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The 5.11 ABR Strider Knife: Does this gear match my pants? (2 of 3)

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Continued from Part One. Photos by Shinnosuke Tamaka

As we mentioned earlier in this series, 5.11 Tactical has a history of making knives. Thus one might have thought when the company decided to package a knife with the “Always Be Ready” combination, they'd have used an existing model designed in-house. Not so in this case.

Nor did they take the route of those firearms companies who put their logo on a substandard imported blade — you know the ones; they're built of questionable manufacture and materials but have a prominent gun company's emblem on the side.


The Always Be Ready knife is a custom tactical frame lock folder made by Strider Knives known as the SMF (Strider Military Folder).


This knife desig has its origins in SOCCOM, being designed for the first USMC SOCCOM unit in 2003 (Force Recon's Detachment One).  At the time, Strider did a very cool thing.

In order to keep the costs down for the military, the Strider guys made a matching knife for every one made for the Marines. Where the Marine knife had a tan scale, the civilian match had a black one. Where the military knives were serialized with an “M” prefix, the civilian version started with a “C”. The only other change was that the military knives had the Marine Raider logo engraved on the blade.


Sales of the civilian knives offset the military knives by the cost of $100 each. As this original run was only for 120 knives that first batch has increased in value on the secondary market by at least 400%. Those knives originally sold for $550 and command upwards of $2000 whenever one comes up for sale.


The blade on 5.11’s SMF is of a new steel alloy, CTS-B75P, for ultimate corrosion and wear resistance. The handle is composed of a titanium slab with an integrated lock bar and a G10 scale incorporating a back spacer. Protecting the lock bar is a Rick Hinderer Lock Bar Stabilizer. The rugged construction of the knife makes it bomb proof and it ships in a 5.11 made knife case with a patch incorporating the 5.11 logo, Strider logo and an unofficial version of the Marine Recon logo as a tribute to the unit for which the model was originally designed.


What 5.11 has done with these pieces is not simply a matter of “branding” a firearm in a reverse of what most firearms companies are doing, the guns no less than the knife. With each of the firearms retailing from $1800 for the pistol and $2400 for the rifle, it would have been easy for 5.11 to have “co-branded” with cheaper alternatives; they would have sold a lot more of everything that way.

However, this is 5.11 and that name comes from a particularly difficult level of mountain climbing. In other words: “They don’t do easy.”


These three pieces represent some of the best quality that we have seen in a collaborative effort across industries. The rifle from JP Enterprises is simply a joy to shoot (more on that later). The SIG SAUER 1911 can go toe to toe with the best custom manufactured 1911 pistols out there — but you already know that if you read the first article.


As for the Strider SMF just makes for a damn good custom pocket knife for every day carry, though it's nice enough you might want to treat it as a collectors item.

Each one of these designs represents 5.11’s avowed commitment to creating functional products that are based on feedback from their end users who put these tools through the paces under the toughest conditions.

Make and Model: Strider SMF

Overall Length: 9″

Blade Length: 4″

Blade Material: CTS-B75P Stainless Steel

Handle Material: G10 and Titanium

Blade Thickness: .190″

Rockwell Hardness: 59-60

Weight:6 oz.

MSRP: $599


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