The Strider MARSOC SMF is a framelock folding knife that was specifically developed for Detachment 1, the first SOCOM unit of the United States Marine Corps. The Strider SMF was the first knife issued to an individual Marine Corps unit in over 60 years and the first tactical folder issued within the USMC.
The SMF knife is manufactured by Strider Knives of Escondido, California. The knife features a drop point flat ground tiger striped blade of CPM S30V steel. The handle is composed of a fire anodized titanium frame, oil impregnated bronze bushings, an oversized pivot screw in diameter, and a textured G10 glass-reinforced plastic scale with an incorporated backspacer. The NATO Stock Number (NSN) for the SMF knife is 1095-01-531-5015. The latest version of this knife (generation 2 and above) includes the Hinderer Lockbar Stabilizer, a mechanism designed by custom knifemaker Rick Hinderer and licensed for use by Strider. The lockbar stabilizer is a metal disc contained in the titanium lockbar which is designed to preserve the life of the framelock by preventing overtravel and flex. The original knives designed for the Marines’ SOCOM unit in 2003 do not include this feature, but subsequent versions do.
The last time the Marine Corps issued a knife to an individual unit was in 1942, when a variation of the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife was redesigned by Lieutenant Colonel Clifford H. Shuey and produced by the Camillus Cutlery Company of Camillus, New York. That knife was called the United States Marine Raider Stiletto and was issued to Marine Raiders until the unit was disbanded in 1944. <sup id=”fn_1_back”>1 When DET-1 was formed and their equipment being chosen, they decided not to use the traditional Marine Ka-Bar nor did they go with a dagger design as the Marine Raiders had been issued 60 years previously. Instead they chose Strider’s SMF folding knife as their issued blade. The MARSOC SMF knife is marked with the date of the Marine unit’s activation (030620 or 20 June 2003) as well as “DET-1” on the frame. In addition, the Military version bears the insignia of the Marine Raiders. The initial run of this model consisted of 300 knives. 150 for the men in the unit and 150 similarly marked knives for collectors whose purchase offset the cost of the knives for the military. There are several small differences between the military and civilian versions of this knife. Military issued knives began with an “M” in the serial number, whereas the civilian counterpart was preceded by a “C” in the serial number. The Marine version also features a Coyote Brown colored G-10 scale and backspacer, whereas the Civilian version’s scale and backspacer is made of black G-10. The Civilian version also lacks the Marine Raider Insignia which is stamped on the blade of the Marine version. After rigorous field testing, including parachute jumps, the unit’s Commanding Officer, Colonel Robert Coates remarked that the knife was “selected by, built for, and issued to the Marine Corps SOCOM Detachment.”