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Old October 7, 2013, 08:27 AM   #26
Rifleman1776
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A lot of scenarios can be fantacized. At arms length it is already too late to make much of a decision.
Best defense in that case would to be a well conditioned, 40 year old karate expert dressed in kevlar.
I carry knife and gun. The knife isn't thought of (by me) as a weapon, it is used for simple chores. The gun is my defensive weapon. I am 35 years too late to be a well conditioned anything.
Do inform yourself on the 21 foot rule.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:48 AM   #27
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With a knife, you do not have the opportunity to stop the attacker before he gets to within arms reach,
Agreed.

My point here is, that you may not always get that opportunity with your handgun either. You need to be prepared to improvise, and flexible enough to go with the flow.


As Wyosmith said...."The weapon is 1% of the equation. The warrior is 99%.

Just having the 1%, doenst make you a warrior. From some of the responses, I dont think that is understood.
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:04 AM   #28
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The best defense in the situation you describe is Situational Awareness: Recognize the situation, be prepared, and best of all don't be there.
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:13 AM   #29
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America has a strong cultural prejudice against the use of knives. Think about the action heroes we watched as a child on television and the movies, the hero almost never used a knife, and if he were attacked by a man with a knife, he simply disarmed him. The knife was portrayed as the tool of the weak, and the evil, and I think the stigma lingers.

If you have the time and the distance to make the draw, I can't imagine anyone taking the position that the knife would be the better tool, but at grappling distances a knife could save your life in a situation where you couldn't reach your gun.
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Old October 7, 2013, 12:09 PM   #30
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I carry both, and while I do not think of my knife as my primary defensive weapon, it certainly can, at arms length, give me something to fend off the attacker and create a "space" so that I might be able to deploy my firearm.

While John's point is spot on (chances are you will injure yourself as well as the attacker) To me, it is a better advantage than no weapon at all.
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Old October 10, 2013, 10:24 AM   #31
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Quote:
a gun or a knife at arm's length distance at night?
Depends on which one you handle better.
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Old October 10, 2013, 11:07 AM   #32
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Obviously you need one of these:


But in all seriousness, it depends on your plan. I've harvested enough critters with both to know both are very effective.

I'd say if you're trying to close distance, and grappling, a knife is probably more effective. The problem with a knife is that it's only effective at very close range.
If you're trying to stop the attacker's advance and then retreat, a gun would be better.
It would probably be easier to convince a cop/judge/jury that you were only intent on defending yourself if you used a gun. Right or wrong, people tend to associate knives with fighting rather than defending.
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Old October 10, 2013, 11:15 AM   #33
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John in post #21 provided some compelling facts. I like opinions as well as the next netizen, but facts are king.

As for good SA, that's hugely important. But here's another set of facts: You aren't as aware as you think you are.

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Old October 10, 2013, 11:30 AM   #34
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"Those who live by the sword get shot by those that don't." Indiana Jones.
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Old October 10, 2013, 11:40 AM   #35
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I guess it depends if you prefer to meet a threat at arms' length or farther.
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Old October 10, 2013, 08:06 PM   #36
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Re: Which is better to have for self defense,

Quote:
Originally Posted by doofus47 View Post
I guess it depends if you prefer to meet a threat at arms' length or farther.
I was under the impression the original post was assuming you were already at arms distance for whatever reason. Say "no one should get that close to you" all you want, but the fact remains, in a civilized world, people WILL get within touching distance of you...probably every day.

There are a myriad of variables as to why you're that close, and any number of them could change your desired weapon.

And yeah, if you're in a knife fight (even if you're the only one with a knife), odds are you're going to get cut. I'd rather get cut with my own knife than shot by my own gun because I drew with the threat too close and we got into a grappling match. Although, I'd rather opt to just use my hands to create some distance if possible. And then the variables kick in again as to the best choice...

Like most situations, there's a lot of right answers (and wrong) depending on the specifics. Training and practice increase your odds to choose the right answer in more situations.
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Old October 11, 2013, 08:42 AM   #37
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With all due respect to the statistics offered above, the only way to make an informed opinion on this is to do force-on-force training with a trained 'knife guy', and then hold steady while your world rocks.

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Old October 11, 2013, 09:17 AM   #38
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DT Guy,

I have done quite a bit of force on force and other types of training with a trained "knife guy." My observation has been that nobody can attain that level of skill from one or two weekend classes, and very few people will put in the effort it takes. Those who have attained that level of skill know who they are, because they have worked to get there and they know what they themselves can or can't do. The rest of the folks reading this thread, the ones who are wondering – they are not that guy. They will fit easily within the norms shown in the statistics.

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Old October 11, 2013, 09:24 AM   #39
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Your point is taken; my point was directed, I suppose, more in terms of people assessing the risk from a knife, rather than contemplating its use for defense. "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight" works for the majority of attackers, but can go wildly astray when you encounter someone serious about a knife.

Having faced three knife attacks and managing to emerge (somehow...) without a scratch, I have to admit that a trained knife guy is still far more frightening to me than a trained marksman, if we're at arm's length. It's the difference between being shot and being disassembled, essentially.

Larry
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Old October 11, 2013, 09:29 AM   #40
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I don't think anyone was claiming that you couldn't hurt your attacker with a knife.
The point was that if you do, it's probably going to turn into a knife fight, and when it does you're most likely (whether trained or not) going to get cut/stabbed.
Knives can be very effective offensive weapons, but don't work so well as defensive weapons.


Statistics are not absolute facts.
There are certainly scenarios where you'd be better off defending yourself with a knife than offering no resistance.
It's just that there are fewer of those scenarios than there are scenarios where you wind up trading the $40 in your wallet and some calls to your banks for a $8000 hospital bill and an really painful couple months.
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Old October 11, 2013, 10:07 AM   #41
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At arms length? Give me a halberd or a SMLE with fixed bayonet. People have been indoctrinated by decades of movie special effects to think that firearms are the ultimate in stopping power, but at arms length, a halberd can cut a person in half. The amount of force, in pounds, that a person with a fixed bayonet can impart, is orders of magnitude higher than any handgun.




I have been reading threads of hog hunting with bowies. A big knife in the heart lung area causes very quick death, guys report the pigs just drop. You can find the pictures. Don't discount the lethality of a knife.

A guy within arms length with a big knife is no joke!
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Old October 11, 2013, 10:44 AM   #42
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Quote:
Your point is taken; my point was directed, I suppose, more in terms of people assessing the risk from a knife, rather than contemplating its use for defense. "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight" works for the majority of attackers, but can go wildly astray when you encounter someone serious about a knife.
DT Guy,

Strong agreement. Knives are serious weapons, and knife attacks nothing to dismiss or hand wave away. Glad to hear you came through your own events unscathed.

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Old October 11, 2013, 12:06 PM   #43
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Slamfire,

Just to note, a human adult male's heart is almost always less than 3 1/2" from the surface of the skin; be afraid of 'little' knives, too.

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Old October 11, 2013, 01:46 PM   #44
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I've posted a few times of a young strong man who got into an altercation with an old man. The latter took a paring knife and stuck it into the young man's chest - who then dropped stone cold day. DTR!
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Old October 12, 2013, 02:27 AM   #45
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some jurisdictions wont let you have a knife in your pocket unless you have a chl permit thing. so if you go through the training to carry a gun, why leave it at home?

In this discussion we have already come to a conclusion. for a knfie to be truly effective, it needs to be BIG BIG BIG. and ideally be called a sword or dagger.
very few jurisdictions allow asword or dagger in public.
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Old October 12, 2013, 02:38 AM   #46
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I would say a firearm would be the better option also. You never know what situation you may be in which is why it's nice to have a CHL. For all we know, if we choose a knife, we may be "bringing a knife to a gun fight." Who knows what the other guy has.
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Old October 12, 2013, 08:22 AM   #47
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In this discussion we have already come to a conclusion. for a knfie to be truly effective, it needs to be BIG BIG BIG. and ideally be called a sword or dagger.
If you believe this to be the truth, Id highly suggest you do some research and/or get some basic training in using a knife as a weapon.

Many major blood vessels in the human body are no deeper than an inch and a half (1-1/2"), and some as close as a quarter inch (1/4") below the skins surface. With an elevated heart rate (think youll have one in an encounter like this?), the "slowest" major bleeder (radial artery in the wrist), if not immediately attended, will leave you unconscious in about two minutes, and dead in three.

Wit just that one cut, what are you going to be doing in the middle of a fight for those two to three minutes? Do you even know how bad off you really are?

Besides the bleeding issue, those blood vessels are also surrounded by muscle and tendons that when cut, will take away the ability to grasp/use a weapon, lift an arm, or even the ability to remain mobile.

You dont need a Bowie knife to be dangerous, a 3"-4" blade is more than capable of inflicting major, if not deadly damage, and quickly too.

Again, I know this is a gun board, and the gun tends to be the solution to "every" problem. If thats all you got, you may be in for a big surprise, if the gun fight in your head, doesnt go as you have planned. Unless you have some other skills in your bag, youre most likely not as well off as you might think.
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Old October 12, 2013, 08:46 AM   #48
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As with all tactics, it depends on the situation presented. When I'm walking through a mall parking lot, it's easier for me to conceal my folder in a closed hand than keep my hand on the gun in my pocket. When I'm at the school I work at, I can't carry a gun; so the knife is my go-to.

While none of us here can afford the money & time in training to become Snake-Eyes, we should work to become familiar with both the gun and the knife as SD weapons.
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Old October 12, 2013, 09:40 AM   #49
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Quote:
Again, I know this is a gun board, and the gun tends to be the solution to "every" problem. If thats all you got, you may be in for a big surprise, if the gun fight in your head, doesnt go as you have planned. Unless you have some other skills in your bag, youre most likely not as well off as you might think.
AK, . . . you are 100% correct in that statement, . . . no argument.

BUT, . . . if I have a choice of my 1911 or a knife at anything beyond bad breath distance, . . . I'll opt for the gun. I'm too old for fisticuffs or knife fights, . . . and can't run.

He might cut me, . . . and it really might be bad, . . . but I'd rather take my chances with a knife cut than 9 each 240 grain hollow points. I've just got a sneaking suspicion that I'll outlive him even if he cuts me real bad.

May God bless,
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Old October 12, 2013, 10:36 AM   #50
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Dwight,

Im 100% with you on the firearm, and I do carry one, and it would be my first choice in most situations.

Im not advocating using the knife over the gun, just pointing out that the knife can be and is, just as much a deadly weapon as the gun, and shouldnt be though of as a lesser weapon, and treated lightly. That old thing about bringing a knife to a gunfight is cute, but could be deadly for you, if you buy into it without knowledge and understanding of both.

For those who want an enlightening and interesting quick read on some of the knife stuff, check out "Contemporary Knife Targeting", by Grosz/Janich. At the very least, you might come away with thoughts on areas to protect and how to do it, if things do go south.

Janich also has some interesting videos on YouTube.
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