The Tru Bal Model No. 44 Battle Master came along after I stopped selling Tru-Bal knives the first time. So to fill in the gap in my collection I purchased this knife from a collector in 2011. He had purchased it from Bobby Branton earlier when he sold out his Tru-Bal collection.
According to the old catalog page that I have from Bobby Branton this was only produced from 1987-1988. That makes it very, very rare!
The sheath that came with this particular knife is obviously not the one it originally came with since it is marked for a different model. You get what you get sometimes. In this case it is really the knife that is important.
Description from an old Tru-Bal catalog:
Like all Tru-Balance throwing knives the new BATTLE MASTER, Model No. 44, is crafted of super-tough, specially tempered spring steel and will stand up to a lifetime of rugged use as a throwing, hunting, survival and combat knife. Laser shaped, it is 13-1/2″ in overall length, 2-3/8″ wide, 5/32″ thick and weighs 14 ounces. It is center balanced for precision throwing by the handle grip. Strong leather sheath and instruction sheets included.
The hand written notes on this description say it was sold from July 1987 to spring of 1988. There is also a note about it being a special run of 70 pieces only! That sure makes this one pretty special and highly collectible.
So I asked Stephen McEvoy about it and he confirmed Bobby’s catalog page when he told me, “The knife in the photo that looks like a curved Bowie-Axe is a Model #44 Battle Master, made and sold from Summer 1987 to Spring of 1988. Only 70 of this Model exist.”
Here is a picture that Bobby Branton took when he was selling his collection…I believe this is the second knife from the left in this picture…
And here is another one that MAY be this knife…