Original U.S. Vietnam War Era Mark 2 KA-BAR Fighting Knife by CAMILLUS in Oxblood Leather Sheath
Original Item: This is a very nice service used Vietnam War example of the legendary "KA-BAR" fighting knife, with the correct "Oxblood" leather sheath. Overall length of this Mark 2 knife is 11 3/8 inches, with a 6 3/8 inch clip-point blade, which has been shortened by about 1/2" from use and sharpening. The markings on the blade are as follows:
The markings on the blade and the straight crossguard indicate that this was manufactured somewhere between 1962 and 1974, which puts it right into the Vietnam War Era. Previously the knives would be marked specifically to the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. After WWII, there was such a surplus that no additional orders for the knives were made until 1959. Union Cutlery / KA-BAR and Utica received the first orders, with Camillus receiving orders later.
This knife features original "oxblood" anti-fungal painted leather washer grip, which is in very good condition, with no cracks or splitting, just the expected wear from long service. It has a heavy steel pommel with cross pinned tang. The blade on this example has seen quite a bit of use, and possibly damage, which has reduced the size of the blade by about 1/2". Most of the wear is on the front of the blade, which shows quite a bit of grinding down. However, the factory grind marks can still be seen on the rest of the blade, which still has a lot of the original finish, definitely an interesting wear pattern.
The leather sheath is the standard type used with the Vietnam Era Ka-Bar, and is in very good used condition. The leather has a very deep brown red "Ox Blood" finish, which was a "special" concoction of advanced fungicide devised by the military. All of the stitching and rivets are still intact, and it is structurally very sound. The securing strap is intact, and the snap is still functional. This is the typical pattern used during Vietnam, which is very close to the WWII pattern.
A Very good example of a service worn Vietnam War issues KA-BAR knife, complete with scabbard. No collection is complete without one! Ready to display!
Blade Length: 6 3/8"
Blade Style: Clip-point "Bowie" Style
Overall length: 11 3/8“
Crossguard: 2 1/2”
Scabbard Length: 7 3/4" with Belt Loop
More on the KA-BAR Knife:
The Mk2 Knife was developed as an improvement over the Mk1 design, which had issues with blade snapping due to the thinner design. Working with Union Cutlery, USMC Colonel John M. Davis and Major Howard E. America contributed several important changes, including a longer, stronger blade, the introduction of a small fuller to lighten the blade, a peened pommel (later replaced by a pinned pommel), a straight (later, slightly curved) steel crossguard, and a stacked leather handle for better grip. The knife was officially known as the 1219C2, but it was commonly called the "Ka-Bar" after the trademark of Union Cutlery that was on the blades of early examples. The first production order went out to Camillus Cutlery Company, who produced the largest number of knives during WWII. The design was subsequently adopted by the Navy as the US Navy Utility Knife, Mark 2, and the USMC adopted it as the USMC Mark 2 Combat Knife, or simply the Knife, Fighting Utility.
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