Original U.S. WWII USN “First Model” Early War KA-BAR Fighting Knife by CAMILLUS in Leather Sheath

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The originator of the KA-BAR trademark, Union Cutlery Co, began using the name in 1923, having received a letter from a fur trapper who had used the knife to kill a wounded bear which attacked him when his rifle jammed. According to company records, the letter was only partially legible; "ka bar" could be read, as fragments of the phrase "kill a bear". In 1923, the company adopted the name Ka-Bar from the "bear story" as its trademark. From 1923, the KA-BAR trademark was used as a ricasso stamp by Union Cutlery Co. on its line of automatic switchblade pocket knives, including the KA-BAR Grizzly, KA-BAR Baby Grizzly, and KA-BAR Model 6110 Lever Release knives. The company produced about 1 million knives with the trademark on the ricasso.

This is a great example of the legendary WWII Production U.S.N. marked "Ka-Bar" fighting knife with 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 “first model” knife is 12 inches, with a 7 inch clip-point blade. The markings on the ricasso are as follows:


The first versions had 3/8" thick pommels and were threaded on with a keeper nut like this one. Then they went to a 3/8" threaded pommel and peened over. The next change was to a 3/8" pommel with square/rectangular tang peened over. Then came the 1/4" thick pommel with a pin going all the way through, showing on both sides of the pommel. The last change was to make the pin a 3/4 blind pin on the 1/4" pommel. This change was supposed to be due to the pins falling out when the knife was being used as a hammer.

The blade has much of the blackened finish on the blade with most of it retained towards the ricasso. The blade itself does have oxidation and pitting present, but it just adds to the beauty.

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 major cracks. All of the stitching and rivets are still intact, and it is structurally very sound. The securing strap is intact, and the snap is still functional, with a faded finish. The leather itself is stained with an unknown substance which cause the leather to degrade in those isolated areas.

An excellent example of a "KA-BAR" knife, field used with a very nice original leather sheath. No collection is complete without one! Ready to display!

Blade Length: 7"
Blade Style: Clip-point "Bowie" Style
Overall length: 12“
Crossguard: 2 7/16”
Scabbard Length: 7 3/4" with Belt Loop

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