knife knotes part vIII

Updated 01/01/03

Does 15,982 Mean Anything to You?

It is the number of pocket knives, nail clippers, letter openers, scissors and other pointed objects airport screeners seized over the Thanksgiving weekend, the heaviest travel day of the year. There are an estimated 30,000 screeners now on duty at U.S. Airports. Read more about them on the Commentary page. Some bad always comes with the good.


Applegate Mystery Knife

We note on the cover photograph of the book "The Close Combat Files of Rex Applegate" he is holding a knife we have not seen before. A photo in the book shows a better picture of it but no description. If this knife has been written about we have not seen the write up before. Can anyone add to the discussion what knife it is the Colonel is holding? We know it is not the Early Applegate / Fairbairn design as that knife too is shown in the second photo. It is a spin off of the F/S knife with a thin double-edged design but with a different shaped handle. The handle appears to be pinned on the tang. The scabbard is similar to the A/F knife shown, they could have been made in the same place, this we also do not know. The only description we can find is a small tag with "Fighting Knife / U.S." printed on it. The photo was taken too early to have been the Fairbairn / Millison knife so we can rule that out. Could it have been another step in the design of the F/S knife or the A/F knife?

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What knife is this??


Another one from the Colonel

We also note in the above referenced photo a shot of a double-edged M3 Trench Knife. It is termed the "Modified M3 Knife" on the display board. This is the first actual photo we have noted on this doubled edged M3. A few years ago we ran a small piece in Knife Knotes about these knives. We had heard from a veteran who was issued one while in Ranger Training in England. As they were at the time handing out the F/S knife to those who completed the course we thought they might have been made in England just for such use? Here we find another example shown in a photo of the World War Two era; this would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that these knives did exist. As to who made them we have a hint. Camillus Cutlery Co. received an order for the M3 Trench Knife on 9/17/43 with a full double-edged blade. This knife was not to be Parkerized. It was to have the traditional M3 type handle and pommel but the guard was not to be bent. It is exactly the knife shown in the Applegate book from the display board, also shown in the Conigilio M3 book in the bright state. A similar knife shown in Mike Silveyís World War Two book is double edged but it is Parkerized and has the bent guard. That same knife also does not show the two pin retainers as used by Camillus. Anyway, the bright blade version has Fairbairnís name written all over it, his calling card if you will. Fairbairn had recommended that all fighting knives were to be left unfinished, in fact he wanted the blades polished. This was to strike fear into the enemyís heart from the glistening of the bare steel. It was an early attempt to use psychology to gain however slight an advantage. Fairbairn knew well the advantage this would give the soldier over his adversary. This information helps to finish the book on the double-edged M3 or as the Colonel called it the "Modified M3 Knife", and so shall we from now on. You will note that both of the above pieces were generated from the reading of the book, The Close Combat Files of Rex Applegate." If you do not have this book already we recommend it fully. In fact we obtained a small supply if anyone is interested in purchasing one let us know. Click Here for the book

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Copies of the original production S-cards from the Camillus Factory collection supplied to us by our good friend there Tom Williams


The Best of Cole

Just arrived is the new book from the pages of Howard Cole. This book is a combination of Howardís four previous books using some of his best drawings. It is a wonderful work and would do the author proud could he have seen it. The book was edited by our good friend Mike Silvey for the new owners IDSA Books. We had worked with Mike on this project trying to figure out which drawings to include and which to leave out; this was not an easy chore! After several attempts back and forth the final version was decided on. The book is printed in the familiar style of Mikeís prior books. The heavy glossy paper is used so this book should be around for quite a few years. It is indeed a great work. For those who already own the four versions of Cole there is really nothing new except for a few footnotes Mike inserted to bring some of the text up to date with recent discoveries. As these are classic books the thought was to keep it as original as possible. This book is great for the fledgling collector to own, it incorporates the most information you can obtain into one book. For those advanced collectors you will still want to obtain the four separate works, as there are drawings not in the new book for obvious reasons of space. Anyway you cut it; this should be in every knife collectorís library, even if you already own the four previously out. Itís just a good reason to buy a new book if nothing else. Again we have obtained a few copies, all signed by Mike Silvey, for those looking to purchase one.

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Click here for more information


Lack of Monthly Military Knife Info

In a recent discussion with a few collectors we are at a loss to tell you where to look for a monthly knife article other then Knife world and right here. A great column not to be missed is Gary Boydís Collectors Corner in Tactical Knives but it is every other month so it was ruled out of the "monthly" tomes. After that we are at a loss, they just arenít any. We could suggest buying back issues every month as an alternative but what if you already have them? Can anyone point out to us where we could obtain monthly articles, updates or anything written on Military Knives, bayonets? machetes or swords? We already subscribe at all the knife-oriented magazines and most of the gun magazines we are aware of but none carry information on military items on a monthly basis. There are several good collector journals such as the SABC journal but that is only quarterly. We will try to assemble a list of those sent to us, including websites and commentaries. Let us know what you read.


Uses for the Bolo Knife

Below we have an interesting photo. It is taken from a book entitled Machine Guns Part 1 by Julian S. Hatcher, Captain Ordnance Department. The text explains it like this:

When the Benet Gun is used on the field mount the front legs may be moved in cocking the gun, loading or reducing a jam. This accident, which will cause a serious loss of time owing to the necessity of resetting the barrel rest and relaying the gun, can be prevented by driving a pair of bolos behind the barrel rest legs, as shown by the photograph.

So there we have it, another use for the bolo knife. Do you suppose this is another reason they were issued to Machine Gun Crews?

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Click on thumbnail for full size photo


Fakes and Fantasies

We have had an ongoing discussion on this topic recently with our good friend Garry Zalesky. If you note the name, he is the father of the Knife World Editor Mark Zalesky. Garry has been in the knife-collecting field for many a year. Much of the work he accumulated back in the 1970ís and 1980ís he still has. One we have depicted here for your observation. Take note that these items were sold as replicas by the original seller. Now after almost twenty years how are they represented? Have you seen them on ebay or other places? We have. Most replicas are usually not well made and marked as such for the knowledgeable collector to note them out, some however are not. These pieces seem to fit the second bill, in several cases they are marked identical or not marked at all as the case may be. Also depicted is an ad that ran in Knife World in 1986 with the ever-popular knuckle knife. These we have seen listed as "not in the books" and "rare special unit knives" that are all attempts to bluff the unknowing, we know better. None of these are as common as the Kabar produced USMC Fighting Utility knife that can be found any day listed on ebay as a "World War Two" knife or "carried by the Veteran" or from a "veterans estate." Without a doubt it is the most ill depicted, ill defined and just outright fraudulently passed off knife we know of. In most cases the seller doesnít know it either, as they are not knife collectors but sellers of goods.

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A classic repro ad from Shotgun News circa 1988


USMC Bayonets

We see the USMC decided on a new bayonet. They have awarded a contract to the Ontario Knife Co. for $214150.00 for the new bayonets. The contract was awarded on 12/13/02 under number M67854-03-D5036/0001 from the Department of the Navy / USMC MARCORSYSCOM in Quantico Va. We do not know which of the prototypes tested by the USMC was selected. Does anyone have a photo of the bayonet that won the trials? We would sure like to see it and paste it right here on the site. If we knew the actual price we could then obtain the numbers procured. Good collector info to have for the future.


Another New Bayonet??

Hereís a strange one we found on a government website.

Request for Quote:
NSN 1095-01-496-5107
Bayonet Ė Knife

Complete system with stealth technology; 7.500 in. blade length; 0.188 in. blade thickness; proprietary high carbon steel blade can be used to pry, dig or chop; blade can be bent without taking a permanent set; ergonomic handle has finger grooves which help in sightless blade orientation; sheath has multi-point hinged quick release mounting. Designed for the M-16 and M-4 rifles.

Camillus Cutlery Co. 82041 P/N Cam 1A-1

The request was for 1 knife. A later request a few days apart was for 4 pieces. Somethingís brewing.


Bayonet Patent CD

Well we finally got around to it. We have been collecting bayonet patents for 20 years or better and just putting them in a book on a shelf. With a 638-page book of limited interest it certainly wasnít for publishing. We did the next best thing; we printed it to a .pdf file and wrote it to CD. Now for those interested you can obtain it on the cheap, $16.00 postpaid for 90 days then up to the regular retail of $19.95. You will be amazed at the numbers of bayonets proposed and those historic pieces that were actually made. It lists in an easy to search format all the patents we could find on the bayonet; scabbards and anything remotely associated with them. Many intrenching tools are included which work with the bayonet or are part of a bayonet. Did you know the M5 and the M5A1 were patented? M1910 scabbards? And a whole lot more.

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Click here for more information


Diving Knives

We have been researching these tools for over two years now and are still no closer to an article on them then when we started. The more we find the more we question, the more we question the more we are unanswered. We are just about ready to concede the fact that we are whipped. That would be a first but this is just plain tiring. We have great information on a few but none whatsoever on others. Many are well known to the collecting community like the Morse, Desco, Ka-Bar, Schrader & Sons, Fischer Spring, Vince and the Batteryless Telephone Co. but others are unknown to most. To this list we could add John Date, Craftsweld, Bomar and most recently Wenoka. Others seem to come from China and are so marked so we would rule them out as military issue but are they really ruled out? In the common 16P Survival Kit are knives made in China so they are in effect U.S. military issue. Many are often unmarked so a comparison with known and marked items is needed to sort them out. Yet again we find some manufacturers made knives with non-magnetic blades so they are another variation again. Another problem is getting photos of the above knives. We know they exist but we do not have them in our collection, do you? If we could at least obtain the photos it would certainly help the cause. The Navy standardized the Mark 5 Diving suit in 1915 with the first knife drawing of the Mark 5 variation found dated 1929 so there is some lapse there as to the proper knife in the between years. The suit was used for many years after that and is still in use today in many commercial diving applications. Knives were and still are standard parts of the diving rig. So you can see the dilemma we face. Documenting such small purchases is often impossible as small unit funds were used for the procurement and other then a letter to the manufacturer that is all that existed at the time. Even less exists today. It is a fascinating experience and an under documented one at that, our aim is to change that but so far much information is lacking, at least we have not been able to turn it up. Your thoughts on the subject are welcomed!

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Don't forget they are still being made also, look for a zip code to distinguish the newer from the older versions.


Taking Stock

Well another year has come and gone. With it many knives have crossed our path, many we kept and a few we passed along. Having been in this racket of collecting for quite a few years I always hear about the old days and the "golden period" of collecting. Well I lived a part of that era and I canít remember anytime in the last 30 years better then today. Yes, a Mark 2 could be had for $15.00 but that was a full days pay at the time also. You can still buy the same Mark 2 for a days pay today but it is just so much easier to find. And the amount of them you have to choose from in one day would have taken you 6 months to gather 30 years ago. It can be summed up in one word, Internet. Thatís right the Internet has put so many people together with a common interest it has forever changed the hobby. I can remember not seeing two V-42ís for sale in a year, now you can find them quite often, sometimes even monthly. In those good old days you bought from people you knew or had at least met and through a few sales lists from those you hadnít met. When you did see something you were interested in and made the call or sent the letter it was usually gone. Good old days you say huh. The problem today is really not having enough money; it is not finding things to spend it on. Money was still a problem in the past but you put some away waiting for the next list or phone call from a friend. Very different circumstances but the same old problem, money. Bayonets are even more common today then anytime I can remember. They were always a specialized community and still are to a point but much larger in scale today then I can ever remember, mostly due to the computer again. In the old days of Digital Graphite Memory (a pencil) letters were few and far between among collectors. Not many books on the subject and even fewer articles. We kept records in a spiral bound notebook with DGM and still have them to this day. Observations were much the same but we kept them to ourselves mainly. When we decided to create this website we did it mainly from the old thought of keeping notes in one place but in this manner we could share them with others. We donít know how many actually read this column, we did track how many times it was clicked on as a measure in the beginning but it was useless to try to count. Pass through is a common item on the Internet, you see something and e-mail it to a friend, so does that count as one hit or two? We have been sent e-mails from a kind soul willing to share thoughts with us on certain topics with at least 6 pass throughs of things we have written in the beginning! Thatís hard to count. Then how many click on the page but donít actually read it? Scan the captions, nothing interesting to them and move on? We are listed pretty high on some search engines such as Yahoo and Google so many hits come from folks looking to buy a knife, not here anymore. Just the same we do it for ourselves and if a few enjoy it all the better. If you combine the two you come up with Internet and Money, thatís right it costís us money to post these ramblings. Not too smart on our part. Well we enjoy the friendly conversations it brings about and the many e-mails we receive from it. Most looking for an answer and we gladly give it when we know, many are in the same boat having a piece they know little about nor do we, wish we did. The there was the wife who wanted a special gift for her husbands birthday which was two days away!! You can guess what we wanted to suggest, and it wouldn't cost her anything!! We helped her out and the husband thanked us profusely. We guess the Internet and overnight mail leads to procrastination? We have certainly learned a lot from the experience and think more highly of the collecting community then at any time in the past. We manage to sell a few books, make a few copies and have a good time doing it. Now if we could only figure out a way to hit the lottery and get rid of the real jobÖÖ. Itís been a fun ride so far; we may just have to stick around for another year of it.

As always your comments are welcomed on any of the above, pros and cons good and bad. What would you like to see more of in the coming year??


Updated 02/02/03

Joe Foss, World War II ace, dies.
Joe Foss, a World War II hero who shot down 26 enemy planes as a Marine pilot and later became governor of South Dakota, died at the age of 87. Foss ó who also served as president of the National Rifle Association, commissioner of the American Football League and a TV outdoorsman ó had not regained consciousness after suffering an apparent aneurysm last fall. Foss, also served in the Korean War, was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Silver Star , the Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.

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Captain Joe Foss during the Solomon's Campaign.
Click on thumbnail for full size view.


M3 Commemorative Knife
We had a question on a highly decorated M3 with gold etching and deep bluing. According to Tom Williams of Camillus: "The M3 Commemorative Trench Knife was first offered in 1990. The gold etching "United States Army", "We Will Defend" and "1941-1991" was done by Baron Technology of Trumbull, CT. The guard and butt cap were gold plated. 2,700 were produced and were offered either individually or in a set with three other WWII era commemorative knives." Just a small fact to stick in the back of our head for later use.


The Most Important Border
Does it make sense that 37,000 American troops guard the South Korean border, yet not one can guard the homeland border? Laws are strange.


Product Improved Bayonet
We recently received a request for a place to find a hard plastic USN Mark 2 scabbard. We receive hundreds of requests in a month for assistance and try our best to answer all of them but this one was different. It was from an active duty fellow wishing to replace the one he carried his bayonet in. You can bet that got out attention, carrying a bayonet in a Mark 2 scabbard? Well the gentleman turned out to be Major General John Vines, Commanding General of Coalition Task Force 82 stationed in Afghanistan. The General had carried this bayonet and scabbard combination for over 26 years, since he was a young Ranger training officer. You can bet this really had our attention by now. We started doing the math, 26 years equals 1977, Ranger Training Officer equals official testing. Put them together and we have the Product Improved Bayonet Test! Thatís right the General was carrying a P.I. Bayonet, the converted Mark 2 with sawback blade and the hard plastic USN scabbard. 

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Here is a photo MG Vines,  the Commander of the Australian SAS Regiment (TF 64) who was attached to CTF 82 until recently,  and the Commander of TF Panther (3d Bde 82nd Airborne Division) vicinity Afghan/Pakistan border 31 Oct 02. In this photo the General is wearing the bayonet on his left side not visible to the camera. Click on the thumbnail for full size view.

Over the years and several hundred jumps the scabbard was showing signs of age by splitting and cracking so the General wanted a replacement for it. We secured the General a replacement scabbard in exchange for a few photos of the bayonet / knife that we present to you here. 

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The General's personal carry blade, the P.I. Bayonet.
Click on thumbnail for full size view.

According to the General; "I was the Senior Tactical Officer of the Ranger Department at the time-now Ranger Training Brigade. Carried it from that time forward through tours in 1st Ranger Bn, 3d Ranger Bn several tours in JSOC and 82nd and many deployments,Ö Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Storm. Has several hundred jumps. Salt water is hard on it-will pit if not kept well oiled. Mine has the plastic handles, which under heavy use caused blisters, hence the 550 cord." Several years ago we wrote an article on that bayonet / knife that ran in Knife World. In the writing we focus on the item at hand, the P.I. bayonet at the time, through official and source documents available. Some of the details not associated with the test item are not included with the test for various reasons, ie what the candidates ate while doing the training. Finding these details are left to contacts within the system who where there or have detailed knowledge of the time and place after the fact. One item that was not reported in the test was relayed to us by the General. "I was the Senior Tac of the Ranger Dept at the time of this article. That class lost 4 students to hypothermia in the Florida phase. There was a move across Boiling Creek which is a tributary of the Yellow River. Required a one rope bridge and a couple of kilometer move thru swamp. Water was high, breaks in contact, cold night and 4 students died." We had not heard of this tragedy before during this test. We record it here for history to remember not only the bayonet / knife or the test but to the memory of the four who are no longer with us. 

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Here is the General with two of his men. Note the position of the knife has been changed to the right front of his IBA, (Individual Body Armor) as you can now see the distinctive pommel and upper half of the USN scabbard.
Click on the thumbnail for full size view.

Thank you General for you service to our country and your devotion to duty. And Thank You for your relaying to us some added details to the history of the P.I. Bayonet.

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From left to right at Bagram is General Vines, CTF82 Surgeon and Cdr 2-504 PIR.  All three of them served together when the General  commanded 4-325 AIR in Operation Desert Storm. Again we note the pommel and upper portion of the P.I. Bayonet. Click on thumbnail for full size photo.

Here follows the article from Knife World published March 1998:


The need for a suitable knife to be used by the individual soldier in the field has long been recognized. This need for such a knife was not adequately met by the M7 bayonet. The bayonet is still retained in inventory as a standard item although itís tactical value is questionable and a formal bayonet training program no longer exists. The bayonet was retained only because of tradition and itís possible use in civil disturbance actions.

Does all this sound familiar ? Itís not whatís said, but just how itís said. Letís go back to the Product Improvement test, the one designed to replace the M7 bayonet.

In January of 1977 the U.S. Army Armament Command (USAARMCOM) fabricated 40 prototype, product improved (P.I.) knife / bayonets for a test. This test was conducted at Fort Benning Ga. on 12 January 1977 thru 31 January 1977 by a class of Ranger students. The following is what transpired.

The P.I. knife / bayonet prototypes, two types, are approximately 12 inches overall. Blade length is about 7 inches and width is 1 & 1/4 inches. The serrations on the non-cutting edge are about 2 & 1/2 inches long and 1/16 inch deep. The two types differ only in the orientation of the blade, i.e., the cutting edge down vs. the cutting edge up. The blades were stamped "CAMILLUS, N.Y." on the reverse, and "U.S.N. Mark 2" on the obverse. Some were lacking the "Mark 2" stamp. The handle was made from the same high impact plastic as the M7, while the bayonet lock and muzzle ring were taken directly off old M7 bayonets. The U.S.N. MK 2 scabbard was used as a carrier, but was not a test item. (What a shame for its much better item than the leather sheath common to that style knife.)

The M7 bayonet was used as the control item. It has an approximate length of 12 inches. The blade length is about 6 & 3/4 inches and the width is 7/8 of an inch.

The object of this test was to provide data on the comparative user acceptance of the P.I. knife / bayonet as a replacement for the M7 bayonet. Also to provide data on the effectiveness of the serrations on the P.I. knife / bayonet prototypes in cutting Plexiglas, aluminum, soft wood and common natural camouflage materials, i.e. brush, small branches, etc.

To insure that an adequate number of test and control items were on hand and that they were in serviceable condition, the 40 P.I. knife / bayonets were first numbered 1 thru 40. The P.I. knife / bayonets with the cutting edge down were marked as items 1 thru 20, while the cutting edge up pieces were marked 21 thru 40. Finally the M7 control bayonets were marked 41 thru 60. All the items were marked on the heel of the handle and on the attaching ring side of the guard facing the handle. Fifteen P.I. knife / bayonets of each design and 15 M7 bayonets were issued to 45 randomly selected Ranger students undergoing Ranger training at Fort Benning. For test purposes the students were considered as three groups of 15 each with each group using a different item. These items were used for a period of three weeks on a non-interference basis and were rotated among the groups so that at the end of the test period each student had used each type item once. P.I. knife / bayonets broken or damaged were withdrawn from the test and replaced by like items.

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Two P.I. bayonets from the 1977 test. Top is cutting edge down just like the General's while the bottom is the cutting edge up version. 
Click on thumbnail for full size photo.

A questionnaire was administered to the students at the conclusion of each rotation to obtain their opinions and observations concerning the test or control item used. Follow-up interviews were used to amplify and clarify test soldier responses and to obtain specific information concerning tasks in which the items were used and if any difficulties were encountered. At the end of the third week of testing, the remaining test soldiers were individually interviewed to determine their overall preference concerning the test and control items. This would cover the acceptance portion of the test leaving the effectiveness of the serrations next.

Timed trails for each prototype were conducted by test soldiers using the serrated edge to cut Plexiglas and aluminum. The Plexiglas was of acrylic plastic, 1/16 of an inch thick, the same as that found on the UH-1 helicopter doors. The aluminum was 1/32 of an inch thick, the same as that used for the skin of that aircraft. A test officer also attempted to cut through the aluminum using the cutting edge of the P.I. knife / bayonet and the M7 bayonet. Next timed trials were conducted while cutting a rough pine board. And finally trials were conducted to subjectively compare the effectiveness of the serrated edge of the test item as opposed to the sharp edge of both the test and control items for cutting natural materials for camouflage of foxholes and other uses.

The last portion of the test was to attach the P.I. knife / bayonet to an M16A1 to insure compatibility. Three P.I. knife / bayonets with the cutting edge up and two with the cutting edge down were used for actual testing.

The results are as follows. The soldiers found that cutting aluminum and Plexiglas with the serrated edge of the P.I. knife / bayonet was difficult. Cutting by pulling, as the serrations were designed to do, was impossible as the serrations would jam or hang-up. Both were cut by push friction or filing on the materials being cut. As the materials were cut, the serrations wore down and lost their sharpness. This was particularly noticeable cutting aluminum. The extended guard ring on the cutting edge down P.I. knife / bayonet did not interfere with cutting except as dictated by the angle. The test officer experienced extreme difficulty in cutting aluminum with the sharp edge of both the P.I. knife / bayonet and the M7 bayonet. The P.I. knife / bayonets cutting edge was severely dented and dulled, while the M7 bayonets cutting edge was undamaged. Both lost their original finish. The soldiers also had difficulty cutting the 2 X 4 pine boards as the serrations filled with material and had to be tapped frequently to clean the teeth. The results seemed to be more of wearing than sawing. It took approximately 3 minutes to saw half an inch into a green limb 2 inches in diameter. Two strokes of the cutting edge of the P.I. knife / bayonet and four strokes of the M7 bayonet cut through the same size branch. The use of the serration to cut bushes, brush, tree bark or rotted branches was ineffective.

Two of the three P.I. knife / bayonets with the cutting edge up locked onto the M16A1 rifle. The latching device appeared to be slightly mis-aligned on the third. Both P.I. knife / bayonets with the cutting edge down locked on with no problems. No problems were encountered with the M7 control items.

The analysis is as follows:

The serrations on the blade of the P.I. knife/ bayonet are unsatisfactory for cutting aluminum, Plexiglas, camouflage material and softwood. This is a deficiency. When the P.I. knife / bayonets were used to cut relatively hard materials such as aluminum, nicks on the cutting edge and the wear on the serrationís showed that the steel used in the manufacturing of these prototypes was not sufficiently durable. Possibly the heat treating of the steel could be at fault. The sharp edges of the P.I. knife / bayonet prototypes were substantially more effective than the serrated edges at cutting all camouflage materials. The P.I. knife / bayonet can be attached to and from the M16A1 rifle with little or no problems providing all attachments are aligned.

After three weeks of testing by the Ranger students 14 of the 40 P.I. knife bayonets were broken and 2 were damaged. None of the 20 M7 bayonets were broken or damaged. The plastic handles of the P.I. knife / bayonets were susceptible to cracking due to the way in which they were mounted. The students preferred the M7 bayonet over the P.I. knife / bayonet due to itís lack of durability. The P.I. knife / bayonet was regarded as a better field knife design and would be the preferred choice if strengthened. Of the two designs submitted the studentís preferred the cutting edge down. This was not due to any specific reason just personal choice. All of the P.I. knife / bayonets showed signís of rust after the test. This was also marked as a defiency.

The U.S.A.I.B. (UNITED STATES ARMY INFANTRY BOARD) concluded that the P.I. knife / bayonet prototypes provided were not sufficiently durable and that the serrations were ineffective. It was also concluded that the M7 bayonet would continue to be the U.S.ARMYíS issue bayonet until a new design was approved. This was changed on 6 Oct. 1986 when Phrobis was awarded the contract for the M9 bayonet. With the advent of the M9 it seems the U.S.ARMY really wanted more of utility design with serrations on it all along. Although the P.I. knife / bayonet trials ended in unsatisfactory resultís, it was the first step in the replacement of the bayonet to a much more user-friendly utilitarian tool. Something the individual soldier had been asking for all along.

The full test is available on our document reprint page item # 17 Click here to take you to the document page.


Buck Knives
Buck Knives, officially states that it is leaving California and will move to Idaho early next year.
President and CEO C.J. Buck said California's rising cost of business forced the hand of the family, which has run the company for 100 years. We find posted on the Buck Bulletin board of that prices are rising at such a rate in the Socialist State of California that many companies can no longer afford to stay there. Coming from the Peoples Republic of New Jersey we know of which they speak. We wish Buck Knives and the employees all the best!


P.O.W. Knives
Here is a thought that never crossed our minds, P.O.W. cutlery. In a recent e-mail from a web page visitor Claudia, we find that she has the cutlery her grandfather used while in a prison camp in the USA. It appears they were given Mess cutlery to use for eating, the same as every other G.I. in the field. We don't know why we assumed they used regular table cutlery but that is what we thought. It seems Claudia's grandfather took his cutlery home with him in 1946 and has kept it as a memento of his service. The knife is marked L.F. & C. 1945 on one side of the handle and U.S. on the other, a common item. We hear from Claudia:

"My grandpa was caught (I don't know if it is the right word) in 1943 in Italy. He was brought to America (North or South Carolina, grandma doesn't remember). He had to work during his prison and at the end he could buy a ring for grandma. He was in prison for 3 years. In 1946 he came home to his wife and his son (born in 1943).
My grandpa's name was Franz. He was born in 1915 and died in 1989. The prisoners in the foto are probably all German. My grandpa is sitting on the right side.

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Click on the thumbnail for full size image


Ebay on Trial??
"Buyer Sues eBay for Alleged Online Slander", Reuters newswire, 23 January 2003"
Robert Grace, a Los Angeles attorney -- and the publisher of a legal newspaper -- sold six "Radio TV Digest" magazines from the 1940s and 1950s through eBay to Tim Neeley, a Hollywood memorabilia dealer. Neeley was apparently unhappy with what Grace sent him: in his feedback, he said Grace "should be banned from eBay" and was "dishonest all the way" because the magazines arrived later than promised and in worse condition than he was led to believe.

Grace demanded that eBay remove the negative feedback, but eBay refused. In response, Grace has filed suit demanding $100,000 from Neeley -- and $2.5 million from eBay.

On its web site, eBay warns users that they can be held responsible for libel in feedback. "You are responsible for your own words," it tells users. "You should be careful about making comments that could be libelous or slanderous. You will not be able to retract or edit feedback you left."

It's obviously impossible for an online service to monitor every posting by millions of members. Should it be liable for what someone else says on their service? Should it be required to edit the words of others when someone claims the words are unfair?

The answers to those questions are worth millions to Grace.

In addition to the money, Grace's lawsuit demands various actions by eBay. It wants the court to order the auctioneer to ban words like "fraud", "liar", "cheater", "scam artist" and "con man" from the site's feedback areas. In addition, it wants buyers and sellers to be forced to register their names with the state of California as "fictitious business names", and eBay to collect California state sales tax on sales made on the site.

One wonders if Grace will soon be seeking more court orders to force online groups to ban a lot of other words. Like, say, "whiner", "crybaby", "arrogant", "meddlesome", "vengeful", "spoilsport", "muckraker", "profiteer" -- and "frivolous lawsuit".


Dual colored Scabbards
A fairly unknown version of the Mark 2 leather scabbard is the black and brown version. During World War Two there were various shades of brown used by different contractors ranging from a very light blonde to a dark reddish brown. Different grades of leather, tanning processes, chemicals used and final coloring all contributed to this difference. During Vietnam the colors ranged from the early scabbards "Ox Blood" or a reddish tint black to complete black. This coloring difference is attributed to preservatives used in the process to fight jungle fungus. In between those two wars a curious thing happened, the military changed policy on the color of leather gear. According to our good friend Carter Rila, "Army shoes were changed to black Sept 1, 1956, just after I got in. Boy, was there a run on black shoe die. Oct 1, 1957 we had to have black boots and grown men cried when they had to scrub their beautiful spitshines down in order for the dye to take." With this new edict all government leather was to become black. All knives in supply were given the treatment to change to the new standard. In this process many scabbards only had the fronts or exposed portion dyed black leaving us with the strange dual colored scabbards. These scabbards are rare to find these days as most were dyed black on the rear by those the knife was issued to sometime during the owners service. Now that we have stated this watch the run on dual colored scabbards. The one we have came with a Utica Mark 2 issued to a Marine prior to service in Vietnam around 1965. We obtained it from the original owner who never colored the back side, he was a lifer who thought it to be a waste of time! The scabbard is no doubt a Boyt product made during WW II. Just a small tidbit we thought you might enjoy.

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A Few Rare Ones
Here we feature two photographs of rare prototype knives supplied to us by Tom Williams of Camillus Cutlery Co. Tom just bought a digital camera to experiment with. We hope to show you more rare knives in the coming months!

The first is the proposed Paratroopers knife for the USMC. This is one of three prototypes built by Camillus. The Western knife won the test and went on to be produced for the Marines in a very limited scale. A full article on the Western paratroopers is in the current Knife World issue.

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The Camillus USMC Parachutist prototype, J63 knife.
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The second knife is the proposed 6" knife to compete with the standard "Q" knives for government contracts. This knife was never produced as the government was in supply of the standard 6" and 7" knives at the time of the proposal. What a knife, does it remind you of any knife in particular?! We anxiously await the next batch from out good friend Tom.

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The Camillus Q30 prototype 6" fighting / utility knife.
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Reflecting on the dismal record of most peace movements, I would suggest that a far more successful peace movement is the 82nd Airborne and similar military contingents.
R. Emmett Tyrrell


We note that Benchmade has continued to secure contracts with the military. The most recent are for the 9053SBT, an update of the 9000SBT auto opening knives. The most recent contract was for a total of 825 knives. We are glad to hear the men are getting great quality products and they are being supplied by a great company like Benchmade. Way to go Les!


Eight Dollar Mountain Foundry
In a recent conversation with Dale Sandberg we find that Dale is working overtime to get knives out into the hands of our troops. For value it is hard to beat one of the EDMF products. Dale makes a great knife for a reasonable price. We have obtained many knives from Dale over the years and have always found him willing to go out of his way to supply our men in uniform. They offer a huge selection of styles to choose from and Dale does custom work to the clientís specifications. In fact all of Daleís knives are custom with wording or lettering added to the handle as proscribed by the customer. For further reading and what is available from EDMF visit their website at One of the most recent orders is from the 20th Special Forces Group that Dale is busy making knives for. This is one maker we fully endorse. Check them out, you wonít be sorry you did.

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A custom knife made by EDMF for an Air Force Combat Controller with "CCT" and "First There" formed into the handle.
Click on thumbnail for full size view.


We are currently trying to find one of the Smatchet copies made in the 1980ís. If you are in possession of one or know of one we would love to hear from you. What we seek is how to tell the difference in a copy from the original. In an ad from Shotgun News of the time the seller claimed they were an almost exact copy. We would love to find out how to tell the difference and relate it back to the faithful readers of Knife Knotes. We may have looked at dozens of the over the years and not known it or perhaps we have never seen one of the copies. Obviously the leather on a new product would stand out but we have seen many smatchets without scabbards. With the thin leather used and the wood inner shell this would be predictable as the wood would hold moisture allowing the leather to rot. Then again it might be that the scabbards were ditched to hide the truth. At this point we can only guess, something we would rather not do.


Updated 3/4/03

We are unusually behind schedule this month due to massive traveling and prior commitments. We have accumulated a large amount of information but do not have the time to put it together right now. This month is short and sweet sorry to say. Both the Gary and Mike sections are finished and well worth the read. Great stuff there and more to come.

An M9 in Kuwait

Our oldest son is now in Kuwait a few miles outside Iraq waiting for the go ahead. He is with the Marine Corps, well trained and in great spirits. Knives are not much of a problem as he left well stocked, as did the fellows in his squad courtesy of the "old man" and a box sitting in the corner. A virtual "grab fest" for the "coolest" knife ensued but each walked away loaded. The son still packs his EDMF handled Mark 2 custom made for him by Dale Sandberg. Dale is great when something is needed in a flash. 

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Also on the Molle gear is a Mission Knives skeleton MPS which is like carrying air it is so light. Although we can not advise one he likes it. That one was provided to us by Homer Brett. The third is the most useful of the bunch in our opinion, a Gerber Multi-tool. No one should leave the homestead without one. A thousand utility uses and always the first one to grab for. 

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Missing from the set was a bayonet. The USMC supplies it so it is not really needed but having a custom one is that much better. An M9 was selected with the EGA engraved on the blade and USMC stamped in the ricasso. Also included is the Molle attachment for the scabbard. A quick check with Mr. Barry Brown and one was sent out to us immediately. It would be hard to find a better man then Barry. No questions asked the M9 was in the mail. 

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Just to jazz it up a bit we sent an e-mail to Dale Sandberg and Dale responded in his typical "can do" attitude. A knuckle handle was on the way and now resides in Kuwait on the custom M9. 

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We can not say enough good about these men. A simple request for a piece of equipment to a man on the front was met by the "what can we do" response. Good Guys.

Contact Barry Brown at:
600 4th Street
Carrollton, Ky. 41008

Contact Dale Sandberg at:
PO Box 325
Selma, OR. 97358

Contact Homer Brett at:
Homer Brett
PO Box 111
Alexandria, Va. 22313


Preserving History

We ran this piece quite some time ago but it still comes up almost daily so here it is again.

I heard someone once say that we do not own these knives, we are merely the caretakers of them preserving them for the next generation to enjoy. With that in mind I constantly see leather handles and sheaths in dry, brittle condition. Most are easily brought back to like new condition with a simple coating or two of a quality leather dressing. Keep in mind the product you choose to preserve your piece. The majority of leather dressings on the market today are based on tallow or neat=s-foot oil. Tallows contain salts that build up with repeated dressing and attack the leather fibers. These animal fats provide a culture for the growth of bacteria and fungus, and eventually turn rancid, resulting in further attack on the leather. Products that use animal fats include: Mink Oil, Lanolin based products and Neat=s-foot Oil. Normally when they dry you can see the tell tale signs of a white powdery substance on the surface. I have had great luck with Pecard Leather Dressing. Their products are based on a petroleum lubricant similar to Vaseline. It is a dressing which penetrates the leather, allows the fibers to bend and move without chafing and breaking, coats the fibers to inhibit oxidation, and helps maintain a desirable level of moisture in the leather. It is chemically neutral, so it will not darken leather, but restore it to its natural-toned color. It contains neither salts nor solvents, and does not decompose as animal fat products do to form damaging chemicals. Leather is a protein and needs these oils replenished to prevent it from drying out. As for the general consensus on alterations... as long as it is a treatment to enhance the life of the item all is well. There are those who do not believe anything should be done but I disagree with this thought. I have found many great knives over the years with slightly loose guards that have been brought back to Excellent Plus items by having the leather handles treated which swells the leather back into the original size tightening up the guard again.


All AboardÖ

Here is a great link to check out. Amazing what comes out of some mouths.


A New CD Rom Available

Observations on Turkish Bayonets 
by Dennis D. (Otto) Ottobre.
A masterful work on the various models of Turkish Bayonets. An often overlooked specialty in bayonet collecting, Otto's work sets the record straight on many previously unknown bayonets. The self starting CD Rom published in HTML format will work straight from your internet browser. The CD includes many color photographs on rarely seen bayonets as well as the more common types. A serious tool for the serious researcher as well as the common collector. This CD can be purchased directly from Otto on his excellent bayonet website Take advantage of the years of expertise compiled on this CD, and at less the $20.00 it is a steal! Buy one now!

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A few funnies sent to us over the last few weeks

Some French Humor:

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me."
--- General George S. Patton

"Somebody was telling me about the French Army rifle that was being advertised on eBay the other day -- the description was, 'Never shot. Dropped once"
---Missouri Republican Rep. Roy Blunt

"The French will only agree to go to war in Iraq after we've proven we've found truffles there."
---Dennis Miller

"You know why the French don't want to bomb Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He is French, people."
--Conan O'Brien

"Some members of Congress are so upset with this thing with France that they want to impose trade sanctions against French products. They want to ban French products like Evian. And you thought Hollywood celebrities were against the war before....!"

"I don't know why people are surprised that France won't help us get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn't help us get the Germans out of France!"
---Jay Leno

"The last time the French asked for 'more proof' it came marching into Paris under a German flag."
--David Letterman


Jet Pilots Knives

An interesting question was sent to us via e-mail asking about a blade marked JPK with USA in the marking. A quick scramble sent us looking for answers. On the reference samples in the collection we could not find one. In further asking one was pointed out on eBay to examine, now it all made sense when the photo was viewed. The marking is the familiar Camillus commercial stamping with two lines above and below Camillus / New York / U.S.A. Not paying attention to these minor details had led us to tell an individual that a blade marked knife was pre 1967 and that is just not the case. In going through the archives of Camillus our good friend Tom Williams could not pin down an exact date as to the switch over. According to Tom it would have just been natural to use up all the pommel marked pieces first before the change over. It would have also coincided with the time that Camillus lost the government contracts for those knives as this would not be allowed under the strict GI specifications and inspections. The time period for the marking change on the Mark 2 was 1989 and Tom gives us the same ballpark time for the JPK marking change. Minor details but just throwing out a statement that "all" blade marked JPK are pre 1967 is just not so and we have again learned our lesson. Thanks to Stephan Horak for bringing it to our attention.

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Boker Survival Knife

We hear from our good friend Charlie Flick he found one of the Boker / 155 marked survival knives in great condition and with correct pouch type sheath. In fact the seller used our article in the eBay write up to describe and add provenance to the knife. While we like to see the information we provide as useful we would also like a little credit when doing so, not a single mention in the ad about that. A minor oversight we suspect and not intentional. Either way we are delighted that Charlie found the knife as it took us 20 years or better to locate one. If rarity were the sole part of expensive this one would be up there way beyond the V-42, alas there are other factors involved in pricing which keeps the Boker at the lower end of the spectrum. In fact rarity plays against it to the extreme, as they are just about impossible to locate. As with all collectibles eBay does make it much simpler and the Internet puts it in you touch but from that point you are on your own. Check it out first and then make your decision. Charlie made a good one and came out the victor for it. Patience is a virtue they keeping telling us.

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Updated 4/5/03

Our Eternal Thanks

Those of you who have followed this column for some time now know of our son who is currently serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. We offer our eternal thanks to those of you who have requested his address to send a letter or gift to him as well as the prayers offered. Mail is one of the highlights of the day and is welcomed highly by all those serving far from home. He is doing well and looks forward to returning home when the mission is accomplished.
Thank You. 


Steel Handle Pins

After all these years we just noticed something peculiar about a Robeson USN Mk2. At a recent gun and knife show we found an old Robeson that had the pommel broken off. Just a passing glance as it really had no appeal to us and move on. After a few steps we stopped and did the about face for another glance, something was wrong. Protruding from the handle were two steel wire pins of some sort. Upon closer examination they were apparently some sort of line up pins used to keep the leather washers stacked in place prior to the knife being built.

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Speculation is that the washers were pre-stacked in size and held in place with these wire pins to be assembled onto the handles by another person in the building process. We donít know this for sure but we do know they were original to the handle as they were rusted in and could not be removed. Needless to say we purchased the rather much junk knife for a further examination. Upon taking the handle apart we discovered the ends of the pins were seated between the red fiber spaced and the first leather washer. The pins ran the full length right up to the next to last washer. This is what fueled our thought on the pins being used to pre-stack the handle washers. Upon assembly one would place the fiber spacer, a handle pack and a final washer then the pommel. This would never be seen unless the handle was to break as it did in this example. The question is, did this practice continue for any length of time? Was it used only on the red spacer knives? Did any other companies use this procedure during fabrication or was this a one of a kind knife? Perhaps the pins were to be removed prior to the installation of the pommel but this one was just missed? A lot of questions that may never be answered. We ask anyone who has the chance to see a red spacer Robeson USN knife with a broken handle or pommel to let us know of your findings.


OSS Notes

We received a copy of a few pages printed in a collector journal from good friend Charlie Flick. It lists a US government report of knives used by the OSS during World War Two. We reprint the list here for you reading pleasure and to not knives in use by the OSS. They have a large number of knives attributed to them that just were never used. We hope this list will straighten out some of the mis-information. We also note there are knife descriptions on here which do not lend themselves to easy identification, to these we ask your help. So on with the show.

Knife, Boy Scout (typical 4 blade utility pocket knife)
Knife, Ghurka (Kukri)
Knife, J-553-A (A Navy specification number for a four blade pocket utility knife)
Knife, LC-14-B, (Woodmans Pal)
Knife, Swedish (???)
Knife, Brush cutting (Machete)
Knife, Camoflaged (???)
Knife, Dagger, Jack (Folding Pocket Knife)
Knife, Dagger, Jack w/ tyre cutter (Folding Pocket Knife w/ hooked short blade)
Knife, Fighting, Commando Type V-42 (Case V-42)
Knife, Fighting, OSS (LF&C made OSS Stiletto)
Knife, Jungle (Bolo ???)
Knife, Lock Picking (Ulster folding lock pick knife)
Knife, Paratroop jump (M2 parachutist knife)
Knife, Pocket, Engineer (4 blade bone handled USA marked pocket utility knife)
Knife, Pocket, All Purpose (MIL-K knife)
Knife, Pocket, Mountain ( 5 blade pocket utility knife for ski troops)
Knife, Trench, M1918Mk1 w/ M6 sheath (for resistance issue)
Knife, Trench, M3 (Self explanatory)

Along with the above list we can add the following from other lists we have seen:

Bayonet, M1905
Bayonet, M1
Knife, Bayonet, M4
Knife, M1926 (have to eat donít they!)
Machete, M1942
Machete, M1939
Machete, 15" w/Leather Sheath (Collins No.18??)
Bolo Machete w/ sheath
Bolo, M1909
Bolo, M1910
Bolo, M1917
Knife, Hunting (?? 6 inch type, Cattaraugus, Case, PAL, Robeson, etcÖ)
Knife, Mexican Type, Stiletto (???)

So you can see the OSS had a large number of edged items available to them from government sources. Add to that they also had the freedom to carry whatever commercial items they wanted. It makes for a large list. Some of the items we do not have a clue what they looked like but perhaps from the official descriptions they may have been common items, we are just not sure. If you can add to this list we would love to hear from you.


Getting the Job Done    

A retired Marine colonel, who handled anti-war demonstrations in Washington, D.C. during the Vietnam era, tells us that one group of protesters decided against blocking traffic on the busy 14th Street Bridge after the military officer in charge told them that his orders were to keep the bridge open, and that - if push came to shove - he would not hesitate throwing each and every one of them over the side into the Potomac River. 
Bravo Colonel! 


Thompson Drums

We just finished reading Thompson: The American Legend, a very through book on the Thompson Sub-machine gun. One of the items unknown to us was a sub-contractor of the round drums was none other then Charles Fischer Spring Co. We know Fischer Spring was also a manufacturer of bronze dives knives but had not associated them with other military supplied items. Another manufacturer associated with the Thompson saga was Pro Brush. It seems they experimented with making plastic drums from Bakelite with hemp rope fibers in the mix for additional strength. 50 drums were made for experimentation. They were never approved due to being too fragile and actually heavier then the steel drums. Well their bayonets were lighter then their steel counterparts but brittle spelled the same doom as the drums.

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Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush. We paraphrased the Generals response as the original comment would have taken three pages. 

"Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."

The line of questioning was changed.


Another eBay Scam

This one shook us up a bit when we first heard of it. It is a very easy scam. First the lowlife scam artist surfs the web looking for good photos of rare items. They copy the photos. Next they write up a description using information obtained from the website touting the condition of the item but claiming not to know much about it. The item is placed up for auction using the "Buy it Now" option with a price far below what the market would bring. In our scenario we use a knife as an example. The seller would place a rare SOG knife for bid that would bring maybe $3,000.00 on the market for $750.00 buy it now price with a starting bid of $1.00. A few folks might bid on it but someone will jump at the buy it now price, the hook is set. The seller takes credit cards or money orders. The buyer sends the money or credit card number but will never receive the item as the seller never really did own it, only the stolen photos of it. The buyer is out and the seller is long gone. Piece of cake.


More Fakes

We noted not one but two M1918 Mk1 Trench Knives recently for sale with the H.D&S. markings in the handle. As you know these are extremely rare pieces to find. Both exchanged hands for very large sums of money, which is all well and good as they do rate a steep price tag. What struck us as funny was that both were reproductions. One was bid on by several collectors while other one was sold outright. Why would someone spend large bucks on a piece that they know little about? We find that most of the ultra rare pieces are much easier to fake as little is known about them. This plays right into the hands of the fakers. We can tell you for sure that any HD&S M1918Mk1 with a Broad Arrow cast or stamped into it is old but not nearly old enough to have been in World War One. They were originally sold by a company named C.S.S. Alabama, which was located in England. The price was $32.00 in the 1970ís. How many do you want? This information was pointed out to us by Garry Zalesky. Garry cut out and saved a number of ads from the 1970ís when the reproduction business was in full swing. We are trying to collect as much information as we can on reproductions so we can do a full feature on them. We need to point out to all how to tell them apart. Nothing can ruin the fun of collecting like finding a $1,000.00 piece you have is a reproduction. Especially when you thought it was an original. Many folks have quit collecting altogether due to the many fakes and fantasies. Remember, knowledge is power.

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Here is an example that has been filed down flat on the side and had the name engraved back into the handle. Be careful.


Robert Moore Jewell Knives

Here we have a short bio of a fellow who left a few knives behind when he departed on his final journey. We show the knives below but the man himself is so much more interesting then the knives.
Robert Jewell served in the US Army from WW II though two tours in Vietnam. He was a Ranger assigned to the 2nd Ranger Battalion, and on D-Day scaled the cliffs at Normandy before being shot in the leg. He was one of the original members of the 10th Special Forces Group (Abn) in Bad TŲlz, Germany (stay-behind teams) during the 1950ís. During the Korean War he was an Instructor at the Ranger School where he taught a class on knife throwing. He later served tours with 77th , 1st and 3rd Special Forces Groups (Abn.) and JFKCEN. Bob was a Master Sergeant after his first tour in Vietnam (intel sergeant A-441 in Triton, Chau Doc Province), and then was commissioned as a Captain prior to his second Special Forces tour in Vietnam as a company and battalion commander for the 19th Psyops Co. and the 6th Psyops Bn.
Bob retired from the Army after 20 years and later formed a private investigation firm in his home town of Minneapolis, MN. He died in Florida in 2002.
We salute you Bob!

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Do You Feel More Secure???

"How about sporting events?" says 69-year-old John A. Dinsmore, of Oneida, Wis. "Last fall, I attended a (Green Bay) Packer game at Lambeau Field, which accommodates about 63,000 fans. A security officer confiscated my 3-inch pocketknife. When I queried why, I was told I could be dangerous to the fans."
I then asked, "who would pick up my body pieces if I attempted something against" all those Packer fans?


No Patent

We just obtained a copy of a very elusive patent. The US M1918 Mk1 Trench knife is something of an enigma in this area. It is a US military issue knife that has patents in two foreign countries but not in the US! Thatís right it has a valid patent issued from Great Britain and France but not a US patent. The British patent was listed by Frederick Stephens in his book Fighting Knives but the French patent has not been listed anywhere to our knowledge. So with that in mind we list it here for all to see. The drawing is the exact drawing used in the British patent. We would like to think a US patent was applied for but not obtained for some reason, but we do not know this for sure. It seems the US patent office does not retain information on items that do not receive a patent. A dead letter office so to speak. If a patent was applied for we would love to hear from someone who has further information on it.

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Benchmade 9000SBT to 9053SBT

The government has changed the official purchase of the Benchmade 9000SBT to the 9053SBT. The 9053SBT is an upgraded, updated version of the older 9000SBT. The 9053SBT features a pocket clip and a safety button as added components in the update. Over 3600 of these knives were purchased in 2002 and the beginning of 2003 in 4 separate contracts. We are glad to hear this as the Benchmade product is fine piece of equipment. We hope our boys flying over Iraq have a few on hand if they should need them.


History Lesson 101

Don't you just love it when the clean, well spoken reporter actually gets an interview with a real fighter? I mean a fellow on the battlefield others look towards for inspiration and direction. This is reality TV when the fellow tells it like it is and then just goes about doing what he was doing before being interrupted by some stupid question. In a recent TV interview we caught a glimpse of one of those fellows. General Kelly, when asked if he or his Marines were concerned about the upcoming battle for Baghdad he made this remark:
"We're Marines, we took Iwo Jima, Baghdad ain't shit"
Perhaps another Chesty Puller in the making, we hope this quote gets the place in history it deserves!


Gerber Chart

One of the most often asked question we receive is about knife dating. Gerber made it easy by applying a serial number to the Mk II. Here is the "secret decoder ring" you need to tell them apart. We have collected this information from several sources and merged it into one file for easier use. 

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Puma Chart

While we're at it we also included a Puma White Hunter chart. These knives were very popular during the Vietnam War. Many are coming out of the wood work with war stories attached to them. They make for very interesting conversation pieces.

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Lan-Cay M9 Commemorative

We just picked up the newest M9 to hit the market. 40 bayonets were produced from the early contract blades with stepped down notch to the spine, long saw and deep fullers to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Lan-Cay. The blades are marked with a 1993 / 2003 year stamp to recognize this feat. Along with this they are equipped with the newest green ergonomic handle reminiscent of the K-Bar handle swell with fine checkering for enhanced grip. Added to the combination is an accessory pouch attached to the scabbard. This pouch is in green fabric with the name Lan-Cay embroidered in white lettering. All in all quite an impressive looking piece that we are proud to own. These bayonets were being sold by Jim Maddox, recently at the Maryland Arms Collectors show just outside Baltimore. Limited to one per Society of American Bayonet Collectors (SABC) member they retailed at $135.00 each. Needless to say they were all quickly snapped up. You snooze, you loose.

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Updated 5/02

Be Careful Out There Folks

We have been barraged as of late with fantasy knives, altered knives and out right fakes. We have always said that knowledge is power but part of that knowledge is knowing that the particular piece has been reproduced. This month we have several items of note that we will represent in photos as best we can. All of the following photos were sent in to us by our good friends and faithful readers of this column.

The M1917 Bayonet

Note the markings on the bayonet itself, this is our best giveaway. The scabbard is spotted immediately as it is made from leather. Donít be fooled into thinking it is some sort of special prototype. These are available from Numerich Arms in NY at $79.95 if anyone is interested. Donít pay the big bucks for it as a special one of a kind. Thanks to our good friend Bill Porter for the photos and the heads up.

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Desco MKV

We have written it up before that these knives are still being made so it is of no immediate concern that we would run across them from time to time being passed off as WW II used knives. The Zip Code in the address stamping is the biggest giveaway to these knives and the time frame they were built. What we do have here is a limited edition commemorative knife that is a collectable in itself but not a special presentation knife for Admiral Halsey. Yes, that is what the seller said it was to one fellow. These are currently available form DESCO in a limited edition of 200. Thanks to our good friend Skip Johnson for the photos.

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Hospital Corps Knife

This one astounds us all the time. Mint examples in almost new scabbards show up all the time. Think about it folksÖÖ The knives were heavily reproduced in the 1970ís, the 1980ís and are still being made today. If you want a reproduction of one go to and pay the $124.99 and get it, donít fall for the $1200.00 one that was made in India. This example was sent into us by our good friend Bernard Levine.

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M3 Aerial

Here is one we have not seen before but it was attempt to pilfer some money from an unsuspecting collector. An M4 guard was altered to make the bayonet into an M3 type knife with a "rare" one of a kind prototype marking. It was easy to spot once you got over the shock of seeing such a "rare" knife. The work that went into this knife was considerable, itís a good thing the workman was not very talented. Thanks to "Soup" for sending these photos to us, scary out there isnít it.

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Onieda Limited

Looking for one of the rarest M1905 / 42 bayonets on the market, try picking up an OL still in the 16 inch length. These 16 inchers have been making quite a buzz on ebay for the past year or so. Be prepared to pay $500.00 or more for a nice OL in original length. Except that is if you find one of the "unknown" variations or better yet a "sleeper" lying on a table where the seller doesnít know what he has. Be careful, the dealer just may know what he has and in your attempt to make off with your new found treasure your common sense goes out the window with your good conscience. Look carefully at it before you pay for it. The signs are all here.

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M2 Switchblade

Here is one we have been waiting for a long time to see. Just what took them so long to reproduce it is beyond us. Originals sell quickly and usually for $200.00 and up. A decent quality reproduction for use in re-enacting or museum display has been needed for years. Now we have two of them to choose from. One is auto opening while the second is manually operated. We see no problem in making reproductions if they are well marked and sold as such. It is usually when they hit the secondary marked, get altered and passed off as originals that it offends us.

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These are the auto openers. They are easy to tell by the different button and the "Stainless" Marking on the blade.

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This is the manual opener. Easy to spot with the flat bail.


Back in the Rant Mode.

We recently learned of the latest flap caused by "Politically Correct" thinking and to tell you the truth, it really does smell foul. It has been ordered by the powers that be, whom ever they might be (Powell, Rumsfeld, Franks), that any souvenirs from the recent unpleasantness in Iraq are strictly forbidden. Thatís right, we are not "conquerors" and we are not "occupying" them so we can not take anything home with us. Not a peacefully exchanged uniform insignia, not a helmet purchased in a surplus shop, not a bayonet given to a friend, not a flag hotly contested, not even a bottle of sand may be brought home. All of these are punishable by time in jail, thatís right JAIL. In the honorable imitation of Saving Private Ryan when the sergeant takes a scoop of beach that he just survived crossing as a keepsake, this tradition is to be forbidden in 2003. Everyone in the chain of command on this one should be ashamed of themselves. These brave folks gave everything they had to do this deed and now that they have become victorious it is being taken away from them. Warriors have taken home reminders of every major conflict since the beginning of recorded time. The vast majority are received in peaceful ways although some are won in absolute violence. Regardless of how the piece is received, other then through breaking a law, to the victors go the spoils. That is where the politically correct thinking comes into play, you see we werenít victorious in a war, we merely helped the people of Iraq free them selves. We wouldnít want to offend anyone of Arabic persuasion lest they get mad at us. Wake up folks, they are thoroughly peeved at us and nothing we can do, other then die, will change that. Ironic isnít it that the Iraqi people are freer then our own soldiers. To take it out on the young folks who fought for us is just plain wrong, actually a better word would be despicable.


Red Cross Knives

Here we show a photo of a simple Red Cross knife that was given out to soldiers in the First World War. This knife is interesting in the fact that it appears to have been used in the American Invasion of Russia. A little known fact is that America sent troops to Russia at the end of World War One to protect American interests there and help the White Russians. It didnít work but we do have this little footnote in history. This knife is one of the few known survivors of that conflict. A wonderful find.

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A New M3 Type Knife

If you are in the market for a using M3 type knife you should check out Vince and Mike Pelozaís offerings. These fellows take an M7 bayonet, buff out the blade and re-handle it into a very good looking M3 knife. It comes with a high grade leather scabbard but will fit into any M8 type scabbard if you should so wish. We were tipped off to them by friend David Leifer. Here is what David had to say about the knives in an e-mail to us:

"From their shop in Western PA, brothers' Mike and Vince Peloza create handcrafted works of art. They take pedestrian grade M7 Bayonet blades and transform them into show pieces... working show pieces! For a pair of self taught bladesmiths, the Pelozas have evolved Ugly Ducklings into Swans!

They aren't adding into the "newly discovered" Leprechauns Pot of Gold worth of so called "theater made knives." Peloza knives are not counterfeit M3s. They just use the M7 blades as their basic substance.

First the blades are stripped to the white steel. Then they're highly polished. After which, a Bronze 1/4 (+) inch thick ovaloid guard is placed upon the tang, also highly polished. The points on my knife's guard were tapered a few degrees towards the blade's point giving it a personal touch!

Next, upon the tang are five excellently shaped black and white colored spacers and twenty-two smooth hand filling 1(+) inch wide across leather washers. My knife's grip is a tad fat, but they make a version that is comparable to the semi-coke bottle fencing grip of the Fairbairn-Sykes Commando knives. This gives it a better holding capacity. Since it is thinner towards the grip, it increases the grabbing power of the holder and reduces slippage with wet or sweaty hands. Again, at the end of the tang are another five excellently shaped black and white colored spacers.

On my knife there is a large 1/2(+) inch thick bronze pommel cap that evenly conforms with the spacers. On the semi-coke bottle fencing grip example, the pommel cap tapers gracefully into the spacers. This pommel cap is both beveled chamfered adding to the overall esthetics.

At the end of the tang is a polished bronze hexagonal nut that holds the whole piece together. The nut head acts as a bit of a "scull crusher" like the 1917-1918 Trench knives...a very nice touch! This is great for "ice pick" style of gripping.

As I noted earlier, this is a working knife. Each knife is accompanied with a beautifully "riveted" and sewn leather sheath. The rivets add strength to the sheath, especially if the sheath is used in the field and the stitching deteriorates from exposure to usage and rot. As an additional touch of practical military experience by both Mike and Vince, the sheath has a strap that crosses over the guard and snaps down on the sheath. Furthermore, the sheath has the GI double-end hooks on its top so that the sheath can be affixed to a GI's pistol belt. The bottom of the sheath is pierced and has green colored nylon line (parachute shroud line or 550 line as some folks know it) to be used as a tie down.

Lastly, as a truly hand made piece, the knife and sheath are contained within a cloth carrying case with a draw string on the top.

Overall, it is a great and practical fighting tool as well as a great display item. To acquire one of these excellent knives, contact the brothers at:


C/O Michael & Vince Peloza
421 MClain Road
Enon Valley, PA 16120

E-mail: "

So we did contact them and received a few photos of the knives they make. Here they are.

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Coast Guard Knives

Another custom knife maker we have been having conversation with is Race Morningstar a.k.a. Duncan Alexander Malcolm MacDuibh Kilgour, Blacksmith. Race is experimenting with prototypes to approach the Coast Guard with. You see the Army has the M3, the Navy has the Mark 3 and the Marines have the USMC F/U knife, and the Air Force has the Jet Pilots Knife. The Coast Guard is lacking a distinctive knife of their own. Race is on a roll trying to change that. Pictured are a few of the designs that may someday make up the USCG knife. You saw it here first!

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Contact Race at if interested in any of the above designs. 


A Failed Plan?

1. We took Iraq in less time than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51-day operation.

2. It took less time to find evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records.

3. It took Teddy Kennedy longer to call the police after his Oldsmobile sunk at Chappaquiddick than it took the 3rd Infantry Division and the
Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard.

4. We took Iraq in less time than it took to count the votes in Florida in the year 2000!
And the liberals called the Iraq effort a failed plan?


We Donít Speak Italian

In case you are surfing the web and run into an article we had written quite some time ago about the OSS dagger you are not seeing things. We have given permission to reprint the article on the web and it is written in Italian. Needless to say we did not do the translation, ciao baby!


Marbles 7" Ideal

Many moons ago we wrote of a 7" bladed Marbles we saw in Oregon at the OKCA knife show. This knife had a hex headed pommel as in a Jet Pilots knife. Well astute reader Dennis Risser sent us a copy of a Marbles write up showing they did make a 7" bladed Ideal model in the 1960ís. In fact they made a model called the Longhorn with a 7" blade, stacked leather handle and the hex head pommel from left over Jet Pilot Knives. Hence the mystery is solved as to the Marbles that looks like a Mark 2. They were offered in 1966 & 1967 just in time for the Vietnam War. Thanks Dennis!

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Updated 6/03

Sit Down For This! 

This month is going to be hard to top. We have a few new tricks up the old sleeve that we have been working on for a few months. First we have a guest writer to feature right here in Knife Knotes. Ron Flook graces the page with a controversial article that really makes us think, and that we are grateful for! We also are featuring a new addition to the site, Larry Thomas' American Military Edged Weaponry Museum. Larry was gracious enough to open the museum up to us and take any knife out of any case to examine. Not only that but we photographed quite a few of them to be presented over the next few months. From the ordinary to the super rare pieces. The museum is really a site to see for the military blade enthusiast. There is nothing like it anywhere else that we are aware of. Also featured are a few new knives and a never before seen M.H. Cole knife that was on the market for a very short time. Along with that we have our solid line up of Gary Cunningham commenting on some rare bayonets and Mike Silvey showing us some of the photos he is famous for. Get ready for a great time! 



As you may or may not know Lan-Cay owner Barry Brown is recently recovering from heart surgery. I just received an e-mail from Barry stating all is well and recovery is under way. In fact his humor is still with him, we received this:
Hillary Clinton goes to a primary school to talk about the world. After her talk she offers question time. One little boy puts up his hand, and the Senator asks him what his name is.
"And what is your question, Billy?"
I have three questions...
First - whatever happened to your medical health     care plan?
Second - why would you run for President after your    husband shamed the office?
And third - whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?"

Just then the bell rings for recess. Hillary Clinton informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess.

When they resume Hillary says, "Okay where were we? Oh, that's right, question time. Who has a question?"

A different little boy puts his hand up; Hillary points him out and asks him what his name is.

"And what is your question?"
"I have five questions.
First - whatever happened to your medical health care plan?
Second - why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office?
Third - whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?
Fourth - why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early?
And fifth - what happened to Billy?"

We are glad to hear it!! 
Get Well Soon Barry!

Speaking of Lan-Cay we just picked up another M9, this one is Blue. Not sure what place it will take but as we had all the other color combinations we needed to get the blue one too. 

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New Blue M9 with the ergonomic handle design


Grunt Gear

Our good friend Alec Tulkoff has written a book about Equipment used by the USMC during World War Two. It is more then just a photo book, Alec has done the research many just dream about doing. Using primary sources Alec names makers and quantities on just about every item in the Marine Corps locker during the war. The knife section is extensive with many never before seen items and many facts that Alec has uncovered. This isn't just a pitch for a book by a friend, if you have any interest in gear used by the Marines in WW II this is a must own book. It is scheduled for release in the next month or two. Be on the look out for it.

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Alec's New Book Grunt Gear, check it out.


American Military Edged Weaponry Museum

A knife lovers utopia if ever there was one. Larry has assembled his collection under one roof in a building fit for such a treasure, an ex-bank. Set in the rolling hills of Lancaster, Pa. a quaint little town of Intercourse is but a dot on the map. In Amish country one can see a horse and buggy on the street as well as a Dodge Viper. It is a diverse mixture who shops at the local antique and gift shops the town is known for. Set in the bank building at the edge of town is a unique and comprehensive collection of knives, bayonets, swords, machetes, axes, pikes, rifles, and all sorts of memorabilia spanning the spectrum of U.S. military history. From pre U.S. weapons to the latest gadget knife, they are all on display. We have had the good fortune to know Larry for many years now and this is but a small repayment for all the help he has given us over the years. Click here to go to the AMEWM page and view a few nice edges.

The American Military Edged Weaponry Museum Page



The site sure gets a lot of negative press about bad transactions and fake items but it is about the best place that I know of to look for a knife or bayonet. Just from the sheer volume of items to look through you can pick out just about anything you want. It would take years to find all the pieces you can see on ebay in a month. The bad part is we don't have the money to buy them all! But extraordinary finds are still out there. Even with the huge following that surfs the site some items get missed or labeled wrong to turn that old piece of junk into a find of the year. A case in point is the recently sold Leo Baker knife. How many of you have ever seen one of these? Even the model we know of that is pictured in the books can't compare with this one. We have never seen one like it before. Leo Baker held two patents on knife designs but this wasn't one of them. Both of those patens were of the well know Baker curved handle designs. This one was straight, a first. It went for over $1800.00 in the final bidding and worth every penny of it to the right collector. The fellow who sold it was clearing out a little room in his collection as his collection was now to take on a more specialized theme. Out with some of the old and we the people had a chance to see and appreciate a knife we might never have seen. That's the way it goes with a lot of collectors. Just a change of collecting area makes some of the odd items look out of place and they get put up for sale. With a venue like eBay it is possible for the regular guy to get a good price on a single piece without having to go through and auction house or getting half of what it is worth through a dealer. Not that there is anything wrong with those last two items, it just gives us a choice now. Many of the items we see would never have been brought out of the woodwork were it not for the ease of selling and research that eBay provides. We hear it all the time, "I have one of those, wow I didn't know it would bring that much money. Do you want to buy mine?" We get those e-mails quite often. That is all well and good but it isn't really a huge bargain you say.... well the fellow that sold the Baker paid $57.00 for it including shipping. He bought it on eBay, we rest our case. 

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Click on the thumb nails for the full size Baker photos



We are always interested in obtaining any book on knives, bayonets, machetes, scabbards that were ever printed. With that said it is hard to find many of them as we do not know of many of them. Hard to find what we don't know is available out there. Many years ago we started a list of books we have and a list of ones we want. The list as well as the library kept growing. This is a good thing. Well we deicided to post the list in hopes that anyone can add to it of items we do not know about. This is mainly on US military edged implements but it certainly does not mean we are limited to that. We partake of any book if it has a fact in it we did not know, that is the point of books. Yes, they provide enjoyment but they also provide a reference. So if you are interested just click here and scan the current list. If you know of any not listed here we would love to hear from you!

Biblio Page


Peloza Knives

Just as we are writing this a new knife came in the door. Last month we previewed a new knife making team, Vince and Mike Peloza of Enon Valley Penna. It is a beauty. Starting with an M7 bayonet the brothers strip it and rebuild an M3 type fighting knife todays trooper would be proud to carry. The knife comes in a heavy leather scabbard with M1910 belt hooks and in a cloth case for storage. Contact the brothers at: 

C/O Michael & Vince Peloza
421 MClain Road
Enon Valley, PA 16120


It is a well made knife that just may be the Baker or Murphy on the next generation. Get in on the ground floor now while you still can.

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Click on the thumb nail for the full size Peloza Knives


Patience and the Search

Well it took a few years but we finally ran down another M.H. Cole knife that was for sale. We have seen many of the knives made by Mr. Cole over the years but in only a few rare cases was one for sale. These knives are the centerpiece of many collections out there so to see one for sale almost always means someone has recently died. Folks just do not let go of Cole knives in their own collections too often, it does happen but it is a rare occasion. To make it even rarer, if that is the proper term, is the knife that was for sale. If finding a Cole knuckle knife for sale is rare what would you call it to find one of the handful of Mark 2's Mr. Cole made over the years? As it stands we know of 5 out of perhaps 9 he ever made. Three were made during World War Two of which one known example exists. As for post war knives perhaps 6 were made possibly up to 10 but that figure would be on the very high side. Mr. Cole told us he made 3 during the war and "about" 6 in the post war years so the number of 9 would be a very good possible number. Anyway this knife was in a prominent citizen and good friend of Mr. Cole's, collection for over 30 years. Like we said, they don't move too often. It was purchased by a friend after the first collectors death and before his impressive collection went to auction. It was "cherry picked" from the pile. The second collector owned it for a few years but it really didn't fit into his collection. After owning it for a few years it was decided to sell it. We were contacted about it and a deal started. It took some time to complete as trades were offered but in the end it was ours. So now we can show you three M.H. Cole Mark 2 knives pictured together for the first time ever. 
Patience is a Virtue they keep telling us! 

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Click on the thumb nails for the full size Cole Knives


Knife Controversy

It isn't something we enjoy but finding the facts is. Much has been written about a few custom makers who plied their trades during WW II that is perplexing to many. We try to dig up the backgrounds on many makers but these two have confounded many experts over the years. In a long time communication with our good friend Ron Flook we have come to many dead ends on this subject. We would like to feature this month as a guest writer, Ron Flook and a great piece he laid out on this important subject. We state facts when we know them in this column, we also ask questions. This piece will do both. We are extremely happy to have this well known collector and scribe grace the pages of USMILITARYKNIVES.COM with his article. Thanks Ron! Click below to read the article. We also have some of Ron's books on a special price deal. All are signed by Ron Flook! 

The Ron Flook Page



Coast Guard Knives

We hear again from our friend Race Morningstar on his bid to create a new knife for the Coast Guard. Here we show you one of the final designs that is going to the Commandant for submission purposes. we wish Race the best of luck in his endeavor, every Coastie needs a good knife on his belt! 

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Click on the thumbnail for the full size photo


T2 Bayonets Again

We have recently been contacted by a fellow collector, Jerry Holm with a picture of a unique bayonet he has. It was purchased off eBay for a few bucks as it was not described as what it really is. Read the above and you will know what I am alluding to. Jerry is in the process of collecting any information he can about the bayonet and is putting it together for an article in the SABC Journal. At first glance you may note it looks very much like a common M1 bayonet. Look again. It has the Krag type button release in the pommel and grips which are custom made to fit the new design. The blade and guard are common to the M1 but that was true on the first test's of the T2 bayonet trials. One mighty rare bayonet we would say, and it was bought on eBay for cheap. We love to hear those stories. It is featured here so if you do run across one, at least you know what it is you are looking at! Congrats Jerry!

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Click on the thumbnail for the full size photo


R.S. Elliott Arms Co.

This is a new one to us, and that we are glad of. It wouldn't be any fun if you knew about them all now would it! Anyway, I digress, the knife is a cut-down Model of 1905 bayonet. What is new is the sticker on the handle showing who sold the knife. It is the R.S. Elliott Arms Company of Kansas City Mo. Apparently the knife was sold as a hunting knife in the post war years. It has never been finished as a bayonet and then cut-down into a knife as most examples found today are. This one started life out of the forge and straight into a hunting knife. The guard is a cut-off muzzle ring from the originals. It is finished with walnut grips to which the Elliott sticker has been affixed  on one side. We love it when an old item such as this talks to us. We learn more about the knives and to this we are thankful. This knife was shown to us by the new owner, Stan Tranquillo at the Maryland Arms Fair. It's a beauty and a wonderful find. With all the thousand dollar knives and bayonets in the room, isn't it funny how we can get some appreciation from a cheap cut-down bayonet. 
Ain't life Grand!   

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Click on the thumbnail for the full size photo



Now that they are free, what do they do... Cut their own heads open! No need for Sadam this is done willingly. We hope we never understand this "peaceful religion" as it is called! 

Need some help.JPG (33324 bytes)
Click on the thumbnail for the full size photo


Bayonet 2000

The new Bayonet 2000 has finally been introduced into the U.S. for retail sale. This is the design submitted by Eickhorn for the USMC bayonet trials. In fact this is the winning entry into those trials. Not 30 days after the winner was named the trials were declared null and void. It seems the U.S. makers had a bit of dirt rubbed in their faces and they were none too happy with it. Not to mention the Marines stated that Eickhorn was the only manufacturer who could supply this amount and have the Eagle, Globe & Anchor engraved in all the blades. Two big mistakes. Anyway those of you who have followed this column know all of that as it has been documented as it was happening at the time. Here we present photos of the new bayonet from our good friend Bill Porter. Those of you who know Bill, also know he is like a prized Coon Dog when he sniffs a new bayonet. Bill ran this one down before we even knew they were being marketed! Perhaps as the story unfolds we can bring you more info on this bayonet in next months Knotes. And the new ASEK that Eickhorn is also producing. How's that for a hook! 

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Click on the thumbnail for the full size photo

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