For the fourth installment of the "Dalton of the
Week", we'll cover the Asp at Rick's (KCIR's) request. The
first batch of the Asps was shipped to dealers in either late
April or early May 2001. At least one prototype had been made by
25 April, when we saw the first picture on the internet. They
were made through August 2001, when they were discontinued to
start making the larger Border Patrol Asp.
Dimensions of the Asp are:
8 - 3/8" OAL
3 - 3/8" Blade Length
The blade is released by a lever on one edge of the handle and is closed by operating the linerlock on the opposite edge and pulling back on the charging bar. All Asps had satin finish blades. There were no two-tone or beadblast bladed ones. I'm not aware of any serrated Asps. The Asps were also shipped with Eagle Industries multiposition nylon sheaths. None were fitted with pocket clips. This was to discourage pocket carrying - with reason. The Asp is probably the most powerful opening OTF that has ever been made. The release and linerlock being on the edges of the handle also made the Asp effectively ambidextrous.
The picture above is a first release PROTO Asp. There were 24 of the first release pieces marked PROTO. I don't think there were very many of these first release variants made, as I have an email from the Daltons indicating that they were making second release models by 08 May. They were serialized on the opposite side of the handle. The particular one above is 0002 and it has "blacked out" screws.
This is the second release of the Asp. Mr. Dalton changed the chevron pattern on the handle to improve the grip and made some internal changes to smooth up the action. There were also 24 PROTO marked second releases. These were serialized on the opposite handle.
The next variant of the Asp was the "Devil One" pictured below. Along with the standard logo on the blade, "DEVIL ONE" was etched on the blade and "DEVIL" was stamped into the handle above the serial number. There were also some red handled Asps made with the narrow (second release) chevron pattern and no "devil" markings or engraving. The first Devil One's were released in early June of 2001, just before Atlanta Blade Show.
I think that the next variant of Asps released were the Blue Skull FTW variants with the bayonet blades, pictured below. Six also were made in blue with the narrow chevron pattern and without the Skull FTW emblem. The blue ones were the only Asp variants with the bayonet blade. These were also different from the earlier releases in that they were not serialized, though a total of 48 blue ones were made.
Shortly after the blue ones, 48 more were made in emerald green. 25 of the 48 had the narrow chevrons and the remaining 23 had the Skull FTW emblem.
Following the green handled variants, were more Black handles with the FTW Skull emblem and gray handled variants with the narrow chevrons.
One damascus piece (serial number 001) was made just prior to Atlanta Blade Show last year. This was a special order by one dealer and I got to drool on it a bit in Atlanta. Another batch of 10 ( sn 0002 - 0011) damascus bladed Asps was ordered by another dealer. These were released in August of 2001 and were, as far as I know, the last regular sized Asps produced. Here is a picture of the 0002 damascus Asp:
Note that the damascus variant had plain handles (no chevrons).
George H. (Gohmer) posted in October 2001 that a total of 480 Asps were made with the following breakdown: 120 black, 48 green, 48 blue, 96 red, and 168 hardcoat (gray).
Following is a summary list of variations that I'm aware of:
Black 1st release (wide chevrons) PROTO (24)
Black 1st release (wide chevrons) non-PROTO
Black 2nd release (narrow chevrons) PROTO (24)
Black 2nd release (narrow chevrons) non-PROTO
Black - FTW
Red - Devil One (72)
Red - Plain with narrow chevrons (24)
Blue - Bayonet blade FTW (42)
Blue - Bayonet blade plain with narrow chevrons(6)
Green - FTW (23)
Green - Plain with narrow chevrons (25)
Gray - Plain with narrow chevrons (168)
Black - damascus blade (11)