Sunday, October 28, 2007

Remington Woodsman 1985 Bullet Knife

This afternoon after getting errands done, I spent some time out back with my Remington Woodsman Bullet Knife. This is one of the limited edition Bullet Knives that Remington has been putting out since 1982. I bought it new in 1985 (the year of issue) and still have the original box and papers. I paid about $30 and after some googling, it looks like they're going for around $100 in 2007. The rest of my investments should do so well (not that I plan on ever selling it.)

When I bought it, the Remington's 440 stainless blades were butterknife dull. I suspect that not much attention was paid to putting a good edge on at the factory, since Remington figured that most of them would be safe queens for collectors. With a lot of elbow grease I put sharp edges on both blades. I touched them up a bit today before going out back.

The knife is 4.25" long closed, with one clip and one spey blade. The scales are made from Delrin. This is a good sized knife, pretty large for a folder but not too big to keep in a pocket. The spey blade is designed for castrating bulls (!) but is also very useful for skinning game. The clip is a good general purpose blade. This pattern with a clip and a spey hinged on opposite ends is sometimes called a "Moose" pattern.

One advantage of a two-bladed design like this is that you can keep one edge razor sharp in case you need a super sharp blade, and rely on the other edge for normal use. Case currently makes a similar knife with chrome vanadium steel, for those who prefer to not use a collector's item and/or who don't like stainless steel knives. I think I see one of them in my future. ;)

Combine a Woodsman or a Case Moose with a 4" or 5" fixed blade knife and a double-bitted hatchet, and you've got a "Nessmuk" combination. I'm nowhere near the woodsman that George Washington Sears was, but I'd feel very well equipped heading into the woods with the Woodsman or a Case Moose, my Victorinox SwissTool RS, Becker BK7, and my Valiant Golok. (OK, I cheated and added one more knife than Nessmuk took, and my fixed blade is longer than his. Sue me.)

The Woodsman has a good heft and feels nice in the hand. It sliced up some hardwood to make fuzz sticks, and shaved some fatwood (the small yellow curls in the center of the first picture) for tinder easily. The thin blades would handle slicing food very well.

After I had a fire going I relaxed with a bowl of Old Ironsides Latakia.

I bought the tobacco mainly because I thought the tin would make a good container for a personal survival kit. The Latakia was nice though, and I plan on going back to see if the shop has any more. The tin was vacumed sealed and to open it I had to pry open the side a little with the reamer on my Victorinox Farmer to let in some air. Neither I, my dad, nor my brother could unscrew it. I figure sealed like that, it should last damn near forever.

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