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WWII – The Cattaraugus 225 Q Commando

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by rcmodel, Nov 17, 2012.

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  1. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The 225-Q has been covered here on THR fairly recently.
    But as I cleaning up the collection and recording them, I thought maybe it deserved another look.

    The Cattaraugus 225 Q Commando was also known as the Quartermaster knife in WWII, and was in fact the strongest utility knife in general use.
    (Although Case made a similar model, the 337-Q)

    The 6” blade is nearly 3/16" thick, and would serve quite nicely as a pry-bar for opening crates.
    Or the nearly ½” thick checkered steel butt cap as a hammer to nail them back shut again.

    They all came with a left-handed sheath, one of the few WWII knives I'm aware of that did.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    WWII magazine adds:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This one was purchased by my dad in a troop ship’s store on the way to the Philippines in 1943.
    He carried it through the rest of the war, and made it back alive with it two years later.

    When I was about 7 years old, he spent one evening sharpening it razor sharp on an old whet stone to use to butcher a hog the next morning.
    That didn’t turn out so well, as his blood slick hand somehow slipped past the guard, and he cut three fingers clear to the bone!

    After that, he put it up and let it be until I was old enough to commandeer it for my growing military knife collection.

    This is the second sheath it has worn, as the original succumbed to South Pacific jungle rot when I was still a boy.
    I bought & sold a few decent 225 Q’s over the years, until I finally got one with a real good sheath I put dads old knife in.
    I sold the other one without a sheath on eBay for more than I paid for it.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  2. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a practical knife for field work.
     
  3. JimStC

    JimStC Member

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    rc,
    What does it weigh? Looks very, very stout. A pry bar with a sharp edge!

    Jim
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It weighs about 3/4 pound with the sheath.

    rc
     
  5. ivankerley

    ivankerley Member

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    excellent

    one of my favorite knives, built like a tank too
    mines in decent shape, not as nice as yours
    the "standard" rough patch in the middle of the leather handle is less pronounced on yours than mine, mines rather gnarly:)
    Gene
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I have to confess I sanded the handle a little to get it prepped for some sealer about 40 years ago.

    I figured then if I didn't do something to stop it, the jungle rot that got the sheath was going to eat the handle too.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  7. ivankerley

    ivankerley Member

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    you did good, ive seen some "mint" uncarried:cool: that had presentation glossy leather handles and the guy wanted 150 for it:eek: completely reshaped the handles...:confused:
    yours still has the feel, just been cleaned up a bit making it stable
    gene
     
  8. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    One of the best knives ever made. I "rescued" one from a pile of old knives at a gun show years ago and cleaned it up, tough worker!
     
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I always thought the Quartermaster was a much better knife than the USMC "KaBar".
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Maybe probably, but it wasn't in the cards during WWII.

    The 225 Q uses about 3 oz more steel per knife then a Ka-Bar / USN MKII.

    So it would take almost 94 tons more high-grade steel to make a million 225 Q's then a like number of MKII's.

    The War Materials Review Board probably wouldn't have any of that when steel was being used for rifles, bombs, tanks & ships as fast as we could produce it.

    rc
     
  11. ivankerley

    ivankerley Member

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    heres my 225Q along with some other stuff
    gene

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Member

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    Great find and solid knife.
     
  13. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    More's the pity. What's the point in owning it if it doesn't have the "signature" washer flaws?
    Here's my office plaything with two others around as "kit" knives. Try as I might - this is still the best left hand sheath I've found. It seems they always have one something wrong like the one with the best leather is missing the snap and the one with the best top is worse than this one at the tip.

    Anyhow, my dead stone top-o-the-heap favorite WWII service knife. Never broke one, holds a relatively easy to apply edge and pries or pounds as much as any sane man needs. I never looked at my oft broken Kabars ever again after picking one of these out of a barrel at a pawn shop outside Fort Bragg. Now I buy everyone reasonably priced - tune up, re sheath and gift 'em away.
     

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  14. ivankerley

    ivankerley Member

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    yeah its a tank, i use mine from time to time around the yard. my sheath is not the greatest but ok (serviceable), fortunately there were a few of these made so you can pick them up without breaking the bank, unless ya want the shiny one :cool: that'll set ya back some coin. Funny, when i bought mine off ebay a few years ago the seller had it listed as an old WW2 knife with a wood handle :) still see people list leather handles as wood :)
    gene
     
  15. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Fall cleaning shook these out of the woodwork today. The one has a very use smoothed handle and the other has an outstanding example of the weird grinder marks that all these came from the factory with. One left hand and one right hand sheath - probably bought after the war.
     

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  16. ivankerley

    ivankerley Member

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    excellent, the smooth one is missing some of the palm swell on the handle, maybe an old attempt to mod it? either way i love the 225q's, been thinking i may pick another one up in the future. Case made a version also slightly different stacked pommel and the handle was ribbed and more finished looking, 337Q i believe
    gene
     
  17. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    Gotta show picture now! :)

    Before cleaning:
    [​IMG]

    After cleaning:
    [​IMG]

    With Kydex sheath I had made for it:
    [​IMG]

    In use, helping with storm cleanup in 2009:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Honestly, I've not found a great deal of newer knives that I think are as tough as the 225Q.
     
  18. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Funny, the last picture makes me think of *gasp* batoning in that if one got a case of the epizootics and felt a sudden need to baton something - not only would the knife hold up against wood but another 225Q could be used as the striking object as well.

    There, now I have a rational reason to own more than one - well, that may be a rationalization.
     
  19. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    Any reason to buy another 225Q is a good one, but no there was no batoning there, just good old swinging away chopping. :)
     
  20. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I certainly wasn't accusing you of abusing that old war-horse - it just brought the practice to mind with the observation that those beasties could take it at both ends of the operation.
    I think the photos rock. You oughta post a couple using the pommel for its intended purpose, like pounding the nails or staples back into a crate.
    A fella's just got to love a knife specifically designed to pry open and hammer closed ammo (among others) crates.
     
  21. ivankerley

    ivankerley Member

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    BCCL, ive seen those top two picts before, you on bladeforums? matter of fact its one of the reasons i went and got one... if'n this is who i think it is thanks for posting the picts
    regards
    gene
     
  22. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Member

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    Thanks to this post and rc's, I now have a couple of 225Qs that will be gifted, along with a Service Grade Garand, to a couple of special people.

    As fortune would have it, I now have a 'beater' 225Q for myself.

    salty
     
  23. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Member

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    WOW some thing else I need to find for my bug out bag.
     
  24. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Stout knives. Thanks to everyone for sharing.
     
  25. Rom828

    Rom828 Member

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    rc, you are trouble. You are an instigator and an enabler, as now there is something new that I must find and acquire.:mad: Just kidding about the trouble part. I always enjoy your posts and replies,:) please keep them coming. If I ever find myself in Eastern Kansas, I would love to have a cup of coffee with you.
     
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