I held my Mk18 at low ready and waited for the signal. I felt a push urging me forward and my team-mate on the opposite end of the door pushed it open forcibly, I took one, then two steps the dark room, my night vision turned the room an eerie green, lighted by the IR spotlight and IR laser coming from my forward mounted PEQ-15. I took a hard left and swept the room, button hooking around the door to cover the hardest to reach area of the room. As I did so I saw a man crouched, he pulled a handgun on me. “Gun!” I instinctively yelled as I raised my rifle and then I felt a tremendous impact as he rushed forward and hit my rifle to the side and slammed into me, I grabbed his collar and forced him around to put him into the center of the room. Before I could clear the space and raise my rifle again he ducked and lunged at my waist pushing me hard into the wall behind the door. I grabbed his head and delivered a knee to his side and heard his gun drop, he stood up and his head impacted my PVS-15 night vision goggles knocking them askew and all I could see was black. I felt him as he struggled to gain a dominant body position.

Combat blades and the Gerber Ghoststrike
Gerber Ghoststrike (Left), SOCP Dagger (Middle), SOCP Trainer (Right).

I reached under his arm to control it and grabbed his chin and forced his head back. My handgun was pinned against the wall so I instead drew my Special Operations Combatives Program (SOCP) dagger located centerline on my plate carrier. I rapidly stabbed him multiple times in the thigh, and then pushing his head back further, multiple times in the neck until he slumped to the ground. The lights turned on in the room and the instructor walked in, “Fucking savage” he said. I had been blind-sided by a good buddy wearing a “red man” padded suit while attending the Special Operations Combatives Program, the SOCP dagger was the red training model. The scenario illustrated the need for a knife that is easy to get to and is made to either create distance or end a fight.

I’m fond of the SOCP Dagger. It’s light, sturdy, and it has a great sheath. It falls into the category of an effective combat dagger. Although one problem with the SOCP dagger is that in many States in the US it is classified as a dagger and you are unable to carry it (depending upon State laws). Enter the Gerber Ghoststrike. Only sharpened on one end and looking more like a classic knife, the Ghoststrike looks good. It is these qualities that will likely allow it to be carried due to some states laws compared to the SOCP dagger. When I first received the Ghoststrike I thought, this will break the first time I use it. Fast forward a week and I was attending a “stab lab” where a pig carcass is dressed in standard military ripstop clothing and you test to see what knives can penetrate effectively.

I’ve seen many knives not penetrate clothing. In fact it’s a lot more common than you’d think. With some trepidation I yanked the Ghoststrike free and did a quick jab into the ribcage of the pig through a Military ripstop top and a soft t-shirt underneath. It penetrated smoothly and without resistance. In fact it felt better than the SOCP dagger in puncturing through the clothing and flesh. I spent the next hour pushing this blade through various layers of clothing and at varying angles. In each case it penetrated smoothly and without resistance. The grip of the Ghoststrike is skeletonized with a rubber covering. I’ve seen some user reviews which state that the rubberized texture had broken free with light use. However I’ve worn this knife for approximately a month in some very harsh conditions without any signs of the rubberized grip coming loose. The knife grips very easily and will not slip out even when wet from sweat or rain.

Combat blades and the Gerber Ghoststrike
Gerber Ghoststrike (Left), SOCP Dagger (Middle), SOCP Trainer (Right). The Ghoststrike sheath is excellent and modular.

The sheath has excellent retention and multiple options for mounting it. However I wish there were a deeper sheath similar to the SOCP dagger. Further I’ve found that on close combat knives a ring at the end really helps with drawing and retention. And finally my largest problem with the Gerber Ghoststrike is that it does not have a training knife. This limits my ability to train with this knife in various scenarios. The Gerber Ghoststrike utilizes 420HC stainless steel which is corrosion resistant and tough. Some may argue that this type of steel will not hold an edge well but frankly this knife will not be used often and if it is – can be sharpened easily which I can attest to. Again I stabbed with this knife violently and multiple times through clothing and into bone and the knife held strong.

In any case I’m nitpicking this knife, it has a great ability to puncture smoothly and comes with a sheath that will give you what you need. The knife handles well, is light, strong and will puncture when you need it to. Close combat knives that I recommend to special operators that I teach need to be quick to deploy and effective. I have no qualms recommending and carrying the Gerber Ghoststrike in some very dangerous situations and have no doubts about its ability to perform when my life is on the line.

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