Original U.S. Vietnam War Gerber MkII Fighting Survival Knife with Scabbard - Serial 035224 Made in 1974
Original Item: Only One Available. As far as legendary fighting knives go, there are a few that stand the test of time. The Ka-Bar, the Bowie knife, the Fairbairn-Sykes, and the often forgotten Gerber Mark II Combat Knife are all famed fighting knives. The Mark II was designed in 1966 and quickly became a popular choice with soldiers and Marines headed overseas. Particularly, the Mark II became a favorite with the MACV SOG teams that were the premier special operations unit in Vietnam.
A former Army Captain designed the Gerber Mark II. And he designed it not just to be a tool but a weapon. The Mark II has a 6.5-inch blade. That length allows the blade to strike something vital in the torso from almost any angle. The Mark II uses a dagger type design making it less of a slasher and more of a stabber. This dual-edged blade, with its dagger point, will penetrate deep and with ease.
During the Vietnam War, the first production run of this knife had a five degree offset between the blade and the grip in order to ride in the sheath more comfortably, and give the user a grip similar to that of a fencing foil. This design feature led to a significant number of knives being returned by users for having a "bent blade", so Gerber discontinued that element on subsequent production runs.
At 12.75 inches (32.39 cm) long it has a 6.5 inch (16.5 cm) 420 HHC stainless steel double edged spear point wasp-waisted blade, weighs 8 ounces, and has a die cast aluminum handle. It has a distinctive look similar to that of the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife developed during World War II for the British Commandos.
In the 1970s, the military's base/post exchanges discontinued selling these knives, reasoning that they were "not in good taste" or "too brutal". Al Mar, then working for Gerber as a knife designer, added the 14 teeth per inch sawtooth serrations toward the hilt, marketing the knife as a "survival aid", making it more appealing to the PX System, which resumed selling the Mark II as a survival knife, rather than a fighting knife. It was also reduced in size somewhat down to 12 inches, with a 6 inch blade.
This very nice example is in very good condition, complete with the original scabbard, which is fully intact. The knife is marked with serial number #035244, one of approximately 6600 made in 1974, so it was made towards the very end of the Vietnam war. It features a gray "Armorhide" type handle, and ha the correct Gerber trademark logo and address marking on the ricasso:
PORTLAND ORE USA
The scabbard is also marked with the correct Gerber stamping:
The wear on both the knife and sheath are consistent with service wear and use, but are without damage. There is some paint loss on the cast aluminum cross guard and pommel, but no corrosion is present. The blade is without any significant damage, though it does show some sharpening on the edge, which looks to have been done in the field. The included belt scabbard has a lovely matured leather color, and is fully functional, showing only light war. The only issue is that the leg tie down is missing, but could easily be replaced.
A very nice example of a legendary Vietnam War fighting survival knife, complete with scabbard and ready to display!
Blade length: 7”
Blade Style: Spear Point Knife with Serrated Area
Overall length: 12”
Scabbard length: 8 1/2" with belt loop - 14" overall
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