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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Those two threads on knives (in the Off Topic forum) have got me to pondering self-defense scenarios. I have trained with knives enough to feel comfortable using them for self-defense. In many situations I think they have advantages over a gun. To me, guns are range weapons and when things get in close I think the nod goes to my knife.

A few months ago, Tom Givens (or was it Jim H.?) started an intersting thread (on the 1911Forum) about an officer shooting in which the perp took a cylinder full of .357s (.38s?) and kept coming. One officer died and the other barely survived. I saw the movie version in a class, but someone please help fill in my sketchy recollection here..

Anyway, I started to consider if that were me in that situation, would I have been better off deploying a knife after the first cylinder was emptied, rather than trying to reload as the attacker continued his advance? The range advantage of the gun is negated at this point and the knife would offer me a chance to "break down the machine" (as Bram Franks refers to it) and take away his mobility and his ability to advance his attack. Which would you choose: your knife or your gun?

Thoughts anyone?

DD
 

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Statistically speaking, you are more likely to die from a knife wound than a gunshot. Mortality rates from a knife are 50-90% depending on who you talk to while gunshots have about a 10% mortality rate. I'd tend to agree that if you've already unloaded a mag into a BG and he's still coming, you might want to try something different because your obviously not getting the message across. That's why I firmly believe that those of us who carry should also be well grounded in unarmed methods as well as an alternate lethal method such as knives.
 

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Depends. If he's within contact distance and the gun is empty, no question, I'm going to another weapon (knife?) instead of d()*$ing around with reloading.
 

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If I put a cylinder of .357 in a goblin and he keeps on coming, I'm alone, and he's armed with a knife I'm showing him my heels and going for a personal best on a mile.

When I went to Ranger School, one of my RI's said something that stuck with me "Charge a gun, run away from a knife". I tend to agree.

I've trained with knives and I don't ever want to face someone with a knife, whether they're trained or not.

My opinion, and this is not founded on personal experience since I have never been in a "real" knife fight is that if you engage in one, then you'd better be ready to get cut.
 
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As a young man I paid my bills by working as a bouncer 4 nights a week. On a particularly hot night we had a much larger crowd then expected and through the evening the demanor of the group changed to anger and fights started breaking out every few minutes until we decided to close the club early to avoid an all out riot. A call came over the radio and I made my way onto the dance floor as a heavily muscled man was pummeling a man of equal height but thin build. As I approached them the lights were flashing and as it flashed the thinner man stepped back and in less than a second the bodybuilder was standing there bleeding from his mid section near the diapghram looking very confused at his midsection, at no time did I see a knife or other weapon and the thinner man started working his way to the door.
I cut left to head him off and reached him right at the door check, I grabbed him from behind by the left shoulder and told him to stop, but before I saw what happened a large gash about 4" in length opened on the top of my forearm and I actually felt/looked at it and said god spaghettioos??
Needless to say he walked away into the crowd and we never saw him again. I got 23 stitches and the bodybuilder went to the hospital and was later prosecuted for selling steroids at the Plunge- a local health club.
At no time did I ever see the knife or his movements. I am not sure what I would do if faced with a knife in the hands of a skilled person in a confrontation and I hope to never find out. If I am forced to engage and they do not stop and the distance is to close for a headshot then I too will turn and do my best 4/40.

_________________
Thanks,
David

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-04-25 18:55 ]</font>
 

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Not to in any way understate the relative effectiveness of knives; it is well to remember that they are contact weapons. Comparing the effectiveness of knife wounds versus typical pistol bullet wounds is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison. A muzzle-contact pistol wound will be much more severe, due to the muzzle blast being channelled into the wound, than a same hit delivered from three feet away.

Rosco

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rosco Benson on 2001-04-26 08:37 ]</font>
 

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Roscoe,

DD asked what to do when the cylinder runs dry and you have an option between a reload or going to a knife. I'm assuming that we're talking about bad breath distance by now and I'd argue that with any knife training at all, it would be quicker to deploy a knife than to reload. Your muzzle blast comment is correct (I've got a really gross picture of what a 30-30 muzzle blast does at contact distance) but in that situation, you go with what's quickest & most effective way to survive. If that means a cross & holy water, so be it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks David for stearing us back closer to what I had wanted to discuss. I also went back and dug up the thread I was first referring to. It was one that Jim Higginbotham (not Tom G.) started on the 1911Forum. I was off on a few of the details, but the question still remains basically the same. To read the thread go here.

Also, I should expand a little on what my refrence to Bram Frank is all about. Bram released a set of tapes (see them here ) that dealt with what he calls "biomechanical cutting". Basically, he is speaking to ending attacks by using cuts that take away your opponents ability to continue an attack. He does this in several ways. For example; if you cut across the tendons and muscles in the forearms or wrist, you make it impossible for someone to hold a weapon in their hand. You cut the hydraulics, so to speak. If you cut (say) the hamstring or tendon in the back of the leg, the person can no longer stand. If you have taken away the ability of the attacker to hold a weapon and he has lost his mobility, then the attacker is no longer a threat. It is a much different approach from some of the (near) disembowelment type of knife tactics suggested by some. Instead of trying to hit internal organs, or otherwise bleeding out an attacker with a knife, you "break down the machine" and "walk away" (as Bram would say).

Anyway, this difference in approaches comes to mind, when I read accounts such as the one Jim related. When the attacker got inside and the firearm proved ineffective, would a knife (in properly trained hands) have been the better choice to have ended the threat? Would it have been more effective to have employed a knife, at the point when it was realized the range could no longer be maintained between the attacker and the defender?

DD

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-04-26 13:54 ]</font>
 

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DD,

In the Defensive Knife work that I've done with Insights, I can say that slicing across the large muscle groups is their preferred tactic. Stabs & jabs can get stuck in bones but they don't necessarily produce debilitating wounds instantly. As you pointed out, cut tendons don't seem to work very well. I'm mostly a gun guy but in a grappling situation, a knife seems to be pretty danged effective.
 

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First, sorry for going off on a tangent earlier.

If we postulate a scenario wherein an attacker, armed with a contact weapon, is closing and we shoot him...without effect...until the pistol is empty, at which time he is right on top of us; the question is--should we drop the pistol and go to a knife?

Sure, I suppose it's as viable an option as any. However, if there are still rounds in the pistol, I would keep using the pistol...just start shooting things OTHER than what had proven ineffective (plan B). I sure wouldn't drop a still-loaded pistol in order to go to a knife...if for no other reason than someone might well pick it up and use it on me.

If the pistol is empty, consider; what makes you think that you can deploy a knife in circumstances that preclude simply reloading the pistol? Not many of us carry fixed-blade knifes in quick-draw sheaths. Is deploying one of the ubiquitous pocket-clipped folders much quicker or easier than doing an emergency reload? Well, it can be done one-handed.

What about using the pistol itself as an impact weapon? Pistols make pretty poor impact weapons, but getting hit in the face with a pistol is going to be more damaging that getting punched with a fist.

What is our attacker doing? We were originally shooting him because he was advancing on us with a weapon...say...a knife. Our attacker is unlikely to just want to dance cheek-to-cheek, so he'll probably be trying to stab and cut us. Perhaps instead of reloading OR deploying our own knife, we might be best served to try to trap or otherwise control his knife arm and keep him from cutting us. Once we've accomplished this, what do we do?...deploy our knife, use an empty-hand technique to take him out of the fight, bop him in the face with our slide-locked pistol until he quits misbehaving?

Clearly, I haven't added much here (except questions). I guess the main thing is to stop doing whatever didn't work and try something else.

Rosco

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rosco Benson on 2001-04-26 15:45 ]</font>
 
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DD,
If I understand the thread purpose then we are in a hypothetical situation where your gun has produced a failure to stop?
Can I assume it was due to mechanical failure eg: a jam, double feed and the attacker is now at contact distance?
If so I would believe that you are going to go into grappling mode and Roscoe's pistol whip strikes may be effective? Or do we assume that we have already transitioned to the fixed blade (folder?). If the question is after a failure to stop and he (it) keeps coming do you go to your knife? If he (it) is shooting I am not going to my knife, I am going to do everything humanly possible to keep my pistol in the fight and as someone suggested I am looking for unarmored or physical stop points that will shut him down, feet, knees, shins, head shots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The other site is down (where the link to the cited thread is), but IIRC the BG managed to pickup a crow bar and start thumping with it. If the gun was just empty, then the reload possibilty (which was done) comes back into the choices equation. I agree about the potential for the gun to become a bludgeon, as being a viable one.

For me, I shoot right but cut left, so maybe my thought process is a little different than most. I would likely hang on to the gun, but grab my knife with my left hand bringing it into play. Blocking, trapping and cutting away the arm with the crowbar in it comes to mind right away. But a lot depends on the range and timing here, as I would be considering some of the very things you suggested David.

Which bring us back to whether it would be better (in theory) to introduce the knife, rather than the gun at that point, should the attack be escalated to that of life threatening and as your distance buffer has been bridged and the range is possibly now less than even arms length.

I guess a lot would depend on just how comfortable or expereinced you are with edged weapons. I like'em a lot. While a Bowie would be ideal (for me), I think my Sifu folder (Bram's design BTW) would serve me well. In the hands of a Master MA like Bram Frank, even a 2" folder would have devastating results. Skill counts.

DD

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-04-27 11:05 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-04-27 11:01, Desert Dog wrote:
In the hands of a Master MA like Bram Frank, even a 2" folder would have devastating results. Skill counts.

DD
This is a key point that DD makes. It is akin to the old "it's shot placement that counts".

A skilled user with anatomical knowledge can kill or disable you just as fast with a 2" blade, as he can with a machete.

Don't count on a bigger blade to get you out of trouble. Learn how to use what you carry.
 

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Hi: this one assumes that you have no movement options I take it?
Both the Insight and OPS knife related tactics argue for movement as you shoot. Such movement probably gives you a good headstart as your gun goes dry.

Also the head shot is a risky one, these guys taught COM
and pelvis on the closing knife dude.

What is the time parameter to shoot at a closing target, ditch the gun and open the knife? Does this work in Tueller time?
It seems you would be opening the knife with the guy on you.

The OPS guys teach an empty pistol strike which would run your day.

Glenn
 

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DD, in that situation I would go to the knife.

In the years I have studied with Paul Vunak and Jack McVicker I have become convinced that knife fighting is less an art than many who sell it month to month in magazines would want you to believe. Knife fighting is about opportunity, cut what is given, move, cut what is given, move, etc.

One of the most debilitating things about a cut is, simply, blood. People get real different when they see their own blood, especially when they are not used to it. Damned few people can look at their tendons through the back of their hand and still remember why they attacked you.
 

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As a police officer, I have seen and can respect what a firearm is capable of. As a sometime martial arts student/ fan, I have seen the merits of the blade. IMHO (not that it counts for anything) firearms have more value at a distance (even if it is fairly short distance), but when the fight is "phone booth" close and dirty, a knife CAN have more value.
I agree that a firearm contact wound is a nasty injury, but so is a deep cut across the abdomen when the intestines come spilling out (sorry, trying to make a point and have heard of this very thing happening with a pocket knife as the weapon!) Another good point was point was made about cutting tendons (its hard to hold a weapon or even make a fist when those flexor tendons have been severed!)
Last point I would like to make is weapon retention. With a pistol in general, as long as your clear of the muzzle, your out of the immediate danger area (Yes, I realize this is a DYNAMIC situation) and can cause a malfunction with an auto or freeze up the cylinder with a revolver. With a knife however, what ever way you or it is grabbed, it is fairly easy to cut your way out causing immediate injury (try it with a rubber knife--->some training helps of course). I know there are retention techniques for pistols, but you're mostly comparing relatively minor bludgeoning attacks and pain compliance to severe blood loss and possible immediate incapacitation (tendon damage). Sorry for the long post. I'm new and I dig these topics and this site!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GunzHot on 2001-05-03 21:21 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GunzHot on 2001-05-03 21:22 ]</font>
 

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Hello All,

(Off topic?)

I don't yet have a CCW, and once I get one I don't know if I will carry much. I can't have gun at work and my wife "Hate's those things". Bewteen working and being around the wife and kid (on rural acreage) there's no time to carry. I target practice with a PJK-9HP and M-1 Carbine, cause Freedom ain't free.

That said...

I tend to be a blade guy and a grappler, but more than that I dislike violence. That said I have ALWAYS carried a knife, a Gerber LST, and use it daily. It opens with one hand and comes in useful all the time. That means that it is very familiar to my hand and mind. Worked my way thru college as a chef and had a rock hard callous on my first finger from constant blade use -- Never knife fight a chef/cook! (seems there is an old adage along those lines but I can't place it, unless I am thinking of Lao Tzu's Cutting Up An Ox)-- In my backpack/bookbag/kit that I carry daily is a Tanto. When I am in the field I wear a Ka-bar.

The Gerber is a clip on and small enough it can ride on airplanes with me. It can go to work with me and cops (and the wife) won't hasssle me for having it. And in the worst case, I won't hurt anyone downrange accidently.

Legally, it seems that by the time the BG is close enough to start being sliced and diced that there is very little question of "Justifiable".


Sorry for the ramblings...

Bud
 

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Ok, i agree and disagree with most everyone that has posted on this topic. Let me start off by saying that i have never been in a knife fight, and likely never will.

I do agree that a knife can be a usefull back up weapon, especially in the case we are discussing. I do not agree that your average folder is an effective back up weapon. Yes, i know there are those out there that posess the skill level required to perhaps effectively use a folder in a hostile situation, BUT the average "tactical" knife carrier doesnt.

You can cut and slash with a 3-4" bladed folder, but i dont completely buy the side of those touting the slash concept. A much more effective and effecient method is a thrust under the breast plate, then rock the blade back and forth like a pump handle. You will be cutting up all kind of organs, specifically trying to get into the heart and arteries, lungs etc...

I can tell you first hand this method works on hogs and other animals.

Again, im not an advocate of knife fighting, as its gonna be a bloody, nasty mess and YOU are gonna have to get all kinda mean and nasty to get your job done. If im forced to fight with a knife, please give me somethign other than a 3" folder. I simply would not be comfortable with a small folder, and no amount of training could change that.

I also understand that most folks cant walk around with a big bowie on there hip. Just remember there are some good sheath makers out there that can make a bowie seam to disapear :grin:
 

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RM,

Do you carry that large bowie along with your other gear (gun, extra mag...etc)? I'm not that big a guy. Carrying that much stuff on me would be quite a chore.
 

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I normally carry a 7 to 8" bladed bowie, along with a 1911, full size and 1 mag. I dont get to always carry a bowie, as i generally have them sold long before i make them.

I dont want to get into a sales pitch, as i dont feel this is the appropriate place. The concealment bowies i make are no more than 3/4" thick at the widest. This gives a nice flat knife that is rather easy to conceal. The sheaths are also very flat and ride IWB.

Ive had many conversations (some rather heated) with Bill Bagwell about carrying bowies and varios sizes etc. Bill can carry a 12" bladed bowie and you wouldnt know... I on the other hand have trouble doing the same. It is likely conditioning as much as anything else. I hope to eventually finish a knife for myself and carry daily, it will be in the 8-9" range, and hopefully it works out.

Any how, i dont want my initial point on this topic lost- If im gonna defend myself with a knife, i will go through the acclimation period of carrying a knife that im comfortable with, and this for me is a 7-8" bowie, at least...
 
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