“If it is going to carry my name it has to be good,” says Austin McGlaun, who unveiled his new collaboration with CRKT at SHOT Show in January. The knife is a fixed blade dubbed the CRKT Clever Girl, one of three blades released by the company as part of its new Forged by War program. “First and foremost, the Clever Girl is a tool for warriors,” McGlaun says.
If there is anyone who is in tune with the needs of a warrior, it’s McGlaun. A veteran of the war in Iraq, he was also featured in the first installment of the Knife Cops series back in September. Following his military service, McGlaun, now 33, served for 5 years as a Law Enforcement Officer in Columbus, Georgia – a city with one of the highest crime rates in the country.
We asked CRKT’s Ben Petersen why the company chose the knife to go into full production: “The Clever Girl has a lot of character to match the big character of its designer. Its swooping Persian style blade delivers tremendous piercing power and a lot of slicing real-estate,” says Petersen. “The G-10 handle offers a neutral ergonomic position that is going to fit in your hand very well using either a reverse or forward grip.”
The CRKT Clever Girl is McGlaun’s first collaboration experience. “[CRKT] helped walk me through the steps and gave me design over site throughout the prototype phase,” he says. McGlaun is one of the men behind the brand Artificum Solis. The Columbus, Georgia based company makes a line of fixed blades out of high-carbon and tool steels. The designs are built to be versatile and stand up to the unconventional duties (like prying through windows and doors) McGlaun’s knives have had to perform.
The CRKT collaboration idea appealed to McGlaun because of the lower cost, accessibility, and faster delivery for customers. “We wanted to offer a lower cost, no wait version that was still a solid knife for the people who don’t have the patience to wait for a hand made knife,” he explains.
The CRKT Birler, a tactical pack axe designed by Elmer Roush and the CRKT Sangrador, a combat dagger designed by Darrin Sirois join the Clever Girl to make up the Forged by War Program Class of 2016. It is the inaugural series in the program, but CRKT says they already have another three blades planned for 2017.
CRKT’s Forged by War Program is the brainchild of RMJ Tactical‘s Ryan Johnson, a frequent CRKT collaborator. CRKT’s Petersen explains the company’s motivation for introducing the program: “When Rod [Bremer] founded CRKT, he started shopping around for new designs and Kit Carson offered us his M-16. That’s the knife that built the house. The CRKT M-16 became ubiquitous throughout the wars with members of the US Military,” says Petersen. “With the Forged by War Program, CRKT has come full circle because it’s an opportunity for us to give back by working with knife makers who also happen to be US Veterans like Kit was. We’ll never forget where the success of the company originated and this program fits with CRKT’s strong connection to the military since the beginning.”
CRKT is donating 10% of the profits of the knives sold to a Veterans charity specified by the designer of each blade. McGlaun picked the Green Beret Foundation, an organization that he says has a personal connection and provides valuable support to those who served: “The Green Beret Foundation is an outstanding group that has helped several of my friends – big time. I have brothers that wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.”
Knife featured in image: CRKT Clever Girl