In today’s world, possessing a good survival knife is a must — whether it is kept in your survival stash at home or stored in your bugout bag. A true long-term survival knife is a multi-purpose tool. It is expected to be used for cutting, chopping, hammering and close-range emergency self-defense. It must be a fixed-blade knife. (A folding blade, no matter how good, simply won’t do for primary survival chores.) Unfortunately, not every fixed blade out there can accomplish all of those tasks. But you won’t have to worry about that when it comes to the Smith & Wesson M&P 1117202 Ultimate Survival Knife.
Ultimate Survival Features
The Smith & Wesson M&P 1117202 Ultimate Survival Knife has a 7-inch 8Cr13MoV stainless steel straight-edge blade, formed with the legendary Bowie point. I have been enamored with the Bowie knife ever since I first saw a movie that featured Col. Jim Bowie and his legendary knife, which was allegedly forged from a meteor. It doesn’t get much cooler than that for an 8-year-old.
The back of the Smith & Wesson blade features a sawback edge along half of its length for emergency cutting chores. The handle is black rubberized polymer, molded in a faux stacked washer pattern like the original USMC KA-BAR utility/combat knife. The rubberized texture makes for a non-slip grip. The tang is full length for added strength.
The knife features a curved, blackened steel blade guard. The butt is checkered, which should help for a non-slip strike when hammering. The blade has a standard groove for three-quarters of its length to help lighten it a bit. Contrary to legend, those grooves are not for draining blood.
In the Field
I am accustomed to working with 3- to 4-inch fixed-blade knives. A knife this length is handier, and its balance is superb. In fact, the survival knife I have in my emergency food pack is an older M&P of the KA-BAR style with a 4-inch blade.
I had not worked with a 7-inch-blade survival knife and didn’t know what to expect — it looked so much larger compared to my other knives. But I rapidly found out that I really like the extra length.
Those additional 3 inches of blade tips the weight farther forward, which I soon realized increases the cutting leverage. The overall weight is 0.82 pounds, making it easily carried.
I used the Smith & Wesson M&P 1117202 Ultimate Survival Knife to do my annual cattail cutting ritual while on vacation in Michigan this summer. Cattail stalks are pretty tough, but that improved leverage made really light work of slicing through them with little effort. There is no doubt in my mind that this knife would make a superb defensive weapon — the extra 3 inches of blade could provide a distinct advantage.
There is one thing about this knife that I would change. While the polymer tactical sheath is solid, I would like to see it include the sharpening stone that my 4-inch M&P survival knife has. I would also prefer for it to be a bit tighter so that it would hold the knife in place — without the security strap snapped in — if it is turned upside down.
The Smith & Wesson M&P 1117202 Ultimate Survival Knife is a really solid survival knife — especially for the money. It may find its way into an additional family or “get-home” survival pack. At this moment, it is on sale on Smith & Wesson’s website for $19.99 (the normal MSRP is $44.99). You can’t afford not to buy this knife. Go grab it.
About Scott W. Wagner
Scott W. Wagner is a criminal justice professor and police academy commander from Columbus, Ohio. He has been a police officer since 1980, working as an undercover liquor investigator, undercover narcotics investigator, patrol officer, SWAT team member, sniper and assistant team leader. Scott is currently a patrol sergeant with the Village of Baltimore, Ohio, Police Department. He has been a police firearms instructor since 1986 and is certified to instruct revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle, and submachine gun.