A few months ago I ordered Greg Thompson’s official SOCP Dagger, manufactured by Benchmade.
I promised to review it for you, so here is that review. Full disclosure: I have no financial interest in the SOCP Dagger or any affiliation with Mr. Thompson – but I can recommend his SOCP fighting system to you. There is no better Combatives system for use when you are in full kit. (You’ll need to become proficient in MACP before moving into SOCP Combatives training.) That said, I may begin to offer the SOCP Dagger via IIIGear at some point.
In my opinion, this is a niche blade. It should be relegated to a very specific use paradigm. Within that paradigm, this blade is simply brilliant.
The paradigm: This blade is not a field knife, nor is it suited to be your primary fighting blade. Where this knife shines is in what I call an “Oh Shit!” moment in a deathfight. Consider a contact-range fight, whether in a building or the field where the enemy is suddenly upon you, and you were unable to bring your rifle or pistol immediately into the fight. This is precisely where my Fight to your Weapon course comes into play. When you suddenly find yourself with one or more enemy combatants on you and you need to find a way to get your pistol or rifle into the game, a blade that you can quickly bring into play is an excellent option.
Many of us carry folding knives for this role, and while I will keep my folders, I am adding two of the SOCP Daggers to my rig. Why two? Because you never know which arm the Bad Guys will trap, and if you are only set-up for your strong-hand, you could be in a pickle. So, I suggest two SOCPs, at or near waist level and within drawing range of both hands. If you’ve ever trained with me, you know I also recommend an off-hand pistol and serious off-hand training with all of your weapons. My twin Cold Steel Spikes that I kept on my rig for this paradigm have been retired for the SOCP.
The SOCP Dagger is designed for quick, easy drawing and stabbing. The blade is small, so when you attack with the SOCP you’ll want to strike several stabbing blows to each target offered. In an Oh Shit! moment, you’ll often find yourself able to reach the enemy’s thighs. So you’d draw and plungeplungeplunge. Slash if you have no other options – you won’t score fight-ending blows by slashing (unless you get to his neck) – but you will get your Bad Guy to change his position. If this attack gives you room to draw your sidearm, go for it. If not, I promise the Bad Guy will move his thigh (or whatever target you are cutting), thus offering you another target. Hit it. As Churchill said regarding making a point: If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack. This most definitely applies to a knife attack when trying to create space.
The ring at the base of the hilt is a remarkable development. I’d never have a ring on my primary fighter or field knife – but I’ll never again be without it on my blades designed for the Fight to your Weapon paradigm. You can draw the SOCP with no more than the end of your finger, and the hilt spins naturally into a backfist position. It is so natural that the hilt seems to fall into place. The backfist position allows you to powerfully stab, as well as use your fist if a punching target presents itself. One final advantage to this design in the backfist position – you do not need to sheath or drop the knife to bring your pistol into the fight.
With just a little practice you can draw and shift the knife into a traditional thrust position. The point is you can get this knife into the fight with remarkable ease. Compared to a folder, there is no comparison.
The hilt is designed in a one-size-fits-all manner, and Holly found it fit her hand as well as it fit mine. The serrations prevent slippage.
I can find faults with every weapon or piece of gear I have ever owned. If not “faults”, then at least downsides that are often a result of compromise. But the SOCP is the exception to that rule.
If you keep the SOCP Dagger within the paradigm outlined above, I simply can’t find a fault with the weapon. It is lightweight. It is small enough to be out of your way until you need it. It can be mounted in any position on your rig. You can add your sidearm to your hand without surrendering the blade.
Buy two. Work with them strong-hand and off-hand. They even offer a trainer so you can realistically practice when you and your Team are working your CQB/Combatives program.
Greg Thompson has made a better mousetrap for the CQB world. His dagger can and will save lives. As a Trainer, I can’t think of a more noble achievement than helping your Team stay alive.
You owe it to yourself to be prepared. I consider the SOCP to be an essential piece of gear.