Original U.S. WWII USN Mark 2 KA-BAR Blade Marked Fighting Knife with Leather Scabbard marked BOYT 43

Item Description

Original Item: This is a great early war example of the legendary WWII Production USN Mark 2 "KA-BAR" fighting knife by Union Cutlery Co., with a lovely leather scabbard by Boyt Harness Co. Overall length of this Mk2 is 12 inches, with a 7 inch clip-point blade. The markings on the blade ricasso are as follows:


The reverse is marked:


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 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.

Camillus Cutlery Co., the first manufacturer to supply the Ka-Bar Combat Knife under contract, also produced the largest number of such knives, producing over one million examples marked "Camillus.N.Y." on the knife's crossguard before the war ended.  Besides Camillus, the Union Cutlery Co., Robeson (ShurEdge) Cutlery Co., and the PAL Cutlery Co. all produced the Ka-Bar knife under military contract during World War II.

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 before the change. The cross guard is straight, and it has a heavy steel pommel with a peened tang, typical of early production knives. It features original leather washer grip, which is in great shape with no cracks or splitting. It does have some wear on the finish, so it did see some use. About 90% of the original blade finish is still present, with most of the missing finish on the edge and tip. The blade is in very good condition, and is VERY sharp. It definitely has had post manufacture sharpening, but it was done expertly, and has an almost mirror finish on the edge.

The scabbard is probably the nicest example of a leather KA-BAR scabbard that we have ever seen. Most are quite worn, cracked, and brown with age: this example is fully intact, with a great color and finish. All stitching and staples are intact, and it is embossed U.S.N. on the throat. The belt loop is marked BOYT / -43-, for 1943 production by Boyt Harness Co of Des Moines, Iowa. The retaining loop for the handle is intact, solid, and the original snap still functions.

An exceptional example of the early hard to find Blade-marked "KA-BAR" knife, in great condition. No knife collection is complete without an example of a "Ka-bar".

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