Original U.S. Vietnam War Era Mark 2 KA-BAR Fighting Knife by CAMILLUS with WWII U.S.N. MK2 Scabbard
Original Item: This is a very nice service used Vietnam War example of the legendary "KA-BAR" fighting knife, with a reissued WWII era USN Mk2 Scabbard. Overall length of this Mark 2 knife is 12 inches, with a 7 inch clip-point blade, which has not been sharpened much, and is still full length. 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 light service. It has a 1/4" thick steel pommel with cross pinned tang. The blade on this example has seen little use, and still seems to have the original factory sharpening on the blade. The wear to the finish seems to come mostly from the scabbard and cleaning.
The scabbard is the WWII Mk2 version, very similar in construction to the M8 scabbard for the M3 fighting knife, with a thermoplastic impregnated cotton fabric body, metal throat, and canvas frog and securing strap. The front of the throat is marked U.S.N. / MK 2, and the rear is marked NORD - 6581 / B.M. Co. with a stylized V P logo. The NORD number is for the US Navy contract it was produced under, which was delivered between July 1944 and February 1945. It was manufactured by Beckwith Mfg Co. a division of Victory Plastics. Scabbard is in good condition, with some cuts on the edge of the body, and wear to the throat and frog. There is also light oxidation on the fittings.
A Very good example of a Vietnam War issued KA-BAR knife, complete with a reissued WWII scabbard. No collection is complete without one! Ready to display!
Blade Length: 7"
Blade Style: Clip-point "Bowie" Style
Overall length: 12“
Crossguard: 2 1/2”
Scabbard Length: 8" with Belt Frog
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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