The guy I did the EE with had knife and went down a few times in Tranzit; exploring, bulking up bank acct, getting achievements... lost his knife. We played one game of Town/Survival immediately afterwards in an attempt to get it back and it worked. 2 players quit on us and we got to round 21, he had 835 kills and 1 down. So you can totally lose it. I saw my friend ClassyJazzy gain her shotguns, lose them and get em back all in one night. Also I've seen knife and shotties without blue eyes, often... so Welsh has some incorrect theories.
It's a little disappointing that I will never have a knife, much less shotguns. I learned to play on BO2, I have almost 600 downs. Most of my stats are in the top 10,000 except my revives, perks drank, doors and distance traveled which are all in the top 3,000. I play ALOT, I've gotten pretty good. I always have twice as many kills as the next best guy on the team and I don't buy Tombstone because if I go down, 99 times out of 100, the games over. Actually I've been known to down myself early towards the end of a round to get all 6 perks on Town, but that's beside the point. I'm really good now and I don't think this will ever be reflected in my rank because I'm in 6.5 millionth place as far as deaths go. I won't start another acct just for an upgrade even tho I'm on PSN and I have 3 e-mail addresses but man it's tempting. Especially when knife and shotgun players keep backing out of the lobby. I guess my stats are good enough to usually be paired up skulls mostly, knife every once in a while but rarely ever crossbones and never shotguns. Maybe I am somewhere in the middle but I really think I'm better than average. My highest round, 34 was in the top 1,000 for awhile, now it's more like 2,000. But I had 98 downs. :-) It was pretty early on. Oh to play with those three again, and their PaPed Ballistic Knives, now that I'm hardcore. I wonder if theater would still have that game? It was about 700 games ago, I really doubt it.