There are three people who are directly responsible for me becoming a disaster readiness consultant and author. Two of them are Jerry and Sharon Ahern. I wasn’t even into my teens the day my Dad brought home the first two books in the Survivalist series. He’d seen them at the bookstore and thought I might like them. Little did he know where that impulse buy would eventually lead. I devoured the adventures of John Thomas Rourke, Paul Rubenstein, and all the rest. As fans of the series know well, the characters never carried generic gear. It was always name brand, often high end, quality equipment. I wanted more than anything to own a Rolex Submariner, an AG Russell Sting, a Gerber Mark II, and above all, a matched pair of Detonics Combat Masters. I’m still working on that last one….
A couple of years ago, Jerry was contemplating bringing the Survivalist series back with new books and adventures for the Rourke clan. Of course, that meant new gear, specifically a new, custom designed knife. Jerry tapped long time friend Bob Anderson to help with the design. Sadly, Jerry passed away before he could see the fruits of their labor. Their design concepts were given to Hank Martin over at Martin Knives. Hank was a fan of the series back in the day and he and his team are world class knife makers.
Here is the end result:
The JTR Combat Bowie is absolutely one of the finest blades I’ve held in my hand. Overall length is a bit less than 11 inches, with the blade itself running 6 inches.
Fashioned from S35VN stainless steel, the blade has an aluminum oxide finish. Along the spine is a small section of serrations. The upswept false edge is sharp, though not quite as razor sharp as the blade itself.
The blade is fairly thin, about 1/4″ or so. This allows for a very slim profile, yet still giving you a strong blade.
The handle has micarta scales covering the full tang. The tang extends a bit beyond the scales, forming a skull crusher pommel with lanyard hole. The design of the handle is very comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.
At 6.5 ounces, the knife feels solid in the hand without being too heavy to wield comfortably. Add in the leather sheath and you’re up to 9.7 ounces total.
The sheath is crafted of thick leather and is designed to give you multiple carrying options, such as horizontal or vertical.
While truly a collectible, the JTR Combat Bowie is a functional piece of gear. Personally, I’m not much into buying knives just to hang on the wall or put into a display case. I like them to look nice, yes, but I want them to work for me, too. The JTR Combat Bowie excels on both fronts. For the collectors, the knife and sheath are sold with matching serial numbers.
I cannot say, though, that the JTR Combat Bowie is a bushcraft or field knife. While it will certainly do the job in most cases, this is first and foremost a fighting blade. The aggressive clip point style blade is designed for penetration and slicing rather than chopping firewood.
The team at Martin Knives truly outdid themselves with the JTR Combat Bowie. It really earns its place among the gear carried by The Survivalist, John Thomas Rourke.
It is, however, the retail price that really puts the JTR Combat Bowie into the collectible market. The $850.00 price tag is a bit steep for the average blade fan. That said, this is an extremely high quality knife. You can view the other JTR branded memorabilia at the LancerOnline website.