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SHOT Show 2019: 50th anniversary Apollo 11 knife in Las Vegas

Updated January 23, 2019 - 7:20 pm

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Those famous words were uttered by astronaut Neil Armstrong as he took the first steps on the Moon almost 50 years ago, on July 20, 1969. As that historic moment occurred, one manufacturer’s knife was stored in Apollo 11 as part of a survival kit.

To celebrate the golden anniversary of that monumental occasion, Case — the maker of the Astronaut Knife M-1 — debuted its commemorative model marking the event at SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas at the the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

“When they (Astronauts) came back to Earth and if they landed somewhere off course, they could survive until they were picked up,” said Fred Feightner, Case spokesperson. “It ended up in the survival kit of every Apollo and Gemini mission.”

The blade features a double row of teeth on the top side of the blade that could be used to cut through wood. The other side is smooth, with a special curvature at the tip that allows for digging. The blade features a white plastic handle, held together by brass pins.

Ross Ezinga, a gunsmith attending shot show from Michigan, liked the idea of the knife, but wasn’t sold on all its features.

“I think it’s more of a collectors piece, rather than one you would use,” Ezinga said. “I don’t care much for the plastic handle —I’m more into the traditional wood and steel handles —but on that note, it reflects what it’s purpose was. It was used as a utilitarian piece, a lightweight piece that went to the Moon.”

The knife will begin shipping in February and will be offered in two different price ranges.

The knife alone costs $195. One with a collectible case, with 250 made, will retail at $400, Feightner said. The knife was made as close to the original as possible, he said.

With the Moon landing being a monumental event in the country’s history, Enzinga thinks releasing a commemorative edition was a great idea.

“I think it’s fitting they’re having this knife released for the anniversary,” he said. “It’s an American company and it really rallied the country together when we landed on the Moon for the first time. I hope that can be reflected in the release of this knife.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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