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How do I identify old case hunting knives?

2013-02-15   Views:12

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Knife collectors prize old Case hunting knives. W.R. Case & Sons, a leading manufacturer of hunting knives, placed a "maker's mark" on each knife. These specific markings point to the period of manufacture and help the collector identify the knif

How do I identify old case hunting knives?

Knife collectors prize old Case hunting knives. W.R. Case & Sons, a leading manufacturer of hunting knives, placed a "maker's mark" on each knife. These specific markings point to the period of manufacture and help the collector identify the knife's age. Older knives manufactured by the Case Co. have a stamp pressed into the tang's surface. More than 15 variations of tang stamps exist. Check out the difference between the markings that distinguish the oldest Case knives from the most recently produced.

Skill level:Moderate

Things you need

Magnifying glass

Instructions

1 Use a magnifying glass to examine the knife's "tang," a section of steel projecting from the blade and embedded into the knife's handle. The part of the tang containing the manufacturer's stamp begins at the junction on the blade side of the knife's guard, or bolster, to the beginning of the blade's cutting edge. The stamped area can range in size from one-quarter inch to more than one-inch wide.

2 Check the tang for the words "W.R. CASE & SONS" in block letters above the words "BRADFORD, PA." Such a stamp on the tang indicates a production date before 1932. The imprint: "CASE" above the words: "BRADFORD, PA" also represents the same period.

3 Focus on either side of the tang, and look for the stamped word "CASE'S" above the words "TESTED XX" to indicate a manufacturing date from approximately 1932 to 1940.

4 Inspect the tang for the word "CASE'S" stamped in the metal above the words "STAINLESS XX." This stamp indicates manufacture from approximately 1940 to 1955.

5 Check for the words "CASE XX" over the letters "U.S.A." This stamp dates the knife's production from 1965 to 1980.

6 Check out both sides of the tang for the word "CASEXXX" above "....." with the letters "USA" underneath the decimal points. This represents a date of manufacture between 1980 to 1989.

7 Inspect the tang for the words "CASEXX" above the words "BRADFORD, PA." followed by the words "19USA92." The manufacturing date for a knife with this stamp is between 1990 and 1993.

8 Search for a stamp in the metal of the tang that shows the word "CASEXX" with the letter "C" having a tail that carries under the word "CASE," stopping under the first "X" and above the initials "USA" above eight decimal points. The production date of this knife is between 1993 and 1999.

9 Check to see if the stamp reads "CASEXX" above ".USA.." This stamp indicates the knife has a production date between 1997 and 1999.

10 Recognise a tang stamp that shows ".X.X." above the word "CASEXX"; the letter "C" with a tail that trails all the way under the word and stops at the second "X." Look for the letters "X.X.X" underneath the word "CASEXX". Production for this knife took place between 2000 and 2009.

11 Check the tang for a stamp showing "X.X.X" above the word "CASEXX" with the characters ".X.X." following directly underneath. The letter "C" has a tail that trails under the word and stops at the first "X". The Case Co. began manufacturing this knife in 2010.

Tips and warnings

A specialised magnifying glass called a jeweller's "loupe" gives much more magnification than a common magnifying glass and can be found in most hobby stores.

Do not attempt to clean a hunting knife's tang with steel wool as it might erase a portion of the tang stamp.

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