Original U.S. WWII US Army / Marine Corps Customized Ka-Bar Butcher Knife With WWI Model 1918 Mark I L.F.&C. Trench Knife Handle

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is a very interesting combination of two very famous knives. These “theatre made” knives came in all shapes and sizes, some completely fabricated but most used pre-existing components, much like this example here. The blade portion of the knife is a 1940s “kitchen” or “butcher” knife as seen in the mess areas and kitchen tents. We have seen one other example and it was ink stamped with “US ARMY” directly to the left of the KA-BAR stamp on the blade close to the spine. These often had flat wood grip scales instead of the stacked leather washer handles on the more traditional Ka-Bar knives. These wood handled knives fell victim to rot and decay from humid climates such as the pacific theater of war. Someone could have had a 1918 trench knife on hand or they had both of these knives and decided to combine the two to give themself a more effective reach in combat.

The most interesting aspect of this knife is that the blade is “backwards”, but this was done intentionally. There are several ways a knife can be held for offensive or defensive use. The two most common are the forward and reverse grips.

Each grip has advantages and disadvantages. Holding the knife in one of the forward grips allows for more finesse and a longer reach, while a reverse grip allows for more power. The reverse grip is regarded as more difficult to master in knife-on-knife combat, as it may require additional skills in footwork and rapid defensive body movements to offset the increased danger of moving closer to one's opponent and the reach of their blade.

So either the wielder of this weapon was confident in his ability to handle a knife in this configuration or he just liked the appearance of a more aggressive nature and stance, we will never know but the craftsmanship is beautiful.

The blade itself was modified to give it a more pronounced curve to it, almost like a skinning knife which would definitely help with “icepick grip” type of fighting method. The knife is held in a hammer grip but with the blade reversed. This grip is usually used in concert with an overhand and downward thrusting or stabbing stroke. While the icepick grip is frequently employed by untrained knife users, it may also be used by a skilled knife fighter as part of a sophisticated system that includes footwork and body movements including parrying and deception defenses. The major risk with this grip is that the blade is facing the user and can potentially get knocked back into the user's body.

The 8 ½” blade is still quite sharp so do handle with caution. There are scratches present as well as a few nicks in the edge, but the KA-BAR marking is still highly visible. The whole tang may not have been used and there appears to be a solder like substance that filled the gaps to mitigate any movement between the blade and the handle, which is still nicely snug to the blade.

The brass grip and knuckle guard blackening is worn away, as seen on most examples, but still retained quite nicely in the recesses on this one. Where the blackening is worn is a lovely aged brass dark patina. The handle is still very well marked with:

U.S. 1918

A lovely example that comes more than ready for further research and display.

Blade Length: 8 1/2"
Blade Style: Butcher Knife
Overall length: 12 1/2“
Guard: 4" long x 3 3/4" wide

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    Alaska, Arkansas, Armed Forces Americas, Armed Forces Europe, Armed Forces Pacific, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington

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