Original U.S. WWII 1st Model Navy Mark 2 KA-BAR Fighting Knife by CAMILLUS with U.S.N. MK2 Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great 1st Model early production example of the legendary WWII Production USN Mark 2 "Ka-Bar" fighting knife with a MK2 Scabbard. Overall length of this Mk2 is 11 3/4 inches, with a 6 3/4 inch clip-point blade. The markings on the blade ricasso are as follows:


The other side of the blade ricasso is marked:


There is no "MK2" on this knife, as that was added shortly after production started, indicating that this is a very early example. It also features a tang locked in place by a threaded split nut. Only the first examples produced has this, and later models moved to the more secure cross pinned tang.

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 WW2. 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.

This example features an original leather washer grip, which is in very good shape with no cracks or splitting. It has some wear, but does not appear to have been used extensively before being put in storage. The blade finish is retained well, however this example looks to have been arsenal serviced, restoring the edge and making the blade slightly shorter than usual. The blade is still relatively sharp, and the false edge on the top of the clip point has also been altered slightly. This knife definitely has some interesting history.

The scabbard is the 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 1945It was manufactured by Beckwith Mfg Co. a division of Victory Plastics. Scabbard is in very good condition, with just light wear throughout, and the initials E F scratched into the back.

An exceptional example of the hard to find 1st model USN-marked "KA-BAR" knife, in very good used condition. No knife collection is complete without an example of a "Ka-bar".

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