This Subtle Workhorse of a Knife is a Fitting Homage to the Gun That Shares Its Name
There’s a lot of crossover between those of us who are fixated by knives and those who like guns. Knife companies have long recognized this and many have tried to create gun-themed knives that are doubly appealing–something Hogue and Sig have pulled off with this collaboration: the K320.
Some gun-knives are legendary. Remington pocket knives and fixed blades, staples in the 20th Century, are a great example. Some of the more recent examples, like the Smith & Wesson branded knives, seem to miss the legendary mark in favor of mass production.
But when a knife company (by which I mean a well regarded knife company that has a dedicated following) makes a gun-themed knife, the fan boys perk up. I’m thinking here of the Boker Kalashnikov knives, Wilson Combat, and others.
Hogue, though, lives in both spaces. This isn’t Great Eastern Cutlery making a Remington branded folder. Hogue makes gun grips. Though the knives are a later addition to their catalog, they make really good knives–knives no one ever associates with guns.
Sig Sauer should be a familiar brand for most knife aficionados. The Swiss gun maker has ties to Germany, and now the US. They’re a staple of the black-rifle crowd, a go-to for every day carry handguns, and they make the sidearm currently in use with the US Military.
The resulting collaboration has Sig markings on one side of the blade and Hogue markings on the other. Seems apt.
This is the SIG K320 AXG Pro: 3.5″ Drop Point Blade – Black Cerakote Finish, Matte Black Aluminum Frame & Solid Black G10 Insert, Sku: 36374. I mention the SKU specifically because there are multiple variations and those variations can get confusing.
|Blade Material:||CPM-S30V Stainless Steel|
|Blade Hardness:||58-61 HRC|
|Blade Style:||Drop Point|
|Blade Finish:||Black Cerakote|
|Blade Treatment:||Cryogenically Heat Treated|
|Handle Material:||Black Aluminum with Black G10 Insert|
|Liner Material:||Stainless Steel|
|Locking Mechanism:||ABLE Lock|
|Pocket Clip:||Deep Carry Tip-Up/Down, Right/Left Reversible|
|The K320 line is a subtle homage to the Sig P320 line of firearms.|
|The collaboration with Hogue has produced a knife for both Sig and Hogue fans.|
|An understated design makes this an ideal knife for every day use.|
|An understated design makes this an ideal knife for every day use.|
|I’m not a fan of Cerakote on stainless blades.|
|Not just a one-off|
Unlike some gun companies, Sig is constantly changing up their model delineations. One of their sub-compact 9mms, the P365, currently has 10 different variations. And the Hogue K320 knives are just as diverse.
This model is the SIG K320 AXG Pro. It won’t easily be confused with a SIG P320 AXG Pro (on paper, maybe, but not in the hand). The K here is as obvious as the P.
AXG, to those who speak Sig, means Alloy XSeries Grip–this is a variation on the traditional P320 now available from Sig Custom Works.
The P320 pictured below is an M17, and not an AXG Pro, but the gun at the heart of both models is the same. For those who really want to match the knife with an M17, there would be better options from Hogue, like the K320 M17/M18, a knife that has a polymer handle with texture that perfectly matches the M17.
Get to the knife!
This knife has some heft. The aluminum handle has milled G10 inserts. There are also stainless liners up at the business end. This combination of materials gives the K320 AXG Pro a solid feel in the hand.
This solidity is echoed by the strength of the lock. Hogue calls this the ABLE Lock. “Ambidextrous Bar Lock Enhanced.”
Able Lock is effectively Hogue’s version of the Benchmade Axis lock. Patent protection only lasts so long. While Benchmade can still protect design iterations, the tech behind the lock is now fair game and being used, updated, and modified in other companies’ designs, including those from Houge.
Fast action, even on a manual folder
As for the action, this version here is not an automatic. There are automatic versions available, but this is as close as you can get, I think, without a spring-assisted opening device.
To open the knife, you might opt for the thumb-hole in the blade. This is efficient, familiar, and boring. For those who want more from life, simply pull back the lock-bar and flick the blade out.
While the ABLE Lock is engaged (and I’m talking here about the knife in the closed position), the blade can move, but it requires a dedicated motions to shift it (like the thumb-movement I alluded to above). Pull the lock bar back, though, and the friction holding the blade in the closed position disappears and the blade is free to obey the whims of gravity and/or centrifugal force.
When open, the knife feels equally solid. The lock, of course, works to provide a tremendous amount of strength. But underlying all of this is Hogue’s attention to ergonomics and fluidity of motion—two elements that define the brand.
Closing the blade is just as easy as opening it. With a one-handed pinch-grip, you pull back on the lock bar with your thumb and index finger, and the blade falls free. You don’t need to ever put your fingers in the path of the blade (like you might with either a lock-back or a liner-lock).
The P320 homage
Other than the obvious name associations, the knife isn’t immediately recognizable as a Sig-inspired design. There’s nothing obvious about the shape, for example, that invokes a P320. Sig’s handguns can be broken into a few family types, and they usually share elements of their design that, through repetition, have become motifs.
For Hogue, the similarity is far more subtle. These are more material connections.
The P320 AXG Pro has an aluminum grip module (most of the P320 line have a grip module that is made of polymer). If you are new to gun nomenclature, don’t get intimidated.
Most handguns have a frame onto which a serial number is engraved. Sig’s P320 line has a serialized chassis inside of the “grip module” and, as such, doesn’t have a traditional frame. This can get confusing when they change up the pattern and release an aluminum grip module for the AXG Pro that has Hogue G10 grips that screw onto the grip module. The grip module has grip panels.
These are also on the K320 AXG Pro. The aluminum is hard coat anodized, and the inlays are filled in with smaller sections of Hogue’s G10 grip panel material.
The blade, though—this may allow us to return to familiar territory. Like every other Hogue I’ve handled, it comes with a sharp factory edge. The shape, for Hogue, is rather traditional. There’s a flat grind that’s coated with a black Cerakote. While this will prevent it from slicing as well as polished steel, it provides an extra layer of protection for the already robust CPM-S30V stainless.
Maybe the most surprising element
After all of this—the gun comparison, the extra touches provided by Hogue, the thing that stands out to me the most about this knife is its relatively tame look. This is a knife that’s built to work, but it isn’t gratuitous.
Even the P320 homage is subtle. If you were looking for a knife that might match your 320, this is it. If you are looking for a solid workhorse of a knife, this fits that bill, too. It isn’t going to cause panic when you pull it from your pocket at the office, and it has everything you would need from a knife built for every day carry.
Hogue is listing this model at 219.95.