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Old 02-09-2019, 01:12 PM
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samg samg is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Matthews NC
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The Astro remained the same in the early to mid 1960's, being fitted with Brown Micarta scales, and I have read, Tenite, though I haven't seen one of those yet.

The Brown Micarta was depleted as a handle material in approx 1965, then we begin to see Black Micarta.
In approx 1966 the sheath changes with small throat rivets replacing the larger harness rivets. Note the hilt is still long and thin in the book photo illustrated below, and the curved top clip remains, the handle material is black Micarta. This Astro is probably closer to 1966-1967 production. The actual Astro in the photo is different. Note the same period sheath, but shorter thicker hilt. Same round butt. A bit later Astro than the book photo.









Another late 60's early 70's with an angled, straight top clip. Notice the thicker, shorter hilt by this time. It still has a rounded handle end. Riveted sheath.







After 1972 when sheath rivets stopped being used. Astro still has rounded handle end.







Also in the 22nd printing of the Randall catalog in 1972 we see the change to Stainless steel stock.

*It has been claimed that Randall made a number of unmarked stainless steel Astro blades before this time.







Here is a 1980 Astro. Note the blunt/square handle end. It appears the top clip has rounded a bit again, loosing the sharper angle from the spine onto the clip that we see from the late 60's to early 70's. Also the "S" stainless steel stamp indicating the change from carbon to stainless in 1971-1972 timeframe.







This Astro is as it appeared in the 1985 27th printing Randall catalog. Now it has the more pronounced top clip and more squared handle end that we see today.







Today's Astro. Note the pronounced, raised front edge of top clip on the spine. This feature has been present since approx 1981-83







The Randall catalog underwent a major format change in the 28th printing catalog of 1988 and we no longer see the Astro in the "World Famous Knives" section of the catalog that it occupied since 1961.







In all of the Randall catalogs from the 16th printing of 1963, thru the 27th printing in 1985, in the description of the model 17 Astro it states "we offer this model to collectors who wish to have a replica of the astronauts knife"







In the next catalog, the 28th printing of 1988, the replica language, as well as the "World Famous Knives" section was phased out, ending a 27 year run of special mention of the model 17 Astro.




Last edited by samg; 02-16-2019 at 12:20 PM.
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