I want to start off by saying my whole life I have always wanted a truly custom set of blades for what have you. Well as time has gone on and I've gotten older my tastes have changed but I've also started making a good pay check where I could afford to fulfill this dream. Well for the last two years or so I've been lusting after the designs and knifes that Stormcrow (AKA James) makes. After my last tour in Afghanistan where my Ka-bar became a casualty of jack assery I had the perfect excuse (and funds) for my wife to give me the ok I needed.
Some of y'all might remember this topic way back when from Stormcrow: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=104544&p=2322015#p2316331
Well those are my knifes and I couldn't be happier with them. But I'm getting ahead of my self. First off the reason this review is coming out a good while after I got the knifes is because I really wanted to spend some time with them and get a good feel for my likes and dislikes before writing up a full on review. At this point I've had the Mightor Little Rok set for around three months, I've used the Little Rok as my EDC and I've take the full kit with me for a month of fun in the swamps of Lousyanna for some thing the Army calls JRTC. Following that my unit then spent the better part of the year in the deserts of El Paso and New Mexico running all kinds of different training which again has allowed me to really see what I like with the system and what I don't like, in addition to seeing what I want to improve.
First off I know I said it before but it still should be said, I love these knifes. But moving right along this knife started me thinking about the whole thing I've always wanted some thing of a modernized bowie knife and I loved the look of the one posted here: http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 33&t=99244
Now this here was more or less what I sent to Stormcrow as the basis for my knife project.
Just had a few more questions. Some back ground first on what I'm looking to get out of the whole double edged warfighter project. When I was in Afghanistan I was voted most likely to get raped in my platoon. (Some thing to do with my small stature and ruggedly awesome looks I believe...) It was all rather funny until I was placed on a joint OP in the middle of no mans land with my Squad and a group of our allies. Now this was before they started killing every one in the "green on blue" attacks but I'm digressing from my main story. Any way one night some of the locals got high and attempted to drag me off for "fun time" by my self.
Now we couldn't shoot the fine fellows because they happened to be our allies (And they had a mortar system and we didn't) so I was in a rather interesting position. Lucky for me the two heavy machine gunners we had attached to us for the mission didn't like the idea of me being raped by any one that wasn't American. So they just intimidated the would be "fun timers" with out me have to create an international incident.
After that night I started carrying a Ka-bar in addition to my M4 in the event that I did have to take out one of our allies I could at least do it some what silently so we could formulate a good plan for the body with out every one freaking out over gun fire. Well long story short my ol trusty Ka-bar wasn't so trusty and didn't make it back to America with me. (I blame cheap manufacturing...) Which places me in the situation I am in now, where I need a good fighting knife.
So with that as our premise my self and Stormcrow hashed out a number of details both big and small and he started work on what would be. This is what really impressed me about the whole process me and Stormcrow send one another easily 50 emails or so back and forth, the man refused to start work until every thing was perfect and we both knew what was needed/wanted. He went over every little detail with me and many times his impute was invaluable just based on all his experience in knife making. I was 100% confident in letting him make judgement calls on the project when needed.
Now ultimately the project came down to me wanting a large fighting knife I could use for large tasks and killing a man, that had a skull crusher pommel but that wouldn't dig into my side.
Then I wanted a piggy back knife that would be a robust utility knife but could be used as a back up fighting knife. I wanted both knifes to have long sharpened clip points of a sort and to be good for stabbing and slashing.
Lastly I wanted some type of tool I could use to pry with attached to the whole thing. Honestly I've broken more knifes and multi tools trying to do some B&E or other type of prying then I have using them for any other task. I wanted a tool that was made for this task so I wouldn't have to use my knifes.
When it was all said and done this is what arrived at my door: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1cFiTU9wIyY/U ... josh12.JPG
After messing with it trying it out and figuring out what I liked and didn't like best this is what I came up with (Note it does have a good deal of 550 on the sheath as that always seems to be the one thing I need more of):
Now after this was all said and done, I had been using the system as a whole or as parts for more then a few months. Over this time I realized that I wanted to make Little Rok my EDC. How ever I did not want to use the provided kydex sheath. I feel that makes the whole thing a little too tactical and takes away from the gray man approach I like to take in life. Now being that I am from Texas, and have a little bit of an accent it would be to easy for a guy like me to be seen carrying his "deer knife" from day to day in it's leather sheath.
So with that I started looking into leather working places. Long story short every one wants to charge an arm and a leg and leather working really isn't that hard to do. (Though the initial cost is a bit steep) In the end, with a great deal of trial and error also many thanks to youtube I made my own sheaths. My first one:
Worked out great but my gerber always got in the way, so I decided on version two:
This one was a big time pain in the ass and I can honestly say I learned the most from making it. How ever when it was all said and done the way it sat on my belt and in my pocket was horrible plus it created one big sweaty area. So I moved on to my latest and greatest plan which so far is working great and has become a welcome addition to my EDC:
Now then I'm sure at this point your think all this information is great but how did the blades them self preform. The short answer is very well. Out of the box I was able to shave a nice patch of hair off my arm just as advertised. Both knifes felt great in the hand too with the points of balance being right where I wanted them at. The only issue I really had was that on Mightor the handle seemed a little slim for my hands. Stormcrow being the awesome guy he is offered to replace the micarta slabs for free with larger ones. Honestly I didn't want to have the knife leave my possession at all by that point, and also I had a great idea to resolve the issue. I used leather lace to wrap the handle, it added a rustic look to the whole thing and made the handle very grippy which it what I was looking for. After that I really didn't see much need to mess with them any more then configuring the sheath system to what I wanted it to be and adding a good bit of 550 for a rainy day.
But I'm getting ahead of my self, out of the box these knifes just screamed over built. Hair shaving sharp, balanced to my specifications and beefy. I can't stress just how solid these feel in the hand ascetically and ergonomically they are very nice indeed. Once I set it all up how I liked the kit rode comfortably on my thigh and was very easy to forget about as it didn't get in the way at all. The only time I would really notice it was sitting down but even then it was no more then a CCW would be.
Now I wish I could say I pampered these knifes and treated them like the works of art they are, but that wouldn't for a very good story make now would it. So right after I received the set I strapped them on and took them to the swamps of LA during the rainy season. Now I think living in the desert has made me soft when it comes to dealing with rust. Sure enough around day two I was starting to see surface spots here and there and had to get used to oiling the knives every day along with my rifle. Other then that they chopped, sliced and generally did every thing I could ask of them and more.
And yes the story about another soldier messing around with Little Rok and almost gutting another soldier is true. Luckily only a tan T-shirt was hurt and I like to think a lesson was learned but who knows. Some folks just shouldn't have nice things. After that Little Rok has spent a great amount of time with me running around the desert doing every thing from killing camel spiders, making kindling, starting fires, and opening MREs. This kit is a great part of my kit and I couldn't be more happy with them. Also the customer service I received from Stormcrow was second to none. I honestly couldn't recommend his products more and do plan to purchase from him again.
Hope this review helps any one that is considering a new knife.