McMillan recently introduced as a companion to their Fixed Blade Hunting Knife, a smaller Custom Caping Knife designed to handle all of the fine detail work involved when removing the head skin cape for trophy mounting. The knife is well suited for this task because the scalpel-like blade and the fine blade point easily handle the delicate work around the antlers/horns, ears, eyes, lips and nasal passages. Also, the ergonomically-designed handle, the slightly recessed choil and the short section of jimping on the back of the blade (near the point) are all designed to assist the user in the work.
Crafted from D2 tool steel, which is well known for its resistance to chipping, edge deformation and stain resistance, the blade has been differentially heat-treated by the proprietary Friction Forged process. This means that the spine of the blade at a Rockwell hardness of Rc 45 is not nearly as hard as the cutting edge zone at a Rc 65-68. The forging process reduces the size of the nano-size steel grain microstructure in the extremely hard edge zone, which in turn provides peerless edge retention without the usual brittleness. In addition, the chromium content of the steel composition is enhanced to produce a corrosion-proof edge.
The knife measures 6.75 inches overall, with a blade length of just 2.5 inches. This is a full-width, full-length tang design, which provides enhanced strength at the critical blade/handle junction. A slightly recessed choil near the base of the cutting edge acts as a guard of sorts, which is a safety mechanism to prevent the forefinger from sliding forward onto the sharpened edge. The choil also allows the user to grip the handle in an alternate manner when performing precision incisions.
The handle scales are blue/black Micarta (layered fabric impregnated with epoxy and subjected to extreme heat) and feature mosaic attachment pins. The handle configuration mirrors the grip pocket of the human hand, which provides better blade control and increases the comfort level during the term of the caping assignment.
Furthermore, the design incorporates a slight curve to the entire back of the knife so that cutting pressure is inherently positioned at the point of the blade. Simply put, the overall design of the knife has been so engineered that all of the bases (function, user comfort and enhanced edge integrity) have been covered.–Durwood Hollis