The earliest stainless steel knife of this type to this date that I have run across, and it is extremely rare.
We have an outstanding example of a mid 1950's 7" model one here. It has everything including condition.
What sets this example apart is that it is stainless steel - unstmamped of course. The next earliest one I have seen was documented from 1958. It currently resides in a friends collection. Stainless steel was used very sparingly from prior to the beginning of WWII until the late 50's with the model 16, and later in the mid 1960's with the increased activity in Viet Nam. Bo preferred carbon steel as a general rule, at least early on.
I have looked for early stainless steel for years and have not found examples except for this one and the other one mentioned. I would think there may be others, but have yet to see one.
The knife is in near mint condition. It is unused with the only thing the keeps it from being 100% is a very slight bit of interaction between the spacers and the Duralumin butt that shows a slight bit of oxidation were they butt up to each other. This is relatively common for a 65 plus year old knife.
The nickel silver hilt is oversized at around 3 full inches!!
The leather handle is unused and is slightly darkened with age. Topped off with a Duralumin butt and acorn nut. Nice option of a thong located at the top of the butt as it should be.
The sheath is stellar with a lighter color showing no carry or use. Still retaining the handle keeper of the earlier 50's, it also has the ubiquitous "corn rows" on the rear of the sheath.
This is by far one of the rarest knives from the 1950's of any model. Randall just did not make them.
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