NRA Outdoors #12720 ‘Stockman’
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- Last updated: 13/12/2016
You may have heard that the mighty NRA (of America) have put their NRA Outdoors name to a series of hunting knives that have been field tested to their satisfaction, but did you know that they are also promoting a humble pocket knife?
The Model #12720 is a small non-locking slip joint knife – what we in the UK would term as a pocket knife. This is a double-ended knife (blades at both ends), and this particular layout, with a main clip point blade and secondary spey and sheepsfoot blades is usually called a ‘Stockman’ in America. From the middle 19th to middle 20th centuries this was one of the most popular knives in the USA, with three different useful blades it could be a very versatile tool – although many just used all three for cutting rope and whittling! From the 1950’s onward, locking knives became more affordable, more commonly available, and hence more popular in the USA, so the humble slip joint knife lost some ground, but nevertheless there has always been a steady demand.
This little knife is made in China, but don’t let that put you off, as many of the more affordable knives that you see – even from some ‘big’ names – come from the same country. In fact, this knife is made from good materials – stainless steel blade with black linen micarta grips and nickel silver bolsters - and build quality seems to be good too. There were no discernable gaps in the material joints and a fair ‘snap’ to the springs when opening and closing the blade.
The stainless steel blades seemed to retain their edge well, despite a fair amount of use on green wood, stacked paper, natural rope and canvas – all of which can blunt a blade nicely. I did re-sharpen the clip point blade with a small stone and it took an edge easily.
All in all this is a very nice knife, especially when you consider that the price is only just over twenty quid. The blades are useful for most everyday tasks, and would even get you through most game/coarse fishing and small game hunting chores at a push. Another important point is that although the spring[s] hold these blades firmly when open, it is not classed as a ‘locking’ mechanism, and as none of the blades are over 3” in length, you can legally carry this knife in your pocket in most situations. (Editor’s Note: But be warned, you could still have problems with the law if you took this - or any sharp object - into an inappropriate location; such as a nightclub, football ground, etc. So just use commonsense.)
As an aside, a small portion of the cost price of all NRA Outdoor products goes towards wildlife conservation and NRA youth training programmes – in the USA of course!
PRICE: £21 (plus p&p)