The Skallywag Tactical Guardian — Serrated Stabbiness

Skallywag Tactical is a veteran-owned and operated business that manufactures high-quality tools for people whose lives depend on them. Not only do they supply tools, but they also provide the training to use those tools. When you contact Skallywag Tactical, you get a personal response from one of the folks who operate the business, and you normally get the response fairly quickly. Your questions will be answered thoroughly and intelligently, which is quite pleasing in this day and age where customer service seems to be slipping with so many other businesses. I found these guys to be very friendly and helpful when dealing with them.

Creator Of The Guardian

This is the third edged tool that I’ve gotten from this company. It is the Guardian Serrated, invented by Skallywag’s Michael Donvito. 

Donvito has a very long list of accolades, including being an instructor for all four branches of the military. This includes a few groups in the Special Forces, 96th Civil Affairs, 172nd Infantry Stryker Brigade, and the list goes on and on. He trains people in Close Quarters Combat and Small Arms Weapons Applications Training. Additionally, he has taught the Department Of Defense and numerous law enforcement agencies across the nation. Currently, he is a senior instructor at Skallywag Tactical. This is an incredibly abbreviated history of his training and accomplishments; the detailed document would take up the space of an entire article in and of itself, quite literally.
The Guardian from Skallywag Tactical is one badass, stabby blade!

Donvito has a very long list of accolades, including being an instructor for all four branches of the military. This includes a few groups in the Special Forces, 96th Civil Affairs, 172nd Infantry Stryker Brigade, and the list goes on and on. He trains people in Close Quarters Combat and Small Arms Weapons Applications Training. Additionally, he has taught the Department Of Defense and numerous law enforcement agencies across the nation. Currently, he is a senior instructor at Skallywag Tactical. This is an incredibly abbreviated history of his training and accomplishments; the detailed document would take up the space of an entire article in and of itself, quite literally.

Blog 19X with Fenix weaponlight next to a Skallywag Guardian on a chest rig.
The Skallywag Guardian makes a great companion to the Glock 19X in a combat zone.

The Guardian

The Guardian itself is made using the stock removal method, which basically means taking a piece of metal and grinding away anything that is not a knife. Its overall length is 10 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. The thickness is 1/4 inch and it weighs .65 pounds including the sheath.

Skallywag Guardian laying on a chest rig between an AR and a Glock 19X
The Guardian is very well constructed and obviously made for a military/tactical application.

The steel is D2 tool steel, which holds an edge for a very long time, and it has G-10 fiberglass handles that are secured by screws. The knife’s coating is PVD for the black version and it also comes in a Flat Dark Earth coating as well.

Skallywag states that this is the production model of what was once a military blade. They state that the serrations of this version are very sharp, whereas the serrations on the military version were intended more for tearing. I can testify that these serrations are extremely sharp! During a recent move, my future son-in-law used this knife to open many boxes, cutting lids off of them and also cutting the tape that secured the boxes, and it did a spectacular job. There are serrations on both sides of the knife, so no matter how you hold it, serrations are easily accessible.

AR-15 pistol, knife, and Glock 19X
Seen here with an AR-15 pistol, a Glock 19X, and a Blackhawk chest rig, the Skallywag Guardian fits right in.

The edge in front of the serrations that leads to the tip is ground at 40 degrees and is not very sharp at all. Then again, it’s not intended to be for cutting, but rather stabbing. The tip of this Stabby McStabberton is intended to be very robust and strong, and to that end, they’ve hit a home run. The point is very pointy and certainly thick enough that you don’t have to fret over whether it will stand up to abuse.

Skallywag explains that there is a trainer version of this knife available and that they do offer private training on the use of this blade. They further explain that this blade was designed around a methodology of use, as opposed to a blade being designed and then a method being designed around it.

Skallywag Guardian held in saber grip
Held in the Saber grip, the serrations are easily seen. Rest assured that they are very sharp.

Basically, the knife is shaped like a spearhead, with the aforementioned prominent point, along with serrations on both sides of the blade. This is not a slicer, it is a stabber. It’s been my practical experience that stab wounds kill far more frequently than slash wounds. This isn’t to say that people don’t die from being slashed, but that it doesn’t occur as often. With stab wounds, they are more penetrating, obviously, which causes internal bleeding that is difficult to stop. With a slash-type wound, you can apply direct pressure and at least control the bleeding most of the time. However, with a stab wound that is several inches deep, it’s tough to get in there and actually put a stop to it.

The handle has a couple of finger grooves in it, and there is jimping at the top of the G-10 where the blade begins, all of which help to give a good grip for the user of the Guardian. The G-10 has a waffle pattern cut into it, so the grip on that is very positive. At the base of the handle, there is an oblong ring, sort of like you’d find on a karambit, only longer and wider. The Guardian feels substantial in the hand. It is not a lightweight knife, but rather a very solid implement.

Skallywag Guardian held in reverse grip
The knife is comfortable, regardless of which grip is used. The G-10 handle is shaped with finger grooves and has waffle-like grooves for added purchase.

Its obvious intended use is combative in nature; this isn’t something most people will look to for utility. For that role, it’s my estimation that the Guardian should work very well. The fact that Skallywag offers instruction on how to properly use the knife is an added bonus.

The Sheath

Each Guardian comes with a Kydex sheath that is molded to the knife. Retention is excellent, with the knife being held firmly in place while still being easy to draw. There is a Tek-Lock type of mount on the sheath for attaching to a belt. It works very well and is adjustable for various belt sizes. Several different holes in the sheath allow it to be carried higher or lower, as well as being mounted at different angles, so you can customize how you want to carry the knife.

Back side of Skallywag Guardian sheath
On the back of the sheath is a lock that will fit most belt sizes (it’s adjustable).
sheath front
Seen from the front, the holes in the sheath for mounting the locking mechanism are visible. It can be mounted at various angles to suit the user’s needs.

At the time of this writing, the Guardian is on sale for $180. It’s well made and extremely durable. I love the fact that this company is veteran-owned and run, and that it’s American-made!

Check Out The Site!

A quick visit to the Skallywag Tactical website reveals that they have fixed blades as well as folders. Kitchen cutlery, diving and rescue blades, hunting and fishing knives, along with training courses and training tools. And naturally, they have swag and such if you’re into that sort of thing. There are throwing knives, keychain knives, a push dagger, and a shaver. Their boarding ax looks pretty badass too. There are also a couple of knives that appear to be machete length. Perusing this site is fun because you keep finding various rabbit holes to go down, and the information is interesting.

Training

Edged Weapons Countermeasures & Duty Knife Integrated Tactics is one of the courses they offer. It is designed to give law enforcement advanced skills to enhance their ability to survive violent encounters both on and off duty. Not only are they taught how to use edged weapons, but also disarming techniques and defenses against ambushes and other attacks. Officers are instructed how to use empty hands, edged tools, and other weapons in the force continuum to defeat attacks against them. To attend this course, one must be either Federal, State, or Local Law Enforcement.

I recommend visiting their website to learn more about their products, I don’t believe you’ll be sorry.

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities.

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