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Rough Rider produced a series of twelve knives called The Rifleman Series. I have finally acquired the whole series. Here is a picture of the complete set.
Left Side, Top to Bottom
Right Side, Top to Bottom
RR708 Large Stockman
RR710 Folding Hunter
RR711 Large Toothpick
RR713 Six Blade Stockman
The scales are brown gunstock bone. The shield on the knives is a Model 1873 Winchester rifle. That is the reason I wanted to collect this particular set. I have an 1873 Winchester rifle. It was manufactured in 1891.
More pictures and info about my ’73 Winchester are available here.
The main blade of each knife has The Rifleman Series blade etch.
The bolsters on the knives are ringed. Eleven of the twelve have one ring on each bolster. But the large toothpick has three rings on each bolster.
Each knife comes in a collector’s tin with a cardboard sleeve. The tin and the sleeve have a picture of an 1873 Winchester on them. Oddly the shield on the knives is the rifle version while the picture on the tin and sleeve is the carbine version. The carbine had a 20 inch round barrel with a forearm band a couple of inches from the end of the forearm. The rifle had a 24 inch octagon barrel with a forearm cap at the end.
The bottom of the tin has a paragraph about the rifle.
I acquired nine of the knives easily either on eBay or from dealers. But the trapper RR705, the sowbelly RR706, and the folding hunter RR710 proved much harder. Since the series is out of production the dealers were able to provide only those they already had in stock and these three were not available. Others of the series were available on eBay but not these three.
Then began an exhaustive search. I sent a messages to all members of the Rough Rider group inquiring if they had any of the missing knives. I emailed every seller on eBay that sold Rifleman series knives. I posted on Facebook. I searched eBay daily for the missing knives. I would go to Google and google them. Many iKC members were also participating in the search.
The search began to produce results. A fellow iKC member found one in his collection, the sowbelly. Fortunately for me he was gracious enough to part with it. Thank you Stanley May. Next I was able to locate the folding hunter on Gunbroker.
That left only one, the elusive trapper. Who would have thought that the most common knife pattern would be the hardest to find. After months of searching for the trapper with no luck, I was becoming pessimistic about ever finding one. Surely there was one out there somewhere!
Then one day during my daily searching of eBay one popped up! Halleluiah! Finally I was going to get my tapper! It was a seven day auction. I was determined that whatever it took I was going to buy it. But the knife disappeared from eBay. I contacted the seller. He said it was sold! Oh no! Will I ever find another!
Then from despair to elation! A fellow iKC member told me she had made the seller an offer he couldn’t refuse and had bought the knife and it was mine! She said she did not want to take a chance on me not getting it. A thousand thanks Ms. Data! The trapper now rests safely in my collection.
Here I will recount an incident that happened with the six blade stockman. I learned that you have to be very careful when opening all six blades at the same time. Josh Hill cut himself several times while showing knives on SMKW’s Knives Live TV. (Wish they still had it.) Anyway I did Josh one better, or maybe I should say two better. I cut myself with three blades of that knife at the same time!
Here is one last picture of my 1873 Winchester with all twelve of the Rifleman series knives.
Fantastic and good to see the set together at last!
Very Cool set and interesting stories behind the hunt. Congrats on finding them all. Very gracious of Miss Data to secure the final one for you.
Awesome to see the whole set together Charles. Nicely written!!!
Congratulations Charles! That was a fun time trying to find that last one! That the thing about being a collector, it can really get interesting finding those last few of anything.