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Rick Hinderer has what most people would consider a dream job. In a way, this veteran bladesmith could be considered the Willy Wonka of the knife-making world. Granted, his laid-back and approachable demeanor doesn't match the wacky exuberance of the fictional chocolatier, but the products that leave his manufacturing facility often transcend the norm.
Many of the blades and pens produced by Rick Hinderer Knives are practical for every-day carry, and while priced at a premium, all that we've handled are built to a high standard of quality. The XM-18 is a mainstay of the knife collection and customization scene, and we were impressed by our recent evaluation of the MP-1. But the limited-run machined items from the company are often more unusual, excessive, and sometimes borderline absurd. Such is the case for the Double Knuckle Shot cup.
We recently reached out to Hinderer for a sample of the Extreme Duty Pen for our Tactical Pen Buyer's Guide — coming soon in RECOIL OFFGRID Issue 22, on sale October 6th. Rick sent us a few samples of the pen, including one in a very special finish:
This Extreme Duty pen is machined from a solid piece of copper, then splashed and splattered with acid to create a one-of-a-kind etched finish. Hinderer calls this finish Battlefield Pickup because it looks like something dug out of a trench, as opposed to the glossy machined or smooth stonewashed finishes on his other products. Combined with the earth tones of the copper and the vibrant color of the burnt titanium pocket clip, it's a very striking look.
As you may know, copper also has a tendency to oxidize over time, so this patina will continue to develop as the pen is used. The material is also surprisingly heavy, making this tactical pen a formidable tool for self-defense.
The special-edition pen is finished with laser-engraved R.H.K. lettering and a cartouche symbol on the cap. These markings are intended to mimic the stamps and inspection marks found on vintage firearms, and they further the steampunk vibe this copper writing instrument gives off. For our full review of this pen, check out the Pocket Preps buyer's guide in Issue 22 of our print magazine.
As you can see in the photo above, Hinderer also included two other items which we didn't expect. These both share the same solid copper construction and Battlefield Pickup finish. The smaller Investigator tactical pen was previously reviewed here on OFFGRIDweb, but we must say that the new finish looks good on it. The metal cup beneath is something much more unusual.
This solid copper cup is one of the most bizarre and extravagant limited-edition items we've seen from Hinderer to date. Yes, it's weirder than the Hinderer Wicked Divot golf tool and the double-edged Maximus folding dagger. We haven't been aware of anyone who has made a solid metal shot cup with a functional and detachable knuckle duster… until now.
The Hinderer Double Knuckle Shot is appropriately-named — it's ready to carry a shot of your favorite liquor, or to deliver a shot to someone else's jaw. Like the DoubleShot that preceded it, this cup is machined out of a solid piece of metal, with a raised diamond-pattern texture around the exterior and a weighted base.
While the patina inside the cup may lead you to believe the copper will imbue bitter or metallic flavor into your alcohol, we didn't notice any smell or aftertaste. However, don't fill it with any acidic or carbonated liquids, because there's a chance this could lead to food poisoning as a result of toxic levels of copper leaching into your shot. Best to stick with high-proof booze instead.
Unlike the DoubleShot, this cup has four flat sections around its circumference where Hinderer filler tabs can be installed and displayed. For those who aren't familiar with Hinderer knives, these filler tabs are oblong pieces of metal which attach to the company's folding knives in place of the reversible pocket clip. Each Hinderer XM-series knife includes one, so the user can switch its position with the pocket clip for tip-up or tip-down carry.
The customization scene has led to the release of filler tabs in special colors, materials, and intricate designs including koi fish, crusader's crosses, and skulls. If you're a Hinderer knife aficionado, the eight positions on the Double Knuckle Shot's exterior provide a place to store and show off your spare tabs.
Like the copper Battlefield Pickup pens, this special-edition cup includes an R.H.K. stamp and a cartouche symbol. Double Knuckle cups are available in other finishes, but those will not include these details. Flipping the cup upside-down, you'll see that the base has been engraved with the Rick Hinderer Knives logo.
This Double Knuckle Shot came to us as a box set, with two threaded bases. These bases are also made of solid copper; one is the same diameter as the cup, the other is taller and wider with a flared-out bottom. Each of the bases includes an O-ring-sealed cavity that Hinderer calls a stash compartment.
All we can say is that it's up to you what you keep inside — it probably wouldn't be wise to walk around with any illegal contraband stashed, considering the proximity to the aggressive-looking spiked knuckles, which are also illegal to carry in many jurisdictions (check your local laws).
Speaking of knuckles, we'll go into some more detail about the cup's defining feature. Like the rest of the body, the connected rings are machined out of solid copper, with a series of small holes drilled around the perimeter to reduce weight. At the front, four hardened spikes have been pressed in, and they're sharp enough that we certainly wouldn't want to take a hit from them.
The knuckles are attached to the cup by four small Torx screws, which match up to the holes in two of the eight filler tab openings. So, if you'd like to keep the knuckles at home for a less-weaponized appearance, or they're illegal to carry in your area, just remove these screws and set the knuckles aside. Extra copper filler tabs and screws were included to make the swap seamless.
Although we had no desire to get into bar-room brawls with the Double Knuckle, the spiked rings will do a reasonably good job of protecting your knuckles against impacts. More importantly, they feel comfortable to grip while drinking. They also make the cup look like a miniature beer stein, which is pretty cool for display purposes.
The Hinderer Double Knuckle Shot cup is ludicrous, unnecessary, and it retails for $400. Yes, that's right, $400 — assuming you can find one for sale at one of Hinderer's third-party dealers. Once those dealers run out of stock, the price might even go up, if private-party sales of special-edition Hinderer knives are any indication.
It's definitely the coolest-looking shot cup we own, and materials and craftsmanship are top-notch. But we can't see many people purchasing these unless they're hardcore Hinderer knife collectors, or they're rolling in Scrooge McDuck piles of f–k you money.
There are also the potential implications of carrying an object that combines alcohol consumption, spiked knuckle dusters, and a stash compartment that's just the right size for various uh… substances. It's the perfect accessory for a night of debauchery, but it'd take some explaining if said debauchery leads to law enforcement contact. And you definitely don't want your rare $400 shot cup confiscated.
That said, the ridiculous nature of the Double Knuckle Shot still constantly puts a goofy grin on our faces. We'd much rather spend our money on a practical folding knife or other EDC tools, but we love that this cup exists and that Rick Hinderer was crazy enough to bring it into (limited) production. It's up there with a pair of gold-plated nunchucks or a jewel-encrusted cane sword in terms of practical usability, but it's beautifully-crafted and one heck of a conversation piece.