THE OMEGA PROTECTIVE CONCEPTS OMEGA B1 BLADE IS A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH
The Omega B1 Blade from Omega Protective Concepts is a no-frills self-defense design by someone who dedicates his life to making others safe.
Strong designs come from strong people.
Maury Abreu's reputation in the combatives community precedes him. He is a humble family man and a talented instructor with the heart of a student. I first heard of Maury back in 2013 when my teacher, Kelly Mccann, featured Maury's instruction in the training video, “Edged Weapon: Responses to Violent Knife Attacks” produced by the now defunct Paladin Press.
We soon connected through social media, as many who share like-minded interests do, to keep in touch. Eventually we began to talk via phone as our friendship developed. During the course of one of our conversations, Maury revealed that he was working on a new knife design. Knowing his passion for knives and knife combatives, I was excited to see what he came up with. As soon as the details were solidified and the order books open, I purchased the Omega B1 Blade, sold through Maury's training company, Omega Protective Concepts.
The Omega B1 Blade
Maury's combatives philosophy is reflected in the design of the Omega B1 Blade. Simple, aggressive and effective are terms that best describe his approach to self-defense, and these traits are evident in his design.
The Omega B1 is made from 0.1875-inchthick D2 Tool Steel triple tempered to 5960RC and features a 3.5-inch scimitar style blade with an overall length of 7.75 inches and a black KG Gun Kote finish; optional finishes are available upon request through Omega Protective Concepts.
The hollow-main-to-flat-tip grind on the Omega B1 is beautifully executed by custom knifemaker James Fornaro of TUTAR-E Knives. I was particularly impressed with the overall fit and finish of his work and his attention to detail.
The Omega B1 has aggressively textured, 4-inch-long G-10 handle slabs, with orange liners that really pop against the black handle material. The handle slabs are held in place with robust screws that complement the sturdy design and fit my hand like a glove. As I began to wield the Omega B1, I was keen to notice how comfortable the knife was in hand. The contours of the grip between the front quillion and the rear quillion filled my hand, sitting perfectly in my palm. The edges of the handle slabs are beveled all the way around, allowing the transition between the full tang blade and handle to be gradual. This adds a great deal to the comfort of the knife in hand by reducing any bite felt by the end user.
The three screws that anchor the handle slabs to the knife are expertly recessed into the G-10 slabs to prevent any hot spots that might otherwise occur. A 1.875-inch-long section of jimping is provided along the spine of the knife where the handle and blade
transition. This textured “thumb ride” is sometimes favored by people who prefer the saber grip. I found it to be more useful when using the knife in a more utilitarian role versus a combative function, as I tend to prefer a modified Filipino grip (where the thumb is extended forward along the back of the knife's spine) for combative applications. For the sheath, Maury went to Jamie Lowe of Titan Concealment. Jamie was able to take Maury's ideas and produce a sheath worthy of the Omega B1. Built from 0.080-inch-thick kydex, the sheath offers 11 eyelet rivets and a unique clip adapter with three slotted post and washer mounts, allowing for several mounting configurations.
I spoke briefly with Jamie about the sheath, and he said, “With the Omega B-1 Blade Sheath, Maury wanted something that would be universally used and adaptable. We came up with a simple design that allows for the blade and its companion trainer to be used in one sheath. It features adjustable height and cant, and the ability to tuck in your shirt, which I'm sure you know is rarely found in a sheath.”
The sheath's belt clip adapter uses a universal mounting hole pattern which means that it can be used with other mounting systems already on the market; such as Blade-tech's Tek-lok or G-code's RTI Mount. This makes for a very user friendly combination.
Testing the Omega B1
While the Omega B1 is primarily designed as a fighting knife, I wanted to conduct some basic cut tests on common items such as cardboard, paracord and an old phone book to establish a baseline, prior to moving on to my favorite—porkman. I started off with some paracord I had lying around the garage. The Omega B1 cut cleanly through a doubled-up length of paracord, no problem, so I added two more for a total of four strands. Again, the Omega B1 performed effortlessly.
Next up was a section of corrugated cardboard. I cut several slices into the cardboard one right after another in rapid succession. Again, the Omega B1 did not disappoint, cutting cleanly into the material.
From there I moved on to a 1.75-inchthick phone book I saved for just such an occasion. With my phone book in place I set the Omega B1's blade on a corner of the book and with one motion and little effort, pressed the blade downward into the pages and watched as it sunk smoothly down through the entire thing. Luckily, I had had enough forethought to place some cardboard under the phone book or I could have potentially damaged the blade on the concrete beneath.
Omega B1 vs. Porkman
Any true test of a knife specifically designed for personal defense should involve cutting on organic medium.
I was first introduced to this kind of testing in 2004 by my friend and teacher Michael Janich, founder and lead instructor of Martial Blade Concepts (MBC). To my knowledge, no one else in the industry had ever tried to actually replicate the details and conditions one might encounter when actually using a knife on another human being. Factors like the size and shape of a target, bone, connective tissue, skin and clothing are all addressed with Porkman. (For more information on constructing Porkman, turn to Michael Janich's “Personal Defense” column on page 22 of this issue. – Ed) I began by making a simple thrust with the Omega B1. I didn't use any concerted effort, choosing instead to let the tool do the work—and work it did. The Omega B1 sank all the way to the dowel rod at the center of Porkman, clearly indicating its ability to penetrate to the bone with minimal effort. I then made a forehand slash horizontally across the target, again with little effort, and the blade cut beautifully. It penetrated deep into the pork with no noticeable resistance from the fabric and plastic wrap, striking the “bone” represented by the dowel rod. It performed equally well on a backhand slash. Finally, I thrust the Omega B1 into Porkman and applied a downward pressure cut that created a devastating wound, well over a foot long. Again, it was near effortless and really sobering even to me, as to the deadly effectiveness of the Omega B1.
Quality, Craftsmanship, Sound Ergonomics
The Omega B1 is an outstanding new addition to the knife community, designed by someone who's dedicated their life to making others safer. Maury's passion for knives and knife combatives is well represented in the Omega B1. Anyone who appreciates quality, craftsmanship and sound ergonomics in a handmade knife should consider owning one. KI
Above: The Omega B1 is suited to both urban and rural environments.
Right: The beveled edges of the Omega B1's handles make for a comfortable and secure grip. The orange liners on the Omega B1's grip really pop against the black handle slabs.
The clean lines and expertly crafted grinds on the Omega B1 are as beautiful as they are deadly.
The screws that anchor the handle slabs on the Omega B1 are recessed into the textured G10 to reduce hot spots and improve comfort.
The center of the Cloth Grabber Clip features an indentation that bites into the fabric of whatever garment the clip is attached to, while the clip adapter allows the end user to adjust the height and cant of the Omega B1.
Above: Drawing the Omega B1 from an appendix carry configuration.