Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The last Medina gun show was a little trippy.

Right off the bat two guys comes up to my table and point at the Benchmade knives and asked “Are they real?”

Wow, what an existentialist question!  Plato thought that everything was an imperfect copy of an ideal object.   Somewhere there is the perfect knife which displays all the attributes, all the knifieness that a knife should have and in perfect portions.

Astrophysicists suggests that all matter is a hologram of an information trapped in the event horizon of a massive black hole.

I really didn’t know how to answer them until I realized they were asking if my knives were counterfeit.  It was a little insulting and I should have told them to fuck off.  I usually only come to that conclusion sometime later, so I told them what I know and suggest that if they buy a $200 knife for $50, something isn’t on the level.

One of them asked if his Spyderco Civilian was a knock-off.  Frankly, in many cases, it’s almost impossible to tell without doing both destructive and non-destructive testing.  They bought it for 50 bucks off a guy who thought it was a counterfeit.  I think they got what they paid for.
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After a few sales I realized the main advantages of not buying from the internet.
One: you can pick it up, hold it and compare it to similar object and decide which is the best for you.
Two: you get it right now.
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In the gun side, I was surprised to see a lever action cowboy rifle with a bullseye type peep sight fixed to the top of the receiver.  In retrospection I don’t see why not.  Most guns are more accurate than we are, I just don’t think of a lever action as a 500 yard gun.
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I was filling in for my friend John, who needed to make a pit stop.  John sells ammo among other things.  So I was surprised when someone asked if the one ounce novelty pennies were gold.
 
“No sir, just copper.”   I said.  Especially since they are on sale for 5 bucks.

I get similar questions about a line of Marttiini fixed blades I carry.  People what to know if they are made from the laminated steel they have read about.  Again a simple examination of the prices revels they don’t sell for the $500 plus that Fallkniven asks for their laminated steel.

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We had a little bad news on Sunday morning.  We arrived just ahead of the opening bell and found out our neighbors had an S&W watch stolen.  They covered their table and were one of the last to leave.  Only a few other vendors and security was left behind.  It means someone:
       Knew it was there,
       Waited until the place was empty,
       Walked around to the back of the table,
       Lifted the cover cloth and stole it.



You expect a small amount of theft from the general public but not from the other vendors.  (We had a inexpensive CRKT knife lifted from the table during a show.) It wasn’t an expensive watch, but now I have to wonder if someone will do that to me?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Check out the Observer


I just got a knife from China.

Too bad, you respond.

Nay, nay I say.  It’s a Real Steel fixed blade called the Observer.

Real Steel Observer
I've seen that blush on steel before, but the best I can find out is it's an affect from heat treating. 
Real steel is located in Hanzhou City on the east coast of China and has been making knives as a contract manufacturer for the last 15 years.  In 2013 they launched the Real Steel Company.  China doesn’t allow the sale of folding knives with locks on the mainland, so Real Steel has focused on external sales.  This, in my opinion, has made Real Steel quality conscious. (Interesting note on the sale of lock blades in China.) 

The Observer is 8.25 inches in overall length with a 440C steel blade 3.5 inches long.  The full tang knife has a grooved G-10 handle and comes with a kydex sheath and adjustable belt clip.  The blade is 0.197 inches thick.

440C was one of the standard knife steels used by the knife industry.  You’ll still find plenty of knives with this steel.  It has the highest carbon content of the 400 series family, 0.9 to 1.2% carbon.  The elevated levels of chromium, 16 to 18% provide small, hard chromium carbides that anchor and stabilize the steel grains.  This level of chromium also provides of a thin, self-forming layer of chromium oxide that makes the steel resistant to staining.  Still, a little care is required.  Remember, it’s stain-less, not rust proof.

Real Steel Fixed Blade knife handle
The machined G-10 scales are removable.


440C steels can be hardened to around 58-60 RHc.  I’m good with that.  These levels of hardness allow for a little flexibility in the steel.  After all, a bent knife can be sharpened and used.  A cracked knife is just junk.

Look, it’s a basic fixed blade knife with a nice working length.  It feels good in your hand and you can resharpen it with ordinary stones.  No complicated or advanced sharpening systems are needed, always a plus in the field.  You can remove the handle for cleaning if you want.  All for under $69. 

It feels good, seems well made and looks good.  It’s for resale so I can’t test it, but reviews I have seen make this knife seem like a good deal.  If I was still camping and hiking I would carry this knife.  Let me remind you, it’s not the country of origin that establishes quality but the workmanship of the company.


Real Steel also makes some very nice folders.  You can find better for more money, but these seem to have the best value for the price.