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HAWKS #247335 10/07/08 09:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,226
northern1 Offline OP
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first of all i want to say that its too bad i couldnt include a "SCRATCHET" from the yard or some type of hawk/hatchet/axe/entry tool from busse combat as well.until then................................

well today i got my RMJ FORGE "SHRIKE" in the mail and while i have been waiting to put it up against my other hawks,mainly the CA i didnt have time for a real chop-off today but out of impatience i did throw together a quick little in-house caparison going on look,feel,weight,sheaths and stuff like that as opposed to actual performance.

i have 5 hawks in this get together.here's a pic of the 5 for size comparison left to right,biggest to smallest is:
Ranger Knives Entry Tool,RMJ Forge Shrike,Swamprat Crash Axe,ATC VTAC,Ranger RD-Hawk.

[Linked Image from i234.photobucket.com]

the VTAC feels the quickest in the hand and add to that its shortness it would still be my first pick out of them all for self defense with the SHRIKE coming in second being the next most nimble piece.some might prefer the SHRIKE though due to its extra length.

the SHRIKE comes with a heavy duty and very well thought out kydex sheath.the kydex is the thickest i have seen at .125 as opposed to the usual .08 or .93

personally for me it is too complicated and offers more than i'll ever need in the form of retention and carry capabilities but i do appreciate the thought and work thats gone in to it and really it wasnt designed with me in mind.it was designed with those who jump from planes with combat loads and who need a "jumpable" sheath in mind and it will serve them just fine.

while it does rattle around inside the sheath which i dont like it is very secure to the point where it is a struggle to remove and insert the SHRIKE into the sheath.that in itself is really a good thing and will ease up over time.

on top of that it has 2 nylon retaining straps that connect with a very "different" type of SR buckle and is where the added "jumpable" retention comes in.one could also tie the SHRIKE into its sheath even further with 550 cord if need be.

here is the SHRIKE in its sheath with the straps un-done

[Linked Image from i234.photobucket.com]

and here they are secure & connected.you can see the buckle system is a different style 3 piece configuration and it is made by DURA-FLEX so its not cheap crap either which is important.

[Linked Image from i234.photobucket.com]

the SHRIKE's sheath can accept a TEC-LOK for belt or MOLLE carry but doesnt come with one.at least mine didnt.with the versatility of this sheath one could find a way to rig it to anything MOLLE even without a TEC-LOK.

what it did come with was a shoulder strap tpe of rig that isnt bad.not what i prefer but it will work.i will be attaching a TEC-LOK to mine most definitely.here you can see me wearing it over the shoulder,sort of....lol

[Linked Image from i234.photobucket.com]

i should've mentioned the SHRIKE is forged from 4140 chrom/molly and is differentially heat treated from the edge to the head.the micarta handle is oval shaped and completely engulfs the steel therefore insulating it from electricity which has been a very important feature to military operators in the field.that was what micarta was truly designed for originally was electrical insulation.the tang goes down to about 2-3 inches from the bottom as you can see in this pic,where the tip of this knife is pointed is approximately where the tang ends.

[Linked Image from i234.photobucket.com]

at the bottom is a screw out piece that contains a sharpening stone and also serves as a pomel/skull crusher/glass breaker.

[Linked Image from i234.photobucket.com]
[Linked Image from i234.photobucket.com]

lets face it,these hawks werent designed and engineered for cutting wood and/or camp chores even though they are capable of such work.they where designed for extremely rough and ugly work where one doesnt hesitate,think twice or worry about chopping at or through concrete or steel and probably will do such things on purpose.these are "entry tool" made to gain access to buildings and vehicles first be used as weapons second and anything else third.

therefore,unfortunately i wont be able to test them according to their true designation and design purposes in a good'ole fashioned chop off since i dont want to risk the chance of causing serious damage to them while chopping on concrete and steel,not to mention spending hours repairing all the edges.

i can tell you this......

for "entry tool" type situations my top 2 choices would be the SWAMPRAT CRASH AXE & RANGER ENTRY TOOL with the SHRIKE coming in third

the CA & ET both have pry bar tabs.the CA's being on the bottom of the handle and the ET's being on top of the head.they both have BUY BROWN sheaths that i find to be the best around when it comes to items other than knives and while the CA didnt come with its sheath i was able to purchase it in the SWAMPRAT store.both of these hawks/entry tools are S7 high impact steel.

i personally havnt given them enough abuse to attest to there durability and performance but other have and have shared those experiences.

i,as well as others have seen people take the CA against a porcelain toilet..{ouch}...and have seen it chop the hood of a 70's era car like it owed it money.
....{thanks andy} and while it wasnt made for wood cutting and camp chores i have been very impressed with its ability to do so and would say it is the best out of them all for such tasks.i have also seen this hawk thrown quite a bit also.

when i went to BLADE this year i got to hold a special certain RANGER ENTRY TOOL at the RANGER booth.it was the same one justin was chopping cars in half with in the pics on his web-site and he also had other pics of the concrete blocks it chopped through all while in iraq and he told me it had seen regular use and was his go-to piece for his daily duties/tasks as an private contractor while in iraq.i think it may have taken down a few doors.he had the piece there at the show and i was truly amazed at how the edge had held up.

the differences between the CA & ET would be that the CA has a spike in the rear while the ET has more of a poll hammer type rear to it and that the ET is a bit longer.those two differences come down to personal preference and what exactly it is you need the tool for.

the important thing is that they are both backed by a no b.s.,no questions asked,100%,lifetime guarantee.

i look at the RD-HAWK like a mini "entry tool".it doesnt have the same force as the other due to its shortness but it is obviously the most compact and still quite capable.something else it has going for it is that the spike on the back is by far the pointiest thing i own period,let alone the other hawks.as a matter of fact you need to be very aware of it at all times when chopping with it because if it touches your head during chopping, while on the way up it will pierce your skull like a needle.i'm seriouse.i dont even own a knife with a point anywhere near as pointy as this thing.it is made of 1095 high carbon if i remember right and comes with a good,heavy quality nylon sheath.much better and heavy duty than the black nylon sheaths that come with the ranger knives or the scrapyards for that matter.mine pulls "trunk monkey" duty and does it well due to its compactness.i keep it there heaven forbid i ever need to assist a trapped motorist or if i ever just need to give something "hell" weather it be living or not.its just good to know something is back there and it is affordable in case it where ever stolen although since the buy out one can not buy one currently but will be able to soon enough.

like i said about the VTAC,it would be my first for self defense because it is the lightest an most nimble in the hand and to me is the perfect length.the blade geometry is also extremely sharp,pointy and jagged and would chew through anything flesh.it is 1060 high carbon.

to be honest it has to be the absolute worst at any type of camp chores so i havnt really put it to much use.mine sits by the side of my bed at night as my go-to piece haven forbid i should need such a thing.it is the deadliest edged weapon i own imo.for thos of you who havnt seen what they did to the VTAC with an SUV i suggest you look into it.its all on the ATC web-site.the VTAC also comes with a nice nylon sheath with SR buckle closures and belt loops.

at the end of the day i am torn between my 2 favorite being the SHRIKE and the CRASH AXE.

the SHRIKE feels lighter and quicker in the hand for self defense.i did do a little bit of chopping with the SHRIKE and actually was impressed at how well it did and how deep it bit into the wood but over all the CA does better with wood and has an extra inch of cutting surface to it.

the CA has the pry bar tab on its bottom but the SHRIKE has a sharpener on its bottom.i really cant compare 4140 to S7 performance wise but i do have faith in it and the SHRIKE is guaranteed for life just like the CA.

the SHRIKE is a bit longer for added reach and power but the CA's shortness makes it that much more compact and easier to carry.

bottom line they are all incredible hawks.there is not a looser in the bunch.

if i had to pick one to survive in the wilderness with i would be torn between the CA and the SHRIKE.the SHRIKE would be much better as a weapon where as the CA would serve much better as a tool,wood working piece although either could do both.

.....so i guess i cant complain.i got5 kick @$$ hawks capable of anything between the 5 of them.

go buy one of them or all of them and you will not be dissapointed,i promise.

here's some last shots of them in their sheaths.....

front side:

[Linked Image from i234.photobucket.com]

back side:

[Linked Image from i234.photobucket.com]

one last thing to consider is the "price to cost ratio"....hint,hint scrapyard,wheres the SCRATCHET dan??

prices on the CA will very and pieces like the ET & RD-HAWK are temporarily unavailable although i wouldnt be surprised if they are cheaper when they come back out than originally.there is a definite wait time on the SHRIKE that is most likely a few months at least and your only shot at a CA is on the exchange as far as we know.

so without getting into exact prices here is my list,from cheapest to most expensive.

RANGER RD-HAWK,ATC VTAC,RANGER ENTRY TOOL,SWAMPRAT CRASH AXE,RMJ FORGE SHRIKE


Northern-1...aka Bad2TheBone...aka NorthernMarsh 1st member of Scrapyard hatchet/hawk club
Re: HAWKS [Re: northern1] #247336 10/07/08 09:59 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,474
Shaolin Offline
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Nice hawks. I have a CS Trail Hawk.


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[color:"#00FF00"]Canyons And Mountains[/color]
Re: HAWKS [Re: Shaolin] #247337 10/07/08 11:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 126
barrabas74 Offline
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I just checked out the Shrike, I like the looks of it and the Eagle Talon but they arent taking orders for the Talon till 09. I think I will pick up a shrike. Thanks for the review.


I AM MOJO CRAZZZZY!!!
Re: HAWKS [Re: barrabas74] #247338 10/07/08 11:23 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 43,996
Private Klink Online Content
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Nice tools and review Dave! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbup.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


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Long Live the Brotherhood of the Yard!
Re: HAWKS [Re: Private Klink] #247339 10/07/08 12:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 683
duFontaine Offline
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I love the Strike, I'm almost to the point of ordering one. I cant wait to see the chop off.


"Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus"
Re: HAWKS [Re: duFontaine] #247340 10/07/08 01:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
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duFontaine Offline
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After reading the info on the Strike website I have a question. I noticed that all the other hawks say (no head-handle separation...ever),but the Strike doesn't say it. Does this mean they have had separation before?


"Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus"
Re: HAWKS [Re: duFontaine] #247341 10/07/08 02:13 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,532
Tolly Offline
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Now that is a fantastic collection of hawks right there! You are definitely good to go when it comes time to head out with "hawk in hand".


"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
Re: HAWKS [Re: Tolly] #247342 10/07/08 03:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,008
Magnum22 Offline
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i may be wrong, but i think N1 likes hawks.

i like your latest purchase the most.


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Re: HAWKS [Re: Magnum22] #247343 10/07/08 04:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,293
tyger75 Offline
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What with the discount that RMJ is giving military, I'll be picking one of those Shrikes up, after I recover from the current SYK release, that is! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />


JYD#70 Warning! There are more than just dogs in this yard!
Re: HAWKS [Re: tyger75] #247344 10/08/08 12:23 AM
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Andy Wayne Offline
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Nice. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Re: HAWKS [Re: Andy Wayne] #247345 10/08/08 01:17 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
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I think you did a hell of a job on this thread northern!

I am a big fan of hawks but the traditional wood handled ones which are really a completely different tool.
I do need at least one entry tool though and I like both the Shrike and the Crash ax but I am leaning towards the Shrike because of the insulation which is a huge deal if you need to break through a wall. In my misspent youth I used a lot of quality entry tools on walls and good steel doors and door frames and I really liked the big Estwing because it was full tang ,reasonably cheap ,had a nice leather sheath and most importantly the back end of the poll could be used as a sledge hammer. It is also nicely balanced.

Now I want something more just because it is a cool toy I might need.

The sheath for the Shrike looks amazing. The shoulder strap is a great carry method if you have to climb or hold a weapon. Is the Eagle a shorter version of the Shrike?


"if you want to be a hero you have to learn to drive stick"! Sara Conner
Re: HAWKS [Re: Unsub] #247346 10/08/08 02:12 AM
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adamlau Offline
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Me likes the look of the RD Hawk <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> .


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