As many of you know Minuteman Watch Co. has offered high quality knives made in the USA sourced from great brands like Zero Tolerance and Pro-Tech. To date those have all been large folders. While we are also working on another folder with knifemaker Dirk Pinkerton. We are also looking at adding a small fixed blade knife. For this project we are working with former Army Ranger and talented knifemaker Justin Gingrich from Gingrich Tactical Innovations.
For this of you that are not familiar with Mr. Gingrich this is from the about section of his web site.
Justin Gingrich (the man behind GTI) served 10 years on active duty in such honored units as the 3rd Ranger Battalion (1992-1996), 20th Special Forces Group (1996-1998), and the Ranger Training Brigade (1998-2001). Justin is also a police academy graduate and served in Iraq with a civilian security firm in 2005. For two months, Justin worked in post-Katrina New Orleans providing much needed security for the private sector. He also instructs private security contractors, U.S. soldiers, State Department employees and civilians in the art of patrolling, demolitions, shooting and CQB techniques.
In 1998 he began in the cutlery industry and since then Justin has been on the cutting edge of innovation. He started with American Tomahawk company where he pioneered the modern tactical tomahawk. In 2001 he founded Ranger Knives and continued to design tomahawks and hard use knives. In 2002 he left American Tomahawk company to focus on his own knife and tomahawk designs. In 2008 he sold Ranger Knives to Ontario Knife company while continuing to do design and prototype work for the Ranger line. In 2009 he formed GTI (Gingrich Tactical Innovations) under GTI Justin continues to be on the cutting edge in the tactical market not only with his hard use knives and tomahawks but also with other tactical products that fill gaps in the tactical marketplace. He has a list of accomplishments that any blade smith and knife designer would be proud of. Since starting his own company he whas been recognized as the “go to” guy for companies and individuals wanting to do a new blade design.
What follows is a short list of some of the elite units and companies that have sought out Justin’s expertise and professional approach to the design, prototype and production process involved to get the company and individual exactly what they want and need to fulfill their mission set.
In 2008 Justin was commissioned to do a tomahawk specifically for Task Force 1st Battalion 153rd Infantry upon their return from Iraq.
In late 2008 early 2009 the Marine Corps EOD unit came to him and asked him to design a knife. This being the first time the Marine Corps EOD unit had ever commissioned a knife to be made specifically for them and the special environment in which they were working in in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2010 Justin was the first knife maker to ever be commissioned by the US Army Ranger Training Brigade to do a knife for them, not only a knife but their 60th Anniversary knife. The blade was featured in Tactical Knives in 2011
In 2011 Justin was again commissioned by a military unit to design and produce a blade just for them. The 95th Civil Affairs Brigade out of Ft. Bragg.
In 2012 Justin was approached to this time do Jump Master Knife for the following units on Ft. Bragg 8th Psyop, 5th BN 1SWTG, 3rd BN SWTG.
In 2013 and again in 2015 he was asked to design, prototype and produce a knife for the Psyop Regimental Association.
At the same time the civilian market had taken notice of his talents and added to his list of notable “firsts” in the civilian marketplace.
Justin designed and prototyped the first ever Damascus bladed gentlemen’s folder for Queen Cutlery. This was something that had never been done since they opened their doors in 1902.
“When 5.11 Tactical decided to create hard-use tools for use by serious Operators in the real world they reached out to Justin Gingrich of GTI to leverage their expertise. With GTI’s extensive background in designing and building tactical tomahawks and large fixed blades, and their solid reputation for integrity and dedication, the decision was simple. 5.11’s PeaceMaker Tomahawk and CFK 7 Camp and Field Knife are the first two products to make it through the design and development process and additional designs will follow. If you’re a fan of GTI you’re really going to be impressed by the products of this new strategic collaboration.”
Ranger Up, an apparel company, has also leveraged Justin’s talents. To date they have done two successful limited edition blades designed and produced by Justin.”
Needless to say we feel we have found a perfect partner for this project.
On to the knife.
As it stands now we do have some of the spec’s worked out for this knife. This could be adjusted slightly after a prototype is made and tested which we plan to do shortly.
Current spec’s for the knife.
Blade length: 2.5″ hollow ground.
Handle length: 3″ (This may increase slightly but the idea is to get at least 3 fingers on the handle.
Blade Thickness: 1/8″ (Might be bumped up to 5/32″)
Blade width: 1″
Blade Steel: M390 (Might switch to S35VN the cost for both steels is about the same and performance is similar.)
Sheath: Kydex set up for neck carry, waist carry, and pocket carry.
Blade finish: Bead blasted. (This may change but we will not coat is as the cost will go up and we are already using a stainless steel.)
Project Price: Just under $200 (This is pricey granted but we are not producing 1000’s of these and a portion of the proceeds go to charity. Plus we are building these in America with Justin doing much of the finishing work. Blanks would be water jet cut. To be honest our cost is higher than a lot of similar knives sell for at retail. This will be the most affordable knife we’ve offered to date.)
To keep the price down we plan to offer these knives as a one piece and no handle material. The handle will have holes that allow hobbyist to easily add a cord wrap or for those of you a bit more advanced to install your own handle materials.
We plan to have 100 blade blanks produced and finish only about 20 knives in the first batch. The remaining blades may be offered in upgraded versions with some sort of handle material installed. For those that would like to have handles installed on their version we might offer this as an extra cost option with some choices in handle materials. The blades will have our Minuteman logo engraved on them and most likely a logo from GTI on them.
Now a question for all of you.
While we have the basic specs and blade shape sorted. We are not sure about skeleton portion of the handles. We’ve asked for feedback on social media and based on that have it narrowed down to these. Please contact us at email@example.com and let us know what version you think we should make.
For this version we would incorporate 2 M’s representing our MinuteMan brand name.
For this version we would have the handle set up for folks to more easily add a cord wrap or handle of some sort. As we would have the blade engraved with our logo’s it may be that this would result in a cleaner overall look.
Here is another version with the M’s that several have felt we should go with.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what version you think we should make. If you would like us to contact you when we are ready to start pre-selling the first batch you can also email us and asked to be placed on our contact list for that.