M18 Raider Machete
Anybody who is into knives knows what the Marine Raider (or Gung ho) knife is, the model 18 is my version. It is pretty close to the original
in basic design except I made it a drop point instead of a clip point (you can order one with a clip point if you prefer) and I did away with the guard (you can also order one with a guard if you like. Heavy model only). Other wise (except for changing the handle shape) the Model 18 is essentially the same pattern as the old Collins knives.
You probably noticed that this knife is called the Raider machete and not the Raider bowie. That, of course is intentional. I wanted to honor
both the Marine Raiders who so successfully used this knife and also honor the U.S. Army Air Force pilots who used this knife before the raiders themselves. Hence the machete part of the name because that is what Collins made it to be. The original intent was not as a fighting knife, but a bail out/survival knife issued to pilots in the early part of the war. And by most accounts this is also what the Raiders used their bowies for. Same knife, different name, but used in the same way. The only difference was that the Raiders depended on their knives almost daily while behind enemy lines where as a pilot may never (thankfully) have the chance to use his when it counted most.
In my opinion, those who say that a big knife is for a novice, someone who doesn’t know what they are doing in the woods, should study the Marine Raider knife and it’s actual use by those men who made it famous. From all accounts I have read, it was used mostly as a survival tool, not a fighting knife and they used it well. From John Wukovits’ book American Commando comes an interesting quote. Former Marine Raider Jesse Vanlandingham states “I had to find a dead tree that I could cut through the outer part, that was wet, and get some dry wood out of the center of the tree. I had a pretty good fire going right next to a tall tree shelter.” You and I would recognize that description he is giving as a split wood fire. Granted, he doesn’t say he used his Raider knife but I’m guessing that’s likely what he had with him and what he used. I've also read reports of these knives being used to cut firing lanes in combat. I’ve read more than one report of how useful and handy the Raiders thought these knives were. That’s good enough for me.
The Raider is available in two different configurations of your choice. A heavy model, made of 1/4" 5160 spring steel and a light model made of 1/16" 15n20 carbon steel. If you want to cut a trail through the jungle then pick the light version. If you want to use it like a hatchet or machete then go for the heavy version.
The light model comes with only one grind, that is the low grind you see above. The heavy model can be ordered with a half height, commando or reverse grind.
Light models are much easier to make and therefor much cheaper for you to buy.
Handle length about 5 3/4"
Blade length about 9 1/2"
Thickness available: 1/16" or 1/4"
Price for full tang light model: $450.00
Price for full tang heavy model: $800.00
Why so expensive? Mainly because they're such a chore to make and I really don't care if I ever make another one. But, if you want one I will make one. It will just be worth my time, I'm sure you can understand that.