“The gunfighter’s knife” is what edged weapons expert Chad McBroom of Comprehensive Fighting Systems calls the Active Response Kerambit (ARK). The newest release from Pinkerton Knives is an innovative fixed blade specifically designed to work in conjunction with a firearm.
The ARK, co-designed by McBroom and custom knife maker Dirk Pinkerton, was made to eliminate the need to resheath or discard a blade during a weapon retention event. With the knife still in hand, the user can establish a two-handed shooting grip, reload, exchange magazines, and even physically control an opponent.
The ARK’s unique ergonomic features offer benefits catered specifically to the law enforcement community. The most noticeable characteristics are the middle-finger ring configuration and the protruding piece from the top of the ring. “Instead of relying on the palm for support, the ARK is supported by counter pressure with the index finger against a tension bar,” says McBroom. “The ARK locks into your hand in a manner that allows you to maintain full dexterity, even open the hand completely, without losing control of the knife or compromising your grip,” he explains.
Necessity is the mother of invention, so it comes as no surprise that the ARK design has an interesting backstory. “The basic concept for the ARK came from a customer who was a contractor working in Afghanistan. He was clearing a room and got jumped,” says Pinkerton. After that experience, Pinkerton’s customer asked him for a knife that could be used in his support hand without interfering with his firearm manipulation or other fine tasks. “He said he had experimented with some of the knives that were on the market, but none of them were stable in the hand and required too much attention and overt action to maintain control,” Pinkerton recalls.
Pinkerton began looking at how he could solve this problem. “I developed the curved (or ARK’ed) handle to generate the tension needed to stabilize the knife,” explains Pinkerton. It was during this early phase that he teamed up with McBroom on the design. “I knew his knowledge and experience would be the perfect addition for developing the ARK into the ideal backup tool,” Pinkerton says.
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There are other renditions of the Pinkerton ARK in the works, including alternative blade shapes and a slightly larger ‘gloved’ version. A trainer is also under development and McBroom plans on offering a specialized course to help users take full advantage of their new capabilities. The ARK is currently available for pre-order and should begin shipping very soon.
Knife featured in image: Pinkerton Active Response Kerambit (ARK)