Gilbert, AZ -Ammoland.com)- Knife Rights has donated Freedom’s Steel™ VI – Victory’s Edge™ Bowie, a one-of-a-kind Damascus Bowie knife by Master Blade Smith J.R. Cook with Barry Lee Hands engraving, to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). All proceeds from the auction of this Bowie support NRA-ILA’s defense of the Second Amendment in celebration of the Second Amendment’s Preservation in this past year’s elections. Knife Rights is the Second Front in Defense of the Second Amendment™.
Freedom’s Steel™ VI – Victory’s Edge™ Bowie will be a featured auction item at the NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction during the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the sixth year in a row that Knife Rights has donated a Freedom’s Steel™ knife, raising over $120,000 the first five years. Click here for information on the 2017 NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction Anyone desiring to Absentee Bid should email Wendy Martin or call her at: (703) 267-1229.
“Last year’s election represented the greatest threat to the Second Amendment in the history of this great nation. Credit is due to NRA-ILA for ensuring the results on November 8th will serve to preserve the Second Amendment for generations to come. Knife Rights and the NRA have a common interest in protecting our civil rights and specifically the right to own and use tools appropriate for self-defense. Knife Rights is proud to assist NRA in protecting these rights,” said Knife Rights Chairman and Founder Doug Ritter. “We are sincerely grateful for the support provided to us by NRA-ILA as we fight the Second Front in Defense of the Second Amendment.”
“Since 1871, the NRA has fought to defend the rights of law-abiding Americans. We are truly grateful for the support of our friends at Knife Rights and their continued contributions to our ongoing efforts to preserve our freedom,” said Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.”
Ritter noted, “we are indebted to these incredibly talented artisans who contribute their valuable time, talents and materials to support Knife Rights by creating this extraordinary knife.” Each craftsman’s efforts and every component of Freedom’s Steel™ VI – Victory’s Edge™ Bowie was donated to Knife Rights to support its efforts to defend and enhance our right to own and carry knives as tools used daily by millions of Americans and at times wielded as an “arm” in self-defense.
Freedom’s Steel™ VI – Victory’s Edge™ Bowie was conceived of, and sponsored by, Knife Rights expressly to benefit NRA-ILA.
Master Blade Smith J.R. Cook has forged a signature styled Arkansas Bowie in his unique “Transition” Damascus pattern that he first developed with an Innovation Grant from the Custom Knife Collectors Association in 2012. The difficulty and effort required to produce this striking pattern that “transitions” from 1,000 layers at the spine to 400 layers at the edge, with rippled drops in the transition zone, means it is used on only a very select few knives that Cook forges.
The Damascus steel was forged from alternating layers of 1084 & 15N20 high carbon steels. The S-curved guard with ball ends and the fittings are 416 Stainless Steel, masterfully hand-filed and then polished to prepare them for engraving.
The tang is marked with Cook’s “Arkansas Living Treasure” stamp on the obverse, one of very few very special knives thus marked (more below in his bio).
The fitted handle of exhibition grade fossil Walrus Ivory is perfectly contoured; swelling at the butt for a comfortable and secure grip, ensuring the knife isn’t going to slip whether it is used for chopping wood or self-defense.
The handle is secured to the knife by an internally threaded spindle nut, through the pommel, to the hidden tang of the knife. Stainless steel hidden pins ensure perfect alignment of handle to the spacer, guard and blade.
Measuring 15 and a quarter inches from finial to tip, Freedom’s Steel™ VI – Victory’s Edge™ Bowie’s 10 and a quarter-inch long by 9/32-inch thick blade might be considered far too beautiful to ever use, but it is still a perfectly functional tool handcrafted to do any job a Bowie knife might be asked to do.
Freedom’s Steel™ VI – Victory’s Edge™ Bowie has been engraved by world-renowned engraver Barry Lee Hands, the President of the Firearms Engravers Guild of America (FEGA). Hands has been recognized by his peers with the title of FEGA Master Engraver.
Hand’s extraordinarily rich engraving consists of raised 24k Gold overlays and inlays in his signature “Renaissance Leaf” pattern on the guard, spacer and pommel. Altogether on this knife there are 44 Renaissance Leaves made from .3mm 24k .999 fine pure Gold, each painstakingly created, one by one. In addition there are 10 inches of 28 gauge 24K .999 fine Gold wire connecting the leaves as “lines of grace.”
On both the front and back of the guard and on the domed pommel the background is high-polish sculpted scrollwork. On the sides of the guard and on the spacer the background is high-polish stainless steel. The process of overlaying Gold on either sculpted scroll or high-polish stainless is very difficult and intricate work. The 24k Gold installation must be perfectly executed; even the tiniest flaw would be instantly noticed on such bright backgrounds.
This Bowie exhibits the perfection that has earned Hands his exalted worldwide reputation, executed at the highest level of proficiency and skill. Hands noted while describing his work on Freedom’s Steel™ VI – Victory’s Edge™ Bowie, “beyond a doubt this is the most sophisticated engraving by a Firearms Engravers Guild of America Master Engraver ever seen on an ABS Master Smith Bowie.”
Freedom’s Steel™ VI – Victory’s Edge™ Bowie will be a featured auction item at the NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction to be held at the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, the evening of April 28, 2017. Proceeds from the sale of Freedom’s Steel™ VI will support NRA-ILA efforts to defend the Second Amendment. Click here for information on the 2017 NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction Anyone desiring to Absentee Bid should email Wendy Martin or call her at: (703) 267-1229.
Knifemaker: J.R. Cook – Master Smith
Master Smith James (J.R.) Cook made his first knife in 1986 and later that year first sold a knife. He relates that “I started making knives trying to make something better than what I could buy in a store. I found that I truly love the craft and the many aspects of it. It is very appealing to know I am making something that is cherished and will be passed down through the generations to come.”
Cook earned his Journeyman Smith certification from the American Bladesmith Society in 1989 and his Master Smith designation 1991. In 2005, having established himself among the top echelon of bladesmiths, he took the leap and became a full-time knifemaker.
In 2007 Cook was named an “Arkansas Living Treasure” by the Arkansas Arts Council, the only bladesmith so honored. He marks only a very select few knives with his “Arkansas Living Treasure” mark.
In 2012 Cook was awarded a $15,000 innovation grant from the Custom Knife Collectors Association which led to the development of his unique and distinctive “Transition” Damascus.
Cook’s awards are too numerous to list, but include virtually every major award by virtually every major knife show throughout the world. Cook’s knives are collected by many of the world’s most discriminating collectors. His knives have been featured in magazines around the world, most recently in China, France and Brazil.
Master Engraver: Barry Lee Hands
Las Vegas, Nevada
The beginning of Barry Lee Hands lifelong passion started when he was professionally apprenticed to an engraver at the age of seventeen. Over the next thirty years he would become world renowned for his outstanding style, entailing the combination of time-honored techniques with his own innovative designs. Today, his master level work is in great demand and considered, by many, to be some of the finest in the world.
Mr. Hands has developed unique, proprietary techniques available exclusively from him for sculpted overlays, heavy damascene, black satin background, among many, and most unusual, the inlay of gold in pearl and jade, which he has titled “Gilded Pearl” and “Gilded Jade.”
Mr. Hands is a well known authority on the Art and History of engraving, authoring articles for such prestigious publications as The Double Gun Journal, Shooting Sportsman, Gunmaker and Engraver.
Mr. Hands holds professional status in the Firearms Engravers Guild of America, and is a member of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild. In 2009 Mr. Hands was recognized by his peers when he was awarded the “Best Engraved Rifle” and “Engravers Choice Award of Merit” by the members of the Firearms Engravers Guild of America during its annual meeting. He has been serving as the President of the Firearms Engravers Guild of America since 2012.
In addition to his extraordinary donation of engraving here, Mr. Hands has also donated his time to organizations such as Wounded Warrior, The Knifemakers Guild, The Light of Hope Cancer Foundation, The National Rifle Association and the American Custom Gunmakers Guild.
Photographer: Jim Cooper – Sharp by Coop Photography
Jim Cooper has become the “go to” photographer for knifemakers and knife collectors as much because of the friendships he has developed over the past decade and half as his clear talent at presenting and promoting the beautiful knives he loves photographing.
While his job as a professional photographer in handmade knives is what he does, Coop, as he is known to his friends, is quick to note that what he “loves are the people involved in this craft. There are rich talents and unmatched friendships in every display.”
Coop takes pride in arranging insets of different views of the knife and making them look plausible, varied, and interesting. Lighting is key; the shadows are real. His backgrounds are all rich papers; he does not use digital backgrounds.
Coop is 63 years old, living with his wife and 14-year-old son in the Northeast USA. He explains, “I love knives; I enjoy photographing knives, and I am a collector of 50 handmade knives myself.”
Sponsor: Knife Rights, Inc.
Doug Ritter, Founder and Chairman
Knife Rights is America’s grassroots knife owners organization, forging a Sharper Future™ for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice to influence public policy. In the past six years, Knife Rights has passed pro-knife legislation repealing knife bans in 15 states and stopped anti-knife legislation in 6 states. In Congress, Knife Rights’ Knife Owners’Protection Act would repeal the Federal Switchblade Act and protect knife owners traveling throughout the U.S. Knife Rights also leads a federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City and the New York District Attorney over their persecution of knife owners. Knife Rights is the Second Front in Defense of the Second Amendment™.
Recipient: National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
The Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the lobbying arm of the NRA. Established in 1975, ILA is committed to preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While NRA is a single-issue organization, ILA is involved in any issue that directly or indirectly affects firearms ownership and use. ILA is also involved in educating the public about the facts concerning the many facets of firearms ownership in America.
About Knife Rights
Knife Rights (www.KnifeRights.org) is America’s grassroots knife owners organization, forging a Sharper Future™ for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice to influence public policy. In doing so, Knife Rights is rewriting knife law in America™. In the past seven years, Knife Rights has passed pro-knife legislation repealing knife bans in 15 states and stopped anti-knife legislation in 6 states. Knife Rights also leads a federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City and the New York District Attorney over their persecution of knife owners. Become a Knife Rights member and make a contribution to support the fight for your knife rights. Visit www.KnifeRights.org
Contact: Doug Ritter