Had one many years ago, one hell of a piece of steel, typical Swiss crafsmanship.
A number of people have been using the Swiss as the base for a fighting knife.
Just for grins I made up an Applegate-type knife from one to see how well it would work out.
I didn't go to the trouble of grinding the blade to a shorter working edge length, I simple cut the back of the handle section down.
This left me with a 7 1/2" blade with a sharp edge of about 5 1/4" due to the long bevel grind the 57 has.
Since the long bevel grind on the rear of the blade IS so long, the cutting edge ends about 2" short of the guard.
The steel is EXTREMELY hard but due to the bayonet grind, it doesn't take a extremely sharp edge.
Sharp, but not like the real Applegate.
The plastic scabbard can be shortened to fit the shorter blade. I disassembled the scabbard, drilled two holes in the rear of the scabbard body, and used two heavy brass key posts to attach a Kydex belt attachment.
The only part that was difficult was in slipping the lower post down the inside of the scabbard, and into the hole.
The upper key post was also somewhat difficult to install, since I used it to lock the steel scabbard throat to the scabbard and as the upper mount of the belt attachment.
The problem was in fitting the post into the tight area of the steel throat, since it also has a spring section to hold the blade in place.
In order to drill the rear of the blade for a lanyard hole, and to cut off the excess length, I had to anneal the rear section of the handle due to the extreme hardness of the stainless.
I also narrowed the handle section slightly so I could mount a micarta handle.
In my case, since this was just a "quickie" experiment, I didn't go to the trouble of using bolts to mount the handle like the original Applegate.
Instead, I used epoxy to glue a pair of green micarta handles on. I routed the inside of the handles so they would fit over the handle with no gaps between the two halves.
I used a drill press with a small Dremel carbide cutter to rout three grooves on each side of the handle and one groove on the edges, similar to the gripping grooves on the Applegate.
After fine sanding, I applied oil to darken the micarta slightly, but to improve the grip, I didn't polish the micarta to a high gloss.
The Applegate-type cross guard was made from brass bar stock. A long slot was drilled and filed to provide a snug fit on the handle. I attached it with 3% silver bearing soft solder.
Sharpening the blade to a fair cutting edge was TOUGH, even with a Gatco sharpening set.
Did I say that the stainless was HARD?
My opinion is, without a total re-grind of the blade, this makes more of a stabber than a cutter, although it WILL cut.
The 7 1/2" blade is just a little TOO long, and the long bevel grind at the rear reduces the length of the cutting edge.
Due to the quality of the steel, the hardness, and the approximately 1/4" thickness which is carried almost all the way down the blade near the tip, there's NO WAY this blade will break under use.
Great information, I will probably go ahead and pick one up later this week. I'll post a pics and review as soon as I can. Thanks.
My digital camera went tits up. I found a picture on web that is accurate how mine arrived. I am very pleased. I paid $23.00 off ebay including shipping it included everything in the picture. The picture is from northridgeinc.com who lists it for $29.99 plus shipping. It is a very substantial knife and I am quite pleased with it. Sharpening it looks and sounds like a challenge form what I have read. It's a bargain.
I've got one! Superb!
I picked up a couple from cheaper than dirt for $12.99 each a month or so ago. A very nice knife, perfect for my purpose, and even recommended by Kevin of Mad Dog Knifes