January 05, 1987 12:00 PM

In World War I it was known as a “pig-sticker,” the traditional bayonet mounted on the end of a rifle intended for use in hand-to-hand combat. But in 1973, in deference to the increasingly high tech nature of warfare, the U.S. Army stopped issuing the bayonet. Now because the infantry still needs a cutting tool, they’ve started again, and this time with a new, greatly improved model.

The M-9 Multi-Purpose Bayonet is the brainchild of Oceanside, Calif. entrepreneur Charles Albert “Mickey” Finn, 48. His company, Phrobis III Ltd., employs only 10 people, including wife Wendy, 43. Finn decided that the new bayonet should incorporate all the features of a sophisticated hunting instrument, a sort of Swiss army knife for field use. And indeed the M-9 can cut wire, slit metal, open bottles and tighten screws. Early next year Finn will deliver the first of 315,600 knives that he has contracted to sell to the Army at $49.56 each. “We’re a small company who did a very good job,” he says, “and we’re proud of that.”

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