The Crosman 930A
Several decades ago, in the early 1980s, my brother decided that he was going to single-handedly control the pigeon population in our Pittsburgh, Pa., suburb of lower Munhall.
With extreme prejudice.
The best way to do that was with a .22 rifle. Although we were dumb, we weren’t that dumb. We opted for a .22-caliber pellet gun. This was a Crosman pump-action pellet rifle. Ten pumps would give you lethal power. Add a scope, and the pigeons never stood a chance.
I can’t recall the details, but if you bought the rifle, you got a knife with it. I think that we had to send for it – fill out a coupon and mail it to the Crosman with the proof of purchase.
The Crosman 930A arrived a few weeks later. This knife has had quite a journey, traveling with me around the northeast as I moved from job to job. I think it might have ended up in storage when I worked in Hong Kong.
CARRYING THE KNIFE TODAY
How is it as an everyday carry (EDC) knife? For starters, there is no clip, so it simply slides to the bottom of your pocket. At 3-3/4 inches closed and 3.4 ounces, it finds the bottom rather quickly.
In a back pocket, it invariably turns sideways and reminds you that it’s there when you sit your butt into a chair. If it’s a hard chair, you might need to stand up, reach into your back pocket and adjust it.
It probably will look like your scratching your butt. In the front pocket, it can slip and slide a bit easier.
WHO MADE THIS KNIFE?
From what I’ve read, this was made by the pre-collapse Camillus Cutlery in the town of the same name, Camillus, New York. One note about Camillus: the company made most of the famous KA-BAR knives for the Army during World War II.
Because this was a “special edition” knife, there is a small oval rattlesnake head logo on the handle. It also appears on the blade, and after all of these years, it is still visible. I sort of recall that the literature said the logo was made of sterling silver, but I don’t know if that’s true.
ABOUT THIS KNIFE
Compared with today’s knives, the Crosman 930A is quaint and decidedly old fashioned.
The design is a variation of the Barlow knife, which was popular in the 1980s.
The thumb nick makes it easy to pull the blade away from the body. It requires more effort to pull it fully open and lock it into place.
As you can see, there is a hefty brass wedge that locks the blade in the open position. Push it to the left to release the blade. With the Crosman 930A, opening and closing it is a deliberate process. It is a two-handed operation only.
Some time around 1990, I was using the knife while working outside during the summer and accidentally left it there. For many months. When I found it the following spring, I was expecting the worst.
I brought it inside and cleaned it and was very surprised to see so little damage to it. There was some pitting on the bolsters, which I cleaned with a wire brush.
The blade was very clean. I’m not sure of the steel. Probably 440. I am sure it didn’t use an exotic steel. Those weren’t being made at that time, and remember, this was a free knife. There is a small dimple on one side of the blade.
NO DISASSEMBLY ALLOWED
There isn’t a way to tear down the knife. The screws were inserted and then cut and ground down to the wood scales.
The wood is rather hardy. I’m not sure what type of wood it is. The bolster is not magnetic. Perhaps, it’s made of nickel.
I’ve sharpened this knife through the years, and it holds a good edge. It doesn’t see much use, because there are more convenient knives to carry. Its blade, however, is no slouch and can still hold its own with today’s knives.
By the way, I believe that my brother shot about 100 pigeons that summer. It was like a shooting gallery. Even my mother shot a pigeon. Wounded it really. I had to finish the job. I did not use the knife.