The V42 Knife
This a very rare knife and the proud collector who finds one can certainly call it the center piece of any collection. The graceful lines of the hand made knife are almost in opposite to most military knives made robust for long wear and tear. The V42 was hand made and only issued in small numbers to a very elite fighting force, The First Special Service Force. All the above adds up to big dollars for any example found on the market. This in turn pushes the unethical to turn the many reproductions made over the years to embellish the product for a quick sale to the unsuspecting. This knife is now faked in just about any venue it is offered in. The online auctions are ripe for the pickings on this one so do your home work. We will list a few of the examples that have been available over the years in reproduction form. These knives are the basis from which most of the fake knives start.
Thanks to our good friend Warren McQuiggan we have some great shots of the Case V42 reproduction they produced in 1998. All the above photos are of the Repro except the last one which is a real WW II era V-42. Note the design and shape of the Case name stamping and the thumbprint which goes from edge to edge on the original but not on the repro. The originals also have a noticeable pin in the pommel while the reproduction does not. Several V42's have been reproduced over the years. We are still looking for photos of others so if you have one please let us know!
Again we have some great photos from our good friend Warren McQuiggan. This is the newer V42 not being sold all over the place at a very inexpensive price. This is an import from China. The blade markings are etched so we have a good chance they will be altered by some crooks in time to come. Note there is not an exposed pin in the pommel and the thumbprint ridges do not run out to the ends. Easy to spot but with alterations it may turn up as an "unmarked prototype" some day.
Here we have pictures of the 1992 Case reproduction. This one is easy to spot with the leather and aluminum spacers in the smooth handle. It has black plastic spacers at the guard and pommel and does not have the leather cushion washer at the guard. It is stamped U.S. / 1992 on the reverse ricasso. It would be hard to re-handle this knife and have the grooved leather washers look good. It should be an easy one to spot if faked.
Above we have the COPPI version as sold by Continental Precision circa 1984. This is a high quality reproduction and a high quality sheath. Note the name is stamped inside the sheath belt loop in white ink. On a new item this should be easy to spot but on a well aged one this may be gone. Thanks to John Gibson for loaning us this piece to take extensive photos of.
Above is the H.G. Long version of the V42 made a few years ago. This is also a good quality knife and the basis for many fakes. The handle would have to be altered but the other parts could be used.
Our thanks to Gerry Shaw, a collector of First Special Service Forces items for sharing these photos with us. Original next to reproductions for comparisons.
This is the American Historical Foundation reproduction oft he V-42. This is the American Version, they had one with a blued blade they called the Canadian Version as well.
Though this one isn't likely to fool anyone we need to know what it looks like so when you are approached to buy a prototype V-42 you know where the blade came from!
More photos of the American Historical Foundation reproductions. The American.
IMA Collector GradeCcurrent 2009 Offering
IMA Standard Grade Current 2009 Offering
A Fake thumb print. Study it, there will be a test.
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