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 Post subject: blue blades
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:41 am 
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During WWII military knives were darkened at the factory by various means and resulting in various finishes. I don't really know much about this. However I have noticed that recently (and perhaps longer) a lot of WESTERN fixed blade knives come up for sale which are WWII age or actual military contract, which have been polished and then blued with (I believe) gun blue. This is very charming and lovely, but they are sold as if they are original darkened military knives, and I think they are all being spruced up by someone or someones as we speak, and not a long time ago, although that is the claim being made. I used to see a lot of WWII military knives around when I was a kid and none of them looked like this. Does anyone have any comments?

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 Post subject: Re: blue blades
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:02 am 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 4:15 am
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Although many Western knives were used during WWII, most of them were purchased by the government from Western or various wholesalers rather than being produced on contract. (The Paratrooper model was one exception to this.)

Basically, some unit or branch of service would have a need of knives, and an order would go out to purchase X amount of "5 inch hunting knives" or whatever. The supplier filled the order with what was available (Westerns, Camillus, Remington, Robeson, etc). The guy who actually got the knife may have been issued a Western, but it was a knife produced for the commercial market. Some were blued, some were bright.

The early knives weren't really standardized as much as, say, the later Mk2 "KaBar" or M3 "trench knife" were. The USN MkI was just a 5" hunting knife, from a variety of makers; some were marked USN MARK I, and some just had the commercial markings.

If you're buying a blued Western, keep in mind that Western used a hot blue, not a rust blue or a cold blue. If the blade smells like copper, it has been refinished with cold blue.

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Quality should not be an accident. So what is the explanation for some of the knives we've seen in the past few years? (from The Knifebuyer's Manifesto)


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