Spyderco 2014 Production Prototype – John Shirley & Sam Owens ARK

The first knife that was shown and passed around all attendees, was the Sam Owens designed ARK prototype neck knife. The design apparently came about through forum discussions and ideas. The knife was meant to be carried everywhere and always. This particular design was intended to be a self defense tool for the military to help protect against rape attacks in the showers, from other servicemen. The ARK will feature H1 steel and an injection molded sheath.

To me, the knife was a really nice small and lightweight neck knife. I’m sure it will be a breeze to carry all the time. The extreme curve of the blade should prove useful for many other tasks than just self defense. I would probably add a little lanyard to improve the grip.

Ted was a great help during the meet, and when I asked his help to get me a blade length measurement, he collected way more than that! The measurements of the ARK prototype are approximately as follows:

Overall Length: 12,6 cm / 4.96 inches

Edge Length: 5,5 cm / 2.16 inches

Blade Length: 6,7 cm / 2.63

Blade Thickness: 0,2 cm / 0.07 inches

Sal and Eric provided a lot of information and background stories for each design. Any mistakes in these descriptions are mine alone. If you attended the meet and picked up some other information on this and the other prototypes in this thread, please add that information to this post.








March 4) I received another helpful note today from Sam Owens, regarding the background of the ARK design. He passed the along following from John Shirley, who was ‘the vision and drive’ behind the ARK, regarding the origin and purpose of this very cool little neck knife:

“The problem of sexual assault is not just from service members.  Bases in Afghanistan and Iraq are filled with local and foreign national workers who do the majority of non-tactical tasks on the bases, cleaning and maintaining.  Though under-reported in the media, the sexual assault problem is most definitely NOT solely, and perhaps not even mostly, perpetrated by service members.”

We hope this helps to understand the basis of the problem that led to the ARK design a bit more fully.

8 Responses to Spyderco 2014 Production Prototype – John Shirley & Sam Owens ARK

  1. Jocelyn says:

    What an absolute beauty…. Will get one if produced….

  2. Sam Owens says:

    Hi! Thanks very much for the kind words, but please do make note of John Shirley’s role in developing this knife. John is the vision and drive behind this. I’m just “the messenger.” That’s why it is the Shirley-Owens ARK. Not the “Sam Owens” ARK.


    • Thank you Mr Owens for that information. I went by the information I gathered at the Amsterdam Meet fron Spyderco. I’ll make an additional post on all the forums with the information about John Shirley you provided here.

  3. Jacques says:

    This is a great little knife, it feels good in the hand. I hope that the produce this beauty.

  4. […] ARK Sam Owens design production prototype Nemo: This little FB is destined to be a self defense tool to prevent rapes under the shower in the Army… Go figure how people are crazy nowadays. What can I say ? Of course it will be rust resistant as it will made in H1. I would have preferred a Fred Perrin La Griffe as even with soap in my hands I would not have lost my grip. Anyway, fighting naked with a blade in the shower seems like a nightmare… They should invest in video camera instead. The blade shape is like a Sharpfinger which is a very nice utility and skinning edge. For SD I would have prefer a serrated edge for a maximum of pain without to inflict lethal wounds. Anyway a razor sharp neck knife for shower does not seem like a good idea to me anyway. I’m much more for the use of psionic blasts… picture and description here […]

  5. […] Shirley & Owens ARK, Diaconescu Battlestation, Bradley Fixed Blade […]

  6. […] Shirley & Owens ARK, Diaconescu Battlestation, Bradley Fixed Blade […]

  7. […] ARK prototype neck knife was also shown last year; click here for images and information on the previous prototype. I really liked the molded handle with bi-directional texturing in this refined prototype. IIRC, […]

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