Old Randall Stag Handle Question

Discussion in 'The Randall Made Knives Collector's Forum' started by elmbow, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. elmbow

    elmbow

    87
    Feb 17, 2003
    I am a bit curious if anyone knows the history of stag handled Randall Knives. Has Randall always used sambar stag for their handles or was there ever a time they used antlers from any north american species? I am just wondering because on a lot photos of their older knives I have seen the stag looks different.
    Thanks
     
    Murindo likes this.
  2. tunefink

    tunefink

    80
    Sep 15, 2002
    Very early, pre - 1943, there were some whitetail handles. Not many, mostly pre war. During WW2 95%+ were stacked leather handles. After the war, stag became a more common option and that was Sambar Stag.
     
    eveled likes this.
  3. cut_n_run

    cut_n_run

    196
    Apr 29, 2005
    The 1939 to 1942 catalog described stag as “fancy stag.” The 1942 to 1945 catalog described it as “decorated stag.” The 1945 to 1948 catalog described it as “stag horn (imported from India).” Since then the catalog has described stag as “genuine imported stag.” Sambar stag from India is commonly believed to be the best stag, therefore when the word “imported” was first used in 1945 may have indicated a change from domestic to Sambar stag.
     
    eveled likes this.
  4. cut_n_run

    cut_n_run

    196
    Apr 29, 2005
    OOPS. Mitchell, I may have stepped on your answer--sorry!
    -Steve
     
  5. elmbow

    elmbow

    87
    Feb 17, 2003
    Thanks
     
  6. tunefink

    tunefink

    80
    Sep 15, 2002
    Steve, good stuff from the catalogs. No stepping at all. I hope you are well. Are you coming to Blade in August?
     
  7. cut_n_run

    cut_n_run

    196
    Apr 29, 2005
    I will be passing on this one. Sorry I won't be there to say hello.
    -Steve
     
  8. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    6DA05C31-F4FF-4608-A831-018C123FE791.jpeg

    So often the words Sambar Stag are thrown around and you wonder if it really is Sambar Stag. As noted the outside appearance varies.

    With Randall you can tell it really is Sambar stag. Notice how dense the centers are and how small the pith spot is. Its obvious why it has always been considered a premium handle material. Really good stuff.

    The top Knife is a Buck the bottom 3 are Randalls

    Great posts Mitchell and Steve.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
    pjsjr likes this.
  9. tongueriver

    tongueriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Yes indeed. Good point. The Hangas boys who enherited the Ruana business use elk antler, just as their Father and Grandfather did, but they only use thin slab inserts so they can get a few out of an antler. On the bowies which they make with full antler (not slab) handles they can only use antler from close to the skull. I made a pseudo puukko in a forging class with elk antler, and the pith has been a problem, but of course it is just a personal user knife so not critical.
     
    eveled likes this.
  10. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    @tongueriver In what way has the pith been a problem? If you have a picture of your knife I’d love to see it.
     
  11. tongueriver

    tongueriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    When dressing down the handle to the shape I wished to keep, it began to show in an undesirable way (at the butt and at a spot on top near the butt); the blade had already been installed. my knife001.jpg my knife002.jpg
     
    pjsjr and eveled like this.
  12. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Thanks for sharing. I like it a lot.
     
  13. elmbow

    elmbow

    87
    Feb 17, 2003
    I found a spike elk shed a few years ago that would have made a perfect beautiful knife handle, but the dog got to it..... Next spike I shoot I am going to keep the antlers for knife handles. Would Randall use a piece of elk antler for a custom knife if you sent it to them yourself? I would get it stabilized first.
     
  14. Melvin-Purvis

    Melvin-Purvis Not a Registered User Staff Member Super Mod

    Jan 14, 2001
    You call and ask 'em. That said, other than the earliest RMK's, I don't recall seeing it used.
     
    eveled likes this.

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