Royal Robbins / Salewa (hollow oval) (v2)

Royal Robbins / Salewa
(hollow oval) (v2)

Name:Royal Robbins / Salewa (hollow oval) (v2)
Category:non-locking
Shape:oval
Material:aluminum
Profile:flat
Nose:notch & pin
Nose Guard:none
Rivets:domed
Gate Shield:none
Weight:44 g
Dimensions:Length: 106.54 mm
Width: 56.7 mm
Gate Opening: 18.7 mm
Strength Ratings:Major Axis: 3100 lbs
Other Markings:Stamped (rollmarked?): (SALEWA) WestGermany | R ROBBINS 3100lbs
Collection Criteria:★ Manufacturing, Engineering, or Design
Summary:hollow - constructed from tubing not solid aluminum rod
Description & Commentary:

In the 1970s, pioneering US climber Royal Robbins imported carabiners from the German company Salewa. Unlike other carabiners in the day, Salewa constructed these lightweight carabiners constructed from hollow tubing and individually tested each one (to 1000kg).

The nose and tail of the carabiner were formed by smashing the tubing flat before forming the notch and hole for the hinge pin. Although challenging to see in these photos, the gate is stamped "tested" along with the other more clearly seen markings along the spine.

Other than the hollow tubing, this carabiner is hardly remarkable - a testament to the usefulness of an oval carabiner since we still see similar designs today. This particular example belonged to Michael Zanger, who ran a guide service at Mt. Shasta for many years.

This version (v2) of the R Robbins hollow oval has a sharper transition between the carabiner body and the hinge/nose flats as compared to the very similar v3.

Salewa applied for a patent in the US in 1977, approved in 1978. I do not know if they were being sold prior to the patent application date. If anyone has a photo of these being advertised (perhaps in a catalog from Royal Robbin's Mountain Paraphernalia import business), please contact me.