Rambo, John J.

Discussion in 'Outings, Trips & Expeditions' started by Sandcut, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    OK. Like many of us here, I have been a dyed-in-the-wool fan of both John Rambo and his knife since I first watched him on the big screen back in my teens. And let me tell you, that hook got set DEEP. I always wanted a nice hollow handled handled knife, especially one like the Lile knives in the movie, but being not overly affluent they were out of reach. This, however, I rectified back in December when I finally decided to pull the plug and buy one of the officially licensed copies. After reading through the internet, I realize that there are limitations to this knife, but I wanted to see for myself firsthand. As such, the following thread is intended to be 1. An unboxing, 2. A running trip report for when I take it into the field to test it, and 3. A venue in which all of you other owners of Rambo knives can post your exploits while out and about with your knives. So here goes.

    The first thing you notice after you get over the WOW factor when you unbox the knife is that, although it isn’t a “bad” knife, you can get much more knife for much less money. You are definitely spending money on the licensing. And to be honest, I’m OK with that in this case.

    IMG_20171227_094052.jpg


    It comes with a fairly decent leather sheath with an inexpensive sharpening stone that does actually work.

    IMG_20171227_094108.jpg


    The finish is pretty nice. The current manufacturer makes the model that is exactly like the movie knife, complete with the correct number of saw teeth. Earlier models had fewer teeth.

    IMG_20171227_094130.jpg

    IMG_20171227_094143.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  2. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    It comes with the obligatory inexpensive compass in the handle cap. There is also a small plastic tube of survival items that is provided as well. For the price, it’s the least that they could do.

    IMG_20171227_094230.jpg


    The handle is aluminum and is attached in two ways. A metal plug is epoxied into the handle and holds the rear of the blade and acts as a filler in the tube of the handle. Then the plug and blade are both drilled and pinned through the handle to fasten it in place. We’ll see how solid it is during testing.

    There is a rubber O-ring on the butt of the handle next to the threaded cap, but the handle is not waterproof as you can see by the amount of light shining through the cross guard. You can see how deeply set the blade is into the handle.

    IMG_20171227_094642.jpg

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    The blade is softer than I had hoped for. If I recall correctly, the blade is 420 stainless, similar to what you find in inexpensive dive knives. But, it’s meant to be a novelty and not a real working knife. Which is a darn shame because I would be more than happy to spend a few more bucks and get something like a 420 HC like in Buck knives or even a 440C. This could really be a nice user for not much more money. But, the blade was ground nicely and evenly and with only a few minutes on a diamond stone, took a fairly good edge. We’ll see how long it holds it.

    IMG_20171227_100503.jpg


    That’s it for the unboxing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  3. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    For my first outing, me and the Wonderdog took a stroll to check out a new area that I wanted to scout out for hunting. We didn’t have all day, so I didn’t get to play with the knife a whole lot, but it was outside and there was no one around but me, the dog, some birds and the nearby creek. It was a very welcome outing.

    Since Rambo uses his knife mostly as a survival knife, I figure that I will subject it to some of the tasks that he may have found himself needing to perform. Today’s task was to construct a spring pole snare across a game trail as a sort of passive game getting.

    Despite the soft 420 steel, the knife was plenty sharp enough to slice easily through the saplings that I used for the trap. Look how clean that cut is! One quick wrist flick and the sapling parted effortlessly.

    IMG_20180120_131711.jpg


    Stanley thought that he’d help me gather materials.

    IMG_20180120_133847.jpg


    A quick look at my trap trigger. Despite this being a pretty big knife, carving a small trigger like this wasn't horrible. The 420 steel made nice cuts.

    IMG_20180120_134115.jpg


    I recently acquired a big roll of some tarred bank line, so I thought that it would be sufficiently strong to hold an animal up to deer size. While there are many fancy knots that can be used in bushcraft, I’m keeping it simple with a basic slip knot with a small overhand knot as a stopper knot on the tip of the running end for the snare. Quick and effective.

    IMG_20180120_134634.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  4. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    I outsmarted myself and cut the bank line too short to be tied effectively to the sapling that was providing the spring, so I needed to use a knot that was strong, but could be tied easily in the cold temps. So, I chose a simple sheet bend.

    IMG_20180120_135852.jpg


    And to tie off the snare to the spring pole, your basic clove hitch. Again, quick and effective. Stick to your basics.

    IMG_20180120_140246.jpg

    I outsmarted myself a second time when installing the bottom peg for the trigger. The pommel end of the knife proved to be more than adequate to pound with, however, I neglected to take into consideration that the ground was frozen. Oops! A couple of factors here to consider. One was that I could just pound harder, which ran the risk of driving the peg into the meat of my hand if I missed. Not a good solution. The second oversight was that I had already carved the notch for the trigger. Had the ground not been frozen, this wouldn’t have been an issue. However, repeated pounding was causing the top of the notch to collapse, which would ultimately cause that half of the trigger to break, causing more work.

    IMG_20180120_135712.jpg

    So, I overcame the obstacle by driving the knife into the frozen soil to start a hole for the weakened trigger peg. (And yes, I know some of you are gnashing your teeth and saying, “YOU DID WHAT???” The blade held up nicely.

    IMG_20180120_140515.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  5. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Here's the finished trigger under tension.

    IMG_20180120_142101.jpg

    IMG_20180120_142110.jpg


    About this time, our daylight is beginning to wane, so we had to get moving. I did run into some difficulty trying to figure out how to hold open the noose portion of the snare. I attempted to fashion a clothes pin-ish sliver of beechwood to hold it open, but that didn’t work so well. In the end, we ran out of time for me to be able to adequately position and set the snare as if I was really using it. Another take away is that bank line may not be the best snare material for use in this situation. I’ll have to play around with this more some other time.

    IMG_20180120_142053.jpg

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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  6. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    But before we left, Stanley did volunteer (really, he did) to test out the snare to see if it would function and it did.

    IMG_20180120_142300.jpg


    And finally, here’s the beautiful creek that we got to hang out next to while playing. I’m glad that I didn’t have to evade a posse by immersing myself into it. It was pretty darn cold on this day.

    IMG_20180120_142903.jpg


    Thanks for tagging along. I'll update as I have time.

    Let's see what you'se folks can do with your Rambo knives!


    ETA: In case anyone is wondering, I did remove any traces of the snare before we left as they wouldn't be a lawful means of taking game. That's my disclaimer for the thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  7. central joe

    central joe Wait For Me!! Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Looks like you had a good time young fellar. joe
     
  8. rustystove2017

    rustystove2017 Guide

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    great post- that Stanley is one awesome dog / adventure buddy!
     
  9. GGTBod

    GGTBod Supporter Supporter

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    Like a pair o kids playing oot, looked like a lot of fun thanks for letting us tag along
     
  10. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Nice outing with the new blade. Thanks for the pics.

    I still remember checking into one of the originals when the movie came out. $486. It doubled in a year.
     
  11. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    I luvs it! :D
     
  12. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Lifetime Supporter Supporter

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    Heck yes. Nostalgia for sure. Love it
     
  13. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

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    Very cool!

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  14. wrath0r

    wrath0r Guide

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    Somehow, looking at Stanley's face, I actually really believe he snared himself. That face just screams, "Oops!"
     
  15. scottmm2012

    scottmm2012 1 Peter 1:20 Supporter Bushclass I

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    Who's this John J. Rambo you speak of? It's like someone invites me to a party and I didn't show up.
     
  16. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    I'm still wondering why all the snaring stuff.
    Didn't John J jump onto the back of a feral pig with his?
    Now that's a real test :D
     
  17. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Sorry, but we're fresh out of wild hogs in the Poconos (thankfully!). And Stanley was tolerant enough to sit still for the snare. I think he would have resisted being skewered.
     
  18. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

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    Oh yeah! Awesome thread. I'll be contributing to it shortly.

    IMG_20180415_212829.jpg
     
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  19. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I think you need a big knife to contribute to this thread. :)









    That Boker is on the short list of knives I want to try. :)
     
  20. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

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    Its a beast....and a very strong design.
     
  21. Grouse Hunter

    Grouse Hunter Supporter Supporter

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    Cool thread, who didn't want one after the movie. Thanks for sharing.
     
  22. City Bushcrafter

    City Bushcrafter Hooah!

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    It would be awesome if they made one out of better quality steel!
     
  23. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Fun find! I remember speaking with Jimmy Lile after the movie came out, I was in high school and was shocked at the price of the knife, but I wonder what it would go fo now if I had bought one. I think it was $750 back then.
     
  24. dmangler

    dmangler Scout

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    Lol, Stanley has that look on his face like "Really dude? I thought we were friends."
    Nice writeup.
     
  25. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    This is gonna be a fun thread!
     
  26. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    I think the "dot" Lile knives (knives made by another maker under license) are around $1,300. The real Lile knives are boocoo expensive.

    But then again, a Buck 184 Buckmaster was $180 back in the day and I thought that was a ridiculous amount of money for a knife. My Camillus Marine Corps fighting Knife at the time cost $19 and my Parker Brothers hollow handle JPK knife was $29 in the JC Penney's Christmas catalog. I was looking at the same knife on Ebay last week for $150 used.
     
  27. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Supporter Supporter

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    My mom owned a pawnshop when j was a kid so when Rambo knives came thru mom gave them to me and the Buckmaster. I don't know what happened to my first blood blade and the Buckmaster but I think I still have the wood handled Gil Hibben Rambo knife at my parents old place.

    Bowie knife, "first blood knife", and the Tracker blade. Yeah those suckers are the three with a cult following.
     
  28. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer Supporter

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    After watching that movie 36 times I too needed one also....but being young and broke it never happened. Had a few cheap smaller ones over the years but definitely not as cool as the original. Now I'm googling Rambo knives lol
     
  29. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer Supporter

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    That boker is great also!
     
  30. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Yeah, that's the point that I got to only to realize that even the licensed copies were starting to become uncommon. So I got one while I still could.
     
  31. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

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    I pulled up another volunteer...

    IMG_20180417_182434.jpg
     
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  32. wvtracker14

    wvtracker14 Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman

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    Very cool! Thanks for posting , will be watching for more action.
     
  33. Roamer

    Roamer Supporter Supporter

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    Blade Magazine recently did a long series of articles on the original Rambo knives. Most are online now. This one talks about values. Seems the most valuable are the Jimmy Lile "First Blood" knives. The first 13 made are now worth up to $75,000 each. I guess most of these actually got screen time in the film. Those from 13-100 are worth up to $25,000 each. Yikes.

    http://www.blademag.com/knife-collecting/collecting-rambo-knives-values-history-tips
     
  34. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    I really needed to see that after the wife said no to $486 for a knife :17:
     
  35. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Look at it this way. Had you purchased the knife for $486, you would have taken the knife out into the woods, had fun with it, nicked the blade, snapped off the tip and reground it and generally loved it and used it as it should be used. But, your knife would be worth, not $25,000, but $110.

    Then how bad would you be crying? :)
     
  36. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    You forgot sticking it in a fire and getting the tip red hot ;)
     
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  37. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe Supporter Supporter

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    How else are you suppose to cauterize a bullet wound?
    :6:
     
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  38. wrath0r

    wrath0r Guide

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    I'm pretty sure Stanley's not going to volunteer for that one!
     
  39. Uncle Duke 520

    Uncle Duke 520 Scout

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    God didn't make Rambo, I made him..
     
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  40. Quinlan

    Quinlan Supporter Supporter

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    Greetings,

    Nice idea for a thread and very interesting documentation I am expecting, being a Rambo fun myself. Thanks for sharing this! :dblthumb:

    Regards,

    Christos
     
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  41. Uncle Duke 520

    Uncle Duke 520 Scout

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    A Rambo pre-quel would be cool, to see his Vietnam days and meet his team.
     
  42. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    I don't quite think that I could manage that in his thread. The best that I could do would be to star as the pot-bellied former hero in Rambo 8: The Arthritis. Or perhaps First Blood XIV: Escape at the Geriatric Center.
     
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  43. localpanda

    localpanda Scout

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    First Blood Knife is always amazing.
     
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  44. haunted

    haunted Guide

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    i always liked rambo to bad i had to kick his butt that time...................never loaned him my knife again
     
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  45. City Bushcrafter

    City Bushcrafter Hooah!

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  46. rbinhood

    rbinhood Scout

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    Rambo I is probably one of my all time favorite movies, along with Rocky I. I love the fact that Stallone wrote the script for Rocky I while rolled up in a piece of carpet in an unheated warehouse, and then refused to sell it outright to Hollywood, instead controlling the production himself. I cannot think of a better actor to play either Rocky or Rambo. Yes, Stallone has been typecast, and probably does not have the deepest acting skills, but you can't argue with his success in the Rocky and Rambo series of movies.

    The evolution of the knives in the Rambo movies was great, as was his integration of a takedown bow in the later films. His primitive survival skills, and man against evil themes resonate with a lot of people.

    If you think about the importance of a good cutting edge to any survival situation, you understand the importance of a good knife. Beginning at square one, with no other survival tools, a good knife can be very hard to make. Once made, a person's odds of surviving go up considerably.

    Humankind has grown soft. Very few people could make it in a true survival situation where they had to rely on their own skills and wits to survive.
     
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  47. yooper71

    yooper71 Scout

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    Love the movies. Had just seen First Blood on AMC before this thread came out. Watched Rambo: First Blood Part II yesterday. I will watch Rambo III again soon.
     
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  48. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    I saw one of the channels was doing the First Blood series.
    One of them is currently doing all the Chuck Norris early movies, too. Including the MIA series.

    Back when movies were simple and had endings ;)
     
  49. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Crocodile Dundee,got some good traction off the big knife as well .
    I was long ago a fan of the Big knives before modern fictional heroes, when Jim Bowie and Daniel Boone and others proved a big knife a strong tactical solution.
    As for the saw on the spine I gave it my own innovation and made it my son's knife . (NO PICTURES SORRY) But knowing the way wood cuts, I fashioned it a bit like a crosscut saw. My son is a carpenter and he loves it.
     
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  50. yooper71

    yooper71 Scout

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    I caught First Blood on AMC and when I checked my cable company’s “on demand” feature I saw AMC had II and III as well. I can watch them when I want now at no extra charge.

    I am a little caught up with the actual movies, but I should mention @Sandcut I’m really liking that you have the knife, used the knife, and took pics of you and the dog using the knife. It’s cool!
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
    FTG-05, bacpacjac, Sandcut and 3 others like this.

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