Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

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onehikes
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Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby onehikes » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:23 pm

I recently ran across a seller that had for sale a Garcia Survival Knife NOS. I have always been a fan of both the Hackman (Original design) and the Garcia (Clone) and am always looking for a better and better set.
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The Garcia was a copy of the Hackman Survival Knife that was developed in response to a shortage of Randall 18 knives for the Vietnam War in the late 60’s early 70’s. The Hackman Survival Knife was designed by Ken Warner and Pete Dickey and produced in Finland. The Garcia came out after the Hackman stopped production and was shaped the same but it was a lighter knife with a 3/16" thick blade instead of Hackman’s ¼” thick blade. It was made in Brazil and also featured a survival kit in the sheath with a whistle, compass, sharpening stone and flint sparker. Like the Randall 18, the handle was hollow, watertight and had space to store additional survival items like fishing line, hooks and matches, although many Vietnam Vets used the space as well for needed pills. Blade is 6 3/4”, OAL 10 ¾” and weighs 12 oz for the knife and 20.5 OZ for the knife and sheath.

Many of you will recognize Garcia as the Manufacturer of the unstoppable Garcia Mitchell fishing reels like the model 300 or 308 and other quality outdoor gear.

Regarding the design of the Hackman Survival Knife from Ken Warner's book "The Practical Book of Knives" circa 1975, Chapter 7-The Sharp Pry Bar: "I was responsible for the shape and the grind of the blade and the overall configuration. My collaborator, Pete Dickey, figured out the rest of it. In essence, it has a hollow stainless steel handle, closed watertight by a large threaded pommel. The space inside is nearly the size of two 12 gauge shotshells, which means it will hold matches, pills, another little knife, hooks and line-a whole raft of stuff that could come in handy. Pete went ahead and had packed a miniature kit that went into the sheath's pocket and had a lot of that gear in it"

"Anyways, I put all I could think of into that knife to make it do as many jobs possible for a fellow who, all of a sudden, has to do it all with a knife. So did Pete. It is heavy and tough enough to chop wood or meat or bone. It is wide enough to dig with if you need a hole in a hurry. The saw edge is designed to get its users poles without making loud noises. Its steel won't rust, and it's hard, so it hold an edge. If you had to hurt someone with it, it is equal to that job. It will slice very nicely and is, after you get used to it, pretty handy for dressing out game. It has a couple of holes in the modest double guard, and by lashing through those to a pole seated in the hollow handle, a rather impressive spear results."

This knife has a great feel, balance and is very well manufactured. Available for sale at AAPK: https://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/catalog/26548-vietnam-era-garcia-survival-knife-made-in-brazil-late-60s-earlly-70s-nos-

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Re: Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby tallguy606 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:00 pm

I always wondered how the blade tang could be attached to a hollow handle. Must be strong, as knife would likely be used a lot for hacking, and the shock would be transmitted to the blade tang/handle attachment. I bought a German Eye survival type blade that had a shorter stub for a tang, that apparently was inserted into a corresponding socket in the handle. Maybe the hollow was behind that area.

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Re: Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby kootenay joe » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:10 am

What a great find ! There is no way i need a survival knife but i sure find it attractive. I bet it performs just as well as the Hackman even though blade stock is not quite as stout.
kj

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Re: Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby onehikes » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:42 pm

The Hackman has 1/16th thicker blade so it is a little stouter but the edges on both the Hackman and the Garcia stay extremely sharp. I have had both knives and really enjoy them, the design is well thought out and the spear point with false edge makes is an extremely viable defensive/survival weapon. In regards to the hollow handles and strength, much like the Randall the hollow is formed by a stout stainless steel tube. The tang extends into the handle and is designed to slip into the stainless steel tube in such a way it cannot rotate and a metal hex bolt secures it in place supported by the mass of the finger guard/tang. A lot of mis-information about hollow handle survival knives has to do with the market being flooded with cheap imports, like the explorer that came out in response to the Rambo craze in the 80's. Fun knives never meant for serious work. For construction of the Hackman or Garcia see below. Photos of the Hackman.
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I have disassembled one and the design is a tight fit. Some people will say a full tang knife is the only way to go and I agree they are very tough depending on the steel and design. I once bought a Chris Reeves Mountaineer II after watching an idiot on you Tube advise not to buy one after he clamped it in a vice and pummelled it relentlessly at the handle with a 3# sledge hammer till it finally broke. I bought the knife because a guy attacking me with a 3# sledge will be incapacitited long before my knife breaks and bears in the wild never seem to carry a sledge hammer. I was also amazed at the amount of punishment the knife absorbed. Every one has a right to their own opinion. These knives were produced one time only and neither company had them reproduced ever again. I love the history of knives like these.

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Re: Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby kootenay joe » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:40 am

Do you know if the Hackman was made in large numbers ? meaning are there many around ? or not made in large numbers and therefore quite rare ?
And i assume the Garcia was made in larger numbers and now easier to find than the Hackman ?
kj

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Re: Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby onehikes » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:05 pm

I contacted Hackman in Finland and never got any production information. Ken mentions in his book that perhaps there were 1,000 manufactured, but that is not a verified number. I also do not know how many Garcia's were manufactured. I find Garcia's more often than the Hackman. What is surprising is that both knives, Hackman or Garcia show very little blade use. Either that is a testment to the hardness of the 440 steel, or they were carried but not often used. To find detailed information about the actual production of either seems impossible.

Bill Moran, could not keep up with orders during the Vietnam War, so he bought 100 of these knives by Hackman, provided his own sheath and sold them to his customers who needed a knife right away claiming it was the best knife he could find quickly. Sorry small image
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kootenay joe
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Re: Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby kootenay joe » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:43 pm

Thanks onehikes. I will be on the look out for either of these but for a used example to help me afford it. And i would want to try it out so no point in buying a mint example.
kj

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Re: Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby knife7knut » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:27 pm

I've had one forever and have never used it.Not much of an outdoorsperson.
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Adventure BEFORE Dementia!

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Re: Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby onehikes » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:35 am

Perfect example. Sometimes I find myself reluctant to use a perfect example. I am forced to find a used one with scratches to want to put it to it's test. End up with a keeper and a user.

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Re: Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby Montanaman » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:50 pm

That is a very cool knife, onehikes, now I will keep my eye out for a Hackman. Thanks for the info and pics. A Garcia with original sheath came for sale today on Arizona Custom Knives.
Kris

"A knife is a tool, and if we don't treat our tools with a certain familiar contempt, we lose perspective"
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Re: Unusual find NOS Garcia Survival Knife from the late 60 - early 70's.

Postby onehikes » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:48 pm

Sold the one I had listed but bought several when I found them while I still could;https://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/catalog/27606-1960s-1970s-garcia-survival-knife-nos-amazing-with-original-price-sticker


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