5300 Gunny Knife

Discussion in 'KA-BAR Knives' started by OFFICIAL_KA-BAR, Jan 28, 2020.


    OFFICIAL_KA-BAR Moderator Moderator

    Aug 3, 2011
    The KA-BAR 5300 Gunny Knife was the last project R. Lee Ermey, also known as "Gunny", worked on before he passed away in 2018. The knife is entirely his design. I believe his words were that he wanted something that could "skin a rhino and you could survive in the jungle with." Gunny very much loved knives - I once went to visit him and he had hundreds of knives laid out around his house. We spent several hours analyzing what he liked about each knife.

    A portion of the sales of the Gunny Knife will be donated to the Fisher House Foundation, a charity that was near and dear to R. Lee. The Gunny Knife is made in the USA with 1095 Cro-Van steel, American-made leather sheath, and Webb Wood handles and is currently available at KA-BAR.com and from KA-BAR dealers.

  2. GeofS

    GeofS “Nostra-bladus” Platinum Member

    Mar 9, 2018
    This will be mine! :)
    Beastchopper likes this.
  3. caine


    Nov 9, 2003
    Hoping micarta handles will be available a
    GeofS likes this.
  4. LG&M


    Dec 19, 2005
    Semper Fi Gunny.
    I like.
    GeofS likes this.
  5. FAL'ER

    FAL'ER Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    It'd be cool to get a look at all his knives. Pics or video.
    GeofS and wildmanh like this.
  6. wildmanh

    wildmanh Part time Leather Bender/Sheath maker

    Jul 9, 2000
    That's neat!
    GeofS likes this.
  7. razorburn

    razorburn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    On my list!
    GeofS likes this.
  8. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    Man I'd love one of these. A bit steep in Canada right now ... But damn are these blades beautiful.
  9. Charlie_K


    Jul 16, 2012
    I miss R. Lee Ermey very much. To this day I can't look at a watermelon without thinking about him to some extent.
    eveled likes this.
  10. PocketKnifeJimmy


    Aug 4, 2013
    Although I have not received my specimen of the Gunny Knife yet, one is on it's way to me via US mail.
    While perusing some online knife vendor sites a few weeks ago, I ran across one and it caught my eye. I didn't immediately order one, but it was certainly placed onto my wish list, (and hence the placement of my order).
    Anyhow, there were some things that stuck out to me, and those things are what brought me to ordering one sooner than later.
    I took these things, (my inner thoughts about this model knife), and put them in an email that I sent to Ka-bar. I don't usually feel compelled to email manufacturers, but this was one of those times.
    The following is what I wrote...

    So, today I finally decided to pull the trigger on ordering myself a Kabar Gunny Knife. I really paid notice to it a few weeks ago, and it was almost immediately placed on my personal wish list. Anyhow, the vendor I chose to use was ********, my paying the few extra dollars for them to send it to me via priority mail. I am very excited in having decided to get one sooner than later.
    Anyhow, these are some of the reasons I find this new offering of yours to be irresistible.
    The Gunny seemed to be one heck of a nice guy, and very unique in many ways. That right there is my first reason... This knife seems to borrow and combine some of the best features from other well established knife patterns, (like the dagger and bolo), but then adds enough of it's own flair to be really unique, (just as Gunny himself was). Gunny was obviously "old school", and some of the knife's features seem so fitting to what an old school sort of a guy would like to see in such a knife. He obviously realized that wood for handle scales, while nice in feel and appearance, was too susceptible to cracking or rotting from weather exposure over time. So, you folks using the laminate wood is something I could see him settling for. It would offer some of the natural look of wood, while also being extremely resistant to outdoor elements and oils that are commonly used to protect carbon steel blades. Ah... and then there is that 1095CV steel, which I'm sure a guy like Gunny would be more than happy with on a knife he surely designed to fit into the Fighting/Utility category. The blade has the shape and length to help with utility chores that the traditional Ka-bar F/U knife would fall a wee bit "short" on. And, that extra reaching length, combined with it's integrated guard, makes it a beast for not only slashing, but for thrusting as well.
    Then there's the fact that you folks went with the more traditional slotted/phillips head screws... And that, (imo), was brilliant! I mean, I'm sure a guy like Gunny would have found hex or star headed screws to just not look right on a knife that carries such a nostalgic appearance to it. These screws were the perfect choice for the overall look of this knife. Not to mention that it's obviously easier to find some improvised object that could be used to tighten them if they loosened in the field, (not so much with a hex or star head screw). And then there is the choosing of a USA made leather sheath for it's final touch... Much kudos on that! To have gone this far in making this USA made knife, and no less by the current manufacturers of the knife that Gunny's favorite force, (the Marines), made famous... and then gone to an overseas sheath to finish off the package... Well, that would have not done justice to the Gunny or his Gunny Knife design. Nope, you folks did the sheath the right way... Using leather and making it in the USA! Kudos, Ka-bar.. Kudos!

    Anyhow, I can't wait to get my specimen in the mail!

    So, those were my thoughts that I sent to Ka-bar concerning their Gunny Knife.
    I would also like to add a few other thoughts to the above...
    The choice of colors used for their laminate wood scales, was also a good one, (imo). The two colors are black & brown... A nice simple blend for this knife's overall look. The protruding tang, effectively forming a pommel that has a slot for a lanyard, (or for some other needed attachment), is also nice, and still allows for it to be used as a striking end. I like the deviation from it being just another round hole through the grip/tang method.
    And last, but not least, the facsimile of Gunny's signature on the blade... I feel that is an awesome way in honoring the man behind this Ka-bar knife design :)
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
    turbosquirrel likes this.
  11. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    Need one bad.
    PocketKnifeJimmy likes this.
  12. PocketKnifeJimmy


    Aug 4, 2013
    I guess if I had to pick one issue with the Gunny Knife' esthetics, it would be that big rectangular graphic on the pile side of the blade that reads "Gunny Approved". All of the markings on it are just right, (imo), except for that one. Maybe if it would have been done in smaller scale, let's say at a 3/4" length, and placed right underneath the designated model number... then, okay. But, that big "Gunny Approved" as they decided to do it... well... A wee bit too much, (and again, imo).
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
  13. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    Yep, it would be so much nicer without it.
    PocketKnifeJimmy likes this.
  14. PocketKnifeJimmy


    Aug 4, 2013
    Yeah, if they made that graphic much smaller, or did away with it altogether, it would do justice to an otherwise attractive looking knife. The ones already out there with the bigger "Gunny Approved" laser etching, would simply become more collectable because of them being the earlier graphics design... So, no harm no foul :)
    Just my opinion, of course, but I would bet that a lot of folks see that big laser etching as somewhat hideous, lol!
  15. PocketKnifeJimmy


    Aug 4, 2013
    Well, I guess 7 days is the new norm for US Priority mail to deliver a package from Illinois to New York... But, it arrived in perfect condition, so the longer than normal wait was well worth it.
    I love the aesthetics of this knife... Even the big "GUNNY APPROVED" etching on the blade's pile side looks just fine to me now with the knife actually in my hands... Overall, it's a very cool looking knife! :)

    Btw, it feels pretty nimble, especially for it's size. A lot of that is likely due to it having that big pronounced swedging on both sides of the front end of the blade, (making it dagger like). So, while I'm sure it can handle a bunch of utility chores, as a Fighting/Utility knife is usually known for, it would certainly be a poor choice for a dedicated wood chopper. It simply does not have the ideal forward blade design for it, (lacking some extra forward steel and weight in that area). It seems to be what the Gunny was likely aiming for, a large knife fitting into the general purpose F/U knife category, (a jack of all trades, but master at none).

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020 at 3:12 PM
    Endel likes this.
  16. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    That thing would be so much at home in the Pacific theater of WW2.
    old hippy and PocketKnifeJimmy like this.

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