Help with ID

Joined
Dec 31, 2020
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New to the forum...

I have a rusty KA BAR fighting knife that I cleaned up. It's stamped KA-BAR on one side (nothing underneath) and a very light USMC on the other. The butt plate is thin (1/4 inch) and the tang is rectangular and not peened. It has pins visible on opposite sides. I'd upload pics but can't figure that out just yet.

Thanks!
Mike
 

1066vik

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Nov 28, 2009
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a picture would be very helpful, as the font of the KaBar stamp helps date things.
you can't upload pics directly, but if you have it hosted somewhere, you can link to that image using the button that looks like mountains and a moon next to the smileys in the editing bar.
 

1066vik

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any of the free sites work - but if you're going to use FB, you need to share it with the media button instead of the picture button (next to it, looks like film)
 
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5.jpg

1.jpg
4.jpg
3.jpg
2.jpg


My first attempt!
 

1066vik

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I'm going to guess assembly and sale 1950-1970 based on this chart from "official kabar" on wordpress - and since you say the pommel pin is drilled through, maybe closer to 1950-1960. Current KaBar knives are made with a "blind pin" - that's only drilled part-way through the cap so it engages the tang but can't accidentally drift out under hard use.

tang-stamps.jpg
 
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Dec 31, 2020
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Thanks! How did you get the images to appear on the post? I could only get the link on there. Also, is the guard supposed to be bent like that? I haven't seen any pics of one like that bent on the blade edge only.
 
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Feb 17, 2013
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Yours is a late 1943 1219C2, USMC Fighting/Utility knife. Made after the 3 pommel construction changes (3/8" thick split nut to round peen to square peen to 1/4" pinned) and before the movement of the stamp to the guard.

One of the changes to the guard in 1944 (IIRC) DID include having the guard pre-bent at the factory but the bend in this knife is "user induced". The bend has been made to only the lower half of the guard, not the top half, and it is an extreme bend as well.

During the war, the designation for the USMC stamped knives was 1219C2 and for the USN MK2 stamped knives was 394831.

In 1957, when the government blew the dust off the old drawings to update the knife for new orders, 1219C2 and 394831 were dropped and the knife became the MIL-K-20227.

The requirements for a bent guard and branch stamps was dropped. The stamp became US over MANUFACTURER. The manufacturers were UTICA (May 1961), CAMILLUS (May 1962) and CONNETTA (1966), introduced in that order.

Kabar did not make any 1219C2/USN-MK2 knives from August 1945 to 1976 when they came out with their first "commemmorative" knives. After the government killed all contracts, Kabar and Camillus sold all their parts to companies that assembled the knives in various locations with other stamps - the blanks were all "blank" as the stamps would have been added to the knife on the guard. An example of these post-war surplus assemblies is the one by Weske of Ohio, stampes "SANSOUCCI DR".
 

gunsil

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Jan 9, 2013
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1066, that chart you show has so many mistakes it is almost useless.
 
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