Vintage First Blood “Romance” Herbertz 727

The Herbertz Model 727 was my first “high class” knife ever. It was a christmas present to me in the late 1980s. I absolutely had to have this knife, after having seen RAMBO, First Blood Part 2, The Mission. I was hooked, as was everyone else. I even brought it to school one day to brag about it and show it to a classmate! Today, that would probably mean a SWAT team bursting through a skylight and national TV teams bloodsucking for spree killings.

The knife was quite well-made in Japan out of nondescript 440 stainless steel, flat ground, with an aluminum handle and a black leather sheath that had a ceramic sharpening stone in a front pouch.

This knife is worlds apart from the “El Cheapo” types that still can be found quite frequently at cutlery stores or on the net. The fit and finish (it cost around 200 German Marks back then, about 100 Euros today, not counting hyperinflation) are very nice, if not on par with those Buckmasters i have handled over the years.

The black finish is long gone on my sample and i ground off one of the screwdriver tips from the handguard as it kept hurting me. Hey, they actually hurt Stallone and his stunt people during the movie-making, so why should i be tougher than these guys ?

You have to know that “back then”, we had all forgotten that good knives should have full tangs. The idea to store some matches in a non-ergonomic round handle was fascinating. Even flight tickets, cash, a SAK, divorce papers, toilet paper, a dictionary … it belonged all in there.

Today, we are more sensible, of course. We don´t throw away our survival knives mounted to a staff and we keep those keep-me-alive items in the sheath front pouch or close to the body, not in knife handles.

Hollow handle survival knives of good quality that are not of integral construction are practically a thing of the past, if you leave out Randall and some custom makers. But they were mucho cool … so if you have a Parrish, Crain or Kloetzli for sale, i might be tempted.

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