About eighteen months ago (if not more) one of my best friends began asking me for a small cutting / pry tool that he could mount in the middle of his response vest. Although this man DOES do "tactical" work, by and large he's an administrator. There was no rush and I was trying to find just the right tool. I found many, but not one that I was satisfied in recommending to him unconditionally. Just this past week though, while attending a writer's seminar, I was introduced to a new tool that will be on the market soon: The Small Pry from Dynamic Entry.
The Small Pry is made from D2 tool steel and measures just about 14.5" long. Because it is specifically designed as a pry bar, the strength has to be good while the durability and corrosion resistance have to be pumped up as much as possible. To accomplish this Dynamic Entry hardened the steel of the Small Pry to an RC-55-57 level. To help prevent corrosion the steel is finished with a black epoxy powder-coat layer that will provide a clean non-reflective matte black look. The handle is thermoplastic rubber over-molded onto the handle and contoured to increase friction in the hand (a better grip).
Set at an angle the edge is just under 4.5" long and will be available in plain only (no serrated option). The front tip is not sharpened and is meant to only be used for prying. So, why a combination pry tool / cutting / chopping tool? You never really know exactly what you're going to need when you go on an entry, so you try to carry what you think you'll need. If you can carry one tool that increases your versatility of operations, that's a good thing, right? The Small Pry is designed to be used for specialized entry functions like prying interior doors and drawers, window "break-and-rake" operations (that's why there's that curve that juts the bottom edge away from the handle), and tactical cutting chores like removing screens or chopping through drywall.
The sheath is going to be made from the same carbon-fiber material that BLACKHAWK!'s CQC & SERPA holsters are. The sheath system will be two pieces: the carbon-fiber sheath that will hold the front portion - enclosing the edge along with the first approximately 5" of the tool. At the other end will be a mountable strap to secure the end of the handle. MSRP is being set at $199.99 and the folks at Dynamic Entry tell me it will be available in the spring of '09 (talk was sometime between February and April with a leaning toward April).
Now I know that at 14.5" in length the Small Pry is going to be a bit much for guys to carry mounted anywhere on the front of their vest - unless they are fairly big guys. I can fit it on mine (I'm 5'-10" tall) but it becomes the dominating item on the platform. What may work better for some is a armored-thigh platform or a position on the back of a vest / carrier system where a team-mate / entry-buddy can easily reach it. Obviously if an officer is going into a high-threat situation by himself (and we're having to face that reality now), it does no good to have it on your back out of reach. Consider your own circumstances and plan accordingly.
I think Dynamic Entry is going to have a hit on their hands. The Small Pry is big and tough enough to handle some basic breaching uses without being so big and bulky that carrying it becomes a dedicated task. It's just the right size to be added to patrol officers' trunks / response kits / go bags without making the bag - all by itself - a boat anchor. I look forward to it hitting the market next spring. I think we'll see it widely accepted as a standard tool, not just for SWAT or special ops guys, but across the wider community of patrol officers who simply want to be as prepared as possible for whatever the criminals might think up next.