Knife designers Chris Reeves and William W. Harsey Jr. collaborated on the technical details of the Gerber LHR Urban Combat Knife, but Matt Larsen — an expert in close quarters combat — also contributed some unusual ideas. Larsen studied hundreds of actual combat encounters before finalizing the LHR concept. Designed for the urban soldier, the Gerber LHR concept is as much about knife retention as it is about the fighting blade.
This 12-1/2-inch-long fixed blade of low luster high carbon stainless steel doesn’t skimp on the grip. The hefty full tang handle includes a deep finger choil and generous dropped bolster. Handle slabs of TacHide provide a surface permanently just tacky enough to be secure under any wet or dry conditions. The slightly dropped heel contributes to retention when pulling the knife back from the target, and the V-shaped pommel with lanyard hole also serves as a handy glass breaker. The knife’s false upper edge adds to its piercing power, and there’s a short section of serrated edge to take care of rope and straps quickly.
What’s really new and different here is the sheath, which features an unusual locking mechanism that only releases with a push of the thumb. Grip the hilt, push the release plate down, and pull the knife free. If anyone else tries it, they won’t have the proper leverage to make it happen. That’s certainly a handy feature, but it will take some practice before it’s fast and instinctive. Getting the knife back in the sheath and past the lock is also a little tricky, but you won’t need to worry about the LHR coming loose whether you’re fighting or just fighting your way through heavy brush.
For a look at another of Gerber’s fine tactical fixed blades, see the Gerber Prodigy.