knife knotes part X

Updated 1/2/04

"It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." --Samuel Adams

Red Cross Supply’s Multi-tools to Troops

A recent article pointed out to us by our good friend Bernard Levine places the newest Red Cross Knives in the hands of troops. As many of you are aware the Red Cross knives of World War One are highly sought out collectors items of today. This newest offering brings the idea up to date. Instead of the folding knife with spoon idea of long ago today the Red Cross is adding a multi-tool to the parcels. While we have not yet seen a model of the item or who makes it the Red Cross has at least 10,000 planned for distribution. This is all paid for from donations to that organization. Also included in the parcels are a deck of cards, a book of crossword puzzles, snacks, games, suntan lotion, tissues, a hacky sack ball, moist towelettes, a hand-held fan and a multipurpose tool packaged in a lightweight, durable, reusable travel bag. Each bag also has an acknowledgement card that the gift is made possible through the generosity of the American people. The cost for each package is $20 which makes us think the item may not be of the highest quality but one never knows what buying power they have at the 10,000 level. Either way a new collectible is now being sent to the folks in the field. If anyone has further information please let us know.


Camillus Desert Tan Knives

A recent offering from Camillus Cutlery are the tried and true military knives coated in a Desert Tan epoxy coating. Using the USMC Fighting / Utility knife, the Jet Pilot Survival knife and the MIL-K-818C as the base these knives are then coated in the tan color. The fixed blades have the blades, guards and pommels coated while the folder only coats the handles. Not official military purchased knives they are really cool variations to those collecting such. We picked up all three for our collection and an extra or two for trades at some future date. Cost is low and the knives are being phased out now so maybe we will see prices rise in the aftermarket on these products in a few years, if not they are still neat items.

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Dented Scabbards

In a recent article written for Knife World on the Model of 1910 bolo knife we stated that almost every metal scabbard we have seen is dented at the tip. We have no idea but speculated it was due to packaging. Well we just received a letter from Mr. Hank Loescher which may clear up that speculation. In his letter to us Mr. Loescher states that many years ago he purchased a few cases of the metal scabbards still packed in the original shipping crates. Upon opening them they were found to be individually wrapped in brown kraft paper. The boxes were addressed to the Bush Terminal, Brooklyn, NY. It seems they were sitting on the docks when the war ended so they never made it overseas. Each crate held 100 scabbards packed end to end, layered one row on top of each other. The rows were reversed upon each tier. This placed the hanger end right over the lower tip of the opposing scabbard and left a perfect dent in the bottom of each scabbard in the box. None of these scabbards had ever seen usage yet each had a perfect dent in the back side of the bottom. Well, that does seem to clear up that little mystery to our satisfaction. Thanks for the letter Mr. Loescher, every little piece of the puzzle helps in assembling the whole picture!


Marbles 5 inch Ideals in Military Usage

We are trying to gather any information on the 5" Marbles Ideal pattern knife for a future article. The main gist of the article will be the use of the knives by the Army Air Force as a part of the Emergency Sustenance Kits issued to each aircrewman during the war. We have some information on them but lack any connection with Marbles actually having a military contract. So far we have not found any evidence that they were purchased by the government. We all assume that the Bakelite pommel models were wartime issue but can we prove it… not yet. We do know that Marbles started using the plastic pommels during 1942 / 1943 but they also continued to sell them right up through the 1950’s so that in itself does not make it a military issue piece. Perhaps they could not obtain the aluminum pommels during the war and converted to the plastic but only for the private sales they still held. We also know that Camillus, Case and Kinfolks made the same pattern knife and sold them to the government for the AAF so why not Marbles? Either way it is an interesting subject that we wish to know more about. If you have any proof on the subject, such as a written document, not an oral history, we would be mighty glad to hear from you!

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Queen City Stamps

Here is a photo copy of a stamped turned up in the Queen factory. Notice anything unusual about it? We do not know if it was ever used but we doubt it. Any machete collectors out there have one so marked? We would love to hear about it if you do.

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Life-Raft Knives

A recent solicitation for knife purchase by the government caught our eye. It was listed as a "Knife, Combat with Lanyard", something we had not seen before. The Mark 2 is listed as a "Knife, Combat with Sheath" so we were thinking it would be around that line of knife. Further investigation proves it to be a Life-Raft knife. Looking up the NSN on the item (1095-01-350-1525), shows many have been purchased over the past year by the Aerospace Weapons Group out of the Defense Supply Center, Columbus. Well we are at a loss at to what one looks like. We do know of many life raft knives in the past but this one is a newer issue piece that sells for $33.90 each. Over one thousand purchased recently and the latest proposal list a one year open ended contract which could prove to be very large but not exceed $100,000.00. Again we are looking for help on this one, What does a Mark 3 Life-Raft knife look like??


Camillus Riser Cutters

In a recent exchange with our good friend Tom Williams, Company Historian, Camillus Cutlery Co. we found out that Camillus made fixed blade riser cutters in 1966 and 1967. Not a lot of them mind you but they did make them. We see unmarked versions from time to time, we have seen the Schrade Walden marked models along with the Aerial Machine and Tool models but never a Camillus marked version. The marking were 62D4267 / 1966 on the base of the cutter like all the others. Most we have seen with this marking were ink stamped not actually hot stamped into the blade. That in itself is a fairly common marking but the real test in finding one is the thong eyelet. It is a brass eyelet but cadmium plated. This we have not observed but in reality we were not looking for it either. We have collected riser cutters for many years and have accumulated quite a few but none have this curious detail. In total 12,000 were made and shipped to Bristol Dynamics, a subsidiary of British Aerospace. Now it could be they were made for the Commonwealth government or simply those were the folks we were purchasing parachutes or other kits from, no speculation on that part yet as further investigation continues.

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UDT Scabbard

We find out from our good friend Bill Adams that the so called UDT scabbard shown in Cole IV pg. 81 was a commercially available scabbard sold by Healthways a well known divers supply company. When Bill was trying to track them down as to who made them he ran into a stone walling from the Navy. Bill approached his then Senator Sam Nunn, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee to encourage the Navy to supply the name of the contractor. Well it worked, Bill was supplied the name of Healthways as the supplier. This it would seem leads to the fact that someone in the Navy knew of the scabbards. Bill tried to arrange for the procurement of them to sell through his company but the cost for the wholesale order was prohibitive to make any money with. The scabbards were made in a Velcro closure as well and the familiar snap closure retaining strap. While we have never seen any proof that these scabbards were in fact used or tested by the SEALs we do now know they were commercially sold items and in fact the Navy knew about them.

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The A1 Folding Machete

The Imperial folding machete often found in it’s original light colored leather holster is not of the World war two era. We are constantly asked this question as they appear somewhat often in various auctions and at shows. Many are in quite nice condition, unused and excellent or better is common. These machetes were redesigned from the results of the 1944 machete test reports. The handles and the carrying method are but two items that jump right out to the casual observer. The obvious giveaway is the nomenclature printed on the scabbard, Machete with Scabbard / Type A-1 / NO. 48C3839. The last line is the drawing or engineering number beginning with the year. This example is 1948 so that would make it a bit late for WW II. Although they are actually a 1947 design it was standardized with the drawing in 1948. The redesign is an answer to several criticisms of the 1942 pattern. One major fault being that the handle could fold up on one’s fingers, the formerly removable guard was redesigned to serve as a lock for the blade when it is open and to fold over the edge when it is closed. The guard-lock is permanently hinged at the end of the handle. Quite an amazing engineering feat and quite complex to envision at first until one is seen operate. The soft leather sheath holds a sharpening stone in a pocket, in answer to another criticism of the original knife. The sheath was furnished only with a swiveling belt loop large enough for a waist belt of any sort but a rather awkward arrangement for someone wearing only a belt-less flight suit. What was the flyer to use in this case is unknown to us. When put to practical use it seems to be only a rather expensive piece of engineering compromised by committee. The handle is sharp for constant use and the weight and balance are completely off. The real V-44 as made by Case is a much better tool for use in the F1 Hot Weather kit that the A-1 was packed with and should have been included. In fact it would still be good inclusion in any of today’s kits.

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Get a Kick Out of This

Here we have a couple of photos from our good friend Bob Tronolone and his bike. Leave it up to a knife guy to come up with something like this! A great use for a Mk1918Mk1 handle on the loose. Bob’s working on a shifter now… we can’t wait! Thanks Bob.

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Updated 2/7/03

"If we lived by the Golden Rule, there would be no need for other laws."
Ronald Reagan


Quite a month

This month we have two super contributions from Gary Cunningham and Bill Porter. Gary starts a two part series on the First Production M4 bayonets while Bill opens up his vault to some on the rarest US bayonets ever producted. The only place you can find them is here, on US Military Knives . Com! 

USMC Sword Star Marking

Well it seems we kicked up a storm of controversy with this one. We received a load of e-mails on this topic yet haven’t reached the bottom of it, at least to our satisfaction. We still have not found an example in writing of the "reason" it is placed there. We have several opinions that run from most likely to out right absurd. As the official swords still have this marking on them, both officer and enlisted, there must be something in writing somewhere as to why it is so. Below are some of the responses we have received.

Dear Frank,
The 'star' symbol actually represents interlocking triangles which was a traditional symbol of armourers and swordsmiths. We used to use it in the 19th century, but it was copied widely so we changed to the 'sunburst' symbol we still use today.

As far as I know there were no links to the Star of David.

Rob Hadley
Wilkinson Sword's Business Manager

Dear Frank,
In alchemy, the interlocking triangles represent Fire and Water together.

A more practical theory is that during the Bar Kochba rebellion (first century), a new technology was developed for shields using the inherent stability of the triangle. Behind the shield were two interlocking triangles, forming a hexagonal pattern of support points. This became known as a symbol of strength.

David Fuller

Dear Frank,
I found this on the Wilkinson Sword home page, perhaps it is the answer to you quest. Thank you for providing a thoroughly enjoyable web page.

"The interlocking triangles sometimes seen on older blades made by Wilkinson Sword is a mark originally used by Henry Wilkinson. This mark represents the interlocking triangles of the armourer - an ancient symbol.

It was used extensively by Wilkinson Sword in the 19th Century and was widely copied by other manufacturers and as a result has fallen out of use. As far as we are aware there is no association with the Star of David. It has since been replaced by the mark shown opposite, proclaiming the authenticity of each Wilkinson Sword."

Rich Gathier


Dear Frank,
Long before this hexagram became the emblem of Judaism, it was revered as the symbol of the joining of opposites - spirit and matter, yin to yang, heaven to earth, Shiva and Kali - that maintains life in the cycles of creation and destruction. The Seal of Solomon is a seal of protection and contains the invisible Seventh Seal made from the four elements plus the divine number 3.

This symbol also was used in alchemy to symbolize alcohol - (fire and water), a union of water and heat in perfect harmony. This possibly derived from the Hindu union of male-fire-lightning with female-water-ocean in the heart chakra (Anahola). In fact, the connection to the male-female union carries over also in the "Sri Yantra" symbol of many triangles intersecting heaven and earth.

GREEK: (Pythagorean system)
Aphrodite (Goddess of Love) - the union of 2 and 3
METAPHYSICS: The symbol of the Order of the Golden Dawn

William Shernoff


Dear Frank,
The hexagram of Solomon is an ancient symbol sometimes called the "Star of David".

It is a protective talisman made to ward off negative or evil influences and to aid in attaining perfection in deeds.

Anne Reid


Dear Frank,
Following WW I the sword was redesigned by Quartermaster General C. L. McCawley USMC. This is when the current etch was added. In 2002 I had some correspondence with Mr. Phil Melling of Wilkinson-Sword, He informed me that the mark was not a Star of David but the Armourers Triangles. Also that if you look at the mark inside of it is a circle with a smaller star and the word PROVED. This is all I have on it.

Ron Braehler


Dear Frank,
The star was mentioned and condemned by the God of Israel in Amos 5:26 and it was called by Him, `the star of your god, Moloch' or otherwise called `Chiun'. Reference to Amos 5:26 and the Israelites having it in the wilderness was also made in Acts 7:43. Here it was called the Star of Remphan. All these names refer to the `god' Saturn.

The foregoing verifies that it was therefore in existence long before the time of Solomon. He took this symbol upon himself when he went into idolatry, and it became known as the `Seal of Solomon' in Arabic magic and witchcraft.

Richard Adams


Dear Frank,
Found this on the below listed site:

What is the significance of the star on the upper blade of the officer's and non-commissoned officer's swords?

According to historian Ken Smith-Christmas, a curator at the Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum, Quantico,Va., the six-pointed star on the swords was originally a guild proof called the "Star of Damascus," an Eastern mark of distinction found on swords of high-quality workmanship. Over the years, the marking disappeared on blades. Museum correspondence with sword makers such as Wilkinson and N. S. Meyers indicates manufacturers, primarily British, have reintroduced that marking on swords.

Not the final answer but a start.

Rich Van Damme
Major, USMC (Ret)

So as you can see we have quite a few options to deal with here. We thought we knew most of the visitors to the web site but this one really shocked us. It seems it came up on a hit from and about the Star of David written into the page. Surfers who have never been here before and actually have no interest in knives, bayonets or swords jumped right into the quest to find a reason or at least point the way to other opinions. We even received a few from the anti-semite crowd that we will not go into here, suffice to say they were rather vulgar. A huge thanks to all those who offered opinions and links to other pages. We still haven’t run this one to ground but we are on the right track. It just may prove to be that a sword used for the pattern had this marking on it and ever since it has been included, there may not be a reason for it. Just one of the "we always did it that way" answers, not quite to our liking but it is still an answer.


Camillus Commemorative Knives

A couple of 2-1984 dated Jet Pilot knives were recently found and our good friend Tom Williams was contacted to sort it out. The knives were of the slab side design and etched with various scenes, one a B-52, one a Huey UH-1D among others. Tom responded that the knives were made for a company called Westwind productions. The knife was our model #5733 Pilot Survival knife with a polished blade and Parkerized guard and butt. The blade etching was done by Adrian Harris and if my memory is correct there were seven models of Viet Nam era aircraft. As always, Thanks Tom!



…The cavalryman wants a good horse, a good rifle, a good revolving pistol, and a knife. I adhere to the opinion stated in my letter of January 30, 1878 and recommend that the saber be abolished.

Chief of Ordnance, Brig. Gen. S.V. Benet
Letter to Board on Army Equipments Convened December 16, 1878


Awards Department

Below is a request for proposal issued by the U.S. Navy for incentive items to be given away as awards. We clipped out all the non-knife related items they were looking for.

Would this make them official US military knives?

Department of the Navy, Naval Supply Systems Command, FISC PUGET SOUND, 467 W STREET, BREMERTON, WA, 98314-5000

SOL # N00406-04-T-0039

The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Puget Sound, requires various brand name or equal trophy-like items for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Employee Performance Incentive Awards Program.

300 ea Buck 110 knife
350 ea Leatherman stainless steel 12 tools in one tool
200 ea Victorinox Swiss Army knives
125 ea small stainless steel buck knife


If You Ever Wanted a Kukri…

Now is the time to buy one if you are looking for an official Gurkha military issue Kukri from Nepal. The deal finally went down, it was years in the making. The Kingdom of Nepal sold off all the arms from the ancient armory known as the Palace of Lagan Silekhana. Many if not most of the weapons have never been touched in over 100 years. The Royal Nepalese Army has used British weapons since the end of hostilities with Great Britain in 1815. This weapons cache is a wonderful find to the collector of British weapons, including rifles, bayonets and swords. The edged weapons such as the Kukri are being sold by Atlanta Cutlery, right now. Don’t expect a museum piece, these were all issued and used weapons left in storage for many years. Of the examples we have seen there is a lot of gunk and storage marks. Still with all that these are the times to buy Kukris if you ever wanted one. They have several models to choose from and coverage of different eras. IMA, is the company with the rifles and other weapons. Many bayonets were uncovered and are available from them. A great time to buy British weapons. Many Kukris were used in the CBI theatre by U.S. military forces during World War Two. A look over some photos of Merrill’s Marauders will show the knife in the belts of several US soldiers. Now here is a piece of information usually over looked with any write up on a Kukri, to two utility blades. What are they and what are they for you ask… The Chak-mak (blunt tool ) is used as a flint tool in fire making and a sharpener for the blade. Using the Chak-mak against the edge of the Kukri to and fro in long parallel motions does the traditional method of sharpening a Kukri. The other knife accompanying Chak-mak is the Karda that is used for skinning and all around utility purposes. It is a well thought out tool that was made into a weapon by reasons of necessity, a well-respected weapon we should add.


If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength...

Ecc 10:10

We think that is the first ax quote we have ever used!


More on the Riser Cutters

The fixed blade, Cutter, Pocket goes back to 1960 from some examples we have seen stamped in ink. Both the green and the orange examples we have are stamped with the same Part Number, 60C6037, with the first two digits being the year of the drawing for that part. This example is 1960. The earliest models are date stamped and are all green, at least in our collection. The orange came in much later The latest date stamp we have is 1992 which is orange. All of these lace onto the parachute harness attached directly to the risers next to the jumpers hands for easy reach.

When we wrote the article on the MC-1 several years ago we called the hook blade cutter end a "shroud" cutter as do most collectors. We were severely reprimanded in a letter from a 20 year veteran jumpmaster who told us "shrouds cover dead bodies. Risers connect to canopies and these knives are meant to cut either, but the cutting is to be done by a living person, not a corpse covered by a shroud." From that point on we do not use the collector term of shroud cutter.

The MC-1 is still supplied to aircrews and is still purchased by the government with Camillus being the current supplier. Two very different knives, with the MC-1 being able to accomplish two demanding jobs while the riser cutter is only meant to be used once the parachute is deployed. In fact it can not be handled unless the parachute is open, it is packed inside the chute package. The MC-1 was originally designed to be worn in a pocket on the inside of the thigh sewn into the flight suit. The hook blade was to be open and a lanyard is attached to the bail for easy extraction from the pocket. The switch blade, although having a "cool" factor was designed for one purpose, to easily open in the cramped confines of a cockpit when almost no movement could be made. It is for an emergency when the pilot’s air floatation device misfires and inflates while still flying. The hand is naturally on the stick, next to the inner thigh. He can then pull on the lanyard to extract the knife from the pocket and push the button and stick the inflated "Mae West" to release the air and regain control of the aircraft. That is the only reason it is a switchblade. The scenario of hanging in a tree with one arm broken was not contemplated during the original trials for the knives. It is something that became urban legend over the years.

Well anyway both types are still in production and may be found at many shows if you look keenly for them. Both are still pretty cheap when found, even in excellent condition. We are working closely on a full-blown article on these for Knife World in the very near future. Will up date you when it happens.

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Clyde Cutlery

We received this from our good friend Carter Rila. Carter is the king of machetes and working tools, the knowledge he has gained from years of research is amazing.

Clyde Cutlery was sold in June of 1970 to the Shelby-Clyde Corporation, Shelby, Ohio. The fire occurred in July of 1970. Production did resume after the fire. The work largely involved finishing orders already received and working with materials salvaged from the blaze. Later in the year assets were sold to the Shelby Corporation and operations moved to Shelby.

Of course we all know of the Clyde machetes and kitchen knives, this is what became of the grand old company.


When the Feddle Gummint wants money, it makes things up—the Maine, the Gulf of Tonkin, nerve gas, Mars, the universe. It always works.

Fred Reed 1/04



For a few years we have searched for the source of the k-bar like knives marked ROSCO on the ricasso. Well our good friend Bernard Levine turned up the answer. Bernard answered the question in his WHUT IZZIT column in the January 2002 issue of Knife World. We only write it up now as we just received a request for identification on a knife marked ROSCO. Seems other folks might also like to know.

'Mr. Steve M. Kessler of California has identified ROSCO. In the early 1950s, Mr. Kessler was a salesman for Winfield Arms Corporation, the "West's Largest Mail-Order Gun House." One of his customers, for military surplus rifles, ammunition, etc., was a small importer in Los Angeles called the George Rose Company. Rose's trademark, on knives that he imported, was ROSCO. Like most of the small-time cutlery importers in that period, ROSCO was short-lived. The firm was active from 1950 to 1955.'

Thanks Bernard!


A New F/S Knife Turns Up

From our good friend John Fischer we received this note. It is pretty amazing after all these years when a new item turns up to the collecting world.

I believe I have made a new discovery of a previously unknown British Army Inspector.... /I\ A3. He must have not been at it very long before he left, or retired, was transferred to other duties, or whatever, as I have never heard of, nor seen this stamp before. I'm very excited as I thought that there were only five (5) different proof marks on early 3rd Pattern F-S Stilettos that have the Wilkinson characteristics...small pommel nut with familiar clamp marks, thick drop forged/hand ground blade, etc. /I\ B2 (or /I\B..) /I\ 42 /I\ 21 /I\ I /I\ V Or really on any British Commando Knife, and Commonwealth Knife or Bayonet for that matter...not just 3rd Pattern F-S Knives. Anyway this is what always keeps military knife collecting interesting, and never boring. If anyone has seen this proof mark before, please let us know. Oh...of course you can all see that the die used and stamping details match other known proof marks, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is completely authentic, besides it's really only of interest to advanced F-S Knife collectors anyway and I doubt the forgers out there would waste their time.

Thanks John, well done! 

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Click on the thumbnails for the full size photos

The early bird might get the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese!

Mike Silvey Sales List

Mike just published his List # 2 with a lot of great knives for sale. Many are very rare to encounter on the open market so it should be a list any active buyer is on the receiving end of. Nice short write ups and photos of the knives. You can contact Mike at:
or by phone at 530-644-4590

Good hunting.


Knife Prices

We recently received a listing of prices on a few military knives recorded many years ago by our good friend Garry Zalesky. Garry was keeping record of sale prices and prices on knives in his collection. He recently discovered some of the old information he had stored away and sent it to us for a good laugh. Seems military knives have been a rather good investment over the years in most cases. Some were as expensive back then as they are now. Just like the stock market…

Knife Model




1887 Hospital Corps



1880 Hunting Knife



Dahlgren Bayonet



1849 Rifleman’s




1872 Trowel



1869 Trowel



1868 Trowel



1873 Trowel



1880 Hunting (Iron)



Hicks Knife




Krag Bowie Bayo



Krag Bolo Bayo



OSS Stiletto



USMC Stiletto




V-42 Stiletto




Everitt Knuckle




M3 Trench Knife








Large Ranger Bowie




Small Ranger Bowie




M1918Mk1 HD&S




M1918 HD&S




M1918 Mk1 LF&C




OSS Smatchet




OSS Escape Knife



M2 Paratrooper




M1917 Trench




M1918 Trench




Deep Sea Diver



F/S Stiletto




Oh for those days again! Thanks Garry, that made our day.


A New, New Caledonia Knife

Courtesy of our good friend Doug Bailey we have received photos of a different style of the rare New Caledonia knife. The knives are all different to begin with but all seem to follow the same pattern, that is until now. This knife was made differently them the others but follows in the basic format with an all steel blade, brass full guard and a antler handle. This example is also marked differently then example so far seen. It is engraved NOUMEA NOUVELLE CALEDONIE on the guard. It also has engraved on it a date of 1943. Just like the F/S knife noted above this one has escaped the collectors for many years. Thanks Doug!

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An Unknown EOD Knife.

Here we feature a previously unknown non-magnetic knife used by the EOD folks. Well as far as we are concerned it is still an unknown, as now we do know what it looks like we just don’t know anything about them. The knife is featured on John Gibson’s and Gary Ruleford’s website for sale. (check it out if you haven’t already ) The example is in mint condition and still retains the blade and handle etching. This is the only clue we have to these knives, their makers and perhaps some history. The company name on the handle is Berylco, this is easy enough to research with the use of the computer and the internet. We find that the actual name of the company current is Kawecki Berylco Industries Inc. They have several plants located around the U.S. The Beryllium Division is located in Hazleton Pa. The actual name of the knife is Knife, Craftsman’s in the supply chain. The knives are under the purchasing interest of the U.S. Navy, Naval Ordnance Systems Command, formerly the Bureau of Naval Weapons located in Washington, D.C. The knife carries the requirement statement of " Non-Magnetic and Non- Sparking" along with a style designator of "AL32 Curved Point." The NSN for these knives are 1386-00-832-4175. The CAGE code for the Hazleton Division is 9B115 but we do not know if this is the point at which they are purchased, it may be from another division of Kawecki Berylco. It seems that each plant and division has their own CAGE code which makes the point of origin hard to pin point, we choose the Beryllium plant as an example and the most likely. For the services wishing to order such a knife the supply is listed with the Navy and orders for knives are to go through them. This is perhaps a stocking feature of the Navy which carries them in one of the Defense Warehouses. We also found that the knife is listed for procurement by the Army, Air Force and Marines. That would mean all the services are qualified to purchase this item if the need arises. The knife is listed as a single item so no scabbard is assigned to it, what they carry it in is a mystery. It is also listed as a disposable item not to be repaired if damaged. With the danger in grinding or welding Beryllium it is a sound practice. The dust given off in the grinding process is dangerous to the lungs if inhaled. Two part numbers are listed for this knife in the Defense Logistics Agency, why we do not know but it has two. The first is 1286848 and the latter is 2113228. Well that is what we found so far, if anyone can add to this please let us know. What we would really like to know is what do the use it for? Are the non-magnetic properties important or are the non-sparking properties the reason for its existence. Perhaps it is a new powder knife for use on the old style big guns? So far it is still a guess, at least to us.

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Updated 3/1/04

Red Cross Knives Revisited 
In our January update we discussed the folding pocket tools the Red Cross has included in packages to our troops supporting the War on Global Terrorism. One of our ever astute field observers and good friend Major John C. Jacobi proceeded on a mission to find one for closer observation. John is stationed over in the land of the big desert with the 2nd Battlefield Control Detachment of the United States Army. After a few e-mails between us, Major Jacobi finally procured an example of the noted specimen. The following is a letter sent to us with the item for further research.

13 Feb 04

After having seen information on Frank Trzaska’s website about the American Red Cross sending tool-kit knives to deployed soldiers in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operations in the Horn of Africa, I called the Red Cross Coordinator, Mrs. Brenda Hindman at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. Mrs. Hindman stated she received a shipment of over 200 of the tool-kit knives in November 2003, and sent them to First Sergeant of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Camp Andy, Al Udeid Qatar.

Senior Airman Matthew Carlson of the 379EAMXS/391AMU provided this example for edged weapon researchers, it was then sent to Mr. Frank Trzaska. It is reported that the tool-kit came with a key chain ring and black Velcro pouch. The Airmen however upon receipt of these tool-kits would remove the chain and discard the pouch.

The interesting feature of this tool-kit knife is that it incorporates a miniature LED flashlight in addition to the pliers, serrated edge blade, Phillips head blade, bottle opener blade/flat tip screwdriver and normal knife blade.

The LED light is very bright and assists in no light conditions. 

John C. Jacobi
2nd Battlefield Control Detachment
United States Army Reserve
Al Udeid Air Base Qatar 

The multi-tool is completely unmarked. In it’s folded state it measures in at 2 5/8 inches long by 1 3/16 inches at it’s widest point. Very Compact unit when folded. Open with the pliers folded out it runs to 4 1/8 inches and with the longest tool open it stretches out to 5 ¾ inches. The LED flashlight is powered by 4 AG3 button cell batteries and provides a very powerful blue light. It has a machined aluminum body with the typical screw type on / off switch. The unit is waterproof with a rubber o-ring in the top to seal the battery compartment. The life expectancy of LED bulbs is very long, thousands of hours, while they are also impervious to most shock and vibration situations they can be broken, just not easily. The tool blades consist of a clip point blade which is very sharp right from the factory. A cutout in the tool handle aligns with the nail nick in the blade for easy opening. The next tool in line is the Phillips head screwdriver. Typical stamped blade with the end tapering down to the rounded head in with the screwdriver tip is machined. Our next blade is a straight blade screwdriver tip with a cut in bottle-cap opener. Straight blade screwdrivers are always handy to have for picking or prying as well as the traditional function. The bottle-cap opener would certainly come in handy when a few bottles of good beer are passed around. In times like these the man with the cap opener is a very good friend indeed. And last but not least we have the fourth and final blade, a full serrated cutting edge. Not really a saw but more of a rope or fabric cutting blade. This blade being at the opposite side of the first blade also possesses a nail nick and a cut out in the frame to access it. The pliers are of a needle nose design with serrated teeth in a pipe gripping curved center. The rear of the jaws contain a wire cutter for small gage soft wire like commo cord and such. They are also spring loaded to remain in the open position, a great feature when trying to use only one hand. All in all a very compact tool that is more then capable of light chores around a base when a handy tool will save the walk for the proper one or in those instances where it may be the only tool available. 
As for the absence of markings on the tool it leaves us wondering, who makes them and where are they being made? As the box was not enclosed with the package it yielded no clues to the original manufacturer. As this specimen was only received two days before this was posted we have not had time to dig into it yet, but we will. Further exploration is intended and the results will be provided as they are found. 

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All blades and features shown above. As a size comparison we have placed it against a nickel and an issue Gerber multi-tool. The last photo shows the Red Cross tool along side the rare Desert Tan Bayonet Collectors Network patch, thanks Major!

The Secretary of War directs that the new weapon…approved as a “Cavalry Sword, Model 1913,” be known as the “Cavalry Saber, Model 1913.”
Chief of Ordnance
April 15, 1914

"Geezers" are easy to spot: 
At sporting events, during the playing of the National Anthem, Old Geezers hold their caps over their hearts and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and 
believe in them. Old Geezers remember World War I, the Depression, World War II, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, 
the Korean War, The Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing, not to mention Vietnam. 

If you bump into an Old Geezer on the sidewalk, he will apologize. If you pass an Old Geezer on the street, he will nod or tip his cap to a lady. Old Geezers trust strangers and are courtly to women. Old Geezers hold the door for the next person and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection. 

Old Geezers get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don't like any filth on TV or in movies. Old Geezers have moral courage. They seldom brag unless it's about their grandchildren. 

It's the Old Geezers who know our great country is protected, not by politicians or police, but by the young men and women in the military serving their country. 

This country needs Old Geezers with their decent values. We need them now more than ever. 
Thank God for Old Geezers! 

The Border
For those of you who remember we wrote an article for Knife World back in October 2002 about the then unknown to the collecting world continued service of the Case V-42. We have continued correspondence with one of the veterans of that group, the VII Corps LRRP Co. (ABN), Theo Knaak. Theo has been kind enough to forward to us memories and stories of the V-42 and it’s use in 1962 along the East German border when ever the topic is spoken of by the group. The following is one of the stories forwarded to us recently along with a photo of the V-42 in service along the border with fellow LRRP Patty Smith. What great guys!

I copied E-mail from Bob Murphy a little while back about pulling time on the border.
I went up to the boarder two times. The first time was on the East German border I think.
My team was assigned a watchtower to observe the bad guys that were out there somewhere. Boring. I can’t remember anything that is harder on ones morale then to keep him caged up in a 12x12 foot room with little more to stimulate his medieval mind then watching snow fall off branches.
This could only go on for so long until one of us said, Saddle up.
I don’t know if it was my idea or my partner in crime, the one and only Joe Chetwynd’s idea. Anyway we decided it was time for a small recon patrol, after all that is what we do, isn’t it?
We put on our whites; V-42’s M-14 loaded, and a few cans of c rats and down a well-used trail we went. It only took us about a half an hour of good walking when we heard the first sound that seemed out of place. We did like we were taught in grade school. You remember, Drop and Cover. After listening for about 10 minutes we still could not determine what the sound was so we decided to investigate just a little. We knew we were within meters of the border but didn’t know on which side we were as the trail has moved around quite a bit. As we approached the sound. It sounded like people were being hurt; We could here someone yelling as loud as he could; Then the yell was followed by loud cracking sounds; We finally arrived on the scene of an old man with a stubborn horse trying to pull a log back to his house. Not being detected we retraced our steps back to the trail that we were calling the autobahn by this time.
After having a good belly laugh, we continued on down the trail Joe in the lead. Joe was first to see a patrol of two East German soldiers with one of the biggest German Shepard’s and two of the biggest SKS rifles I have ever seen. We came to a screeching halt. Now we were really concerned about our location. We were still undetected and we had to choose what we wanted to do. Fish or cut bait. Setting in the snow for a few minutes Joe asks me, do you think they would have a light? I said Joe, I didn’t think this was a good time for a cigarette. He says and why not; Jumps up and starts strolling to the German Patrol saying Haven Zie Fire Bitte? Now the dog is mad and jumping at his chain The German wont give Joe a light and they are speaking to each other really fast. Joe is calling them bad names because they won’t give him a light. At this time they didn’t know that I was around. I didn’t like the way they were talking to themselves. I really didn’t want to see anyone get hurt so I stood up and yelled at Joe.
Hey Joe maybe I should Kill his F... Dog. At the sound of my voice the dog went crazy the Germans changed their attitude and started on down the trail in front of us. I caught up with Joe.
What should we do now Joe? There was still daylight and we didn’t want to go back to the little tower yet. So we got off the trail, ate a can of ham and lima beans, cold of course. Then we went back to the dam tower and suffered all night. I think it was from the lima beans.

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A photo of Patty Smith along the East German border with M14, V-42 and snow camo whites. On either side are V-42's from that 1962 issue brought home by the LRRP's.

Elitism is simply the idea that the better is preferable to the worse. Why anyone with good sense would be against it escapes me. 
Fred Reed 01/04

Another Taylor Huff Knife
A few months back we featured a knife made by Taylor Huff during World War Two. That knife was unlike the other known versions in that it didn’t have the famous knuckle bow on the handle. Well our good friend John Gibson had turned up yet another example of Mr. Huff’s handi-work. Just thinking out loud here, Taylor Huff tried several different designs before he settled on the knuckle knife design that he had patented. These knives are most likely pre knuckle handle knives, pieces made in the experimenting days. We sure wish a bit more information would surface on Mr. Huff but when we were researching the article for Knife World all options then known were explored. Since that time nothing else has surfaced about the man but we have indeed been treated to a few more knife designs created by him. A Taylor Huff knuckle knife can bring in major money these days, the knives without the knuckle bow are even rarer then them. Lucky indeed is the collector who ends up with one of these knives. The traditional double edged dagger blade is used on this example as is the sweeping "S" guard featured on the other known examples. Using this as a guide Mr. Huff did follow somewhat of a pattern in his experimentation. 
John Gibson is offering his for sale on his GREAT web page,  Along with the Huff knife, John and Gary Ruleford always turn up some very nice military knives for sale and always at a fair price. Thanks for sharing it with us John!

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The third non-knuckle Taylor Huff knife we have observed. A rare specimen to say the least!

Another Knuckle Knife 
Here is one we had not seen before, a knuckle bow made for a bayonet. Well you say you have seen that before but this one is a bit different, the bayonet need not be altered. A knuckle bow was made to fit into the bayonet mounting hardware allowing it to be taken off when the bayonet was needed for the end of the rifle and inserted when used as a trench knife. Pretty slick little device and well made from the looks of it. The photos were submitted to us by Peter Hagen, who is also the owner of the piece. Pete tells us that the lug mounted on the handle grip is actually a piece from the rifle, machined to fit the guard and permanently installed there. The knuckle spikes were machined from steel and inserted into the steel guard strap. It is a simple slip fit and a press of the release button on the bayonet removes the guard. The bayonet itself is a M1888 British piece with the double edged blade but it would work easily with just about any other type of bayonet using a muzzle ring and mounting lug set-up. Very cool, thanks Pete! 

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What a great and practical setup for a knuckle knife!

Need Sheaths…
While checking the government website for any edged weapon activity we ran across a pre-solicitation posted on 1/28/04 looking for a bid on machete sheaths. The quantity requested was 8,000 to fit the standard 18 inch M1942 type machete. That is a whole lot of machete sheaths. A real lot when you figure we are fighting in the desert on several fronts right now. When we learn more it will be posted here.

More on Randalls
We eagerly await Bob Hunt’s new book on Randall Made Knives, “Randall Military Models.” It is a follow up to the first book by Bob, Randall Fighting Knives in Wartime. The first book was a winner and the second promises more of the same. It will have full color pictures like the previous book with coverage on an extended basis. The new book promises 150 full color Randall Made knives many before never photographed. A new section to be added is the “Carried pieces” which we look forward to seeing. Pre-publication ordering at a 20% discount can be had through March 15th directly from Turner Publishing. 1-800-788-3350 or on the web at  We wish Bob Hunt the best of luck in this endeavor, it will be a welcome addition.


Updated 4/4/04

Arms, women and books need to be looked at every day.
Dutch Proverb


More on the Red Cross Knives
Our good friend Ron Braehler spotted in Brigade Quartermasters catalog #86c, Pg.131 the same pattern item. They list an almost identical tool as Dakota [trademark] micro tool with led light for $18.99, Catalog # DTT39. So we sent for a few of them for comparison. There is no doubt these items were made by the same company. The Dakota items is unmarked like the one sent to us from overseas but the new item contains a small sticker inside the handle which reads "Made in China" and this is enough to beat the importation laws on marking cutlery. There is one significant difference in the tool, the flashlight lens is constructed in an entirely different manner. You can note from the side by side photos this difference. We point this out as a way of telling the difference in a Red Cross supplied knife from one purchased commercially. Perhaps the RC knife is an earlier model of the same item, we do not know and will not speculate on it at this time. We are still trying to gather information on them to put it all together. The current item is imported by the Dakota Watch Co. but so far little information on the actual manufacturer is known.

In another front we also received from Major Jacobi the black nylon pouch the toll was originally supplied with. It has a Velcro tab to close the cover and a small sewn on loop in the back for hooking to a belt. It would have to be a very small belt as the opening is one an inch and a half total. Most likely it would be affixed to the many MOLLE straps on todays gear, not worn on the belt.

Again we would like to thank all those involved with helping us gather all the info on these items so far. We still have a lot further to go to know the whole story but we are certainly on the right track to uncover it. Stay tuned for further updates on the new tools and if you have any additional information on these please let us know.

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Another Cole Knuckle Knife
We have recently been contacted on a strange knife discovered in the effects of a young man that was killed during the Korean War. Once described it had to be a Cole knuckle knife. We relayed the information only to find out the man who now owns the knife lives in Birmingham Al, Mr. Coles home town. Perhaps the two knew each other or had crossed paths at one time. The current owner took the knife to a gun show to try and find out anything about it. One dealer offered him $500.00 for it but it wasn’t for sale, the man wanted information on it but did not receive anything there. You see the knife is currently owned by the original owners nephew who treasures the knife for the intrinsic value on it, not it’s monetary worth. We humans are a strange lot, we place value on emotions that outweigh the common sense aspect. After all it is only a knife, the value is increased by who made it, not whether it actually works better. And it is a good thing we do, many of our most treasured objects would be lost if we lacked this emotional tie. So here we present a Cole Knuckle knife still in the family passed down a generation and we hope it is passed along again and again for some time to come.

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I would dispense with the present cartridge-box, belts, and sabers … with breech loading arms, the ‘bold sabreur’ must disappear … Even a charge, when possible, will do more execution by the momentum of the horse and the use of the revolver than with the saber.
General of the Army, William T. Sherman


The Road So Far
It takes money to buy a classic old knife, many of them take quite a bit of money. It seems to me that the actual purchase of the object is only part of the experience. The hunt for the specimen is in itself a valuable experience. While it is not a tangible asset it is a memory, thoughts of voyages made long ago can be just as satisfying. Friends and acquaintances made along the road will long outlast the thrill of the purchase. As we are an aspiring "Dead White Male" the interactions observed at many a gun show play out this scene over and over again. We don’t consider ourselves as a journalist in the contemporary sense of the word, more like an old time scribe adding to the journal with observations. We are not a journalist reporting the news, we simply comment on it. And yes, we misspell words and use improper grammar. We will be the first to say that we don’t have much in the way of higher education, we never went to college, never wanted to. We are not saying higher education is bad, in fact we encourage it, it just wasn’t for us. We are content in our current role and for those of you who contact us and comment on spelling or grammar, fire away, we gladly accept all forms of correction when proven. With all of it’s ups and downs the road has been great in knife collecting and we look forward to many more years of it and discoveries along the way. One knife at a time builds even the mightiest of collections, one knife at a time…


Baltimore Antique Arms Show
We just returned form what we consider the best show in the world for bayonet collectors. Being the home show for the Society of American Bayonet Collectors it attracts folks from around the globe all with the common passion of collecting bayonets. It also brings out the best items for sale one could imagine. Many items that are virtual one of a kind or so rare as to never have been shown in books are a common sight at Baltimore. If money were no object you would need a large truck just to take them all home. We picked up a few items for our collection and sold a few as well. We also found a few additional paper items to add to the files for further research. If you have ever contemplated attending a show on the Mid Atlantic border we can recommend this one highly, you will not be disappointed with the items for sale or the friendly faces to share stories with.


Double Stamped Ka-Bar
We recently added a 1219C2 to the collection we have not observed before, that is saying a lot as we have been looking at these knives quite closely for over 30 years. This one happens to have a manufacturing flaw of being double stamped on the same side. The USMC stamp is placed over the Kabar / Olean, NY stamping. The Kabar name stamping is in the right location, the USMC is the misplaced stamp. The knife itself is in very good condition having been used it is not mint but has never been machine sharpened. The butt has been modified in a way we have also never observed. A hole was drilled down through the butt and into about a inch of the leather washers. A large cotter pin was inserted through the hole to make a lanyard or thong loop. A very simple yet effective modification of the knife. It would have been easier to just drill the hole in the pommel and through the leather on an angle but this worked for the owner. It does prevent the pommel from being used as a hammer unless you have a very good aim so it does take away from the utility purposes of the knife as a tool for purposes other then cutting. This knife is an early version having the thin leather washer handle with a thick pommel peened on a round tang. Along with the dual, or should we say almost dual sided marking it would place this knife in the early to mid 1943 range as far as production goes. Neither the scabbard nor the knife have any ownership markings on them as to who the owner was, although it has been well taken care of as there is not a spot of rust on the piece. Even the staples in the scabbard body are still clean and bright. It just goes to show you that new items pop up all the time, just when we thought we had them all another variation comes along to look for. Does it ever end… we certainly hope not!

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Quote on Bayonets
If your close enough to stick ‘em, your close enough to shoot ‘em.
Willie and Joe the movie via Bill Mauldin


Gerber Mark II
We recently received in the mail from our friend George Dillman a copy of the original booklet included with every Gerber Mark II knife. George received this knife in June 1971 prior to his shipping overseas. The booklet is dated 10/70 and does not have information on the serrated blades. The knife George has that was included with this paperwork is serrated. At this point in the brochure it wasn’t even an option they included. The serial number of the knife George has is 020937 so it must be one of the first to have the serrations. Thanks George for the copy of this booklet and the information on your knife!

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An Experimental M1918 Mk1 ??
In a recent exchange of e-mails and phone calls with Kevin Gauthier we may have stumbled onto a very exciting knife. At first glance it appears to be a typical Model of 1918 Mk 1 knuckle knife. A closer examination reveals some interesting differences, The knife is of the LF&C design in every aspect except it doesn’t have the LF&C 1918 small casting under the US 1918 in the handle. Close study shows it never did have the writing cast into the handle, not that it has been filed in over time. The LF&C it does have in it is hand stamped as can be seen by the uneven and off center placement. On the reverse of the handle in the same stamping font is HQ 155 MG again hand stamped. The blade is typical of the LF&C made knives showing the same ricasso design they have as typical. Overall other then the markings this is a typical LF&C made M1918 MK1.

Next we come to the scabbard, unusual but just another home made item? Looking closely at it we find it is extremely well made, as if factory made. The scabbard body is a pressed steel much like the Krag bayonet scabbard but with a different body taper and ball end. The throat is combined with the upper frog on a swivel just like the Krag piece. The frog itself is made from the same pancake flipper or spatula if you will as the OSS scabbard. The cutout for the rubber o-ring is missing as it would serve no purpose on this model knife. The frog is attached via two large rivets through the spatula to a steel hangar clipped to the scabbard body swivel. As we stated a very well made piece, much more then a common backyard engineering project. There is also a stamping on the frog, the marking is EXP 4-43 again hand stamped. So what do you suppose we have here? By April 1943 the US was producing the M3 for the Army but thought was earlier to reproduce the M1918 MK 1 or actually put it back into production again. The idea was nixed as the amount of brass it used was not good for the war effort, the brass was needed for other items. Was this an attempt by LF&C to sell the knives commercially or perhaps submitted to the government as a knife to re-standardize with an updated scabbard made partially like two previously adopted scabbards. Perhaps the scabbard is the only experimental part of the duo, made to fit the 139,000 M1918 Mk1 knives then in the hands of the military. The earlier tin scabbard of the WW I design was certainly dated and hard to use, this would eliminate that problem and hold the knives in place very well. We just don’t have an answer on this one, perhaps you do? We would love to hear some opinions on this subject, anyone???

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USMC = United Shoe Machinery Company
Every so often an odd implement turns up with USMC stamped on it and a question arises, just what is it. Many of the tools are very old and look to be of very good quality. This is a question that often repeats itself as the USMC logo is fairly well known even in other countries. The Marines have a solid lock on the famous initials but they are not the only ones with them. The United Shoe Machinery Company also uses the USMC letters in their company logo. Albeit a stylized version it is often mistaken for the Marine Corps. Pictured below are two tools that have been mistaken for Marine Corps items, they are leather worker and shoe repair items. Founded in 1899 by a merger of the supposedly non-competing Goodyear Machinery Company, Consolidated Hand Lasting Machine Company, and McKay Shoe Machinery Company, United Shoe Machinery Company, as it was then known, revolutionized shoe equipment manufacturing and the shoe industry itself. Its establishment of an international division made it one of the first three international companies ever formed, and it became a worldwide powerhouse as affiliated companies were set up in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, South America, and Asia by 1905. The new company became United Shoe Machinery Corporation on May 1, 1905. The company held a monopoly on shoe making equipment through various patents that allowed the company to lease the equipment and receive compensation as a royalty on the number of shoes made. It became a blue chip company to invest in. They built the first Boston skyscraper and leased the smallest of hand tools, the items we run into now and again. The Cummings Historical Society has purchased some of the property of USMC and returned it to it’s former state. The machinery on display has the stylized logo as proof of the ownership by USMC. So here we have it, not United States Marine Corps equipment, United Shoe Machinery Company items.

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05 / 2004

We are a little short and a little late this month, maybe it is just the nice weather...

[Letter from Geo. McClellan, Capt. 1st Cav., to Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, Oct. 3, 1856,]

I would like to call the attention of the Secretary to the sabres furnished to our Cavalry; they are not what they ought to be…Ours are too heavy and badly balanced So bad are they that many of our Cavalry officers are disposed to regard the sabre as an useless weapon…A wooden, leather, or gutta percha scabbard would also present great advantages—as being much lighter than the steel one, allowing the sabre to be kept sharp (and if dull it is of but little more service than a broom handle), and preventing, to a very great degree, the noise attendant upon the movements of cavalry.


U.S. Military Knives, Bayonets and Machetes

This month we have included a quick list of US Military Knives, Bayonets and Machetes to the mix. This is a list we started on a few weeks ago and have added to it from the opinions of a few good friends. Some are obvious to the list and others look out of place. We hope to add to this list over time to keep a database of models and manufacturers that is easy to access. If you see something of if you don't see something here please let us know so it can be added. After this month it will have it's own page that can be easily connected to for future reference. We really hope to expand the list over time to add all manufacturers and variations that are known as well as unknowns. So we ask again, if you see something missing please contact us so we can add to the list.


Naval Dirks

Hicks Knife

1849 Riflemans Knife

D Guard Bowies

Model of 1880 Hunting Knife
    Springfield Armory
        Iron Guard
        Brass Guard

Model of 1890 Intrenching Knife
    Springfield Armory

Model of 1887 Hospital Corps Knife
    Springfield Armory

Model of 1905 Hospital Corps Knife
    Springfield Armory

Model of 1909 Bolo Knife
    Collins & Co.
    Fayette R. Plumb
    Springfield Armory

Model of 1910 Bolo Knife
    Springfield Armory

Model of 1917 Bolo Knife
    Fayette R. Plumb

Model of 1917 C.T. Bolo Knife
    American Cutlery Co.
    Fayette R. Plumb

Model of 1917 Trench Knife
    American Cutlery Co.
    Henry Disston & Sons
    Oneida Community Ltd.

Model of 1918 Trench Knife
    Landers, Frary & Clark
        7 point
        8 point

Model of 1918 Mk1 Trench Knife
    AuLion (France)
    Henry Disston & Sons
    Landers, Frary & Clark
    Oneida Community Ltd
    A.A. Simmons & Sons

U.S.N. Mk5 Deep Divers Knife
    Batteryless Telephone Equipment Co.
    John Date
    Fischer Spring Works
    A.Schrader & Son
    Union Cutlery Co.

U.S.M.C. Hospital Corpsman Knife
    Clyde Cutlery Co.
    Fayette R. Plumb
    Village Blacksmith

Fairbairn / Sykes
    J. Clarke & Sons
    William Rodgers
    Wilkinson Sword
    Geo, Wostenholm & Son

O.S.S. Stiletto
    Landers, Frary & Clark

U.S.M.C. Raider Stiletto
    Camillus Cutlery Co.

Camillus Air Corps Knife
    Camillus Cutlery Co.
        Curved stamping
        Straight line stamping

Case V-42 Stiletto
    W.R. Case & Sons

Western Parachutist Knife
    Western States Cutlery Co.

Western "Shark" Knife
    Western States Cutlery Co.

Western G46-8
    Western States Cutlery Co.

Western L-76 Stiletto
    Western States Cutlery Co.

Western L-77 Stiletto
    Western States Cutlery Co.

U.S.N. Mark 1
    Henry Boker & Co.
    Camillus Cutlery Co.
    Colonial Knife Co.
    Geneva Forge Inc.
    PAL Blade Co.
    Robeson Shuredge
    Union Cutlery Co.
    Western States Cutlery Co.

U.S.N. Mark 2 / U.S.M.C. 1219C2 Fighting Utility knife
    Camillus Cutlery Co.
    Ontario Knife Co.
    PAL Blade Co.
    Robeson Shuredge
    Union Cutlery Co.
    Utica Cutlery

"Q" Knives
    Cattaraugus Cutlery Co.
    W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery

6 Inch Hunting Knives
Case Stiletto
    W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery

Case "Pigsticker"
    W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery

    Aerial Cutlery Manufacturing Co.
    Henry Boker & Co.
    Camillus Cutlery Co.
    W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co.
    Imperial Knife Co.
    Pal Blade Co.
    Kinfolks Inc.
    Robeson Shuredge
    Utica Cutlery Co.

Parachute Canopy Line Cutters
    Schrade Walden
    Aerial Machine & Tool

SAC Survival Knife MIL-K-4988
    Boker 155

Pilot Survival Knife
    Imperial Knife Co.
    Camillus Cutlery Co.
    Schrade Walden Knife Co.
    Jet Pilot Survival Knife
    Camillus Cutlery Co.
    Milpar Col.
    Ontario Knife Co.
    Utica Cutlery Co.

O.S.S. Smatchet
    Imperial Knife Co.
    W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co.

O.S.S. Fairsword
    O.S.S. Machine Shop

Special Forces "SOG" Knife
    Japan Sword
    Yogi Shokai (Nichimen Corp sub contracted)

Gerber Mark II
    Gerber Legendary Blades

Hackman / Garcia Knife

U.S.N. Non-Magnetic Knife
    Imperial Knife Co.
    Alton Iron Works Inc.
    Lawndale Forging & Tool Works

Floating Raft Knife
    Western States Cutlery Manufacturing Co.

U.S.N. Mark 3 Mod. O
    Ontario Knife Co.

Mad Dog Knife

Mission Knives

    Lan-Cay Inc.

    Camillus Cutlery Co.

    Camillus Cutlery Co.

    Camillus Cutlery Co.

Gung Ho 1st Bn. 21st Marines knife

"Aussie" Knives
    East Bros
    Gold Seal (Scabbards only ?)
    Greg Steel

"Drop Knives"

Custom Knives
    Anaconda Copper
    Merrill Brown
    M.H. Cole
    Delta Knife
    Taylor Huff
    Kennedy Arms
        Marine Recon
    Nguyen Dan
    E.W. Stone
        C. Langbein

Sword Knives
    Knife Crafters
    San Antonio Iron Works

"Ranger" Knife
    Large Brass
    Small Brass




Committee of Safety
Brown Bess
M1819 (Hall)
M1830 Cadet
M1838 Jenks Navy
M1840 Musicians
M1841 Mississippi
M1847 Musketoon
M1849 Augustin Jager / Austrian
M1851 Cadet
M1853 Enfield
M1854 Remington
M1854 Austrian Lorenz
M1855 Cadet
M1858 Cadet
Fayetteville Armory
Richmond Rifle
M1862 H&P Conversion
M1869/69 Cadet
M1873 Cadet
M1882 Lee
Palmetto Armory M1852
M1855 Colt
M1860 Spencer
M1861 Blunt
Hall Confederate Rifle
M1861 P.S. Justice
Greene Breech Loader
M1863 Sharps
M1866 Winchester
M1873 Winchester
Sharps Borchardt Rifle
Moisin-Nagant M1891
M1892 Winchester
M1941 Johnson


M1833 Hall – North
M1834 Hall
M1837 Hall
M1891 Bruce Rifle

Sword Bayonets

M1841 Mississippi
M1847 Musketoon
M1855 Colt
M1856 Enfield
M1861 Dahlgren
Boyle Gamble & Macfee
Cook & Brother
Fayetteville Armory
M1862 Remington
M1870 USN
M1853/55 Sharps Carbine
M1860 Sharps
Bown & Tetley
M1860 Henry
M1861 Cosmopolitan
M1861 Leman Rifle
M1861 P.S. Justice
M1861 Schalk
M1861 A. Rein
Georgia State Arsenal
Mendenhall, Jones & Gardner
Tolle & Degenhardt
Schemann Rifle
M1862 Merrill Army
M1862 Merrill Navy
M1863 Spencer Navy
M1863 Sharps & Hankins
M1863 Schreiber
M1866 Winchester
M1871 English Elcho
M1873 Winchester
M1842 Musket
M1862 Joslyn
M1861 Collins

Fencing / Practice

M1858 Fencing
M1906 Fencing
M1909 Fencing
M1912 Fencing


M1868 Trowel
M1869 Trowel
M1872 Trowel
M1873 Trowel
1865 Trowel
1873 Intrenching
M1874 Sergeants
M1874 Enlisted
1875 Intrenching Knife
Lyford Pattern Intrenching
1878 Intrenching Knife

Knife Bayonets

M1861 Dahlgren
M1895 Lee
M1896 Cadet
M1899 Savage
M1900 Krag Bowie
M1903 Silencer
    Springfield Armory
    Rock Island Arsenal
    American Fork & Hoe
    Oneida Community Ltd.
    Pal Tool & Blade Co.
    Union Fork & Hoe
    Utica Cutlery Co.
    Wilde Tool

    Remington Arms Co.
    Winchester Repeating Arms Co.

    American Fork & Hoe
    Oneida Community Ltd.
    Pal Tool & Blade Co.
    Union Fork & Hoe
    Utica Cutlery Co.

    Aerial Cutlery Co.
    Camillus Cutlery Co.
    Imperial Knife Co.
    Kinfolks Inc.
    Pal Blade & Tool Co.
    Utica Cutlery Co.
    W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co.

M4 Second Generation
    Bren-Dan Inc.
    Conetta Inc.
    Imperial Knife Co.
    Turner Mfg. Co.

    J&D Tool Co.
    Imperial Knife Co.
    Utica Cutlery Co.

    Aerial Cutlery Co
    J&D Tool Co.
    Imperial Knife Co.
    Columbus Milpar & Co.

    Aerial Cutlery Co.
    Columbus Milpar
    Imperial Knife Co.

    Bauer Ordnance Corp.
    Conetta Inc.
    Columbus Milpar
    Frazier Mfg. Co.
    Imperial Knife Co.
    General Cutlery Co.
    Ontario Knife Co.

    Ontario Knife Co.

Leech & Rigdon
M1861 Borun
M1895 Winchester


M1902 Krag


Collins HCM

Collins No. 22
Collins No. 127
Collins No. 37
Collins No. 1005
Collins No. 87
Collins No. 18
Collins No. 157
Collins No. 128
Collins No. 623
Collins No. 85
Collins No. 23
Collins No. 35
Collins No. 460
Collins No. 706
Collins No. 1253
Collins No. 1255
USMC Intrenching Machete
USN 20" Collins No. 30
USMC Collins No. 191
Folding Machetes
Case V-44
USAF / USAAF Aluminum Handles
Philippine US Spring & Bumper
Survival Ax Type IV

Pocket Knives

Jack Knife
Rope Knives
Signal Corps
Doctors Knife
Red Cross Knife
    Camillus Cutlery Co.

E-Z Opener
    Camillus Cutlery Co.

    Camillus Cutlery Co.

    Camillus Cutlery Co.

USMC 4 Blade
    Camillus Cutlery Co.

3 Blade Utility

2 Blade Utility

WWII Era Coast Guard Approved Life Boat Knife
    Camillus Cutlery Co.

Fish Knife
    Camillus Cutlery Co.
Marline Spike
    Camillus Cutlery Co.

    Ulster Knife Co.

Escape Knife
    Joseph Rodgers & Sons

Lock Pick Knife
    Ulster Knife Co.

    Geo Schrade
    Schrade Walden

Giant Jack Knife
    Colonial Cutlery Co.
    United Machine & Tool Co.

MD-USN 3 Blade
    Camillus Cutlery Co.

3 Blade Stockman
    Camillus Cutlery Co.
    Ontario Knife Co.
    Queen Cutlery Co.
    Camillus Cutlery Co.
    Queen Cutlery Co.

    Camillus Cutlery Co.
    Schrade / Walden
    Logan / Smyth

Serpentine Jack (SRU-16/P)

C4 Demolition Knife
    Camillus Cutlery Co.

Black Knife
    Ox Forge

A-F Combat Folding Knife


Red Cross Knife


United Shoe Machinery Company.

How about this for timeliness, just last month we featured a small write-up on the other USMC and a few days later we receive the American Rifleman and see a question about USMC markings in the "Ask the Experts" section. Our good friend Bruce Canfield explains the "other" USMC markings so we can see that are not just getting to knife collectors...

Marine M1917? Not!

Q I recently purchased an M1917 Enfield rifle with "U.S.M.C." markings on the bolt. I was not aware of Marine Corps-marked M1917 rifles and assume this is a rather rare variant. Can you give me some information on these U.S. Marine Corps-issue M1917 rifles?

A Actually, you do not have a "Marine Corps-issue" U.S. M1917 rifle. While it is a logical assumption, the "U.S.M.C" marking on the bolt of your rifle does not signify "U.S. Marine Corps." Rather, it means "United Shoe Machinery Company." The United Shoe Machinery Company of Beverly, Mass., manufactured replacement bolts for the M1917 rifle under government contract during WWII. Many of these bolts were used for overhaul and replacement purposes. The presence of "U.S.M.C."-marked bolt is indicative of a M1917 rifle that has been arsenal rebuilt and has no connection with the U.S. Marine Corps.—Bruce N. Canfield

Thanks Bruce, a great answer to the often asked USMC question.


Code Talkers

Did you know...

A bill has been introduced in the House to present gold medals to the Meskwaki Code Talkers. The measure recognizes more than two dozen tribal members for their contributions during World War II.

In January 1941, one year prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 27 Meskwaki enlisted in the U.S. Army. Once the war started, eight of the American Indians were sent to North Africa, where they directed artillery fire against German forces in their native tongue.

Indians from 17 other tribes also were code talkers during the war, and Congress has been rushing of late to honor their accomplishments. 

With the World War Two Memorial just getting opened it seems about time to thank all our folks of that era... just seems too little, too late. 

Under the terrible stresses of war, there are some in every country who commit atrocities. The difference is that Americans are upset, ashamed, or angry when their troops do it, while people in some Middle Eastern countries danced in the streets on 9/11 and when the bodies of dead American civilians were dragged through the streets in Iraq.
Thomas Sowell
May, 2004

Update June 6, 2004

How can we thank those young men enough? After 60 years the US WW II Memorial was built in Washington, D.C. to honor this generation. Sadly even many who survived that day did not live long enough to see it. My father was one on them. He was a Navy Amphibian, his crew was awarded the Naval Unit Citation that day. He spoke of the landing to me often but never about what happened later that day. After the beaching he was assigned to an LST that was used as a hospital ship to return to England after unloading the war supplies. They made three crossings of the channel, the last one the ship hit a mine and the stern was blown off. More friends lost and the ship sunk in shallow water. It was re-floated and towed back to England to be rebuilt. I think the most profound memorial of that day lies at the top of the beach, a real place of honor, the American Military Cemetery, my father thought so too.

AmericanCemetery.jpg (30885 bytes)    AmericanCemeteryoverlook.jpg (10991 bytes)    Amer_Cemetery.JPG (331628 bytes)


Hollow Handled Parsons

Have you ever seen a Parsons Hollow handled knife, we haven’t either… until now. The photos of this specimen was sent to us by a fellow who saw the knife on eBay. We couldn’t answer any questions on it for him but instead were posing a few of our own. Was this knife made by the same Kevin Parsons who made the knuckle knives in the Vietnam era? We don’t know. The long sweeping clip point blade resembles the knives made with the knuckle handles. We have not seen one with any etching on the blade as the one described in the auction was but it looks like a real quality piece none the less. The seller described it as "8 1/2 inch clip point blade - 1/4 inch thick at the guard. Blade has most of the original polish left - with just a few little scratches and couple small stains. Ricasso is etched: PARSONS (and stamped with the #11.) I believe the heavy cross guard is nickel silver - and a checkered steel tube forms the handle (crossguard is welded? or soldered? to the tube handle). The hollow space inside the tube measures 3 1/2 inches. Heavy threaded steel buttcap with rubber O ring. Length from guard to end of but cap is about 5 3/8 inches. Heavy duty leather sheath - unmarked - looks like it has been carried - and is in great shape" Would love to examine this one up close. Does anyone know of any others out there in the collecting world? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Parson_Hollow1.jpg (22523 bytes)    Parson_Hollow2.jpeg (10843 bytes)   Parson_Hollow3.jpg (28330 bytes) Parson_Hollow4.jpg (16334 bytes)

Quick Fact

Did you know the word sword is used 380 times in the King James version of the Bible.

Seems some thing never change…

"The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of officials should be tempered and controlled and assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest we become bankrupt. The people should be forced to work and not depend on the government for subsistence."

Cicero, 78 A.D.


The Paratrooper That Never Was

In a recent exchange of mail with Camillus Cutlery Co. Historian Tom Williams we learned of a prototype knife built by Camillus in 1943 for the Army Paratroopers but never adopted. The knife was a large folder built along the lines of the Giant Jack knife. The knife had a large spear point blade and a saw along with a third blade, a dagger. The knife was built for test purposes but none remain at the Camillus factory collection for us to observe. All we have left is the drawing of the knife that Tom has sent to us for display here. The first drawing is an exploded view of the folder with all the blades extended to show the features of the knife. The second picture is a scan of the drawing listed on the back side of the production card showing the back springs of the knife and the materials used in production. The knife is a very large knife, over 6 inches in the folded position. The width is 1 and 1/16 inches. The length of the bolster alone is 7/8 of an inch made from 9 ga. Steel. The length of the cutting edge of the main spear point blade was 4 and 1/8 inch while the dagger was 4 and 3/16 of an inch. The main blade was made from 10 ga. steel, the saw blade was 18 ga. and the dagger was 13 ga. steel. Quite a large and stout folding knife. The knife was to be made from all steel to save on critical material such as brass while the handle slabs were to be wood. All the steel was either blued or Parkerized to provide a dark shine proof finish. In typical Camillus fashion the cutting blades were to be buffed. Even though a high gloss finish was not needed this step would not be eliminated nor quality of workmanship be cut. The finish on the saw blade was a glazed finish along with the rear or backs of the springs. The dagger blade would be held open via a locking liner just like the TL-29 or a Giant Jack Knife. Actually it would be quite an impressive folding knife. What even became of the testing or paperwork for it is unknown at this time. It is on the list for follow-up for sure, this is quite a good discovery and we are pleased to cover it here on Knife Knotes. Thanks to Tom Williams for bringing it to our attention!

Camillus_Para1.JPG (81043 bytes)

Camillus Commercial / Military Knives Today.

As long as we are talking about Camillus and our good friend Tom Williams why not cover the latest knives from Camillus. Tom sent us the knives in the unassembled condition so we could photograph them for all to see. We get quite a few questions on how the knives are made, so a photo being worth a thousand words it will certainly same us some typing! The items we have are the Jet Pilots knife, the Mark 2, the M3 Trench Knife, the M4 Bayonet and a 4 blade MIL-K with both US and Canadian covers. Feast your eyes on the parts below.

MK2_Parts1a.JPG (305114 bytes)  M3_Parts1a.JPG (340205 bytes)   M3_Parts_Guard1a.JPG (278257 bytes) M4_parts1a.JPG (275180 bytes)  M4_parts_Muzzle1a.JPG (398418 bytes)   M4_Parts_pommel1a.JPG (387501 bytes) MIL_K_Parts1a.JPG (1132777 bytes)  MIL_K_parts2a.JPG (367353 bytes)  MIL_K_Parts3a.JPG (356615 bytes)    MIL_K_Canada1a.JPG (1202010 bytes)


Those Multi-tools

We have no doubt at all in our minds what is the most popular knife in the US military today… the Multi-tool. It seems you can not go anywhere without seeing this small pouch on a belt. Although the current camo uniform coat covers the belt line just ask and a quick peek will reveal the pouch. Just last week we had the good luck to spend some few days with a company of drives and mechanics from a transportation unit and almost to a man they each wore a Gerber Multi-tool. The majority carried a small flashlight with the tool via a loop on the cordura pouch. These tools were in constant use on and off during the day so we had the chance to observe many on them. From all reports from the field we receive it is also one of the most asked about items. Those in fighting units not close to the big PX will trade just about anything for one. And they are not just belt hangers, many a story has been related to us on what broke and why. In just about every case it was from abuse by the user but in the end it got the fellow out of the jam he was in. Lay it down and it will be gone, now that is quite a compliment to any knife! The majority we have seen are Gerber made but a close second are the Leatherman products. A few of this and that, here and there but for the most part those are the big two.

Gerber_Multi1.jpg (465292 bytes)    Gerber_Multi2.JPG (507101 bytes)    Gerber_Multi3.JPG (370243 bytes) Gerber_Multi4.JPG (478278 bytes)


The Second Most Popular

Right after the Multi-tool is still the old leather handled Mark 2. Seeing it on a belt you can tell what it is from the distinct form of the bottom of the scabbard sticking out. The government is still ordering them in large numbers and the provider is still Ontario. What is funny is that they order them while other branches put them up for sale at the DRMO website. A classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. We just had the chance to purchase a few that were surplused out from the 3d Marines in Okinawa. Dated on the packaging, 1986, 87 and 88 they are the exact same item Ontario makes and sells today. Perhaps they have a shelf life in the current specification? In a separate purchase we recently picked up a Camillus that was packed in 1987. In any case we thought it lucky to find a few that were still in the wrap and dated so we picked them up. To those lucky enough to be issued a knife, primarily those without a rifle which would get a bayonet, it is the current black knife and scabbard from Ontario (also see below). To those who have to purchase their own it is a division along branch lines. The Army men traditionally go for the all black knife while the enlisted Marines choose the brown leather model with the EGA imprinted into the scabbard. Not all mind you just from those we have observed and spoke with. It is easy to understand why. And again we stress, it is far and away the most common fixed blade knife we see being worn today.

Ontario_Surplus2a.JPG (321749 bytes)  Ontario_Surplus3a.JPG (361351 bytes)  Ontario_Surplus4a.JPG (273291 bytes)  Ontario_Surplus7a.JPG (333204 bytes)

What is it Worth?

We see this question everyday whether on some forum, through e-mail or snail mail. In many cases there is very little information along with the question such as "I have a knife that was my grandfathers he used in the war. How much is it worth?" Sometimes we have a little more information such as "he was in the army" or "it is a bayonet that you can hook to a gun". Any of these questions are impossible to answer. On the really vague ones they usually don’t even give a name to reply with, no "Dear Sir" or god forbid a "thank you". These folks just want a price so they don’t get "ripped off" at a flea market or on ebay when they sell the product. They aren’t collectors who want to learn about the item they just want quick information. Those requests we disregard outright in most cases. Just by doing a simple search on yahoo or google that answer will often be found. A search on eBay will also produce results the writer is looking for but that would be wasting their time to do so. It is alright to waste our time but not those who seek instant gratification. We are always eager to help those who have at least tried to find some information on the possession such as the simple searches. Sharing of information is what this whole website is about, just don’t ask us to do your rudimentary work for you on a common easy to find answer when you can’t or won’t commit the time to do it yourself.

Named Theatre Knives

We have been picking up Theatre handled knives for a few years now and often wonder at the work performed on these knives. Most found are anonymous lacking and information on them while a few will have scabbard markings to give some hint of where they have been or who they were with. We love it whan one turns up with markings that can place the knife to a certain place or person. Here we have a knife that came from the Bob Tronolone collection now owned by our good friend "Gunbarrel" that exhibits some of that history. A Theatre converted or altered knife having the name of the ship in the handle, the USS Iowa. A neat piece of history to spice up a collection of Navy knives.

USS_Iowa_1.JPG (204284 bytes)    USS_Iowa_2.JPG (201341 bytes)


"When our troops are putting their lives on the line for this country, thousands of miles away, surely it is not too much to ask of the rest of us back home to act like adults and put things in perspective -- even during an election year. That includes the media. Sometimes the fourth estate seems more like a fifth column." --Thomas Sowell

Peloza Brothers

Mike and Vince Peloza are at it again, this time with some great scabbards. In response to an e-mail the brothers put together a scabbard system for the MOLLE vest that is a dynamite design. Here is a portion of a letter we received from them:

Custom Leather Sheath
Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment Vest (MOLLE Vest)

"A Field Request"

I wanted to pass on a story to you to show you what kind of far-reaching impact your Site has on two little known knife maker’s like M&V Knives.

A couple of months ago I received an email from an Army Colonel recovering from wounds received in Iraq. He had seen an article about our knives on your web site. He wasn’t interested in a knife just a sheath and wanted to know if we did our own sheath work. I told him we did and indicated we would be glad to do what we could for him.

The new Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment {MOLLE) Vest used by our war fighters today is equipped with a series of 1" straps to which just about any piece of equipment can be attached with the exception of a leather knife sheath. There is an adapter, a sleeve of shorts, referred to as the KA-BAR Adapter and a cloth pouch with a sheath sewn into it but that’s about it.

The Colonel’s personal carry was an old Ontario survival knife given to him by a Sergeant Major when he was a Company Commander preparing his unit for deployment to Honduras. He said it wasn’t much in terms of a knife but it meant a lot to him and he needed a leather sheath that could be used on a MOLLE Vest. He told us what he thought would work and said he would send us a cardboard example. Sure enough we received a package in the mail with a template made out of an old file folder and some nylon straps.

Vince and I kicked around the idea for a few days, decided we actually needed a knife, ordered a Desert Tan Camillus (we’re always trying to justify the purchase of another knife) and then Vince finally went to work on it on a day that he was rained out.

What he did was outfit the back of the sheath with a vertical strap that could be woven through the horizontal straps on the MOLLE Vest. You know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words so I’ve attached a few so you can see what I’ve been talking about.

Mike & Vince Peloza
M&V Knives
421 McClain Road
Enon Valley, PA 16120

As Mike says a picture is worth a thousand words so here are a lot of pictures to save all the typing again.

PEL_MOLLE1.jpg (19640 bytes)    PEL_MOLLE2.jpg (29391 bytes)    PEL_MOLLE3.jpg (26695 bytes)    PEL_MOLLE4.jpg (34793 bytes)  PEL_MOLLE5.jpg (30561 bytes)    PEL_MOLLE6.jpg (31188 bytes)    PEL_MOLLE7.jpg (17687 bytes)    PEL_MOLLE8.jpg (21546 bytes)  PEL1_MOLLE1.jpg (19355 bytes)    PEL1_MOLLE2.jpg (15762 bytes)    PEL1_MOLLE3.jpg (16809 bytes)    PEL1_MOLLE4.jpg (17347 bytes)   PEL1_MOLLE5.jpg (19034 bytes)    PEL1_MOLLE6.jpg (17875 bytes)    PEL1_MOLLE7.jpg (15468 bytes)    PEL1_MOLLE8.jpg (18795 bytes)    PEL1_MOLLE9.jpg (19295 bytes)    PEL1_MOLLE9a.jpg (22181 bytes)

A Touch of Humor

Three strangers strike up a conversation in the airport in Bozeman Montana, awaiting their flights. One is a Sioux Indian from Lame Deer. Another is a Cowboy on his way to Billings for a rodeo. The third is a fundamentalist Arab student, newly arrived at Montana State University. Their discussion drifts to their cultures. Soon, the two Westerners learn that the Arab is a devout, radical Muslim and the conversation falls into an uneasy lull.
The cowboy leans back in his chair, crosses his boots on a table and tips his sweat-stained hat over his face. After a long silence, the Indian clears his throat and speaks, "At one time, my people were many, but sadly, now we are few." The Muslim student raises an eyebrow and leans forward, "Once my people were few," he sneers, "and now we are many. Why do you suppose
that is?" The Montana cowboy shifts his toothpick to one side of his mouth and from the darkness beneath his Stetson says in a drawl, "That's 'cause we ain't played Cowboys and Muslims yet, but I do believe it's comin'

A Real Long Scabbard

Here is an item we have not seen in print before and never seen in person. The Model of 1913 Saber Carrier. This is the leather attachment that held the saber to the horse saddle. Both models are described in the Cavalry Equipment Model of 1912 Description and Direction Manual. The photos shown below are the plates used in the manual for both the officers model and the service model. Both were made of medium harness leather and held the saber firmly to the saddle not the soldier. The officers model was for the bright steel scabbard only to be used in garrison duty, the regular service scabbard would be used by officers and enlisted men in field duty. Bright metal was to be avoided in actual combat so the bright scabbard was to be left behind. Another interesting tidbit was the sword knot that is generally never seen with these sabers. The function of the sword knot is not for decoration, it is to secure the saber to the scabbard when the rider dismounts and leave the horse while in action. As the horse may run from the sound of gunfire the saber will not be lost in this event. The saber carrier was designed with a swivel like that of the M1911 pistol holster to make removing the saber and orientation towards the trooper easier. The enlisted carrier also held the intrenching tool in a slot designed for this purpose. So as we already knew the M1913 saber was not designed to be carried by the man, this shows how it is properly carried.

M1913_Scabbard_Carrier1.JPG (139780 bytes)

And with that we give you…

"The saber is solely a weapon of offense and is used in conjunction with the other offensive weapon, the horse. In all the training, the idea of speed must be conserved. No direct parries are taught, because at the completion of the parry, the enemy is already beyond reach of an attack. The surest parry is a disabled opponent. In the charge and in the melee, the trooper must remember that on the speed of his horse in attack, and on his own offensive spirit, rest nine-tenths of his chances of success".

Saber Exercise, 1914, G.S. Patton

Ek Knives Ride Again

We just received a splendid catalog from the Ek Knives folks in Richmond Va. They are once again in production of the famous fighting knives. Along with the regular production knives they will also make a special custom Ek at the Custom shop they have. Along with all this there are also commemorative Ek knives available. The long heritage of the Ek knife, started in World War Two is carried over into this new line of knives. The traditional Model 1 and 2 are still available as are some newer knives such as the bowie blade and Ek skinning / hunter knives. Grips are still the proven paracord wrap or the Micarta with X head brass fasteners. The Micarta grips feature the same contour that John Ek first provided on his early WW II fighters made from wood. With the newer materials and the easy to remove or tighten fasteners the hard gripped model is hard to beat. The blades are made from a high carbon stainless steel, HSC1718 and hardened to a Rockwell of 57 to 59. Check them out at: Ek Commando Knives, 601 N. Lombardy St. Richmond, Va. 23220 or Phone 804-257-7144.


"He has loosed the fateful lightening of his terrible swift sword."
Verse from the Battle Hymn of the Republic

Black Ka-Bars

Back in 2003 we wrote about some official issue Ka-bars that we thought were just another round of private purchase knives just misidentified at official issue. Well we recently heard from our West Coast good friend Rich Sams with some interesting information. It seems Rich may have found what appears to be a Black Ka-bar that was issued and used in Iraq.

According to Rich: I was reviewing your previous 2003 Knife Knotes which included an item about an 'errant report' that Kabar was supplying fighting knives to the military. It appears that the report may not have been in error.
Our friend who is a USMC EOD officer recently back from Iraq advises that when he went to their supply point to pick up a new knife to replace his issued M-11, he was offered a choice: A Conetta marked Mark 2 or a genuine Kabar in a black leather sheath.
Although he is EOD, he has no clue about knives other than how to use one. Of course, hearing this very interesting information, we asked him to elaborate on the story feeling that he must have mis-spoken and that the knives in question were actually Camillus or Ontario.
He advised that his supply person allowed him to view the bins from which the knives were being issued. One bin was full of brown Conetta marked Mark 2 knives in brown leather sheaths, brand new. We must be scraping the bottom of the supply barrel to be able to churn up that many unissued Conettas this late in the game.
The next bin contained brand new black Kabar marked Mark 2 knives in black leather sheaths. My question was if they might have been PX knives for sale to the troops. He advised that they were being issued right out of stock and that anyone could have a choice of either a brown knife or a black one. Needless to say, the genuine KaBars were likely to be very popular.
He explained that the Kabars were much heavier duty than the Conettas and the handles are coated with some type of black sealant that is very durable. He also sent photos of his Kabar as issued as proof.
You will notice in the photos of the knife from Iraq that the sheath is riveted and that the black dipped leather grip does not appear to have the black plastic spacers. The thick pommel still seems to have the pin driven in a blind hole from one side as do all of the current 'repro' Kabars.

So it seems we have a link, albeit hearsay, that the black Ka-bars are being issued to Marines in Iraq. The knife is unlike any made for the commercial market that we know of lacking the black plastic spacer. The coating on the handle is similar to that used on the Vietnam era knives being a dipped process to coat the leather. More information is needed on this area to provide the facts of the case. Does anyone know if these Ka-bars were purchased by the government in a contract built to the latest MIL-K-20277 specifications? Can we get any documentation on this? Your input would be greatly appreciated. An e-mail sent to Tara Troutman-Warner at Ka-Bar crushed the hope that Ka-bar was back in the supply business. Ka-bar Knives has not had any government contracts on the 1219C2 knife since World War Two. So with that established as proof they did not come from the factory, just where did they come from? Was it a private purchase or a credit card purchase of knives from a dealer? Lots of questions but a little short on the answer side so far.

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September 2004

Well summer is almost over and we have to force ourselves back to the keyboard again. We have read quite a few books and collected a good bit of information to study during those cold coming months. Tomatoes, Corn, Cucumbers coming out of our ears but picked fresh from the garden right off the stalk can’t be beat. If we missed returning an e-mail to you we apologize for it, we really did try to stay away from it for awhile to rest up. We started writing Knife Knotes quite a few years ago as a way to keep all of our records straight and in one place. We are not fond of extra work but it seemed like a way to do the above with a minimum of trouble. Since that time it has changed quite a bit. It now runs like a continuing serial of off topic events and run-along thoughts all based on the military edge. As can be seen I quote quite a bit from our many correspondents on many topics some who do not want to be named and others willing to be associated with us (God knows why) on the collecting of military blades. In this day and age when most would rather look at pictures then read the written word it is exciting to keep up the work of the underdog for those who appreciate it. When all is said and done we write for ourselves first and foremost. As it continues to be fun we shall keep at it again for another year and many more we hope.


The Crisis
By Rob S. Rice

In these dull dreary days the truly brave man knows
That steel, true steel, is tempered by blows.
Fools sneer and deride, let them cheer for our foes
So much harder steel that they temper with blows.

Honor is eternal, though fools disregard
The tests they despise, or consider 'too hard.'
Or in scheming for power they chatter, like crows,
But steel, true steel, is still tempered by blows.

We face scheming murderers with calm defiance.
They have soulless evil, we have self-reliance.
They butcher civilians, their cruelty shows.
Our steel, true steel, is tempered by blows.

Let them come and dare face us, or run, if they choose.
In battle or treachery, the wicked shall lose.
For the acts of their madness are in truth their death throes.
They'll die on our steel that they've tempered, with blows.


Camillus Production Figures

Ever wonder what the number one highest ranking production figure knife made by Camillus is? Well wonder no more, it is the trusty little MIL-K we all know and love. The MIL-K-818 is the number one largest production run knife made. Camillus labels the knife as their pattern #1760 it is made in all stainless steel. The knife has exceeded 13,000,000 pieces sold, that right thirteen million knives sold. If that weren’t enough how about the number two knife from Camillus… the TL-29 electricians knife. Pretty cool to have the top two being military knives although the TL-29 has a very large cross over to the commercial world today. The smallest production figure… a toss up between the timber scribe and the MC-1 parachutist knives. Hows that for coverage, number 1 and deal last. All the facts and figures were provided by our good friend Tom Williams of Camillus Cutlery, Thanks Tom!


Pilot's Survival Rescue Knife

This knife is specifically designed for cutting aircraft seat belts and harnesses. J-style knife has an aluminum alloy handle and two interchangeable carbon steel blades. Tip is fitted with a Dzus key for unfastening the aircraft type quick connect fittings. The knife cuts 10,000-lb strength webbing with ease, just a tug on the tee handle and away it goes. The knife is really not for crashes as many might assume, it is for a jumpmaster or cargo loadmaster to cut away the static line in case of a person or some cargo that has a malfunction with the parachute. This is to prevent the jumper or load to be drug by the airplane out in the air. If it is a person jumping then they would resort to the back up chute on the chest, if it were a load it would come to earth very fast without the benefit of a chute at all. Here are a few photos sent to us of an original example in it’s original packaging. 

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MC-1 is NSN 5110-526-8740

The Star on the Sword Blade Again.

After writing about it quite a few times we are still asked by many why is there a six-pointed star like the Star of David on the U.S. sword blades? So far, in addition to what we have already written about it, we can tell you it is not a Star of David because it is geometrically different. The Star of David does not consist of two triangles combined together, but rather two, separate, interlocking triangles often when displayed in one-color designs, usually does appear to be two triangles combined together but they are not.

We cannot absolutely confirm the history of the star yet although we are still searching. What we do know is that the blade specifications for both the U.S. and British military swords require the six-pointed star with the word "Proved" etched on the blade. This is still part of the specifications that the six-pointed "Proved" star is required in the etch to signify that the blade meets the current military specs. What is silly to us is that it has lost its meaning, since even replica swords intended only for mounting on the wall incorrectly bear the symbol. The Persians were using this six-pointed star hundreds of years before Christ. So perhaps to them it was a proof mark or the mark of a certain smith known for his steel. So we still can’ tell you for certain why it is there but we can tell you for certain it isn’t a Star of David.


Hollow Handle Knives

Awhile back we reported on a hollow handle Parsons knife and wondered on where it might have come from. Well of our readers answered the question quite thoroughly. In and e-mail from Jon S. he pointed us in the direction of Ken Warner’s book Knives 86 for the story on the hollow handles. We had read the story but forgotten completely about it. Apparently Randy Phillips was making and selling a lot of these hollow tube machine made handles to knife makers so they could keep up with the "Rambo" trend. Below we have a photo of a Dawson knife Jon purchased a few years ago with a Phillips handle. Barry Dawson confirmed that the knife was made in the late 80's. This does not confirm where or when the Parsons knife was made but it sure does narrow down the era when the handles are compared. With Mr. Phillips making the handles in the 1980’s Rambo era it rules out the Vietnam period of the earlier period Parsons knives. Thanks to Jon for bringing this to our attention!

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Government Auctions

Here is one we received from our good friend John Jacoby while stationed over in the Big Sandbox. For those of you who don’t know it John is the founder of the Bayonet Collectors Network or BCN as it is known by. John reports the following to us:

On the third week of each month, hundreds of military surplus items including computer monitors, machinery, automotive parts, furniture, tents and even kitchen sinks located at Redstone Arsenal are available for online bidding. "It's set up a lot like eBay," Keith Renfroe, site manager for Government Liquidation, a contractor that specializes in selling government surplus to the public, said. "We started the online bidding a little less than two years ago. You can get some good deals but you have to know what you're doing, especially when it comes to specialty items like aircraft
parts. You have to be a well-informed bidder." Government Liquidation partners with the Department of Defense to handle surplus property that is not reutilized by the government. For many years, the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office on Redstone handled disposal of all the surplus on post, but a few years ago, they started working with a contractor to handle the items that were eventually put up for public sale. "The property that comes to us is first offered for reuse within the Department of Defense, transferred to other federal agencies or donated to state and local governments," Bill Neppel, property disposal specialist at Redstone's Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service, said. "Property not reutilized, transferred or donated is then offered to the public as surplus." Neppel's office gives title of the public surplus to the contractor, Government Liquidation, who then chooses how to group the items and what will be sold over the Internet. Eighty percent of the sale proceeds, after expenses, come back to the U.S. Treasury. DRMO's web site lists property for reutilization but doesn't provide pictures of the items. Government Liquidation puts photos and descriptions of public surplus on its web site,, along with all the conditions of sale. "We have to sell as is," Renfroe said. "Some things listed, like certain pieces of equipment, the buyer has to have special authorization. You have to go through trade security control for some vehicle demil sales. It will tell you right on the online listing if you need special certification to purchase the item." Even though photos are included in online listing of public sale items, merchandise for both public sale and reutilization can be inspected in person at the warehouses located on Redstone. The web site lists Redstone auction items as well as inventory from several other DRMO regions. The next GL auction at Redstone will be June 23. Bidders can pay online via credit card or by mail to the contractor's office in Scottsdale, Ariz. Once payment has been rendered, an e-mail will be sent to the buyer and Renfroe at the Redstone office. Then the buyer can arrange to pick up the item or have it packed and shipped. "Here in Huntsville we get the basic stuff, electronics, computers, furniture, clothing, kitchen equipment, mechanical, aircraft parts. With the new dining hall, we're getting truckloads of equipment from the old mess hall," Renfroe said. "But at some of our other sites, we've sold everything from horses out of Texas to some presidential china at Fort Meade, Md." The inventory for DRMO and Government Liquidation auctions change daily and include thousands of items for reutilization and sale. In fiscal 2003 the DRMS managed the reuse of nearly $1.5 billion worth of property and sold remaining eligible property for more than $53 million in national and local sales. For more information call Neppel at 876-3617 for reutilization; and Renfroe at 881-6134 for public sales.

Thanks John!!

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Surplus M7 bayonets waiting for bids


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
--Thomas Edison


More on the Black "Issue" Ka-bar

We received a great detailed e-mail for a former USMC Armorer on the topic of issue and supply. It seems the mixing of actual issue and or government purchased items and strictly commercial items is a reality. Here we have it straight from Michael C:

This email is in regards to your June 2004 closing article on Black Ka-Bars. As a former Marine Armorer I can say that it is not too rare (but it is uncommon) for a commercial Ka-Bar to make its way into the system. You see, Ka-Bars and bayonets have a nasty way of getting lost when in the field. Instead of facing a Page 11 entry, a Marine can "substitute" a commercial Ka-Bar (or M7 bayonet) for an issue one. This usually is done on the down low, but those who need to know do turn a blind eye to the situation. I personally DRMO'd a commercial Ka-Bar when we had one (an issue Fighting Knife) that was tagged for DRMO disappear. We needed to send DRMO a Ka-Bar, so a commercial model was sent to avoid all the nasty paperwork. It was in fact a Ka-Bar just like the one on your website. In fact, it is possible that it is the same one.

Now, as far as the "supply person" offered the EOD Marine a choice of a "Knife, Fighting" or commercial Ka-Bar there is some gap filling going on. The Ka-Bar is a controlled ordnance item. This means that the Fighting Knife is only issued out in two ways: 1. Individual signs for the Knife on an ECR (Equipment Custody Receipt) Card or 2. Has a 10520 Card for the knife. Now, the "supply guy" in this case would be the unit Armorer.

When we pressed for further information is was forthcoming on the topic:

Ka-Bars, generally, are issued to any Marine that is issued an M9 Pistol, and generally only SNCOs and Officers get M9 Pistols regardless of their MOS. As an Armorer I rate the issue of an M9 right off the bat (it was kinda neat being a PFC with an M9!). In my unit SNCOs, Officers and Section Heads rated the M9 (as well as myself). Section Heads usually held the rank of Sergeant, though there were a few Corporals from time to time. This practice of issuing Section Heads an
M9 was a "nice-ity" as we did not have enough Officers and SNCOs to eat up all our M9s and by no means was this practice "Official Marine Corps Policy". I do imagine that other units have similar practices. Here is an issue breakdown:

M16A2: M7
M16A2 w/ M203 M7 (no idea why, as you cannot fix the bayonet w/ the 203 attached)
M249 SAW: M9 Fighting Knife ??????

Now, to further confuse the issue, it SEEMS that M249 SAW Gunners are supposed to get a Fighting Knife. We never had either a bayonet or Fighting Knife to issue with the SAW (we only had a "one for one" issue - i.e. 130 rifles equals 130 bayonets).

I have seen many pictures from Iraq showing the new USMC Bayonet/FK issued to just about everyone, regardless of weapon issue. I have been told (not seen on paper) that the USMC Bayonet/FK is to replace both the M7 and Fighting Knife as soon as possible.

The 10520 card is officially a NAVMC 10520 Ordnance Custody Receipt Card. It is a card that has basic information about the Marine it is issued to and the weapon it is assigned to. It would breakdown like this:

Commanding Officer (or designated other) Signature
Weapon Type
Serial Number of Weapon (If applicable)
Rack Number
10520 Number (on back of card)

This card is meant to streamline the issue of ordnance gear. All weapons are kept in an Armory, and in order to issue any weapon a Marine must either hand over a 10520 for the item requested OR fill out an ECR card (known as a "temp loan" card). It comes down to the fact that anything that leaves the Armory must be accounted for to an individual Marine.

Thanks Mike, that is great information and might just be the answer to finding a Ka-bar in the government when even Ka-bar themselves say they haven’t sold them any since World War Two.


WW I Prototype

In a recent conversation with out good friend Bill Stone we discussed a steel bladed knuckle knife that was identical to one seen in the Adrian Van Dyk sales catalog from long ago. The knife Mr. Van Dyk had for sale from his own collection was made entirely from brass as it was a tool room mockup design piece. The knife recently purchased by Bill is a steel bladed version which would have been the knife that was made were it to have been approved. The knife in Mr. Van Dyks collection was written about and picture in an American Blade article "Knuckle Knives of WW I" many years ago. The knife came from the Springfield Armory where it was built. We don’t have any further information on the knife now in the Stone collection but we would sure like to know more about it. Here we have some photos of the steel version just for your viewing pleasure.

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Thanks Bill for sharing this very rare knife with us!



I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
Thomas Jefferson


More Case V-42 Reproductions

Quite a stir recently on a few e-bay auctions with mint V-42 scabbards going for pretty big money. One was so good it had me fooled until a consensus was opinionated that it was too good to be true. Just days after one of these auctions ended a fellow reader, John H. sent us an e-mail telling us about a very little known reproduction item made in the 1980’s. It seems that a company from Barrington Ill. Named Continental Precision Products Inc made these knives and scabbards for the retail sales area and they were eagerly scooped up by re-enactors as they were very authentic looking. The knives are easily detected as they have crossed arrows deeply struck in the ricasso but the scabbards are not so easily detected. The secret relayed to us is to look inside the belt loop for a stamping in white ink, CPPI and you will then know. We have seen some with the wrong rivets but some are so good they will trip you up in a minute. 
Thanks John! 

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A Few Photos From The Fighting Front.

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Note the Ka-bars they are wearing… private purchase items.

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No knives but a great photo anyway.


A Long Collins #191

A recent e-mail from or good friend Robin B. requested a bit of information on a Collins #191 he just purchased at an antique show. Now the Collins #191 purchased and used by the USMC in WW II was and still is a very hard item to find. Once found it is almost impossible to link it to the USMC as it is a standard production item… or so we thought. In checking the records in D.E. Henry’s book and at the Canton Historical Society the # 191 should have a 25 inch blade. The Marine Corps items were of a 20 ½ inch blade. This is somewhat perplexing as The Collins Co. would normally assign a new number to an item that was even a slight bit different so as not to be confusing. The machete just picked up by Robin is of the 25 inch length although the tip on his example has been altered. So could this be a clue if the original commercial model had the 25 inch blade while the USMC blades are in the 21 (actually measuring 20 ½ inches) inch length. The short #191 is very scarce but the long #191 is even rarer from what we have observed. We have not seen a catalog or any other evidence that the #191 was ever sold retail in the shorter length. Have you??

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Another Long Scabbard.

In our last installment prior to the summer break we ran a short piece on the long M1913 cavalry sabre scabbard. Well Eric from Michigan sent us a few great photos of another model of the frog made to hold this sabre onto the saddle. We do not have a catalog or report showing this model but there can be no doubt of what it is for. The brass hooks snap into the two large loops on the scabbard to hold it in place. This example does not have any markings on it that we have noted but think for sure they were there at some time. As this items is in great condition it was well cared for over the years. If anyone knows what the proper model designation is for this scabbards frog we would sure appreciate hearing form you. Thanks Eric!

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While we are at it a quote on the subject

"The inferiority of our sabre exercise is the real cause for our disuse of the saber…admitting that the sabre is at present only an encumbrance to the American horse, if follows from the premises that the real reason therefore is ignorance of its use. A library is useless to a man who cannot read. The remedy is simple. Let him learn to read. Teach our [cavalry] to use the sabre properly…more the shame for the Government to persist in issuing a weapon which they do not teach the men to use."
Army and Navy Journal,
June 6, 1874


More info on the V-42 reproductions

Here we are informed by another reader of where to find the reproduction V-42 with crossed arrows. The knives are currently for sale at the following web site:


"Uncle" Bob Riggs Knives

A reader Eric S. writes to us about a knife he just found and was looking for some information on it. Attached were some photos of the knife and much to our surprise it was a rare Riggs knife. As we have not written about them before this seems like a great time to do so. We have never found any source material for these knives so have held off on reporting about them although we have known of them for years. Most of the information we do know of them comes from word of mouth and the excellent book by Bill and Debbie Wright, Military Theatre Knives of World War Two. The knives were made by Bob Riggs of Fife Washington. Blade lengths varied but most observed had 6 to 8 inch blades with fullers and are of the clip point design. Handles are Elh horn held in place by 6 rather large copper pins that are spun on both sides. The full length double guards are made from brass which was hard to come by in wartime USA. Riggs was a retired machinist and tinsmith. Born in 1861 in Indiana he retired from his official working years in 1937. Riggs started making knives for servicemen in 1943 at the age of 81. Prior to that he had made knives as a hobby since his retirement in his home machine shop. The estimate generally acknowledged is that he made between 150 and 300 knives during the war, that classes his knives as a rare commodity today. The knives were reportedly sold for $4.00 each and took about 2 days to make. The knives were stamped with a large "V" on the ricasso which was the standard symbol for Victory during World War Two. Riggs passed away on February 7th 1946 while chopping wood at his home. He lived long enough to see the end of the war that he provided knives for and speak with a few men that carried them. Today a Riggs knife in excellent condition with proper scabbard would bring in the range of $1200.00 to $1500.00. A good investment. Thanks Eric!

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A Strange Case M3 Marking

In an e-mail from a fellow reader Eric R. we find a guard marked Case knife of a different type. The markings do not run in the same direction as the typical Case markings do. While we have never seen one like it before we are not sure of what exactly it is. Eric sent us a few photos to observe so they are shown here. Have you ever seen one like this before? Do you have any opinions on the item or knowledge on it? Sure would like to hear from you on the topic. 
Thanks Eric!

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October 2004

The State of the Press

We read the following quite some months ago and thought it a very well written piece. It put us on the trail of others like it to compare with and forward to friends with like opinions. Well what an exasperating experience it has been. We are reminded daily of the price young men in the armed forces pay in blood yet seeking out a story of courage or esprit de corps is almost non-existent. We have not agreed with the Op-Ed page for many years but that is to be expected, they are opinion pieces and not meant to be agreeable by all. We refer to the news press that should be reporting both sides of the story. Try to find a story on what our men in Iraq or Afghanistan have done right. Good Luck. Most of the Most Wanted card deck is gone but did we hear one story other then scum-bag number one getting caught in a hole, Nada. Successful fighting deserves praise from the home front, just as much as those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our men are doing it everyday but we never hear of it, where is our Ernie Pyle?


May 21 2004
By Keith Mcleod And Michael Christie

SCOTS soldiers last night told how they launched a bayonet charge on Iraqi militiamen after hours of battle. An Army insider last night gave the Record an insight into the bravery of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

They were forced to use 'cold steel' as supplies of ammunition ran low. Many of the militiamen turned and fled but the close-quarters fighting left around 20 rebels dead.

Thirty-five of Shia Moslem cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's followers died and two British troops were injured during the three-hour battle. A senior Argylls officer said last night: 'After a fierce fight and with small amounts of ammo left, they put in a conventional left-flanking attack. 'With bayonets attached, they finished off the enemy who had not run off.' It was the first time in 22 years the Army had used bayonets in action. The last came when the Scots Guards stormed Argentinian positions during the Falklands War.

The battle developed following a distress call from a group of eight British soldiers last Friday. The troops under the command of Major Adam Griffiths were surrounded on the notorious Route Six highway while en route to Camp Abu Naji in southern Iraq. Their LandRovers were riddled with bullets and they came under attack from rocket launchers and grenades. But as a 30-strong platoon of Argylls responded to the SOS, the militia were getting reinforcements. The men from the Stirlingshire-based regiment were forced to dig in and shoot back. The Argylls were aided by a detachment of the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment, who arrived at the scene in armoured
Warrior vehicles. More than 150 Iraqis were said to be involved in last week's battle. Military sources say the militiamen miscalculated the response from the original group of soldiers.

Last night, a source said: 'Morale is very good following this serious incident. 'The insurgents have been laying ambushes on Route Six one of the main roads between Basra and Baghdad for some time. 'Previously, the response from small British groups has been drive on. These militiamen were obviously expecting this to happen again.

'The enemy have been picking their targets, mainly two LandRovers with six to eight soldiers on board. With those odds, it is sometimes best to keep on going, but the attack was so sustained, the LandRovers stopped and returned fire. 'We now hope that these attacks on Route Six will stop, but we are taking nothing for granted.'

Intelligence gathered since the bayonet charge suggests it shocked the militia fighters, who expected the outnumbered Scots to flee. The source added: 'The injuries received by our troops were shrapnel to the hand and shrapnel to the groin. Both of these casualties were as a result of
rocket-propelled grenades fired at them. 'Both the injured guys are back with their units and doing fine.'

The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment arrived on the scene in 37ton Warriors just as the Scots' ammo was getting low. They found many Iraqi militia fleeing the bayonet charge. Around 20 Iraqis who chose to stand and fight were killed by the troops of both regiments.

The Argylls' forebears formed The Thin Red Line which kept 25,000 Russians at bay at Balaclava during the Crimean War of the 1850s. In 1967, Argylls commander Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Mitchell known as Mad Mitch stormed a rebel stronghold in Yemen. Accompanied only by 15 pipers playing Scotland The Brave, he recaptured Crater Town, the commercial heart of Aden, which had been in enemy hands for two weeks.

The regiment has won 16 Victoria Crosses. 

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More on the French Foreign Legion Knife

We received a letter from our good friend Sgt Major John Larsen on the topic of the M1917 bayonets cut down to knife length. John had also contacted the French Foreign Legion museum about the knife and received the same reply as we did, the knife is not FFL issue. Well John found a few more photos of the Legionnaires wearing the knives in various campaigns ranging from 1978 to 1982. The knives seem to be issued to men that would not be issued a bayonet and that makes sense. A sniper with the FRF1 7.7X54 rifle, a MAT-49 SMG and another man not holding a rifle. This is in accordance with the previous photos we have run showing the tanker in Desert storm wearing one. So it seems the museum continues to deny it but the only soldiers ever seen wearing the knife are from the FFL. We shall continue to call it the FFL knife all the same.


Bayonets More Popular?

Now that the ridiculous "Assault Gun" ban has come to an end we have seen multiples of people paraded on the Idiot Box telling us how many people are going to rush out and buy a "real" assault weapon. Well we don’t know what a "real" assault weapon would be but we do know that semi-automatic rifles with bayonet lugs will be available again. With this said expect to find gun owners looking for bayonets more then ever. The release of the Garand by the CMP started a fire storm of people looking for M1 bayonets, both long and short to match the proper date of the rifle. The same is true of the M4 bayonet for the M1 Carbine. Banning an object and not the act of doing the evil will never work. Open your eyes, look around the world and tell us where it has worked? We have no need here for a semi-automatic battle rifle but being told we can’t own one because we are not trusted with it kind of gets under the skin and we are fully against it.


A Presidential Bayonet

While watching the recent funeral for President Reagan our better half asked if we had any bayonets like they were showing in the procession, a light bulb went off. Now just how could we attain just such an item and have provenance to show with it. The thought process had begun. Then it dawned on us… Homer Brett. A meeting with Homer at the Allentown Pa. Forks of the Delaware gun show set the stage for the first step on the way to obtaining one of these articles. For some quick background Homer works closely with the US Navy Honor Guard in Washington D.C. and has both provided the M5A1 bayonets for them and photographed several events they have participated in. This was the link we were looking for. A asked Homer if it would be possible to obtain one of the bayonets that were used in the funeral and to have provenance it was there. He replied in the affirmative that he would look into it and see what he could come up with. A few weeks later a package arrived at the door. Opening the box revealed a chromed M5A1 bayonet made by Milpar in excellent condition. Along with the bayonet was an M8A1 scabbard that had been painted white on the body and black on the exposed metal parts. Attached to the scabbard was a white, woven web frog with round brass eyelets used for attachment to a leather belt. Quite an attractive package when viewed from afar but rather thickly painted when viewed from close. In fact the paint is so thick you can hardly read the M8A1 stamping on the scabbard throat. But again when viewed without the collectors eye the gleaming white and shiny black are a very hard package to top. On the back of the scabbard and the frog a name is written using a type of indelible marker, the name Vancil is prominent on the package. Another name, Kawkonen is lined out, the previous owner of the web frog. Currently in the Navy Honor Guard the scabbard assembly with frog is issued to a man and kept for the duration while the bayonet is and issue when needed item to be returned to the Armory and counted for inventory. The blade is the typical M5A1 piece but is not sharp, whether that is from the chrome plating or if it was purposely dulled before plating we do not know. In any case we suppose it is a good thing it is not sharp as with all the drilling these Honor Guardsman do it would be a very interesting proposition indeed. Along with the bayonet and scabbard we also received a front page of the Washington Post dated Thursday June 10, 2004 showing Seaman Vancil on the steps of the Capital Building in the "Present Arms" position. The flag draped casket of the President is in the background and the First Lady, Nancy Reagan reaching out to touch it. Quite a dramatic moment in our countries history captured on film with Seaman Vancil in the foreground and the gleaming bayonet present. Other items included in the package is a Ceremonial Guard scroll for wear on the right shoulder of the Navy Dress White uniform. A large round patch for use on the Navy windbreaker jacket only and a copy of the President’s funeral card handed out at the ceremony was also enclosed. In all a very nice grouping of items from a very moving and memorable moment.

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More on NASA Knives

We received an e-mail from Tom Wolfe who wrote a very detailed article in Blade magazine on the topic several years ago. Tom answered a question we posed several years ago about the Swiss Army knife in use by NASA. Here is what Tom wrote to us:

"The original SAK's used by the astronauts were the "Master Craftsman" model. It was first used in the Apollo astronauts that flew aboard the Skylab space station. Skylab was in real trouble and the only general purpose tool that they had aboard was this knife.
In November, 1982, I wrote an article on Astronaut's knives for Blade magazine. In it, I covered the Randall Model 17 that flew with the Mercury astronauts, and the Case machete preferred by the Gemini astronauts to survive their grueling survival training in Panama. The last section covered the SAK and its use on Skylab. (I am sorry but back issues of this article are not available from the magazine, and even I don't have a copy in my possession. I foolishly gave away all of my copies.)
Soon after the publication of the article, the Victorinox company renamed the Master Craftsman as the new "Astronaut" model. They added a nickel-silver space shuttle inlay into their famous red handle on the same side as their Swiss emblem. No other changes were made to the knife. It was available in some retail stores.
By the 90's both the Master Craftsman and the Astronaut models were pulled from the Victorinox line-up. I have no information as to their reasons. (I assume low sales volume.) Although SAKs are still used in shuttle missions (pre-Columbia) I do not know which model is used.

Both the Master Craftsman and Astronaut models featured the following tools:
2 knife blades
metal file with hacksaw edge
wood cross-cut saw blade
Yankee screwdriver/bottle opener/nail-puller
small Yankee screwdriver/can opener
Phillips screwdriver
a third Yankee screwdriver
tooth pick
lanyard ring

I have both models in my possession and can guarantee the accuracy of this description. I hope this answers your questions."

We have recently been in contact with another source of some great inside information on Astronauts and using knives. As we know the standard kit knife for the space program is the trusty Swiss Army Knife. In addition they also use a custom made Emerson Knives SARK folder. This knife features a hooked blade to allow opening of food packages very simple. It is also equipped with a thumb stud for one handed opening, a great feature here on earth as well as in space. These knives are handed out in kit form before the launch and must be returned when the mission is over. They are accounted for. Another item that has proven very useful and in demand is the Multi-tool. On a recent 6 month voyage to the Space Station astronaut Don Pettit carried a Leatherman Wave as a personal choice. We hear that Leatherman has made a titanium model just for this very purpose. The blades were still stainless but the frame is made from the lightweight material and nicely anodized. It carries an inscription on the handle as well. As an astronaut can not endorse any product officially they have to be careful not to endorse stuff unofficially as well so most of the unofficial personal choice carry items may never be reported. We remember several years ago seeing an MC-1 orange handled auto knife with a NASA part number on it on display at the Blade Show in Atlanta. The Case machetes and the MC-1 were part of a display put on by our good friend Bill Adams. They were part of the official kit for the astronauts as well as the chase planes that escort the Shuttle back to earth.

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PI Bayonet, Truth is Stranger Then Fiction

We received an e-mail the other day asking about a PI bayonet that was just purchased off e-bay. While not common we do see these Mark 2 bladed knives with M7 handles every so often listed so it was no surprise to hear. Now saying one of these knives is a PI bayonet is quite a stretch, usually just a Mark 2 that someone added the bayonet parts to. The bayonet itself came from a surplus store Oregon selling on ebay. The strange part was the fellow who bought it, Bill Humes, lives in Philadelphia, Pa. Very close to where we live. Bill did some surfing on the web and found this here page listed and my address, Deptford, NJ. Now it gets even better as Bill’s brother also lives in Deptford. We exchanged a few e-mails and setup a meeting to take a look at the bayonet. It turns out his brothers house is about 3 minutes from my house, about three streets away! Another knife / bayonet collector just around the corner and we never knew it! So the meeting was set to view the piece. More interested in meeting the folks then the item as I knew it would almost certainly be bad news. Bill paid very little for the piece so all the odds were against it. At first glance the bayonet was well perserved and in great condition. The first thing to note was it had the proper markings, Camillus, N.Y. and U.S.N. / MARK 2 on the other side. This is a good sign as most folks who would fake such a thing haven’t a clue as to the proper markings. The second item was the sawback on the spine. All neatly machined and properly spaced. This is rarely seen on a fake knife. Most are hand carved and very awkward in appearance. The knife was marked on the guard with white paint indicating the number 33 while the typical USN Mark 2 scabbard, not a part of the test, was marked in the same way but with the number 16. So far so good. This item was a cutting edge up model, the test used two variations, cutting edge of the blade oriented up and cutting edge down. We brought along a copy of the test to verify and number 33 was a cutting edge up model that was used and survived the test in almost perfect order. Is it starting to sound good, you bet, it now held my undivided attention sitting at the dining room table. We next took off the handle grips to look for the grip markings, all are as they should be. The pommel / latch-plate was as it should be and the guard was correct. We were looking at a genuine P.I. Test Bayonet from the 1976 / 1977 test. One that survived and made it’s way into the surplus market. A few days later I heard from Bill again as he followed up with the seller to see if he could find out any background on the knife. It seems it came in with a load of other items from someone who had spent time at Ft Lewis in Washington state. That makes perfect sense as the bayonets were tested by the Ranger School candidates and many of the Rangers ended up with a few of the pieces. There is a Major General who as a young Captain was involved in the test fondly still carries his P.I. Bayonet on his gear today in Afghanistan. The knife tested by those Rangers couldn’t have found a better home as Bill related to me, "our brother Frank W. Humes was a Ranger Sniper in Vietnam with the 75th Rangers, K Company. He was KIA 7-8-69. " Even if I had seen it on ebay I most likely would not have bid on it, the chances were remote at best it was legitimate, Bill took the chance. A great story with a great ending. It always makes us glad when a real prize is uncovered. It saves the piece for future generations sure but it also reminds us that the next item we look at may in fact be an extremely rare piece and the faith is again renewed.

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LF&C Markings

It was recently brought to our attention that the earliest of the Model 1913 Sabre’s made by Landers, Frary & Clark were serial numbered. When did this practice stop and by who’s authority? Was this a major rethinking on the Ordnance Departments part? The M1917, M1918 and the M1918Mk1 knives were never marked with a serial number yet prior to this and after this date bayonets were still serial numbered. The bolo knives had serial numbers and also they were made without them. The Model 1917 bayonet lacks a serial number in the same years that the Springfield made Model 1905 was numbered. Why, can anyone tell us?

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Updated November 2004

U.S. Type 99 Bayonets in Korea

We recently received a document from the National Archives in reference to the Japanese Type 99 rifles being altered for use in Korea. The document from Headquarters, 229th Ordnance Base Depot, APO 503 on the Conversion of Japanese Model 99 Rifles dated 14 May 1953 states that:

1,235 Rifle, US, Type 99 Japanese, Cal .30 (long)

43,410 Rifle, US, Type 99 Japanese, Cal .30 (short)

were on hand with 1,909 rifles on hand in depot stocks that have not yet been converted. In speaking with our good friend Bill Porter about the Jap 99 items Bill sent us a few photos of his converted Jap 99 bayonet. We also note in Johnsons book on Japanese Bayonets it is written up as used by the South Korean Army, ROK during the war. We are seeking additional information on this topic, if you can add anything to the above on the rifle, the bayonet or recommend a good reference on the subject please let us know. Friend and fellow BCN member Raymond LaBar tells us that 133,000 of the rifles in total were converted to the configuration of Rifle, US, Type 99 but how many of the bayonets did they produce or actually bayonet scabbards.

Japan played a major role in the Korean War although still technically an enemy nation under military occupation. Washington repeatedly objected to occupied Manchuria, as a sanctuary for the Communists while Japan was our own huge aircraft carrier for the jump off to Korea. While the US contributed to the rebuilding of Japan nothing helped as much as the Korean War. Rebuilt Japanese factories made every sort of item the US troops needed adding to the economy. Contracts for manufacturing as well as service industries from vehicle repairs to prostitutes were all in demand during the buildup and duration of the war. The industrious Japanese worked in every conceivable occupation, of the 47 LST’s used for the Inchon landing 37 were crewed by Japanese, enemies just 5 years earlier.

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Benedict Arnold was a decorated American war hero, wounded in combat, but that doesn't stop us from criticizing him for what he did later.

Thomas Sowell 2004


Morey Mk1 Desert Storm Knives

In a recent thread on Knife Forums a discussion was brought up on knives made during Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm. Now knives used in that Operation is one thing but knives made in that time frame is quite another. The first one that came to our mind was the knuckle knives made by our good friend Dale Sandberg. These knives were made right here in the USA by Dale himself and we are sure there were many other custom makers producing knives for our fighting men overseas. This one knife posted about struck us as strange but we had heard of it before, actually on many occasions but could never track it down. Well with the modern invention of the Internet people, countries and events are all within our grasp if we know where to ask. We didn’t. One fellow posted about the knife, (something that never occurred to us) and much to our amazement an answer was shortly received. And, it not just a few opinions or speculation on the knife but an actual letter from the fellow who made the knives in question, Chuck Morey. A quick search on ebay turned up a Morey knife posted for sale. We placed a bid and won the auction. When we communicated with the seller he stated he didn’t know much about the knives but his uncle who made them would be able to answer any questions we might have. The seller forwarded my e-mail to his Uncle Chuck and a reply was received the next day! Imagine that, now in communications with the maker of the Morey Mk1 Knife thru an auction for one of his knives passed through another person! Chuck was willing to answer any questions we had and would be more then happy to research his part in any thing we needed.

It all started during the Operation Desert Shield stage when Gunner’s Mate (GMM3) Chuck Morey was assigned to the Guided Missile Cruiser USS Worden CG-18 out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He and few friends started making knives in the machine shop for fun stating the "the old Vietnam era knives that we were issued were too heavy and bulky". After making a few knives and experimenting a bit Chuck decided on a prototype that he liked and started shopping around for someone to produce it for him. As the ship was anchored in Saudi Arabia this is where the shopping for a manufacturer began. The smallest order anyone with the capability to produce knives would take was 1000 so it was decided that the 1000 knives would be an investment and a deal was struck. The total price for the knives, scabbards, boxes and packaging would be $8,800.00, Chuck’s life savings at the time. As days went by follow up with the manufacturer proceeded with delay after delay being announced. In case you don’t remember the war wasn’t exactly that long, so speed was of the essence. The knives finally arrived in the first week of March 1991 just as the war was officially ending. At this time they were about to head back to Pearl Harbor as the mission was completed for the USS Worden. Chuck never got a chance to sell many of the knives to other service members. "There was a Russian ship in the United Arab Emirates that we met up with and I traded a few knives for some Russian Navy things like hats so there may be a few knives now in Russia." "I think I sold more knives to Germans, than anyone else. I sold a few in Hawaii when we got back also." It was at this time that Chuck noticed something about his crate of knives, many were not serviceable, the bottom of the pack was filled with substandard knives covered with all the good ones on the top, a fast one had been pulled on our entrepreneur. Many of the knives were so bad that they were thrown away, Chuck didn’t want to have his name on those knives or be associated with them. Another fact was also staring to arise, as the knives were in the Navy and exposed to salt air they started to show signs of rusting. As they are marked Stainless on the blades all we can surmise is that it is a very low chromium content stainless or perhaps not stainless at all. Buffing the knives brought the shine back again. The knives were selling for $10.00 to US or Allied troops and slightly more to others. It wasn’t a point of trying to make any money on them, it was just for fun as an experiment, Chuck told us.

The knives themselves are don’t really look like the typical military issue knife. More like a commercial product one would find featured as a fighting knife. They are all individually packed in a white box with the Morey Knives USA logo in red and gray. It is actually a well-designed logo that would go well in the commercial sales side of the business. The knife is designated as the Mk1 (pronounced Mark 1) as that follows the typical Navy Ordnance protocol as would be expected of a Gunners Mate serving in the Navy. Each knife is again individually wrapped in a plastic bag for protection sealed inside the box. Overall length of the knife is 11 inches with the blade being 5 7/8 and the handle and guard at 5 1/8 inches. The guard is a full double crossguard made from the same material the blade is being quite thick at 3/16 inch X 2 inches long. The blade is a fully double-edged design sharpened on both sides to a very sharp edge. The center of the knife features a full length fuller on each side. On the ricasso we find the markings MOREY-MK1 deeply stamped in one straight line. On the reverse ricasso the word "STAINLESS" is stamped and the quotation marks are included in the stamping. Most likely something "lost in the translation" on the specs Chuck called for. The handle is made from an injection molded plastic of some type that is black in color. A large "M" is cast into the handle along with three long grooves on each side for better gripping. The end of the handle features a thong hole for safely tying your knife in place on you wrist or on your belt. The scabbard is made from very thin leather with a very thick welt that is dyed black. Double row stitched with black nylon thread and riveted with two hollow tube type rivets at the throat for added safety and strength. The knife is retained in the scabbard by two leather straps with individual snaps. All the hardware, snaps and rivets are brightly plated chrome. It is securely held in place and not likely to go anywhere. The bottom of the scabbard features a steel "D" hook for a tie down or inverse mounting on web gear. While talking about wearing the knife one obvious item is missing, there are no loops or cuts in the leather to allow the scabbard to be affixed to a belt! A major oversight on the manufacturers part we would guess?

Over the following years Chuck has been selling a few knives here and some there but nothing on a large scale, having fun doing so. As Chuck puts it, "Morey Knives was never an actual company, just an experiment, and a failed experiment at that. I wanted to manufacture my own knife, so I gave it a shot. I was young and naive when I had the knives made, and got a little more that I bargained for, I lost a couple thousand dollars in the deal, but it was a good learning experience." When we quizzed Chuck on making another knife in the future he responded: "I've been thinking a lot about making another knife, since I talked to you last. But, I want to do it right this time. The knife would have to be priced within an enlisted man's grasp. There are so many "military" knives out there that are unrealistically priced. It would also have to be high quality, and made in the US. If I come up with anything, in the next few years, I'll let you know." We certainly hope he does!

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Rare Knives and Pricing

We were recently sent a photo of one of the rarest US knives in existence. The present owner want to know if we could confirm it as being legit and a value associated with it. Well as very few exist it is rather hard to do either but a few hints confirm it to be what it is represented as. We don’t know of any being or that have been reproduced. It follows the form exactly. The scabbard is much to much trouble to replicate in detail, and a few other less obvious items as well. Placing a price would be rough, when was the last time you heard of one changing hands?? We usually suggest listing an item on eBay with an extremely high reserve and watch the auction. The top bid id what someone at that time was willing to pay for it. The actual price ranges usually run closer to the second and third place bidders unless they get caught up in a bidding war during a frenzy. It will cost you a couple of bucks for the listing but you can find out for yourself what value someone else places on your toy. Then you get to decide if you want to actually part with it or not. Anyway here is a photo of that Fair Sword we started talking about, enjoy.

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Crash Axes

We received a recent e-mail from P.O. Dan Edwards U.S.C.G. an Aviation Survival Tech. Dan tells us that they have about 40 of the axes on the shelf and they are currently in use. This was surprising to us as we had thought they were long obsolete. The current manufacturer of the axe is W.S. Darley of Melrose Park Ill. The CAGE for them is 15852. The current part number for the ax is H-J728 for the serrated version and H-J729 for the straight edged version. The leather sheath is part number H-J2801. The old part number, 42D8331 tells us when that item was adopted, 1942. The handle continues to be insulated from high voltage to allow the user to cut through electrical wires without the fear of getting zapped. These are commercial off the shelf or COTS items that can be procured directly from Darley. Darley currently holds the GSA contract on the item. Glad to hear they are still serving, thanks Dan!


No More Beer for Soldiers on Web

Here is an amusing story we recently read on the web. It is a true one and one that reminds us who is doing the fighting and who they are fighting for. Next time you are in an establishment and see a fellow in uniform, buy him a beer. <> has been disabled.
The Web site, which enabled visitors to donate money that would buy a GI a
brewsky, was judged to be in violation of military ethics, reports Stars and
Sgt. Dale Rogers, who set up the site in February before being sent to South
Korea, and then Iraq, put up a notice last week that due to legal pressure,
he was handing the site over to his brother, a civilian.
"I am currently serving somewhere outside of Fallujah, Iraq," Rogers wrote.
"My Web site is going through a change; I am turning over this Web site to
my brother due to legal pukes who say a soldier cannot solicit beer
donations to increase the morale of his fellow soldiers. What a crock! But I
am a soldier and I have to comply."
That didn't seem to have been enough. By Sunday night
had changed its motto to "The Web site where you cannot buy us a beer."
"We would still love for you to buy us a beer," the site adds, "but the
legal folks say you can't."
The site had previously offered buttons where visitors could charge their
credit cards $2 for a 40-oz. bottle, $6 for a "tall beer from the bar," $7
for a six-pack, $10 for a "pitcher" or $20 for a "keg club."
While posted in South Korea with the Army's 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry
Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Rogers would use
money collected from the site to buy soldiers drinks in local bars.
Since alcoholic beverages are forbidden to American personnel in Iraq,
Rogers had planned to save up the site's latest earnings until his leave in
A spokesman for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team told Stars and Stripes via
e-mail that the unit's lawyers had determined that the Web site violated the
Joint Ethics Regulation.
"The soldier seems to be using his association with the Army as a way to
solicit funds for beer. Whatever his intentions, and I'm sure they are
genuine and pure, (the Web site is) ... illegal," the spokesman wrote. "I
noted ... however, that the site is still up and running. I am confident it
will be shut down soon."
It's illegal for federal employees, including soldiers, to solicit or
receive gifts, said Ron Buchholz, an attorney for the Department of the
Army. He told Stars and Stripes that there were exceptions to the rule,
Rogers is still adamant about his quest for brew.
"I won't back down! Stand me up at the gates of hell and I won't back down,"
his Web site reads, quoting a Tom Petty song.
"You'd think that a soldier risking his life in a war zone, usually under
enemy attacks almost daily," he told Stars and Stripes in an e-mail, "could
at least have the right to maintain a morale builder for his fellow
brothers, such as this Web site."

Lyon & Coulson

We recently heard from our good friend Bruce Canfield on some information he recently dug up.

"I noticed you had some information on your website regarding one of the makers of the M6 scabbard, Lyon & Coulson. During the course of researching my upcoming book on the '03 Springfield, I discovered that Lyon & Coulson also made leather lens covers during WWII for the Weaver 330C/M73B1 telescope used with the M1903A4 sniper rifle. The company received a contract for 26,000 scope covers on March 22, 1943 for 32 cents per item. "

Thanks Bruce! We often run across items made by companies we are familiar with but never associated with producing such items. We once found a contract for the Union Cutlery Company to make boots. No description other then that, boots. Could they have been the type one wears, a rifle scabbard, a folding top for a truck or car?? Or maybe it was just a mistake and later canceled. We don’t know but it was in writing.


The Old Guard

In a follow up to our picture of the Reagan bayonet our good friend Charlie Flick sends us a photo of a member of the 3rd Infantry Div., the Old Guard, walking his post at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. An intriguing part of the photo shows the standard chromed M6 bayonet but it has a red or at least wood colored handle. We have not observed one of these before. Does anyone have any information on these hand grips? As you may have seen in a past edition here the 3rd I.D. was deployed to Iraq recently. Not only are they young troops perfect in dress and parades they sure can kick some butt on the field. Thanks for the photo Charlie!

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Western G46-8

We have handled many of these knives in the past and can comment on the beautiful fit and finish they exhibit, a true high grade piece of steel meant to go into harms way. One recurring item that comes up is the lack of information on the Western Brand. There is a great book out there on Western, The Knifemakers Who Went West, by Harvey Platts that shows us many of the old designs and even catalog pages but does not dig deeply into each of the knives. We are left to guess about much of the information and sift through the pieces to put the puzzle together. With the sale of Western all the old information was lost over time, records and people who worked for them are not around to set us straight on even the simple items. When Camillus purchased Western we contacted out good friend Tom Williams but it was indeed sad that nothing of historical records remained. One question we do have on these knives is the pattern. If you study the knives you will find two distinct patterns of the knives. The grinding is different , the fuller is forged differently, even the point is different. This more pronounced when you view Coles drawings in his two books. The bright bladed version is very different then the blued version, why? What caused the shift to one style or another? What pattern came first? Why? Many questions to be answered but few places to look for them. Can anyone comment on it? The photo below was provided by Johnny Peppers to illustrate the difference, thanks Johnny.

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The Ordnance Bomb

A recent knife procured by our good friend Warren Jones has us searching but nothing yet in sight. We present it here to all the readers to see if someone can help identify it. We can tell from the blade profile and parts it started out life as a Hard Hat Diving knife but has had the handle changed at some point in it’s life. The part we question is why there is an Ordnance Bomb stamped into it? Why would the Army Ordnance Dept. proof stamp a divers knife? We are unaware of any contracts Union Cutlery held with the Ordnance Dept for any items but as you may have read above they did have a contract let to them for boots! Warren confirms this is a stamped proof, not an engraved items some one may have later put on to enhance a value. As the knife was procured at a reasonable price it confirms this was not the last sellers intent. The Army did have a large fleet of ships during WW II and still today they have Hard Hat Divers as part of the Corps of Engineers but again we come back to what did Ordnance have to do with it? Ordnance usually does not come into play with procurement of knives, they have domain over bayonet purchased but the knife field is generally that of the Quartermaster Dept. A obvious twist to this rule is the M3 trench knife as it was an Ordnance Dept designed and procured knife. If anyone has and ideas or can shed some light on this topic we would sure like to hear from you.

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What To Use The M9 For…

Our good friend Mitch Jenkinson sends us a photo of a Marine who put his M9 bayonet to good use. While on patrol this Marine found himself under attack but not from an armed human enemy but from a rather large snake. From the photos it appears to be a new Ontario bayonet in use. A great photo for sure but back up here a moment… A Marine with an Ontario M9 bayonet! This one slipped right past us at first but when did the Marines procure the M9 bayonet from Ontario? The only procurement we were aware of for the Marines was the Buck contract piece that had USMC stamped into the ricasso. Did the USMC procure bayonets from Ontario or did this Marine purchase his own?? Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks Mitch for the photo and the lead!

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December 2004

A Friend's Passing
It is with deep sorrow and regret we heard of the passing of Ron Braehler. Ron was a friend to the collector everywhere willing to share information he had saved over the years. Many of the old ads we have up on the Reproduction page came from Ron. I am sure there will be a lot of knives to find everyday where Ron is now. All the best friend.


A Much Higher Note
We welcome back our good friend Carter Rila to the land of the living. Carter was down for quite some time battling an illness. As soon as he got back to the computer he was right at it again. Carter can make you put on your thinking cap like no one else, quite a guy. Welcome back!


Serial Numbers
Our good friend Dick Boyd has taken on an adventure to climb quite a mountain. Dick is establishing a database of serial numbers on Springfield knives. All collectors who have a M1905 Hospital Corps Knife, an M1909 Bolo or a M1910 Bolo that is serial numbered and dated Dick would love to hear from you. He has been at it for quite some time and is looking for any new information to place high and low numbers by year. All knives MUST BE SEEN to be verified, not something a friend of a friend told you about. We all know the production numbers quoted by Springfield are by Fiscal years and the dating of the equipment went by calander year so the two numbers will never corolate but establishing a high and low may give us some sense of how many were actually made in a given date stamping. This could also establish a pricing pattern and place an emphasis on finding rare years. Anyway you look at it it is a great endeavor and we look to Dick to lead the way with finding the information. Send him an e-mail of the items you have at Tell him you read about it on


Knives of North Vietnam
We received an e-mail from Dr. Rolf Bauche asking for information on some knives used by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. Sad to say we know little to nothing about them. In addition we do not know of any works other then that written by Homer Brett, The Military Knife and Bayonet, that even covers these knives. We have seen books on NVA uniforms but do not own any so can not comment on if they also contain knives. We also known of some monographs written during the war for military studies on weapons but they do not include knives, at least not the ones we have seen, they were mainly on rifles and hand fired weapons such as the SKS, AK or the RPG. An interesting field of study that is pretty much wide open in the English language to our knowledge. If you know of any books that cover these items we would be happy to hear about them.

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Lewis & Clark Knives
We have long known of the published lists of material used by the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery but for one reason or another always failed to follow up on it. The part of particular interest to us knife collectors is the one line statement of "25 Large Knives" to be procured from the Harper’s Ferry Arsenal along with the rifles and other ordnance supplies. In all of the published journals I have ever read no further description is ever heard on the topic of the knives. We fixate on whether or not a Hicks knife is actually military issue to place it at the beginning of the list for issue blades circa 1840. No evidence I have ever found will corroborate this but it is still held as fact as it has been written in not one but at least two books by famous authors. One book, American Knives by Mr. Peterson states the information to come from the Letter Books of the Allegheny Arsenal. The books are held in the Philadelphia Branch of the National Archives. I know the place well and have read through many of those books until eyestrain would let me proceed no further only to come back again on another day. Not one reference to Hicks in any I read nor any that the reference archivist could find for that matter and he read more of them then I did at every sitting. Anyway, getting off track here a bit, the 1803 Lewis and Clark Corps would predate the Hicks by forty years as a military knife. Now what exactly did it look like? Has anyone ever seen a picture or artist rendering of what it would look like? Any museum holdings have a knife from Harper’s Ferry in the same time frame? Our good friend Wayne Goddard brought the topic up again to us and we have to admit not knowing what one looks like. Anyone?


Inoel M3 Trench Knife
We recently had an inquiry from our good friend David Leifer on an M3 we had never heard about before. Below is what David wrote:

Can anyone shed some light on this item? Does anyone have any data about a company named INOEL?

A. I have acquired a very interesting specimen. It is an INOEL M3 (style) TRENCH KNIFE. In November 13, 2004, I thought that I saw ‘em all and then I acquired another peculiar item. While I was at the Fort Myers (FL) Knife club’ annual show, I came upon another M3 clone. This knife was the "INOEL" M3. I attempted to discover who or what is INOEL. I came up with either a Javanese company named "Himpunian Mahasiswa Teknologi Industri Pertanian" in Timur (e-mail:, "Inoel" buyers of mp3 circuit boards, 650 West Addison, Chicago, IL 60647 and "Firma INOEL" 04179 Leipzig, Germany which develops fuels. This is a bit of a mystery!

This knife has the company logo stamped on the right side of the blade approximately one half inch just forward of the guard almost at the ricasso on the top half of the blade above the ridge line. The logo is a ‘crown pinion gear’ with the stylishly printed letters "inoeL" inset within the gear. This knife’s blade resembles a Kiffe-Parker type blades. The blades have the "L" right angle beveling of the false edge. The blade feels a bit thinner than the U.S. made knives. The guard is a bit thinner and the pommel is thin and polished. All metallic parts are blackened. The handle is a sixteen (16) ridged black colored plastic composition.

I can only surmise that this was another probable import that didn't catch on with reenactors or enthusiasts.

B. Now, about the INOEL M8A1 type Scabbard. A scabbard came with the INOEL M3 clone that I own. The black colored body is solid tapered plastic with a finial. The finial is drilled through from front to back for drainage (I presume). Additionally, in the case of my item, it has a green nylon tie down thong. The belt webbing is a green colored nylon like composition. This scabbard must be held to a GI Pistol belt by means of the M1910 type double end hook. This scabbard can not be held to a belt because the webbing is sewn on its sides and it’s not made to be a belt loop. This webbing is riveted to the body by two rivets emplaced through a metallic protrusion from the locket. The safety strap has a nylon web with a metallic snap. The locket is held into the body by a metal bolt that protrude outside the body about one to two centimeters from the mouth.

Well that is another one for the books that we have not heard about, anyone with info on it?


Davis Knife
This is quite an interesting knife and story to go with it. Our good friend and feature writer Bill Porter purchased a Patent Prototype knife made by Kurtis Davis, the patent holder on the tang rod principal. This is the forerunner of the M9 bayonet series to provide strength against breaking when lateral pressure is place on the knife tang due to prying or bending. This folks is a piece of knife / bayonet history that we feature here as the only place it can be seen. Truly an historical piece, thanks to Bill for sharing it with us.

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Model 1918 Bolo Scabbards
As happens every so often a great discovery has been made. While cruising on ebay we found reference to an auction that had LF&C scabbards for sale that were like new. Now we have seen these bolo scabbards for sale for years and most are usually in very good to excellent condition but like new in the wrap… this got our attention. When we clicked on the auction much to our surprise the seller had a full case of the scabbards and he was the one to open the case! The following photos were provided by Jeff Shrader, the seller, of the process of opening the case that was sealed by LF&C in 1918! Jeff photographed the whole event to prove the fact when selling the items but he in fact documented the history for all of us historians to pore over. We can note the writing on the side of the packing crate to find the Nomenclature, Bolo Scabbards, Model, 1918 and the fact that Experimental is written on them just as shown in the Cole books. Inside the crate when opened we can find the packing slip put there in 1918 by the LF&C worker and or Ordnance Inspector. In this small piece of paper we can find that the owner of the material is the US Ordnance Department. That should put to rest the thought of what they are and who they were for. It also shows us that a brand new out of the box scabbard has that small dent in the bottom of the scabbard they almost all exhibit. This was due to the packing of the scabbards heel to toe and overlapping which caused the larger mouth piece to press against the bottom of the underlying scabbard causing the dent. We can also find that the packing slip is dated August 13, 1918. This would be very late to actually get into the war before the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918 showing why virtually all the scabbards now seen are still in very good or better condition. These were probably stored and never distributed by the crate load at some Ordnance facility. The Experimental marking accounts for why did not show up in any catalogs of Ordnance or later Quartermaster when the assumed responsibility for all edged tools. LF&C made 204,217 of these scabbards so they are not particularly rare but they do seem to be scarce at times. These scabbards are merely a footnote in the history of the bolos but none the less it is very satisfying when we can put it all together. Thanks to Jeff for sharing the photos with us and having the forethought to take them before opening the crate! He may still have some for sale, he can be contacted at Jeff Shrader AGM

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Kabar Commemorative Numbering
In a past article we have written that the Kabar 1978 Commemorative with the richly blued features was made in total of 1200 pieces. This information was relayed to us from the Kabar folks themselves. Our good friend Miguel Diaz sent us a photo of one he purchased with a serial number of 1202, how do we explain this?? Well we really can’t, obviously they made at least that number if the numbering sequence is kept intact and it is correct. Well while looking through some back issues we found an ad for the knife in a 1978 magazine. The issue was for 5,000 knives to start with, not 1200 as we were told. It seems the factory did not sell 5000 knives but did sell 1200 hence the number they gave us. So some numbers were skipped or the number was just a rounded off version, this we do not know. We do know that this 1202 is the highest number we have seen so far.

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Ulster Mark 2’s
Well this is a new one to us, Ulster Mark 2’s?? Having been searching for Mark 2’s pretty much all of our adult years we have never seen nor even heard of them. Well we have records from Camillus Cutlery, courtesy of Tom Williams that Ulster did indeed purchase from them Mark 2 blade blanks, and is some quantity. The first purchase was 5/5/66 for a total of 3600 pieces. On 5/3/67 they again purchased 5000 blanks of this pattern. On 11/11/68 6000 were purchased and on 2/26/69 Camillus supplied 2200 to them. That is a total of 16,800 Mark 2 blade blanks, quite a few for a company that did not make the Mark 2. OK folks, what were they for and who did Ulster supply them too??



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