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Old 03-30-2014, 06:58 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 625
I may be just writing for myself.. but maybe someone is interested...

Ok, I admit, I thought this would be easy. All we had to do was trace the evolution of fluted coolie-caps and collars, and compare them to the evolution of brass tang nuts and we would have a neat story and some new information?. It seems no one has written much about the difference between brass tang nuts and the ubiquitous stainless domed acorn variety during the Vietnam era ('61-'73).

So far so good? below is a collage of coolie caps with knife dates that are reasonably definitive, (please note, 2nd and 3rd pictures could actually be 68-71 or so), but not necessarily accurate to a single year. However, this does seem to show a logical evolution. Early on, an exposed tang nut. Then about 1969-70 or so, seemingly a round threaded nut was (probably) brazed onto the coolie cap and the whole cap tightened. Finally, later increasing sophistication sees the the round nut moved internal and/or the whole tip of the coolie cap custom finished and tapered.

And guess what? when we check that seeming progression against the general brass tang nut progression, it more or less fits? Early, regular brass tang nuts, some beveled, some not, transitioned to the internal inverted tang nut in about 1971? On these inverted tang nut pommels, you can see a round ring similar to the round connection on the coolie cap of about the same time period. The fact that there is an odd ball in the mix (no. 6), seeming round something outside of the pommel where the nut would usually go, could just be a curved filed finish to blend with the unusual rounded end of that pommel.

OK, open and shut, a nice progression, lets go to print?. 1970 pre and post for coolie cap and brass tang nut ... HOLD IT?

The only Randall publication that discusses dates, coolie caps, brass tang nuts that I've found is Sheldon?s book. He writes about the re-introduction of brass tang nuts in 1953 used mostly on bowies. He says that several sizes and varieties were used from 1953 until 1970. According to Sheldon, the end of the use of all tang nuts came about in 1970-71 with adoption of the inverted tang nut system. Re: coolie caps, he states that coolie caps were offered first in 1959, but doesn't footnote (presumably the info is from a catalog). Unfortunately, while his information is welcome, it is sketchy and footnotes documenting source would be nice.

Ah? but look at the nice sensible progression above, it all makes sense ... flat brass nuts on coolie caps and brass pommels until about 1970, when nuts are moved internal in both coolie cap and brass pommel knives. All very good...

... until one looks at the photo of the 12-11 coolie-capped Confederate bowie on p. 77 of Sheldon?s book, that he dates to mid ?60s. Yep that date seems correct, it does have the type 1 stamp on the blade which stopped being used about 1966, and the other bits and pieces fit?and in fact it seems to have the 1950s thicker guard. Unfortunately for this thesis, it also looks as if the coolie cap might have a round outside connection. If so, that would require decoupling the date of adopting the "round brazed nut" connection of the coolie cap from the adoption of the inverted tang nut for brass pommels.

this would mean that for coolie caps, you would have two break points like this: 1959/___brass nuts___\1966/___round brazed connection___\1970/___inverted internal connection___ instead of one break point at about 1970 evident in the use of brass tang nuts on plain brass pommels.

BUT... maybe the nut on this knife is actually a ... hexagonal nut? The photo is small and it is hard to know for sure. Fortunately, the picture references the owner. Maybe we'll get lucky and find a definitive picture.

Always something gums up the works.. by the way... there is a single black spacer between the fluted collar and the handle of my 12-9... for whatever its worth.

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-31-2017 at 02:34 PM.
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