains set, I lev­eled sev­eral dif­fer­ent tests against the Abe & Moe trio to test their met­tle and me­tal.

Af­ter set­ting up camp, I quickly found some wood to process for tin­der and kin­dling. I used all three knives for chop­ping and ba­ton­ing to see how they would fare. With steady ef­fort, each knife whacked through what­ever I put it up against, first chop­ping through some wood to cut it to length.

I next split some larger wood, also with ba­ton­ing. (The Nanoweapon fin­ish ap­peared to be marred from the force of be­ing driven through the wood—un­til I wiped it. The mark dis­ap­peare un­der the cloth.) Each knife split wood ca­pa­ble of its size.

HE AM-1

I used the AM-1 as an axe, lop­ping and chop­ping wood to test its lim­its. It pro­cessed sev­eral lighter oods and con­tin­ued to be ca­pa­ble of shav­ing hair. I beat on its spine re­peat­edly, driv­ing it through oft woods for var­i­ous tasks. I ac­tu­ally felt the blade flex in my hand one time when try­ing to pry a it harder than I should have. But thanks to the dif­fer­en­tial heat-treat, it re­sumed its shape.

Fi­nally, af­ter a full day of test­ing, I worked on some birch—a fairly hard wood—cut­ting var­i­ous ushcraft­ing notches. I was im­pressed with the D2’s ca­pa­bil­ity to hold an edge. Many knives would ave fal­tered much ear­lier in the day. The AM-1 lasted a long while and was able to carve out sev­eral otches in an "un­friendly" wood be­fore it could not cut pa­per or hair again.

The scales were won­der­ful. Even with all the re­peated tasks, I did not de­velop any hot spots or lis­ters from all the use, nor did the knife slip from my hand. I would also like to point out that I hose the orange-col­ored scales on pur­pose. While it is of­ten de­scribed as “safety orange,” I did ot go this route be­cause I feared some hunter’s er­rant shot. (I had a cam­ou­flage can­teen once, any years ago. That thing is still ly­ing some­where in the moun­tains of south­west Colorado. Los­ing ater is bad enough, but los­ing a knife in a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion could prove fa­tal.) I love the ab­so­lute isi­bil­ity of the orange scales op­tion.

One thing I no­ticed from the Nanoweapon coat­ing was the lack of the abil­ity to strike it against fer­ro­cerium rod. Us­ing its 90-de­gree spine, I struck the knife against the rod sev­eral times, and sim­ply slid off with­out spark­ing. Nev­er­the­less, I did not have a prob­lem with this what­so­ever. I nder­stood in­her­ently that the ben­e­fits of the nano-coat­ing far out­weighed the lack of strike from he rod. Be­sides, were I des­per­ate, I would use the cut­ting edge of the blade to strike sparks. As it as, I carry an at­tached striker with each rod and was not about to sac­ri­fice my sharp­ened edge. Note that Abe & Moe does of­fer the knives in a “raw,” or un­fin­ished, ver­sion as well.)

THE AM-2 IS THE MIL­I­TANT MID­SIZED “BROTHER”—SMALLER, QUICKER, BUT STILL VERY CA­PA­BLE. THIS KNIFE TELLS ME T WANTS TO BE MOUNTED TO A TAC­TI­CAL VEST FOR THOSE “JUST IN CASE” MO­MENTS.

HE AM-2

The AM-2 got a se­vere dose of wood-test­ing, de­spite its ap­par­ent tac­ti­cal pedi­gree. Af­ter break­ing own a good deal of branches and larger sticks, I dug up a few sal­sify or oyster root plants and

ro­cessed the ed­i­ble por­tions. Stab­bing and dig­ging in the ground is a rough task best left to hov­els, but a sur­vival­ist must rely on what they have. The AM-2 served well, still re­main­ing harp un­til the end of the day.

While the shape of the han­dle was not as com­fort­able as that of the AM-1’S han­dle, the eight did not re­quire it. I ran this knife all day with no is­sues, had good grip and was never fear of my hand slip­ping for­ward on the blade, de­spite the slip­pery na­ture of some of the asks I used it for.

THE POINT, BELLY AND SIZE OF THE SMALLER BLADE MADE ME THINK OF PRO­CESS­ING SMALL GAME. I COULD MAGINE BE­ING ABLE TO EAS­ILY DRESS OUT UST ABOUT ANY­THING SHORT OF A MOOSE WITH THIS BLADE.

HE AM-3

In­ter­est­ingly, the AM-3 did just as well as the oth­ers. While lack­ing the mass of the larger nives, it cut smaller wood adeptly, and its more-de­fined point was amaz­ing for dig­ging out maller ar­eas in notches, es­pe­cially the tri­an­gu­lar lash­ing notch. The point, belly and size of he smaller blade made me think of pro­cess­ing small game. I could imag­ine be­ing able to asily dress out just about any­thing short of a moose with this blade.

All three of the knives per­formed re­mark­ably well. And while I am the first to ad­mit I’m not he best knife sharp­ener, I gave it a whirl with the Gatco sharp­en­ing sys­tem. I had read that 2 was dif­fi­cult to re-hone, but this was not the case. I was able to touch up the knives and et them cut­ting pa­per in a very short amount of time. (When I reached out to Abe & Moe, a ro­fes­sional knife sharp­ener was rec­om­mended for han­dling the sharp­en­ing.)

I was struck with the no­tion that there are many good knife com­pa­nies out there that ave fought long and hard—learn­ing many lessons along the way—to earn the rep­u­ta­tion hey now en­joy.

By ap­ply­ing its prin­ci­ples of ad­her­ing to qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and over-en­gi­neer­ing, Geissele has moothly sailed from one de­mand­ing in­dus­try into an­other. It will be very in­ter­est­ing to see hat di­rec­tion the com­pany goes from here.

The op­tional eather sheaths that ac­com­pa­nied the est knives were top qual­ity and built for se­cu­rity and longevity.

Far right: The wax is eas­ily scraped and pulled off, and the blade is quickly wiped clean.

Near right: When the knives ar­rived, the blades were coated with a thick wax to pre­vent any ac­ci­den­tal cut­ting.

This is a won­der­ful ex­am­ple of why you might con­side a bright-col­ored han­dle. Con­trasted with the green sur­round­ings, the orange G10 pops and grabs the eye.

Bot­tom: In smalle hands, the AM-3 is ideal, but it can be used com­fort­ably with larger mitts to

Mid­dle: The AM-2’ de­sign has a more t tical ap­proach, with a deeper quil­lon an jimp­ing on the spin

Be­low: The AM-1 i a stout blade that i ma­nip­u­lated with han­dle that has gre er­gonomics.

Far left: Ba­ton­ing the thick spine on th AM-1 was a breeze and al­lowed the auth to make short work of some hard wood

Near left: Seen here in ac­tion, the AM-1 drove through soft wood like noth­ing.

Above: The D-2 steel con­tin­ued to hold up for a pretty se­ri­ous round of test­ing.

Far right: Sub­tle badg­ing on the blade iden­ti­fies his knife as a prod­uct of Abra­ham & Moses.

Near right: The AM-2 was used to dig out a few al­sify or oyster root plants and then process hem for din­ner.

Be­low: With a deeper quil­lon and thi ef­fec­tive jimp­ing, the AM-2’S blade wa made to pierce and of­fer a good grip fo re­trieval

Far right: The AM-3 is a won­der­ful smaller lade with a clip point.

Near right: Even on harder wood, the author as able to use the AM-3 to feather a stick. They ere long, beau­ti­ful curls, and they served to lti­mately light the stick on fire.

Be­low: Putting in work, the AM-3 quickly sharp­ens a hard­wood stick to a fine point.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.