An old Tru-Bal catalog identifies this model as the original design for the RIFLEMAN. It was only made from 1975-1976 before it was revised in 1977 in the form of a model #6-B. Here is the description of the< Model No. 6-A RIFLEMAN from that old catalog:
The new Tru-Bal Frontier model RIFLEMAN’S THROWING KNIFE is custom quality and hand-crafted by Harry K. McEvoy especially for America’s muzzle-loading enthusiasts. It’s design is based on existing specimens remaing from the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, with built in “balance” for throwing by either blade OR handle.
I traded a brand new Model No. 6 plus a generous amount of cash to a member of the Tru-Bal Throwing Knife Society for this early Model No. 6-A RIFLEMAN made by Harry K. McEvoy.
He saw one of the posts here with the catalog descriptions of Tru-Bal knives and that helped him identify what he had. He commented about it and we started emailing back-and-forth about it and were finally able to come to a mutually satisfactory trade.
He’s happy to have a new knife to throw that he doesn’t have to worry about ruining since it can be replaced plus he’s also happy knowing his vintage Tru-Bal knife has a good home with a collector who will really cherish it (me!).
Well, here are some excerpts from our conversation so you can read it in his own (paraphrased) words:
Looks like I have a Rifleman #6A. I was wondering what model I had here. I wish I knew when it was made.
I actually bought this knife on a whim. I was talking to a knife collector at a major gun show, and he asked me if I liked throwing knives. I told him I used to throw, and still had a couple of Gil Hibben throwers around. He told me he had a really unique thrower, but then he could not find it. I left his table and went on a ways, when he came up and tugged on my elbow. He had found the knife (on top of his table) and had me go back to his table. I had never seen a knife like this. It was longer than expected, and had a weird shape. You can tell it is hand made and not machine made. It has a large sheath, both marked with the same symbols and TRU-BAL. I see by the catalog pages that it is the first version of the Rifleman, made in 1975-76. He said he had carried the knife a long time, and he shot me a price. I usually wheel and deal, but this time I just said OK. I don’t think I stole it, but I thought the price was fair.
Thanks to your web sight, I have learned more about these knives and their maker.
Here are some pics. They came out very dark. You should be able to click on them to enlarge them. The blade is so shiny, up close I could see the reflection of the camera. The sheath has one cut up high in the back. It does not really show on the front, but you can see it on the back. It is about 1/2 to 3/4″. Looks like the point punctured it at one time. It does not threaten the structural integrity of the sheath, so I see no problem in using it. It is not going to tear through to the side.
I like the fact I will still have one of these Tru-Bal knives. I don’t mind at all that a collector would like an older model. I always feel better throwing a knife that can be easily replaced. If I managed to ruin a collector’s item, I would be mad at myself.
I got your check and the knife today. I liked comparing the knives side-by-side. You can see the handwork in the early knife. The Sheath is a much softer material also. I will miss my knife, but I like the style of the new one better. I also like that a collector will put this knife with others from the same maker.
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