The 1-7 Page
Blade Length: 7" Weight: 9.7 oz.
Blade Thickness: .215" (7/32") Sheath: Leather
Overall Length: 12" Blade Steel: 0170-6, 1095, 52-100
The Standard handle materials were:
Classic (Leather), Dymar, Chestnut, Sambar Stag, and Micarta (Dymar was not listed in the 1995 catalog).
Here is a bit of back ground information on this model. According to Mike Stewart this was the companies most popular model and was introduced in 1991. As you will soon see a lot of things happened in 1991. At the beginning of 1991, the BlackJack company was still in Van Nuys CA. They moved to Effingham in October of that year. Apparently the model was introduced early enough in the year that approx. 2 small batches of knives were completed in Van Nuys CA. These knives are marked Van Nuys CA as opposed to Effingham IL. These early knives were 80% assembled by the old Western Cutlery company in Colorado before that company tanked and sold their brand name and tooling to the Camillus company in 1991. Mike Stewart told me that between 600-900 knives were completed before the move to IL. These knives did have 0170-6 for the blades. The company that actually made 0170-6 was the Sharon Steel company. This company failed in 1988 but Western like so many other companies that used this steel were able to stockpile a fair amount of the material. So despite the fact that the company failed in 1988, knives were still being made with the steel they produced in the early 1990's. When the supply of 0170-6 dried up pretty much everyone in the industry switched back to the old standby 1095. In truth 0170-6 is an improved version of 1095 and was specifically designed for cutlery use. BlackJack decided to switch to 52-100 as a replacement for 0170-6 and the material that replaced it 1095. According to Mike Stewart BlackJack ordered a special melt of 52-100 in 1992. Mike told me that at the time it took about a year to actually get an order such as this from a steel mill after the order was placed. This may mean that the order of 52-100 would not have arrived in Effingham till sometime in 1993. I am sure there would have been a lot of blade blanks in 1095 that would have still been on hand at that time. It would have also taken time to get new blade blanks produced from the 52-100 steel as the company did not make the blanks in house. This process was outsourced to another company. Because of all these factors my guess is that the bulk of the production for this model would have been done in 1095. There is really know sure way of being able to tell if a knife has 52-100 blade or 1095. If you have one of the Western made knives you can be sure that the knife has a 0170-6 blade. There were about 40,000 1-7's made in all. The top three sellers on this model were Leather (1), Stag (2), and Micarta (3). of versions ranked by popularity.
The early Micarta handled knives did not have a butt cap. It was not until about 1993 that this variation was added. In all there were approx. 5,000 - 6,000 made without the cap. The company still listed the Micarta handled version sans butt cap after 1993. The version with the butt cap was far more popular. Also there was a batch of 1-7 blades made up in ATS 34. There were about 400 or so made. These blanks were recently completed and sold by A.G. Russell.
The example shown below is an unmarked 1-7 that was made by Western for the BlackJack company. Note the differences between this knife and the early BlackJack made example.
photo courtesy of O. J. Faust
photo courtesy of O. J. Faust
Next up is this example of a in house made 1-7 which was made prior to 1994. The major differences between these earlier knives and the later knives are the lack of a thong hole in the butt cap, and a higher polish finish to the blade.
photo courtesy of A.P. Lombardo
The picture shown below is from the 1995 factory brochure, and shows the standard variations. Notice that the Micarta handled version sans butt cap is still shown as an option.
Below is an example of a standard Micarta handled 1-7. Note that this knife has a thong hole meaning it would have been made after 1993.
Here is a very nice example of a 1-7 in gorgeous red stag. These were really nice. Even the butt cap matches the contour of the stag. There is are fairly hard to come by. I believe there was less than 100 of these made.
photo courtesy of Steven Jones
Here we have two views of a crown stag handled example. I have seen these marked like the one below as being limited and some that were not. It's really hard to say just how many were made though it is marked 1 of 500.
Here is an example with my favorite Silverwood on the handle. Silverwood was not a standard option but was offered on several models. There was only one special order run of 50 knives in this color for this model.
Here we have a rare bird. The handle is Dymar. The company played with the Dymar stag material they had on hand for two reasons. First was to come up with an ivory appearing material, and secondly to use up the excess stag Dymar material. The Dymar stag option was a poor seller on all the models it was offered on, so this seemed like a good way to use up the material. However this was not very popular either, thus knives made in this manner are even rarer than the stag Dymar versions. At this time I am not sure just how many were made though I will say I have seen very few of these over the years. Thanks to our good friend Bill for providing the picture shown below.
This is one of the exclusives made for Grand Prairie Knives in Troy, IL. I don't remember now how many of these were made and no longer have the knife. They were numbered on the tang. The scan is so bad I can't tell just what number it was. I am pretty sure it was less than 20. My guess is about 12 were made. The leather stag leather combo is something I wish they would have offered as a standard item.
photo courtesy of Tom Carey
This is one wicked looking 1-7. This is a prototype and is marked as such. This is the only one that was made. I am pretty sure the handle was taken from a cheap repo 1918 trench knife. It's too bad they did not make a few more of these.
Below is an example of what I am calling a H.A.L.O. 1-7. Apparently this was an attempt to make the 1-7 more appealing to buyers seeking a military style knife. I have no idea how many were made. I don't believe these ever made it past the prototype stage. Note that it does have the A.G. Russell style BlackJack logo. This suggests to me that these were to by sold exclusively by the fine folks at A.G. Russell knives . Special thanks to Bill for sharing these pictures with your fellow collector's.
Bill was also kind enough to provide us with pictures of this special that was made for the Glock Shooting Sportsman's Foundation. Notice that the butt cap is brass. This something I have only seen a few times over the years on various models. The others that I have seen were made by BlackJack employee's for their own personal collections. I never was able to get one of them to sell me one made in that manner though I did try like hell. I don't know at this time how many of these were made. If anyone knows please contact me. For additional information about the GSSF you can check out their official web site at http://www.gssfonline.com/ . At the present time they seem to be revamping their site.
Here is a one of one example of a mini 1-7. The blade length is 4.5" and the overall length is 8.5".
The handle is Micarta.
This is a rare variation that was done for The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 1996. There were just one hundred and fifty of these made. This one is number one hundred and sixteen. These came with oak display cases and no sheaths. The blade is etched in 24 kt. gold with a scene of men on horse back.
Here is a interesting example of an upscale 1-7. This one features an ivory handle with color scrimshaw by Pike. At this time I don't have any info about this particular scrimshaw artist. Craig Sanders did most of the scrimshaw work for the company but there where other artists that were used. Pike is one such artist.
photo courtesy of O. J. Faust
photos courtesy of O. J. Faust
Below are a few examples of scrimshawed knives by scrimshaw artist Craig Sanders. He marks his work generally at the bottom of the work with the name SANZ. Additional examples of Craig's fine work can be seen on his web site www.craigsandersart.com . Collecting these knives is problematic since it is rather easy to take an original knife and have scrimshaw added to it. I know there are many such examples floating around. What I can tell you is that more TrailGuide's had scrimshaw added to them than any other model. If you have a scrimed knife or are considering buying one and want to know if it is original or not feel free to contact me and I will try and help you out. These were sold through the BlackJack factory outlet store for the most part. Below are two examples of Craig's fine work. The one on the left is called Leisure Lynx, the one on the right is called Standing Roar. Both are currently in the collection Of Steve Jones.
photos courtesy of Steven Jones