The Emerson CQC-7 Book Project

imageAs the Ernest Emerson CQC-7 knife turned 20 years old last year, it is fitting that Emerson is coming out with a book project about his groundbreaking folding knife.  And we get to participate!  But first, a bit of history.

Much has been written about the evolution of Emerson’s CQC knives, CQC for close quarters combat.  In the mid-1980’s, a West Coast U.S. Navy SEAL team requested a special folding knife for its operators.  They were referred to Ernest Emerson by knifemaker Phill Hartsfield, who had made fixed blades for the teams.  The knife born from this coalition was Emerson’s custom Specwar CQC-6, which would become a must-have among special operations warriors the world over.

In 1994, Emerson was approached by Benchmade Knives’ founder Les de Asis about making a production run of Emerson’s custom knife.  Emerson did not want to cede ownership of his original CQC-6 design, so when negotiating with de Asis, Emerson made some changes to the knife and named it the CQC-7.

After having read about the SpecWar CQC-6 in Richard Marcinko’s 1992 book “Rogue Warrior,” I could not wait to buy an Emerson-designed Benchmade CQC-7, or model 970, when they came out a few years later.  Although I could not afford the expensive custom Six, I could push the envelope to around hundred bucks for the Benchmade version.

Emerson CQC-7A and Benchmade 970The Benchmade/Emerson CQC-7 seemed so high-tech at that time:  a chisel ground ATS-34 blade, Walker Linerlock, thumb disk, full titanium liners, and textured G10 handle scales.  It was the dawn of the “tactical knife.”  After Emerson began his own production company, Emerson Knives, Inc, in 1999, I picked up a CQC-7A with the spear point blade.  I was satisfied with its quality and went on to purchase many more of his EKI models in the future.

Below is the letter from Mr. Emerson about his upcoming CQC-7 book endeavor.

Dear Friends,
As some of you might be aware of I am getting ready to publish 4 books this spring and I have been on a real writing binge. And there are actually 4 more books in various stages that I’m working on as time permits.

But, I had an idea. I want to write a book about the Emerson CQC-7®, which for the time being will be called The Emerson CQC-7 Book Project. Actually, I want YOU to write it. The Emerson CQC-7® has been in existence since 1994. It is a knife that changed the cutlery industry forever and has earned its reputation as a “legend knife.” And it is still the flagship design of the Emerson Knife company. It has become known as the “father” of the tactical knife.

Now, I know the history of the CQC-7 but only you know the stories. So what I want to do is to ask you to write down and submit your stories of the CQC-7. It can be anything from, “I pried open the door of the burning vehicle to, the lady behind the counter handed me the knife and the receipt and now she’s my wife.” I know that there are stories that are interesting, humorous and even heroic, I would like to hear them all. For example, I know of one where a police officer lost his knife in a tussle on the ground and found his knife 2 years later when he went back and checked under a bush at the scene. That’s a cool story. I know that there are plenty of combat stories also.

Your CQC-7 story can be about any CQC-7, even the old Benchmade versions, the HD-7, the Super 7, the CQC-7V and “A” blades etc., any and all the “7” family should be in this book.

I know you’ve all got stories. It can even be just about what the knife means to you, perhaps it was a present from a loved one or a father that carries a special meaning. I want to hear your story. Everyone wants to hear your story. You can change the names or dates if you need to for various reasons, but in the book I want to put your name behind each story so you can say, that’s me, when you show off the book.

We’ll also include a section for the “pimpers” that are out there and for those of you that have customized your own 7’s, so be sure to get those pictures to us as well.

Now, I can’t guarantee that we will publish every story but we’ll do our best to get yours in. And I don’t care if its 10 sentences or 10 pages long. Just try to email it to us so we don’t have to retype a handwritten copy. But, if that’s all you’ve got, we’ll take that too.

Wait, there’s more.

When we get to the end, I am going to put all the names who have submitted their stories into a pot and draw out a name. The winner will get a custom, handmade CQC-7 knife made by me to commemorate the story of the legendary Emerson CQC-7.

So there is my carrot. We’ll publish the book, I’ll build the knife, all you need to do is send in your story to I’m not asking you to be a part of the Emerson history, you created the Emerson history. Let’s let the world know. So start putting your story down on paper and let’s get the ball rolling!

Some rules to note for The Emerson CQC-7® Book Project:
When you send in your story be sure you include your contact information and agree to the form or we won’t be able to use your story.

You will need to agree to a release for publication that you can download here: Without this form, we cannot publish your story. Your images will need to be at least 300 dpi (high resolution for print)

Send your story to

My Best Regards,
Ernest Emerson

I guess I will be searching my organic hard drive to remember any good stories from my own CQC experiences.

by Wilson

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4 Responses to The Emerson CQC-7 Book Project

  1. Pingback: An Old Knife Returns, Briefly |

  2. dennis reid says:

    omg. I can’t wait. I’ve loved emerson knives since the beginning.

    it’s an addiction. you can’t ever have enough EMERSON”S


  3. Eric Pedersen says:

    My name is Eric, and my first Benchmade knife that I purchased was designed by Emerson and that was back in 1995 . This was the the Benchmade/CQC-7. I still have the knife today even though several screws had come out and I contacted Benchmade and they sent out replacement screws but none seem to fit. My knife has been used and put “through the test of time”. I loved the knife back then and still love the knife today. I would actually like to find the screws that fit and put it back together and continue to use it. I’ve gone through many knives in my life but this one I will keep forever and hope to pass it on to my son. I am 52 years of age and I am a Police Officer in the state of Montana. I would love nothing more than to carry my knife on duty as I used to carry it back in the day when I was a Protection Agent. That knife went everywhere I did. Sometime soon I would like to purchase one that is similar so I can carry that off duty as I do notuse my duty knife when I’m not working. Thank you for allowing me to tell my short story.


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