The Spartan Blades Difensa Combat Survival Knife is a Special Forces-inspired tactical knife ready for the harshest environment.
PersonalDefenseWorld.com – When a certain Canadian Special Operations force wanted a knife that would serve them well if they were in the Hindu Kush or a great boreal forest of Canada, they contacted Spartan Blades. From what I have experienced while evaluating the Spartan Harsey Difensa, they came to the right people. In case you are not familiar with Spartan Blades, here is some background on the company and the two men who run it. Founders Curtis Lovito and Mark Carey are retired U.S. Army Special Forces (SF) NCOs; both were snipers and have worked overseas as contractors on personal security details for well-known government agencies. Spartan Blades is located close to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and they keep in contact with active duty SF soldiers, allowing them to stay current on what is wanted and needed in terms of combat/survival knives. Spartan Blades is also known for using highly qualified experts in the design of their knives. For the Difensa, they turned to Oregon knife-maker Bill Harsey.
“Sleek and deadly, the Difensa would be at home in an active combat theater or deep in the great boreal forest of Canada.”
The Difensa is named after the battle for Monte La Difensa in Italy, a conflict that took place December 3-9, 1943, which was fought by the famous American/Canadian unit, the 1st Special Service Force, better known as the “Devil’s Brigade.” While the battle was portrayed in the movie The Devil’s Brigade, it did not convey the hard fighting involved. The 1st SSF suffered 77 percent causalities to accomplish what had been considered an almost impossible mission. Somehow it is fitting that this Canadian Special Operations unit turned to Spartan Blades for their knife, as both the Canadians and U.S. Army Special Forces trace their lineage to the 1st SSF. Incidentally, I had the occasion to observe these Canadian operators, and they are competent, professional and live up to a motto of “quiet professionals.” The Difensa has a 6.25-inch-long, spear-pointed blade made from S35VN steel (RC 59-60) that has a Flat Dark Earth SpartaCoat that eliminates light reflecting off of the blade. The blade is flat ground and is 0.187 inches thick, with a point that allows for excellent penetration. The full-tang handle is covered with slabs of textured black or green Micarta that provide a safe and secure grip with or without gloves on (an important feature during Canadian winters). The handle is 5.25 inches long, with an exposed lanyard hole and jimping on top of the blade, at the front of the handle. The knife weighs 11.5 ounces.The scabbard has a hard plastic liner and is covered with MultiCam fabric. It is fully MOLLE compatible or can be worn on a belt. It has a horizontal retention strap with a neat hook/pile adjustment system so you can adjust the fit of the retention strap. How often have you seen a retention strap that is not really snug around a knife? With the Difensa’s scabbard, you can adjust that fit until the retention strap is as tight as you want it. The scabbard is configured so it is ambidextrous. It is jump capable and weighs in at 5.5 ounces.
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