A Lesson on Combat Knives, in Two Parts: The MOD XSF-1, and the MIL-TAC CS1


The MIL-TAC Combat Survival 1 (Left) and the Blackhawk XSF-1 (Right)

There is, in the knife community, an undue fascination with “fighting” and “combat” knives. Lots of collectors, enthusiasts, and makers specialize in these types of blades. Some of them are fine people, but most with an interest in, or god save us an opinion on, such knives lack the weight of need or experience to lend their ideas validity. Yet it is often this lot who have their voice raised above those of the truly experienced and it is their cacophony which drives a large part of the “tactical” knife world. Not because they are right, but often because they have, if nothing else, immense buying power.
However, there remain voices and talents in the industry who, on the weight of their background or the strength of their products, have every right and reason to speak up. Not that they always do, some of these talents seem to prefer letting their products do the talking, and keep their voices low. Some are out-spoken, and on the vocal forefront of the industry, but have earned their place there. In either case it is to these talents that people of an experienced need and background go for cutlery. They do so trusting that what they are buying is not hype, is not a “name”, is in fact nothing but a well designed, well executed performance tool.
These opposing forces are not in balance however. The demand for knives to suit the enthusiast market is much higher than for knives to actually be used, particularly in the “tactical” field. There is money to be made from the fancy, the different, the new and shiny and manufacturers know this. And from time to time, even those who should know better, fail and fall. But as one falls, another rises.

Talent and Experience:
Masters of Defense (Blackhawk Blades) bring a great deal of experience to the fore with their stable of designers. This elite cadre was one of the original selling points of the MOD line. The original line-up featured designs from individuals such as Master at Arms James A. Keating, and SEAL Team Two plank-owner Chief Jim “Patches” Watson. Today, with MOD owned by Blackhawk Industries, the lineup includes some of the original designers, with new additions such as renowned combatives instructor Kelly McCann, and retired Canadian special operations soldier and custom knife maker Brent “BeshBeshara. It is from this latter designer that one of the subjects of this review, the XSF-1 dagger, originates.
For the other half of this review, we have to travel south from Canada, to Wylie, Texas, home of MIL-TAC, a relative newcomer to the tactical knife scene. While new, they have hit the market with several innovative, and high performance designs. I had been aware of MIL-TAC, but never paid them a great deal of attention until Blade Show 2007 when I had the opportunity to stop by the MIL-TAC booth. After getting hands on with most of their product line, and speaking with owner Craig Sword, I was quite impressed. Both with the ownership, and the majority of the MIL-TAC product line – From the innovative, their machined aluminum Defense Pen, to the simple and tough, their machined G-10 pistol grips. Of greatest note, however, were their fixed blades. Particularly the Combat Survival 1, or CS-1, the other subject of this review.
While one company has risen to triumphant heights in the field on the great experience of their designers combined with quality manufacturing, the other is a rising star starting strong on good craftsmanship and well thought out, well performing, designs.

XSF-1:

As long as men have fought with edged weapons, daggers have been a commonplace sight on the battlefield. From knapped flint, to hammered bronze, to forged steel, men have sought out daggers for engaging in the ultimate trade. As a fighting tool, there is little argument that can be made against a well-made dagger, provided some assumptions are held. Primarily, the assumptions that the fighter can carry anything he wants, and is only going to be using his edged weapon as a weapon. The latter is where problems begin. Daggers are notoriously broken in the combat environment when they are taken for tools. The thin, narrow blades, are not strong enough for heavy use chopping, digging or prying. Yet, these types of utility tasks are far more common than killing tasks. And a knife that will function for such utility tasks, remaining still a knife and harder and sharper than a man, will kill just fine when its owner is properly motivated.
To some, this was a simple enough “problem” with a simple enough answer: Don’t use daggers as combat knives. To others, this simply appeared as a challenge: Build a better dagger, that functions as both a combat knife and fighting knife. One such attempt is the Brent Beshara designed XSF-1, produced in custom form by Besh Knives, and in a production version by Masters of Defense/Blackhawk Blades.
The XSF-1 (pronounced Excessive One) is a heavy blade dagger, just over 11” overall, with a 6.4” blade, ground from either .250” thick A2 tool steel or 6AL4V titanium, featuring either 1″ or 4″ of serrations on the blade. The knife features textured G-10 scales, and comes with a kydex sheath.
What makes the knife unique is that unlike a traditional dagger the XSF-1 only has two bevels. One on each face of the wasp-waisted blade, opposing one another, and tapering towards a wedge shaped flat tip which is sharpened (in lieu of a true point). This is the so-called “Besh Wedge Technology”. The blade is quite thick for a dagger, which in addition to the unique grind makes it incredibly stout. The traditionally weakest aspect of a dagger, the point, is entirely removed by replacing it with the sharpened flat tip.


The “Besh Wedge” Tip

The XSF-1 is remarkably well ground for a production knife with its unique geometry, and the fit and finish are quite high, as is expected of MOD. The knife is coated in Black DLC, one of the best hard use finishes available. The handle, despite its oddness, is comfortable in varied grips, and the G-10 is well textured. And from there, everything gets rather pear shaped.
The sheath supplied with the XSF-1 is, as typical of factory made sheaths, mass produced on a mold vaguely shaped like the knife. This is, admittedly, a step up from injection molded construction, but not much of one. The sheath covers the integral guards of the XSF-1, but features no molding in this area to utilize them as retention points. Nor is there any secondary retention, I.E. a strap around the handle. The entire retention of the knife is dependant upon the friction of the blade inside the sheath. For a knife targeted primarily at military customers, this is a fundamental mistake in sheath design and construction, but that is unfortunately not the extent of it. The XSF-1 sheath ships with two attachment options, a paddle attachment and a belt-slide attachment, both taken from Blackhawk’s CQC line of pistol holsters. Neither of these attachment options are compatible with current common load-bearing systems, particularly MOLLE system gear. The ridiculousness of shipping a paddle attachment on a military combat knife is only compounded by entirely failing to supply any appropriate military type attachment method. In addition to the entire failure to provide any true method of retention, beyond friction and gravity, this makes the entire sheath system as provided totally unsuitable for the needs of the target market. For Blackhawk, a company that has made its entire name on providing quality, up-to-date and standard, gear for the military and tactical environment, this is an inexcusable failure. Particularly when they already produce versions of the fairly standard military type nylon sheath. The only reason for a company like that to get this wrong is sheer lack of give-a-damn, not a mistake, just a lack of caring. A true testament to their concern and support for the average serviceman or woman.
Now, factory sheaths are notoriously bad, this is something we’ve all learned to live with. While it may be fairly inexcusable for Blackhawk, it is not entirely a deal breaker. By itself, the sheath issue could be overcome. If only that were the case, but the sheath issue is not alone.
The blade profile of the XSF-1 is less than an inch wide. With the unique grind, this forces the bevels to be ground at rather obtuse angles. Where the primary bevels are at obtuse angles, the secondary (edge) bevels will be even more so. In the case of the MOD XSF-1, the edge bevels are ground at a 40-degree angle. The exception to this is the tip-edge, which is ground at a 25-degree angle. That half inch is the only part of the knife which presents an effective cutting edge.
Adding to the dismal capability of the MOD XSF-1’s edge are the so called serrations. Where-as a conventional, and effective, serration is a scallop ground in the edge, itself a separate bevel (that actually cuts) the XSF-1 serrations are simply notches cut into the existing edge. They are the manufactured version of extremely severe edge-chipping, with no beveling inside the notches. They will not cut at all. They catch and bind, and occasionally tear whatever they are being used against, but they do not cut.


The Factory “Serrations” of the XSF-1

I used the XSF-1 for a variety of tasks in an effort to test it and perhaps find redemption. None was to be found. One of the first tests I performed was a cutting test against tissue. I took a side of pork ribs, still in the plastic wrap, and stuffed them down a leg cut from an old pair of Levi’s, which I hung from a tree-limb. On thrusts, the rather sharp tip of the XSF-1 performed well, penetrating the denim and plastic and letting the blade sink through the tissue. Even on encountering bone, it slipped across and continued on its way, sometimes chipping the bone. However, on slashes nothing was achieved. The edge, which I stopped and honed from the factory edge just to be sure, would barely scratch the surface of the denim. I used long powerful slashes, snap cuts, and even press-cuts, to very little effect. The snap cuts seemed the most effective, but only when the corners of the tip caught the fabric. Cuts made with the primary edges would scuff the fabric, maybe breaking a few threads, but would not break through to tissue. Even cutting the bundle down, and laying it on a table to hack at it against an immobile backing, failed to improve the performance of the dismally obtuse edge.
When thrusting, I tried a few internal cuts, ala the “comma cut” or just shearing cuts, and was unable to generate any effective expansion of the wound channel via cutting. Even when thrust to the depth of the serrations, the serrations provided minor sawing action and then bound in fabric or packed with meat.
The penetration capabilities of the XSF-1’s unique tip are fairly good. It will penetrate soft materials almost as readily as a conventional point, but has the strength to be used against harder materials as well. It is a tip design that, unlike most daggers, will hold up to hard utilitarian use. It is, however, the only part of the knife that can claim that. The edges will not cut. The serrations will not cut (though they will break wire, when twisted in a notch). The knife is non-functional in the very task that defines a knife. In a break from professionalism, I will put my feelings on the performance of the XSF-1 in the simplest of terms: If anyone ever tries to cut my throat, I hope he uses an MOD XSF-1.
The rest of the XSF-1 is neither good nor bad, particularly. The construction is good, bevels are even, fit and finish are high as can be expected from MOD. The handle design is, despite appearances, not too uncomfortable and rather secure in the hand. While all this is well executed, it is not enough to make up for the dismal capabilities of the blade.
I was so disgusted with the MOD XSF-1 after initial testing that I shelved it for a few years, and avoided writing the review I had planned of it. It wasn’t until I had in my hands an example of the exact opposite, a multi-functional, well performing, combat knife, that I saw a reason to explore the XSF-1 in writing.

The MIL-TAC CS1:


As I wrote earlier, I’ve been vaguely aware of MIL-TAC since they came on the scene, and liked their look. It wasn’t until Blade Show 2007 that I got to handle any of the MIL-TAC products, however. I was at the time very impressed with both MIL-TAC’s fixed blades, and the attitude of Craig Sword, the company owner. I attended Blade with a friend, Ian Wendt of Special Circumstances, and he made contact with MIL-TAC after the show, obtaining a pair of their flagship CS-1 combat knives for testing and evaluation. It was one of these which ended up in my hands. At the time Ian was in a greener climate and the Desert Tan model didn’t suit his environment, so it ended up in the desert with me.
The Combat Survival 1, or CS-1, is a unique and original design. But rather than uniquing and originaling itself into non-functionality, the CS-1 takes original approaches to proven design elements, and it works. Featuring a 6.5” flat-ground drop point blade, ground from .205” S30V steel, with a 5.5” CNC-milled G-10 handle, the knife comes in right at 12” overall. Mil-Tac also offers a modified tanto version of the blade. The standard blade finish is a stone-washed finish, though MIL-TAC has authored knives with ceramic coatings to match the handle color as well. Handles are available in Black, Black/Grey, Tan and Green G-10. The handle design is one of the more unique elements of the CS-1. Using a fully enclosed tang (a heavier mortised tang, as opposed to the weak rat-tail tang), the surrounding G-10 is machined into a semi-subhilt pattern, with large double guards, and a comfortable birds-beak type pommel dressing out an ergonomically pleasing shape. The grip is further milled to a gripping, but not overly rough, texture. Although unique looking, the grip of the CS-1 is extremely comfortable in multiple grips. Along with the prominent choil, the possible grip options for varied tasks are almost endless.
Coming back to the blade, the CS-1 has one of the beefiest chunks of S30V on the market, but also one of the best executed. The blade, while thick, has a high flat grind, and a slight distal taper. This provides a very strong blade, but with excellent geometry for cutting ability, even out on the tip. While not a surgical cutting tool, the CS-1 very effectively balances the needs of fine cutting with the qualities of a large blade, allowing it to chop and perform other heavy tasks without risk. This efficiency is due to superior geometry, good steel choice, and excellent heat treating of the 58 Rockwell C blade. Just one of these factors alone is not enough, geometry, steel and the thermal conditioning of that steel have to work together, and the CS-1 indicates MIL-TAC has a good understanding of this.
The sheath for the CS-1 is the Combat Master model from Spec-Ops Gear, which, in my opinion, is the finest sheath of its type on the market. The Combat Master is a fully MOLLE compatible nylon sheath, with a rigid plastic liner, fully adjustable retention strap, and a front pouch for a multi-tool or similar sized object.

MOLLE Compatible vs. Incompatible

I’ve carried a Gerber or Leatherman tool in the pouch primarily, but it is roomy enough to contain a miniature survival kit (though not quite wide enough for an Altoids/Penrith tin size case). As well as being fully MOLLE compatible, the sheath will fit onto belts up to 2” wide, and offers ample mounting options for non-MOLLE systems. My CS-1 rides, primarily, on the side of a Lowe Alpine Contour Mountain 35, a rather conventional, non-military, hiking and light mountaineering pack, and is very secure there thanks to the sheath. The only thing I will say is, the plastic liner is a non-molded liner, so its fit to the CS-1 is not perfect. This was simple enough to solve by removing the retention screw, sliding the liner (a flattened tube of kydex like material) out, warming it in a toaster oven and molding it to the CS-1 blade like kydex. This greatly improved the retention of the sheath, adding redundancy to the already effective retention of the adjustable strap. This was at the cost of ambidextrous positioning, but that was fine by me.
I have carried and used the CS-1 in some rather adverse conditions as after receiving it it became my primary knife for outdoor activities. I am an avid outdoors enthusiast, and spend as much time as possible hiking, climbing, and caving. A good field knife always accompanies me. Now, while I am a fan of the classic small knife and pack-axe combo, I am also a fan of large knives by themselves. A single large knife is lighter than a smaller knife plus axe, and is more useful for general trail clearing and similar common tasks, in the vegetation in my area, in my opinion. That said, the CS-1 is often accompanied by a Gransfors Bruks Forest Axe lashed to my pack, though the CS-1 ends up seeing more use.
The robust nature of the blade makes it ideal for light chopping, and batoning to split wood. I have no concerns over damaging the knife doing this, short of missing a cut and driving it into a rock. The handle does have a few hotspots, but no more than any other knife I’ve worked with, even those with less aggressive handle texturing. The use of gloves mitigates this to a large extent. The well shaped handle offers good support for the hand in a variety of positions, from well back on the handle for chopping, to fully choked up with the index finger in the choil for fine cutting.
On the fine cutting front, the CS-1 is as capable of shaving wood for tinder, or making fuzz-sticks as it is of chopping heavier limbs. This is an excellent testament to the all-around versatility of such a large knife, as many similarly sized blades cannot do this level of fine work easily.
The CS-1 is also remarkably robust in the face of outright abuse. Now, let me make it clear, I am disgusted by some reviewers who believe that breaking a blade is testing it, and I am loathe to actually abuse my blades (there is a reason I carry a shovel, an axe, and a prybar in addition to a knife). However, abuse does happen. And the more extreme the environment, the more likely the need to “abuse” a knife may be. My instance of severe abuse with the CS-1 wasn’t in an extreme environment, but certainly an extreme circumstance.
Several friends and I were having a barbeque and bonfire out at an old gravel quarry, when the wind came up and sent embers up the hillside into the dry grass. The hill, a grassed over pile of broken rock and loose dirt, was in no particular danger, but above it was grass range-land, which if the fire spread would catch and then probably burn acres before it could be stopped. Several of us leapt to stop the fire from spreading. The one small camp shovel present was grabbed, along with some other miscellany to throw dirt on, or beat out, the small fires. I grabbed the CS-1, which I had used earlier in the day for food prep, and moved up the hillside, and began cutting firebreak. The hard clumps of grass and tough “chemesa” (four wing-salt bush, a sage variant) were difficult cutting, but their roots lacked a solid purchase in the loose and rocky soil. With the CS-1 I began slashing covering grasses and branches, so I could get the blade in around the roots and use it to uproot large clumps of grass and brush. This involved jamming the knife in amongst rocks, and prying with it to free up the offending flora. After several minutes, and about 30 yards of fast and furious clearing, I had established a decent fire break and moved down slope to help stamp out the remaining hot-spots. Once the fire danger was controlled, I had a chance to examine what I expected to be a nastily dinged up CS-1. To my surprise, there were only a few small chips or notches in the edge at the tip, and some light scratching in the stone-wash finish. I continued using the knife the rest of the evening to break up pallets and cut wood for the bonfire. Once home, the edge damage was easily removed with a basic resharpening, and after wiping the blade down to remove dirt and vegetation stains, the scratching was remarkably well blended into the stone-wash finish.
The CS-1 has also ridden on my pack in some tight spaces, banging around in tight spaces underground, or taking spills across rocky slopes with me. The G-10 has suffered some very minor damage, scuffing and scratching, but that is the extent of it.
The CS-1 has performed very well for me, under a variety of conditions, from the mundane to the extreme.

2 Knives Enter, 1 Knife Leaves:
In the final preparing and writing of this review, after literally years testing both these blades, I was spending time in what we joking call the “Ranch Lab”. Roughly 2,000 acres of New Mexican wilderness that belongs to my family, it is an excellent environment for testing a variety of gear. Being very remote, day to day needs are much different and it is entirely possible to find use for a knife or other hard use gear every day. Both these knives have spent a considerable amount of time in this environment, as part of being put through their paces, and it was to this I returned in finishing their evaluations.
One of the most common tasks necessary here is building fires to heat the old, primarily wood heated, ranch house. I see this as perfect opportunity to use my gear, and am often found starting fires with a firesteel and tinder rather than kerosene and matches. It is also perfect opportunity to use a knife to make kindling. Now, this is something I do with knives when outdoors and needing a fire, but to my thinking, the more practice the better off I will be when I really need a fire some day.
Of course, the CS-1 performs this task with aplomb. Splitting both pinon and cedar with ease, shaving off chips and shavings for tinder piles, and carving larger splinters for fine kindling. In a few minutes I can make a rather large pile of shavings and kindling with the CS-1. Trying to use the MOD XSF-1 in a similar role is an exercise in failure. It is far too thick and dull to even begin to perform such a task.

The CS-1 atop a pile of small kindling, a few moments work

This failure drove my curiosity to put the XSF-1 to the test further, directly against the CS-1. Finding some old pine timbers in the lumber pile, I decided to do some chopping tests. The results after 30 seconds of steady, slow paced, chopping with each knife were amazingly disparate. In that time with the Mil-Tac CS-1 I had gone about halfway through the timber, chopping out large chips with ease. The XSF-1 on the other hand had made less than an inch of progress, leaving dent-like grooves, and taking very small chips out of the timber. Increasing rhythm and force of stroke merely served to drive the XSF-1 handle uncomfortably into my hand, without increasing performance in the wood.

Chopping with the MOD XSF-1 vs. CS-1, with obvious results

Next, I turned to rope and cord cutting. I have long maintained that a well dressed plain edge can perform as well at this task as any serrated blade, and often better than some serrations. With the so-called serration on the XSF-1 this is certainly true, unless talking about the plain edge portion of the blade. All around the knife performed miserably. The plain edge refused to cut rope or cord much at all without a gross excess of force, applied against a hard backing. The factory serrations simply bound and tore at the material, without making effective headway at getting through it.
On the other hand, the CS-1 had no problem slicing through parachute cord, nylon rope and heavier hemp rope. The edge dulled on the heavier rope only slightly, but continued to perform without need of excessive force.
In one last attempt to salvage even the smallest modicum of performance from the XSF-1, I reground the serrations on one side of the blade. Grinding them into true serrations, small scalloped bevels each one sharp, did improve the serrations performance some against the rope. But the improvement was only slight, as the thickness of the grind still prevents efficient cutting. And even improved serrations would do nothing to improve the MOD XSF-1’s cutting ability in other tasks.


The Modified Serrations on the XSF-1

At a certain point, you’ve got to stop beating the dead horse, and I decided that was the point. Continuing to “test” the XSF-1 further would merely be an exercise in personal frustration.

Right, Wrong and Indifferent:
Without a doubt, Mil-Tac has nailed it pretty much out of the park with the CS-1. It is simply a great knife. I have gotten rid of a few others I owned, simply because they were redundant in the face of the all around capability of the CS-1. MIL-TAC appears to be a very attentive, and performance driven, company and the evolution of their designs and product lines speak to a dedication to continual improvement. Their quality manufacturing, applied to time tested design elements in innovative formats, provides a simply great knife. I would not hesitate to purchase a CS-1, or any of the other MIL-TAC fixed blades.
Masters of Defense/Blackhawk Blades on the other hand, I am not sure what to say about. They have, and continue, to produce some very fine tactical and hard use knives. Some of their designs are excellent, and their manufacturing processes turn out a very finely crafted product. However, no matter how finely crafted, a tool that will not perform is not a good tool. The MOD/Blackhawk Blades XSF-1 is that tool. Yet, unfortunately, Blackhawk seems to think it is better than that as Blackhawk Blades now offers two more XSF-type knives. A smaller boot or neck knife size dagger, and a push dagger format. Given the poor cutting performance of this blade design, I would imagine the Mini-XSF has more in common with the abilities of an ice pick than anything else. In that vein, a push dagger makes some sense given its limited need to cut, but the execution of the XSF Punch Dagger leaves much to be desired. The grip is small, and the tang rising between the fingers is long, promoting an excessive amount of torquing and levering in the grip. This coming from a manufacturer which produces other extremely functional knives, and has a broad team of subject-matter-experts at their disposal, makes the XSF-family even sadder. They should know better.

Someone who reads this is probably going to complain that this is not an objective review, and that my comparisons are unfair. They will no doubt say I am trying to compare to knives so unalike as to make reasonable comparisons impossible. And to that I say, firmly and heartily, no.
Both these knives, despite their differing styles, are billed as hard use knives for the military and special operations environment. Anyone who drops their Rambo fantasies and at least pays attention knows that hard-use in those environments isn’t slitting throats, or “tactical deanimation”, it’s cutting, chopping and prying. It’s utility under extreme circumstances. Both knives claim to provide that, they merely come at it from different angles. One does so, admirably, and the other fails, miserably.
As for the subjectivity of this review – Damn right I am a biased, and unobjective reviewer. I am the end-user, and I know what I need to accomplish with a tool. I am also a knife-maker, with a solid academic foundation in basic sciences and metallurgy. I can claim to know a thing or two about knives, and their crafting, and their performance. Pile that on top of an honest enjoyment of good working tools, in concert with a lifestyle that allows me to put tools to an honest use, and yes, I think I have a bias. Towards functionality and performance. If that doesn’t meet anyone’s standards, then please, go forth, purchase your own tools, and do with them as you please.

My thanks to MIL-TAC and Blackhawk for supplying their respective products for review and evaluation.

This review has received some criticism is various places (the old blog, namely) and I wanted to post a note to address some of those criticisms since they don’t appear in the comments feature below.
Some have criticized that this review falls heavily towards wilderness survival type tasks, and thus gives the XSF-1 and unfair shake as it is designed as a thrusting tool. Some have felt that this review did not present the XSF-1 in an appropriate context.
To clarify – This review is focused heavily on Utility. Wilderness survival as such is not the main focus, but provides excellent framework for evaluating for hard use.
My point was not to evaluate the MOD XSF-1 as a fighting knife. I know no soldiers who carry strictly fighting knives – Not to say there aren’t any, but in my experience, they are rare. A knife for a soldier is primarily a utility tool – Those utilities resemble many other back-country hard uses.
Why the focus on soldiers? The XSF-1 was designed to solve a problem that has occurred, classically, when fighting daggers were misused by field soldiers who took them for tools and broke their brittle tips. By that very design intention, the MOD XSF-1 is opened up to criticism as a full-fledged Combat Knife, for utility concerns.
If those explanations, or the findings, are not to the readers liking, or do not match their experience, so be it – Everyone has different needs and if a serious evaluation of the XSF-1 proved it to be useful to you, I’m glad.

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5 responses to “A Lesson on Combat Knives, in Two Parts: The MOD XSF-1, and the MIL-TAC CS1”

  1. kingbiscuitpants says:

    found it informed, concise and useful thanks

  2. Rob Cranfield says:

    Uncovered your webblog via google the other day and absolutely enjoy it. Keep up the truly great work.

  3. Tim says:

    I’m new to the world of knife-making, and was re-researching besh wedge designs for my knife. I think I’ll reconsider. Although lengthy, this was a great review. Thanks for your time.

    • BFE Labs says:

      Tim – First of all, welcome to knife-making, it’s a blast isn’t it?
      Secondly – The BESH Wedge design is not wholly at fault for the failings of the MOD/Blackhawk XSF-1. The production engineers at MOD/Blackhawk chose to use methods that compromised the design, namely by using secondary bevels at such steep angles (40 degrees) that the cutting efficiency was reduced.
      Here at BFE Labs, we’re friends with Besh, and are pretty big fans of a lot of his designs and work. At this point, after speaking with him about it, I am not entirely ready to write off the BESH Wedge as useless or incapable, just this (the MOD/Blackhawk XSF-1) particular application of it. The BESH Wedge is something I intend to revisit in the future, and give a more thorough exploration than this arguably poor example. I’d encourage you to contact BESH about using his design, and speak with him about how to optimize the BESH Wedge for your applications (bevel angles, whether or not to use secondary bevels, etc.), and to actually give it a try, before you write it off.

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