FROM 1938 TO 1989, Bo Randall’s store made a few of the best searching, survival, and preventing knives on this planet—and since then, his household has continued the custom. Man Clark wrote a music about one. Bush pilots, hunters, and survivalists have relied on them. And NASA even despatched Randall knives into house.

Within the early days, in case you wished a Randall, you bought in step with GIs and sailors ordering blades earlier than heading abroad. At this time, demand is so excessive you must wait six years to get a brand new one. This, partially, is why collectors dedicate their lives to looking for classic Randall knives.

“It turns into a illness,” says Randall supplier Duke McCaa. “I simply facilitate the insanity.” Along with collector Mitchell Harrison, McCaa runs the web site randallmadeknife.com—an internet market and digital museum for Randall Made Knives. By way of the years, they’ve quietly constructed a group of knives that embrace a few of the best examples Randall ever cast. Listed here are just a few of their favorites.

Andrew Hetherington

Prime: A WWII-era knife identified a Zacharias Fighter. It was named after Lt. James Zacharias, who contacted Bo Randall in 1942 to order a knife for his deployment. Zacharias’ knife was the premise for all Randall preventing knives that adopted. The knife above is one in all two identified to exist out of 4 originals Bo Randall cast. Backside: A Randall Made Commando knife, additionally from WWII. The Commando and the Zacharias launched Randall’s profession as a bladesmith. These are two of probably the most traditionally vital Randall knives identified in the present day.

randall knive with sheath
Andrew Hetherington

A really uncommon Mannequin 3 from round 1964, assembled and embellished by Tom Leschorn. He was one of many few craftsmen outdoors of the store that Bo Randall allowed to complete knives. This one has a “low S” on the blade to indicate that it’s manufactured from stainless-steel. Randall began making stainless knives within the Fifties however solely began stamping them with an S in 1964.

randall knives with sheath
Andrew Hetherington

Two Vietnam Battle–period Mannequin 1 Fighters from the mid-Sixties. The highest knife has a stacked-leather deal with, brass hilt, and aluminum butt cap. The underside has a stag deal with, brass hilt, and wrist thong. On preventing knives, thongs are used to maintain the knife from slipping out of the consumer’s hand throughout fight.

randall knives with sheaths
Andrew Hetherington

Left: A really uncommon pre-WWII Mannequin 3 Hunter. Bo Randall began making knives in 1938 however produced few till late 1942. This Mannequin 3 has a deal with made out of pinned whitetail deer antler. Proper: A mid-Forties Mannequin 3 Hunter with a pinned stag deal with and particular forging—the blade is wider than regular.

randall knife with sheath
Andrew Hetherington

A basic instance of a WWII-era Mannequin 1 Combating Knife. Like most Mannequin 1s from the Forties, this one has a stacked leather-based deal with, a brass hilt, and an aluminum butt cap. Amongst collectors, the sheath is named a VL&A, which stands for Von Lengerke & Antoinne of Chicago, Illinois—one in all a handful of early Randall knife sellers.

Duke McCaa
Andrew Hetherington

Duke McCaa makes use of a magnifying glass to look at the markings on a knife. The Randall firm will work with solely a small variety of approved sellers, and McCaa is one in all them. He began shopping for and promoting Randalls within the mid-Seventies, when he purchased one for $175 and bought it for $300. He has a private assortment of round 100 knives, lots of that are Mannequin 11 Alaskan Skinners.

randall knife with sheath
Andrew Hetherington

Launched within the mid-Sixties, the Mannequin 19 Bushmaster has a stout, thick blade for heavy use within the woods. This one has a Micarta deal with and a riveted Johnson sheath, which is uncommon. Riveted sheaths have been normally reserved for navy Randalls. Randall collectors use variations in sheath building so far and authenticate knives. Randall values are additionally tied to the sheath, and Randalls with out unique or period-correct sheaths will carry a lot decrease costs.

randall knives with sheaths
Andrew Hetherington

Prime: A Mannequin 18 Assault-Survival mannequin. The hole crutch-tip deal with was designed to retailer survival objects. Backside: The Mannequin 14 Assault, proven right here with a black Micarta deal with and stuffed screw holes. Fashions 18 and 14 have been the preferred Randall knives made through the Vietnam Battle. Each are pictured with their unique riveted sheaths made by Maurice Johnson, who crafted most of Randall’s sheaths throughout this time interval.

randall knife with sheath
Andrew Hetherington

Certainly one of two Mannequin 11 Alaskan Skinners with aluminum handles. The story is that a health care provider ordered the knife with an aluminum deal with as a result of he wished to have the ability to sterilize it in an autoclave. Bo Randall designed the Mannequin 11 with the assistance of Tommy Thompson, a well-known Alaskan bush pilot. The sheath for this explicit knife was made by H.H. Heiser. The knife was crafted within the Fifties.

Mitchell Harrison
Andrew Hetherington

Mitchell Harrison inspects a Randall Mannequin 3 Hunter. He began working with McCaa 4 years in the past, after they bid on a big assortment of Randall knives collectively. Harrison focuses on amassing Randall Mannequin 1 Fighters, and he’s an authority on Randalls from earlier than the Vietnam Battle. He has additionally recognized 9 totally different sheath makers which have labored with Randall over time.

randall knives with sheaths
Andrew Hetherington

Three Korean Battle–period Mannequin 1 Fighters. They’re pictured right here with H.H. Heiser brown-button sheaths. H.H. Heiser Saddlery, of Denver, Colorado, made sheaths for Randall through the Fifties. (Observe the distinction between the riveted Johnson sheaths and the stitched Heiser sheaths proven right here.) The handles, left to proper, are pinned stag, stacked leather-based, and ivory with carved finger grips. Some Randall collectors focus solely on deal with supplies.

randall nasa knife with sheath
Andrew Hetherington

Within the early days of the house program, NASA commissioned Randall to make survival knives for astronauts. The design the corporate got here up with was the Mannequin 17 Astro, which features a small screwdriver for eradicating its Micarta scales. Beneath the scales, there’s a compartment to retailer survival objects, like fishing line and hooks. The knife would have been used within the occasion of a crash touchdown in a jungle or different distant location. This one was made within the Sixties.

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