This evening, some edgy history from South America. -Madduo
The Other Expertise – Imbel Knives
João Paulo Moralez
IMBEL is recognized worldwide for the production of the FN Herstal FAL assault rifles, or Fusil Automatique Léger, from the 60s, and its variants such as the folding stock PARAFAL and the 5.56 MD-97L for the Security Forces Public and police.
But 40 years before the creation of IMBEL itself, Brazil founded the Canos e Sabres para Armamento Portátil plant (Barrel and Sabers for Portable Weapons) with the purpose of supplying spare parts for the Mauser repetition rifles used by the Brazilian Army. The first piece made in Itajubá was a barrel for the Mauser 1908 model, and later sabers and bayonets.
Over decades the company’s experience in development and production of sabers, bayonets and knives has grown with modernization in designs, and use of materials better suited to meet increasingly demanding requirements. In 2008 IMBEL began developing a 100% Brazilian project for its next 5.56mm caliber assault rifle, the so-called IA2. With it a new generation of military knives emerged: bayonets for the IA2 rifles, and AMZ campaign knives. Both can be found on the civilian market. The materials and characteristics between them are basically the same. The blade and guard are made of AISI 1070 carbon steel subjected to austempering process, a heat treatment that reduces distortion and increases strength and hardness by 50 points on the Rockwell C scale. The blade resists twisting and bending. Thus, it’s possible to move the tip of the blade to either side 32mm (1.26 inches) off its axis without breaking the metal, and with a permanent deformation of less than 5mm (0.19 inches).
The sheaths and handle hem are made of polyamide PA 6 (nylon) molded without fiberglass. They are ergonomic and facilitate most work because they are so lightweight.
They resist heat, abrasions and humidity, and the operating range is -10ºC (14ºF) to + 50ºC (122ºF). The knives were made to perform more delicate tasks like cutting meat and fish, for general and heavy duty use.
The flat-bottomed edge allows a .50-inch nylon cord to be cut with a maximum of five strokes. The knife’s sheath has straps for attaching to the belts, and strap for direct installation on the equipment.
The sheaths have steel clips for quick coupling to the field belt, and for long-term operations, a handle for direct installation into the equipment. The connecting strap of the sheath with the belt has reinforced safety tape.
It is interesting to note that the AMZ knife, from Amazon, was designed following troop uses and needs in closed jungle environments. The knife complements 90% of the individual work done by the soldier, the preparation of traps, the assembly of tents, the opening of wooden boxes and the cutting of meat from animals for consumption in the jungle. It is not an item for the day to day, and the great challenge was to project its measurements and weight without affecting the mobility and agility of the military.
The IA2 knife has the tactical and multipurpose aspect aimed at police forces plus mechanized, armored and motorized troops. It is much smaller and lighter, providing agility in handling and transport.
The bayonet’s characteristics are:
IA2 Overall Length: 11.65 inches Blade length: 7 inches Blade thickness: 0.17 inches Width of blade: 1.29 inches Width of the hilt: 3.42 inches Weight without sheath: 13,40 oz Weight with hem: 19,40 oz Characteristics of the AMZ Knife (campaign) Overall Length: 14.37 inches Length of blade: 9.72 inches Blade thickness: 0.17 inches Width of blade: 1.85 inches Width of the hilt: 3.42 inches Weight without sheath: 18.34 oz Weight with sheath: 27.51 oz
-João Paulo Moralez
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: João Paulo Zeitoun Moralez is a seasoned journalist, photographer and editor from Brazil. His work has been seen in such magazines as ASAS magazine and Força Policial, as well as the UK’s Flypast, and he recently published a book on the EMB-312 Tucano through Harpia Publishing. Moralez specializes in aviation, military, and security matters.