Buck 112 History and Use?

Discussion in 'Buck Knives' started by Mitch Taldison, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Mitch Taldison

    Mitch Taldison

    Jan 26, 2019
    Guys what is the history on the Buck 112 Ranger? How has the design changed over the years and whatnot? I love my 110, but it is frankly very large as well as illegal to carry in my jurisdiction. Are they a good knife? Thanks all,

    bucksway likes this.
  2. DrRollinstein

    DrRollinstein Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 20, 2018
    Posting out of interest.
  3. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Every bit as good as a 110. The story goes that it was designed after the Navy banned folders with over 3” blades.

    If that story is true why call it the Ranger?

    Buy with confidence the 112’s are just as strong as the 110’s
    onionfan and jbmonkey like this.
  4. Badhammer


    Jun 8, 2009
    I heard there was an incident onboard the USS Ranger that precipitated the over 3” ban so Buck used that name. Either the ban on blades over 3” was gone when I served in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club or it was just not enforced on my duty stations as I never heard anything about it and carried a 110 for many years.
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  5. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Apparently they did enforce a law of this nature on 110Dave's ship as he has told me about it. Still, I don't think this was the reason Buck designed and marketed the model 112. It was a look a like, smaller offering than their successful 110. Perhaps directed toward a suburban carry environment customer. It has some good design features. Though it was never as popular as
    it's big brother and it normally carried a higher price tag. Still, it fits the niche and many prefer the 3" size blade rather than the
    larger 110. It was introduced in 1971. DM
    KarlG, eveled, Badhammer and 2 others like this.
  6. Makael

    Makael KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Oct 17, 2015
    I read the Navy story as well, just searched and found this.

    From the manufacturer:

    It all began with the 110 Folding Hunter. The 110 could be found on a lot of sailor's belts in the Navy. One day, a couple of soldiers got into a fight and the 110 Folding Hunter was used. As a result, the captain issued a decree that knives carried could not have a blade length of a certain size. The 110 ended up being too long, so Buck Knives took the initiative and created the Ranger, a smaller version of the 110. The 112 is another traditional favorite

    True or not I have no idea.
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  7. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    It could be true and it would have only effected that ship under that captain.
    eveled likes this.
  8. MT_Pokt

    MT_Pokt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2014
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  9. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    As for use ... I would guess "whatever you would use a 110 for"?
    I only have one 112, but normally carry a 110.
    Not sure why ... force of habit?
    The 112 is a fine knife, just as strong as the 110.
    bucksway, eveled and jbmonkey like this.
  10. kossetx

    kossetx Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2017
    I made my way aboard ship in January 1978 where I promptly bought a 112. I only remember the ships store carrying the 112 and a few 300 series. I didn't know at the time there was a rule against bigger knives. I just bought what they had.

    OT, I was with the USS Ranger when it ran over an oiler in the Inian Ocean in 1979...the collision left the Ranger looking like it was smiling. Who'd have thought the knife on my belt was named after it...Pete
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  11. Mitch Taldison

    Mitch Taldison

    Jan 26, 2019
    Thank you so much, yall.

    So has the design changed since ‘71?

    I seem to recall reading they used to be thinner overall? Not sure.
  12. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    I don’t think they were thinner but they were more squared off. Same as the 110’s
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  13. kossetx

    kossetx Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2017
    I have read, and found, that the early ones can have varying length blades. It it said the early blades were hand ground. I know I have some '72/73 models that vary slightly.
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  14. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    Yes, it is likely a true story and would have only affected that ship under that captain. Buck was smart to see the opportunity.
  15. Old Hunter

    Old Hunter Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    From my time as a corrections MP Officer at the USDB, and while training Sailors given additional duty to work at the Naval Consolidated Brig at the North Charleston Weapons Station, I can knowingly state that any Sailor capable of getting into trouble with a Buck 110 can get in just as much trouble with a Buck 112 (or 301)! You can also count on certain Airmen, Marines, and Soldiers to be right in there with the Sailors for creative methods of trouble making. The two Buck lock-backs are just as stout, just as sharp, and just as capable (for good or bad). OH
  16. kossetx

    kossetx Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2017
    Or a 309...:eek:
  17. bucksway

    bucksway Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 7, 2007
    First issue in 1972 no nail nick, Buck USA read point down,square frame with Black micarta and 2 small pins..It has always been a good seller for Buck and got its first LE edition in 1984 the 'Rattler' 300 in the run gold etch blade and Stag handles. You could get a true Custom shop 112 from the first Custom shop in 1980(??) To 1993 Ivory, both Mastodon and Elephant, Damascus blades too but its a big mystery how many were ever made and are extremely rare. In 2002 Buck had a blade replacement in BG42 program. Only 100 made and rare and sought after. There were much more LE's in the 110 compared to the 112 a dozen or so gold etch verses 100 plus in the 110. Upgraded steel 112's are very rare before 2012 or so. Same with Nickel silver frames and absolutely any drop point blade. We are in the 'Golden Age' of the 112 in the last 5 to 6 years with many choices in steels (even SK's D2!) Finger grooves came out in 1982-1983 and if you had a finger grooved nickel silver 112 ,even as late as 2007 it was a rare sought after Buck. In 2009(??) Buck opened the Custom shop to the 112 for about 6 weeks and sold apox 140 total. I think it was early 2014 Buck added the 112 to the Custom shop permanently but you have never been able to order a drop point blade to this day. But you really have a lot of choices now in different handle material and steels because of SK, Copper and Clad, and other companies that Buck let them order for exclusives. But the 110 has even more variations..
  18. ItsTooEarly


    Oct 10, 2007
    112 Rattler



  19. bucksway

    bucksway Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 7, 2007
    Mitch..at the top there's a thread on the history of the 112 by Joe Houser. It will have a lot of running changes in the 112 on wood,tang stamps, steels and especially how to date one..
    jbmonkey, Brhowser87 and ItsTooEarly like this.
  20. TAH

    TAH Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 3, 2001
    Yes it is. :thumbsup: :)
    jbmonkey likes this.

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