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Reimagining the New Victor: Abraham and Moses Survival Equipment

This article originally appeared in RECOIL Issue 41

Photos by Diego Muya/Geissele Automatics

Abraham and Moses Survival Equipment Breathes Life Into a Forgotten Survival Knife

During a family viewing of the Discovery Channel show Forged in Fire, Bill Geissele’s son, Abraham, expressed interest in bladesmithing. Geissele, being a supportive father figure and successful entrepreneur, decided to create a knife company for his sons.

Abraham and Moses Survival Equipment is named after his boys Abraham, 12, and Moses, 5. The venture allows Geissele and his sons a different kind of aesthetic freedom. “Knives allowed us to be more artistic and creative than gun stuff,” says Geissele.

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The family’s passion for the outdoors through hunting and backwoods adventures carries over to their hard-use, high-quality knives. Geissele and Abraham take great pride in their products. “The knives are really going to be used, and they will help people out of a tough spot,” says Abraham.

A&M already has four successful knife designs, one of which is the Goodman Special Operations Combat Knife. The Goodman is a collaboration with Special Operations veteran Lou Goodman and features Geiselle’s unmistakable “Sheath of the Future.” Geissele explains the sheath’s name: “the fully ambidextrous Sheath of the Future is manufactured from 7075-T6 aluminum, not your average sheath material. It’s got a nylon lining inside and stainless steel hardware. We built in two methods of knife retention, too … a locking latch and a friction latch.”

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Abraham is particularly fond of the model AM-2. In his words, “The No. 2 is more of an all-purpose knife, and the size allows it to be carried with little interference on a guy’s hip. You can get to your pocket while it’s on your belt, and you can also carry it discreetly.”

The impetus for A&M’s latest blade comes from a family gathering more than 20 years ago. Geissele was at a Thanksgiving dinner with some family friends back in the early ’90s when he struck up a conversation with a Vietnam veteran. As you can imagine most conversations with Geissele would go, this one turned to weapons, particularly knives. This prompted the serviceman, who had survived several tours, to grab his trusty blade from his car to show off to Geissele. He came back in carrying a large survival-style blade with a handmade leather sheath and tremendous brass guard.

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“The beautiful colors of the grip and the brass guard really caught my eye,” says Geissele. “It was like a Bowie meets a Roman short sword.”

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The sheath had a zippered pouch on the front with various survival items inside, and the knife featured a beautiful multicolored laminate handle. As his eyes lit up, the man was quick to add that the knife was for sale. A handshake and $50 ($99 today for those who like to account for inflation) later Geissele had a new-to-him knife. The knife was packed away until his recent recollection with Abraham.

Geissele knew little about the knife, and his curiosity prompted him to set the blade out on his company’s display table at the most recent Blade Show, an annual tradeshow for the knife and blade industry. Surely, passersby would help identify the mysterious blade. After several people offered wild speculation, one man recognized the knife from a magazine article he read long before. Later that weekend, Geissele read an excerpt from a 1983 article highlighting custom knife maker Dan Valois. Bill discovered his knife was known as the Victor 2 Survival Knife.

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Finally, armed with a name, Geissele began a search for the knife’s designer that led to a dead end with a 2009 obituary. Geissele learned Valois lived just 10 miles away in Leighton, Pennsylvania when he died. More sleuthing turned up a phone number. A woman’s voice on an answering machine greeted Geissele’s call, so he left a message hoping she’d help him learn more about Valois’ design.

Geissele got a call back from Joy Valois, Dan Valois’ widow. Geissele explained his love for the blade and asked permission to remake it as the Victor 3. Joy explained that she had only recently disposed of her late husbands’ drawings, plans, and sketches of his knife designs during the same Blade Show weekend Geissele had set the knife out for identification.

“To me, it was more than a coincidence in timing for her to have destroyed his note,” says Geissele. “It was the universe’s way of making the Victor 3 happen.”

With Joy’s blessing, the Geissele family set out to use their comprehensive machining skills to bring this knife to the 21st century.

The Victor 3 quickly went from a napkin sketch to a fully rendered design. Wanting to maintain the integrity of the original, Geissele went so far as to purchase a machine specifically designed to make hollow ground blades, ensuring historical accuracy and providing a razor’s edge. The V3’s blade is made from 440C stainless steel, heat treated to 58-60 Rockwell hardness, and features both a hollow ground main bevel and a flat ground false edge.

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The original design was a full tang knife, typical for survival knives that value strength and durability. One side of the pommel is exposed to accept small saw blades to aid the user in survival tasks. This feature is carried over from the original knife, making the package suitable for woodsmen and survivalists alike. The blade comes in at 6.875 inches, and the knife is 11.75 inches long overall. The edge angle for the new blade is a standard 22 degrees for ease of sharpening and maintenance. Geissele was able to source laminate material that’s very similar to the original design’s grip and embraces the Victor 2’s vibrant colors that originally attracted him to it. The brass guard was also carried over to the Victor 3, keeping the original’s key aesthetics.

The Victor 2’s original sheath housed several survival items, including braided cable for snares, saw blades for the pommel attachment, a sharpening stone, fishing hooks, waterproof matches, and other important items with room to spare for end-user additions. Geissele is currently making the Victor 3 sheath from an advanced thermo-formable material for durability and an improved attachment method. The sheath will feature a nylon pouch, allowing the bearer to customize a survival item loadout.

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Resurrecting a classic knife design with new materials and advanced manufacturing techniques is a labor of love, and the Geissele family nailed it with the Victor 3. The robust features and considerate ergonomics make this an excellent choice for the adventurer as well as the warfighter who demands a knife that holds up to any task or abuse. We can all appreciate a father-and-son venture that fields quality products while teaching life lessons and business principles to the next generation.

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Visit https://abeandmoe.com/


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