Randall 14

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recon503

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When the subject of edged weapons comes up, sooner or later, the name of the iconic florida knifemaker "Randall" will surely surface.
I got mine in the winter of 74 from a grizzled old SF E7 , 5th sfg., we were all thrown together at a small cluster of quansets at the south end of Bolio Lake, Ft Greely Alaska, the Armys Arctic test center.
When I bought it, as a wide eyed PFC, I had no idea about the Randall story. other than seeing those cool Green berets "sporting" them, I had no clue other than realizing it had to be special.
Seargent Schultz sold these knives as a side hustle, dont know how much he profited on each sale, but I vaguely remember paying about 100$ for it . The interesting thing was, he would put on a sales demonstration where he would hammer the knife tip through a silver dollar and then proceed to shave a swath of hair from his arm.. lol SOLD.
Later on in years after hearing stories about the Attack knifes, military service , I came to appreciate its place in history.
Im no expert , but in my opinion, its one of the best fix blade knifes made.... comments, opinions?
 

Kevin L

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When the subject of edged weapons comes up, sooner or later, the name of the iconic florida knifemaker "Randall" will surely surface.
I got mine in the winter of 74 from a grizzled old SF E7 , 5th sfg., we were all thrown together at a small cluster of quansets at the south end of Bolio Lake, Ft Greely Alaska, the Armys Arctic test center.
When I bought it, as a wide eyed PFC, I had no idea about the Randall story. other than seeing those cool Green berets "sporting" them, I had no clue other than realizing it had to be special.
Seargent Schultz sold these knives as a side hustle, dont know how much he profited on each sale, but I vaguely remember paying about 100$ for it . The interesting thing was, he would put on a sales demonstration where he would hammer the knife tip through a silver dollar and then proceed to shave a swath of hair from his arm.. lol SOLD.
Later on in years after hearing stories about the Attack knifes, military service , I came to appreciate its place in history.
Im no expert , but in my opinion, its one of the best fix blade knifes made.... comments, opinions?
I've always wanted to own a Randall knife, but I haven't been able to justify the expense.

I tnd to be a very pragmatic, practical person, and I understand the importance of a good knife.

So . . . I've asked myself if it's better to have one Randall knife, or 7 ka-bar knives . . . which would still be cheaper than one Randall knife. I have a Ka bar (the brown leather model) that I've used and abused for 20 years now, and--although looking a little battered--is still perfectly functional and going strong.

I also have a cheap dive knife that I've used incessantly over the past 25 years, and it's still in great shape.

So, I would choose multiple ka bars over one Randall, or one Ka-bar with a .22 rifle, cleaning kit, 'scope, and lots of ammo over one Randall (as I saw Randall knives in the $500.00 range).

I'm not saying a Randall knife isn't worth it . . . just that there are other survival issues that should be considered for the expense.

See below:

7-g13775.jpg

img-ka-bar-combat-knife-01.jpg

109260.jpg

45054253-05b2-44f9-a8fc-aed644124a92.jpeg


The rifle is $177.00, the Ka bar is $69.00, the pack of 500 .22 LR rounds is $50.00, and the Sawyer water filter (supposedly good for 100,000 gallons, if used carefully) is about $37.00.

So, for less than $330.00 you can have a bunch of stuff that will go a much longer way toward insuring your survival than a $500.00 knife . . . and a ka-bar--if not as good as a Randall--was more than good enough for the Marines who were fighting the Japanese across the tropical and maritime environment of the Pacific.

Many soldiers from military families are using ka-bars now that were passed down from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and so forth.

Just make sure you research carefully how you choose to spend your prepping budget is all I'm saying.
 

tmttactical

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Kevin you make an excellent point.You can buy a $10,000 precision rifle that shoots 1/4 inch MOA or you can buy a $600 rifle that shoots 1/2 inch MOA. How many of us have the skills to be able to make use of the slight difference.
 

Psalm7

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There's a story about Navy Seals operating in Lebanon in the 80's . One of them wearing a Randal Bowie . His big knife stopped a AK round and probably saved His life . He had the idea that He could make alot of money buy advertising for Randal and sent Them the story . His Team got to laugh at Him when He was turned down for a advertising job .
 

DrHenley

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There's a story about Navy Seals operating in Lebanon in the 80's . One of them wearing a Randal Bowie . His big knife stopped a AK round and probably saved His life . He had the idea that He could make alot of money buy advertising for Randal and sent Them the story . His Team got to laugh at Him when He was turned down for a advertising job .
I believe the Randal fighting knives are 1/4" thick right? Tough 1/4" knife steel, much tougher than AR550 armor plate...yeah, that would do it!

Jim Bowie's later knives were 1/4" thick.
 

Kevin L

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There's a story about Navy Seals operating in Lebanon in the 80's . One of them wearing a Randal Bowie . His big knife stopped a AK round and probably saved His life . He had the idea that He could make alot of money buy advertising for Randal and sent Them the story . His Team got to laugh at Him when He was turned down for a advertising job .
A knife stopping a .30 caliber AK-47 round?

This SeAL may have wanted to get into advertising . . . but an event like this might make me get religion in a big way.
 

Roninsensei

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Bo Randall was a major influence on the knife industry. His designs are still in use today. Makers like Bark River make some wonderful reproductions for a reasonable price. However, I disagree with the idea of most military knives are fighting knifes. As a knife fighter and instructor I agree they can be used for fighting but, they rarely are designed for fighting. They are a general purpose knife. They are designed to try to fill every survival task a military man may encounter.
 
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Kevin L

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Bo Randall was a major influence on the knife industry. His designs are still in use today. Makers like Bark River make some wonderful reproductions for a reasonable price. However, I disagree with the idea of most military knives are fighting knifes. As a knife fight and instructor I agree they can be used for fighting but, they rarely are designed for fighting. They are a general purpose knife. They are designed to try to fill every survival task a military man may encounter.
Agree 100%. Good post.
 

Psalm7

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A knife stopping a .30 caliber AK-47 round?

This SeAL may have wanted to get into advertising . . . but an event like this might make me get religion in a big way.
Quality steel .
AK 47and 74 are not known for their penetrating ability .
That being said I still wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of them .
 

Roninsensei

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I personally, as a knife lover, think some of the Randall designs are cool, others are too purpose oriented for my liking but his knives have stood the test of time.

When it comes to fighting knives I find a knife designed for that, is what I want. I’m a multi carry type guy. I usually have a knife for general tasks and one only for fighting. I have found the tactical or American style Tanto to be one of my favorites.
The Coldsteel Warcraft tanto is a perfect fighting knife. In the 5.5 or 7 inch model it is crazy how perfect the balance is. It’s also a damn sharp knife out of the box. Another is the GI Tanto. For 25.00 you can’t beat it.

Next is a kukri or recurve style blade. The kukri is historically a proven killer. Versions of it going back to the Spartans (kopis). The recurve design makes the slice deeper as you pull away. It’s vicious. Personally I carry a Coldsteel xl Vaquero almost everywhere. It’s got a great stabbing point and is absolutely designed for the kill. something similar is a Kriss style knife. They are rare but are a worthy mention in the recurve category. Coldsteel makes an amazing and affordable kriss pocket knife and the have folding kukris in the Raja II and spartan models.

One of my least favorite knifes but also a proven killer is the dagger. In almost all of its forms it probably has a higher kill count than most blades. It is deadly at every angle and hence my dislike of it. The double blade means it can get you as well. There’s no real safe side and it is purpose made for stabbing which means more contact than I wish with whom ever I may be in conflict with. I’ve practiced for years with the Fairbairn Sykes method and knives and have found myself cut all too often by my own knife. Some of this is operator error I’m sure but the fact that it happened commonly in the school I trained in was enough evidence to give up on it.

There are lots of opinions on a good fighting knife. Most of those opinions are formed on little to no real word knife experience or are prison formed. Prisons don’t do knife fights they do knife ambushes. They don’t square of against another and go at it like a Michael Jackson video. In my quest to learn about the fighting knife I met some crazy old Vietnam vets who took me down to a warehouse in Mexico where you could take part in payed knife fights. There were 1 cut, 2 cut, 3 cut and full fledged anything goes matches. You see the reality of a knife vs knife scenario real fast there. You abandon all your ideas about the realities of a knife match. I was talked into a 1cut match at 22 years old against a 60 year old Mexican man who thank the Lord giggled and cut me so damn fast I could barely blink. I happily took the small slash to my hand and called it a day. I learned a lot from that place and watched as often as I could. I talked to the old vets both Mexican, Filipino, and American. They were more than happy to share their experience and I was more than happy to learn. That 60 year old man was one of the fastest people I ever met, to this day!

Ok now honorable mention is the Bowie knife. Still in my opinion a general task knife but lots of mods were later made to make it a more viable killer. Jim Bowie was a tough SOB and in my opinion that led to the popularization of said knife. I think if the guys name was Maynard Cockwald and he died sadly at the Sandbar fight it would be a less pushed fighting knife. Lol
 

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Ok now honorable mention is the Bowie knife. Still in my opinion a general task knife but lots of mods were later made to make it a more viable killer. Jim Bowie was a tough SOB and in my opinion that led to the popularization of said knife. I think if the guys name was Maynard Cockwald and he died sadly at the Sandbar fight it would be a less pushed fighting knife. Lol
He probably used a straight bladed kitchen knife at the sandbar fight with no guard.
Other than the lack of a guard, what do you think of the James Black design? (meant to be held backwards)
 

Roninsensei

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I think it’s a beautiful design and reverse grip is a cool ambush technique. Stabbing is a bad idea. Without a guard you could hit bone and slide onto the blade. I’m not a big coffin handle lover though however that one is beautiful.
 

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I made a more conventional Bowie for a friend and put an ebony coffin handle on it. It's the only one I've ever done. I was very surprised at how comfortable it was and how much control it afforded. My knuckles wrapped neatly around the square corners. It fit my friend's hand too.
 

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D2. Since D2 is not completely stainless, I left the oxidation on it from heat treating, which for all intents and purposes is like color case hardening. I figured that would help slow down corrosion. This is the only time the oxidation looked that good. Most times it is pretty fugly.
 

recon503

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Ronin, totally agree with you. Many knives are singular in purpose and arent practical in many respects.
The Randall 14 while iconic may not fit the bill as an ideal fighting knife, as I mentioned in my story, it seemed to me it was part of the SF mystique, and when I aquired mine I knew nothing at all about its past, good or bad. I do however appreciate the way it has increased in value, whether for valid reasons or not.
Im lucky to have grown up near Gladstone Mi. and Marbles knives are fairly common in the region, I feel the marble skinner is a much more practical knife but that perhaps is another story.
Thanks for your observations
 

Roninsensei

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D2 that looks great Dr. The oxidizing gives its and old timey feel.
 

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