Thursday, September 10, 2009

Replica Knife review. K-Bar and 1918 trench knife

Just wanted to jump in with a review on some extremely well made fighting knife replicas.
The two I just got in a few hours ago are cast off the real deal, perfect of airsoft, reenactments or even knife training.
The 1st on is a replica of the world renown K-bar fighting knife. Used by the marines in WWII, and by anyone else that could get their hands on them.
A little history stolen from Wiki
The name "KA-BAR" came to be after the company received a poorly written English letter in which the author wrote how the company's knife saved his life after he was attacked by a bear and his gun failed to kill it. All that was legible was "k a bar", and the company adopted that as their trademark. [5] In 1942, soon after the United States' entry into World War II, American troops experienced the problematic nature of the M1917/1918 and Mark I trench knives that they were issued initially and, realizing the need for knives suited to trench warfare, a design was chosen from a catalog of hunting gear. The Marines bought many different knives and designs from a large number of suppliers during World War II, but it was the KA-BAR fighting knife that was most common and popular. It was chosen for continued purchase and issue after the war was over. The final shape was decided upon by the Marine Corps. The changes included a slightly longer blade for combat use, introduction of a small fuller to make the blade lighter and stiffer, and the pinned pommel and stacked leather handle as standard. In addition, the blade, guard, and pommel were all finished in a non-reflective matte black or gray phosphate finish instead of the brightly polished steel of the original.
Millions were made during World War II by KA-BAR, Ontario Knife Company, Camillus Cutlery, Case Knives, and several other knife companies. The knife is inexpensive, easy to replace, and adequate for most tasks. It was also used as a diving knife in World War II, though the model in use at the time disintegrated rapidly in saltwater. The various forms of this knife are still very popular with hunters, fishermen, hikers, outdoorsmen, and the U.S. military.[1]

Very well made, this replica is, the knife used to mold this one was made by Robeson Shuredge and the knife also has the U.S.N mark two blade stamp
The handle is very stout and feels  great in the hand. The blade, while perfect in shape and size, is very thin. No danger if you take a tumble in the field of this unit hurting you. 

One of the main things I hate to see on an airsoft field is someone carrying a real steel sheath knife
(many times in a crappy sheath) Taped point up on there lbe or vest under their chin. Even on the belt, if you are not using a well made leather or synthetic sheath, you are taking a chance of injury if you fall on it.

This companies replicas make sure that does not happen

The last point I will make on the Kabar is the handle
  It is so fantastic looking that I cant wait to find the right color brown to replicate the leather of the original.
I will be haunting Ebay for the next few days for proper sheaths.

If your loadout is from WWII, VN or even modern day US troops, this will accent your look more than anything else I can think of, at a cost of only 28.00 plus 6.00 shipping. 
It wont get you any more range on your rifle, but I think the "cool points" are well worth the price.

The second knife is more of a specialty style if you want to stay accurate in your load.
The 1918 Trench knife Mark 1. Some were carried in WWII and I have not heard of a tale, but I am sure many were still around for VN. As for modern times, an original would be worth way to much to tote on your vest, but replicas have been made over the years so there might even be some over in the sandbox as I write this.

Again I will steal a little history for you.

Perhaps the most easily recognized American trench knife is the Mark I, introduced too late to see World War I service in the trenches, but adopted and carried by U.S. paratroopers in the Second World War. This knife was a full-tang design with a double-edged blade and a brass hilt incorporating a guard shaped as a knuckle duster, though the guard existed much more for the purpose of being a guard than for any perceived benefit as a punching aid. The pommel incorporated a so-called 'skull-crusher' extension ostensibly designed to increase the lethality of the weapon. However, as common sense and knife experts agree, using a stabbing/cutting weapon as a bludgeon is very ineffective, an improper and pointless practice contrary to the best usage of the weapon. [2]
The Mark I was preceded by the U.S. M1917 and M1918 trench knives, which featured more complex designs including a triangular stiletto blade, wooden grip, metal knuckle guard, and a rounded pommel. The two versions differed primarily in the construction and appearance of their knuckle guards.
The brass-hilted U.S. Mark I trench knives were made by three American companies -- Landers, Frary & Clark (L.F.&C.) of New Britain, Connecticut; Henry Disston & Sons (HD&S) of Philadelphia; and Oneida Community Limited (O.C.L.) -- and one French company (Au Lion/Societe General). American models of the Mark I are stamped on the right side of the brass grip "U.S. 1918", with the contractor's initials below that. These three American companies were among the four that also made the earlier U.S. M1917 and M1918 trench knives.
The French version of the Mark I is stamped on the blade ricasso with a recumbent lion, and "Au Lion" below that. The grip of the French version is typically stamped with "U.S. 1918". Several versions of the French model exist - some with grooves on top of the grip, some without. Some have letters and numbers cast into the knucks that are smaller than others.
The American Mark I knives and steel sheaths were issued with a blackened finish to prevent reflection, but some owners believing this to be tarnish attempted to polish them and remove the blackening. The French knives were issued with iron sheaths. American versions of the Mark I appear to be better finished than the French version, and are slightly larger dimensionally as well. American-made sheaths for the Mark I trench knife are marked "L.F.&C. 1918", while the French sheath is unmarked. American-made knives have 8-sided skull-crusher pommels, the French model is 4-sided.
So, after reading that, the blacken blade and handle are correct, I have only seen them with the brass polished before.
As well made as the 1st, this knife fits my hand just right.The handle is rigid and the finger holes will fit all but the most humongous hands. 
The trench knife lists at 30.00 + s/h
You would not go wrong if you chose either of these for your kit.
Other designs are available at the website listed above. I plan to order them all as time will allow, I will update this blog as I get them.
I am now selling these also for the price listed (, not on the website yet, email me), or you can contact the site direct, just pass on that you read it here please.
The owner of Fieldwerks went above and beyond to get these to me in time for the trade show I am heading out to in the morning. I will be displaying  these at the NTOA show in Tulsa OK as training knives for Law Enforcement. 
Customer service is getting to be a dying art theses days, 
but you wouldn't know it from Fieldwerks, 
great product and the owner is a great guy.

If I missed anything, please let me know, doing this fast as I want to get a few hours sleep before that 18 hr drive tomorrow.

Click the header in this post for the Fieldwerks site 

Keep your blades sharp, check six and see you soon

1 comment:

  1. HI

    Great information about the arms in this post and the French knives were issued with iron sheaths. American versions of the mark I appear to be better finished than the French version.

    James Parker
    Penny Auction.