The Safari Classic
Blade Length: 5" Weight: ? oz.
Blade Thickness: 3/16" Sheath: Leather
Overall Length: 9 7/8"" Blade Steel: ?
The Standard handle materials were: Stag
Thus far I have very little information regarding this knife. It was made as an exclusive for Brigade Quartermasters. I have thus far seen two production figures ranging from 100 - 500. I personally believe it is much closer to 100. The only two handle materials I know of presently are stag. According To Jason Stewart the knives were made for BlackJack by either Koji Hara or G. Sakai. I am pretty sure they would have been made by Koji Hara. They might have been made from the same batch of blades. The knives were made in 1989. According to Jason Stewart the knife was based on a knife made by Bob Loveless when he was in Delaware. The knife was owned by writer Ken Warner. The original was made by a process I am not familiar with by the name of Magic Melt. Apparently this process gave the knife amazing strength but the process could not be duplicated by BlackJack. If anyone knows what Magic Melt is please email me.
photo courtesy of O. J. Faust
photo courtesy of O. J. Faust
It is time to set the record straight on the knife shown below. I had stated that this was another variation of the Safari Classic which frankly did not make sense. The fact is there are several differences, especially in the blade from the above knife, which really is a Safari Classic. So I contacted former BlackJack CEO Mike Stewart to get to the bottom of this. I also did some more research of my own, and this is what I learned. The knife was made by one of Japans largest knife producers. In fact they still show the example I have shown below on their web site. It appears that you can even buy them directly from this company. Though apparently not with the BlackJack knives markings. Apparently it was part of an entire line of knives which according to Mike Stewart were rip-offs of both his companies name and logo. The knives were sold in France by a company doing business under the name Ranger. It appears that they might still be doing this.
Sadly this practice is not uncommon and still happens to this day. In one case that I know of this is due to a clause in a contract that was signed by a deceased owner of a prominent knife company. This contract is with what many consider to be the most powerful maker of factory knives in Japan. From what I have been told by a fellow collector who has looked into this. The contract gives the manufacturer the right to market knives utilizing the knife companies name, logo etc.. outside of North America. Apparently the only one that can terminate the contract is the now deceased owner of the company. This creates quite a problem for collectors. This is because there are so many "Gray Market" knives floating around now especially on Ebay. At the time the contract was signed I believe this was quite common and that for the time this did not seem like such a bad deal. Now of course so much has changed with the internet becoming so popular it is quite easy to buy and sell items internationally. My friends it pays to have an Attorney well versed on international business law to look at contracts of this sort before one signs on the dotted line. I also suggest that you think about how changes in the future may effect the agreements you make now.
The example shown below was purchased in Japan by a serviceman who was stationed there in the early 1990's. Thank you for you providing the pictures Dale.