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Briar Patch Outdoors

Diving Sparrow Knives - A Review

by Keith A. Williams

After meeting Abe Elias of Diving Sparrow Knife Works some years ago and having since taken every opportunity to use some of his fine blades, I just had to have him make one of my own design. After careful planning and quite a bit of tweaking back and forth, Abe made what was originally intended to be a prototype and presented it to me for review in 2006. As is typical of Abe's work, the handle slabs of black micarta were amazing. The fit and finish were absolutely perfect, and both the slabs and blade were highly polished. This thing fit my hand like a glove, which went far beyond my expectations for something that was built without my presence or supervision. As this was to be a prototype, the blade was tempered, but unstamped, and an unfinished edge. He had intended to get my impressions on it and then take it back with him to build another at a later date.

Well, I just couldn't stand it, and just had to properly sharpen her up on the spot, and after playing with it for several days, just couldn't let him take it away. I have used it for both off duty, and duty usage, and though I don't believe in mistreating knives I certainly have not babied this thing either. With this in mind, I informed Abe that I had no complaints at all with the blade and wanted another, stamped version... but that he still wasn't getting the original back.

Since I was so pleased with the original, we didn't really see the need to change much at all, except to give this model a set of yellow canvas micarta slabs with black liners. This would make it a bit easier to see, when laid down in the leaves. All together, the overall length is 9 1/4", with 3 13/16" of that being a 1 3/8" wide fantastically functional carbon steel blade of 1/8" stock. As requested, the belt sheath has both a larger belt loop to fit over a pack/cartridge belt buckle, as well as a stud for behind-the-belt/sash carry.

Unfortunately, I am not big on pretty "ooh and ahh" knives, so I didn't take many photos of them like that. Below are a few photos of these knives, as they were created to be. They have both been heavily used, and will continue to jockey with each other for primary carry status on my belt.

My only complaint is that he has since changed the name of this knife from the "Bootlegger" model, to what he now refers to as the "Carolinian". Well, since I simply cannot abide by this, my two will forever be known as "Bootlegger" models.


I have heard that the current knives that Abe is putting out are even better, but personally, I'd find it hard to improve on what I've seen and used. I hope to get the opportunity to use more of his fine blades in the future.

- Woodsrunner Tips -

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Briar Patch Outdoors
219 Holmes Street
Durand MI 48429
(989) 288-0168

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