Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kailash Blades Scourge Kukri: The Overview Redux

 (Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here. This review was originally posted a few years back, but things have changed with the maker since then. Andrew Lucas, the guy who designed the Scourge, has started a new company called Kailash Blades and he recently contacted me. He liked the original review and asked if I might switch things around to reflect his new company. See, KHHI was only able to produce the Scourge thanks to an agreement between Mr. Lucas and their CEO. That agreement has since expired and now Kailash Blades is the sole producer of the Scourge. Per an agreement with Mr. Lucas, I have edited my original post on the Scourge and will be deleting the original url. Any search results for Scourge kukri on my site will now redirect to this posting. Thanks for understanding, folks.)

Hey folks, it's your old pal 12-Gauge Chimp here with a brand new entry on something I've been waiting to get for a very long time.

Yes folks, it has finally happened. I finally got my hands on a real kukri. I am so happy I finally got one of these awesome knives. Now, this is technically not going to be a review since I instituted my new reviewing process, so it's more of an overview.

First, there's the matter of the background of the Scourge. The Scourge is the design from Australian blade designer Andrew Lucas. I first learned of the Scourge when Mr. Lucas posted a thread on a forum I frequent asking for opinions on his designs. There were several different designs and the one that ultimately became the Scourge is the result of multiple design changes to one of the entries. Despite a few setbacks during production, the Scourge became available to the public. Now, since this blade is relatively new to the market, there just aren't that many reviews online. Matter of fact, there's maybe a single YouTube video review. Other than that one video, no one has done a review of this kukri that I'm aware of.

Now, on to the overview of the Kailash Blades Scourge kukri.

The first thing I noticed about the Scourge is the fact the knife is huge. I mean, this thing is a beast rendered in carbon steel. Upon opening the box and holding the knife for the first time, I was immediately struck speechless by how pretty the blade was and how immense the entire knife is. Seriously, me being speechless is a rare thing since I'm a really talkative person in real life. Just ask my friends and family about that one. Until I received the Scourge in the mail, the largest knife I owned was the Aranyik E-Nep I reviewed a couple years ago. The Scourge is almost twice the size of the E-Nep and weighs a bit more, but that's due to the size of it.

 Thanks to a conversation with Mr. Andrew Lucas, I was able to find out the blade of the Scourge is made of 5160 spring steel and is about 12 inches in length with a very noticeable downward curve. There's an interesting little bit of trivia in that the blade material is actually leaf springs from old trucks. It's recycled into kukris by Kailash Blades and it's a way for the leaf springs to be turned back into something useful instead of just rusting away in a junkyard. The blade is also about a quarter inch thick at the spine and tapers down a bit towards the handle area to make it an almost perfect fit for most folks. This also helps cut down on weight since the Scourge, like most kukris, weighs about a pound and a half total.  The handle scales are made from rosewood (an early version was to use water buffalo horn) with finger grooves cut into them. The handle fits my hand almost as if the bladesmiths of Kailash Blades designed it with me personally in mind. They didn't, but it sure feels that way upon holding the knife in my almost gorilla like hands. Wielding the Scourge really makes me want to take a whack at things like coconuts, small tree limbs and maybe even a few zombies.

The wood is beautiful as is and with a little coating of varnish or sealant and I think the grain of the wood will really shine through. Thanks to a little info I was given by Mr. Lucas, I found out that they don't varnish the handles, they just oil them like they do with the blades. I'm not sure what kind of oil is used, but it's either an organic vegetable oil or some kind of rice oil being used. With that said, it's completely up to the customer whether or not they want to use any kind of wood sealer or varnish on the handles. One thing to be aware of is that it is possible to use too much varnish on the handles. Too much varnish and you run the risk of making it too slick and making it too slick in turn makes the risk of the knife slipping out of your hands even higher. Personally, I'd leave the handles alone and maybe put a very thin coat of sealant on the wood so it won't rot.

The Scourge's sheath is probably one of the nicest sheaths I've seen out there. It's made in the same way the sheaths the other kukris Kailash Blades makes have. It's made of two pieces of wood and wrapped in water buffalo leather and it fits the Scourge pretty well. I'd love to have seen some kind of retention strap, but that's just me. Maybe in later versions, Kailash Blades will put a retention strap on the sheaths. It's not a big deal if they choose not to since the end user can simply add a strap later on. I probably will since I plan on taking the Scourge with me on an upcoming camping trip.

Overall, I like the Scourge from Kailash Blades. I'll be making a YouTube video showcasing the blade's chopping ability in the coming months and I'll be doing a long-term durability review in a year. Keep in mind that this is just a simple overview of the Kailash Scourge and not a review. The reviews are coming up within the year and I hope you all will be reading them then.

Big thanks goes to Andrew Lucas for designing the Scourge and to Kailash Blades for making such an awesome blade.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Guns and Gear Review #25: Kailash Blades 16 inch Sirupate Kukri

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp back from a long break.

Many of you might remember the Scourge kukri I did an overview on a couple years back. Well, today I have another kukri to review. It's not a Scourge, but a Sirupate kukri.

What's a 'Sirupate', you might ask ? Well, it's sort of a cross between a kukri and a machete. A kukr-chete or a mach-ukri, if you will. For me, it's an excuse to hack old watermelons and foliage around my house without looking like a doofus.

Anyway, I did a little searching and found Kailash Blades. Andrew Lucas, the brains behind the Scourge kukri, is the man behind this new company. So, I browsed the site, saw several kukris I wanted, but I decided I wanted a Sirupate because I've never owned a traditional style kukri. After clicking my preferences, hitting the 'place order' tab and making sure my payment info was correct, I was well on my way to having a real traditional kukri in my hands.

Now, shipping from Nepal takes awhile, so I had to wait about a month or so for it to get here. Which it did this past Monday. I eagerly opened the heavily taped box like a kid on Christmas and inside was my kukri.

I ordered the 16 inch blade Sirupate because it was the more sensible choice. They have blade lengths up to 24 inches or so, but those are more for ceremonial purposes and display due to the size and weight. 16 inches is the sweet spot for the Sirupate for me. It's long enough to make short work of bushes and the like, but still able to be wielded for long periods of time without tiring me out. Even so, the blade is long and if I needed to (or wanted to), I could probably use it as a short sword. It's just perfectly balanced for both utilitarian purposes and defensive purposes as well.

The blade measures about 16 inches and the handle is about 5 3/4 inches, with an overall length of 22 inches. The blade is highly polished and has almost a mirror-like sheen to it. There's a bit of traditional style engraving on the back of the blade towards the spine as well. The width of the blade at the spine is a little over 3/8ths of an inch. Still pretty beefy, but not as much as the Scourge with it's almost a half inch thick spine. Like the Scourge, the handle of the Sirupate is made from Rosewood with a nice polish to it. It's a little slick for me, but a quick wrapping with some grip wrap and it'll be good to go for me. That's really my only issue with it, a slick handle, but it's merely a personal preference and in no way a fault of the guys at Kailash Blades. The blade also came with a traditional water buffalo leather and wood scabbard that holds the blade in tightly, but not too tightly. It's got just enough grip to keep the blade from bouncing out, but it lets me draw the blade smoothly.

It's kind of unfair to call this a review when I really haven't tested the blade enough to warrant it, so it's more of an overview. I'm planning to do some cutting with the Sirupate from Kailash Blades here in the near future and will update this entry with my findings.

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase and plan to make more purchases from Kailash Blades as time goes on. They're a great company to deal with and Andrew Lucas kept me updated on my order during the entire time it was going from a simple piece of steel in the form of truck leaf springs all the way to a finished blade on its way from Nepal to the US. Not many companies will do that these days, especially not the head of the company either.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

ETA: I was recently contacted by Mr. Lucas and he informed me he's actually not the owner of Kailash Blades. The company is Nepalese owned and operated, with him as sort of a public relations/ quality control/publicity/media relations/designer type person. Sort of a jack of all trades deal, I guess. Either way, I'm glad to see him and the guys from Kailash Blades making kurkis and other blades again and I hope Kailash Blades is around for a long time to come and wish them well in all their endeavors.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Guns and Gear Review #24: Ruger P89 9mm pistol

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here.

I know it's been quite some time between my last entry to the site, but that's because I really haven't had the time or energy to write a review. I've got plenty to review now, but I just got sort of burnt out with reviewing and writing entries, so I decided to take a break for a bit. I'm still in the midst of that break from writing, but I decided I at least owed it to y'all to update the site at least one more time before disappearing into the shadows again.

Today's review is of my latest firearms acquisition, a Ruger P89 in 9mm Luger (or NATO or Parabellum or 9x19 or whatever name you want to call it).

The Ruger P series started out with the P85 in the 1980's. After a few years and one recall to fix a safety issue, the P85 eventually was replaced by the P89. My particular gun was built sometime in 2004 or so, so it's not an 80's gun as I originally thought. Ruger actually continued making the P series until about 2009 or 2010 when the SR series took over. Now Ruger has released the "American" series of pistols onto the market and the SR series will probably be less focused on by the company. I wonder how long the SR series of pistols will be made before Ruger decides to drop them like the P series.

I traded my RIA GI Tactical 1911 to a friend for this gun and I think I got a pretty good deal. The reason behind the trade is my friend was looking for a 1911 to practice gunsmithing on and I wanted to try a 9mm. So we met up at our usual trading spot, swapped guns and I became the second owner of a shiny stainless steel Ruger P89. It's officially a KP89 because it has a stainless steel slide on top of the aluminum alloy frame. Ruger likes to differentiate between their standard blued models and the stainless ones with a K in front of whatever model it is. For example, a blued GP100 is just a GP100, but a stainless one is a KP100. Same gun, different model designation in the Ruger books. It makes no difference, really. For some reason, the stainless guns are worth more on the used market as well, but not by much.

Anyway, I got my P89 and went to work buying ammo for it along with some extra magazines. I even put a set of Hogue grips on it to make it a little more comfortable in my hands (I've mentioned before that I have rather large hands and most gun grips feel a little small to me). I love the ambi safety/decocker and the ambi mag release. I wish my Glocks had that, but I've gotten used to switching my shooting grip slightly to release the mags with the factory release. The sights are little banged up, but given that this gun is an older model, it's to be expected. They're not quite as easy to pick up, but a little brightly colored nail polish or one of those paint pens you find at many hobby stores works to brighten the sights up.

The P89 is kind of a heavy pistol, but it was designed as a duty gun and not something you'd carry concealed on a daily basis. Although, if you have a good holster and strong belt set up, you should have no problems. Heck, there's guys who carry heavy 1911 pistols all day and they seem to have no issues. For me, the P89 will be a range toy since I've got my Glock 21 for carry purposes. As soon as I can get a better holster for my Glock 41 (the long slide version of the Glock 21) that'll hold the G41 and Streamlight TLR-1s I have mounted on it, I might carry that one as well.

Overall, I'm happy with the trade I made. If I get the urge to buy another 1911, I might buy another Rock Island Armory or maybe one from another maker.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.