I was first introduced to Hardcore Hardware Australia (HHA) just a few years ago. I had heard of them before, but never had the opportunity to handle any of their knives. But when I did, it was well worth the wait. Their knives are the hardcore combative edge that many look for in a knife.
The Combative Edge
Fast forward a few years to SHOT Show 2020, when I was introduced to their new entity—Halfbreed Blades. I was very impressed with the solid, bombproof construction of HHA knives when I first started using them. But when I saw Halfbreed Blades for the first time, the next-level fit and finish really got my attention.
Although the MIK-01PS and CCK-05 have very different profiles, the similarities in materials and construction make them a beautiful pairing.
The MIK-01PS and CCK-05 are constructed of K110 D2—considered a higher end D2, featuring high wear and abrasion resistance. Although the high chromium content provides for some mild corrosion resistance, you still want to keep an eye on it. The tough Teflon coating will help with that, though.
Both knives feature G-10 handle scales that are scalloped for excellent retention. Typically, when handle scales feature scallops like this, they tend to dig into the hand. However, Halfbreed Blades went the extra mile on these scales and rounded off the points for a very comfortable grip.
A common feature between the two is a full tang with glass breaker/skull crusher pommel and an elongated lanyard hole. Although they are both full tang, the presentation is quite different between the two. The MIK-01PS has an exposed tang and the CCK-05 has the tang completely shrouded by the handle scales.
Giving them a big brother, little brother kind of feel, both the MIK-01PS and CCK-05 have spear points with a lightening fuller down the center of the blades, separating the primary bevel from the top swedge—except in the case of the CCK-05, which includes a slight blade flat between the primary bevel and top swedge with the fuller running along the blade flat.
Both knives come in your choice of three colors: black, dark earth and ranger green.
MIK-01PS Medium Infantry Knife
The big brother of the two, the MIK-01PS features a 6.49-inch blade with an overall length of 11.61 inches. The wide ricasso includes an upper and lower guard, preventing the hand from slipping onto the blade during thrusting tasks.
The ricasso features two lanyard holes, lower and upper, which have different functions. The first, and perhaps most prevalent, would be attaching a retention lanyard (in either hole) for any kind of chopping or heavy swinging—holding the knife firmly in place. Another option is to remove the handle scales and affix the blade to a tree limb, for a makeshift spear.
Just forward of the lower guard is an oversized, squared-off choil that is not only aesthetically pleasing but useful. It works as a wire breaker or with the lanyard holes—attaching the blade to a limb for a spear.
The MIK-01PS features a serrated blade but is also available in a non-serrated version called the MIK-01P. Although I am not normally a fan of serrations, these are very well done and proved to be very efficient.
The heavy-duty molded Kydex pancake-style sheath holds the MIK-01PS very tightly, even when shaken aggressively. The sheath comes with two 3-inch DOTS Molle Locks installed but has eyelets running the perimeter of the sheath for other options—whether your own or the included Tek-Lock.
Worth noting is that the sheath does not include a drain hole. So, if your knife takes on water, you will want to remove the knife and pour out any excess water.
CCK-05 Compact Clearance Knife
Although the MIK-01PS is more the fighting knife of the two, I would dub the CCK-05 the pair’s little scrapper. Full disclosure: I am a bit of a small knife guy. A small knife on your person will beat a big fighting knife sitting in a drawer at home every time.
The 2.95-inch blade is legal in even some of the most draconian jurisdictions in the United States. Although I should mention that this might not always be the case. Make sure to check your local laws and ordinances before carrying the CCK-05 in your area. The 6.69-inch overall length also makes the CCK-05 very concealable and comfortable while doing so.
The oversized finger choil acts as a deep guard and works perfectly in conjunction with the thumb ramp. The thumb ramp has some aggressive jimping, assuring a solid grip regardless of the circumstances. Personally, I found the thumb ramp to be a little far back and would have liked to see it moved just about a half inch forward for comfort. Although it would sacrifice some of the penetration length of the blade, I feel it would be a worthwhile tradeoff.
The handle itself—minus the enlarged finger choil—comes in just under 3 inches but is just over 1.25 inches tall and a beefy, hand filling .75-inch thick, for a solid purchase. The handle angles away from the blade slightly for a very natural feel in the hand. This angle allows you to keep your wrist in a more natural position during any kind of thrusting motions.
The injection-molded plastic sheath is one of the cooler sheaths I have seen. It is very stout and robust, and holds the CCK-05 very tightly, even during the most vigorous shaking. The sheath comes with a 1-inch DOTS Molle Lock installed but has three holes in the center for other options, such as the included Tek-Lock.
Unlike the MIK-01PS, the sheath for the CCK-05 does include a drain hole. So, if your knife takes on water, you can rest easy that it will drain out on its own.
Although I have used both Hardcore Hardware Australia and Halfbreed Blades before, and know the level of quality, I am not one to let any knife rest on its laurels. So, I performed some of my usual tests for knives in this category to ensure comfort, performance and durability.
To start, I pulled out an old truck tire and used the MIK-01PS to pierce the sidewall of the tire. The aggressive tip of the MIK-01PS slid easily into the tire with almost no resistance. Once the blade completely penetrated the tire, I tested the sharpness by cutting out a large chunk with no issues.
With the piece of sidewall in hand I decided to see how the CCK-05 would do bisecting such thick rubber. The thick stock of the CCK-05 provided some resistance but the edge was sharp enough to cut the thick rubber into a few smaller pieces.
Next, to check the tip strength and penetration power I stabbed the MIK-01PS vigorously into an ammo can four times. The tip penetrated the steel with no issues, although there was a small piece of the tip that broke off. It is small enough that simply sharpening the blade will fix it.
To test the serrations, I took some heavy-duty cable ties and, holding the MIK-01PS in the chest lever grip, proceeded to cut the cable ties cleanly. Then, checking edge retention, I batoned through some heavy-duty industrial power cable twice, with no negative effect to the edge.
I then held the CCK-05 in the chest lever grip and cut an old power cord into small pieces. There is no deformation to the edge whatsoever.
To test the tip, I placed a piece of thick leather on top of a phone book and stabbed through both, penetrating about a half inch into the subject matter. Then to check the edge geometry I performed a rope press cut test, where I press the edge through a piece of half inch climbing rope without slicing. With sufficient pressure I was able to press the edge cleanly through the rope multiple times.
Finally, I took a brand-new military nylon gun belt and cut it into multiple strips. I then took those strips and cut each in half, ensuring that I was going against the weave. I had no issues cutting up the belt, and the CCK-05 still looks brand new.
Now that I have been using Hardcore Hardware Australia—and now Halfbreed Blades—for a few years, I can honestly say that I am immensely impressed with their bombproof quality. I even sent a HHA knife with a friend to Afghanistan a few years ago and he still has it and carries it daily.
After using the HIK-01PS and CCK-05, my impression of Halfbreed Blades has only improved. If you are looking for serious, hard-core cutlery, you really need to take a look at Halfbreed Blades. You will thank me if you do. For more information, visit halfbreedblades.com.au.
Specifications: MIK-01PS Medium Infantry Knife
Blade Material: K110 D2 (59-60 HRC)
Blade Length: 6.49 inches
OA Length: 11.61 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.23 inches
Blade Finish/Coating: Teflon coated
Handle Material: G10
Handle Thickness: 0.90 inches
Weight: 11.18 ounces
Specifications: CCK-05 Compact Clearance Knife
Blade Material: K110 D2 (59-60 HRC)
Blade Length: 2.95 inches
OA Length: 6.69 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.23 inches
Blade Finish/Coating: DLC coating
Handle Material: Titanium, G10 overlay
Handle Thickness: 0.78 inches
Weight: 5.82 ounces
This article is from Ballistic magazine, April/May 2021 issue. Subscriptions are available at OutdoorGroupStore.com.