|I liked the finger hole but the brass handle as got to go!|
Monday, July 31, 2017
Taylor Brands was founded by Stewart Taylor in 1975 in east Tennessee. Originally Taylor had knives made for them under their name, but they gained the reputation as a knife jobber who facilitated the manufacture of knives with different trademarks.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Knives of reasonable quality can be made by many manufacturers with excess capacity. Taylor made S&W logo knives which were everyday working knives at a reasonable price. I don’t think anyone expects to turn their working S&W knife over to a grandchild and I don’t know anyone who collects them. But if you needed a cutting edge, S&W would work.
Many companies, for reasons better left to the studies of economics, found they could not compete in today’s market. Taylor bought them. Maybe the best you can say about this is brand names like Schrade, Old Timer, Uncle Henry, and Imperial knives were saved from oblivion. It’s kind of like the Irish Elk.
Here’s where it gets complicated. Taylor, as previously mentioned, licenses the Smith & Wesson name. Smith & Wesson recently purchased Taylor Brands. So they own, among other things, Old Timer, Schrade, as well as knives made in their name.
Recently I came across a Taylor made knife called the Moonshiner. It’s a brass handled locking blade with a finger hole for grip. The tang stamp indicates it’s a Taylor knife made in Japan of surgical steel.
I don’t know much about the knife, other than no bootlegger ever carried a knife that said Moonshiner. The blade is stainless and I suspect it’s a 440 type. Of the three types of 440, I suspect type C, as it’s the most common.
It came in the original box and the blade doesn’t seem to be used. The brass looks like it’s been handled a lot. I suspect it’s a show and tell knife, something you show off to your friends and acquaintances, like I’m doing now.
Monday, July 10, 2017
I just spent the weekend at Canton McKinley Rifle and Pistol Club hawking knives. This weekend is their big Regional Bullseye Match, what we call a 2700. It takes three days to shoot it and honestly 4 would be better, but it’s just not possible. They get about 300 shooters from all over the country, sometimes all over the world.
Starting tomorrow, (as I write this) Monday 10 July 17 the National Matches at Camp Perry start. They will get at least at least a thousand shooters including all branches of the military, National Guard, Police Departments, clubs and everyday citizens who want to compete.
I was there at CMRPC selling club merchandise, handing out club tee-shirts and sharpening knives to demonstrate the Spyderco sharpener, at least that’s what they think.
I was really there for raising the flag.
|"I'd elevated that another 12 degrees if I was you..."|
It starts by pulling a friction fuse on a brass canon captured by the British during the Crimean War. The canon belches smoke and fire while the National Anthem starts playing. You can’t hear the first couple of notes. The canon’s thunder drowns them out. A three person military team starts to raise the flag and everyone, a hundred armed men and women and all the support people, snap to attention and salute. The smoke clears but the aroma of cordite lingers as the last notes are played and the flag reaches the top of the pole. There’s doesn’t seems to be a breeze but somehow a puff of wind straightens the flag for a second and we return to our activities. Then shooters have a three minute preparation period to get ready.
If that doesn’t bring tears of pride to your eyes, then you’re no friend of mine.
|Nothing says "Attention for Colors!" like a canon blast.|
People stop by the table to talk, or show of their newest, favorite, or latest blade. We talk about types of steel, advantages of tip up vs tip down carry and role of everyday knife carry. I see a wide variety of knives at this match. Some knives are to commemorate a special event, like retirement or a graduation. Others are just the flavor of the week. Some are old, trusted companions that were there for the owner when needed.
I’ve sold a knife to many of these people and they bring them back to show me. Most are in good shape and sharp, but a few are dull with micro-chips along the edge; others have cracked and broken tips. I can’t do much with the damaged ones. The sharpener I use is best utilized keeping sharp knives from becoming dull. And that’s really the key to keeping a working knife sharp, never let it get dull. Yes, possibly you will wear out the blade from all the edge dressing you do. But most assuredly, if you let your blade get so dull and damaged that you have to grind away some of the edge to get a sharp blade, you will run out of knife sooner than later.
|After about a half hour, I got it as sharp as I was going to get it with a Spyderco Sharpmaker.|
If these abused knives were all we had, I’d spend a day working the missing tip into something pointed and polishing the micro-chips out of the blade, but there are better systems for that. After you’ve sharpened knives for a while it becomes clear that no one sharpener works for every knife. Anyone who claims their sharpening system does it all, isn’t the sharpest knife in the box.