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Ruger Tinkerer
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I like knives but I'm not a collector or even very knowledgeable about knives in general. I have a little assortment of common Buck, Case and Schrade knives that have more sentimental value than anything else - gifts from my parents and such.

But I have this knife I bought on a whim because I like the way it looked. 6" Bowie with an ordinary leather sheath. Now I know enough about the knife to know these were part of a set made by S&W back in 1973. In fact I have a NIB set that includes another knife just like this one along with a 4" Model 19-3. And I can tell you a lot about the 19-3 but not much about the knife.

Here's the knife and sheath:











I got curious about the knife itself so I made some inquiries over at the S&W forum and one member there was kind enough to share this information:

"Production plans called for the manufacture of 10,000 knives cased with a Smith & Wesson model 19. In addition, 10,000 individual knives in their own presentation case were offered. The Texas Ranger knife, identical to all the early Smith & Wesson knives, was produced from a forged 440 series stainless steel and handcrafted in a series of 47 different manufacturing operations. Each knife was serial numbered on the top of the blade beginning at serial number TR1 through TR20,000. The Texas Ranger Bowie knife was the only one marketed by Smith & Wesson in 1973. Plans were made, however, to announce Smith & Wessons entry into the knife business.

Supposedly S&W was just thinking of getting into the knife business and had been talking with Blackie Collins about designs when the Texas Ranger Commision came to them about the TR revolver. The TRC was also wanting to have a commemorative bowie knife made as well so one of Blackies' designs was modified to what the TRC wanted and it was packaged as a set.
As far as I know the early fixed blade knives were made in house but S&W wasn't able to make folding knives so the early ones were contracted out. The TR bowie was the first S&W knife as far as I know."

Based on the above the TR Bowie is the first knife made under the S&W brand and was actually made in house by S&W. Not too shabby for a bunch of gunsmiths. This one being serial number TR7532 would be the 7,532nd knife that rolled out of S&W. And that serial number probably means there is a 4" Model 19-3 serial number TR7532 that is missing it's knife......

Anyway - my little knife story. Just thought I would share.
 

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A very fine knife it is too.
 

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Ruger Tinkerer
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So you do! It looks quite fantastic. I like its shine. :cool:
A very fine knife it is too.
Yeah thanks :p I was having technical issues with my iPad and got the pictures posted and had to post it to save it. I've added my eloquent prose now to flesh out the full rich story of my knife....

"I have this knife. It is nice and shiny. I like my knife."
 

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Spellign Bee Champ
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Good looking!
 

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"440 series stainless steel" Which means it is made from 440A or 440B stainless steel. A steel that is mediocre at best. They market it as 440 series to fool people that it is 440C steel that is a better steel then 440A or 440B. Most of your knives made in china are of the 440 series. Any maker using 440C will have it stamped on the blade as 440C and not "440 Series".
 

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Ruger Tinkerer
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
"440 series stainless steel" Which means it is made from 440A or 440B stainless steel. A steel that is mediocre at best. They market it as 440 series to fool people that it is 440C steel that is a better steel then 440A or 440B. Most of your knives made in china are of the 440 series. Any maker using 440C will have it stamped on the blade as 440C and not "440 Series".
It actually has no markings on it to indicate the steel used - who knows what it is but I wouldn't expect them to use the finest materials. They made 20,000 of these knives in all and the ones that sold individually fetched all of $45 when new. Even today a nice example like this one is only worth between $100 and $150. I think it was meant to be a display piece and not an everyday working knife. I'm more interested in this because it was made by a firearms manufacturer and it was the first knife product they made, getting into the knife game as a source of product/revenue and realizing that the S&W brand had appeal beyond just guns. S&W branded knives are abundant today and I'm sure most if not all are made overseas.
 

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I couldn't find a knife exactly like yours. I saw some knives that had the same blade and handle but none of them have the emblem on the handle. Smith and Wesson has been in the knife business for a long time. Most S&W knives are inexpensive stainless steel knives. Most S&W knives have a lifetime warranty and are a good knife for the money.

I finally found a couple knives like yours. They are asking $250 for one and $450 for the other neither knife has received any bids. I do not see a S&W knife as collectible unless they are selling the matching gun and knife combo. That knife you have is good looking and should be a good worker.
 

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Yeah thanks :p I was having technical issues with my iPad and got the pictures posted and had to post it to save it. I've added my eloquent prose now to flesh out the full rich story of my knife....

"I have this knife. It is nice and shiny. I like my knife."
The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own heart, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth.

William Butler Yeats 1895
You should begin a journey to find the companion Model 19.
 

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Ruger Tinkerer
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
".....
We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time’s waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.

I had a thought for no one’s but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we’d grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon."

vs

"I have a knife. It is nice and shiny. I like my shiny knife."

I think Yeats is safe.
 

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OK Wave - I got 20 bucks US cash money in my pocket. I'll take it off your hands.

Ya know, since it's a broke set and all.
 

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Ruger Tinkerer
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK Wave - I got 20 bucks US cash money in my pocket. I'll take it off your hands.

Ya know, since it's a broke set and all.
OK - I'll make ya a deal. $20 plus $200 shipping and handling......

Maybe I'll wear this knife at deer camp this fall. Is there such a thing as a "BBQ knife"? Should we have a thread "Show Us Your BBQ Knife!"? If so my BBQ knife would look like an ordinary table knife. It goes with my BBQ fork and my BBQ spoon. In fact I think I would be more interested in a thread "Show Us Your BBQ!" as I do love me some good BBQ.

Mmmmm.....tasty!
 

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OK Wave - I got 20 bucks US cash money in my pocket. I'll take it off your hands.

Ya know, since it's a broke set and all.
If you can live without the emblem and serial number you can find an knife just like it on eBay for two $20 bills. I have my eyes on one that has been coated with some black stuff and has an aluminum handle. Will be my BBQ with Rambo knife.
 

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Ruger Tinkerer
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's a bit more info on the Texas Rangers Commemorative Model 19-3 and matching knife, courtesy of a S&W collector:





No attempt was made to deceive anybody about the steel used in the knife - marketing literature made plain it was 440A stainless steel. "Mediocre steel"? Perhaps. But I don't think S&W imagined a lot of these knives would see any real hard use. Still backed by an "Unconditional lifetime guaranty".
 
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