To commemorate the Case Grizzano battle on April 19, 1945, in which the 2nd Btg Nembo paratroopers fought against the German 1st Fallschirmjäger-Division - the famous "Green Devils" paratroopers, returning from Cassino - Extrema Ratio developed the Nimbus knife, in collaboration with the 183rd Nembo Paratrooper Regiment.
Extrema Ratio 39-09 dagger
Oddly, so far there has been relatively little interest around this knife among blade fans and collectors. Perhaps because, unlike the model on which it’s based, the Extrema Ratio 39-09, the Nimbus cannot shine on its own of the same almost legendary status of the “pugnale Regio Esercito da paracadutista assaltatore modello 1939”, also known as Italian Paratrooper Dagger model 39.
The Extrema Ratio 39-09 is indeed a modern replica, sponsored by the Italian COFS (Special Forces Operative Command), that is respectful of the structure, proportions and general shape of the original Model 39 dagger, with minimal differences in the design and the use of modern, state-of-the-art materials to update it to current operational needs. It is a knife that intends to collect the inheritance left by the original and be a viable alternative to the plethora of modern combat blades that currently flood the market. Based on this project, Extrema Ratio created a more compact, thinner and lighter version of the 39-09: the Nimbus.
Extrema Ratio Nimbus Ordinanza: details
However, the differences from the Model 1939 dagger are in our opinion quite interesting, and as stated by the manufacturer, the Nimbus is remarkably suitable to fill the requirements that a current modern combat operator wants from a tactical knife.
The Nimbus is a fixed blade knife, with a slightly asymmetric spear blade, one edge flat ground and the other left unsharpened. On both sides, the blade has a shallow, full-length fuller that extends almost from the tip to the ricasso. The full tang is covered by the handle mounted with three screws, and the rounded butt end of the tang is exposed for a couple of millimeters. The guard has a perfectly symmetrical oval section, with two holes on the guard branches. The blade is 5.5" / 141 mm long, over 2" / 5 centimeters shorter than the ER 39-09, and the handle, also in Forprene, is now only 0.51" / 13 mm thick.
The Nimbus, like the 39-09, features a Bohler N690 stainless steel blade hardened to 58 Rockwell with a MIL-C-13924 standard Matte black oxide burnished finish. The thickness of the blade is 0.2" / 5 mm against the 2.48" / 6.3 mm of 39-09 and the overall weight of the knife is just 7.16 oz / 203 g. However, these impersonal figures do nothing to convey the strength, balance and elegance that the Nimbus manages to impart to those who handle the live blade for the first time. The motto “e per rincalzo il cuore” ("and our heart as backup") is engraved in the fuller of the blade, while the crest of 183rd Rgt. is engraved on both sides of the ricasso.
Extrema Ratio Nimbus is available in three versions: Ordinanza, Operativo e Special Edition
We received the Ordinanza version of the Nimbus, supplied in a nice black polymer weather resistant protective case with three clasps, with a molded foam interior to house the knife, the sheath and the belt clip, with a crest of the 183rd Rgt engraved on the lid.
The other two versions available are the Operativo, essentially the same knife but packaged in a cardboard box and with just the Kydex sheath, and the Special Edition, in fact the real commemorative version, with wooden handle, satin white finish for blade, guard and screws, full grain leather sheath and leather finished display case.
Price is obviously adequate to the exclusivity of this version, a tad above 700 euro.
The modular sheath supplied with the Nimbus Ordinanza is made of the basic still Kydex case and a flexible Cordura webbing with MOLLE straps, and two DueEmme MOLLE System clips for attachment to a plate carrier or armor. It also includes a separate Kydex belt mount built by Vega Holsters (to be used without the cordura webbing) and if you want to fit the Kydex sheath on the PC in a minimalistic way, you can do it by using zip ties through the holes on the edge of the sheath itself. The knife is secured to the Kydex sheath with a clip stop on the guard and, when using the Cordura webbing, with a strap and two button snaps on the handle.
The lightness and small thickness allow for an extremely comfortable and low-profile carry, with the knife and sheath literally attached to the body and at the same time easily accessible in case of need. The extraction is very fast if only the elastic strap is used.
Nimbus knife: our impression
Our impression is extremely positive. The Nimbus is very light in hand: the balance point is located at the first of the three screws on the handle, about 0.6" /15 mm from the guard, making the blade light and fast. The handle is comfortable and even if flat, it allows a sure grip in any situation. Handling is safe and the basic symmetry of the knife allows great agility with every type of grip and technique. Transition from saber to reverse grip is lightning-fast.
The Nimbus deserves great consideration and the manufacturer’s suggested price, 334 euro, is justified by the quality of the Nimbus and number of included accessories; a slightly more affordable option, saving some 50 euro, would be the Nimbus Operativo, that includes just the knife and Kydex sheath.