A while back I had the pleasure of meeting knife maker and former Marine Bryan Bates for a set of photos to accompany a profile on his unique knife crafting process. Bates was brought to the internet’s attention after a cell phone video of him arguing with Senator John McCain over sending troops to Syria during a Tucson town hall meeting went viral. Author Mike Detty decided to pick up the story for Tactical Weapons Magazine, and I accompanied him to meet Bates at his home and shop located just southwest of Tucson.
Bates’s unique method may definitely leave some people feeling a little unsettled. From BatesKnives.com:
Bates Tactical Knives are not for the politically correct. Every blade is stamped with the word “Infidel” in Arabic. During the hardening process the red-hot blade is pulled from the forge and immediately quenched in liquid with pig’s blood added to it, completing the “Infidel” touch.
Regardless of how you feel about his process, after meeting the soft-spoken former Marine Rifleman, there is no doubt in my mind that Bates cares most about manufacturing a quality product to help the fighting men and women get their job done. It was a pleasure meeting him, and I thank him for his service. Bryan can be reached through his website BatesKnives.com
See a preview of Detty’s article at TacticalLife.com
To read the full profile, see the July 2014 issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS, currently available on newsstands.
Bryan Bates took my order last October. I was quoted and paid $380 dollars the same day. As the time I placed the order, I was informed that my knife would be delivered late Feb, early March. It is now AUG 11th and I can not reach Bryan by phone, email or Facebook. The last email response I received was in April. All emails since then have received no response… Phone calls have a full mailbox. I support our service members in every way possible and had it not been for Mr. Bates service I would not have waited this long to comment… .but this is unacceptable.
Alex Landeen says
I am sorry to hear that.
This order has been delivered as of today, 18 DEC 2014, via USPS. After complaint, Mr. Bates both contacted me and maintained communication. The work is exceptional and I am very impressed with his work. His turn around leaves much to be desired, however; I think some of this was due to him being a small operation which got too much national attention too soon… and due to the nature of the product, could not just scale up production. I do not think there was any malice intent. Will do business with again once he builds up some inventory.
Alex Landeen says
I am glad that you got your order and are happy with the work. The time it took was absolutely due to his limited facilities and the attention he received from the article, and it is good to hear that he is getting out of the weeds, so to speak.