At Last. A Truly Accurate First Blood Knife!

Asp9mm

Well-Known Member
I have a soft spot for the original First Blood Lile knife. It's iconic, classic and launched many of us into the woods, where some of us still find ourselves at every opportunity.

I also own or have owned many of the 'tribute' knives and an original Lile I bought in the late eighties. But even the Lile (SLY II model) was a long way from accurate to the original first 13 movie blades made by Jimmy Lile back in the early eighties. Many makers have stated that they make THE most accurate First Blood movie knife replica available. And indeed that was probably true, until now.

Now we have a new First Blood replica knife on the scene, and the maker has been granted permission by John Hill (owner of Lile Knives) to bear the family name as per the originals. What this piece does is something spectacular, it actually delivers for the very first time, a truly accurate handmade version of the knife used by Sylvester Stallone in First Blood, and is made by someone who has been a collector of Jimmy Lile's Rambo knives for decades. To top it off, he also has an impressive background in engineering and high end custom gunsmithing, and is obsessive about accuracy, so it was a natural step to move into knife making and making the one knife he has been passionate about for years. Can he deliver? Let's see....

This knife came onto the market under the radar. They weren't really supposed to be announced until the Blade Show by John Hill himself but a happy customer posted theirs up on BB and from the sparse pictures posted, I saw what looked like an impressive and superior product to current offerings, and from discussing the subject with Rob Evans (a fellow FB knife enthusiast), I decided to contact the maker - Andy Wood, and find out more. The price also had a major influence as, although at £750 was still high, it was less expensive than any other high end licenced knives available. And priced more on a par with the lower end replicas offered. So it promised a very big bang for my buck.

After contacting Andy Wood, I found out he was indeed given permission by John Hill to make and produce an accurate and affordable version of the First Blood knife, use the LILE stamp on his blades and supply them for sale both from Lile themselves and directly from himself to UK/European collectors to avoid getting hit by import duty and customs charges. A bonus for us Brits as he is a UK knife maker. I bought one.





Unlike many knives, there are two concerns I had with this one. The first was in relation to how accurate this knife would be compared to the original 13 movie versions Lile made. For those of you that don't know, Jimmy Lile made 13 knives originally with the movie specification. Six of which were used in the film, and seven of which would stay with him. He then made a further run giving the total count of 100 knives, but these last 87 had many differences to the 13 movie versions. The most famous of which was the use of 12 saw teeth compared to the 14 used on the movie knife. But there are many more including the grinds and finish etc that I won't bore you with.

The second concern I had, was the overall construction and finish. Upon getting the knife, the latter was certainly put out of my mind...




I've had many knives from custom makers so know a well made knife when I see and handle one. This is definately one of those knives..





Everything about the fit and finish on this knife is anally perfect. The attention to detail on the knife, considering the lower price compared to many others is utterly sublime...







The grinds, polishing and finish are excellent. And almost microscopic detailing to get the accuracy to the original Lile knives is something to behold. I mean look at this screwdriver tip and the added flared bevel at the tip! To actually go to these lengths of accuracy shows the passion behind Andy Wood's drive to put out the perfect product...



This obssesive attention to accuracy and detailing is evident all over the knife...











Just like the original, and this version is constructed EXACTLY the way Jimmy Lile made his knives... so no weak tang construction here. This is engineered for use and abuse and strength. The handle is 440c stainless steel tubing like the original, not soft aluminium like many copies have...





The pommel cap like the original is constructed from a hunk of aluminium though, as it houses a nice traditional little brass compass recessed safely into it. To use steel here would affect its accuracy. Again, the attention to detail and finishing is second to none..







The inner base of the handle holds the only moniker and reference to the maker...



The nylon cording on the handle is also the most true to the original Lile I've seen. It is the correct dark green that will darken through use and absorbtion of hand oils as you can see on those Eighties knives of Jimmy's today. It has been very tightly wound, and again, the attention to detail here borders on the anal, as the maker has not only tied off and melted the end into the handle like the original knives, but he has also applied resin under and on top of the knotting to ensure it never comes undone...



The robust construction of the blade can be seen in the amount of work put into the grinds. Unlike most other tribute knives I've seen, this one retains the beefiness and swell of the original Lile knives running towards the tip to keep the strength running as far towards the tip as is possible...



Now to the sheath. It is again, very well made and accurate to the movie version made by Jim Buffaloe. I went with the left hand version for movie accuracy. But I won't go as far as battering it and weathering it to the extent the original was abused...





So there we have it. And I'll say it again, the attention to detail in manufacture, fit, fitting and finish is utterly sublime. It is a fitting tribute to Jimmy Liles legacy in that regard, and one that actually earns the right to have that LILE stamp on it.

So... is it actually movie knife original 13 accurate?

Well, as far as the original six used in the movie, we will probably never be 100% sure as none of these has ever been made public since the movie was made and the only images we see are on film footage. But Lile did a run of 13 of these knives, so it is safe to assume that the following 7 matched the original six exactly. We know Stallone sent his six back to have the bead blast extended under the raker teeth (that is the option I chose for my knife), so realistically, that is the only difference the first six will have. I have a history in the film making industry and know that Lile would have kept those extra seven in reserve should they be needed in filming due to the first six being used and gaining wear at a considerable rate, so it makes sense that they would all be the same. Andy Wood has the profiles for the original Lile knives, and he used #16 which is confirmed accurate to the original 13 apart from the 12 saw teeth. That knife he has used as a first hand reference and template for his version. He also has a close connection with John Hill and has resources available to him from the originals. So as far as movie knife accuracy is concerned, I'm pretty sure this is as close to an original movie Lile as it is ever possible to get.

You top that with the excellent still images we can get off Blu-Ray these days. And trust me, I've scoured the disc frame by frame and matched grind lines, angles and dimensions as thoroughly as I can. And I'm over the moon with the result. I've also matched up every image I have of the first 13 available and this replica is true to them in every way.

The picture below shows a magazine article with one of the original 13 knives pictured. The knife lying on top of that is Andy Woods prototype.



And here is the new LILE replica from Andy Wood. Remember this has the movie version of the sand blast which extends onto the angle under the raker teeth, while the original Liles shown have that portion polished. Andy Wood offers both of these finishes depending on the buyers preference.



So pretty definitive and compelling evidence right there.

All the knives are to be numbered, but not limited. Anyone can get them from the US or the UK, so no customs fees. Andy has made it clear he stands by the product and the accuracy. I'm picky about knives and really picky about props claiming movie accuracy. This knife has met both high expectations. FULLSTOP.





Andy Wood has a website dedicated to the history of the Rambo knives Rambo Knife






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Zatahra

New Member
OMG now I want one. I remember visiting Lile's shop as a kid, when we lived in Russellville, Ark. That definitely sparked my love for blades!
 

Darth Vulgar

New Member
Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don't turn it off!!
Love this thread. Have been looking for something like this for a long time.
Thank you asp9mm.
 

Darth Vulgar

New Member
Ok, little confused. Went to "jimmy Lile knives" site and they have the (New Lile First Blood) knife up for..........$3500!!!!! WTF? Did this go up or is there a different knife?
:cry
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thats the price for a good custom

Nice to see someone on the Board picked one up!


Ok, little confused. Went to "jimmy Lile knives" site and they have the (New Lile First Blood) knife up for..........$3500!!!!! WTF? Did this go up or is there a different knife?
:cry
 

Asp9mm

Well-Known Member
Ok, little confused. Went to "jimmy Lile knives" site and they have the (New Lile First Blood) knife up for..........$3500!!!!! WTF? Did this go up or is there a different knife?
:cry
No, that's not it. That is the older Next Generation Knife. You can still order this new version from that site by contacting them, it is $1200. If you live in Europe or the UK, contact Andy Wood direct through his site here:

Rambo Knife

The Next Generation is a beautifully made and presented knife as it should be at $3500. But it is a strictly Limited Edition, so the price is justified. This new Lile is an oddity as it offers the same quality, but is more accurate to the movie knife and original 13 made by Jimmy Lile, but a much lower price.

Lile Knives (John Hill) and Andy Wood's goal was to offer a quality and accurate replica that is more affordable to the average collector as a truly accurate piece had never been offered before. It isn't a Limited Edition, but all knives will be numbered. It will no doubt upset a few buyers of the Next Gen Knife, but I can't see the problem as the Next Gen is a small run of 100, so collectiblity and aftermarket prices will still be secure. I say kudos to Lile knives for giving fans a product they have been after for the last 30 years.
 

Darth Vulgar

New Member
Thanks for clearing that up asp9mm. Much happier now. Will be looking into this when I get back from holiday.
Sheriff Teasle: Why would you be carrying a knife like this?

John Rambo: Hunting.

Sheriff Teasle: Don't be a wise guy. What do you hunt with a knife?

John Rambo: Name it.*
 

IFA

Sr Member
Britt Gudowski from Black Starr Knives wrote in his website that he made his new run from one of the 6 first knives (one of the knives was loaned to him from a collector), so his should be really identical too, no ?
And for a lower price !!
 

Asp9mm

Well-Known Member
Britt Gudowski from Black Starr Knives wrote in his website that he made his new run from one of the 6 first knives (one of the knives was loaned to him from a collector), so his should be really identical too, no ?
And for a lower price !!
I have a couple of Britt's knives and they are well made and good replicas. But they are nowhere near as accurate or with the attention to detail in fit, finish and construction as this one though. You just couldn't bring a fully detailed and finished knife in at those prices and that's why the Black Starr knives are a great budget alternative for those that don't have screen used OCD to a level I do.

Did Britt post a picture of his knife alongside the original movie knife? It's a big claim to make without evidence. I believe the product should be stand alone and speak for itself. So far I see no evidence in any of Black Starrs knives that they are screen accurate.

With this new knife, the product does indeed speak for itself. I take no claims from any maker at their word and I go out and do my own extensive research to back up their claims. The evidence is compelling and conclusive..

Here's OCD geeky for you. You can clearly see in these pics that the grind lines on Andy Wood's knife are spot on to at least one of the main knives used. You can also see the blunt edged/rounded tipped stunt knife used on Teasel has the same lines...






















And pics of my knife...









It's impossible to show here, but going through the Blu-ray frame by frame shows differences in the knives used on set. The full hero versions used, show all details captured by the new Lile, down to grind lines, bead blasting and pretty much everything else. No other tribute jknife stands up to this detailed scrutiny. That is why I'm so impressed by this knife and that is why Lile knives have granted this knife the honor of bearing the LILE name. And this despite the fact they are still offering their more expensive Limited Edition Next Generation at over twice the price. Buyers of that knife shouldn't be upset though as it is a strictly limited edition and beautifully presented, so collectibility and value will be maintained. This new Lile knife is unlimited, although each knife will be individually numbered.




!!
 

clancampbell

Sr Member
A thing of pure beauty! Everything about it just screams authentic. Can you tell me how the grey stripe is achieved? Is it just paint or is it chemically done?

Rich
 

Asp9mm

Well-Known Member
Both the blade and handguard are sandblasted. The highly polished edges are just achieved by masking it off.

One impressive thing about the knife is the precise blade/handguard fitting. It is so meticulous that it looks like the guard and blade are machined from one piece. I've never seen any other replicas or even some of the later Lile knives achieve such a high level of precision fitting.

 

gunnerk19

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'd hazard a guess and say the field jacket is genuine GI and not a knock off. Still doesn't answer your question since there are God knows how many companies making uniforms under gov't contract. Probably one they got from a surplus store somewheres off of Ft. Lewis...
 

Asp9mm

Well-Known Member
By the way Asp9mm where did your M-65 jacket come from ? i've done some searches and there appears to be dozens of knock-offs and remakes and they're all different, from materials used right down to the smaller details.
That one in my piccy is a genuine M65 from the Seventies. Keep your eye out on Ebay UK, you get the occasional gem pop up every now and then, you won't have to wait long. Make sure it has the US ARMY tab on it though, as the patches you get nowadays are very different. Getting the flag is very hard and you'll have to settle on a very close version. There are so many out there, but most are the wrong size. If I see a good M65 pop up on the bay, I'll send you a PM. Here is a pic of my genuine one along with the modern versions on top to give you some idea of the difference. Keep a look out for the longer breast pockets on the original compared to the shorter ones on the copies, and the movie one had brass zips and not steel...











Hope those help you out.

It's worth getting a modern one too. They are really warm jackets with the inner quilt in. I don't wear mine very often, but when I do, it's surprising how many compliments I get and how widely regognised it is.
 
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