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April 12 : 2018  
Skill Set: Randall Knife

Five years and six months ago I finally ordered a Randall knife - Model 1.  When it arrived I opened it up and it was perfect.  If this were how the story went it wouldn’t be much of a story.

I’ve wanted a Randall knife since I was about nine or ten years old.  Several of my dad’s Special Forces buddies had them, and I wanted one real bad.  At that age I thought having one of those would make me that type man.  Later I realized it was a case of that type man demanding the best kit they could get to do the job.

I begged mom and dad every Christmas for a Randall knife.  “They are too expensive,” they said.  “But that’s all I want,” I replied.  At this type the Model 1Randall was seventy-five dollars, which was a lot of money for our family.  It also took three months for it to be delivered.  I never knew whether it was too expensive or they thought I was too young for a knife that nice.

Bo Randall founded Randall Made Knives in 1938 after making them several years as a hobby.  Things really kicked off during WWII as demands from soldiers increased for the Model 1 All Purpose Fighter and other designs.  “True,” a men’s magazine, published a feature about Randall Made Knives, and in 1953 they began taking backorders for their blades.  As the years rolled on additional styles were offered, plus there are host of different options available.

Today Randall Made Knives has twenty employees and ships 150 knives a week.  A knife will run around five hundred dollars and take five years or more.  The cool thing is that you can make a deposit when you order and pay the balance when it’s almost ready.  Gives you time to save up.

Five years and six months ago I ordered a Model 1, with six-inch blade, a lugged hilt and their “crow’s beak” butt cap.  When the knife arrived I was excited.  It had been a long wait.  I opened the box, and right away noticed the grip wasn’t the standard grip but the grip offered on the Model 22, which is fatter at the rear.  I picked the knife up, and it was too large for my small hands.  “Oh no,” I said, although that might not have been my exact words.

First thing the next day I contacted Randall Made Knives, and was informed that the crow’s beak butt cap only came with that style grip.  I had failed to notice this when reading and placing my order.  I had made the mistake; that’s when the ugly language really flew.  I explained my mistake, and asked if there was anything that could be done.  “Send that one back,” they said, “and we’ll send what you need.”  My immediate thought was that it would take another five years to get the replacement.  “We’ll have it to you in about twelve weeks.”  It arrived quicker than that.  When I opened the box this time I was totally thrilled.  I finally had my Randall.

“What makes it so desirable,” Gretchen asked.  I thought for a minute about how to explain it.  “It’s a work of art,” I replied. “Plus, I’ve wanted one since I was ten years old.”  Now, there’s a story.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama.  He is the author of “The Book of Two Guns” - http://shootrite.org/book/book.html writes for several firearms/tactical publications, and is featured on GunTalk’s DVD, “Fighting With The 1911 - http://shootrite.org/dvd/dvd.html  McKee’s new book, AR-15 Skills and Drills, is available off Shootrite’s website: http://shootrite.org/AR15SkillsBook/AR15SkillsBook.html

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