The name Mil-SPIE is an acronym that the DOD came up with several years ago. It stands for (Military-Special Projects Individual Equipment) Pronounced ‘MIL SPY’
This was to enable Special Operation Forces within the Military to help develope, test, evaluate and acquire 'out of the ordinary' and 'outside of normal channels' items that they require.
TOPS KNIVES is often approached by individual OPERATORS who advise us of their ideas and the criteria that needed to be met for their Unit or Team.
The challenge was to develop a small and large Field Knife with a fairly narrow carrying profile, it had to be strong and light in weight. With this criteria in mind we created and named the Mil-SPIE Knives.
Two sizes were developed:
Mil-SPIE - 3
This model with a 3.5" blade that is 3/16" thick and O/A Length 8" made out of 154 cm, weigth .30 RC 58-60
This size was more adeft at being used as a neck, or boot or undercover knife, worn close to the body, the scales are black linen micarta with our dot dash dot pattern imbedded in the handle.
The handle scales are removable and the skeletonized knife seems to be as popular as the one with handles.
The blades are coated with 'black traction coating' and can be used either skeletonized or with handle scales, and has good traction in its own right.
The sheath system is Heavy Duty Kydex, which locks the knife in place in the closed position and has a Steel Spring Clip for attachment in a variety of positions.
TOPS Knives: MIL-SPIE 3 field testing and review
In the reviewing and testing of TOPS Knives: MIL-SPIE 3, I decided to put it through a few different tests than the AIR WOLFE. With the MIL-SPIE 3, I was able to make a bow drill set-up in approximately five minutes. No easy task if you have ever made a bow drill set-up in the bush before.
I selected Saguaro rib for my fire board (hearth) and spindle material. Next, I selected a curved piece of Palo Verde branch. To construct the fire board, I had to baton the piece of rib into a workable 3/4 inch thick piece of flat wood. Next, I used the tip of the MIL-SPIE 3 to start the notch in which the spindle would go. I was very surprised that there was no marring or bending of the knife tip! After I had scraped and shaped my spindle, I made a socket with a thicker piece of Saguaro rib. Again, to make the socket, I had to use the knife tip to create a notch.
When these few tasks were complete, I shaved the bow and cut notches into it for the paracord. I found notching with the MIL-SPIE to be very easily done due to the razor sharp edge that is on all of TOPS Knives.
Once my bow drill set was complete, I decided to start another fire with the MIL-SPIE 3. I used the TOPS Knives, ferro rod and magnesium rod set up that I have. There was no ready available tinder so I made some with the MIL-SPIE 3. I shaved dried pieces of Saguaro rib and Palo Verde to make a tinder nest. Then, I took a vaseline impregnated cotton ball and set it in the middle of the bundle to catch the magnesium. The MIL-SPIE 3 shaved the magnesium from the rod with so much ease that it took me less than half a minute to get a fire going! This knife demonstrated so much usefulness in the field for making fire that I highly recommend picking one up at www.topsknives.com for $139.00.
In this review I only demonstrated a fraction of uses of the TOPS Knives MIL-SPIE 3 while in the bush. I hope this review has enlightened you, the reader, as to the usefulness of a 3 inch blade in the field. Thank you for reading this review, come back soon for more reviews of TOPS Knives.
O/A Length: 8”
Blade Length: 3 1/2”
Steel: 154 CM
Sheath: Kydex with rotating steel clip
Handle: Black Linen Micarta (dot dash dot pattern)
Blade Color: Black Traction Coating
Weight: 5.3 OZ
MADE IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS USA
LONGHORN BOWIE (Black River Wash with Rocky Mountain Tread)