Original U.S. Vietnam War Era Mark 2 KA-BAR Fighting Knife by CAMILLUS in U.S.N. Leather Sheath
Original Item: This is a great example of the legendary "KA-BAR" fighting knife with an excellent U.S.N. marked leather sheath. Overall length of this Mark 2 knife is 12 inches, with a 7 inch clip-point blade. 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 painted leather washer grip, which is in very good condition, with no cracks or splitting, and it has a heavy steel pommel with cross pinned tang. The blade has a good amount of the original finish, though it definitely shows wear and some light oxidation on the blade flat. The factory grind marks can still be seen throughout the blade. It has been sharpened once or twice, but still has the original shape. It is not currently sharp, but could easily be returned to having a good edge.
The leather sheath is the standard type used with the Mark 2, and is in very good used condition, marked U.S.N. on the throat. The leather has faded to a lovely chestnut brown, but it is still supple and without cracks, except on the securing strap. 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, with lots of black finish. This is the typical pattern used during Vietnam, which is very close to the WWII pattern.
A Very good example of a Vietnam War issues KA-BAR knife, complete with scabbard. No collection is complete without one! Ready to display!
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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