Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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The New U.S. Military Combat Utility Knife


“He’s got a hip knife, a side knife, a boot knife, a shoulder knife, and a little bitty one that’s a combination flare gun, dinner set, and genuine police whistle…”

Lyrics from the song Garet Trooper by Barry Sadler

Every man needs a pocket knife. It serves both as a tool for daily tasks and as a weapon for self-defense in extreme situations. For field work a prepared individual may carry up to three knifes or more. In the field I generally carry a pocket knife for general purpose, a multitool on my belt for more technical tasks, and, if appropriate for the mission, a combat knife for more heavy duty work. But for now, we will be discussing the new U.S. Military pocket knife – the Combat Utility Knife. One must keep in mind that this is a utility knife and not a combat knife. I suppose that John Wick can use the 3.25” locking blade to take out his adversaries, but for the rest of us the only thing we will be cutting is parachute cord, opening our mail, or cutting the straps off of a case of MRE’s so you can grab the best meals… And this knife is not a replacement for a multitool, which is designed for other functions more mechanical in nature.

For decades the standard military pocket knife was the Camillus “demo” knife (model 1760), a very basic and very unsexy utility knife (I carried one for many years in the pocket of my field pants).

Camillus Model 1760 “demo” knife

But now there is a new knife in town, the Victorinox “Combat Utility Knife”. This updated military pocket knife is not only more useful, but far better looking, than the trusty demo knife.

Let’s take a closer look at this new model.

The new U.S. Military Combat Utility Knife

The knife is made by Victorinox (pronounced vic-TOR-ee-nox) in Switzerland, makers of the world-famous Swiss Army knives. All of the blades and implements are stainless steel coated with black oxide which gives the knife the required tactical look as compared to its polished blade civilian siblings.

The handle, or scales according to Victorinox, has proprietary U.S. markings on one side and is made of a two-component material, dual-density Polyamide, with the green parts being hard plastic and the black parts being softer rubbery material for a better non-slip grip.

The full metal liner contains the large (main) blade which has a hole for easy one-handed opening. The blade has a 3.25” cutting edge which is approximately 2/3 serrated (great for cutting thick rope) and 1/3 straight edge. The main blade locks in the open position and is released by pushing the locking liner to the right. The blade also has the year of manufacture stamped on the tang in 2-digits.

On the same pivot is a very capable bi-directional saw blade, which means it cuts in both directions – pushing and pulling. The saw blade is non-locking and designed for cutting wood, but it does a great job on cardboard and other similar materials. There is also a tried and true can opener (non-locking) with a small 3mm flathead screwdriver.

On the other end is a bottle opener with a large 5mm flathead screwdriver. The tool snaps into the 90-degree position and locks into the fully open position. At the base of the bottle opener is a wire stripper/wire bender. Unlocking the tool is the same as the large blade – pushing the locking liner to the right.

On the back, or spine, of the knife is a Phillips head screwdriver (size 1-2), non-locking, which can be used as a t-handle screwdriver. There is also a non-locking reamer (not an awl – there is a difference) which can be used for punching/drilling holes in plastic, leather, or wood.

And last is the lanyard ring which can be used to attach a “dummy cord” for all those absent-minded people who tend to lose things.

Overall the Combat Utility Knife is a well-designed and manufactured knife that should serve the user well for many years of tough use. And Victorinox backs their knives with a lifetime warranty.

The specifications:

  • Length open (large blade open): 7.75”
  • Length closed: 4.4”
  • Thickness: .7”
  • Weight: 4.7 oz.
  • Length of large blade (cutting edge): 3.25”
  • Length of saw blade (cutting edge): 3.5”

10 functions:

  1. Large blade with serrated edge, lockable
  2. Reamer, punch
  3. Bottle opener
  4. Screwdriver 5mm, lockable
  5. Wire stripper
  6. Wood saw
  7. Phillips screwdriver
  8. Can opener
  9. Screwdriver 3mm
  10. Lanyard ring

The “Other” versions

Some of you will notice that this Combat Utility Knife looks much like some other knives on the market, such as the Victorinox “Soldiers Knife 08”, “German Army Knife”, and the “Onehanded Trekker”. The obvious difference is the U.S. Military version has black oxide coated blades and U.S. marked handle. The Trekker additionally has the always popular toothpick and tweezers normally seen on civilian Victorinox Swiss Army knives. These knifes are all available for order through Amazon or other retail sources.

Victorinox Soldiers Knife 08
Victorinox German Army Knife
Victorinox Onehanded Trekker


This new U.S. Military Combat Utility Knife is a fantastic utility knife and a long-overdue replacement for the old demo knife. I will still be using my SOG folder as my everyday carry knife as the Combat Utility Knife does not have a pocket clip (one can be glued on if desired), but this knife will be in my pocket whenever I go out into the field for shooting, hunting, camping, and any other action-related activities.

Where to get one

This U.S. Military version is not available through the Victorinox catalog or website, and it is not available on Amazon or through any store or retail outlet (the civilian version and siblings are available through retail outlets). For the military, the “Knife, Combat Utility” can be ordered through DLA using NSN 1095–01–653–1166. For all others, if you ask nicely, you can order the knife through the US Distributor, The Windrose Group, LLC at:

Joe Traurig, Manufacturers Rep for Government & Military Sales

(215) 947-0200 or (215) 913-1951


And don’t forget to tell Joe that 18Bravo sent you…

Copyright 2020 18Bravo

Selecting a Heavy Rifle

Colt MARC 901
Colt MARC 901 with Trijicon TA11E

I like big bullets and bayonets. I am an old school infantry guy, Ranger, and SF weapons man. I like big bullets that can reach out and punch big holes. And when the bullets run out I want my bayonet to continue the fight. After my military service defending my country, I am now ready to defend myself, my family, my home, and my community.

In selecting my “heavy rifle” (the 3-Gun term for large caliber rifles) I want a military grade rifle that I know will take abuse and still perform. I want a rifle that I can depend on to save my life, save the lives of my family, and to save the lives of those that need saving. I shoot in competitions and I want a rifle that I can use to maintain and improve the skills I learned in the military. And I hunt so I want a rifle that is accurate and reliable and able to take down big game.

So these are my requirements for my main rifle: one I can use for defense, competition, and hunting.

I developed the following requirements in order to conduct my search:

  • Large caliber: .308/7.62mm, using commercially available ammunition
  • Bayonet lug: the ability to mount a military bayonet (my favorite is the current USMC OKC3S bayonet)
  • Integrated rail: a full top rail, and optional rails at 3, 6, and 9
  • Forward Assist: or forward assist type functionality
  • Standard magazine: uses the current standard for .308/7.62mm rifles, the MagPul Gen 3 magazine
  • Suppressor capable: for hunting
  • Accurate: accurate to 1000 meters (1 MOA) on a man-size target
  • Ambidextrous Controls: for the safety, magazine release, and bolt release
  • Made in USA: no explanation required
  • Modern Sporting Rifle design: AR type design or current military design (such as the FN SCAR)

I looked at 32 commercially available rifles:

Vendor Model
Aero Precision M5E1
Armalite AR-10 18-inch Tactical
Bushmaster MOE 308 ORC
Colt MARC 901 (LE901-16SE)
Daniel Defense DD5V1
Desert Tech MDR
Grey Ghost Specter Heavy 308
HK MR762A1
JP Enterprises JP LRP-07
LaRue PredatAR 7.62
Les Bauer Mid-Length Monolith 308 SWAT
Patriot Ordnance Skirmish Heavy
Patriot Ordnance P-308
Primary Weapons Systems Mk216
Rock River Arms LAR-8
Ruger SR-762
Seekins Precision SP-10
Sig Sauer SIG716 DMR
Smith & Wesson M&P10
Troy Rifle 7.62
Wilson Combat 308
Windham Weaponry R16SFST-308


Of these 32 weapons only four met my basic requirements:

  • Bushmaster MOE 308 ORC
  • Colt MARC 901 (LE901-16SE)
  • DPMS MK 12
  • Sig Sauer SIG716 DMR

(sorry the FN SCAR 17S, an obvious contender, did not have a bayonet lug)

Of these four only the Colt LE901 met the majority of the requirements – so I selected the Colt as my new heavy rifle.

Colt MARC 901
Colt MARC 901 with Trijicon TA11E

It has:

  • User Configurable 1-Piece Upper Receiver with Back Up Iron Sights (BUIS)
  • Full Floated Barrel
  • Bayonet Lug
  • Vortex Flash Hider (suppressor ready)
  • Ambidextrous Controls
  • Accepts Mil-Spec 5.56 Uppers (not a requirement but an interesting option)

I mounted a Trijicon ACOG TA-11E that I had and I was off on my new project: Project 901, where I test the platform and select the needed accessories for my new heavy rifle.








Next up – Project 901: Colt MARC 901 Basics