When you think of concealed carry, typically you think a handgun, but not every concealed carry weapon is a handgun. Depending on your local laws or the lack of a concealed carry permit, your preferred weapon may be a blade. Most blades that I carry (and a lot of people carry) are your standard folders with a pocket clip. These days all it takes is a quick glance at one’s pocket to see that they are carrying a blade. Having a blade makes an excellent backup to a gun. Having a concealed blade as a last chance weapon (and backup to your other knife) could save you some day. With the modern-day threats we face, dual weapon deployment is becoming the standard.

The Emerson Knives La Griffe blade is an excellent last-ditch concealable defensive tool. Originally designed by French knife maker and Army (French) veteran Fredric Perrin, variations of the La Griffe (otherwise known as the claw) are put to use in a variety of professions such as: military, law enforcement, and civilian defense.

From Emerson Knives:
Mr. Fred Perrin is one of the world’s premiere “real world” fighting instructors. This fact is directly reflected in his bare bones no-holds barred style of knife making. His attitude and philosophy have propelled him to design some of the best and most affordable combat knives in the business. Fred comes from a diverse background of French Military Special Forces service and a life long study of martial arts and weapons systems. He is a highly sought after instructor in Europe and a highly recognized and respected knife maker to those who use and carry knives in high risk environments. We are very proud to produce one of Fred’s most innovative and effective designs – the La Griffe.”

The design and footprint of the La Griffe blade allows you to conceal the blade and make it virtually disappear under a t-shirt. As it comes from the manufacturer it includes a chain to wear and conceal it as a neck knife. Because of the short length of the blade, and the lightweight design, wearing it around your neck is no worse than wearing a larger pendant around your neck. The blade and sheath sit flat against your chest, just below the sternum, and are easy to conceal under just a T-shirt. The most comfortable way to carry the La Griffe is between a T-shirt, and another layer. Personally, I choose to carry my Emerson La Griffe in a different manner. I decided to take advantage of the eyelets in the sheath and attach an inside the waistband loop. With the IWB loop on the sheath I can now carry the La Griffe inside the waistband, opposite my handgun.

Concealed Carry: Emerson La Griffe Blade
Sheath modification with an IWB loop

Deploying the La Griffe from the holster can take some practice depending on how you’re wearing, or concealing it. If you’re wearing it as a neck carry, it requires the extra step of getting your hand under whatever outer layers are on top of the La Griffe. While you may be able to slip a hand through a buttoned shirt, it’s probably faster to deploy by un-tucking your shirt with your weak hand, and then grasping the knife with your strong hand. This knife carries and deploys very well under a button down dress shirt (and tie), as you can leave one button undone under the middle of the tie allowing easy access for your strong hand. The tie helps to reduce any printing under the dress shirt. Wearing it inside the waistband still requires you to clear your shirt before pulling the blade from the sheath. I’ve also added a short length of paracord, and an Emerson Skull bead for two reasons. First, it gives me something to grab in a high stress situation where you have degraded motor skills. Second, it just looks pretty damn cool to have that Emerson Skull on the lanyard.

IWB Loop and lanyard with Emerson Skull
IWB Loop and lanyard with Emerson Skull

The design of the handle allow you pull the La Griffe out of the sheath by inserting your index finger into the larger hole closest to the blade. Once the knife is locked into your hand it is near impossible to disarm. The blade becomes an extension of your hand and resembles that of a claw, or talon. With a blade length of under 2″ you’re not going to reach any vital organs, but you’re still going to be able to inflict some damage that will not only deter the immediate threat, but possibly put them in the hospital.

Concealed Carry: Emerson La Griffe Blade
The short yet effective blade design of the La Griffe
Concealed Carry: Emerson La Griffe Blade
A deadly piece of 154CM steel

The Emerson La Griffe is a tough single piece of 154CM steel and retails for $110.95. Worn around your neck, or inside the waistband it provides a simple, yet effective defensive weapon (as a back-up to your handgun, or pocket folder).

Also check out Amazon here, but make sure that you are actually purchasing and Emerson blade.