Monday, 24 August 2015

Buck Pigsticker Model 651.

       I plan to make a few more posts on cooking and messware but today we will have a change of subject as an interlude.

       As those of you who have invested in my second book will know, one of my favourite knives is the Buck Special model 119. This is just a really nice knife, and very reasonably priced too! My appreciation of this got me interested in another of Buck’s products, the model 650 Nighthawk.
       Finding an example at a price that I could live with proved more problematic. Examples in the UK had an exorbitant mark-up. Reasonably priced knives in the US came with exorbitantly hiked up shipping costs. Eventually I found a retailer on Ebay that was offering the knife at a reasonable price and postage.
       When the knife arrived I unpacked it and was quite surprised. It was much bigger than I had expected! The blade was grey rather than the black it appeared in photos. Photos on the internet had given the impression that it was a bowie-shaped blade when in fact it was more symmetrical, a spearpoint design rather like an M3 trench knife.
       It was actually several minutes before the penny dropped and I noticed that the little label on the sheath said “Model 651”. I searched the web but there was no mention of a Buck Model 651! I contacted the vendor, a lady in Liverpool. I told her she had sent me the wrong model knife, but I rather liked it so was going to keep it. Could I buy the 650 I had ordered originally? More money changed hands and a few days later another package arrives. It contains another 651! All of the knives she had acquired were 651s and not being particularly familiar with the field she had identified them as Nighthawk 650s.
       I contacted a friend of mine in the US who put me in touch with his step-father. We came to an arrangement whereby he would buy a 650 locally and ship it to me and I would trade him one of my 651s. By this time I had done some further research. Intrigued by the lack of web footprint for the 651 I contacted Buck directly and the mystery of the 651 was revealed.

       The 651 “Pigsticker” was a very limited run of knives intended for the Australian and New Zealand hunting markets. Nearly all of the run went south of the equator, much to the ire of many American collectors.

 As this post on Bladeforums puts it:

“The info we have is that this is Buck Knives largest ever-regular production military knife! Period. With a full 13 inches over all length this is one massive to quote Crocodile Dundee “Now that’s a knife” Tactical knife by Buck!Very fitting as this knife was made and Named the Intruder “Pig Sticker”, these were contracted from Buck by an Australian company. The amount ordered I think 300 or so was sent to them and a few over run were left for replacements. Also it was stated that a New Zealand company has since then bought every last one that was left and they are now ALL down under! ..During the few months between the two delivers it seems that some members of the Buck (knife) Collectors Club {BCCI} got wind of a Huge Military Tactical Knife made for a foreign market and NOT for retail sale in the USA Some few of these Buck Knife Collectors and Buck employees were able to order one or two of these rare ‘extra’ knives for themselves during the short time between the two deliveries! As word spread many of the Buck and military knife collectors are upset at not hearing of this knife sooner as they are now all gone! Rare? Well HECK Yes!!! These huge Pig Stickers are known to be in the hands of less then 40 or so lucky USA collectors! YES - it is estimated there are LESS then three dozen of these knives, snatched by collectors, remaining in the Country at this time. And here are ONE of them for sale. You now have a chance to own one of these rare knives. We do say that YOU will most likely not have another chance for a long time to own one. Most of the collectors we know are hording the extra ones they now have. This knife has one of the the thickest blades we have ever seen on a Buck Knife. It fits our hands very well and has a fantastic tactical grip non slip OD green and black grip. The large Buck 120 black handle knife, Buckmaster 184 all metal knives are not part of this sale, they are for comparison only. The sheath has a built in upper leg tie down adjustable strap for worry free movement during carry … yet it releases and draws from the sheath with ease for use. It is hair popping razor edge sharp.”

       Obviously, on their journey south some of these knives passed through Liverpool docks. As is rather commonplace, some of them happened to fall out of their shipping container and were sold, ending up on Ebay.
       I am probably one of the few people in this country who owns a 651 and knows how rare it is. Likewise, my friend’s step-father is one of the few Americans to possess one! I have seen offers of more than $300 for these.

       The 651 is actually a very nice knife. It was designed as a working knife that would be used against dangerous game and it seems to be well up to the job. The blade is thick and sturdy and has a good edge. My only criticism of the design would be the Nighthawk style handle, which would be improved by a full guard, given its intended use. That is my general criticism of all Nighthawk models, incidentally.

       Buck should consider offering a similar knife for general sale. It would find many happy users.

The Books
http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/epsdbook.html 
http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/phil-west/survival-weapons-optimizing-your-arsenal/paperback/product-21488758.html