Return of the Classic Gerber Mark II Dagger

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by fantassin, Mar 3, 2009.

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  1. Looks like after having discontinued this classic knife for 8 years, the Gerber company has resumed the production of this most american knife. I know, not as ally as an FS or a MoD survival knife, of very little use in the field and guaranteed to make you look like a wannabe but still a long as you are redy to part with 90 USD.

  2. Looks like a Syke-Fairburn rip off.
  3. Looks like something one would never need to carry during 22 years of military services.

    I imagine there is an Air Cadet somewhere already making room for it on his webbing.
  4. Why don't you just rob a knife from the cook house? You know you're only going to cut string with it anyway.
  5. No doubt, one of these will turn up at a field archery shoot on someones belt. Supposedly to dig errant arrows out of trees. But in reality to try and look cool. And it will be some middle aged to pension aged guy with it.
    I have seen some huge shiny Feck off Bowie knifes on courses, but when it comes to digging anything out of wood, they use screwdrivers.
  6. maguire

    maguire LE Book Reviewer

    On the other hand, it was the knife Hudson had in Aliens where he got Bishop to do his knife trick.

    so thats quite cool... if you're an SF geek. ahem. :(
  7. A bit of background info on the Gerber Mk II

    Gerber Mark II

    The prices on these puppies are sky rocketing for mint examples. The Orange and Yellow handle versions are very rare and often associated with exotic special units and locales so that all adds up to big bucks for collectors but why are the run of the mill gray handle versions also out distancing the rest of the commercial Vietnam Era knives? Much of it is romance and much of it is nostalgia, the Gerber Mark II fits the niche perfectly. The timing was perfect, in 1966 the Viet Nam War had gotten deadly serious for the American Army. The opening presented itself for a sturdy, lightweight, practical knife of the highest quality but affordable to the average trooper. The choice was a dagger designed for sticking, but equally capable of cutting and slashing. The Mark II design was based on a sketch sent in by Army Captain C. A. "Bud" Holzman. It is curious to note that the Mark 1 Gerber was not designed until 1976, that is after the Vietnam War was over and a full ten years after the Mark II was produced. Perhaps they were playing on the Mark 2 known to all the Vietnam era fathers that they carried in WW II, better known as a k-bar? Anyway, the concept of the Mark II is a descendant of several World War II dagger models, such as the British Fairbairn / Sykes Fighting Knife and the Case V-42 designed and produced for the First Special Service Force. The blade of the Mark II is much more robust then the former two and much more reminiscent of the Randall Model 2 Fighting Knife, perhaps this is the reason for the "II" model designation? The forged double-edged blade great, while the cast-in-place hot molten metal sprayed aluminum grip was nearly indestructible. The knife was supplied with a quality leather sheath, and had an accessory sharpening steel in a sheath pocket available as an option.

    While Holzman's sketch is often called the inspiration, the final design was probably done by Francis "Ham" Gerber according to Bernard Levine who also credits "Ham" with the design of the Fh line of Gerber knives.

    The knives themselves are produced on the premises of the Gerber plant but the forged blades were supplied by and outside contractor as Gerber did not possess the forging capabilities. Handles were cast on in the Gerber plant and the grinding, glazing and painting were all hand done in the Oregon plant. At some point the knives were supplied to various PX’s around the country and eventually around the world. Many of the knives were supplied with a small bottle of cold blue solution so the individual owner could darken his blade if wanted. Not many knives are noted with blued blades today but if one is seen this is probably how it got that way. The first knives had the canted blade to allow the knife to hug the body better. This was not a very long lasting idea as many of the knives were returned to be "straightened." Many stories we hear today speak of the knife cant being for the easy targeting of the enemy kidneys, don’t know haw that one started but like all urban legends it still presents itself as fact. The idea was to hug the body of the wearer to prevent hang-ups and snags in the boonies. Although the knife was supplied with the hooks needed to mate with the US pistol belt the favorite place for the Mark II was on the shoulder strap of the web gear. Hung upside down and ready for quick action it was the center of attention on many soldiers. In fact one Gerber knife played a role in a Medal of Honor winning fight. Staff Sgt. Jon Cavaiani used his Gerber Mark II to dispose of two North Vietnamese in the battle for Radio Relay Site Outpost Hickory. Although the Staff Sgt. was ultimately captured, the Gerber served him well when he needed it the most. Along with the ordinary private purchase knives are the select few purchased and engraved as award knives to be given to the honor graduates of special schools in Vietnam. Lucky indeed is the collector who happens upon one of these knives. Very few were made, they are highly documented and serial numbered to prevent forgery. All this adds up to the mystique surrounding the Gerber Mark II, I guess that’s the reason the prices are sky rocketing after all.
  8. So to summarise, get a knife from the cookhouse. Or a screwdriver from the REME workshops.
  9. you bastard now i want one .
    I am too old to be explaining to an A&E nurse why my hand is lacerated :oops:
  10. From


    The success of the Fairbairn Sykes knife in WWII, and in the wars in Korea and Vietnam, many companies made their own versions of the F-S Fighting Knife. This double-edged knife was so admired that the U.S. military created in-house versions. The Gerber Mark II (1966) became the second-most famous knife to the USMC's Ka-Bar.[3] To date, there are more than two hundred fighting knives based upon the Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife.
  11. $20 for a SRK...? ;)

    edit for mongness...
  12. Mongo

    Mongo LE Reviewer

  13. I resent that remark :D . No, not really my flavour
  14. Got one, not a fan, doesn't feel right in the hand for me.

    Now if gerber would put the spectre folder back in production, that would raise a smile
  15. I have one of the camo ones with blacked out blade, got given it when I bought a load of kit of someone who left in 94. I can safely say that it stays safely locked away, probably never to see the light of day. It is not exactly something you can fly out of country with either....