Editor’s Note: A badass blade made from The Gun?! What sort of devilry is this?!? Surely it cannot be true?! Oh, but it is, FighterSweep Fans. This one is especially for friends and family of the A-10 community. There is an artisan out there who got the idea of making knives using the metal from shot-out GAU-8 cannon barrels. The shot glasses made from 30mm shells are completely awesome, but how cool would it be to have your own piece of cannon cutlery?! You definitely need to check these out!
The [A-10 Warthog] is a badass plane, about that there can be no doubt. And at the heart of that badass plane is the 30mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon, a massive gun the plane itself is essentially built around. But after thousands and thousands of shots, the barrels of a GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon wear out. When they do, Shane Barefoot can turn them into sweet one-of-a-kind knives.
A knife-maker by hobby rather than trade, Barefoot has been dabbling in the art for close to two decades now, though he says the knives he isn’t ashamed to show off have all been made in the past ten or twelve years. These GAU-8 knives are just one of his more recent projects.
Barefoot got the hookup for the scrap through a friend’s son, an A-10 mechanic who has the line in to companies in charge of recycling the demilitarized scrap. Once he gets the raw chunks, it’s a matter of working them into something it’s possible to cut a blade shape out of. But it’s not easy.
When I ask him how difficult it is to work with the barrel steel, he laughs. “It’s actually a nightmare.” The exact composition of the steel is a mystery—the government isn’t exactly keen on disclosing that, and Barefoot says he’s never been able find anyone who can manage a convincing guess. That it would be tough stands to reason though, and when Barefoot gets to working it, he needs to break out the power hammer.
Eric Limer’s original article can be viewed in its entirety at Popular Mechanics right here. Definitely go check out the rest of the article about these blades, FighterSweep Fans. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime heirloom for the Hawg Driver or maintainer in your life?!
(Images courtesy of Popular Mechanics)