The Bravo-1 knife was developed with the assistance of the U.S. Marine Corp Force Recon Training Unit.
These folks bought a large number of knives on the commercial market and tested them without saying
anything to any of the makers.
The Bark River Gameskeeper came out on top. It fit their requirements of a "Real Time General Purpose Survival/Bushcraft Knife".
Bark River was contacted by them and asked to make a knife based on the Gameskeeper with a few changes.
The Bravo-1 is the result of their input.
Starting in 2011 the Bravo-1 comes with the new Standard Leather Sheath.
The Standard Leather sheath is slimmer than the Deluxe Leather Sheath and it doesn’t
have a firesteel loop.
The Ramp on the top of the Bravo-1 is not actually a Thumb Ramp.
The ramp serves two purposes.
1. The rear part of the ramp is notched to engage the firesteel.
2. The front part of the ramp aids in putting more pressure over the plunge line for notching.
In 2006 the U.S. Marine Corp Force Recon Training Unit purchased about $5,000.00 worth of knives for testing.
They bought a pretty wide selection of knives by a lot of makers. Mostly high end knives and some issue level models.
What they wanted was a real survival knife, not a fighter. They said they have zero use for a fighter.
They maintain that guns and bullets are for fighting and knives are tools.
It had to be strong, compact and able to withstand all the rigors of hard use.
They Set about testing without telling any of the manufactures. When all the tests were complete the Bark River Gameskeeper was the winner.
They said the Gameskeeper was the only knife that was still in one piece after the test and still sharp.
Mike Stewart of Bark River was contacted after the testing was complete.
He was just as much in the dark on the whole testing process as all the other knife makers.
They liked everything about the Gameskeeper but wanted a few changes.
1. Eliminate the choil for more cutting edge.
2. Make the guard a self guard, built into the handle, not attached.
3. Add a small ramp to the spine to be able to put more direct pressure on the blade at the plunge line for notching.
Mike sent them a drawing of the Gameskeeper with their modifications.
With this basic concept approved Bark River started the process to make prototypes.
The Balance of the knife had to be on the first finger. This was achieved by skeletonizing the tang to put the weight evenly over the first finger position.
Production started in April 2007.
First CAD Drawing
Optional Bravo-1 Kydex Sheath
Kydex Sheath Front Side
Kydex Sheath Back Side
Prior to 2010 the Bravo-1 came with a Kydex sheath. It is still avaliable and can be purchased separetly.
The Kydex sheath can change from right to left hand carry, upright or inverted carry.
It was designed to grab the front part of the handle.
You need to rock the knife a little to get it in and out a bit easier.
It is not meant to come out easily.
The Force Recon guys wanted it secure but without a strap that had to be unsnapped to withdraw it or snapped to retain the knife.
The Kydex sheath will scuff the front part of the Bravo-1 handle.
A little cosmetic scuffing was of little concern.
If this is a concern you might want to consider use the leather sheath.