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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased two of the specially built Gerber Mk-II daggers in 1972. They were made of L-6 tool steel instead of the usual commercial-grade stainless. There was a little extra brochure in the box that told of the differences, and of the need to keep the blade oiled to prevent easy rusting. I also did what a lots of guys did: I cold-blued the blades. Makes these knives look very tough indeed!

http://thegerberknives.com/mark.html

In that special add-in brochure, there was a picture of a guy up on a bench, stamping on a vise-held Mk-II in L-6. He was only able to bend, not fracture, the blade, even when he bent it all the way down to about a70 degree angle. Tough indeed.

Later, I also found and bought one of their smaller Mk-I boot knives, also in L-6.

Anyone else have one or some of these great combat knives? Any "field" experiences?
 
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I have one of these I bought new in the 70's while in Boy Scouts. I carried it for the "cool" factor and it has been in my safe ever since in mint condition. I like the looks so much that I never really used it. Great knife and built to withstand anything you can throw at it.
 

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While in the Air Force I often found myself pondering picking up a Mark 2 from the BX. Since this was prior to 1980 all of these would have been of the L-6 variety. At the time I decided that I was better served with my 5" jpsk from Ontario. In 76 when the Gerber Mk I showed up I purchased one of them and carried it for years. Still have that knife. Today I'm sorry I didn't pick up one of those Mark II's at the time.
 

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Here is a littler Gerber MKII trivia.

The first ones made had a 5 degree "bend" in the blade as it came out of the handle. This was stated to make it lay better in the sheath, and quicker to draw.

Also it was rumoured, that the 5 degree angle was there so when you stabbed someone in the chest, after penetrating the ribs near the heart the 5 degrees mand the blade 'cut the heart just right"...

Another bit of trivia, Al Mar was the one that designed the serrated edges near the hilt, when he worked for Gerber.

That "allowed" the MkII to be called a "Survival Knife", much more politically correct that a "fighter".

Actually I do not like this kind of blade style, I much prefer the Randall Mod 14 or Mod 1, or even a Kabar. These blade styles make the knives much better "tools", and I do not think it impeades their fighting ability in any way...
 

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I got my MK II at Ranger Joes in Columbus GA when I was in jump school in '74. I don't think it's tool steel though. It was my field knife for a couple years till I PCS'd to Germany. The blade shows a little freckling (I thought I got all of the armadillo blood off of it) and the sheath has some wear and the threads at the bottom are coming undone but it's still sharp. When I bought it I think the price was around $30 or 35. Way too expensive for my tastes or pay grade back then. 2 brothers that were buddies of mine each bought one and insisted that I should too. I told them "no way". I wasn't going to spend that kind of money on a knife. They offered to each kick in $10 as a gift so it would only cost me about $10 or 15 and we'd be blade brothers for life. I went for it. I've still got the knife, but God love 'em, I can't remember their names to save my life.
 

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I sure can't recall exactly where or when I got mine, or how much I paid.

The strange thing is it doesn't match the information on the web site in the first post. I've got SN 004246 (no "S" or "T" marking with the SN), it's the narrow non- serrated wasp blade, and it has the 5 degree cant, and gray steel grip. The other side of the blade has the Gerber logo and name, and Portland Ore, USA.

The sheath is tan with a rounded bottom and the top has both belt slits and the metal hanger for attaching it to the old style canteen belt. The sheath also has a pocket to contain the chisel shaped sharpening stone that was included with it.

The whole thing looks exactly like the picture in the web site gallery of SN 1030. (Second row down.)
 

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I got my MK II at Ranger Joes in Columbus GA when I was in jump school in '74. I don't think it's tool steel though. It was my field knife for a couple years till I PCS'd to Germany. The blade shows a little freckling (I thought I got all of the armadillo blood off of it) and the sheath has some wear and the threads at the bottom are coming undone but it's still sharp. When I bought it I think the price was around $30 or 35. Way too expensive for my tastes or pay grade back then. 2 brothers that were buddies of mine each bought one and insisted that I should too. I told them "no way". I wasn't going to spend that kind of money on a knife. They offered to each kick in $10 as a gift so it would only cost me about $10 or 15 and we'd be blade brothers for life. I went for it. I've still got the knife, but God love 'em, I can't remember their names to save my life.
It's an L-6 blade alright.
 

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I sure can't recall exactly where or when I got mine, or how much I paid.

The strange thing is it doesn't match the information on the web site in the first post. I've got SN 004246 (no "S" or "T" marking with the SN), it's the narrow non- serrated wasp blade, and it has the 5 degree cant, and gray steel grip. The other side of the blade has the Gerber logo and name, and Portland Ore, USA.

The sheath is tan with a rounded bottom and the top has both belt slits and the metal hanger for attaching it to the old style canteen belt. The sheath also has a pocket to contain the chisel shaped sharpening stone that was included with it.

The whole thing looks exactly like the picture in the web site gallery of SN 1030. (Second row down.)
Not sure what reference your looking at. You have a 1967 produced knife, narrow wasp,tool steel blade, cats tongue handle. The cant history is a little strange. At first the knives were made with the 5 degree cant. By your serial number range they were not doing that because of too many people believing that their knife was defective because of this feature. Knives also were made with 10 and 15 degree cants but these were generally special order from the custom shop.
The blades are actually epoxied to the handle and this is where the cant was introduced. Many knives are out there with varying degree's of cant on them that weren't meant to have them. If your sheath is from that time frame the strap should cross the knife guard from the right side. You have a very desirable version of the Gerber MK II.

Some may also like this site:
http://www.militarycarryknives.com/
 
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I picked up two MK IIs while at FT Campbell back in 80-83 from the PX for IIRC $35-40 each. A good friend of mine who was SF during VN "recommended" them to me before I went active, so who am I to question an old "snake-eater"? Both are in the A73xxS serial range, stainless blade and leather sheath so they're standard issue. Have used them plenty is the ensuing years and both have held up very well.
I also have one I got in the late 80s or early 90s at Schofield Brks, but don't know the model number. It has the MK II blade profile w/o serrations, but the handle is wider and flatter. The blade is epoxy black and the handle is woodland camo. The sheath is nylon (camo) with the Gerber belt lock. Serial is C79xxS. Haven't used it as much as the others, but it's still a good knife. Anyone know what it is?
I also have a TAC-II (don't like the plastic handle) and numerous folders by Gerber. Unfortunately, when they went to China for their manufacturing I went to other makers. Such a shame.
 

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Sounds like the guardian to me. If you check the site I posted above and go to similar knives you'll find different ones there. One of them should be your knife.
 

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Not sure what reference your looking at. You have a 1967 produced knife, narrow wasp,tool steel blade, cats tongue handle. The cant history is a little strange.

If your sheath is from that time frame the strap should cross the knife guard from the right side. You have a very desirable version of the Gerber MK II.

Some may also like this site:
http://www.militarycarryknives.com/
Thanks, That is a great site, and answers some questions.

The odd thing is still the cant. I looked at the picture and it appears mine does NOT have a 5 degree cant, but it does have a slight cant that is barely visible. I'm going to figure out a way to get a good straight line in the knife, and see if I can figure out the angle, the off set is toward the side of the blade with the serial number.

When I have time this weekend I'm going to look at and compare the rest of the information on the site with my knife, but it looks at first glance that everything lines up with where the serial number places period of the knife, including the early sheath.
 

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Rick,
Over the years I’ve run into a lot of what appears to be discrepancies in Gerber MK2’s. Gerber has provided detailed descriptions on the serial #’s for the Mark 2 and within their own information you will find exceptions that turn out to be legitimate knives. Check out this for a copy of one of those lists.
http://home.comcast.net/~rfrost70/Mark2.htm
Between this list and the earlier site you will have some pretty good reference material.

Just MHO the cant you have in your knife is something I find desirable. These cants show up through serial number series that offically should not have it. I have a NIB 1978 knife that has a cant between 3 and 4 degrees. Not as pronounced as the 5 degree versions but there’s enough cant to hug the body well when the knife is sheathed.
 

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sac troop,

Thanks! Yep, that's what it is all right...a Guardian II. Nice knife, not surprising seeing that it was designed by R.W. Loveless. That's what I liked about the old Gerbers, designed by good knifemakers to be used daily, not bought and placed in a display case.
As an aside, in one of those "should of, could of, would of" moments there was a pawn shop just outside of FT Campbell that had a MK II with a wasp-waisted, 5 degree off-set blade with the leather sheath. The blade was tool steel as it had some rust stains on it when I looked at it and passed on it as I thought the blade was bent! They wanted $30 (IIRC) for it or about $5 cheaper than a new one at the PX. If only I knew then what I do now!
Now I just have to find my MK I I know I have somewhere in my stash...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The Inuit Defense Technique!!!!! Yikes!!!

Amazing! Didn't know what I was opening up here! I"ll have to get out my three knives and figure out what and when they were! ( a Mk I and two L-6 Mk IIs). I bought them all in about 1979 when I went up to chase free-ranging polar bears, and I carried one at all times on a sheath carried under my parka, across my chest.

The native Inuit said that the old-timers, if attacked, would lay down and "pretend" to be damaged, and when the polar bear approached, they'd wave around in the air the arm they were willing to "sacrifice". When the bear would inevitably & apparently predictably bite at that waving "bait arm", the Inuit would stab away into the bear's "main wiring harness" in the pb's neck, and hopefully kill him on the spot.

Not something I'd ever like to try, frankly!

But still... I always had my MkII VERY sharp & VERY ready.....
 

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Ah memories. I bought a Mk II in a store near the Kingston, ON Forces base back in 1980. It was the longer uncanted version with serrations towards the hilt. I remember an older British lady (who was presumably there purchasing a paring knife or an oyster fork) gasped in horror at the sight of the Gerber as it was handed to me and loudly pronounced it "Dreadful!". And she was looking at me like she just knew I was going to be killing Soviet babies, or perhaps Lab puppies, with it the next day. This is very typical of the sort of Canadian morale raiser you used to get all the time here.
 

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Hello, putting some life into this topic about this beautiful fighting knife.

I bought this Gerber mark II from 1969.
it is not in mint state but for sure has that "been there, seen it, done it" about it.
I like it this way it shows some history a nice add to my collection.


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I purchased two of the specially built Gerber Mk-II daggers in 1972. They were made of L-6 tool steel instead of the usual commercial-grade stainless. There was a little extra brochure in the box that told of the differences, and of the need to keep the blade oiled to prevent easy rusting. I also did what a lots of guys did: I cold-blued the blades. Makes these knives look very tough indeed!

http://thegerberknives.com/mark.html

In that special add-in brochure, there was a picture of a guy up on a bench, stamping on a vise-held Mk-II in L-6. He was only able to bend, not fracture, the blade, even when he bent it all the way down to about a70 degree angle. Tough indeed.

Later, I also found and bought one of their smaller Mk-I boot knives, also in L-6.

Anyone else have one or some of these great combat knives? Any "field" experiences?
This is me, (5th Special Forces, Ba Xoai, 1969). My Gerber Mark II dagger (purchased, Fort Bragg PX, early 1968.) Cat’s tongue handle; handle engraved: “Dan O’Hanlon, RA….7880” (induction number partly redacted here). Cold-blued blade. (Serial number forgotten.)

I mention this only because I lost it in Nam (note: it was stolen—hence, it remains common property and not war booty) only weeks before I shipped out. And so, even if by the rarest of rare chances it turns up somewhere I would at least wish it returned, if not to me then to one of my children/ descendants.

I would add that as a combat knife the standard K-bar was far more practical.
454719
 
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