Original U.S. WWII USN Mark 2 KA-BAR Fighting Knife by Union Cutlery with USN MK2 Scabbard
Original Item: This is a great example of the legendary WWII Production USN Mark 2 "Ka-Bar" fighting knife by Union Cutlery, with a MK2 Fiberglass Scabbard. Overall length of this Mk2 is 12 inches, with a 7 inch clip-point blade. The markings on the blade cross guard are as follows:
Under the blade 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 first production order went out to Camillus Cutlery Company, who produced the largest number of knives during WW2. 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. The cross guard is slightly swept back, indicating later war production. It features original leather washer grip, which is in great shape with no cracks or splitting.It does show some wear, so this knife did see some handling. However, over 95% of the original blade finish is still present, with just in and out wear from the scabbard. It has a heavy steel pommel with a peened over pinned tang. The blade is in very good condition, and is still sharp, with most of the factory edge, and just a bit of sharpening. There are a few small edge dents, which could easily be sharpened out.
The scabbard is the Mk2 version, very similar in construction to the M8 scabbard for the M3 fighting knife, with a fiberglass body, metal throat, and canvas frog and securing strap. The front of the throat is marked U.S.N. / MK 2, and the rear is marked NORD - 8114 / B.M. Co. with a stylized V P logo. The NORD number is for the US Navy contract it was produced under, which was ordered in March 1945. It was manufactured by Beckwith Mfg Co. a division of Victory Plastics. Scabbard is in very good condition, with just light wear throughout.
An exceptional example of the hard to find USN-marked "KA-BAR" knife, in excellent condition. No knife collection is complete without an example of a "Ka-bar".
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