The Lost Rambo Knife You Never Knew About

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Collecting Rambo knives
If there’s such a thing as the “lost knife of Rambo” it’s the model known as the “Rescue Mission Knife” that appears briefly in Rambo III. (Derek Hibben image)
Collecting Rambo knives
The “Rescue Mission Knife” that appears briefly in Rambo III. (Derek Hibben image)

If there’s such a thing as the “lost knife of Rambo” it’s the model known as the “Rescue Mission Knife” from Rambo III.

“I think the Rescue knife is important not only because it was a mistake/blooper, but because it has been a topic among die-hard Rambo knife collectors for almost 30 years,” noted Linda Hibben, wife of the knife’s maker, BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame© member Gil Hibben. “Even David Morrell [author of the original Rambo book, First Blood] has been intrigued by the appearance and story behind how this knife designed and made by Gil on a moment’s notice ‘accidentally’ appeared in the film.”

Rambo 3 Minefield scene
The minefield scene for Rambo III already had been filmed with Gil Hibben’s Rescue Mission Knife before Stallone decided to go with Hibben’s Rambo III bowie as the movie’s featured knife instead. (©1987 Carolco All Rights Reserved)
Rare Rambo knife
The Rescue Mission Knife had sawteeth on the spine and a hollow handle a la Jimmy Lile’s original Rambo knife from First Blood. (©1987 Carolco All Rights Reserved)

Rambo III was the first Rambo movie for which Gil Hibben made knives, taking over from Cutlery Hall-Of-Famer Jimmy Lile, who made the knives for the first two Rambo films. When Stallone contacted Hibben about doing the knife for the third film, Hibben made a prototype hollow-handle survival knife with sawteeth on the spine.

However, Stallone decided he wanted something different and opted for another of Hibben’s designs, the now famous Rambo III bowie. However, the minefield scenes for the third movie already had been filmed with Stallone using the first design, the knife known as the Rescue Mission Knife.

On the 25th anniversary of Rambo III, Hibben teamed with award-winning knifemaker Vaughn Neeley to fashion a limited edition of 100 specially marked, mirror-polished and serial-numbered 25th anniversary Rescue Mission knives. Go here for more information.

Gil Hibben Rambo Mission Knife
Instead of the Rescue Mission Knife, Stallone opted for Gil Hibben’s Rambo III bowie (shown here) as the featured knife for the third film. Stallone had more input on the design of the bowie, including the long cutout in the blade. (Kris Kandler image)

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