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Review – the GBMP 01 Fixed Blade from HTM

This was intended to be a review of the GBMP01 Fixed Blade from HTM, but let me change that up a bit to make it a SHOT Show announcement – this blade is now available in Tanto style. Given how this blade's durability and performance over the last several months has endeared it to me, you can rest assured I'll be taking a look at the new iteration sooner rather than later.

The MP01 is the result of the relationship between retired Army Master Sergeant Grady Burrell and bladesmith Darrell Ralph. Burell is a man who knows what he wants out of a knife and Darrell Ralph is a man who can build just about anything knife-related. Burrell rallied up with the HTM Knives team and built the knife I have now been carrying for nearly a year. Burrell's vision, before he retired from the Army, was to build a low profile, very well balanced knife that would suit a soldier’s as well as an outdoorsman’s needs. Having experimented with a variety of designs while deployed, he settled on a final design the felt to be worthy of the “Master Proven” title.

“When designing a knife, the balance is a critical component of the overall design,” Grady says. “This crucial when building a purpose driven, edged weapon for fight or flight situations.”

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His GBMP1 soon became my new go-to fixed blade shortly after receiving it. I've used this in the wilds of Alaska, throughout the Appalachian mountains and on many trips afield; this knife is just about perfect for anyone requiring a stout, lightweight and dependable fixed blade regardless of intended application. I'll explain why.

One of the most significant advantage is the size to weight ratio. The GBMP1 is deceptively light for a blade of its size, so much so you might forget it's hanging on your belt until you need it. It's just 5.1 oz and mine came paired with a similarly light First Spear nylon sheath. This leaves few reasonable excuses to avoid carrying it into into the bush. Many fixed blades can be a bit overbuilt, in the sense that you are hauling a GBMP01-6

GBMP01-5pound or more of steel to cut wood, rope or skin. I do prefer heaver blades for combat knives, which is one reason I’ve never worried about breaking the blade of any that I carried while serving in the Marines. The GBMP1 is much thinner, only 1/8” thick! However, knowing that its constructed out of one of the strongest types of modern steel, I wasn't terribly worried and that confidence proved well founded. The 154 CM Blade Steel, hardened to 58-61 RC took a beating, surviving being batoned through hard dry wood during fire building and otherwise abused during a variety of different tasks. The thinner blade held up without bending or distortion.

After a few months of hunting and fishing, I found the knife to be well suited in the “camp chore” blade role, as it was a great skinner. The 4” blade is long and wide enough to handle larger tasks, but still short enough to skin small as well as large game. Its tough DLC black coating resists scratches and fights any kind of corrosion, and the textured black G10 grips keep the knife firmly in your hand even when covered in blood. Preferring a straight edged blade, I opted to forgo the partially serrated option that HTM offers. The blade kept its edge longer than some of my other knives, and took a razors edge with minimal time on the stone. This came in handy, along with that aforementioned thinner blade design, when filleting fish for the campfire.

At first I didn't like the black nylon sheath included with the knife, despite its First Spear design and quality. Having used mostly kydex sheaths for the last few years, I have almost completely voided other designs from my inventory. Eventually this design won me over. I appreciate that the sheath has a polymer insert inside to protect the inside (and the ability to mount the sheath on a standard belt or MOLLE/PALS equipped vest), I found myself wearing the knife on my favorite old riggers belt. I also sometimes wove it onto my day bag’s webbing. The positive snap closure at the top keeps the blade secure, and is noticeably more quiet to draw the knife over a kydex design. This is a huge plus for a soldier or cautious hunter.

Overall, I really like this knife and I'm impressed with how it's taken a beating. It hung off my belt for over a month of adventure in Alaska's back country, and has accompanied me on nearly every outdoors trip I’ve taken this year. Grady Burrell, a former serviceman and outdoor enthusiast like myself, has designed one hell of an “all purpose” knife. It's at home on your kit regardless if you are hunting whitetail deer or the Taliban. I'm confident that many of you in uniform will find it to be an ideal military blade, as well as many sportsmen. While not a cheap knife, I’ve never scoffed at quality and will gladly pay for it as long as the price matches the quality. This blade is built for the long haul, and after this year of use I rest assured that it will continue to do so for many more to come. If you are in the market for a new fixed blade, I’d recommend giving Master Sgt Burrell’s design a long, hard look. I think you will be as pleased as I have been. I wish I had more images to show you, and apologize for the lack – unfortunately that camera and memory card are somewhere at the bottom of a river in our 49th state.

You can check it out here, and select your preferred options.

You can read the original announcement and overview of this knife's intended “fighting features” here.

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