It is a bit of a chore to work your way around the Blade Show with a “tactical knife agenda.” There are all types of knives from fine art pieces to booths with no knives at all, and there are booths with an abundance of handle materials from fossil to wood. I don’t honestly find much of this stuff to be all that interesting. However, sometimes, right next door, you find some very interesting products indeed, and the booth of Bastinelli Creations was one of them.
In a small booth somewhere in the middle of the Blade Show mix, Bastinelli Coves, of France, was showing a variety of custom made knives that included a number of very smart designs. Through an interpreter I was able to gain further insight into some of the motivating factors of the how and why of some of his designs. This included a number of unique ways to circumvent the variety of rather crazy European knife laws, such as folding knives not being allowed a locking mechanism. The custom craft on display was impeccable, but the collection also included a very fresh new production version of a Bastinelli custom knife called the Raptor GT6.
Enter the Raptor
In order for Bastinelli Creations to reach a broader and more international audience Bastinelli took his design for the Raptor GT6 to Lionsteel, Italy. Lionsteel took on the task of producing the Raptor utilizing state of the art machine processes and manufacturing techniques,and the end result was nothing shy of a marvelous knife that is fit to fight as well as to conquer various other field craft related work.
Bastinelli had obviously put a great deal of thought into the design of the Raptor. The GT6 is a rather slender configuration with superb ergonomic properties that favored a saber style grip. Something about the Raptor also spoke to my Kali instincts, perhaps in the way that the spine of the blade dissipated from the handle. I couldn’t put a finger on what I liked so much about the Raptor at the time, but it was speaking my language on a number of different levels.
Between the extraordinary design craft of the Bastinelli Raptor and the exceptional outcome of the Lionsteel production, I decided that I couldn’t go home without one.
I came back home with a lot of knives and a few other goodies to examine, analyze and review. I went to work straight away but soon discovered that it was very difficult to prioritize. There were days when I would head out into the woods and bring a couple of knives with me. However, as opposed to encountering or inventing some task to accomplish and choosing ONE knife, I found myself applying several knives to the same or a similar task.
During this period of time I discovered that the Raptor GT6 in fact excelled at a variety of tasks that one might not consider the knife particularly well suited for. I had come to view the Bastinelli Raptor as a fighting knife, but in fact it excelled at tasks up to and including splitting firewood.
Admittedly, I did not think up applying the Raptor GT6 to this particular task myself, but instead was introduced to this capability by Bastinelli’s own youtube channel (user Bast2a).
Having seen the Raptor GT6 applied to more hard-use-type applications, I opened my mind a bit more in regards to the intended purpose of the Raptor’s configuration. I found the slim blade of the Raptor to be most desirable for general tasks even up to and including ever important food preparation.
However, the overall fit and feel of the knife spoke to me for blade forward thrusting and slashing utilizing a saber type primary grip. Although this manner of grip is not most suitable to my particular manner of Edged Weapons Combatives, it was highly suitable to the style of FMA Blade Craft that I was brought up on. In fact, I felt that the Bastinelli Raptor was better suited than most knives of similar fighting intention than I had ever encountered.
The Raptor GT6 seems to measure up based upon three primary criteria: length, weight, and configuration. Although the configuration of the knife may be its key element, the Bastinelli Raptor is 10.5 OAL with 5.5 inches of blade. It is 1.5 inches at its widest point and weights only 185 grams. And when you put it all together, it equals one very serious FAST action knife.
Where do I get one?
This might be the more complicated part, but I assure you that it is well worth while. As many of you probably do not speak French, it may be a little difficult to navigate the bastinelli-creations.com website. However, if you open an additional tab and the website – translate.google.com you will have little issue understanding what you are looking at. In addition, some of the fine custom craft of Bastinelli Coves can be found at www.arizonacustomknives.com
There are many other fantastic knives available from Bastinelli Coves. Be sure to get a good look around his website in addition to his youtube channel. Having met him, I can say without reservation that Bastinelli Coves may be one of the great upcoming minds in the custom knife industry. Knives such as the Raptor GT6 may soon lead to break out recognition in the United States and the world over, and I am sincerely glad to know his work.