Original U.S. WWII Western G-46-8 "KA-BAR" Style Fighting Knife with Leather Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. Offered in very nice condition this genuine WWII Western G-46-8 fighting knife, complete with its original leather scabbard. It is sometimes called the "8 Fighter", and there were also 4 and 6 inch blade versions of the G46. This knife was developed during WW2 by Western Cutlery of Boulder Colorado, who hoped to sell it to the Marine Corps to fill their need for a fighting utility knife. Unfortunately the knife proved too expensive compared to competitors. Western-made knives were all beautifully made with a bluing comparable to that seen on hunting rifles. Although they never had any major government contracts they sold thousands of knives through private and unit purchases. This particular version was only sold to the military, and in overall shape is very similar to the "KA-BAR" knives that were widely issued.
This example has an 8 inch long single-edged clip-point blade, which has a broad fuller below the spine. The blade is 1 1/4 inches wide, and is of very sturdy construction. The oval ended cross guard is in good condition, but is a little loose due to leather shrinkage. The stacked leather grip is stained, but still solid and in very good condition, with no looseness we can feel, and the black / red / black spacers at the end are in good shape as well. The pommel cap is solid, and secured to the end of the tang in two places. The blade ricasso is marked:
This marking was used for most of the WWII production after 1941. This knife has definitely been used, but not intentionally abused, and the blade does not appear to have been sharpened more than a few times. In many places the edge is still quite sharp, and there are no major nicks or chips on the edge. It does retain a good amount of the high quality heavy blued finish on the left side, with less retained on the right due to oxidation and staining. This most likely happened in the scabbard, as it definitely shows signs of moisture exposure.
The original leather scabbard has a lovely aged color, showing some oxidation and staining around the rivets due to moisture exposure while in service. It still has the original securing strap, though it shows some cracking around the snap, and is a bit delicate.
Overall a great used example of a high quality WWII Fighting knife, complete with its original scabbard. Ready to display!
Blade length: 8”
Blade Style: Clip Point "Bowie"
Overall length: 13”
Crossguard: 2 1/2”
Scabbard length: 8 3/4" with belt loop.
More on Western Cutlery:
Western Cutlery was originally founded as Platts & Sons Cutlery in Gowanda, NY, in 1896. Charles Platts, who was an immigrant from Sheffield, England, founded the company. He had been employed in the knife making trade in Sheffield and knew the manufacturing process well. Charles Platts died in 1900, but his sons continued to run the company until 1905, when his son H.N. Platts bought out all of the family owners and moved the company to Bradford, PA. In 1911, Platts moved the company to Boulder, CO, with the intention of taking advantage of the continuing western expansion in the United States. At this time he re-established the company with the new name: Western Cutlery & Manufacturing Company. With the coming of World War II, Western Cutlery’s business expanded dramatically due to wartime production needs. Western Cutlery received a number of US government knife contracts during World War II and produced thousands of combat knives during the war years.
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