Many of those clasp knives (especially the navy version) have a big Marlin spike as well, which was often preferred to the knife blade in fights or brawls according to some of the older folks and veterans I've talked to.

The sheepsfoot blade is supposed to be shaving sharp, at least the older versions were pretty well made. It's too short for a stabbing weapon (under 3") and it's meant primarily for utility purposes. If kept sharp it's still a wicked cutter, though.

During WWII the British actually taught some hand-to-hand techniques with the clasp knife as well. It was only considered a last resort weapon - firearms or the Fairbairn-Sykes dagger being preferable in all situations. But in an emergency the British soldiers were trained to use the clasp knife as a cutting weapon, a bit like a straight razor. Look into the combatives system developed by Fairbairn and Sykes for more information.

Edited by Tom_L (11/11/08 04:18 PM)