ESEE will be adding an upgraded version of the Ashley Game Knife to their catalog this year. In keeping with the line expansions they initiated in 2020 with their flagship fixed blades, this AGK gets new contoured handle scales and a powder metallurgy blade steel.
The Ashley Game Knife is named after its creator, Ashley Emerson, a hunter, trail guide, firearm designer, and general outdoorsman who contributed this fixed blade to the ESEE lineup in 2020. Compact and capable, the AGK’s 3.5-inch blade infuses the traditional caper-style drop point with some Nessmuk elements. In its original incarnation, the blade was made from 1095, the enduring carbon steel that you probably don’t need another primer on at this point. 1095 brought many advantages, but needless to say stain resistance was not one of them, so this 2022 AGK sports a blade made from S35VN instead. These two steels are so different that it’s not fair to say one is “better” than the other, but there are many users who will prefer the lower maintenance requirements that Crucible’s powder metallurgy steel provides.
ESEE also saw fit to outfit the 2022 AGK with their new contoured scales. Available in both G-10 and Micarta, these scales boost comfort and control – two very important factors in virtually any outdoors chore, venatorial or otherwise. The ergonomic revisions extend to sheath as well, which is now made from Kydex instead of leather, and provides more configuration options than the latter while being more or less impervious to the elements.
1095 remains an important steel in the outdoors fixed blade world, but we’ve seen pretty much all the big makers in that genre make inroads into stainless models as community interest in newer steels continues to grow. ESEE made the move in early 2020, and supplemented that initial offering later in the year. And while its blade is technically semi-stainless, 2021’s Churp folder felt a little more modern than its fixed blade family members with D2 steel.
The 2022 AGK was the sole new knife that ESEE brought to SHOT Show, and they have said that the knife is expected to be available sooner rather than later.
Knife in Featured Image: ESEE AGK in S35VN