Beretta is a globally known Italian firearms manufacturer, the full name being Fabbrica D’Armi Pietro Beretta. A family owned concern with a history that goes back to it’s first firearm in 1526, Beretta is the oldest existing firearms manufacturer in the world. Beretta today is far better known for it Model 92F semi-automatic pistol in 9mm, designated M9 that was adopted by the U.S. military in 1985 and remains in use to this day in by the U.S. and other militaries and police around the world. Like other firearms manufacturers, Beretta relied on outside knife makers to produce a line of knives to complement their firearms.
Apart from the now highly collectable Beretta daggers, the Model 201 R.W. Loveless design licensed 4 inch blade drop point hunter was made by Hattori.
Beretta Model 201 Aus8 blade and Quince handle. A Stag handled version was also made, as well as a serial numbered limited edition model with a deer depiction on the blade in a wooden presentation case.
Beautiful deer engraving, serial numbered in presentation case.
Hattori continues to manufacture this model as the Hattori H-359
Valor Corporation of Miami Florida existed from the late 1960s until the early 1990s. In it’s time, it was a prominent seller of low cost firearms, ammunition, firearms related accessories and a large importer of knives from various Seki makers. While Valor’s knives covered a wide range of types, a few models were of high quality and stood out. Valor’s copy of the Gerber Mark II dagger, as well as the leather handled 373 were adopted as official knives of two separate US Army Special Forces units.
Valor marketed some models made for them by Hattori, some of which bore his name etched on the blade and some which did not.
The Valor Model 359 was also a Loveless based Drop Point Hunter, but with a tip dropping slightly lower than the Beretta 201. Some models had “Hand Made by Ichiroh” etched on he blade with a serial number on the other side.
“Ichiro” spelled “Ichiroh”.
While some Valor model 359s did not have any etching on the blade.
Present version, the Hattori H-300 Aus8
A folder known to be Hattori made is the Valor 360 Super Sport.
Again, etched “Hand Made by Ichiro” and serial numbered on the other side. Marked 440 Stainless on the box. The weight, construction and locking on this knife is equivalent to the Kershaw 1050.
From the 1960s through the 1980s James Parker of Tennessee was a dominant name in the knife business. At one time he was the owner of WR Case and Sons Cutlery and was responsible for the design and development of the Case Classic line. Under various labels such as Parker Cutlery, Parker Brothers and other brand labels like American Blade, Parker Eagle Brand, as well as Parker-Frost, Parker-Edwards and Parker-Imai, as well as the Bulldog Brand, Parker imported an enormous number of knives from Seki. He went as far as to build a factory in Seki with Seizo Imai.
While the majority were folders mostly traditionals of varying degrees of quality, they sold a line of fixed blades and folders called the “Parker Custom Series”. The two Seki knife makers that are known to have made models for this line are Ichiro Hattori and Tak Fukuta.
This is a model very similar to the current Hattori H700 but with the difference being in the grind with respect to the false edge.
Another difference is the full tang of the Parker which is not tapered in later models.
Some knives had “HandMade by Ichiro” and a serial number etched into the blade rather than the written “Parker Custom Series”.
HandMade by Ichiro S/N 0359
Parker later offered a Collectible version in a presentation box with no sheath. The grind line of the false edge was cornered and the tang became tapered.
Around 1986 Hattori also made the H700 for the German importer and distributor C. July Herbertz, who at that time period contracted for knives to be made in Germany, Italy and Japan with their company stamping on the blades.
The same nickel stainless Damascus pattern as used on the Browning Damascus Hunter was used.
The Hattori H-700 today in Aus8
HD-700 Spiral Damascus Hunter DX – VG2 core with 321 layer Nickel Stainless Damascus, Nickel Silver guard and pins, Mahogany handle.
A rarely seen Damascus Parker Custom Series knife
H-102 Presentation Master Hunter II ATS-34 blade Nickel Stainless guard and Pommel, Cocobolo handle.
HD-2 Master Hunter DX- VG2 core with 321 layer Nickel Stainless Damascus. Nickel Silver guard and pommel, Cocobolo handle.
Not many of these Parker Custom Series knives are seen today compared to the number of folding knives.
G96 was a brand owned by Jet-Aer Corporation of Patterson, N.J. which started in 1973 and remained an active importer of knives into the early 1980s. Jet-Aer Corp still exists today as a maker of Gun cleaners and lubricants, but they dissolved the knife division many decades ago. Most if not all of the G96 brand knives are copies or closely based on popular Buck models, both fixed blade and folding. G96 brand copies of the Buck 110 are fairly well known.
The Buck 119 is an American classic having been introduced in 1961, although some sources report an earlier date of 1955. It’s clip point design has established itself as the classical “American Hunting Knife” for decades and the model is still in production today.
Vintage Buck 119 Special.
G96 Model 940.
Jet-Aer Corporation contracted with Hattori to make a number of fixed blade models for the G96 brand. While the designs were obvious copies of well known Buck models, among knife owners there arose a common opinion that the steel used in the G96 knives was better than Buck’s blades. G96 blades, unlike other Japanese imports at the time which had “400 series”, “440 Stainless” or “Surgical Steel” on the ricasso G96 knives were unique in being marked “Rustproof steel”. The instruction sheet that came with G96 knives merely stated “”knife makers choice knives are made of a special rust proof steel that combines the edge holding ability of high carbon steel with the easy care of stainless steel. when properly sharpend they will hold their razor sharp edge through long & repeated use”. There has been speculation over the years as to the type of steel used from Aus6 to ATS-34, but Jet-Aer Corp, long divorced from the knife business is unable to clarify this point.
G96 offered other Buck based versions the 9XX series, as well as the full tanged 3XXX series.
Model 950 Skinner
Different handle version G96 Model 3010
Presentation box with instruction sheet.
Hattori 6000/1000 discontinued.
G96 Model 940, Hattori Model 1700-A, G96 Model 3010
H1700A & H-1000
Extreme clip point variation-Model H100
The 1700A is the Buck 119 design whereas the 1700C is the Buck 124 Frontiersman design.
The Hattori 1700A was originally made for Valor Corp. Miami in the 1980s and sold as the Valor Model 1700-B Original Bowie.
There were at least two configurations, one with Valor stamped on the right side ricasso, and another which simply had “Original Bowie” printed on the left side ricasso and “Hi Stainless” “1700B Japan” on the right side.
Current Hattori 1700A below:
Another U.S. Importer of knives in the late 1970s to 1980s period was “Sharp”. They offered a number of Seki made fixed blades but one that is noteworthy is the Sharp Model 1000s.
The same knife was also imported and sold under an unidentified label with an “M” inside a star as a brand mark.
This model survives as the H-109 Drop Point Hunter, with a 3 1/2″ Aus8 blade, Nickel Silver Bolster and rivets, rounded and shaped grained Mahogany handle with brass lanyard hole.