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  #1  
Old 03-15-2019, 05:57 PM
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Gordon Cooper training Astro with taped tang instead of scales

Sorry to start another thread on the Astro training knives, but I think that I have discovered a photo that illustrates Gordon Coopers training knife without scales.

Gordon Cooper with his Astro on his leg. Cooper's looks very light in color. He was in favor for a long time to put survival items in the tang cavity, then tape the tang. It looks to be taped to me. If you look just below the thong hole, it looks like bare metal, then a lighter color seems to angle a bit. It looks like overlapping tape lines too. What does it look like to you? Perhaps someone with a program to sharpen photos can get a clearer look.


Last edited by samg; 03-18-2019 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:10 PM
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After looking closely at Alan Shepard's training knife in the following photo, it's hard to tell, but I think he has it without scales as well. Perhaps taped?

IMG-20190315-225341

Look at the close up of Shepard's knife and you see one of the bolt holes close to the end of the tang.

IMG-20190315-225429

Here is a photo of Shepard's knife in the center, with my 2 Astros on each side in about the same angle. What do you think?

IMG-20190315-230424
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:30 PM
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Looks like it may have scales and hole wouldn’t be visable if taped would it? scales...but really five of last six threads are about Astro’s? Most with just a couple of responses? Couldn’t they all have gone into one thread? What would the board have looked like if every Delrin handled knife had been posted its own unique line?

Sam, You’ve got some good stuff but no one wants to go to ten different unique lines to find the Astro knife details. Just a suggestion.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:01 AM
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Jack, I didn't suggest that Shepard's knife was taped. Only suggested that it may not have scales. If taped, the tape could be below the hole. Hard to tell.

It's cool to have found these training photos, especially in the 50th anniversary of man setting foot on the moon. These guys started it all. And to see the Randalls strapped to them makes it all the more important to the brand.

Below illustrates the area I am looking at. The space between what looks like the bolt hole and the edge of the tang. Just speculation, and maybe someone has a program to cleanup/sharpen these pictures?



IMG-20190316-095238

IMG-20190316-095335

Last edited by samg; 03-16-2019 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:55 PM
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Sam in post #2 you suggested....”perhaps taped”. I don’t think it is taped. Looks like scales to me.
Ronnie
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:24 PM
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Sam here is a cool photo to add to yours. It shows Wally Schirra with what appears to be a model 14 in a lift the dot sheath.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:16 PM
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Hi Ronnie, thanks for the Schirra photos. Joe and I discussed that knife in the "Mercury Astronauts with Astro" thread and determined that one is probably a model 15 as he was a pilot/Airman.

I tend to think this one on Gordon Cooper is taped. I know it's a fuzzy pic, but the sheer whiteness of it makes me think it's tape for a couple reasons.

1) We know in Gaddis' book Cooper is really in favor of taping the handle from the very beginning. We even have one in the Museum that he taped. That one's pictured on the left in following picture.




2) It really reflects the light in white, where the other handles pictured on the astronauts are darker, as they are a tan color, so they appear darker.
It makes perfect sense that he would tape his training knife to test it out that way, as he was in favor of leaving it without scales.





3) I have found that the tang on the Scaleless Astro looks wider than one with scales. This pic of my 2 Astros were cropped from the same picture, same as my Avatar. I think the reason Scaleless looks wider is because the Micarta scales are beveled on the edge, so the flat on the Micarta is narrower than the flat on the full tang.


Last edited by samg; 03-19-2019 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:35 PM
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Sam I totally agree with you on Gordo’s 17 and Wally’s is probably a15 as well. Looking at those photos of all those beautiful 17’s makes me sick.
Ronnie
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:58 AM
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Hey Ronnie, I don't think there's much doubt that Gordon's Astro is taped. He was a big proponent of taping the Tang. Looks like we have evidence of that now. Cool stuff!

On the 2nd post of this thread, if it's the same one Shepard is working with in the color photo, then it definitely has scales.






Last edited by samg; 03-21-2019 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:45 AM
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We have 2 pieces of evidence that Gaddis refers to in the Astro chapter of his book.

1) Gordon Cooper was in favor of a Scaleless/taped tang. Page 177 Gaddis.

2) Scott Carpenter had a mod 3 Randall hunter, and referred that info to Cooper, who was spearheading the research on the survival knife for the Mercury program. Page 172 Gaddis.




Last edited by samg; 03-22-2019 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:47 AM
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The following photo is from a print that I had done of the online picture. The resolution is just a little better than the other photo. You can clearly see the overlapping of the tape, and the metal tang up by the thong hole as well


Last edited by samg; 03-21-2019 at 02:04 PM.
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angle, art, bee, beginning, blade, brand, ca, edge, full tang, handle, knife, knives, man, metal, micarta, model 14, photo, post, randall, scale, scales, sheath, survival, tang


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