Original U.S. WWII Excellent Condition USMC Mark 2 KA-BAR Fighting Knife by CAMILLUS in Leather Sheath
Original Item: This is a great example of the legendary WWII Production U.S.M.C marked Mark 2 "Ka-Bar" fighting knife with an initialed leather belt sheath. Marine Corps issue knives are much harder to find on the market than the U.S.N. marked variety. Overall length of this Mark 2 knife is 12 inches, with a 7 inch clip-point blade. The markings on the hand guard are as follows:
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.
In 1944, the US Navy put through a change order to have the markings moved from the blade to the cross guard, so this knife was produced after that change. It also has the later war "swept back" cross guard. Knife features original leather washer grip, which is in almost unissued condition, with no cracks or splitting, and it has a heavy steel pommel with cross pinned tang. The grip is shiny in places, as these were often buffed at the factory to give them a great luster.
The blade has almost all of the original blacked finish, except close to the cutting edge, with some wear on the spine as well, but it is worn throughout from use and cleaning. 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 also still quite sharp.
The leather sheath is the standard type used with the Mark 2, and is in very good used condition. 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 staples 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. At some time either during or after the war, the sheath was embossed with the initials C H C.
A excellent example of an exceptionally hard to find USMC-marked "KA-BAR" knife, field used with a very nice original leather sheath. We seldom get ones in this great condition. No collection is complete without one! Ready to display!
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