In the history of Russian weapons and hunting forever inscribed the name of the master Egor Samsonov. The armourer of the end of XIX — beginning of XX century was famous for producing hunting knives of high quality. Since then, the phrase “knife Samson” has become legendary.
Samsonov knives — products workshop Yegor Petrovich Samsonov, who became the supplier of the Imperial society of hunting. Weapon workshop in Tula produced about a dozen kinds of knives, or as they are called daggers for hunting. Feature products Samsonov is simplicity, austerity, austerity and huge strength, through which the knives gained notoriety standard weapon skills. Many specimens belonged to the representatives of the Russian nobility, an outstanding military and even the Emperor Nicholas II.
Knives for hunting: background
The progenitor of the hunting knife real sword, which experienced its heyday during the absence of firearms. Then with it, really hunted wild animals, using the help of dogs or traps. It required really serious edged weapons. In addition, used spears for hunting. And traditionally paired with a spear or sword was used a small knife he helped to cut production, to remove the skin, remove the veins.
With time and hunting, and weapons have changed. For one, the XVII was widespread in Europe firearms. Second, the hunt becomes fun, a lot of nobles, commoners, it was prohibited. But an important hunter had to be in the best tradition of spectacular hunting picture to kill the beast with a beautiful shot.
So melee weapons is developing in the direction of its diversity and pretentiousness. However, the knife or dagger was used for self-defense from a wounded and enraged animal that gave this weapon to become quite decorative. Typically, this dagger is supplied with each hunting party, wore it on his belt.
Thus, by the NINETEENTH century formed the main features of a hunting knife. It was:
- polutoratonny or double-edged long blade
- with durable handle,
- cross cropped,
- with metal scabbard.
Decorative elements were present, however, it was a weapon in the first place, to defeat the strongest of the beast — until the wild boar and bear. Therefore, in Russia these knives got the name bear.
The appearance of Samsonov knives
Russia, as the development and establishment of close contacts with the West, adopting and weapons traditions. Although a great influence in our country was felt from the Caucasus: thanks to the people that served there in the military, in hunting practice included Caucasian daggers. However, for the same reason as in the West, the dagger gradually replace the knife: in the presence of firearms knife were not so much in order to slay the beast, how much to cut. However, the “dagger” effect also persisted, for example, the blade remained quite long.
Knives began to be produced by industry in Russia, was famous for Tula and Zlatoust products, there are several brands in this field. Now Russia was not far behind, and outpaced the West in this craft, as the wild beast we have survived the time much more than abroad. This season is the flowering of the workshop of the gunsmith Egor Samsonov. Formed the distinctive features of its products.
Samsonov knife — polutoratonny blade with handle black wood or ebony, with the crossbar. On the handle not only the common notch. It is this pattern the master has made a hallmark of his arms. The parameters of the product differed, but, on average, had a length of blade 25 cm, width 5 cm and thickness in the range of 1 cm.
Widespread, especially among the Russian nobility, Samsonov knives received thanks to the publication of Mikhail Andrievsky, hunter and master of the hunt, the Prince’s court. Magazine about nature and the hunt printed his article about the knife made in his project Samsonov. The basis was taken an American Sheffield blade “Bowie”. The size and balance of the dagger was calculated so that it is easy with it, as chopping, slicing, and stabbing, as well as to skin the carcass.
Manufacturer Samsonov knives
Firm of “Rogers” in the us used a special Sheffield steel — it is called cast crucible. According to its characteristics it is not inferior to today’s knives for cutting meat. And Samsonov, according to contemporaries, made his knives from British four-wheel springs, which used a similar steel.
There was a special technology, which I exactly never painted, so we can only speculate about his secrets. It is known that the blades were maintained at a temperature of 900 degrees for about five hours, and the temperature of the gunsmith determined by himself, without any instruments. Further, they are repeatedly heated and cooled in a specific order, the final step was sharpening.
In the NINETEENTH century the price of Samsonov knives was 13 rubles. For comparison, the knife company “Rogers” was worth 21 rubles. As an advertisement it was stated that this weapon is able to cut the coin.
On one of the weapons exhibitions Egor Samsonov was awarded the title of member of the Imperial hunting society. Since then, in addition to the usual stigma “Egor Samsonov in Tula”, the blade began to place six-pointed star, the symbol of the society, and the inscription that he is his supplier.
Hunting knives like this, what was the daggers Samson began to be pushed out of use only advanced firearms. It happened in Russia not fast: the master lived and worked until the 30-ies of XX century, and its products were in demand.
In the twentieth and twenty-first century, bear knife for a hunter is not so much the need as the desire to possess the legendary useful. Of course, these blades made by Egor Samsonov, not so much. There are copies, there are fakes.
In Soviet times, at the Tula arms factory was trying to make similar knives, even tried to restore the technology of the wizard. Specialists conducted the analysis of steel samples were measured for strength.
Known this experience: a Few products Samsonov was placed vertically under the press. With increasing pressure, they began to go in the bottom metal plate. And it is exactly that pointed to the achievement of the master’s greatest precision metal processing. Some specimens broken only when a vertical load of more than 14 tons.
As a self-taught craftsman, who worked in a home workshop in tandem with his wife-assistant, was able to achieve what did not work from the experts that had a huge opportunity? Some say that the secret of a lost technology. Others claim it’s all about spring steel, and the armourer just successfully used it for their products.
However, through this mystery the name of Egor Petrovich Samsonov, who lived on the outskirts of Tula in the house with the sign “Hardening of knives for hunting,” preserved in the history of hunting and craft of Russia. As evidence of the huge opportunities of people who are born on this earth.