Bear OPS AC-300: Is Auto Right For You?

By Todd Burgreen
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Bear OPS AC-300: Is Auto Right For You?

April 5th, 2021

4 minute read

There are certain sounds that illicit guttural responses. Examples of this consist of racking a pump-action shotgun, cocking a revolver, working the slide on a 1911 or chambering a round in an AK-47. Something else in this category is the opening of an automatic knife.

One of my favorite automatic knife suppliers is Bear OPS. Bear OPS is a division of Bear & Son Cutlery based in Alabama. Bear OPS was launched in 2011 to focus on tactical and survival knives made here in the United States. Their entire manufacturing operation is self-contained in terms of both material and personnel, giving Bear OPS ultimate quality control over their U.S.-made products. Bear OPS makes sure the extra steps of hand refinements and inspections are performed before a knife ships out.

Bear OPS AC-300 auto opening knife
Auto-opening knives are subject to many state and local laws that regulate their ownership. Be sure to know your laws before buying the Bear OPS AC-300.

Bold Actions?

The Bear OPS Bold Action AC-300 features a lightning fast-opening 3.25″ Sandvik 14C28N stainless stiletto-pattern blade. Black aluminum surrounds the blade, spring and locking mechanism. Weight is a mere 4.3 oz. A safety lock and pocket clip finishes the package.

Testing an automatic knife
The Bear OPS AC-300 handle is from black aluminum with weight of 4.3 oz. A safety lock and pocket clip finishes the package.

The AC-300’s stiletto-like blade is ideal for thrusting/piercing. However, the AC-300 can still serve as a utilitarian folder thanks to its razor-sharp edge. Sandvik 14C28N is popular with some knife collectors as the steel resists blade micro-chipping and dulling of the edge yet is easily sharpened. This steel is favored for folding knives because its 55-62 HRC hardness is ideal for multiple types of blade applications. A high corrosion resistance also lends itself to everyday pocket carry.

Knife testing on a box
The Bear OPS AC-300 served admirably in tasks associated with typical pocket knives such as opening boxes.

With all the talk about utilitarian pocket chores, don’t forget the intent of a stiletto/dagger profile blade like the Bear OPS AC-300 — self-defense. The knife combines a sharp stabbing point with a razor-sharp blade. The Bear OPS AC300’s blade design maximizes damage as it penetrates, forcing apart the medium being pierced. This allows the knife to perform effectively even through heavy clothing. With this said, the slashing/cutting abilities of the AC300’s blade should not be dismissed.

Knife blade on automatic knife
The Bear OPS Bold Action AC-300 features a lightning fast opening 3.25″ Sandvik 14C28N stainless stiletto blade.

The Draw

The Bear OPS AC-300’s automatic function “sexiness” will appeal to many on its own. And if you live in a location where this type of knife is legal, who doesn’t like deploying cold steel in a flash with a push of a button? However, the Bear OPS AC300 stands on its own merits even if it weren’t an automatic. It offers real substance in terms of deployment and use. The AC-300 is potent, with a stiletto like blade capable of slashing if needed, while maintaining good blade length for fight-stopping thrusting power.

Carrying a pocket knife with a clip
The metal pocket clip places Bear OPS AC-300 close at hand until needed.

During weeks of handling between my son and myself, the Bear OPS AC-300 was opened/closed literally hundreds of times. No issues were encountered, with the blade staying true and plumb with no adjustments needed — rather impressive for a 3.25″ blade being forcefully presented. Every opportunity to slice meat or plunge blade into a ham or roast was taken. Scientific? No. However, this gives a feel for a blade being used. More mundane tasks such as rope cutting, opening boxes and so on were also performed. Every effort was made to carry and deploy the Bear OPS AC300 as much as possible.

Bear OPS AC-300 Specifications

Blade MaterialSandvik 14C28N Stainless Steel
Handle MaterialAluminum
Open Length7¾”
Closed Length4½”
Blade Length3¼”
Weight4.3 oz.
MSRP$154.99

Conclusion

The Bear OPS AC300 is a valid option for whatever use the end user desires, whether for defense or simply whittling a stick. And if you live in a location where “automatic knives” are legal, the Bear OPS AC-300 will be ready in a flash to perform whenever it is called upon.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Todd Burgreen

Todd Burgreen

Todd Burgreen has been a freelance writer for the last 20 years with articles appearing in numerous publications. He has attended countless personal defense, team tactics, and firearms and driving courses over the years from some of the most influential training personalities and schools in the country.

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