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Gear Review: VP-100 Dagger

Mike Bobbitt

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What's in the box

  • VP-100 Dagger
  • Sheath
  • Adjustable belt attachment
  • Mounting rivets with buffer pads
  • MOLLE mounting plates (2 large, 2 small)
  • VP-100 Brochure (instructions, history of the blade, etc)
  • VP-100 Magnet, for your gun locker

Overview

This blade, which goes by the official moniker VP-100 - The Ultimate Combat Dagger is a special issue for the PPCLI 100th Anniversary. The overall length is a full 12 inches, and the blade comprises over half of that which - as we will see - has some benefits and some drawbacks. The most notable feature is the "wedge" design of the tip, designed to provide increased blade strength without significantly compromising penetration.

Accessories

The adjustable belt buckle is a nice touch and makes the wedge very versatile . It allows the it to be carried in the normal vertical position, but also tilted in one of 3 angles for quick access. Best of all (for me at least), the 3 positions are available in both left and right hand configurations. This flexibility means that even as a lefty, the wedge can be worn so your hand easily falls on the hilt when you need it. The traditional mount allows it to play nicely with other items if you include it on a duty belt.

Four MOLLE mounting places are also included allowing you to easily mount the wedge on a chest rig or pack in either a vertical or horizontal configuration.

Regardless of how you want to set it up, all the hardware you need is included in the package, and setup takes just a couple of minutes with a Phillips screwdriver.

One downside is that the injected nylon belt buckle is a bit small, and larger belts won't be able to squeeze through. The issue CF "cargo belt" fits, but with little room to spare. A thicker belt or one with grommets/attachments will not work, so you will need to fall back to the MOLLE plates or make use of the 10 rivet holes for attachment. (Which, by the way, will allow you to tie the sheath to your thigh, if you're into that sort of thing.) Once attached, it feels solidly in place and secure, and I had no worries about it coming lose or the dagger falling out of the sheath. It fits in snugly and "clicks" in place with a firm hold.

Unfortunately, I found it rode too high on hip because of the long grip and canted belt buckle. It stuck up high enough that it would not hide under a combat shirt and if it did, there's no way you're getting access to it. The grip also interfered with some movement at that height, so I'd say wearing this on a standard belt is not a viable option.

I tried a few other variants, including reversing the cant of the belt buckle and flipping it upside down, with the handle facing down. This was actually more convenient than I expected for access. I was initially hesitant with this configuration as it seems like a surefire way to lose the wedge, but it is fairly secure in the sheath, especially if you make sure to "click it home" each time. I did find that occasionally it dropped out, so in the end, I went with a "gunslinger" low slung belt carry.

The optimal location for the wedge though is on your kit. It is designed to be there when you need it - not for cutting string or prying open ammo crates, but when you need to get at it quickly and put it to good use. My preference then is to have it attached to a tac vest or pack, and secured in the scabbard with Velcro or a lanyard.

Blade

The blade itself is AUS-8 titanium, which means that it's a good strong blade, but softer than steel so be prepared to spend a bit more time keeping the edges sharp. It also means the blade is corrosion resistant, so the overall maintenance is a trade-off. Given that you won't likely be using this as a utility blade, frequent sharpening is not likely going to be required.

Let's talk about the BESH Wedge® design. At first glance, the "fat tip" of the wedge may seem a little counter-intuitive. It does slightly hamper the penetrating power of the blade, but this is compensated by the fact that  you can use significantly more force to drive it home. With the wedge design, there's no fear of breaking the tip when you apply pressure or torque the blade. It's marketed as the "strongest knife tip in the world".

It's important to note that the tip of the blade is actually a third cutting edge, which means it needs to be maintained and sharpened just like the other two. I found that the blade came fairly well sharpened, but with some extra effort, I was able to improve the edge.

The blade comes with serration along 25% of the blade (as shown in the photos) or 75% of the blade. I question the practicality of the serration. It does look bad-ass, but it's not functional as a saw and it complicates sharpening.

The weight feels good, despite the blade's length, it doesn't feel too heavy or too light/flimsy. The balancing point is just at the end of the handle plates, allowing for a comfortable, natural hold.

Handle

The handles themselves are textured to provide a good grip, but not so much as to be uncomfortable to hold.

The blade has a decent guard at the base, further enhancing the grip and therefore the penetrating power. You can use a thumb or the flat of your hand to press against the guard giving extra power to that push.

Wrap-up

The blade's size can make it a bit awkward to wear, so it may take a bit of trial and error to find the carry that works for you. The grip is comfortable and natural, and you won't likely be holding the knife for prolonged periods anyway.

The wedge tip is a good design, the minor hit to penetrating power is more than made up for with the increased durability of the tip. This with the handle and guard shape mean you can really put some power behind it.

Ultimately, if you're looking for a field knife, this is not it. This is a knife designed with a single purpose. It is not a multi-tool, or in fact a tool at all. It is a weapon, plain and simple.

The VP-100 can be purchased from the PPCLI kit shop.
 

Dissident

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Concur.

I bought one 4 years ago as a gift for someone and ended up keeping it, which is a touch silly since I'll never really use it.

Mine is the steel version and I have had to keep the blade oiled to keep it rust free. Mine did not come with this scabbard, it was just a Kydex with Molle attachments.

I am not a knife guy by any stretch of the imagination, so I rely on what others have to say and I have yet to hear a single bad word about Besh/Beshara...
 
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