C12 Civilian

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Various C12 Civilians and Matriarchs

The Civilian is a knife with special qualities. It’s a collectors dream with all it’s variations, different steels, etc. Originally developed for self-defence the civilian is both beautiful with it’s reverse S blade and very useful if you have self-defence needs.


Appearance in catalogs

The Civilian appears in the 2000 dealer's catalog[1], the 2001 dealer catalog[2], the 2002 dealer's catalog[3] and with the newer bladesteel (VG-10) in the 2003 dealer's catalog[4] The Matriarch appears in in both, the 2002 and 2003 catalogs.

Designer

Unknown at this time, probably Sal Glesser

History, mentionings etc. from the forums

A little info from Sal on Numbers of CF Civilians from the Spyderco- forum:

There is a change in the quantity of CF Civvies being made. From 500 to 1200. We learned when ordering began that 500 would not be enough. If 100 (half) collectors order all variations (4), that's 80% of the run. After Spyderco crew, there would not be any available for anyone else. I do not believe that this change will affect the long term value of the piece. Thank you for your kind understanding to this change sal[5]

Information from the Spyderco catalog on the web

"In the 1990s Spyderco was approached by a specialized branch of U.S. law enforcement about making a knife for their undercover agents. These plain-clothes LEOs found themselves in situations where they often could not carry a firearm but carrying a knife was not a problem. Most had no formal training in self-defense tactics or MBC but as a last resort could use a blade to protect or extricate themselves from a life-threatening situation. This was how the Civilian model came to be. The Civilian has a patented reverse "S" blade that's intended to be used like an oversized claw. The tip is ground to an ultra-thin profile. Deeply curved and full at the belly, the VG-10 hollow-ground blade excels in slicing and is available fully SpyderEdged. Because of its distinctly specialized features it is not intended or designed for general utility or everyday use. Curved in all the right places for ergonomic use and retention of the knife, the handle is black G-10. Mounted for tip-down carry with a custom curved black clip, the knife rides deeply and unobtrusively in a pocket. One of the most specialized CLIPITS in the Spyderco line-up, the Civilian is available in limited quantities."[6]

Variations

The Spyderco C12 Civilian and Matriarch is a Spyderco that has been made in several variations. All made in Seki city in Japan.

Variations of the Civilian

SKU Knife Edge Steel MSRP Note Number made
C12S Original first civilian in untreated aluminum with
Kraton inlay in handle and in clip
SE Gin-1 N/A N/A N/A
C12TUFS Tufram coated aluminium handle SE Gin-1 N/A N/A N/A
C12TUFS Tufram coated aluminium handle SE ATS-55 N/A N/A N/A
C12TUFP Tufram coated aluminium handle PE Gin-1 229,95$ N/A N/A
C12GS Black G10 handle SE Gin-1 N/A N/A N/A
C12GS Black G10 handle SE ATS-55 214,95$ N/A N/A
C12GP Black G10 handle PE ATS-55 N/A Extremely limited Japan only less than 100
C12GS Black G10 handle reinforced tip SE VG-10 249,95$ Current one[6] N/A
C12CFRHP Carbonfibre handle numbered in pouch PE ATS-55 229,95$ Right handed N/A
C12CFLHP Carbonfibre handle numbered in pouch PE ATS-55 229,95$ Left handed N/A
C12CFRHS Carbonfibre handle numbered in pouch SE ATS-55 229,95$ Right handed N/A
C12CFLHS Carbonfibre handle numbered in pouch SE ATS-55 229,95$ Left handed N/A
C12CFRHP Carbonfibre handle unnumbered in box PE ATS-55 N/A Right handed N/A

Variations of the Matriarch

SKU Knife Edge Steel MSRP Note Number made
C12SBK Black FRN SE VG-10 N/A Slightly smaller than the Civilian N/A
C12SGY Grey FRN SE ATS-55 N/A South African distributors model. Rare version made in low numbers.
Slightly smaller than the Civilian.
N/A

Most collectible variation

The C12S in bare aluminum or the C12GP in G10 are the two variations believed to be most collectible Civilians.

The C12SGY grey FRN Matriarch is the one believed to be the most collectible Matriarch. The Carbon fiber Civilians are of course collectors items as well.

Questions regarding collecting the C12

Some interesting questions we are looking for an answer to:

  • Was there ever a G10 Civilian with the gin-1 steel and Boye dent?
  • Was there ever a G10 Civilian with the ATS-55 steel without the Boye dent?
  • Who designed the Civilian?
  • Was there ever a Matriarch in Black FRN with the ATS-55 steel?
  • Was there ever a Matriarch in Grey FRN with the VG-10 steel?

Technical information

Typical measurements (mm and grams) of the C12 Civilian:

Length overall Length closed Length edge Hole Ø Blade thickness Weight
233 132 105 12 3 134

Typical measurements (Inches and ounces) of the C12 Civilian:

Length overall Length closed Length edge Hole Ø Blade thickness Weight
9 3/16" 5 3/16" 3 3/4" 15/32" 1/8" 4,5 oz.

References

  1. Spyderco's dealer catalog from 2000 is available for download here
  2. Spyderco's dealer catalog from 2001 is available for download here
  3. Spyderco's dealer catalog from 2002 is available for download here
  4. Spyderco's dealer catalog from 2003 is available for download here
  5. The entire thread containing Mr. Glesser's comment can be found here.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The C12 Civilian in Spyderco's online catalog

Pictures

Some of the different C12 Civilians, in order of appearance: C12S,C12TUFP,C12TUFS, C12TUFS, C12GS,C12GS,C12GS, C12CFRHP (Unnumbered in box)
The two known variations of the C12 Matriarch