USMC knife from WWII era


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Brian Williams
October 10, 2013, 08:52 AM
I am thinking about picking up a traditional Marine Corps knife from WWII, I am leaning towards a Camillus but would be open to what would be most practical. A MK2 that is USMC stamped is the top of my list.
2 things: 1, What do you suggest, and 2, Where is a good place to purchase.

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hso
October 10, 2013, 09:55 AM
Why a Camillus instead of a PAL or Robison or one of the other WWII manufacturers, not that there's anything wrong with any of the WWII manufacturers?

I trust these guys completely http://www.militaryfightingknives.com/

Brian Williams
October 11, 2013, 07:58 AM
To go with a pre-war Camillus that I have from my father.

Sam1911
October 11, 2013, 08:44 AM
I trust these guys completely http://www.militaryfightingknives.com/Nice knives there!

I do notice that they have a Randal Model 2-8 with "Orcrist" engraved on it, and they suggest that this must have been the owner's family name... :scrutiny:...:D

As they say, buy the blade, not the story! :)

Deltaboy
October 16, 2013, 09:58 PM
Good Knifes.

Tinman357
October 18, 2013, 01:09 AM
"Orcrist" is a referance to one of the "Hobbit" trilogies. That was the name of one of the swords Gandalf found in the troll cave.

No, I'm not one of "those" guys. I read the books many years ago. Near photographic memory is a pain in the butt sometimes. Saw that name and the whole series went through my head.

docnyt
October 18, 2013, 06:21 AM
^^^Technically the Hobbit is not a trilogy but a standalone book, the "prequel" to The Lord of the Rings (which IS a trilogy) before prequels came into fashion.

And Glamdring is the companion Elven sword found in the troll cave by the Dwarves. Orcrist means Goblin-Cleaver, while Glamdring means Foe-Hammer.

Sorry, the Tolkien lore in me couldn't resist. :)

Sam1911
October 18, 2013, 08:09 AM
Oh, I knew exactly what Orcist meant, where it came from, and why it was chosen by someone to inscribe on his blade. It certainly wasn't his family name! :)

docnyt
October 18, 2013, 08:16 AM
That would make a great family name though.

Nighteyes
October 19, 2013, 03:14 PM
There are a couple of good reasons why one might choose a WWII Camillus Mark II over the KaBar, PAL, and Robeson Shuredge Mark IIs.

First, Camillus and KaBar made the vast majority of WWII Mark II knives. This makes them much easier to find and less expensive in today's market -- often a LOT less expensive. And by the way, the ONLY difference between USN-marked and USMC-marked Mark II knives by the same company is the marking.

Second, Camillus made the least number of changes to their WWII design than did the other three manufacturers. If you compare a WWII-made Camillus Mark II (marked either USN or USMC) with a 1970's-made Camillus Mark II (marked U.S.), they are quite similar. This is because their initial design was quite robust. And, in case it matters, the US-marked Camillus Mark IIs are just as good and even less expensive than their WWII elder brothers, but their leather handles are a bit "rougher".

BTW, all Mark II production ceased after V-J Day. It didn't resume until the early 1970s, and Camillus was the only one of the WWII makers who resumed making Mark II's under military contract. All -- repeat ALL -- of the KaBar Mark II knives made after 1945 are "Commemoratives" intended for the commercial market. They're good knives; they're just not MIL-SPEC.

Another key price factor about WWII Mark II knives. The early ones had their markings on the blade - specifically on the ricasso. However, in late 1943 the War Department specified that they should be moved to the guard. There are a LOT more of the later guard-marked versions, which makes them generally less expensive.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

-- Nighteyes

hso
October 19, 2013, 11:07 PM
Nighteyes,

Nice summary. You know your USMC Fighting Utility/USM MkII lore.

Didja ever see one of the Marbles USMC Fighting Utility knives?

Nighteyes
October 20, 2013, 12:27 AM
Didja ever see one of the Marbles USMC Fighting Utility knives?

Not one that was marked "USMC". Examples of the "six-inch fighting/utility knife" were made by just about every knife manufacturer, and by a whole danged lot of individuals. Marbles knives (and identical ones made by Camillus, and possibly nearly-identical ones made by Kinfolks) were issued to Army Air Corps pilots as survival knives. A whole danged lot of Marbles knives, of several types, went to war as private-purchase knives.

Brian Williams
October 20, 2013, 10:45 AM
Having been a Marine, USMC marked is more of a priority, Camillus because I was born and lived growing up years near Camillus.

dprice3844444
October 20, 2013, 01:01 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=715459

Nighteyes
October 20, 2013, 01:20 PM
Having been a Marine, USMC marked is more of a priority, Camillus because I was born and lived growing up years near Camillus.

Understood. They are still pretty easily found. The guard-marked versions are relatively inexpensive; the blade-marked versions somewhat less so. That you want a Camillus will keep you from running afoul of the KaBar Commemoratives.

Incidentally, the rarest and most valuable of the WWII Mark II knives is the USMC-marked Robeson Shuredge. [That is, if you can find one at all. It took me nine years to find one. I was fortunate that it is in excellent condition. It, and a Boyt '43 sheath, are resting comfortably in a zippered and padded case.]

Nighteyes
October 23, 2013, 07:30 PM
Brian,

I think the best place to shop for a WWII USMC Mark II is still eBay. They have been few and far between lately, but hopefully that is temporary. Run a search for "Mark II Knife", then use the Advanced feature to get rid of all the Gerber Mark IIs that will show up.

I went thru my Mark IIs to see if I had one for you. Nope. The only USMC-marked Camillus Mark II I have isn't in the condition I think you're seeking. I'll also check around on a couple of knife boards.

Nighteyes
October 26, 2013, 03:54 PM
I am thinking about picking up a traditional Marine Corps knife from WWII, I am leaning towards a Camillus but would be open to what would be most practical. A MK2 that is USMC stamped is the top of my list.
2 things: 1, What do you suggest, and 2, Where is a good place to purchase.
Here's a guard-marked USMC Camillus in the later, fiber sheath. Looks to be in pretty decent shape. Also seems a tad pricey, but that's probably because of the USMC mark. I'm pretty sure a blade-marked one in the same condition would be even more pricey.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-WW2-CAMILLUS-MK2-Marine-Corps-USMC-Guard-Marked-Fighting-Knife-w-Scabbard-/161133233092?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item25844a03c4

Nighteyes
October 26, 2013, 05:21 PM
I am thinking about picking up a traditional Marine Corps knife from WWII, I am leaning towards a Camillus but would be open to what would be most practical. A MK2 that is USMC stamped is the top of my list.
2 things: 1, What do you suggest, and 2, Where is a good place to purchase.
Here's a guard-marked USMC Camillus in the later, fiber sheath. Looks to be in pretty decent shape. Also seems a tad pricey, but that's probably because of the USMC mark. I'm pretty sure a blade-marked one in the same condition would be even more pricey.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-WW2-CAMILLUS-MK2-Marine-Corps-USMC-Guard-Marked-Fighting-Knife-w-Scabbard-/161133233092?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item25844a03c4

If you enjoyed reading about "USMC knife from WWII era" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!