Original WWII Unissued U.S. Navy Mark 2 KA-BAR Fighting Knife by Union Cutlery with USN MK2 Scabbard
Original Item: This is an excellent unissued example of the legendary WWII Production USN Mark 2 "Ka-Bar" fighting knife by Union Cutlery, with a MK2 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 is in unused N.O.S. condition, with no rounding or wear apparent, just some light storage marks.
The finish on the blade is close to 100%, with very minor runner wear, and some marks from when it was sharpened at the factory. As far as we can tell, this knife has has no post manufacture sharpening, and may have never been used in service. There is some red waxy residue in lines along the edge, so the only thing that this blade ever was used for was possibly sharpening a red pencil. It has a heavy steel pommel with a "starburst" peened over tang. The blade is in virtually unissued condition.
The scabbard is the Mk2 version, very similar in construction to the M8 scabbard for the M3 fighting knife, with a thermoplastic impregnated cotton fabric 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 - 8112 / B.M. Co. with a stylized V P logo. The NORD number is for the US Navy contract it was produced under, which was delivered between March 1945 and May 1945. It was manufactured by Beckwith Mfg Co. a division of Victory Plastics. Scabbard is in unissued condition, with the only issue being corrosion on the rivet that attaches the securing strap to the frog.
A very hard to find unissued example of the hard to find USN-marked "KA-BAR" knife, in excellent unissued condition. This may be the best condition KA-BAR we have ever had. No knife collection is complete without an example of a "Ka-bar".
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