Knife Knotes XI
"Simon Peter therefore having a sword drew it, and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear". (The Holy Bible, John 18-10)
U.S. Army Awards Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. Contract for 5,000 Pistols
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR), the nation's largest firearms manufacturer, is proud to announce that it has been awarded a contract for 5,000 9mm pistols by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Rock Island Arsenal, IL. The pistols to be supplied are Ruger KP95D models. The pistols incorporate a stainless steel slide and a custom polymer composite frame. The Ruger pistols to be supplied under this contract will be manufactured in the company's Prescott, Arizona manufacturing facility. Ruger is good, 9MM is bad...
NATO Country Codes
When researching the NSN it is always good to have your list of country codes nearby. As you can see from the last time we published it many years ago it has grown. Many of the countries did not exist when last we ran the list. We wonder what we would purchase from Tonga?
37=Korea, Republic of
54=Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Rep. of
71=United Arab Emirates
The Nomenclature System
Army Nomenclature System
We have written about this in the past but it is still often asked about, it is time for a thorough explanation on the subject. This is all from the book so don’t blame us about the system!
The United States Army designates ordnance equipment in accordance with the Army Nomenclature System as defined in MIL-STD-1464A 15 May 1987. These type designators are generally known to the collecting community as "M" numbers. A new designation is assigned when an additional new equipment item enters the Army inventory system. These alpha / numeric type designators are not unique throughout the system, only within a certain category of equipment, bayonets, knives and scabbards mainly to us, but also all other inventory items. This means the full designation for an item within this system must always include an item name for identification purposes. Without the name designator an M1 could be a bayonet, rifle, tank, truck or any other item in the system. There are more M1 designations, it being the first in the line, then any other in the military.
BAYONET-KNIFE, M7 W/SCABBARD: M10
(1) This designates the military name of the item, this is always part of the complete nomenclature. According to MIL-STD-1464A, the name must be written in capital letters, and is to be followed by a colon. The name should be selected from DoD Cataloging Handbook H6 ("Federal Item Name Directory") whenever possible.
(2) An arbitrary number typically used in progression but may jump within the equipment category. Skipped numbers may have been adopted and used but dropped in subsequent years so items in stock may not have a direct lineup ie M1, M4, M5, M6, M7, M9.
(3) Two different prefixes are typically used:
* XM - Item is in the development phase. Replaced the older "T" designation
* M - Item is classified as "standard"
(4) A letter/number suffix used to denote modifications of the equipment. Two different letters are used:
* A - Alteration (modification of service equipment)
* E - Experimental
Modifications of equipment currently in use carry the suffixes A1, A2, etc., while experimental modifications use suffixes E1, E2, etc. The suffixes can be used in combination, e.g. M3A1E2 would be the first modification of the M3 scabbard in it’s second experimental form. If the M3A1E2 would be accepted as a standard service item, the designation would change to M3A2.
Note: According to MIL-STD-1464A, dashes or spaces must not be used in Army Nomenclature numerical designators. To write it correctly only M3A1 is correct nomenclature, while variants like M-3A1, M3-A1 or M3A-1 are all incorrect.
Navy MARK / MOD Nomenclature System
The United States Navy assigns MARK / MOD numbers to nearly all types of ordnance equipment not covered by their other designation systems. The MARK / MOD system has its origins in the early 1900’s but it was only formally adopted in 1944. It has been revised and expanded over time with the current standard defined in MIL-STD-1661.
Similar in concept to the Army Nomenclature System, the full nomenclature for an equipment item consists of an item name and the MARK / MOD numbers. Examples are:
KNIFE, FIGHTING, MARK 2
KNIFE, COMBAT W/SHEATH, MARK 3 MOD 0
KNIFE, DIVERS, MARK V
(1) This designates the military name of the item, this is always part of the complete nomenclature. According to MIL-STD-1661, the name is to precede the MARK number, and separated from the latter by a comma. The name should be selected from DoD Cataloging Handbook H6 ("Federal Item Name Directory") whenever possible. To ensure related items will be grouped together in all alphabetical listings the item names should be written in "inverted nomenclature." This is what leads to the typical "military speak" in which the usual order of words in the name is reversed.
(2) Is the actual MARK number. An arbitrary number typically used in progression but may jump within the equipment category. Skipped numbers may have been adopted and used but dropped in subsequent years so items in stock may not have a direct lineup ie MARK 1, MARK 2, MARK 3. The prefix EX instead of MARK is used for experimental items or previously adopted items under development. If and when an EX item is adopted for operational use, it will convert to a MARK designation, but will keep the assigned number in the proper placing. We could not find a standard on the use of Roman Numerals. They have been used in the past as we show in an example above, the Hard Hat Divers knives. The entire diving system as adopted in 1915 was known as the MARK V, the suit, helmet, shoes, knife, etc. The most current Navy Divers Manual currently lists the knife as a MK V so it is a current designation. We have seen the familiar Mark II so designated but again do not know if it is correct as the current rules we did find do not address it. Perhaps it was dropped many years ago?
(3) Is the MOD number, which indicates a modification of or to the original equipment. MOD numbers are assigned in numerical sequence for each modification or variation. The initial item being designated is always MOD 0 (Zero) but unless there is a follow up modification it is usually not written. If an item is approved from and experimental design the MOD number is started at the beginning from zero. Even if the experimental version was the fifth try as in MOD 5 if adopted as a MARK item it always reverts to zero.
The Navy rule is to write the words MARK and MOD unabbreviated and in uppercase when using the proper designation. With this said, abbreviations of MARK as MK and /or use of mixed-case (Mark/Mod) lettering is allowed. Dashes or other punctuation should never be used in any designator names, spaces are used in the designation unlike the Army system. All the following variants are correct nomenclature:
KNIFE, COMBAT, W/SHEATH, MARK 3 MOD 0
KNIFE, COMBAT, W/SHEATH, MK 3 MOD 0
KNIFE, COMBAT, W/SHEATH, Mark 3 Mod 0
KNIFE, COMBAT, W/SHEATH, Mk 3 Mod 0
The following versions do not conform to the rules of MIL-STD-1661, but are commonly seen in publication. This does not make it correct, it only shows that the proper specifications are not being followed.
KNIFE, COMBAT W/SHEATH, MARK-3 MOD 0
KNIFE, COMBAT W/SHEATH, MK- 3 MOD 0
KNIFE, COMBAT W/SHEATH, Mk. 3 MOD 0
Western Model Numbers
Through the years the Western made products used model numbers on their various knives. Many of these numbers were in succession but some were not. We don’t know for sure where the numbers came from but from strictly observation we can see a pattern in some of them. Two digit model numbers were used, ranging from 28 to 88. A letter or number before the model number indicates the handle material. Below we list a few examples of know handle materials used and the corresponding prefix.
L - leather
G - leather
BX - Bakelite
5 - genuine buckhorn
6 - bone stag
F - alternating black and aluminum spacers
Press Release: LBA LIMITED ACQUIRES A EICKHORN GmbH [23 October 2004]
LBA Limited [UK] has acquired the total assets of A Eickhorn GmbH.
LBA-Eickhorn Limited will be the new company name.
LBA-EICKHORN LIMITED is fully committed to continued production in Solingen, all staff have been retained with the exception of the management.
The policy of LBA-EICKHORN Limited is to design, research and develop and manufacture 100% German products in Solingen, there will be no exporting of jobs. The creation of youth apprenticeships and further new employment and expansion within the Solingen region is a priority.
Lightweight Body Armour Limited was established in 1976. The company has a leading position in the international market for the quality and reliability of LBA armour products. LBA Wahler GmbH became the largest supplier of personal armour products to the German Armed Forces during the1987-1997 period with sales in excess of $200 million. Products are supplied to police and military end users in 92 countries, including NATO and UN forces.
LBA Systems Limited bought the assets of RBR International Limited in 2001. This resulted in the formation of 'LBA International Limited'. The advanced armour technologies developed by both companies enabled further expansion and growth.
LBA Systems Limited was established in the UK and the Channel Islands in 1987. The company supplied existing LBA Ltd clients with products that were not manufactured by LBA Ltd. These include:
- Armoured product supplier to CPA Iraq. NATO and UN forces worldwide.
- Armoured product sales to US Police.
- Total armoured product sales April - September 2004 $16.8 million.
- Supply of specialized high-speed printing machinery to GOZNAK, the Russian Federation Mint.
- Supply of new helicopters, heir ongoing flight maintenance and training operations to the Kenya Police.
- Evaluation, design, supply and installation of the UHF-VHF Communications systems in East Africa for the Kenya Government. The first contract $25 million, second contract $25 million.
- Early warning weather stations in East Africa: $35 million.
These projects are ongoing, on schedule and within budget.
In 2003, the offshore companies were brought 'onshore' to the UK, in order to consolidate the overall position of the LBA Group business.
Additional contracts for the supply of police and security systems to international government buyers remain the core business of the group.
All LBA companies are based in the UK with overseas subsidiaries; Mr. Andrew Macgill is the CEO and owner of the companies.
Winchester M1917 Production Numbers
Looking to find the production numbers for the Winchester M1917 bayonet is a trying search. Different sources show different numbers. Some of the numbers are repeated in following volumes using earlier works as the standard reference. The following are numbers we have observed:
1.) Americas Munitions, 1917 – 1919, Benedict Crowell, published 1919. 395,894
2.) The American Bayonet, Albert Hardin, published 1964. 465,980
3.) A Collectors Guide to Winchester in the Service, Bruce Canfield, published 1997. 458,669
4.) American Military Bayonets of the 20th Century, Gary Cunningham, published 1997. 395,894
5.) Bayonets of the Remington Cartridge Period, Jerry Janzen, published 1993. 500,000
6.) Winchester Bolt Action Military & Sporting Rifles, Houze, published 1998. 718,689
Number one above was written by the Assistant Secretary of War, Director if Munitions and printed by the Government Printing Office. It has always been taken as source material because of the above. It is of course not source info but it is about as close as one can get without looking at the actual records. What we point out is that Crowell stopped his counting at the end of the war. If any contracts continued they are not included. In this we can ASSUME the number is low as production did continue at Winchester after November 11, 1918.
Number two above foot notes his numbers to a bulletin we have not observed. The Rudolph J. Nunnemacher Collection of Projectile Arms. Bulletin of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee, Volume 9, Milwaukee, Wisc., dated 1928 written by John Metschl. This would not seem to be source documentation but perhaps the author of the above bulletin cited another work, we do not know.
Number three does not cite the resource used to attain this number. The production number of Winchester M1917 bayonets cited in Bruce Canfields books, 458,689, was taken from a table of Winchester production under WWI era contracts as referenced in the publication "Winchester - The Gun to Won the West", by Combat Forces Press, Association of the U.S. Army, 1952 edited by Harold Williamson.
Number four is a use of number one from the Crowell book. Good numbers for the war years.
Number five also does not cite the reference to the numbers but it seems to be rounded off, not an actual production number. The author had access to Remington archives and cites many works in the bibliography of his work but no footnotes to pin down where the number given comes from or where it may have been suggested.
Number six cites actual Winchester archives. In the footnotes the author refers to Winchester Repeating Arms Company, Report on Status of Government Contracts, January 23 & 24, 1919, World War I – Government Contracts January 1919 – December 1919, located in the Winchester Arms Collection Archives.
So we have a low of 395,894 and a high of 718,689. The first figure we know is low for total production but should be correct for production during the start up to the signing of the Armistice in 1918. As for the others, we don’t know either.
Established: By the act organizing the Ordnance Department (4 Stat. 504), April 5, 1832, from a combined corps of ordnance and artillery.
* Ordnance Department (1812-21)
* Corps of Ordnance and Artillery (1821-32)
Functions: Developed, tested, maintained, repaired, procured, and distributed army ordnance and ordnance equipment.
Abolished: Effective August 1, 1962, by General Order 44, Department of the Army, July 23, 1962, with functions transferred to United States Army Materiel Command.
Successor Agencies: U.S. Army Materiel Command.
We have not heard of the British military selling knives post WW II. It is US law that any cutlery imported has to bear the country of origin marking. Has been law since the late 1800's. This stamping establishes the knife was sold commercially but it still may be a WW II correct piece, just one that was legally obtained from the British War Dept and then sold as surplus. Some collectors look down on this type of marking the same as they do with recent gun imports with the importer markings on them. It may change the value of the collectibility but it doesn't change the fact that the item is still what it is!!
Pricing, A Common Question
The best way to check prices is to log on to www.ebay.com and run a simple search of completed sales. Type in M3 knife or what ever it is you are looking for in the search box and it will show you what they sold for. You can then compare them in condition.
Once an historical fiction, misinterpretation, or flat-out mistake has attained the status of legend, most people will cling to it despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It is easier to ignore or misinterpret evidence, than to shed a cherished belief.
Yet knowledge is only advanced by correcting past errors, both one's own and others' -- especially one's own. This is a refreshing invigorating process.
The ’03 Springfield
We just received a copy of the new book buy our good friend Bruce Canfield, An Illustrated Guide to the ’03 Springfield Service Rifle. As usual Bruce has done an expert job of weaving dry facts and figures into an entertaining and very readable book. We have always like the Springfield rifle and of course the many bayonets it held over the years. It is a very interesting topic to follow from the early production period through World War Two. The methods used in producing this highly precise weapon were high tech at the time but seem like light years when viewed from today's factories for even the simplest items. The story of the rifle is well known but the parts and accessories they used over the years are revisited with great photographs and insight into the whys and how many. We are also proud to say we helped in a very small part with the bayonet section and providing photographs of the items in use. Several of the photos came from right here in the Old Photos section and that my friends make us very happy. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this latest project, you will be very glad you did. Enjoyable and easy to read it is a perfect book to read in the easy chair with the fireplace going, just perfect.
Great Job Bruce!
New Book by Bruce Canfield!
Non Mag Knives
Recently found a few of the Beryllium bladed KNIVES, CRAFTSMAN used by the EOD folks. Nothing special, they look just like a steak knife anyone would have in the kitchen draw. The material they are made from and the purpose of their use is the story here, not the actual knife. We have known of these knives for years but only recently found any information on them and it was because of the prior writings and the web site. In any research source information is the key ingredient. Without this you are merely repeating what has already been written or spoken about, be it right or wrong. So looking for the source can often be a confusing and disheartening endeavor. Likewise it can be exciting and rewarding when you find it, regardless of how. I must confess up front, a lot of discoveries come as a total surprise when researching. Never expecting to find a WW I knife is a WW II file it does happen. Some of the best discoveries are often by being in the right place at the right time. Not often easy to admit but it is none the less the truth. Well to get on with it and amazing discovery and source was found on these little knives and we are following up on them now. Should lead to some great info on a virtually unknown knife. Not an exciting or sexy blade mind you but still a strictly military issue knife, stay tuned. If you can add anything to the story please send us an e-mail on it!
Light at the End of the Tunnel
We just received back from the Dept of the Army an answer to a Freedom of Information Request that was originally sent in 1997. It wasn’t really all the complicated to our simplistic mind. We requested copies of a few (6) documents in stock at the Defense Technical Information Center. No big deal you would think, yeah right. It seems that before these documents could be released to a civilian they would need to be processed for any secret information that would be detrimental to the National Security of the United States. This we could most readily agree with, it should be so for any technical document released to the public. The document would be forward to the controlling activity, the folks in charge of the item, for review and disclosure. Again a great idea as who would know more about the item then the folks who developed or used it. No problems from us here, we are with the program all the way. But…. what if the controlling activity no longer exists? A document written by the Far East Command in Burma during WW II on machetes is not really a high tech piece but unless the Far East Command in Burma is reactivated to release the copy it may never reach our hands! Go figure.
Medal of Honor Recipient Used Machete in Last Stand
HANSON, JACK G.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company F, 31st Infantry Regiment. Place and date: Near Pachi-dong, Korea, 7 June 1951. Entered service at: Galveston, Tex. Born: 18 September 1930, Escaptawpa, Miss. G.O. No.: 15, 1 February 1952. Citation: Pfc. Hanson, a machine gunner with the 1st Platoon, Company F, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. The company, in defensive positions on two strategic hills separated by a wide saddle, was ruthlessly attacked at approximately 0300 hours, the brunt of which centered on the approach to the divide within range of Pfc. Hanson's machine gun. In the initial phase of the action, 4 riflemen were wounded and evacuated and the numerically superior enemy, advancing under cover of darkness, infiltrated and posed an imminent threat to the security of the command post and weapons platoon. Upon orders to move to key terrain above and to the right of Pfc. Hanson's position, he voluntarily remained to provide protective fire for the withdrawal. Subsequent to the retiring elements fighting a rearguard action to the new location, it was learned that Pfc. Hanson's assistant gunner and 3 riflemen had been wounded and had crawled to safety, and that he was maintaining a lone-man defense. After the 1st Platoon reorganized, counterattacked, and re-secured its original positions at approximately 0530 hours, Pfc. Hanson's body was found lying in front of his emplacement, his machine gun ammunition expended, his empty pistol in his right hand, and a machete with blood on the blade in his left hand, and approximately 22 enemy dead lay in the wake of his action. Pfc. Hanson's consummate valor, inspirational conduct, and willing self-sacrifice enabled the company to contain the enemy and regain the commanding ground, and reflect lasting glory on himself and the noble traditions of the military service.
Just a Thought
A dog had followed his owner to school. His owner was a fourth grader at a public elementary school. However, when the bell rang, the dog sidled inside the building and made it all the way to the child's classroom before a teacher noticed and shoo'ed him outside, closing the door behind him. The dog sat down, whimpered and stared at the closed doors. Then God appeared beside
the dog, patted his head, and said, "Don't feel bad fella'.... they won't let ME in either."
We receive much feedback on articles over the years, some good and some not so good. All is appreciated if constructive and adds to the general knowledge of collecting. We recently heard from our good friend Tom Williams of Camillus.
"I picked up the January issue of KNIFE WORLD while I was at the Camillus factory today. I enjoyed your article and was surprised to find that you included the model #1009 "Trailblazer" knives.
I used to sell many of these knives to Marines that would have the knife engraved for a presentation. The Marine Shop in Quantico, VA used to buy many of these knives and we would pack the knives in the black military sheaths instead of the brown civilian sheaths. This was back in the 1970's and 1980's when I worked in the sales office.
I noticed that you also included the camo sheath that we offered during the 1980's. We had some made for the 5" Pilot Survival and 7" Marine Combat knives. These were offered primarily to the Army/Navy surplus stores. We placed ads in some of the publications directed at these dealers and we made up a black and white catalog sheet showing these knives."
There we have it, right from the source, the Trailblazer knives were sold privately and often adorned by the buyers as a gift. We have seen many ofthese models over the years and many come with the story at no additional charge. We still don’t pay for the story but it is nice to know that these knives were used, if only on private purchase, by those in uniform. Thanks Tom!
J&D Tool M5 Bayonets
Did you know that Camillus made blades for J&D Tool M5 bayonets? Well they did along with M6 blades for Aerial. Just thought you may like to know it.
Save A Life With A Knife
Recently we were contacted by Knife World Editor Mark Zalesky with a letter from a subscriber, Bryan O’Shaughnessy. It seems this individual has been buying inexpensive broken knives and repairing them all at his own expense then giving them to a charity that would include them with good will packages to our troops overseas. All was going fine until the powers that be deemed the pocket knives weapons and refused to include them with the packages. Not wanting to get into the hows and whys of such a decision, we probably wouldn’t believe it anyway and don’t want our head to explode, we entered into the conversation by saying we would provide all the shipping to get the knives into the troops hands. Over the years we have made many connections and have multiple outlets to send a good knife to. We have done so repeatedly in the past two years and will continue it anyway. One such connection is our son who is a U.S. Marine and has many friend currently serving in hot spots around the globe. Either way we pledged to get those old knives where they belong. If you are interested in donating strong, practical knives for the cause, you can send them directly to the Knife World offices and they will see that they find their way into the proper hands. Mr. O'Shaughnessy has graciously offered to refurbish donated knives that are in need of it, so don't hesitate to send along something less than perfect. (Bryan adds that donations of useable old blades would also be greatly appreciated!)
Bryan with some refurbs
If you would like to make a donation of an old knife to the project you can mail them to:
PO Box 3395
Knoxville, Tn. 37927
We start off this month with an essay written by our good friend Carter Rila on the classification of military cutlery. We have written on this subject many times over the past years but Carter nails it. Henceforth this is our classification system.
A Call for Rationalization
A Call for Rationalization
Carter’s Classification for Combat Cutlery
The Military Misconception
There seems to be a mass delusion among the general public and some knife collectors that any knife ever touched, carried, or coveted by a military person therefore becomes a "military knife". Under this criteria, stretched far enough, everything made since 1900 or so is a military knife. Well, that is ridiculous. When everything is "military" then nothing is gained by using that term.
This confusion does not run rampant in arms collecting; that of bayonets, swords, and guns, because military issue patterns have long been studied, are well documented and most are property marked.
None of these remarks are meant to criticize whatever a collector of US or other knives wants to collect, If he wants to collect "association knives" such as Australian jungle daggers or Sykes-Fairbairn stilettos then go for it. I myself collect only working type knives and not all of those. I do not care much for TL-29 electrician knives and have only a few, but I have over a hundred of utility type pocketknives of all sorts, military, civil, and foreign. And "jungle knives" of all nations, plus civilian machetes.
So collect what you will; let us just sing on the same page of the music.
Primary and Secondary
In classic knife texts, now obsolete, such as Harold Peterson’s American Knives, the distinction was between primary and secondary; the first, being knives known to have been officially designed and sanctioned and those brought from home by the combatants.
The most well known examples are the hunting knives of the Indian Wars, the Ames knife of the Mexican War, for the former, and the multitude of Bowies carried during our War Between the States. Even the Trench Knives of World War I easily fit into this sort out. Where it breaks down is in considering the vast number of different patterns used by the members of the U.S. Armed Forces since the beginning of U.S. participation in WW II. As the runup to WW II began, the standard U.S. combat knife was the Mark I with the brass knuckles hilt adopted in 1918. This knife besides being useless as a field utility tool used too much strategic material to be continued in service. Although carried in WW II, both in the original scabbards and in those for the later knives which replaced it.
A Functional Sort?
There can be a functional sort as well between knives primarily issued for fighting and optimized for that purpose, and those for general use which may be fought with as a last defensive measure. In either case, I hope that I would still have ammunition enough to defend myself and I certainly do not consider the offensive use of sharp items in modern times to be a rational response for the average mal-trained service person. Leave that to the specialists in sneak and peek and sabotage.
So if herein I mention a fighting knife, it is meant to be an example, not a definition as such. The most commonly known dual purpose knife is the seven inch blade Fighting-Utility Knife originally developed by the US Marine Corps, popularly known as a "k-bar" regardless of maker.
Sorting It Out
How then, to sort out all the myriad of official, documented, and undocumented knives attributed to use by US military personnel. Note the distinction, the US military is an organization, not a person, so cannot use anything literally.
I propose the following as a rational and useful categorization.
Let us first begin with some definitions and thoughts therein on the topic.
Adopted See Official
Association Knives: Those knives of allied nations, which were often carried and used by U.S personnel in their duties. This includes items ranging from needle knives to sleeve daggers to Smatchets. Most of these items are highly prized because of their association with special troops; OSS, Commandos, Raiders, but most of them were never made or stocked by the US. A few exceptions were made for the OSS; two entire books by John Brunner and Keith Melton cover the subject thoroughly. Paradoxically, authors keep showing these foreign items in works on US cutlery. Well, stop it! J We have enough of our own patterns to write about. There is now an excellent book covering all this by Ron Flook on British items so go get it.
Branch Wide: Considering service wide the Signal Corps is an example of a branch, and so are the Navy’s Bureau of Aviation and Medical Department.
Commercial Patterns: Knives made on the same dies and machinery as prewar items. May or not be militarized but are still recognizable as civil designs.
Documented Items: Have a paper trail that proves they were issued. Stocks catalogs, box markings, specifications, etc. (see official)
Field Made: Closely related to home shop is this group. These are items made by a service person to kill time, to sell or trade to visiting troops in transit, etc. Many of these can be distinguished by the sometime use of service issue blades. But the most distinct feature is the fine fit and finish, after all, they were made in fully equipped machine shops, afloat or ashore by trained machinists and the use of various metals and Plexiglas mostly contributed by shot down Japanese aviators. Some of this material was made in the States.
Fighting: Optimized for fighting purposes sometimes to the exclusion of any usefulness for field living.
Home Shop: Items made in the US by civilians for sale or gift to service personnel. They vary in fit and finish from saber knives to the crudest items. Most of this latter is not and never will be documented and much was unmarked or marked very ambiguously. How can you prove if such a knife was or was not militarily used?
Militarized: Slight changes to eliminate strategic materials such as brass or copper, the adding of non-reflective finishes, etc. to essentially commercial patterns. Examples are RH35 and RH36 hunting knives made by Pal Blade Co.
Official, Adopted, and Standardized: Therefore documented or well known by secondary evidence such as contemporary letters or period photographs. Of course, with modern digital technology, photos may no longer be considered legal evidence. For our purposes though they should suffice.
Private Purchase: This includes a lot of miscellany from Woodman’s Pals sold in the PX for "jungle living" in the Pacific Area to home shop knives made in back lot garages.
PX Knives: General all-inclusive term to include the ship’s stores. The Post Exchange is a civilian run department store-like enterprise chartered to sell items to personnel living on military installations. Items sold therein are not usually marked distinctively, as they are the same as sold to the public.
Service Wide: An item available and stocked for issue to more than one branch of the Army or Navy, which included the Marines. The Army Air Corps of WW II was legally a branch of the Army though it was almost as large as the rest of the Army. The post 1947 Air Force has never had a branch structure such as Quartermasters or Ordnance in which officers were commissioned.
Pattern: A specific knife made to a specific set of drawings or specifications by the same or many manufacturers and which are all identical. Major examples are the Navy Mark 2’s which are all identical except for the markings.
Ideally they have interchangeable parts. This is true of firearms and bayonets. Not so much of cheap knives which are seldom rebuilt or refurbished. The Army M3 is the only real example of the interchangeable parts.
Standardized: (see Official)
Theatre Knives: These are knives made overseas for sale to the GIs. Some put field made in here but I think the distinction is valid. These knives were usually made in quantity by commercial firms on production lines. Most of this materiel is long known and includes the numerous copies of machete pequeños made in Australia and New Zealand.
Type: A general class of knife all for the same purpose but not of the same form or pattern. Examples are the Navy Mark 1’s which vary considerably but are all five-inch blade hunting knives.
Unit Issue: Items bought by individual units of a military or civil pattern for issue to their members. The Second Marine Raiders and their "Gung Ho Knives" and the First Special Service Forces V-42 Daggers are examples.
Working or Utility: This applies to sheath knives. Utility is a pattern of pocketknife.
The Categories Defined With Examples
It would be tedious and boring to list everything in a category. If you have read this far, you are sufficiently interested in the subject and intelligent enough to grasp the purpose of categories. It is just to sort out in a rational manner the subjects under discussion.
I have spent forty some years using and learning to use what once were called library catalogs. Such have now been expanded into databases and the first rule is, sort as you go. I have spent years researching and trying to understand the rationale behind the placement of similar books and data on similar items in different files. And cutlery just is not that complex. Take a look at the Federal Supply Classification Schedule sometimes. We are only dealing here with items in about five classes.
Cutlery Classification Categories Catechism
A. Service Wide or Government Wide Patterns
The most well known example of this is our old friend, the all metal General Purpose Pocket Knife, adopted in 1945 and made under MIL-K-818 since the forties. The second most common would be the Third Pattern Pilot’s Survival Knife with the saw-back, first developed for naval issue, now a government wide GSA stock item.
B. Branch Wide Patterns
The best example of this is the LC14-B Signal Corps issue of WWII. The TL-29 Electrician’s Knife became service wide in WW II when the Marine Corps adopted it. It is now also a GSA item. Another is the USMC stiletto, and the original Engineer Pocketknife.
C. Unit Patterns
The most-well known is the V-42 stiletto. Much less well known is the Fifth Air Force jungle knife issued to aviators in the SW Pacific. These are the small square tipped machete like knives carried in a strap-on leg sheath.
D. Commercial Patterns
1. Militarized. There are a lot of USN sheath knives in this group.
2. Non militarized. Usually come with a story that "Uncle Fred who is dead kept it in the head." Judging from ebay listings anything made since 1950 was carried in WW II. Just because it was in Uncle Fred’s junk box does not mean he brought it home from the war. Lots of surplus out there. Especially French issue Senegalese Machetes and Martin machetes made in Belgium. Think about that one!
E. Military Market
This is where we find all those many favorites of collectors, John Ek, Gerber, Randall, nowadays Ontario, and a multitude of others. What distinguishes these from militarized is they were specifically designed and marketed for martial use. Secondarily and in peace time sold on the general market.
There are some very nicely made and interesting items in this category.
F. Field Made and Home Shop.
See the discussion under definitions. These are really difficult to sort out, but if you like these, there are a lot to be had relatively cheaply compared to others.
G. Theatre Knives
The distinction between these and service or branch is they were sold to GIs not issued.
The jungle daggers often have issue markings and fall into the service wide category or the association category. They have been seen being worn by both Army and Marine personnel.
H. Association Knives
I. Captured Cutlery
Self explanatory. The Germans did not carry their daggers as field knives, they were strictly ceremonial items. If some nitwit insists that we consider an SS dagger a US military item because GI Joe was photographed wearing a looted one in Germany in 1945, then remember the immortal words of Mr. T. "Pity the fool.".
A Bibliography of the Bayonet: A Supplement
Well our good friend Roger D.C. Evans has did it again. As you may remember Roger published his first Bibliography in 2000 which was an amazing collection of books, articles and selected writings on the bayonet through the ages. To bring the publication up to date Roger added this supplement covering the years since that publication. What a useful tool to the researcher! Having a well-researched bibliography can save countless hours in a search to find out the information is not where you thought it might be. On the other hand it can lead you right to a great source of information you may be searching for! This is not light reading for entertainment value; it is a working tool for the serious researcher. You can contact Roger at: email@example.com if you are serious about the craft.
United States Rifle Model of 1917
While we are at it another great little book has been written by C.S. "Nick" Ferris. The story of the US Model of 1917 rifle has been told over the years with many opinions, mistakes and outright falsehoods, Mr. Ferris puts many of these myths to bed for good. A great piece of work on the much maligned but largest produced US weapon of the First World War. Background into the congressional wars over the chambering and the speed of production are all covered in the book. Our own-featured columnist Gary Cunningham is widely quoted in the bayonet section. Sorry to say it does not address the Circle W stamped only bayonets but it covers most of the other parts in depth. We are still left wondering whom GF and MS are stamped on the scabbards but that has been an ongoing mystery for some time. All in all we can heartily recommend you purchase this book. Interesting reading on the subject and footnotes abound to back up the source. Congrats to Nick for a job well done. Pick it up from Scott Duff on his website www.scott-duff.com and tell him you saw it here.
Don’t do it! We didn’t even think much about it last month when writing it up but the beryllium knives used by the EOD and others are not to be sharpened unless you have the needed respiratory equipment to handle such a task. It is toxic to inhale the dust generated by the grinding on this material. I doubt very much a collector purchasing one of these knives would try to sharpen it but the warning needs to be stated, Don’t Do It! Thanks to Lt. Col. Bishop for the gentle reminder!
Canadian C7 Bayonets
We were recently contacted by Mr. Kelly Stumpf of Diemaco on a topic we covered quite some time ago on the M9’s supplied to them for a foreign contract. Kelly relayed to us the typical C7 bayonet purchased by Canada for their troop use with the M16 type rifle. Photos of the markings are here for your knowledge. We have seen the C7 in the silver colored stainless steel before but this is the first Parkerized one we have noted. All the C7 bayonets are made by Nella and so marked. An interesting take on the foreign use of the typical M7 style of bayonet.
Thanks Mr. Stumpf
LF&C OSS Prototype??
Here is a new one on us, a possible prototype for the OSS LF&C stiletto? The photos were recently sent to us from Steven Briggs. Steven is a long time knife collector who recently picked up this piece. He sent the e-mail and photos requesting information on the knife but as we have never seen one like it we have opted ask the readers if perhaps they have. Any clues here we might be able to grasp a thread from and run with? Have you seen one before? Tell us about it.
Thanks in advance.
The Good Old Days
We hear it all the time; things were so much cheaper back then. Gas was $0.25 a gallon and a nice house would set you back $15,000.00! Well we would love to revisit those prices to but there is a catch to it all… how much did you make back then??? One topic that generally comes up with this conversation is also knife and bayonet prices. Yes, they have dramatically risen over the last few years and that could be attributable to a few economic factors. The Internet and the online auction have a part in it as well as the importation of many WW II era rifles back into the US. With the CMP sending out Garands, Carbines, M1903’s etc. the call for bayonets in up out of proportion to the normal bayonet collectors needs. This increased activity imparts the "supply and demand" scenario on the available pieces. Mint condition pieces always demanded extra prices above the normal retail but again with increased demand on a finite supply the prices are driven up even higher. Combined with the fact the Americans in general have disposable income for such silly things as collectibles it makes the market ripe almost to the point of bursting. Note the plethora of imports suddenly from ages old stocks in arsenals around the globe. The money brings these long forgotten pieces of history literally out of the woodwork. Another phenomenon is the sudden appearance of fakes where none had been encountered before. It wasn’t worth the effort to fake an M1917 bayonet when for $25.00 you could buy the real thing. At $50.00 for a real clean one they sat on the dealers table. Today we have the phonies selling for more then a prime example just ten years ago. The cutdown M1905E1 as we like to call them couldn’t be given away twenty years ago, not so today. Yet we still have some items that will not reach the height they once saw. Case in point is the brass handled "Ranger" knife, selling in the late 1970’s for $750.00 today you would be glad to get half that much for one that was mint. The market for them was destroyed by the fakes coming into the country in the 1970’s as well and has never recovered. For every real one you might see there are ten phonies around. People just won’t spend the money to take that chance and I don’t blame them one bit. The Theatre knife is another genre altogether that has recently been created. We used to call them "shop" knives or "home work shop" knives. Most could be had for $5.00 to $10.00 each. There was no market for them so they were actually hard to find. I have had these type knives given to me when I purchased another knife or bayonet off a table in the past. Like a buy one get one free deal. I had one fellow mail me one halfway across the United States and he paid the shipping on it. He said it was so ugly he did want to look at it any longer in his collection and I was the only one he knew who actually inquired about these things. He figured I might like it so sent it to me free of charge, early 1980’s as I remember it. Anyway the knives were available back then but no one could find them as they did sell. Dealers wouldn’t lug them around just to take up space. A typewriter written list would no include then very often as it was more work then it was worth to add them. If you didn’t go to a show or subscribe to a few lists you were not a real collector as these were the ONLY way to find knives. The computer changed all of that. Combined with the demand for more supply and the available income more knives and bayonets then ever before are now seen. In fact you can see more knives in a week online then you might have seen in a year, quite possibly a lifetime of collecting. On ebay alone there are 10 to 15 thousand at any given time every day. The rising prices have brought out the knives lost stowed in Grandpa’s chest of drawers and any other hidden cache to sell for a tidy sum. We attended the Allentown Forks of the Delaware show about two weeks ago and saw more knives then we could recently remember. The quality was superb on many of them as well. When was the last time you saw a dozen MINT M3’s for sale on one table? They were there; I bought one just because I wanted to. I sold all my M3’s many years ago when I thought the prices were high… foolish mistake. But this one was beautiful and cheap, relatively so I picked it up. I purchased a Ben Rocklin knife that almost looks like it was made yesterday; it is perfect, cheap so I bought it. I picked up a Mark 2 Theatre knife with a Plexiglas colored handle, cheap so I bought it. There were more knives and bayonets to see as it took me the full day to browse and chat. When was the last time you saw a Hotpoint T2 bayonet for sale, it was there. When was the last time you saw an M1905 type Silencer bayonet for sale, one was there. Langbein in mint condition? Yep one there as well. M1905’s of all makes and models as well as the M1’s and the M4’s normally seen. The list could go on and on. So the good old days meant not much choice and steady prices and today you have money available and more to choose from then you can imagine. As for me I remember some of those good old days but the future sure does look a lot more promising from here!
M4 Bayonets with M3 Blades
Occasionally we see one pop up for sale; an M4 bayonet with the M3 blade marked blade. These are not common items but they do show up from time to time. Typically we receive e-mails asking about provenance on one here and there. They have been written about and shown in some books but the topic always arises again and again. Could they have been mistakes made at the factory? Could they have been left over parts assembled after the war for commercial sales? Could it have been one of the first prototypes in the designing of the M4? Yes on all counts but highly unlikely for the numbers of them seen. It is entirely possible but a much better explanation is available. In mid 1952 a shortage was anticipated of M4 bayonets for issue in the Korean War. Ordnance advised that conversion of the M3 Trench Knife currently in storage could be a possible answer to the problem. A letter from Springfield Armory dated 18 Dec. 1952 authorized the release of 250 M3 Trench Knives to Camillus Cutlery for conversion, documentation and blueprints. When the work was accomplished it was found that the cost was on par with actually making a new bayonet, as the labor involved was more then the cost of the raw materials used. With this in mind contracts were drawn up to put the M4 into production with Camillus. So 250 M3’s were converted to the M4 configuration. Many could have been blade-marked knives. This small amount would have been quickly forgotten and put to use. But this was not the end of the project; it was only the beginning. With the conversion and blueprints in hand the items were sent to the Japan Logistical Command for further experimentation. The cost of in-house labor in Japan was much lower then in the United States. Korea was really a boom time to the Japanese as they were all put to work for the war effort, totally against their adopted Constitution at the time. Japan Log Cmd along with the Ordnance Corps authorized the conversion of 58,522 M3 Trench Knives to M4 configuration. The process was to begin April 1953 with 3,000 bayonets to be converted and 4,000 in May. Each following month 5,000 would be processed with the final numbers being finished in Jan. 1954. The process was authorized and conversion began. While Camillus Cutlery was producing newly made M4 bayonets the conversions were being handled in Japan. This my friends is the source of all those M3 blade marked M4 bayonets. It was authorized and accomplished by the US Ordnance Corps so these are correct US bayonets. The 229th Ordnance Battalion in Japan had control over the operation, they also converted the Japanese T99 rifles to 30/06 caliber and converted the Japanese bayonet scabbard to fit the typical US web belt with the addition of the web frog hanger and the M1910 wire hooks. Lots of conversions were handled in the Japan Ordnance buildings during the Korean War in an effort to arm and equip troops. Almost the entire Korean Army had given up their weapons in the initial retreat so anything that could fire was used early in the war. As for the M4’s it seems Ordnance was trying to save money by using up surplus they had on hand that was not in front line status as was the M3 Trench Knife. That’s our take on the blade marked M4 bayonets, what’s yours?
Update April 2005
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."
Save A Life With A Knife
To date we have shipped out slightly over 350 knives of all types to the troops serving in Iraq. Several large parcels have been sent on various dates. The knives range from the small swiss Army key chain model to a Collins No. 18 (V-44) machete. Everything in between has filled the boxes. We have many folders, some of the latest Tactical types and many of the utility or Boy Scout pattern. On the fixed blades we have had knives that could have served in WW II like the RH 36 to knives that predate that war as in an early marbles and a Union Cutlery marked Ka-Bar. We have also had new Marbles knives and a new Randall as well. Knives have come from every part of the country to be included in the packages and we can truly say the readers and knife collectors are a great bunch. Many knives without names and many asking the name be withheld have arrived at the mailbox. Some have ordered knives from a favorite retailer or wholesaler and had them shipped directly here to us while others have won auctions on eBay and had the winning pieces shipped to this address. The response has been a bit overwhelming to say the least. If you have not done so yet but would like to contribute, send a knife or send ten to us and we will assure you it will get to a combat theatre and be received by one of our troops.
Click on thumbnail for full size photo
Navy SARK (Search and Rescue Knife)
Several years ago the US Navy approached Emerson Knives as a result of a Naval Air crash over water and the governments investigation in to the responsibility and the lessons learned. One of the lessons learned was that the current rescue items, a knife in particular did not function as expected in the crash and resulting emergency situation. The equipment issued to the rescue team as well was not up to the task for quick deployment and rock solid performance in a demanding situation. A new design concept was needed and this is where Emerson Knives stepped in. With lives at stake only the best equipment, those that could be depended on were required. While it isn’t a open check book for a spare any expense project it would depend on simple execution with superior design and construction using the latest materials available.
The design chosen by the government was the Emerson Knives SARK. The SARK is currently available to the public although the first production runs of the knife were strictly for government procurement. Overall it is an excellent knife for anyone in the rescue field and a great design combining the needs for emergency extrication for compact spaces. The knife features a remote pocket opening feature that allows instant opening with one hand yet the knife is not an automatic or switchblade that has the built in drawback of such a design. This also makes the knife legal for civilian use. A 154cm blade with serrations and Black –T coating make it an easy to care for knife while keeping the cutting ability high for the primary purpose of the knife. The point is a rounded safety tip so as not to injure the victim or user when slipping inside lacing, webbing or again in a very compact space. A well thought out knife and a great design made in a limited number for the government add up to instant collectability to us non users. But it is great to know our men and women in the field have an excellent knife to depend on when the chips are down, Well done folks.
Sir Bedivere threw the sword into the water. And there came an arm and a hand caught it, and shook it thrice, and brandished it, and then vanished the hand with the sword into the water.
Sir Thomas Mallory, circa 1470 Le Morte D’ Arthur. (King Arthur)
We recently purchased an Ontario bayonet that at first glance looks like the OKC3S but upon closer examination is very different. So far information is scant on the item but we are currently digging to find out what it is and where it came from. Some of the differences are:
- No elastic nose piece on scabbard
- M9 crossguard, not M7 style like on OKC-3S
- Pommel retained by socket head cap screw
- Tang rod
- Hard plastic grip with raised diamond pattern
- USMC emblem silk screened (?) on grip
- Right blade marked ONTARIO / USA
- Left blade marked COMBAT / U.S.M.C.
We believe it to be one of the several designs submitted for testing by Ontario to the USMC trials. The tang rod design is identical to the current Army issue M9 as made by Ontario. The Marines wanted a solid tang model and so chose one for the final design but this model very well could have been one in the running. If you have any information on the bayonet we would sure love to hear from you on the topic.
Montana Power Co. Knives
We received from correspondent Steven Briggs a copy of the "Energizer" , a Montana Power Employees Magazine that is undated. In the company newsletter is an article on knives made by the employees in their spare time during World War Two. The article goes into some details from the guys who made the knives and where they were made, it is great reading. The knives have been attributed as Anaconda Copper Knives in the past and some of the work was performed there on them. The knives are actually Montana Power Co. knives as these are the guys who made them. Anaconda Co. employees stamped out the blades from power saw blades but ale the rest of the work was performed in various Montana Power Co. shops. The knives were distributed to the troops through the many troop trains that crossed Montana. The knives were distributed directly to the troops. Overall they the men stated they made close to 1200 knives in 1942 & 43 and every piece of the raw material was "bummed" to do it. Great Americans!
A FIELD GUIDE TO GUN SHOWS
By The Elitist
Gun shows are an old and honored American tradition. The basic idea-putting sellers, buyers, and stock in the same room and letting Free Market Forces go to work-is as old as commerce, but the American form of gun show has evolved its own manners, vocabulary, and etiquette.
Gun shows are run by and for dreamers. Every dealer who sets up a table seems to think that the people who attend are half-wits who will happily pay 25% more than manufacturer's suggested retail price for their goods; and all the attendees hold it as an article of faith that the exhibitors are desperate men who have come in the hopes of finally disposing of their stock at 30% less than wholesale cost.
In this environment it helps to have some idea what to expect; so for the benefit of those who are so unfortunate as never to have experienced this distinctively American form of mass entertainment, I offer this guide, the summation of what I've learned from 30 years of show-going. I've included a glossary of terms you'll need to know, and an introduction to some of the people you'll meet.
The following terms apply to items offered for sale:
MINT CONDITION: In original condition as manufactured, unfired, and preferably in the original box with all manufacturer's tags, labels, and paperwork.
NEAR-MINT CONDITION: Has had no more than 5,000 rounds fired through it and it still retains at least 60% of the original finish. Surface pitting is no more than 1/8" deep, and both grip panels are in place. If it is a .22, some of the rifling is still visible.
VERY GOOD: Non-functional when you buy it, but you can probably get it to work if you replace 100% of the parts.
FAIR: Rusted into a solid mass with a shape vaguely reminscent of a firearm.
TIGHT: In revolvers, the cylinder swings out, but you need two hands to close it again. For autoloaders, you must bang the front of the slide on a table to push it back.
REALLY TIGHT: In revolvers you cannot open the cylinder without a lever. Once it's open the extractor rod gets stuck halfway through its travel. On autoloaders, you need a hammer to close the slide.
A LITTLE LOOSE: In revolvers, the cylinder falls out and the chambers are 1/4" out of line when locked up. There is no more than 1/2" of end play. For autoloaders, the barrel falls out when the slide is retracted. If the barrel stays in place, the slide falls off.
GOOD BORE: You can tell it was once rifled and even approximately how many grooves there were.
FAIR BORE: Probably would be similar to GOOD BORE, if you could see through it.
NEEDS A LITTLE WORK: May function sometimes if you have a gunsmith replace minor parts, such as the bolt, cylinder, or barrel.
ARSENAL RECONDITIONED: I cleaned it up with a wire wheel and some stuff I bought at K-Mart.
ANTIQUE: I found it in a barn, and I think it dates from before 1960. Note that ANTIQUE guns are usually found in FAIR condition.
RARE VARIANT: No more than 500,000 of this model were ever made, not counting the ones produced before serial numbers were required. Invariably, RARE VARIANTS command a premium price of 150% of BOOK VALUE.
BOOK VALUE: An ill-defined number that dealers consider insultingly low and buyers ridiculously high. Since no one pays any attention to it, it doesn't matter who is right.
IT BELONGED TO MY GRANDFATHER: I bought it at a flea market or yard sale two weeks ago.
CIVIL WAR RELIC: The vendor's great-grandfather knew a man whose friend once said he had been in the Civil War.
SHOOTS REAL GOOD: For rifles, this means at 100 yards it will put every shot into a 14" circle if there isn't any wind and you're using a machine rest. For handguns, three out of six rounds will impact a silhouette target at seven yards. In shotguns, it means that the full choke tube throws 60% patterns with holes no larger than 8" in them.
ON CONSIGNMENT: The vendor at the show does not own the gun. It belongs to a friend, customer, or business associate, and he has been instructed to sell it, for which he will be paid a commission. He has no authority to discuss price. The price marked is 50% above BOOK VALUE. All used guns offered for sale at gun shows, without exception, are ON CONSIGNMENT, and the dealer is required by his Code of Ethics to tell you this as soon as you ask the price. (A BATF study has proven that since 1934 there has never been a single authenticated case of a used gun being offered for sale at a gun show that was actually owned by the dealer showing it.)
I'LL LET IT GO FOR WHAT I HAVE IN IT: I'll settle for what I paid for it plus a 250% profit.
MAKE ME AN OFFER: How dumb are you?
TELL ME HOW MUCH IT'S WORTH TO YOU: I'll bet you're even dumber than you look.
PEOPLE YOU WILL MEET AT THE GUN SHOW
RAMBO: He's looking for an Ingram MAC-10, and wants to have it custom chambered in .44 Magnum as a back-up gun. For primary carry he wants a Desert Eagle, provided he can get it custom chambered in .50 BMG. He derides the .50 Action Express as a wimp round designed for ladies' pocket pistols. He has already bought three years' worth of freeze-dried MRE's from MARK, as well as seven knives. He is dressed in camoflage BDU's and a black T-shirt with the 101st AirBorne Division insignia, though he has never been in the Army. He works as a bag boy at Kroger's.
BUBBA: He needs some money, and has reluctantly decided to sell his Daddy's .30-30, a Marlin 336 made in 1961. He indignantly refuses all cash offers below his asking price of $475. Unable to sell it, eventually he trades it plus another $175 for a new-in-box H&R Topper in .219 Zipper. He feels pretty good about the deal.
GORDON: He is walking the aisles with a Remington Model 700 ADL in .30-06 on his shoulder. He's put an Uncle Mike's cordura sling and a Tasco 3x9 variable scope on it. A small stick protrudes from the barrel, bearing the words, "LIKE NEW ONLY THREE BOXES SHELLS FIRED $800." This is his third trip to a show with this particular rifle, which he has never actually used, since he lives in a shotgun-only area for deer.
DAWN: She is here with her boyfriend, DARRYL. At the last show, DARRYL bought her a Taurus Model 66 in .357 Magnum. She fired it twice and is afraid of it, but at DARRYL'S insistence she keeps it in a box on the top shelf of her clothes closet in case someone breaks in. She is dressed in a pair of blue jeans that came out of a spray can, a "Soldier of Fortune" T-shirt two sizes too small, and 4" high heels. DARRYL is ignoring her, but nobody else is.
DARRYL: He has been engaged to DAWN for three years. He likes shotguns for defense, and he's frustrated that he can't get a Street Sweeper anymore. So he's bought a Mossberg 500 with the 18-1/2" barrel, a perforated handguard, and a pistol grip. He plans to use it for squirrel hunting when he isn't sleeping with it. He plans to marry DAWN as soon as he gets a job which pays him enough to take over the payments on her mobile home. His parole officer has no idea where he is at the moment.
ARNOLD: He is a car salesman in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has a passion for Civil War guns, especially cap-and-ball revolvers. He has a reproduction Remington 1858, and is looking for a real one he can afford. He owns two other guns: a S&W Model 60 and a Sauer & Sohn drilling with Luftwaffe markings that his grandfather brought home in 1945. He has no idea what caliber the rifle barrel on his drilling is, and he last fired the Model 60 five years ago.
DICK: He is a gun dealer who makes his overhead selling Jennings J-25's, Lorcin .380's, and H&R top-break revolvers. He buys the J-25's in lots of 1000 direct from the factory at $28.75 each, and sells them for $68.00 to gun show customers. He buys the H&R's for $10 at estate auctions and asks $85 for them, letting you talk him down to $78 when he is feeling generous. His records are meticulously kept: he insists on proper ID and a signature on the 4473, but he doesn't mind if the ID and the signature aren't yours. Other than his stock, he owns no guns and he has no interest in them.
ARLENE: She is DICK's wife. She hates guns and gun shows more than anything in the world. Her husband insists that she accompany him to keep an eye on the table when he's dickering or has to go to the men's room. She refuses to come unless she can bring her SONY portable TV, even though she gets lousy reception in the Civic Center and there isn't any cable. When DICK is away from the table, she has no authority to negotiate, and demands full asking price for everything. She doesn't know the difference between a rifle and a shotgun, and what's more, she doesn't care.
MARK: He doesn't have an FFL. He buys a table at the show to sell nylon holsters, magazines, T-shirts, bumber stickers, fake Nazi regalia, surplus web gear, MRE's and accessories. He makes more money than anyone else in the hall.
ALAN: He's not a dealer, but he had a bunch of odds and ends to dispose of, so he bought a table. On it he displays used loading dies in 7.65 Belgian and .25-20, both in boxes from the original Herter's company. He also has a half-box of .38-55 cartridges, a Western-style gun belt he hasn't been able to wear since 1978, a used cleaning kit, and a nickel-plated Iver Johnson Premier revolver in .32 S&W. He's asking $125 for the gun and $40 for each of the die sets. He paid $35 for the table and figures he needs to get at least that much to cover his expenses and the value of his time.
GERALD: He's a physician specializing in diseases of the rich. He collects Brownings, and specializes in High-Power pistols, Superposed shotguns, and Model 1900's. He has 98% of the known variations of each of these, and now plans to branch out into the 1906 and 1910 pocket pistols. He owns no handguns made after the Germans left Liege in 1944. He regards Japanese-made "Brownings" as a personal insult and is a little contempuous of Inglis-made High-Powers. He does not hunt or shoot. He buys all his gun accessories from Orvis and Dunn's.
KEVIN: He is 13, and this is his first gun show. His eyes are bugged out with amazement, and he wonders what his J.C. Higgins single-shot 20-gauge is worth. His father gives him an advance on his allowance so he can buy a used Remington Nylon 66. He's hooked for life and will end up on the NRA's Board of Directors.
Frank as a Kid
We received from our ever astute correspondent Gunbarrel a photo he labeled Frank Trzaska with his first military knife. Ha, not so, we had several knives by this age!
M7 Fighting Knife
In an e-mail exchange with good friend Fred Marut we received these photos of a well executed fighting knife conversion of the M7 bayonet. So far we have been unable to identify the piece so thought it would be well to run it here. Seems like a simple conversion but we would love to know more about it. Anyone know?
A Personal M1917 Bolo Knife
In another e-mail exchange with fellow collector Lance Adams we received photo of a Plumb bolo his father picked up at a local St Louis gun show. The bolo itself is a typical M1917CT that has most of the finish, if ever applied, gone. The unusual part of the knife is the stamping in it. Actually it is an acid etch according Lance, not a stamping at all. The local story on the piece is that Plumb had these made up for workers or relatives of workers who left the company employ to join the Armed Forces in the First World War. In any case it is a very interesting piece that we had not seen before. As for the story we can neither confirm nor deny it. In a search for the plumb records many years ago we found that they were either thrown away or destroyed many years ago so if they did exist at all they are now long gone. Pity as it is an interesting example and worthy of mention in a company history if it is such the case. Thanks for bringing it to us Lance!
Updated May 2005
If this is a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand. Come let me clutch thee.
William Shakespeare, Mac Beth
The Seasons Change
Spring has sprung here in the Northern Hemisphere, the grass is greening, the rains are frequent and flowers bloom all about, what a wonderful time of year. Much is to be done around the exterior of the homestead which leaves little time for the computer. Research continues but at a slower pace.
No we are not getting out of collecting or studying military cutlery. The sale of some items merely reflects changing interests and making space. As times change so does our taste and wants. Not being able to have them all we collect, study, research and write then hold for some time. The article put up for sale are just a continuation or better yet evolution in the process of at least having some of them all in the quest for fun. Yes, it is still fun and we aim to keep it that way. Not a business, relaxation and enjoyment which it still manages to bring. Thanks for the thoughts though but you are stuck with us for the foreseeable future.
Belgian Made M1 Bayonets and M7 Scabbards
We have known of this document for some time but could not find the copy. We it finally arrived after hitting the right file at the National Archives. Sadly it does not contain enough information to settle the search. The document is dated May 26, 1945 and is from the Ordnance Industrial Division, Belgium Branch, Engineering and Inspection Branch. It is titled Inspection of Belgian Manufactured Items. The items discussed ate the M1 bayonet and the M7 scabbard. This leaves no doubt that these items were made in Belgium as they state it and they tested them. Both were found wanting and sent back to correct the mistakes but they were made there in the immediate post war era. In fact to have the item inspected in May 26, 1945 the factory making the products must have been tooling and setting up while the war was still in progress. What we lack is a good description and photo of what they looked like. Markings are not described in this short one page document. The search is now on for who made them, what factory was involved, what were the markings if any at all, etc. Our good friend Larry Johnson and Shawn Gibson have forwarded e-mails to us on a bayonet that turned up in Baltimore at the SABC (Society of American Bayonet Collectors, if you are not a member you should be) meeting. The grips were removed and a company name was found cast into them. The name, COGEBI is or at least was a Belgian plastics manufacturer. Could they have also produced a bayonet?? If you have any information on this important topic please let us know.
Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine (Goliath), and took his sword and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him and cut off his head therewith."
1 Samuel 17:51
In another discovery from the Archives we obtained a copy of the 1923 Infantry Board, Department of Experiment Report on Bolo Knives. Nothing much exciting as most of the knowledge was already known about and written about here and in article for Knife World over the years. What did surprise us was they included in the test the Marine Corps Intrenching machete and the USMC Hospital Corps Knife. Now we know the Intrenching machete was around then just from the Collins model number stamped on examples but the HCK?? Good friend Carter Rila tells us it was adopted in 1915 as was the Intrenching machete, they were adopted together in the same year. This places the HCK several years before we originally thought it was started. In addition to this information in the appendix is a photo of the HCK they used for the testing. It is unlike any we have seen before yet is was just a standard issue HCK pulled from the Marines Quartermaster Depot and shipping to Ft Benning for testing. When looking at the photo the first thing that come to mind is the bolster between the blade and the grip, no other known HCK’s of later years have a guard on them. AS you study the photo you can see the grip is also of a different pattern. In fact the grip is the same grip style along with the bolster used in the Collins 1005 Engineers Bolo machete. Again this pattern was not used on any other HCK’s or for them matter any other military cutting instruments we are aware of. A top side photo is also included in the test which shows the HCK having a tapered tang. This again is not used on any of the other Marine Corps HCK’s or the Intrenching machete. The Intrenching machete did use a cut down tang where it was machined thinner under the grips and did the later Plumb HCK but none were ever tapered. The only tapered tang was used on the Collins 1005 Engineer’s Bolo Machete again. While in the report they name Disston as the maker of the machete they do not name a maker of the HCK. The USMC stamping is up close to the handle / guard area which is different from the later models where they are stamped almost in the middle of the blade along the top edge. All in all if we had to venture a guess it is overwhelmingly a Collins product. All the attributes are of Collins manufacture but the maker is not stated in the text. Again we are left stranded with more questions then answers. Two new documents yet two new questions. Will it ever end… we hope not. If you have one of these HCK’s or have seen one before we would love to hear from you on the topic.
M3 Trench Knife
We have picked up a few M3’s lately of truly superior quality. Where are these knives coming from 60 plus years after they were manufactured in almost perfect condition? Well one thing that speeds the process is the money involved. M3 knives are at an all time high and still gaining. We have witnessed knives going for $2,000.00 in some cases, $1500.00 is a regular occurrence for the nicest piece. While this does lure out the scum to cheat people it also brings out the premium examples that will go to the highest bidder. We can say today that there are more M3’s on the market then at any time we can remember in the past 30 years. And if that weren’t enough the M6 scabbards today can bring as much if not more in some cases then the knife. We held today 4 SBL M6 scabbards in our hands all at the same time. We can never remember doing that before. Four SBL’s at one time and all for sale. Truly unbelievable for a knife that was made by the millions.
Jesus may love you... but everyone else thinks you're a butt hole!!
Bumper sticker sighted in NYC
The Ginsu Knife
Did you know the Ginsu knife was made in Ohio? The word Ginsu is not even Japanese, in fact it is a made up word that does not have any meaning or counterpart in any language! Pure marketing and hype. We remember the TV commercials of the Karate uniform clad men slicing and dicing and even karate chopping a tomato in the early example of an infomercial as a comedy routine. They would cut an aluminum can and still slice a tomato paper thin! A new book is out by the creators of the Ginsu, The Wisdom of Ginsu: Carve Yourself a Piece of the American Dream that brings this out. Nothing to do with military knives but we found in interesting!
An Awesome Military Knife Collection
Our good friend John Gibson has posted on his website www.militaryfightingknives.com many photos of his collection. Some truly superior and hard to find knives are shown in the wonderful photographs. John has been collecting for some years and has amassed quite a collection of some off the beat knives. Treat yourself to this eye candy and click on over to the site. Thanks John!
We received a neat photo from our good friend Gunbarrel. It is a close up of the markings on a fork, A fork you say! Well it is marked MSI and spelled out Japan following it. A quick Google search and we find "Merchandise Service Inc." as the maker of flatware. We have know of this maker for quite a few years but have not seen the MSI stamped on the items. It very well could be the connection but still no definitive proof that they are the ones who made the USMC issue Fighting / Utility knife. Still an ongoing project.
One ANZAC morning I heard an old digger (wwII vet) comment on the length of today's bayonets;
"Bah, useless. I used to fit three Germans on mine. Had to pull the trigger to get them off"
Well we finally found one cheap so had to purchase it. The infamous USMC Fighting Hatchet! Several times a year we get questioned on this one, when was it issued, what was it for, was it a boarding axe, does "Scrap" mean fighting and so on and on. Well folks it is none of the above, it is a leather cutting tool and the USMC in script is not the United States Marine Corps but the United Shoe Machinery Co. Now when asked we can send back a photo of one and say this is what it is.
Marking the Scabbard, 1963 Style
Here is a little excerpt from an Army series booklet sent to us via e-mail. No need to explain it, click on it and it will explain itself.
Save A Life With A Knife
Just a quick update, we have passed the 400 mark in shipping knives off to our folks fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Knives of all sizes, makes and models have been sent. Those of you who have contributed we thank you, makes you feel good inside doesn’t it.
Update June 2005
This passage describes the attack on the Hessians at Trenton:
"The march south from McKonkey's Ferry was for many the most harrowing part of the night. The storm grew worse, with cold driving rain, sleet, snow, and violent hail. There was little light to see by. A few men carried lanterns, and torches were mounted on some of the cannon. Men and horses kept slipping and skidding in the dark.
When handed a message from General Sullivan saying that the men had found their guns too soaked to fire, Washington answered. "Tell the general to use the bayonet."
From "1776" by David McCollough
Sent us from the Med onboard the SS Rotterdam, thanks Charlie!
Unusual Long Bayonet
Having read through all the Infantry Board reports in the National Archives we have moved on to the Cavalry Board reports. The Cavalry was very interested in cold steel weapons, in fact they clung to the well after the use of such items was proven to be obsolete. But this does give us some interesting history to explore and the record keeping in those times was impeccable compared to what we save today. In the new age of e-mail , internet and faxes not much real paper is saved. We have more information today then ever but will it be available 100 years from now in these formats? Time will tall. Anyway we have read through many reports and tests on swords and sabers used by the Cavalry and are currently exploring them, right up to 1941 when the last test on sabers was conducted. Yes, you read that correctly, testing sabers for horse cavalry in 1941. Most of the items we have seen or at least heard of in books on the subject but one item that just right out at us was a very long bayonet. The blade length was 29 inches with an overall length of 35 inches! It was called in the test the bayonet – sword or the bayonet – saber depending on who was describing it. The items were passed through several companies to make specific tests with and report back their findings. In the end it was obvious the overly long bayonet did not pass and was not adopted but it is interesting in that we have not heard of it before now. In the same test they also show a cut down bowie point M1905 bayonet. It was cut down to allow the trooper to wear it without jabbing the horse, imagine that, the bayonet we know as the M1905E1 was put together in early 1941 to avoid hurting a horse! Below is the photo of the test items that were passed around. The others are items currently in use by the US forces at the time along with a Philippine bolo, the M1913 saber, No. 37 machete with leather handle, the No. 1005 Engineers machete, the M1905 bayonet and the experimental cut down bayonet. Funny how things show up by accident at times.
Freedom of Information Act
Received a response from the Department of the Army today. The responded to a request we submitted in the year 2000. They stated they were still looking.
In choosing a wife and buying a sword we ought not to trust another.
George Hubert, Jacula Prudentum
Who has heard of the TL-116 knife? There is a reference to it in a letter we found at the Archives completely out of context so no follow-up was there at the time. It was a replacement for the early Signal Corps knife in or around 1929. Obviously it never made it but knowing the progression from the small frame knife to the larger frame locking liner type is of interest to us. So far we have not been able to lock down the date for the original adoption of the first SCUSA knife but we are on the trail of it. Nothing as exciting a s a V-42 mind you but it is of historical significance to find and document it to the collecting community if we can do so. Anyone who collects TL29 knives knows the sheer numbers of available patterns and markings of these types. Perhaps there is also another category we do not know of out there or perhaps one we do know of is mis-identified as was the Pilots Survival knife known for years as the Mark 1 with grooved handles. Follow up is needed in this area to point out what is there, time is all it takes! If you know of the TL116 we would sure love to hear about it.
Belgium M1 bayonets
Still nothing on the M1 bayonets made in Belgium in May 1945. It is such a good topic yet virtually unknown. We are still looking for clues…
Quote on Collecting…
Like anything else, buy what you like rather than for someone else. If down the line you have to eat it, at least you'll enjoy the taste.
More on Benchmade
Again we find a government contract solicitation on specific models by Benchmade. Quietly they a re supplying large numbers of knives to our fight forces in the desert. The two model selected were the 9100SBT Auto Stryker and the 141SBT Nimravus Tanto. The quantities requested were for 100 each. The folks receiving the new knives… 38 RQS Pararescue Team F3E120 at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Some high quality knives going to some high quality folks.
Save a Life With a Knife
To date we have shipped over 450 knives to the men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. All branches have received knives donated by the folks here at home. A few have sent us e-mails back and some contained photos, here are a few to enjoy. The giving of the knife is enough in itself, the response from these folks have been fantastic upon receiving them. Many a smile has been brought to a young person in the desert somewhere and knowing someone back home thinks of them stirs the emotions. Another off shoot of this all is the 50 years from now these will all be "ISSUE" knives to another generation of collectors. Funny how things go isn’t it.
Knives are still being accepted at:
PO Box 3395
Knoxville, Tn. 37927
Below are a few of the responses we have had to the knives.
Just wanted to say Thank You and to tell you how surprised I was to see your package, this was the best care package I have ever seen. I do have to admit that I was also surprised to see it make it here, the Postal workers are not the most trust worthy but they are our only choice over here. I’m an avid knife collector myself and have collected them for nearly 25 years…
We have some formations coming up to hand out awards and promotions, thought the knives would be a very fitting way to recognize our Troopers as well. Thought I would attach some photos of myself and one of the Troop as well so you can place a face with a name. I’ll send some photos out to you when we award these out as well. Again thank you and if there is something I or my Troopers can do for you please don’t hesitate to ask.
1SG James Mortimer Jr.
I wanted to thank you for the knives that were sent to myself (GySgt Shamy) in Iraq. My troops went hay-wire when the box came. We appreciate and understand that they are not just knives but are a symbol of love and respect from you. I am using one of the k-bars and making it a "gung ho" award for whoever has consistently shown leadership and motivation throughout our time here so far. I am happy and excited to do so. Letters will go out with thanks and I think it's an awesome thing that you're doing for the deployed troops out here. Also, you are so right about our knives being sharp. I was actually going to ask my wife who is in Okinawa right now to get me a few so I could pass a couple out. Now I don't have to do that.
GySgt Tony Shamy USMC
(We sent some sharpeners as well, one reader was forward thinking and sent us quite a few, thanks Milt!!)
I got your package last week and I have distributed most of the knives out now. Just have a few left over. The guys really appreciated the knives so a group Thank You from the cups of the 416th AEG in Afghanistan. Have a good day.
SSgt Dennis Kuritz USAF
Well the weather is changing and the time is right to sign off for another summer. Just like in the past years we will be taking the summer off from the updates. We will be kicking back for a bit and enjoying the sun and fun. See you in the Fall.
What does this say on my shirt? U.S. Marine! I wasn’t born on some hippie-faggot commune. I’m a death dealing killer. In my free time I do push ups until my knuckles bleed, then I sharpen my knife!
Cpl Josh Person
Generation Kill, Evan Wright
Well it is that time again, summer is over and we are cranked up to return to the knife world. The summer was a blast and went by much too quickly. Nothing beats some vine-ripened tomatoes from the backyard eaten right off the plant. One of the small pleasures in life. Many a fine book were read while loafing away the hours, some classics and some new. We didn’t find the time to re-read any of the old classics as the reading list was just overwhelmed this summer. We like to revisit one of the old ones each summer, Thucydides was planned but never achieved, we just purchased too many new ones that gave great enjoyment. Much time was taken up on joy rides as well on the motorcycle. Warm days and cool breezes on back roads gives one plenty of time to just think.
We didn’t do much in writing but did do a bit of research on several topics. Several new files were gotten from the National Archives that are spreading some light on old topics as well as some new ones. Isn’t that the way it always is, one answer leads to another question when looking back through documents. Another lead on an old subject or a discovery on something that had not even been thought of before. Files containing something they are not supposed to have are another of those simple pleasures. The hard work of looking is often filled with dead ends of all sorts; it is nice to find an answer regardless of how we do it! We have added a few new Books to sell along with some old ones we found over the summer and a major update on the Government Documents for sale page with many more to come. Real hard to find stuff is being added with some coverage beyond cutlery as long as it is historical in nature and "fits" with the overall view.
Time does fly when you are having fun.
Knives for the Troops
One of the few things we did not stop over the summer was the knives for the troops program termed Save a Life with a Knife sponsored by Knife World. Knives have been coming and going ending up in some far off places of the globe. It is nice to know that not only do we have great young folks out there serving but we have some great folk’ back here doing a part as well. Keep at it!
Click on the thumbnail for full size photos
Photos sent to us from 1SGT James Mortimer from Hawk Troop, H/1 CAV, 3d BDE, 1st Armored Division. The 1SGT held a formation and handed out knives we shipped to him. The last photo shows trooper Rodriguez wearing one of the highly coveted Benchmades shipped while on a sweep mission.
Keep up the great job troopers!
Just prior to going on sabbatical we sent a photocopy of an unknown bayonet we received to several collectors trying to identify it and posted it here as well. This design was one we had never seen before in any books or museums. It was included with several other official US items and the photo looked to be from a test of some sort. Well the search paid off when we discovered the origination of the photo and a clue was discovered with it. It seems the photo was from a Cavalry Board report looking for suitable cutlery for that branch of the Army. Now the Cavalry is not know for carrying bayonets but in this test anything and everything was opened up for consideration. In the test the item was referred to as the Patton Bayonet, could it be we asked the same General Patton? So the search was on. Several years ago we visited the Patton Museum at Fort Knox and can say with certainty that this bayonet was not on display that we noticed. A request was made and the bayonet was not there currently nor any information on it. Another angle was considered that of Patton’s books, specifically The Patton Papers by Blumenson. The books cover in detail the Generals life. It was a place to start. A trip to the attic to retrieve them and much to our surprise a bookmark was found in the first volume at Chapter 46. Upon reading the passages it came back, we had heard of a Patton bayonet but had never seen one and lost track of looking for it many years ago. This was in the mid 1970’s and the filing system was nothing more then a few notes and some long forgotten bookmarks and here was one. Let us start with the excerpts of the first volume to set the stages.
Patton arrived at Fort Riley on February 8, 1938 and became executive officer of the Academic Division and of the 9th Cavalry, and a member of the faculty and staff of the Cavalry School…
Letter, GSP, Jr., to Major General John A. Herr, Chief of Cavalry, spring 1938.
My Dear General: These three swords of which I wrote you are forwarded today under separate package for your inspection. They are not made of sword steel but are simply mild steel which I procured from the Union Pacific shops, roughed out with a cutter and then ground to shape. At first I made wooden models but decided that I could not judge the balance so had to revert to the steel…
…There are several advantages to this bayonet idea. In the first place it might be easier to issue a bayonet to the cavalry then it would be to restore a saber. In the second place it would give the cavalry a very nasty arm for close combat dismounted should they become involved in such an operation, which heaven forbid. Third it has the greatest chopping leverage of any blade I have ever seen…
Trusting that the models may be of some satisfaction to you, and assuring you that it was of great pleasure for me to make them, I am
GSP Jr., (signed)
So there we have the seed that George Patton did in fact have bayonets made up for submission for adoption with the Cavalry. Patton had an early interest in cold steel, from his early days at the War College in Saumur France where he learned fencing from the greatest fencers in the world to his bid in the Olympics and his installation as Master of the Sword in the US Army. Judging from our readings on the man he was also a romantic, hopelessly lost in an earlier age of knights and chivalry where the heroes duel each other to the finish. Patton liked cold steel. In this letter we find that because of the earlier obsolescence of the saber by the Army Pattons thought were to the effect an "end run" around the decision. If a bayonet could be adopted for the Cavalry why not just make the bayonet several feet long? They could then call it a bayonet but in all honesty it would still be a saber only with a bayonet handle. We must remember this was 1938 and Patton was a Major at the Cavalry School, still teaching riding of horses and cavalry charges. Mechanization was just around the corner for the cavalry and the soon to be changes would be of monumental proportions. Nothing was to come of the samples sent to the Chief.
Next we advance to Volume II, Chapter II for a follow up of the events. On October 2, 1940 Patton was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned to Fort Benning and put in charge of the 2d Armor Division. The challenges of a new mechanized force were brought to bear on the commander but his thoughts never strayed far from the cavalry. In fact in early 1941 we find he wrote, " In spite of my gasoline affiliations I am convinced that the day of the horse is far from over and that under any circumstances horse cavalry and horse drawn artillery are more important then ever". 1941 folks, the German Panzers had sacked most of Europe and Patton was still in favor of the horse taking a role in modern warfare. The Cavalry resurrected some how that thought of reissuing the saber so it was tasked to the Cavalry Board to investigate it thoroughly for the final word. Questionnaires were sent to officers all over the globe who had at one time or another been associated with the Cavalry for opinions. Patton was tasked with this proposal and not only filled out the response but submitted a letter with it to the Board. He we have an excerpt on his thoughts in early 1941.
"A cold steel weapon is not only desirable but vitally necessary". All infantry soldiers armed with the rifle had a bayonet. Yet a charge on foot was much more difficult then a cavalry charge.
"If a man on foot is hit, he thanks God for an excuse to stop and usually stops. The horse, having no imagination, does not stop unless he gets a brain or heart would or breaks a leg. If the rider is hit, his ability to pull up his horse is reduced so they both go on.
The rapid approach of the horsemen has a disconcerting effect, due to the race memories of stampedes of mammoths or aurochs, who of yore trampled our hairy progenitors. The truth of this is evinced by the retention of mounted police in most major cities.
The herd instinct of the horse also impels him to stick along with his fellows. General Sherman once said that if the reins could only be cut, every cavalry charge would succeed.
The chief argument against the mounted charge springs from the undigested memories of descriptions of battlefields in World War I; which to the mind of the fiction fed fanatic, consisted wholly of trenches, shell holes, and barbed wire over which lunar landscape a blighting blizzard of machine gun bullets constantly eddied. Where such circumstances existed – if they ever did – no charge by tanks, infantry, cavalry or bull elephants could possibly succeed.
For any charge to be successful… there must be no insurmountable ground obstacle between the attacker and his prey… The enemy must be pinned to the ground from flanking fire. The enemy must have had his morale shaken by bombing, shelling, hunger, fatigue or fifth column activities. The enemy must be totally surprised. The enemy must be already running.
Under a conjunction of the above circumstances, any charge will result in success PROVIDING THOSE EXECUTING IT HAVE THE WILL TO CLOSE with the enemy. Only cold steel provides this will, for to use such a weapon, one must close.
In my opinion the mounted pistol charge is wholly chimerical operation… One has to only look to any photograph of such an attack. Less then ten percent of the troopers are in a position to fire without hitting their friends…
Around 1600, when the pistol was first made usable, cavalry abandoned the saber in favor of the pistol and at once went into eclipse. Conde revived the saber charge and rode over the Spanish Infantry as a result. Under Louis XIV, Marshall Saxe invented the Uhlan – at that time not a lancer but a cuirassier – because… the enemy would have to meet the charge with fire and he could then ride over him, which he did.
In domestic disturbance, the only weapon of any value are the bayonet, the rifle butt, and the saber because these are the only weapons possessing selectivity in the amount of injury to be inflicted; firearms can only kill. Frequently, killing is not indicated.
I designed the present saber and freely admit I did too good of a job; that is, the weapon, due to a lack of time to train, is better then the men that use it. To attain this superior technical ability, I made it unnecessarily heavy and long. In 1938, I made up a cavalry bayonet. I am sending this to the Board; it speaks for itself. It can cut wire, firewood, hay, or heads with equal facility.
I beg leave to remind the Board that very few people have ever been killed with the bayonet or the saber, but the fear of having their guts explored with cold steel in the hands of battle maddened men has won many a fight".
GSP Jr., (signed)
So there we have it in Patton’s own words; he designed and had built three samples of the cavalry bayonet and submitted them on two occasions to the Cavalry for official adoption. The actual bayonet itself is described as such in the Cavalry Board Report.
The Patton bayonet – saber is unwieldy and heavy. It appears to be inadequate as a saber and too cumbersome as a bayonet. It is not a satisfactory hand weapon. It will cut grass and brush… The Patton bayonet – saber was unsuccessful at cutting barbed wire. All wire was slack as a taunt wire was thought to be non-conclusive. Current standard wire was used in the test and an "old sheep fence" with a heavy top strand. None of the weapons tested would cut the heavy top strand. Dimensions were given as:
Length of blade 29 inches
Overall length in scabbard 35 inches
Weight alone: 2 lbs.
Weight with scabbard: 3 lbs., 4 oz.
The handle of the Patton bayonet was of the standard M1905 type with wood grips and scabbard locking attachment hardware intact. The bayonet could be fitted to the M1 Garand and the M1903 Springfield. The blade had a straight back with a fuller running the entire length up to within two inches of the point. The cutting edge of the blade was the same as the M1905 at the handle junction / ricasso area and just immediately ahead was slimmer at the beginning of the cutting edge. The blade ran straight approximately 8 inches where it started to belly out much like long bolo and rising up to meet the point along the back edge similar to the M1917 bayonet. The steel guard, pommel, grips and lockworks are all standard M1905 off the shelf parts. Dimensions or construction of a scabbard are not given in the report or in the text of any of Patton’s letters. We do not believe one was ever made for this weapon.
While nothing ever became of these weapons they are none the less examples of US bayonets that have remained in hiding for many years. To date we have not observed any photos of them nor written word in any articles on the subject. Even among foremost collectors these objects are unknown. Surely one would believe that one had survived and would be available for study but to out knowledge none are on display anywhere. Perhaps one survives in a museum in the Army system somewhere that is not on display, as the historical background is not known. Perhaps the Patton Museum, the Cavalry Museum or even Springfield Armory has one is storage without knowing what it is. One may be in the hands of some collector among the many unidentified bayonets of the world.
The Cavalry Board held it tests and the final outcome was not to adopt any of the proposed items for use. In fact the days of the horse were numbered at the conclusion of the testing. America would soon be drawn into battle of the largest scale the world had ever known and it was in fact a mechanized war where bullets, not sabers would do the majority of fighting. The final summation was actually to continue with another test in which some weapons and some tools would be tested as none of the items submitted could do all the work that was required of them. For wire cutting the M1938 wire cutters would be in the next test, for intrenching the standard intrenching tool would be accepted but also put to a test. These two items were dropped from the test requirements, as proper tools were available to do the job. For the retest the M1905 Bayonet, the M1915 Bolo Bayonet and the new test pattern short bayonet would be tested. The new test pattern was the Modified M1905, what we today call the M1905E1. Are you surprised to find that the M1905E1 was tested in 1941 before the US entered the war? It is naturally assumed that they were first seen and evolved in late 1943 when the cutdown and the M1 bayonet was adopted but this is not so. It was at the request of the Cavalry Board in early 1941 that the bayonet was cropped to the ten-inch blade. This was so it would not injure the horse when mounted on the trooper’s belt. Interesting development indeed. In the final analysis we all know what happened, the military adopted the modified M1905 as the M1 bayonet. All of this is but a mere footnote in the history but a fascinating detail none the less. Remember you read it here first and nowhere else!
The full copy of the Cavalry Board Report is available on the Government Document page as item # 297. It is a newer one we found at the Archives and covers all the items tested. For those of you inclined to look it up it reside in Record Group 177. Entry 39, Box 75, File 474.7. Happy hunting.
Click on the thumbnail for full size photos
The only known photo of the Patton bayonet - saber marked as item #2. Note also the Modified shortened M1905 listed as item #4 in March of 1941.
"Reading with me is a disease." - Theodore Roosevelt.
M1917 Test Procedure
Ever wonder what a test procedure was that a bayonet had to endure before being proofed? Not a lot of US bayonets carry a proof mark but they are all made under strict adherences to specifications that do cover testing procedures. The M1917 bayonet is one of the few that do exhibit proof marks on the blade. This test procedure was carried over from the British whom were the sole purchasers of the bayonet from Remington and Winchester when the product line was first begun. After the US takeover of the line the markings were changed but the testing remained the same. Here is the information we just found on it.
Specifications For Testing Bayonets – Model 1917
Bayonet Blades (hardened and tempered).
- The blades are to be submitted for view in batches of not more then 200 in the hardened and tempered stage.
- One blade in each batch will be subjected to an overtest rendering it unserviceable, to ascertain the hardening and tempering are correct. The over test will consist in reducing its length, in a vertical machine, 1 ¼ " when the blade must not break nor take a permanent set of more then 7/16 inch, the set to be measured at the highest point of the curve with blade resting on a horizontal surface at its extreme ends. A batch failing to stand this test will be returned to the contractor. To insure that the overtested blades are not submitted as a run of work, they will be destroyed by breaking off not less then 1 / inch from their points.
- Bayonets, which satisfactorily pass this test, are to be tested in the vertical-testing machine. Each blade is to be shortened not less then ½" and after shortening is to be inspected. The bayonet blade must not set when bent in either direction. The bayonet blade must recover straightness with a weight equivalent to 110 pounds on the handle of the machine.
- If bayonets pass this test, the remainder will be tested as follows: To be struck on back and edge and both flats, in the striking machine, the back and edge to be struck on a wooden block, the center of the block being 1 foot 10.25 inches from the center of the axis of the arm in which the blade is fixed. The arm is 14.25 inches long, and weighs about 14.5 pounds.
- When set for striking the blade on the edge or back, the arm is held in a vertical position by means of a pawl. The spring tension tending to revolve the arm is then from 17 to 19 pounds when measured by a spring balance at a point of 17 inches from the center of the axis of the arm. The flats are struck on the horizontal iron table of the machine. The arm is then held at an angle of 45 deg. from the horizontal by a pawl, and the spring tension in this position measured at a point 17 inches from the axis of the arm is from 9 to 10 pounds.
- When the blade is struck on either the flat, or back, or the edge, the tension of the spring ceases when the blade has fallen to about 22-½ deg. from the horizontal; the arm and the blade complete the blow by the momentum they have acquired.
- Bayonets which satisfactorily pass the above tests will be kept on both flats around a curved block of about 18 inches radius, bayonets to satisfactorily pass this test must not set in either direction.
So there we have it, the test specification that the M1917 bayonet had to undergo before being excepted in to service and having the eagle (often referred to as the chicken head) stamped into the blade as the mark of being proved. Nothing like it today but manufacturing standards are much higher with strict control of the heat treating, hardening and tempering. Still would be cool to watch one being tested. I wonder what ever became of the mechanical arm testing machines???
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Note the proof marks stamped into the ricasso of the Remington made M1917 bayonet. It consists of the eagle head and a quality control code and two slashes crossed in an X fashion.
Hughes Trench Knife
In the past we have written about the Hughes Trench Knife that was submitted to the Army test board that was looking for a suitable replacement for the M1918 Trench knife. Along with this knife was the French Model 1916, the British design Clement knuckle knife and the then standard U.S. Model 1918. The Hughes design was a folding blade that fit into a handle that wrapped around the soldiers hand that allowed the hand to function a rifle or other weapon as the knife was actually on the back of the hand allowing the palm free to grasp with. Two samples were made by then Captain Hughes and submitted to the trials. When the design was not adopted, the US used features of all the knives to design the 1918 Mark 1, the samples were requested returned by then Major Hughes. We have found a letter trail that went to the AEF looking for the samples. The letters went as high as General Pershing and returned to the US and addressed the Chief of Staff looking for these pieces! A search was commenced to root out the knives wherever they may be. One was destroyed in the testing abut the second was missing. It was finally found, albeit broken was well, back in the US in the Ordnance section. It was put back into shape and returned to the Major. The samples were hand built at a machine shop for the cost of $100.00 each, quite a sum in 1918 and Major Hughes wanted them back. So at least one of the samples survived and one was broken and destroyed. You never know, be on the lookout for the only remaining sample of the Hughes Trench knife, it may still be out there somewhere!
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The only known photos of the Hughes Trench Knife to exist. One was left from the testing and shipped home to the US and then onto Major Hughes. It made it back from the war only to be lost again... or is it? Have you seen it?
Knives for the Troops
The knives keep rolling in and we keep shipping them out. Wonderful reactions with a surprise box in the mail. The knives are well received at all stations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several have been part of formal ceremonies and handed out for a job well done. They are spread around the ranks to those who can not afford a knife was well as those who never thought to bring one. As we all know a knife is a pretty handy object, a good pocket knife can at times be worth it’s weight in gold.
A big thanks to Bryan O’Shaughnessy who started the ball rolling on this project and Mark Zalesky of Knife World who put it all together. So far we have shipped 950 knives overseas to the troops. Everything from the simple scout type pocket knife to tactical styles and even some handmades have been sent. They are all welcome. The project, Save a Life with a Knife, was awarded the 2005 Publishers Award at this years Blade Show. While we didn’t set out to win an award it is always nice to know that the project is being noticed. Keep it up folks, this is a very good cause. Knives can be sent to Knife World, PO Box 3395, Knoxville Tn. 37927
The First Amendment gives him a right to show us he is stupid. But, also remind him that the Fifth Amendment can help him keep it a secret.
Mike S. Adams
A New Book
It hasn’t arrived yet but it is now in the making. Our good friend Dr. Jim Maddox has collected his thoughts on bayonet collecting and put them to paper. This is a book we have been waiting on for years. Not only will we have the chance to hear from one of the finest gentlemen in the field we will actually get to see some of his collection! Here is the short promo that describes the book. We will have a full feature on it when it arrives.
Collecting Bayonets is a book unlike any other. It is intended to be an overall guide to the collecting of bayonets, not simply an identification tool nor an extensive treatment of a single nationality. Bayonets of all types from all nations are shown and described in detail. The development from plug bayonet to modern assault rifle bayonet is profusely illustrated. All the varied methods of attachment to a firearm are shown in a simple, organized fashion. Additional topics include: Terminology, Bayonet Accessories, Grading Systems, Inventory & Records, Restoration, Repair & Conservation, Current Availability, Collectors Organizations and many others. Photos of bayonets in wear and use as well as interesting bayonet factoids are scattered throughout the book. You will find a wealth of information suitable for both beginning and experienced collectors. In a single volume, you will have full access to everything I know about bayonets, based upon 45 years of collecting.
I have worked diligently to minimize verbiage and maximize photos. You will see bayonets that have never before appeared in any reference; and you will see many bayonets that have been shown, but never in such detail. Most items are from my own collection, but a number were generously provided by other collectors.
When one collector visits another to have a look at a bayonet collection, he generally doesn’t want to view the common stuff…he wants to see the rare and exotic items. He wants to see and feel those items that he doesn’t have, has never seen, or has only seen in pictures. I have tried to pack Collecting Bayonets with photos of these treasures for your education and entertainment.
Collecting Bayonets is a limited edition of 1,000 copies. It has 540 pages in 8.5 X 11 inch size with 900+ color photos. The binding is a rugged "side-sewn" style, a costly process usually reserved for library editions. Combined with a hard cover, this volume is designed to withstand many years of hard use. The retail cost will be $129.
WEBSITE: go to www.collectingbayonets.com for additional information, with photos of the book as well as a Table of Contents and many sample pages.
SPECIAL PRICE: A special introductory price of $89 plus $8 postage for US sales (Total $97) is available for a brief period. (This includes Flat Rate Priority Mail and Delivery Confirmation and is the minimum service I will use.) I recommend you also add $2.20 for insurance, but that is your choice. The books will be well wrapped and packed, but I accept no liability for loss of uninsured books.
AUTOGRAPHS: I will autograph each book on the title page. If you desire more than a simple signature, please specify exactly what you want.
AVAILABILITY: I expect to have the books in hand the first week in December and should be able to ship early orders in time for Christmas. US Orders received by December 10th should be in your hands well before Christmas.
Cashier’s Check or Money Order payable to J.A. Maddox is preferred
PayPal also accepted for firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgia Residents – I will pick up the 6% State Sales Tax for BCN Members
PO Box 22245
Savannah, GA 31403 USA
We can hardly wait!
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There is nothing complex about those 12 words the framers wrote to protect us from governmental property confiscation. You need a magician to reach the conclusion reached by the Court's majority. I think the socialist attack on judicial nominees who'd use framer-intent in their interpretation of the Constitution might also explain their attack on our Second Amendment "right of the people to keep and bear Arms." Why? Because when they come to take our property, they don't want to risk buckshot in their butts.
Walter E. Williams
Recently we have seen a few knives made by Colonial arrive on the scene. The first to catch our attention looked like the well known and loved MC-1 aircrew knife. At first we didn’t even pay attention to it as it was assumed to be one of the above. Then we were told to take a closer look… The knife is completely different and in fact made by Colonial, a whole new government contractor to this knife. While it may resemble the MC-1 it is a horse of a different color on the inside. The familiar bright International Orange scales are at first glance the same but they hold the secret. Made of a high tech composite fiberglass type material they do the work of the metal liners on the older style knife. In fact this knife does not have any liners, all the inner workings are held together by the scales. The steel push button is recessed into the scale and operate the mechanism which is also anchored into the scale. The machined lock slider button is still made from the familiar brass as on the older knives, a nice touch and a factor in eliminating rust and corrosion on a knife likely to see sea duty as well as humid areas. The older style relied on a typical pocket knife type back spring while the new knife advances into the typical for today coil spring era. A coil spring will last and retain it’s character much longer then the back spring type and will also hold it’s tension while in the closed position without taking a set like the linear spring. A half back spring is still used for the hook blade. By eliminating the metal in the knife another positive is the reduction in weight, a factor used in the aircraft and what the man can comfortably wear in the survival vest. A couple of ounces left off the knife may mean a couple of more ounces of water the man can carry or any other useful product. The knife is assembled using small screws instead of the typical steel pins. This is also a rather new approach and a necessary one as the pins would need to be peened in place, not a very reliable way to secure the assembly with a composite scale. The screws are a definite plus as the knife and also be repaired or serviced at a much lower level they returning it to the factory. We got to flick open the knife a few times and can tell you it has a good snap and a positive lock for a knife of this type. In all a rather well designed knife. As for the knife itself it is of the familiar design having two blades, a clip blade and a hook type canopy cutter blade. The clip blade is not of the typical design as the former knives, it features a different profile. The hook blade is right from 1960 in approach and is well suited to doing the job. As we stated above the hook blade uses the typical back spring but it does not run the entire length of the handle, it covers a little more then half the back and is recessed into the scales. Again a well thought out design. One thing we did not see on the examples shown was a bail. The scales had holes for one, and on the correct side, the clip point side, but one was not present on either of the two examples we examined. Speaking of two, one was Black while the other was Orange, that was the only difference. The blade markings are as follows: COLONIAL / PROV. U.S.A. in two lines on the front while on the reverse is M724 in large deep stampings. At first we thought the M724 was the designation of the new knife and had to find the answer. Several folks queried did not have an answer. It does not show in any official literature or as part of an NSN or Part Number. Just what was the M724 designation. Well after a few e-mails with our old friend Steve Palantonio of Colonial Cutlery we arrived at the answer. Good thing we didn’t guess at it. It is a name chosen by the folks at Colonial for the new product, an inspired name if I have ever heard one before and Steve told us the whole story behind it. You see a few years ago when all this was in the planning and bidding stages things at Colonial were not going too well as with most other cutlery companies. Retailers going out of business, 9/11, and importation is having a very deep effect on the US and cutlery is no different, in fact it is being hit as hard as any industry in the entire US. Not only labor but also steel prices and new computer controlled equipment, in some cases state purchased, is hard to compete against. Suffice it to say things were pretty dark in those days at Colonial. Layoffs were all too common among the skilled work force, time was running out. According to Steve "All those things brought us together at Colonial and the more difficult business got the more it united all of us in prayer. It was something to see, tool makers praying with those that they once felt were less then them (non-skilled workers) sitting together at lunch praying and talking about God. I'd walk past them, stop and say to myself, I don't believe it! Then they'd get me to join in, it brings back great memories during a difficult time."
The knife was redesigned at Colonial by dissecting a typical MC-1 and working out what new materials and machinery could do. A lot of serious thinking was going on and long hours to do it. Steve continued "Yes, we are currently manufacturing what you refer to as the MC-1 or what we at Colonial call the M-724 (Matthew 7:24 from the Bible) Strange how people assume the M means military ..isn't it? We had a bunch of Christians working on the design of the auto knife and during bible study at Colonial the new auto knife came in to question (don't ask me how) What are we going to call it? We were discussing the book of Matthew and how 7:24 talks about staying in the word will keep you out of trouble. Then someone said much like the auto knife we are designing for the military, it's designed to keep the user out of trouble." In the e-mail Steve also offered up the following tidbit for us military knife folks; "Since you seem interested in the M724 model number we also have the J-316 that we belt for the government… The J-316 is from John 3:16 that model number came up almost during the same time period. We geared up to make the J-316 for the US government.
Long story on that whole deal…"
So there we have it, a new MC-1 type knife made for aircrews in trouble from high tech designs and high tech material. A fascinating story…
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Updated December, 2005
"Try, not. Do. Or do not."
Hope this finds everyone in the best of health & happiness in the joyous season ahead.
To all of you reading this who are members of the Society of American Bayonet Collectors (If you aren’t and you are reading this web page you should be) I am soliciting your vote for our good friend and current correspondent right here on this site, Bill Porter. I couldn’t think of anyone more qualified to sit as an SABC Director then Bill. The SABC is a great organization and it is up to all of us, the members, to keep it that way. Exercise your right and vote. For the Board of Directors election, I'm voting for Bill Porter, Larry Johnson & Dick Marsden and I urge you all to do the same.
New Book, Collecting Bayonets
Our good friend Dr. Jim Maddox has hit a Grand Slam right out of the box. His new book, Collecting Bayonets will be an instant classic. Jim started out with the thought of doing a book that would be unlike any others previously published. Not a strict study of the bayonet with dimensions and markings but a book on the art of collecting bayonets. To our knowledge it has never been done before, Jim has indeed broken new ground. Before getting into the basics of the book we can tell you right off it is a treasure for the eyes. Bayonets of all types from all nations are shown and described in detail. Many of the bayonets here have never been pictured in any publications before. The COLOR photography shows the bayonets in full glory. A collector for 45 years Jim has an amazing collection of his own but he has also tapped into his many resources and shows bayonets from other major collectors as well.
The book itself, Collecting Bayonets, is a limited edition print run of only 1,000 copies. It consists of 540 pages in a standard 8.5 X 11 format with over 900 color photos. The photographs show overall views along side close ups of the hilts and various significant parts to the bayonet being described. The binding is a rugged "side-sewn" style, a costly process in book production usually reserved only for library editions. The construction method promotes an extremely well manufactured book that will hold up to the repeated use it will see in every collector’s library.
The book is divided into sections by the bayonet types starting with plugs right up to the most modern of knife bayonets. Additionally the book is broken into topics that include; Terminology, Bayonet Accessories, Grading Systems, Inventory & Records, Restoration, Repair & Conservation, Current Availability & Collectors Organizations. Add to that all the varied methods of attachment used throughout the ages to a firearm are shown in a series of photographs and terms that not only explain the mechanisms but also show how they in effect work to fit the bayonet to the weapon. The retail cost will be $129 but Jim is running early collectors only special at his website, go to www.collectingbayonets.com for ordering information. This is a book we heartily endorse and one that should be in every collector’s library. Remember the only book we regret is the one we didn’t purchase. We can predict that once the initial 1,000 are sold this book will quickly triple in price in the secondary market.
ROMO & PIC
For years we have seen knives marked with these names and really didn’t have a clue as to who they were. Well through the Internet we now do have a clue. Perhaps not the full story but we have a thread to tug on. With these so marked knives showing up occasionally in a Vietnam Vets belongings it was often wondered where they came from and more often, when. Well we can say with surety that the company was in existence in that time period and it is completely possible that these private purchase knives could have served in that conflict. Here is what we found:
ROMO, with a horizontal, centered arrow through it, was the trademark of the New York City importing firm of Rosenbaum & Mogal, Inc., established in 1917. In 1924, when the corporation dissolved, the trademark passed to Mitchell Mogal, Inc. Courtesy of our good friend Bernard Levine. MITCHELL MOGAL INC. 17 East 45 St NY, NY was also the owner of the PIC or Precise Imports Corp. trade name as well. Typically stamped in block letters at the ricasso P.I.C. Exactly when this name came into use we do not know but with this thread we pulled a little bit and came up with some useful dates.
Mitchell Mogal Inc. had a lawsuit filed in 1967 citing Precise Imports Corp as the Plaintiff vs. Joseph P. Kelly, Collector of Customs of the Port of New York, Irving Fishman, Deputy Collector of Customs, and United States of America, Defendants-Appellees.
The lawsuit was about the importation of certain types of knives impounded by customs as being illegal. The case isn’t as important to us here as the date is; PIC was in the knife business in 1967. This places the possibility of a PIC marked knife turning up in Vietnam as a very real and potentially certain possibility. The PIC stamped Mark 2 is a very serviceable knife and seems to be of a higher quality then most of the cheap imports found of that era. These knives have the distinctive long sweeping clip point making them easy to spot should one be lying on a table for sale. Get the hint… seeing one for cheap you should make it a point to pick it up. The ROMO marked knives were also very stout but lacked the sweeping clip point to the blade. Perhaps made at different times or at different factories in different countries for all we know. They were available during the Vietnam years so would go good with the collection of that period. But hey why do we need any reason to buy another knife right. For further reading on the law case go to:
They rushed to meet the insulting foe; they took the spear – but left the shield.
Philip Freneau, To the memory of the brave Americans who fell at Eutau Springs S.C. on 9/8/1781
Mark 2 Scabbards
A.E. Burgess Leather Company
Russell S. Lesniewski
44 Brigham Hill Road Grafton MA 01519
They made the Mark 2 scabbards for Camillus starting in 1962. This would be the Ox-blood colored versions. Just thought you might like to know.
Well the old box has finally given up the ghost. Slow isn’t the word for it with all the files and photos loaded into it retrieving information was difficult at best. We avoided it as long as possible but the time had come. Many years ago we lost information that was stored and went through the expensive and task of having it reconstructed. With that in mind we added a second hard drive to the machine to always have a back up on all the files and photos. Making the change was a snap. Feared but in reality it was easy. A new computer was purchased, the old slave drive installed and we were up and running in no time at all. Nothing to do with knives but just a precaution to you all, back up your work. Find a way it is easy and do it consistently. It pays off in the long run.
Save a Life with a Knife
We are approaching the 1000 knives shipped mark. The effort started by Knife World is still in effect and bringing joy to many. Imagine being in a far away place with folks thinking of ways to do you harm. It is nice to know the folks back home are thinking of you. Many letters and photos have come back to the folks who have submitted knives. Every attempt is made to send the knives to the branch of service that is requested. We have shipped knives to the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard to date. What a simple way to send thanks to those standing watch at the forefront for our freedom. My special thanks to all whom have contributed.
New Military Knives
Well we are certainly going to need a new identification book before the war in Iraq is over. The government is soliciting for all sorts of knives to be issued to our forces, many of which have never been reported. Just to name a few:
Benchmade 830S (Ascent)
Underwater Kinetics 30064 Titanium drop point
Deep See Razor 8191 304 Stainless Black
Mission Knives MPK
Ontario Spec Plus 15 LSA (Land, Sea Air)
Ontario Mark 2 leather handles
Benchmade 9100 SBT Auto Stryker
Ontario Freedom Fighter Fighting Knife FF6
Benchmade 550SBT Griptilian Pardue Combo Edge
And the new ASEK Model FG504/UC the Foliage Green Universal Camo pattern.
Like we said, a lot of new pieces being officially procured through the proper bid channels are being introduced to the military. It seems like the old days of in-house design are gone and the COTS (commercial off the shelf) procurement is into full swing. While all the above will be procured by the US military the future of collecting them is unsure. These are all readily available through commercial sales outlets so how to tell if it was military used… your guess is as good as mine.
Benchmade 830S, Underwater Kinetics, Benchmade 550SBT, Ontario FF6, OntarioTAK-1, and the new ASEK Digital
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