Bram Frank's LLC Magnum

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Bram Frank's LLC Magnum

Postby KaliGman » Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:46 pm

Almost two years ago, I indicated my interest in the Lapu Lapu Corto Magnum (the new large version of the Gunting made by Cherusker Messer). After being informed about the prototypes, I waited patiently for the knife to be released (OK--I waited, but I wasn't exactly patient :) ). I have had one for about a year now, thanks to Guro Bram Frank, and it is high time that I did a small review of it. I have multiple Spyderco Guntings and did not add a standard size Lapu Lapu Corto (LLC) to my collection of carry knives simply because it would have fallen into a niche that I already had amply covered. The LLC Magnum, on the other hand, is a much bigger folding knife. Make no mistake, this is a honkin' huge folder. It is definitely not a non-knife people friendly cutting tool. Pop this blade open quickly and you are likely to draw some attention.

I had expressed interest in the larger version of the LLC, and Guro Bram mentioned to me that he had some of the Marine Corps models available (Green G-10 and a bead blasted rather than polished blade). I rapidly confirmed that I would like a bead blasted version, as I, in general, prefer a subdued finish rather than a high polish on my carry blades. A few days later, I had the knife in hand.

Guro Bram changed the Gunting design significantly when he drafted the plans for the LLC. All the changes are improvements according to Guro Bram. To be perfectly honest, my perspective is a bit different. I see some of the changes just as changes, neither bad nor good, and some of the changes as improvements. However, that is only my opinion. Guro Bram has developed a very effective system around the Gunting, and I am sure that all of the changes make the LLC series a bit better fit for his style of movements. I do like the "proud" or raised liners with jimping--these really bite when using the knife as a control tool. The handle on the knife curves much more than on the Spyderco Gunting. I am neutral on this, as I happen to like the feel of both handles. Any knife in the Gunting series is going to interest me, as I really admire the entire concept of the folding knife as impact weapon and series of techniques that were developed to use this knife as an impact tool, control tool, and fighting blade. In my experience, they handle daily cutting chores well in addition to their combative functions.
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"There is no weapon more deadly than the will." Bruce Lee

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LLC Magnum Review (continued)

Postby KaliGman » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:46 pm

Now for the "bad" points:
1. The steel is 8Cr13MoV, not S30V or 440V as on the Spyderco Guntings.
2. My knife did not come out of the box "Spyderco sharp" as have all of my live blade Guntings. This knife would not shave hair.
3. The blade is slightly off center. Because the blade is large and relatively heavy for a folding knife blade, if I open the blade quickly using the hole/opener and hold the knife in my right hand in a forward grip, my blade will contact and rub on the "left" liner. If I hold the knife in my left hand and open it in the same manner, the blade will not contact the "right" liner.
4. The "proud liners," similar to the very aggressive checkering patterns I have found on some "duty" firearms, can be a literal pain in extended use. The jimping on the liners allows a very secure grip, but the liners can rub and irritate your hand.

Of course, to answer these concerns:
1. This blade is primarily designed as a self defense tool. If you have to worry about edge retention in a self defense situation, then you are hanging out in the wrong crowd and are having to cut far too many evildoers :rolleyes: . I have found this steel to work pretty well in normal everyday cutting tasks as well as in more strenuous cutting/self defense tests.
2. A couple of minutes on the Sharpmaker and this blade easily shaved hair. I still prefer to have my knives "shaving sharp" out of the box, but, in reality, this is not a big deal, as long as the steel is properly heat treated and the blade will take an edge and hold it for a reasonable time. This knife satisfies that criteria.
3. The blade may scrape in that one type of opening, but it does not keep the knife from deploying. The blade does not scrape the liner in many of the other methods that I have used to open the blade.
4. The proud liners, just like really aggressive checkering, will help to anchor this knife in your hand when the grip, or your hand, may be covered in blood, mud, etc. This is a good thing in a combat environment.

The bottom line is that this blade can and should perform well in a stressful self defense situation. It does not exhibit the "build quality" of the various Spyderco Guntings that I own. However, it has some features not found on the Guntings, and some of these features can be very useful "when bad things happen to good people." The price on this blade is more than the normal LLC, as it is a bigger knife. However, the price is still significantly less than the price of a Gunting (unless you get an absolutely screaming deal on eBay or are buying a beat to crap Gunting). Considering the design changes and the price, I think the LLC is a worthy follow up to the Gunting. If you did not manage to get a Gunting when they were made by Spyderco, I highly recommend that you pick up an LLC. If you want a huge self defense oriented folder, the LLC Magnum may be the knife for you. The LLC is a tank-tough folder, and, in any configuration, large or small, it should make an admirable user in the self defense folding knife genre.

As usual, excuse the photographs. I snapped a few quick photographs to go along with the review, and, as I have said before, as a photographer I make a great martial artist :p .

Below, you can see the LLC compared to my 440V plain edge Gunting and next to an architect's scale. The LLC is about 10 inches in overall length, when open.
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"There is no weapon more deadly than the will." Bruce Lee

"The most pervasive and least condemned form of dishonesty is not doing the best you can." Colonel Jeff Cooper

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Postby Shenmue728 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:10 am

That thing is beastly!
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New Bram FRank: TK magazine Nov 08

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:45 pm

Hey for any of you that are interested I was catching up on some of my reading today. In my November issue of Tactical Knives magazine Mr. Michael Janich did a very thorough, well written article on these very knives. It's on page 66 of that issue of TK and there are some very nice pictures of them as well.

Even though this magazine is the November issue I probably got it back in July sometime. TK publishes way ahead in advance. I think the March issue is already at the newstands now. But it's a great article as most of Mr. Janich's articles are indeed very informative.

Before I get one of these however I'm in the market for a Spyderco PE, 440V Gunting if I can find one to go with my trainer. But these newer Bram FRank models sure look nice to me. That article may be old enough to see it on the Tactical Knives website>> If I remember correctly it's
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Postby Mancer » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:57 pm

I must say, I have always loved the Gunting (I sold mine long ago :( ), I came across the LLC when pricing the guntings on ebay last month.
I got my Magnum yesterday, WOW
This thing is big and solid.
I love the gunting to a fault, but in all honesty I think this truely is everything the gunting was and more so.
The stippling on the scales is superb, I love the sharp stippling on the butt of the knife, I can imagine getting a shot to the temple with that.

The blade is solid good quality steel for its use, the liners are thick and the G10 is more than sufficient.
Very good build quality and I do love the puzzle lock which "appers" similar to the compression lock.

If I had the choice of my old gunting and this magnum LLC, you could not go wrong with this bad boy, especially at only 94.00 from knife outlet.


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