The large AFO is the seventh featured "Dalton of the
Week" at Larry Luana's request. The AFO's and large AFO's
were some of Mr. Dalton's earliest models, with some of them
being made concurrently with the original SEAL. (1991-1994). At
least some of the AFO's were made through 1995. This is about as
close as I've been able to get on production dates. I have seen
one of these with "POLICE MODEL" etched on the blade.
This variant has resulted in some people calling these the POLICE
The large AFO variants are about 10 - 1/4" to 10 - 1/2 " overall length compared to about 8 - 1/2" for the standard AFOs. As far as I know, the large AFO is the largest side opener to come out of the Dalton shop. The next largest side openers are the Militia and large Guardian Angel at 10" OAL.
The construction techniques on these are very similar to the original SEAL. The pivot is a slot headed screw whose threads screw into the opposite handle side. For this reason, you have to be careful when tightening the pivot screw or you'll strip the threads in the aluminum handle. These were made before the advent of the pivot pin and screw combination that is used on most side opening autos today. An allen headed set screw is incorporated into the handle as an adjustable blade stop so you can tweak out vertical blade play. These were made before the Daltons had CNC machinery, so the handle machining was outsourced. As with all Daltons before 1999, Mr. Dalton hand ground all the blades.
Here is a picture of one with a beadblast drop point blade:
The dimensions are:
Overall length: about 10 - 1/4" to 10 - 1/2"
Handle Length: 5 - 25/32"
Blade Length: about 4 - 1/2" to 4 - 11/16"
Handle Thickness: 0.695"
Blade Thickness: 0.120"
There were a number of minor blade grind variations due to the blades being hand ground. Drop points and clip points seem to be predominate. I've never seen a tanto version of the large AFO. Available blade finishes were beadblast, satin, 2-tone and hi-polish. Here's a picture of a hi-polish clip point version:
Handle colors that I've seen in this model are black and purple. Some of the regular AFO's were done in "clear" (silver), but I haven't seen a large AFO in that color. Some of these models were serialized on the blade. If you look closely at the picture above, you'll see the "50" stamp to the right of the logo. The logos on these were either stamped into the blade or etched onto the blade. The upper picture shows the etched logo, which includes the cat jumping through the parachute with lightning bolts underneath, but does not include the shield of the current Dalton logo. Here's a picture of Larry's large AFO, which has the stamped logo and a serial number of "P30".
Some of the large AFOs were also done with handle inserts. I saw one at ABS last year with scrimshawed bone inserts. The Daltons also believe that some were done with stag inserts. Here is a picture of one that belongs to a friend of Larry's with what we believe are ivory inserts. This one has a satin blade and no logo.
I've never seen any of these with pocket clips. At least some of them may have come with nylon belt sheaths.
Thanks to Larry for the additional pictures and as always, thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Dalton for the reference information.