Showing posts with label knives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knives. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Blade Sunday and a Random Walk



Blade Show Sunday is the finish line.  Most of the pressure is off, sales made, promises swapped, and bargains available, if you can recognize a bargain.  

It’s a good time to talk to vendors about knives and the industry.  I stopped at Spyderco to talk with Joyce.  Long ago Joyce sent me a congratulations note on my first article which was about Spyderco’s Bob Lum with the anodized green handle.  We think of her as a friend.

Spyderco is one of my favorite companies, along with Shadow Tech, Benchmade and Böker. 

So what new is with Spyderco?  The answer is lots.

Remember the H1 steel.  Rust proof in salt water.  I ran my own test by slathering a salt paste on the blade and keeping it in a moist warm environment overnight.  No rust.  H1 steel has some hardenable issues but the steel can be worked hardened.  Every time you sharpen it, the edge gets a little harder.  Now they are using LC200N as is many other blade makers.  Oh, yes, did I mention they have altered the Caribbean Salt so it has the 4-position clip?

LC200N is low carbon, high chromium with enough nitrogen to give you RC values of 60.  This should be a very rust resistant steel.  They are releasing it mid-year as their Caribbean series, a yellow and black alternating striped handled knife with a flat grind blade.  It will be Endura size, but way cooler.

The Military with Spyderco’s patented top compression lock is very popular, but big.  So several years ago they released the Para Military, but even that was large.  So get ready for Para 3.  It’s about Delica size but with the same wide flat ground blade.

For mid-season they are introducing 30 new products.  Add that to their already expansive product line and you have a shop keeper’s nightmare.  Which do you stock?  How many of which?  Which one or two are just there to draw customers over to the counter, but aren’t expected to sell?

I got a silent agreement that Spyderco has too many SKUs for most vendors.  I found out that every year they have an SKU meeting and they decide which SKU will go to make room for new ones.  People get passionate about this.  “Which child will you kick out to bring in a new one?” They ask.  I’m glad I don’t have to make these decisions.

Sharpening is always controversial and the show has many systems ranging from simple Arkansas stones to sharpening systems that suggest a degree in engineering is required.  As steel blades increase in hardness more sophistical materials are needed.  Cubic boron nitride?  Industrial sintered diamond? Recrystallized unobtanium?  These are the sharpening material of today and tomorrow.  But these are still challenged by the water stones of Japan, the fossil clay of Italy and the slabs of soapstone.

Google search for edges.  How many will you find?  Flat grind, secondary bevel, hollow, apple seed, chisel, chisel with back bevel?  Now let’s consider angle. The smaller the angle the sharper it is.  It’s also more delicate.  A stout angle may work fine on an axe, but not so good for filleting trout for dinner.  Most of us expect to have to resharpen a shallow angle more often regardless of the super steel or secret heat treatment.

Angle leads us to blade thickness.  You can find Tou-tube videos of people attempting to chop through a branch with a blade only a 16th of an inch thick and people attempting to carve tinder with what can only be described as an edged car leaf spring.  Somewhere in the middle are the compromisers trying to create one edge with two different profiles.  They attempt to make the front half of the blade eye surgery sharp and the back edge coconut cracking dull.  Most of the time, they fail.  I would suggest setting your edge geometry and sharpness to your average cutting expectations.



And you know what?  It’s all wonderful.  Let me suggest that through exploring edges, sharpening and sharpening, whatever your final edge is you will create new appreciation for the humble knife.

  Enjoy. 

Here's a few more images from the Blade Show:





You can always find raw material to make the knife you want!



I wish I had bought a few of the screw pins used to hold handles together!






Buck Club 75th anniversary
It's Buck's 75th anniversary and the Buck clubs went all out!


Fireworks and Grinding
 Let's end with fireworks!







Saturday, June 3, 2017

Blade Show Day 2


Has the Blade Show become a victim of its own success?

Saturday is always a bad day.  Any knife fancier within 4 hours of driving can work a full week and drive here on Saturday and make it home for church and family brunch on Sunday.  Saturday is a packed day.  Despite the convention’s efforts, you’ll find a number of people walking and selling.  No surprise there, with tables costing over $500 you have to sell a lot of knives to break even.  So, you find people selling to tables.

The exhibition hall is packed and the only redeeming grace is to remember sardines don’t die in the can, they die in the open sea.  Air conditioning struggles to keep up but with 90+ temperatures outside and hundreds and hundreds of people inside it can’t keep up.

Blade is the knife show by which all others are measured.  The show’s location needs a rich environment to support it.  There may be bigger venues in the cornfields in Kansas, but it will never have the support Atlanta has.

Blade Show
The contestants warning up
Is there an association of Balisong Flippers?  Beats me, but Blade hosted the first national competition.  They used live edges and flip free style, but the MC warned that kicking the knife with your knee was outlawed at this event.  The flippers were set up in the back parking lot where the cutting would take place and it was single elimination.  Three judges, well known by the crowd, selected the winners of the each round. You can tell they were expecting a lot of dropped knives.  Each competitor stood over a sheet of cardboard.  I didn’t stay for the entire competition.  It just seemed too silly to me.  Every completion heat I saw, the loser dropped his knife at least once if not more.  I have to wonder if some of the flippers will create moves so unique that in the future the move will be named after them, like the ice skating Hamill Camel.

bones at Blade
Giraffe Skull, what else could I say
One of the knife supply houses had a skull of a giraffe on display.  It appears that giraffes can become a nuisance animal requiring culling.  The meat is sold and made into sausage (I can’t believe there aren’t a few steaks involved!), so the supply house buys camel leg bones for knife handles and just for giggles asked if they could get a skull.  The joke was on him.

It took a lot of boiling and bleaching, but the complete skull is available and on sale.  For $500 bucks it can be yours.  I wanted it for over the TV cabinet, but wiser heads prevailed.  A word of warning, it’s a lot bigger than you might think it is.

From Nepal, a fighting knife
A different EDC
I bought a mini-khukuri.  The seller has them made in Nepal by Gurkhas.  They use truck leaf springs and its steel needs to be taken care of or it will tarnish.  I have a full size one made in India and this will make a nice addition.


Buck display at Blade 2017


It’s Buck’s 75th anniversary and Buck collectors are pulling out the stops.  In the public area of the hall they have about a row of double sided tables as long as city block set up.  You’ll find everything from complete run of Bucks to experimental prototypes and exotic one of a kind buck knives.  Each display is different, some cruder than others but all a testimony to Buck knives.

Blade Show
Mantis neck knife or upside down stargate
We bought new neck knives at Mantis Knives.  It’s hard to describe Mantis.  They make some really silly knives, but they are so freshly original you can’t dismiss them.  Our neck knives look like an “O” with a T coming out of them.  Put your finger into the ring and pull, a curved blade emerges from the metal ring.  Frankly, the blade looks too flimsy and curved for fighting or cutting.

It might be time to skip the Blade Show.  You will not find too many of the unique knives and blades seen on Forged in Fire.  What you’ll see are the typical, safe designs: drop points, Bowie, spear, Hawksbill and Wharncliffe blades.   The steels are the usual suspects: high carbon, D2 and the stainless families.  I was impressed that I found one smith with forged titanium blades.

Prices remain high but bargains can be found if you work at it.


Here's a few more pictures.



Blade Show
Another high carbon steel blade to worry about


Blade Show
More knives!

Tomorrow’s the last day.  I have an appointment and one or two items and it’s off we go.



Friday, June 2, 2017

Blade Show Opens!

Lil Lum Nishijin
A Blade Show Special from Spyderco, BOGO!
The first day of the Blade Show finished and was punctuated with plenty of excited people and sore feet.

As good as the show is, registration is just as terrible.  You can’t register and pick-up your pass Thursday night, despite the fact registration is open for the vendors.  The VIP passes can be bought only Friday morning at 10:00 despite the fact people lined up at 7.  The when you get to the registration window the equipment and personnel don’t work.  In fairness, the staff is desperately trying to stem the human tide of impatient people and haven’t been trained very well.  After you get your pass you have another line to stand in until the official opening at noon.  You’ll soon find the floor is your friend.

The doors open at about 12:05, because none of the security personal have the authority to open the doors and the moron with the authority can’t tell time!  At least it seems that way to me.


knives, Blade Show
A.G. Russell

My first stop was A.G. Russel.  A.G. wanted to chew me out about my Folding Gents Hunter article in the June issue of Knife Magazine.  It seems A.G. can flick the blade open with quick wrist motion.  Well, so can I, but every knife class I’ve attended where people open their knife that way, sent their knife flying across the room.  Still, he and his wife Goldie were very nice to me.  I later found out of the other 3 articles about the FGH, he liked the one in Knife Magazine the best.

I stopped off at Aku Strike Knives to look at their trainers.  Dwane Horvath has developed a training knife that emits a sound and flashes a red or green light when a solid contact is made.  

Trainer Blade Show
Aku Strike's new knife fighting trainer


While these can be dangerous (get jabbed in the gut with 4 inches of hard plastic and you’ll know what I mean), they add a new dimension to training.  The knife’s sounds and light is only activated when the blade is pushed back or upward to simulation a stab or cut.  Keep your eyes open for this.  It will add a new level to your training.

Blade Show
Seems like a good way to set your kilt on fire!

I always like to watch the demos on knife grinding.  I think it’s the sparks.  It’s also interesting to watch all the other people.  I try not to be too obvious about it, after all someone might be watching me!


Here’s a few photos.

Blade Show
Some of Cutco's knives




1Blade Show
Browning's Kukri  A real different look for Browning.



































Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Knife Show this Week-end


This is the second year for this show and it is building momentum.  Last year the attendance was low and I got some great bargains.  You might find some yourself this year.

The show is Friday Aug 8 and Saturday Aug 9 located at Stranahan Great Hall at 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd, Toledo.  Admittance is a pittance.  You get both days for $10 or one day for $6.
 
http://www.glasscityknifeshow.com/

It’s safe to drink the water in Toledo, the show should be great and if you spend a few hours with the vendors you may be able to negotiate a few deals yourself.  

Or not.  In any case I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

In the interest of total openness, I have no connection to the show.  Gun shows in this part of Ohio are almost a dime a dozen (well, maybe a dollar a dozen) but true knife shows are few and far between.  If you have a need for an edge, this could be the right show for you.  I wish I could see you there but I can’t attend.  Maybe next year!

Stay tuned for Battle of the Blades Oct 17 and 18 in Cambridge, Ohio!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Switchblades

Switchblades. Auto knives. Push button knives.  Flick knives.  No matter what you call them, fully automatic knives have an undeniable appeal.

They aren’t new.  The first ones were made in the mid 1700s.  Following the U.S. Civil War, knives became factory products made in quantity. 

Knife sales increased thanks to the internet of its time, the catalog and advertisement.   In 1892 George Schrade invented the first really practical auto knife.  We’re still re-inventing the auto knife.  The Blade Show featured the so-called dual mode and hidden auto which could be opened manually or automatically with a hidden release.

HK duel mode knife
HK's dual mode Scorch.  Open like a manual knife or use the hidden release.  And it's made in the USA!
So far so good!

In search of more readership, Women’s Home Companion published an article in 1950 about switchblades called “The Toy That Kills.”  Did you hear that sound?  No, it wasn’t the click of a knife opening.  That was the opening shot of the war on knives.

The image of a hoodlum standing in the mouth of an alley smoking a cigarette, wearing a black leather jacket, and shockingly tight pants with an Italian switchblade in his back pocket and dating your daughter was too much for our legislators.  Especially when their wives began to think these Hollywood romantic bad boys were cute!

In 1958, The Switchblade Knife Act was passed making the sale of auto knives, but not possession, illegal.  Many states also passed laws banning autos, dirks, Bowie knives, short swords and butterfly knives.  The U.S. is not the only nation in the world that feels their citizens can’t be trusted with a knife much less one that opens by pushing a button. 

Traveling overseas with almost any of our ubiquitous knives could land you in jail.

Let’s zip forward to today.

Since then some states have passed knife rights laws to allow their citizens to buy, sell and own autos.  We have groups like Knife Rights and AKTI to thank for that.

Two of my favorite knife manufacturers package their autos with dire warnings about the proper documentation needed if you return your auto for service or warranty work.  With many states making it legal to own autos, I wanted to know how these companies would treat legal autos in need of service.

Spyderco requires a letter (on letterhead!) stating you are authorized to possess one of their autos and a restricted item return form.  They will not return your knife to you without all the paperwork.  They really don’t like autos and currently only carry one at the request of the U.S.Coast Guard rescue swimmers called the Autonomy.

This policy will remain in effect regardless of state laws, so if you own a Spyderco auto, unless you’ve got current paper, don’t bother sending it back.

Not that I blame them.  Several years ago when imported butterfly knives were banned, Spyderco was making them here in the U.S.  One part, that little latch on the bottom of the handle, was imported from overseas.  They had paperwork from Customs saying it was okay and legal.  All the lawyers on both sides were in agreement.  It was all good.  Then ICE decided the little latch was contraband, seized the shipment and all the other knives associated with the shipment.  People almost went to jail and fines were levied.  It wasn’t very nice.

I’m actually surprised they even make an auto given the complexity of the legal system.  We tend to think of the Federal government as a great monolithic organization.  It often acts as individual organization and has little if any interest in cooperating with other departments.

My next stop was Benchmade.  They make a fine line of autos 

Benchmade Auto AFO II, a great automatic knife.
Benchmade's AFO II.  They upgraded this knife two years ago and it really performs!

and this year have introduced more covert autos in which the blade can be opened like a manual knife, or pressing a hidden button springs the blade open.  Look at the gold class 7505 Sibert or the black class 5400 Serum if you’re interested.

They too have restrictions on sending autos back.  You cannot send it back via the post office and you must have or sign their Auto Opening Knife Acknowledge form available on their website.  Benchmade recommends you take your auto back to a registered Benchmade dealer and arrange to have them ship it back for sharpening and tune up. 

Just in passing they suggest you send any of your Benchmade knives in every two years for resharpening and overhaul.  You paid for the service when you bought the knife, you should take advantage of it.

It doesn’t matter if you have a CCW, or if your state allows autos or if your old unit/department passed them out like sticks of gum.  Each vendor has different rules that they think will keep them out of legal trouble.

Is right?  Frankly what do I know about the law?  I don’t even write radio dialogue for lawyer commercials.  Find out what they want and work with them.

Still want an auto?  I don’t blame you.  I like them too.  If you carry one, just keep your wits about you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blade Show 2014

The 2014 Blade Show is over.

A sick laptop prevented me from reporting from Atlanta, GA.  Over the next couple of weeks I’ll review some of the highs and lows of Blade.

But here’s a taste.

While not the providence of the Blade Show, one has to reflect on the Cobb Convention Center.  I will say that if the standard of Atlanta is poor service, the Cobb lived up to it.  The adjoining hotel was overbooked, so everyone associated with the show had to check out Sunday morning because a new convention was arriving that day.  The breakfast area in the hotel, which was open only for a rather nice, but expensive breakfast, was torn down and under construction.  I don’t know where hotel guests ate breakfast.  I was lucky.  I stayed off-site and will again.

At the Cobb Convention Center, the escalator down to the poorly staffed and unorganized food court was partially broken.  You could get down, but not back up to the show.  The elevator for wheelchairs and elderly was also broken.  If there were stairs they were well hidden.  So you had to walk out of the building, around to the front, reenter the building and take the (soon to be also broken) lobby escalator up to the show floor.  Despite it being Friday, no evidence of workers was present.

The restrooms were poorly managed.  Several restrooms off the beaten path were clean and quickly locked once the staff discovered people were using them.  Fortunately there were no riots over toilet paper.  In the hallways there were no places to sit, except in the one-way food court, and most of the meeting rooms with chairs were kept locked.  Soon people sprawled on the floor and leaned against walls.  I spent so much time on my feet that they felt like sore marshmallows every morning despite icing them down in the evenings.

What about the Blade Show, or am I going to just bitch about the facilities?


The line to get into the 2014 Blade Show
The VIP line 3 hours before the show opened!

The first thing you need to understand is there aren’t many changes you can make to a knife.  A knife is basically a sharpened edge and a handle.  Normally some way of protecting the edge from the environment and your fingers is included.  The two most popular ways are a sheath and folding/retracting the blade into the handle.  Most manufacturers use one or both of these methods.  But not always.  Busse Knife Co. sells all their knives sans sheath.  Just a cardboard tube to protect you from the edge.

Given this basic concept it quickly becomes apparent that most if not all the tables have some variation on this, like everyone else.

The differences become apparent in the types of material used, the skill of the craftsman, the artistic vision and the execution.  Truly originally ideas are rare.

The next most exciting thing to see is the positioning of each company in the knife market.  For example:
Kershaw has purchased several designs from Emerson.  It’s always best to talk to people on Sunday at Blade.  By then they’re tired and often the true story, or at least part of it, is told.  More on that later.  Just know that:
  • Emerson’s CQC-7 with Wave retails at $225
  • Kershaw’s CQC-7K with Wave retails at $60.


Spyderco reports that more and more countries are banning friction folding knives as well as locked blades.  The slip joint market is growing.  New designs like Spyderco’s PITS (Pie in the Sky) by British knife maker Mike Read show promise.  Mike’s design is such that the more pressure you place on the spring while cutting, the harder it is to close the blade.  Was this a purposeful design feature?  I asked Joyce Laturi about that.  Joyce suggests,  “…People decide to do what they can within the letter of the law so they can carry a knife…”


Still waiting!  


Are you a criminal?  Maybe not, but you could soon be an outlaw.  The domestic ivory ban, President Obama’s directive 210 makes it illegal to sell ivory harvested before the 1980s ban passed by Congress.  While the directive is focused on elephant ivory collected after the ban, enforcement is given sweeping powers to declare you guilty and force you to prove your innocence.  While the US Fish and Wildlife service stated in Sept 2012, “...Illegal ivory in the U.S. was not significant,”  they are now working for the “virtual elimination of all commercial trade in elephant ivory,” according to Dan Ashe, Director USFWS.  You’ll being seeing more on this later.

CRKT Imported Knife of  2014.  It's a nice knife!  


I learned how to turn an impossibly dull knife into a workable dull knife with 'mud-on-a-stick.'  I'll have more on that too!

The Blade Show isn’t about knives.  That’s just the excuse.  It’s really about people and their knives.

Friday, January 31, 2014

New Tradition: Give a knife on the year of the Horse



Today is the Traditional Chinese New Year.  It’s the year of the Horse.  Wouldn't it be cool if the Chinese had a year of the Knife?



Anyway,…..Happy New Year!



Let's cut to the knife stuff.


What? 
 Didn’t anyone have a pocket knife?   Oh, that’s right it’s Canada.

A woman died Thursday after her scarf and her hair got caught in the teeth of a Montreal metro escalator and the scarf then apparently strangled her.

The Montreal Gazette reports that the incident occurred when the 48-year-old’s scarf got caught in the escalator Thursday morning.
“The woman’s scarf got caught in the escalator and then she bent down to try to get it out and her hair got stuck, too,” Constable Jean-Pierre Brabant told The Gazette.

“A bystander called 911 and by the time police arrived, she was declared dead.”



From that universal source of reference, Wikipedia:

“Certain knives are designated as 'prohibited weapons' pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada. Section 84(1) defines such knives as "a knife that has a blade that opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device attached to or in the handle of the knife". By law, only those who have been granted exemption by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police via the Canadian Firearms Program are allowed to possess (but not acquire) prohibited weapons.”

I'm not sure how you can possess but not acquire?  



A great many knives can be opened by centrifugal force, including my Spyderco Endura.  The above reference goes on to say:
 “… no length restriction on carrying knives within the Criminal Code of Canada; the only restriction is for concealed carry.”



So it’s up to the police officer on whether or not that pocket knife is concealed or not. 


Friday, May 31, 2013

Blade Show Opening Day


I got in line around 9:40.  The show opened at 12 noon.  Fortunately the fellow in back of me was interesting and we spent the time yakking.  Turns out he’s a high end commercial photographer.  We’ve both seen the end of film as a media and the growth of digital media.  While most of his work is wedding and architectural photography, he occasionally takes photographs of a few knives and was a lot of fun to talk with.  He likes high-end knives ~ Microtech, Chris Reeve and Benchmade.



line up for entrance to the Blade Show
We're lining up to get in.  Toyland for adults.
We got in and started walking.  It’s row after row of knives, sharpening, manufacturing supplies, and of course, more knives.  Frankly, after a while it all blends together.  Especially with sore feet.


The crowds at the Blade Show
The floor isn't packed yet, but it's beginning to get crowded.

Still, I picked up a few new knives.  My wife and I both got Covert Defenders from TWBrands Gear.  Covert Defenders are neck knives made from G10.  No metal.  They can be resharpened with an emery nail board (!) and one’s include in the pack.



neck knive from TWBrands at Blade Show
The knife is entirely made from G-10.  No metal.
You’re not going to shave fir sticks to start a fire or skin a deer out with it, but I sure wouldn’t want to get slashed with it.  I’m told you can get it sharp enough to slice a tomato.  It fits into my personal belief that I should be ready.
 

My wife bought several Cutco Knives.  Cutco, as you may know, owns Ka-Bar and makes quality knives.   Yes, Cutco is expensive but their quality makes the price reasonable.  I hope to write a little bit more about them later.


I like some of the new knives coming out from CRKT.  The Swindle has a lot going for it, but the crazy spring-loaded clip wants to hold the knife perpendicular to your body.  That’s kind of odd.  CRKT indicates the knife will distort the fabric and lay flat until you reach for it.  The hand pooches the pocket outward and the Swindle become very easy to grasp.  I don’t know.  Too many of CRKT theories sound good and work okay standing at the counter, but stoop down or sit striding a bike and the theory self-destructs.


One of my last stops today was Shadow Tech.  They make all their knives in Ohio and have some very interesting designs.  I picked up their newest.  It’s so new it doesn’t have a name yet or is on their website.  At least that’s what I was told.  (I did check their website and it’s called the QRT and you can find it there.)
 
QRT from shadow tech
This may rival Ka-Bar's TDI knife.

The knife is designed for police and military.   It has a lot of the functionality of a push dagger, but doesn’t torque in your hand.  The finger hole really locks the knife into your grip.  The blade is 1095 steel with a Rockwell C of around 58.  That’s a good value for knives that may be used a pry bars, scoops and God knows what else.


Tomorrow is another day.  I still have to meet with some people and I anticipate a few more purchases.  I still haven’t found the neck knife I want.  Everything in this hotel and show is very expensive, so I really have to think about what I’m purchasing.


More tomorrow I hope!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Post-Obama Gun and Knife Show



I expected the first gun show after the election to be a crazy place.  I’ve heard stories of people rushing in to buy ammo with two-wheel trucks following the first election of President Obama.

Heck, I’ve heard of people buying ammo for guns they don’t have.  I guess they anticipated either all ammo sales would dry up and they could find the right gun later or they were already planning to buy the appropriate gun.  Who knows?  Maybe they planned on using it as trading wampum following the zombie apocalypse.  

I didn’t see the frenzy this time.  Either people are still overstocked from the pre-election feeding frenzy or this election hasn’t alarmed them as much.

What I did see was a lot of was knife sales.  Used, new or collector, they were all there.  I seldom buy used knives.  For one, most people want back what they paid for it.  I can’t do that.  Many of my sales are impulse buys.  It’s a new knife; you haven’t seen it before and it beckons to you.  Unlike Ulysses, the songs of the Sirens prove too much and a purchase is made.  Well, it’s not quite that pleasant but impulse buys are a big part of my business.

Older knives almost always need to be marked down to sell.  It may surprise you, but I am in business to make a profit.  If I pay you top dollar, I can’t sell the knife.

Collectables are another story.  Many of them are too valuable, or rather too expensive to buy at “market price.”  I can’t buy your collectable at market price if I want to make some small but fair profit.   

collectable randall knife
The collectable Randall knife

You bought it for the pride of ownership, for the status, for the physical appeal and maybe for the investment.  I have to speculate the market will remain hard long enough for me to get my money out of it. 

I did run into one fellow who wanted to sell a knife, so he claimed, made by Kershaw.  It was some sort of “collectable” but he left the knife at home.  Instead he brought a crappy picture of the knife which he displayed on a smart phone screen.

Not interested – Pass!

I also had a person ask me why Benchmades are so expensive.  I’m not sure how to answer that.  The big question is why do things cost what they do?

That’s a cosmic question.  It deals with how we value things and the sliding scale we use to trade hours of our work for hours of someone else’s work.  Honestly, in the face of that question I’m often at a loss for words.  Can I explain our economic model to him?  I don’t fully understand it myself and I’m in it, like most of you. 

I could just ask him if he’s filled his gas tank recently.  I think I’ll ask next time how did you get here from the 1950s?  Please don’t park your time machine near my car, ‘cause it always resets my radio stations.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sellin' Steel


I’m at Canton McKinley Rifle and Pistol Club’s Regional for three days.  It is the biggest regional bullseye match in the country. (By the way, it's open to the public, you can visit if you want!)

Why?

Simple.  The National Bullseye Pistol Matches start at Camp Perry the week after CMRPC’s Regional and Leg Match ( What’s a Leg Match?)   It’s like a tune up before the main event.

They get the military with their armorers, police teams, civilian shooters to come and punch holes in paper targets.  It’s very cool, ‘cause anyone can participate and you could find yourself shooting next to a national champion or a housewife from Sour Plane, NY.

I’m not shooting.  Bullseye takes practice and deliberate concentration stretched out over hours and days and years of practice.  It can also be a bit of an equipment race.

There’s always a better gun or gunsmith.  Maybe a new and improved oil which will make the gun shoot better, maybe a magic bullet that will shoot head and shoulders better than the rest.  Of course you can reload and the chase for perfection starts over.

I used to shoot bullseye, but it has fallen out of favor with me.

So, I’m there selling knives.  

But it was so hot today….  I didn’t care if I sold anything if it meant I didn’t have to move.  The building is open on part of one side and we had fans moving air around, but when it’s 98 degrees, it’s just hot air.  I don't know how the shooters survived for all those hours on the sunny firing line.  I thought for sure we would have some heat stroke, but we didn't.

It’s interesting to talk to the professional knife fighters, trainers, and amateur collectors and users.  No matter what you read in the knife magazines, you’ll find a contrary view from a person in the same profession.

I had a nice conversation about knife length with a Pentagon employee.  A police officer from Newport News Virginia and I discussed autos or switchblades.  I sold a SOG Tomahawk to a Marine.  He’s not sure what he’ll use it for but he thinks it’s a good idea.  I wanted that one for myself so I guess I’ll be ordering one.  I met a Coast Guard Captain who sailed around South America helping those nations set up their own coast guards.  He’s stationed stateside now and he always has some interesting things to say.

I sold a few knives too.  The ceramic kitchen knives are hot.  CRKT’s M16s are always picked up and purchased.  

I still have two days to go.  I’ll see what happens.