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Case Ka-Bar copy?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Molasses, Jul 22, 2013.

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  1. Molasses

    Molasses Member

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    Just got a Kennesaw Cutlery catalog (haven't ever bought anything from them, but they keep sending 'em) and I see that Case is making a USMC Ka-Bar type knife. I've got one of the Ka-Bar marked reproductions, but I've always heard that Case is a quality knifemaker and the price (essentially $50) is attractive...any opinions?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    They should be of equivalent quality.

    BTW, the "Ka-Bar" isn't. The original designation was USMC Fighting/Utility and changed to USN MKII. Camillus made more for the military than Ka-Bar did (probably more than all the other government contractors combined). It was just that the "Ka-Bar" name stuck in the common vernacular instead of USN MKII.
     
  4. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Yep, hso is right.
    It was a standard issue to us as Navy Divers and there were lots of the Camillus versions. If a guy got a real Kabar it usually got "lost"...;)
    The blade shape is classic but that small tang did not always hold up to some of the stuff we did under water.
     
  5. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    The small tang doesn't always hold up to some of the things US Army and USAF folks do on land either.

    On the note of classic & current US Military issue, Ontario Knife Co. is currently one of the few providers of several US Military issued knives and bayonets. They're also the sole source supplier for USMC bayonets. Outside of the rat tail tangs used for the stacked leather washer or rubber slip over handles, those knives will take plenty of honest hard use. http://ontarioknife.com/military-tactical/military-issued.html

    You can get the Ontario USMC issue fighting knife for about $10 less than the one they make for Case. The Case version has a prettier sheath and handle, but that may not matter to you. So, if you want a USMC / USN fighting either of the Ontario Products are great buys. As already noted, the Ontario knives are just as real as a Ka-Bar, and more real than many others.

    If you want even harder use fixed blades Ontario offers the RAT and Ranger lines in full width, full length tang construction. Many of the Ranger line knives are also offered in optional 5160 steel, which is even tougher than the excellent standard 1095 carbon steel. Both of those lines offer a great value in the modern style hard use knife type.
     
  6. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    During WWII, several companies including CASE and Ontario were contracted to make the Ka-bar knife since the Kabar company could not keep up. When your standing military force is in the millions, a small NY company can't be expected to keep up. So other companies were given the spec for the knives to keep up supply to meet the demand of the war.

    That being said. I have used Case, Camillus, and Ontario knives. All of them were either sold, returned, or given away. On the other hand I have two genuine Kabar knives with about a dozen more made by Kabar the company. I have only had a few Kabars fall short of the expectation I have had for them and those were the ones I expected such as the Warthog folder.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Actually, according to the M. H. Cole "U.S. Military Knives", book III, Camillus was the first to make the USN MK 2 knife during WWII.

    The earliest Navy MK II manufacturing specs were dated May 1942 and Camillus got the contract.

    Ka-Bar submitted the first set of specs for the USMC Fighting/Utility knife to the Marines in December 1942, near as I can find out so far.

    Both knives were in production and entered service in early 1943.

    They were later also made by PAL, Robeson, Conetta, Utica, and Ka-Bar and marked U.S.N.

    Camillus, PAL, Robeson, and Ka-Bar also later made the exact same knife marked U.S.M.C.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8494829&postcount=1

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  8. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Good history lesson on these knives.
     
  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    The bottom Kabar was an USN issue during WW2. The top is a modern Kabar made replica.


    [​IMG]

    This one, Sammy told me he got it off a dying Marine buddy, I assume Iwo Jima. He was in a communications group, second wave on Iwo Jima and they were over run by a Japanese attack. Only three Americans out of 25 made it out alive. The Navajo code talkers did not. The time I took pictures, Sammy avoided talking about the incident altogether. He still has nightmares. Sammy carried it through to Okinawa and as part of the occupational Army in Japan. It came in a leather sheath that wore out, he later found a plastic sheath that lasted through the war.

    [​IMG]
     
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