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Discussion Starter #1
I recently (yesterday) recieved a Benchmade AFO II Tanto auto opener. It was sent to me as a gift while I am on deployment. I am in love with the knife, but am not a fan of the stock placement of the belt clip. The screws have (so far) thwarted every attempt to loosen them. I have used and broken four different star shaped allen wrenches and no torque bits exist that are small enough to fit the screws.

I am at a loss on what to do. I am not going to carry it unless I can switch the belt clip, the current position causes it to ride extremely high in my pocket and catches on any and everything, including my beretta holster. GI4

I have tried some lubricants to try and loosen up the screws, and was thwarted yet again.

Any advice or experience with this problem? The tools we have here are relatively limited, so that may be the issue.
 

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I'd advise the application of mild heat, but of course if you overdo it you could ruin the knife, especially an auto opener. Try heating the heads of the screws with a butane lighter and apply torsion when it's hot and then cold, just to see- there's no way they're going to have used anything but blue Loctite. I believe Benchmade uses Torx heads, down around sizes 4, 6 and 8- that's what wrench you're using, right? Finally, if you're on active service, maybe you can ask your armourer to take the screws out and move the clip? (I don't know how things work that way in the USA).

If all else failed, or perhaps first, I'd contact Benchmade and explain the problem. I'm sure they will get you fixed up somehow. Limited tools- Benchmade sells a kit for their knives.

I'm lost in envy over that knife, BTW. You might as well own an M2 with exploding kryptonite rounds here as a switchblade, the penalties on the books are no different.
 

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FWIW. I recently broke down my Benchmade Auto Stryker. I cannot remember what size bit I used to remove the clip but i do remember that they had blue loctite on the screw heads for the clip and the screws that held the body together.
 

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Heat the end of a piece of 1/4 steel rod with a torch and hold it against the screw head for a few seconds and then try to loosen them.

Casey
Good one, just slightly more drastic than a lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks All. I will definitely try the heating recommendations...and if all else fails, I will spend a couple bucks and get the appropriate tools to remove it.

The knife is a head turner though. I was cutting some 550 cord to tie down a tarp the other day and someone heard the "snick" as I opened it and of course they wandered over and had to check it out! GI2

Also, unfortunately one of our chiefs (CW3) mentioned that I may have a difficult time getting the auto opener through customs. I had no considered this, and as a gift I would hate to get the knife taken away ( with a custom engraving "OEF XV") and all...seems to me that if it is legal to buy for military and law enforcement in the US...it should be no problem for an active duty soldier to bring back from a deployment..
 

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I have some special german tools that can and will get them out. If you would like to PM me, we can make arrangements, and I will send the whole thing back to you with the screws in a freezer baggie if you would like.

I have done with before on Bokker and others.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I have some special german tools that can and will get them out. If you would like to PM me, we can make arrangements, and I will send the whole thing back to you with the screws in a freezer baggie if you would like.

I have done with before on Bokker and others.
I will keep that in mind. I'm working with the post office here on the FOB to see if they will even ship the knife back to the states.

I appreciate the offer. I will keep you posted as I find out more information about possibly being able to ship it back (since they shipped it out here in the first place) or having to try and work it back through customs.

Can't a guy just keep his knife?!
 

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Let me see if I can find the source of the special tools. Then you can just order the tools and do it yourself....

...looking...

Here ya go, buddy...Wiha Micro bit tool set 27 piece

http://www.wihatools.com/700seri/759_microsets.htm

You will also find this cool GERMAN MADE set has all kinds of other uses too.

RNS
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks I appreciate it. I will let you know how it goes.

May still take you up on the offer of sending it to you if I can end up sending it. Not even sure if Wiha will ship to APO.

Eddard
 

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I'll be surprised if you're active duty and have problems with Customs re your auto knife when re-entering the USA. Most companies say they will only sell them to police and military and that must reflect the law, surely? I do know that some of our (Canadian) military guys cross back and forth with them all the time, when attending joint training, etc. I'll try to find out if they quote an exact law or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'll be surprised if you're active duty and have problems with Customs re your auto knife when re-entering the USA. Most companies say they will only sell them to police and military and that must reflect the law, surely? I do know that some of our (Canadian) military guys cross back and forth with them all the time, when attending joint training, etc. I'll try to find out if they quote an exact law or something.
Please do and let me know! I would appreciate it.

I believe what my chief is saying, he has quite a bit (3) more deployments than I do. I definitely need to look into it. I would HOPE that since Benchmade can ship it APO, A soldier should have zero issues bringing it back. It will be shipped via tuff box in one of our cargo containers anyways...not like I am trying to walk through the checkpoints with it or anything.

I am going to talk with the customs guys and or the post office to check. I have the purchase / shipping reciept and original box...so its not as if I am trying to smuggle in a switchblade made at the local bazaar...which people try and do.
 

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Eddard, I guess it was a safe bet your Chief was correct about Customs. The word is that generally they don't search you but if they did, you'd be forked. The safest thing, one that everyone who prepares ahead does in the Canadian forces, is to mail the item back to yourself or a loved one. I know someone who forgot he had, and was honest enough to declare, a +$600 front opener upon arrival and got away with it, but apparently he was very very fortunate that he got the right Customs person at the border.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm interested what the mail clerks would have to say about that but I will surely ask in a roundabout way..."So my friends friend has an auto opener (bought in the US of A) that he is trying to mail home.." or maybe just...forget to ask and mail it anyways?

Thanks for the info. I will ask around on my end to figure out who the customs guys will be.

I would just hate to lose a rather expensive knife that a buddy sent as a gift from home..
 

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Second hand experience is no substitute for getting a no B.S. honest to goodness answer, but half my squadron had automatic knives on my two deployments (2008, 2009) and nobody ever had any issue. The military customs guys that I dealt with were WAAAAY more interested in ammunition, explosives, body parts, and porn.

If you are going through customs in a third party nation (Al Udeid AB in Qatar, for example) it will be an issue, but my experience in these places was that the Air Force had an armory where you could store everything that was non-kosher (empty magazines, knives, GPS, etc.) until you got back on a U.S. aircraft. The only time anybody cared about knives were when we stopped over in Bucharest and had to go through airport security, and in that case the Romanians just held on to them and sent them back to the aircraft while we hung out in the deserted terminal.

If you are truly concerned about it, and can't get a straight answer, you might be able to put it in the unit packup with equipment "owned" by somebody you trust.
 

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Ship it as cutlery ..

Declare it the same.

Not as a weapon
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Got some clarification at a Border Patrol / Customs Inspector class that was conducted at Bagram a few days ago.

This is paraphrased from the CBP (Customs & Border Patrol) Guy I asked

"The CBP folks are learning that auto opener knives, especially benchmade...are just designed for ease of use and not solely for self defense and or malicious intent. Butterfly knives or knives where the blades shoot out of the handle are a no go."

He was also very interested in my knife, and messed around with it for a few minutes...may have just converted another person to it!!

I will still mail mine home a few weeks before departing, or at the very least store it in a tough box in one of our containers...but all signs point so success!

Thanks for all the advice and opinions gentleman.

Eddard
 
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Never understood the issue with butterfly knives. They are almost entirely crap builds and are more dangerous to the owner than to anyone else, but the main thing is- click-click-click- click- they seem a LOT slower to deploy than a regular one handed folder. Not saying they're not cool though, they are that. Which I'm sure is the real problem with any perceived automatic knife.
 
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