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Mamba's

 

 

 

The Mamba 

Specs:

Overall Length: 15"

Blade Length: 9"

Blade Steel: CS 51

Rc: 55-57

 

 

    The Mamba is the design that really is responsible for launching the entire BlackJack company. The model dates back to the 1970's when the first versions were made and sold from a gun and knife shop that was owned by former BlackJack CEO Mike Stewart. Most of those early knives were made by Mr. Stewart himself. The first example was made by Mike Stewart and a would be knife maker by the name of Thomas Vincent Miller. At the time Mr. Miller was interested in becoming a knife maker but for some unknown reason seems to have lost interest shortly his involvement with the first Mamba knife.

    According to information I have recently been sent by a fellow collector, there were approx. 3,000 - 4,000,  of the full size Mamba's made, beginning in 1987, and ending in 1993. There were approx. 50 of these done with a moly blade coating. I now believe that the green and black examples below, are moly coated not titanium coated, as I have previously stated. Recently former BlackJack CEO Mike Stewart responded to a question about the full size variant of the Mamba on knifeforums.com in the BlackJack forum. Mike had this to say.

    "CS-51 was a modified 5160. It had moly added for a bit more toughness. All of the vintage Mambas were all U.S. made , except for one batch of 300. That batch was made by Harumi Suzuki from AUS-8. We finished the blades in our Van Nuys shop and put on the handles. You can tell these from all the others. The blades were about .200' thick and were marked Japan. There were a number of runs of the Mamba.

    The first run the Kraton handles were pinned on and glued down. The pins were actually hollow s.s. tubing that was flared. The next run had s.s. screw sets that held the handles in place. The balance of the runs have harder kraton handles that were held on with two large black Allen screws and a brass threaded tube. These Allen sets are what we are going to use on the E.O. The first run was built in our Chatsworth , Ca. shop. 1987. The second run was built in our Canoga Park shop in 1988. The third run was built in our Van Nuys, Ca. shop in 1989. The next two runs were also Van Nuys, Ca. shop in 1990 & 91. The final run was in the Effingham Il. shop in 1993. I think that the total production did not exceed 2500 units. In retrospect, That is not very many units and may explain why we don't see many on the secondary market."
 

 

    It's seems fitting to me to start off with the first three Mambas that were ever made. These examples date back to the 1970's and recently were brought to my attention by the current owner. The bottom knife sporting the high polish is the very first Mamba ever made and was made by both Mike Stewart and Thomas Vincent Miller.  As you can see the design evolved with each knife.

photo courtesy of  Hiroaki Izutsu

photo courtesy of  Hiroaki Izutsu

 

 

    These next two pictures are of the smallest version. The overall length is approx. 11". The blade length is 5 9/16" and is 1/4" thick. The owner tells me he believes the finish is parkerized. He also states the handle is green canvas Micarta.

photo courtesy of  Hiroaki Izutsu

photo courtesy of  Hiroaki Izutsu

 

 

    The following two pictures are of the largest knife of the group. According to the present owner the overall length of the knife is approx. 12 1/2". The blade length is about 7 1/2" and is 1/4" thick. The owner believes the finish is Parkerized and the handle is material is green canvas Micarta.
 

photo courtesy of  Hiroaki Izutsu

photo courtesy of  Hiroaki Izutsu

 

 

    The next four pictures are of the very first Mamba knife. According to the present owner the overall length of the knife is approx. 11 1/4". The blade length is about 6". The blade thickness is 3/16". The tang on this particular example is tapered. The handle material is black linen Micarta. 
 

photo courtesy of  Hiroaki Izutsu

photo courtesy of  Hiroaki Izutsu

photo courtesy of  Hiroaki Izutsu

photo courtesy of  Hiroaki Izutsu

 

 

 

 

The knife below is the standard version of the Mamba.

photo courtesy of  A.P. Lombardo

 

Mamba   Prototype

photo courtesy of  A.P. Lombardo

 

Here is another interesting variation to look for. It seems a few full size Mamba's were done up with Cocobolo handles. Below are some views of one such example.

 

 

Mamba  movie knife.

photo courtesy of  A.P. Lombardo

 

 

This is a black moly coated version of the Mamba.

photo courtesy of  A.P. Lombardo

 

 

Green moly coated version. I believe that there are far fewer of these than the black coated version. 

photo courtesy of  A.P. Lombardo

 

 

This is the best looking example that I have ever seen of a Mamba. The knife was part of the Stewart collection. 

 

This is a very rare David Steel  blued single guard variation of a Mamba. This was the only one made.

 

Half of the knife is satin This is a prototype of a Mamba,  though it is not marked as such. It was marked with the "One of a Kind" stamp. This was the only made like this. finished and the other half is black giving it a very nice contrast. 

 

Here it is rude and crude. This is the tooling test prototype done on 6/10/1987. This is the original test prototype Mamba.

 

Here is the latest version of the Mamba which is made by the folks at Bark River Knife and Tool (aka BRKT) which is headed up by former BlackJack CEO Mike Stewart. BRKT calls this new version of the classic Mamba design the Evolution One. The example shown below is of a prototype which included three sets of handles and two sheaths. One sheath is a vintage BlackJack, black leather original, and one set of vintage Kraton handles. This version differs slightly from the original design. One change is the switch to A-2 tool steel. Another change is the addition of a serious of cross cuts to the back of the blade. This feature helps to insure ones thumb stays put when choking up on the knife blade for more precise cutting.

 

 



Mamba 7-L(L=Light)

Spec's:

Mamba 7-L

 Blade Length: 7"

Overall Length: 

Blade Steel: 440a

 

 

 There were 5 prototypes of the 7L with a bead blasted (most likely sand blasted) blades that did not have the logo etched on the blades. The regular production knives started out with a satin finish blade with a bead blasted finish being offered later. Those of course had the logo's etched on the blades. There were only about 1,200 total knives. Two versions to look for are the gold and black Titanium Nitride finished blades. There only about 50 of each of these.

 

 

 

Here is the Mamba 7-L Section from the 1993 factory brochure

photo courtesy of Tom Carey

 

 

 

Standard Mamba 7L 

photo courtesy of  A.P. Lombardo

 

 

 

 

Mamba 7L Prototype number 2

photo courtesy of  A.P. Lombardo

 

 

 

 

Here we have 2 views of a gold titanium nitride coated version of a Mamba 7L. These are quite rare with only approx. 50 of these having been made. In my view this is a key piece to have in any advanced BlackJack knife collection.

 

photo courtesy of  Tom Carey

 

photo courtesy of  Tom Carey

 

 

 

Below are two views of one of the very rare black titanium nitride coated Mamba 7L's. These are just as  rare as the gold examples with only approx. 50 of either of these having been made. This variation is another key piece to have in any advanced BlackJack knife collection.

photo courtesy of Tom Carey

photo courtesy of Tom Carey

 

 

 

 

This is a model 6 prototype. The blade is 5.75" and the overall length is 12". The knife was made 7/21/1992. 

 

 

 

Prototype 1 of the Model 8. This one is a bit bigger than the above piece. The blade length is 7.5" and the overall length is 13.5". It was made on 7/21/1992. 

 

 

 

 

Mini-Mamba

Specs:

Blade Steel: Aus8a

Blade Length: 4.5"

Overall Length: 9.5"

 

 

 

Here is the Mini-Mamba section from the 1993 factory brochure. These lower priced knives were produced in 1992. The knives were marked "Made in Japan" and "Finished in Effingham, Illinois". According to new information there were about 2000 of these made.

 

 

photo courtesy of Tom Carey

 

 

 

Here we have a prototype of the Mini - Mamba made by custom maker and designer Mr. Vaughn Neely. This knife is from the Lombardo collection.

MSRP: ? Current Value: $300.00

photo courtesy of  A.P. Lombardo

 

 

 

 

Here is the standard Mini-Mamba

MSRP: ? Current Value: $130.00

 

photo courtesy of  A.P. Lombardo

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Mamba Customs

 

 

The differences between these and the standard Mini's are the ATS34 steel blades,  Micarta or stag for the handles, 304 SS guards, and the knives were finished by top custom knife maker Koji Hara. New information suggests there were far more than 100 of  these made as was earlier stated here on the site. I myself have number 108 and have just found a collector in Europe that has three with the lowest one numbered 299 and the highest numbered 326.  My current guess is that no more than 500 of these were made. since production on these started in late 1989 and appears to have ended sometime in 1990. These were the first version of the Mini Mamba available. The lower priced Zytel models were introduced in 1990.

 

 

 

Micarta Mini-Mamba Custom 

 

photo courtesy of  A.P. Lombardo

 

 

 

    Here is another example of the custom mini in Micarta. This one is currently in my collection. If you choose to view the large version of the two pictures below both  will load slowly unless you have a high speed connection. The pictures are very large. I wanted to fully show the logo and the marking on the other side of the blade. The logo is normally very hard to see even with the knife is in your hand.

photo courtesy of Tom Carey

photo courtesy of Tom Carey

 

photo courtesy of Tom Carey

 

 

 

 

Here we have an example of a Stag Mini-Mamba Custom.  There are far fewer of these than the Micarta version. 

photo courtesy of Tom Carey

 

 

photo courtesy of Tom Carey