Americans have had a long love affair with the knuckle knife. The basic design has the grip with individual finger grooves or an open bow for knuckle protection and for striking blows. The addition of the knuckle bow is all that really differentiates the knife from any other knife, but it looks menacing. During the Vietnam War a new knuckle knife appeared on the market—it was a new design in shape and form but held the standards of a comfortable grip and individual finger grooves. The knife was aimed at the private purchase market; it was low in cost and had the look that so many young men were looking for. The new knife was the brainchild of Dr. Kevin L. Parsons, now much better known for his ASP collapsing batons.

Blade Background

Mr. Parsons obtained his blades from the Indian Ridge Traders catalog in two styles. The first was a stiletto-type based on the popular British Fairbairn/Sykes fighting knife. The second type was a polished clip-point, 6 inches in length. Both of the blades came from Sheffield, England. The stiletto blade is distinct in that the central ridge is not centered at the tip—whether for strength or as a mistake, I do not know, but all I have examined were made from this pattern of stiletto blade. It is also distinct in the bluing coloration being varied, the color changes depending on the angle from which the blade is viewed. The colors range from the deep dark bluing to a light plum color. This is most likely from a temperature variation in the bluing chemicals and process. The clip-point blade is a curious choice in that it is a high-polish and plated blade. It is easy to maintain in this state but highly reflective as well. It is a deeply arched false edge in the classic clip point design, actually a thing of beauty in the design perspective.

One thousand of the knives were contracted for manufacture—750 of the stiletto version and 250 of the clip-point models. The grips were sand cast aluminum with a swell center hand-filling design. The design incorporated a full double guard at the ricasso with a flattened pommel.

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Americans have had a long love affair with the knuckle knife. The basic design…