"A Copse. Evening"

"A Copse. Evening"
A. Y. Jackson, 1918
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Mall Ninja World Evolves...

Off topic but how about a quick foray into sociology.
"Sighted, Mall Ninjas in the wild".
Alternate title: "Why I Don't Shoot Guns And Otherwise Travis Bickell Out When There Are Other, Possibly Critical Folks About - Maybe With Cameras".
My views on our fellow travelers, the Mall Ninjas has been evolving but that's not what the title is about. I'll get to that.

The fact is; we're all MN (An acronym. I'm assimilating). All us weapons-obsessed geeks are just spots on the continuum. At one end is the pimply fourteen-year-old who really wants to be like those guys in that link. The other end is someone like Colonel Jeff Cooper and there are a million ogres and disgruntled muscular types in between.
In a world lacking this impulse I wouldn't sell a thing. I'd be back to making rocking chairs so, in my book, the kids are alright.
Their/our numbers are swelling though and therein lies a problem.
I recently had occasion to purchase a 1918 Mk1 trench knife - full-on MN special - in order to use the casting to mount a proper blade. like I did for this customer.
I ordered from BUDK, respected supplier to the Mall Ninja trade.
My order was processed promptly and the knife arrived well-packed and in all respects, as advertised.

But the casting's not bronze anymore. What's more, the shape of the guard isn't right. See McNary's patent drawing. But the color was very convincing.
I suspect that the demand for these 420 stainless beauties is such that we simply can no longer sustain the use of a copper alloy.
More's the pity but we do need to keep the entry-level units affordable for that fourteen-year-old we mentioned earlier and, for twenty-bucks how bad can you be hosed?
It just saddens me that this source for ready-made handles has dried up. Alas.
However, I was still left with a blade needing a handle - already ordered and paid-for - and naught but the white-metal MN special to handle it with.
In the case of the earlier Mk1 that I'd made, before I sent off, I cast a pattern of its handle. That morphed into the handle pattern for my McNary Bolo Prototype.
In this case, I used, and will continue to use, this hapless chunk of metal as a pattern for my very own Mk1.
Customer's finished knife below.
I had to jump through some hoops to make the pommel nut work but...

I'm going to take some creative liberties since most of this knife's meaningful service took place decades after its inception.
My version will be a theater-altered, Au Lion knife. The Au Lion company in France produced the first McNary knives issued. The later models were made in the US with the manufacturer's names cast into the handle. The MN casting, with just the "US 1918" matches that of the Au Lion.
The guard has had its "ears" cut off at the customer's request and subsequent castings will be the same. I'm even contemplating cutting the ears off the bolo. They're a pain in the butt.
Ah well. Life in the modren world.

3 comments:

Big W said...

Nice use of an inexpensive knife for this project. I'm curious as to what type of metal they used since its advertised as "solid brass" . W

Andy said...

Dan, I might still have an older "replica" that might be real brass if it'll help.(older being 30 years)

What's the difference between a "mall Ninja" and a gunblogger?

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