Original U.S. WWII Named USMC Custom Knuckle Duster Fighting Knife made from WWI 1917 Bolo Knife and Metal Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind.  This is a really great example of one of the many custom-made Knuckle Duster Fighting knives made during WWII, utilizing obsolete or damaged edged weapons from U.S. Supplies. This knife started life as a WWI Issue Model 1917 C.T. Bolo Knife, manufactured by Fayette R. Plumb Inc, whose factory was in the Bridesburg region of Philadelphia, PA. This model was a moderate simplification of the earlier 1910 Bolo made by Springfield Armory. The blade ricasso is faintly marked:


The reverse is marked:

MOD. 1917

 It most likely saw use in WWI, and then during WWII, it was modified heavily to be more useful in the field, most likely in the Pacific Theater. Ships all had foundries on board, and these types of modifications were relatively simple for them.

The original grip and cross guard were totally removed, and then a custom brass knuckle guard was added. Judging from the machining marks on it, a rough casing was made, which was then machined and hand filed. It was attached to the blade tang, along with a pommel lanyard loop, and has aluminum plates attached to either side. One side is marked U S M C, and the other with name M. DAY.

The blade was also significantly altered, with the "leaf shape" of the M1917 changed into a "Clip-point" blade, like a very large Bowie Knife. The bottom and false edge were also made symmetrical, while most of the main edge had been sharpened from one side. The blade is relatively sharp, however it still is as thick as the M1917, and only slightly less heavy, so it's use as fighting knife is somewhat questionable. It would however still be a formidable brush clearing implement, and the knuckle guard does make it somewhat more suitable for fighting.

Condition is quite good, with a lovely worn look. The knife was originally finished in all black, and has worn through to show the brass and aluminum in the hilt. The blade is in very good shape, with just the very tip having been sharpened off at some point.

The knife comes to us in a somewhat rare metal scabbard, which is maker marked and dated under the belt frog:

L.F. & C. - 1918

Landers, Frary & Clark were a WWI Military Supplier, who made items such as the M1917 and Mark 1 trench knives and metal scabbards. While they did not make any M1917 Bolo Knives, they did make these corrugated steel scabbards, which present quite nicely.

Overall in very nice condition, and a great chance to add to any military knife collection and research. Ready to display!

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