Meet Your Maker – Justin Gingrich / GTI





I’m gonna just go ahead and say it – if you like knives, whether a folding or fixed blade, it is a great time to be a knife user! That being said, while there are a bunch of companies, both new and old, pumping out fresh models onto the market, it’s important to realize that not all of the designs are thought up in-house. Many times companies look to proven individuals who have a greater insight into what should go into a knife and what its’ use can be. In this case, Justin Gingrich is the ideal candidate, a battle-hardened veteran and sharp-edge aficionado, who is the head of his own company, GTI (Gingrich Tactical Innovations) and doubles as a contracted designer for companies like Ontario Knife Company, KaBar, 5.11 Tactical, Kizer, Queen Cutlery, and many others.



So what makes Justin Gingrich a ‘proven’ candidate worthy of designing for some of the top companies? The answer is pretty simple, actually – his credentials and background do all the talking for him. And for good reason too – Justin has worn many hats throughout the years that have helped him shape his designs, having served a decade on active duty in such honored units as the 3rd Ranger Battalion (1992-1996), 20th Special Forces Group (1996-1998), and the Ranger Training Brigade (1998-2001). Justin is also a police academy graduate, and served in Iraq with a civilian security firm in 2005. For two months, Justin worked in post-Katrina New Orleans providing much needed security for the private sector. He also instructs private security contractors, U.S. soldiers, State Department employees and civilians in the art of patrolling, demolitions, shooting and close quarter battle techniques.



Much of his initial work was done to benefit his brothers in arms across the military, having been commissioned to design, prototype and produce knives and tomahawks for the Psyop Regimental Associate, the US Army Ranger Training brigade, the Marine Corps EOD unit, and a slew of other brigades and regiments prior to extending his talents to the civilian market. It can be noted that Justin designed the first ever Damascus bladed gentleman’s folder for Queen Cutlery, dubbed the Queen Ranger folding knife, which is a style that had never been done since Queen Cutlery opened their doors in 1902. So began Justin’s reputation for consistency and quality, something that was not always synonymous when it came to edged blades.



Noting his initial success with American Tomahawk Company and Queen Cutlery, Justin later started his own business – Ranger Knives. It didn’t take long for Ontario Knife Company to notice his talent, and before long, Gingrich sold the production end of Ranger Knives to the Franklinville, New York company and began his work as head of design on OKC’s Ranger series, which came from what he would want from a blade for the jobs he used to do in the military. He would regularly design prototypes, then fly to New York and review them with OKC, who determined which ones to produce. In the meantime, Gingrich would create small batches of custom knives overbuilt to his standards. If it were up to him, every knife he designed and produced would be damn-near bomb proof.

Interested in checking out some of his custom work?




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