Spartan Blades debuted a new fixed blade collaboration last week, just in time for SHOT. Called the Spartan-George Raider Dagger, it’s the result of a partnership between Spartan and returning collaborator Les George.
Both Spartan and George have a deep connection to military knife history, and the Raider is in fact a tribute to a famous piece of military cutlery, the USMC Raider Stiletto. This legendary fighting knife, patterned after the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife, was carried by Marine Raiders during WWII and has the distinction of being the first standard-issue knife designed by a marine. Produced by Camillus, it went on to become a sought-after collection piece, due in part to the fact that there aren’t many specimens left in good condition, as the zinc alloy used in the handle composition disintegrated over time.
In crafting this homage to the Marine Raider, Spartan, and George chose to stick close to the famous original profile, which means an instantly-recognizable 7-inch, dagger ground spear blade. The blade steel is SK-5, a carbon steel with strong similarities to the formulation that would’ve been used in the original Camillus models. On a fighting knife like this, edge retention isn’t prioritized as much as toughness and reliability, and SK-5 has a proven track record in those departments. Furthermore, a black blade coating will help protect against rust, the number one maintenance concern with regard to carbon steel.
Instead of the problematic zinc alloy, Spartan and George opted for injection-molded scales, laid over a full tang frame. The emphasis on reliable, durable materials continues with the sheath, which is made from Kydex rather than leather.
The Raider is the latest model to enter Spartan’s catalog under their Bronze Line designation. This means a focus on affordability compared to some of the flagship Spartan pieces. The first batch of Raiders sold out double quick, but the company says more are in the works.
Knife in Featured Image: Spartan Blades Spartan-George Raider
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