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Old 09-03-2018, 07:14 PM
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samg samg is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Matthews NC
Posts: 651
I pulled this thread up because of a great conversation on another board that I am no longer a part of.
Joe, you were addressing the model 17 Astro and discussing the replica aspect of the knife.
As this is my favorite Randall and own a couple early ones, one with and one without scales.
Specifically In the thread you stated:

"Very few if any really left the shop without scales. That is a myth that for some reason folks keep talking about. It more that impractical w/o scales. It is barely practical with scales, a very small handle. Anyone can take an early Astro and take the scales off. Wa la, an Astro w/o scales. Much to do about nothing."

I don't think that trivialising the scaleless Astro is in good keeping with the history of this model.
We know that a number of them went to his dealers as display models, and it was offered as the first available to the public, with the micarta as an option.
There is also speculation that Alan Shepard took his into space without scales.
Could someone take their scales off and claim scaleless? Of course. But what's interesting is the one that I purchased that belonged to Rhett that you tested for carbon steel at Blade a few years ago, has a perfectly cornered cavity. Many that I have seen with scales removed has an unfinished cavity, probably because it was fitted with scales. The only reason to give such attention and time to the cavity is if it was meant to be displayed. Mine was also made without the thong hole. So I feel that I for one have one that was made that way. Why wouldn't there be more, it was offered that way, and the paperweight was offered and advertised that way, as being carried by Alan Shepard without scales.
As to being practical, practicality doesn't have much to do with it, as it wasn't made with the intention of being used, but as a replica of the first knife in space.

As always, it's good discussing these knives. You may be right about the Astros, and no, I can't prove that mine was made and shipped without, but there are a couple of indicators that it was.
Thanks Joe

Last edited by samg; 09-09-2018 at 10:15 PM.
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