Gerber Mark II

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by Marthor, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Marthor

    Marthor New Member

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    Gerber Mark II - combat fighting knife

    The Gerber Mark II is one of the most famous combat knives in history. It's based off the Fairbairn-Sykes WWI combat blade and was widely used in Vietnam. It's still used on active duty today! This knife also has Hollywood history as the blade of the (Mel Gibson's) Road Warrior, Navy SEAL hero (Steven Seagal) in Under Siege, Bishop's knife trick in Aliens and also the Punisher comic book hero.
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    These are the two most used blades from Vietnam; the KA-BAR and the Gerber Mark II. The KA-BAR is stronger and can be used more as a utility knife, but the Gerber is lighter and better for "killing". The penetration advantage of the Gerber is just basic physics and the double-sided blade gives you an extra slashing option in a melee and the pommel is a skull-cracker.
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    The current version of the Gerber Mark II is made of 420HC (high carbon) stainless steel and it's made in the USA! It also comes with a great nylon sheath that's molle system compatible.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  2. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

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    The Vietnam era Mk II was originally offered in L6 alloy tool steel; in 1970 it was also offered in 440C stainless. Both steels are head and shoulders above the current 420HC. Another example of the decline in quality of Gerber knives. I've owned three or four of these, one a Vietnam era and one other was what I believe was the 20th aniversary edition*, with the original "cat's tongue" handle surfance and the (I believe this was the angle) 6 degree angle. (Shown below) Sorta wish I hadn't sold it, but unfortunately that over time the nature of my collection changes, and I can't keep everything. I have doubts about how practical they were, but they sure are beautiful knives.

    *IF my memory is correct (it's been years since I looked this up) I believe Gerber made up a limited number of 20th Aniversary Knive, in a special box with a leather sheath like the original had; once they reached the cut-off number of this special run, they continued to produce more copies of this knife that year with the nylon sheath and without the special box. This was one made in that year, but not contained within the "special" run.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013

  3. Marthor

    Marthor New Member

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    I'd put the original L6 tool steel in last place. It's too brittle and can break easier and it rusts easy.

    420HC high carbon is a good quality. Buck Knives use it.
     
  4. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

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    Buck is known for getting optimal performance out if it's 420HC due to it's heat treatment process. L6 is band saw steel, very tough and was once a favorite of custom knifemakers. It's drawback is that is rusts easily.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  5. Gh0zt36

    Gh0zt36 Active Member

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    Buck is the only company who can get the heat treatment right on 420hc anyone else ive ever seen use it it was junk. Funny enough the buck blades that use that steel are made in china. My 199 pilot has the 420hc great blade. Although it needs to be sharpened often to get a sharp edge
     
  6. Marthor

    Marthor New Member

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    Bishop's Aliens movie knife trick and bonus footage... 40 seconds

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPEZdl7BvjA&feature=youtube_gdata_player[/ame]
     
  7. DFlynt

    DFlynt New Member

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    I've got a MK II I purchased in 1977 while stationed in Adak AK and later I purchased another one in the 1980's except they called it the Guardian MK II, someday when I get a digital camera I'll post a couple of pics.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  8. Marthor

    Marthor New Member

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    On the left is the United Honshu Fighter I. Right is the Cold Steel Grivory (non-metal) Tai Pan blade. It's a sharp ceramic-like blade. They are almost identical in size, but the angle of the camera makes the left one look bigger.
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    Looking around at fighter knife reviews I came across the Cold Steel Tai Pan knife. It's on the expensive side though at about $300. So, I found this very similar $35 United Honshu for a fraction of the cost.

    I also got the Grivory version of the Cold Steel knife for $12. The grivory blade you might mistake as a rubber trainer knife. You can't use it for that though. It's got a sharp cutting edge. Fast delivery from amazon as they came to my door in one day delivery. Didn't pay anything extra for the fast delivery.

    I'd call this United Honshu knife in the middle between the KA-BAR and Gerber as far as characteristics. It's still a fighter knife with double edge blade and a pommel that's even more damaging. It's also a wider blade and it's heavier than the Gerber. The grip is also a bit meatier like the KA-BAR. $35 is inexpensive, but the knife feels very strong and sturdy. It uses 440 stainless. You get a lot of quality for only $35. Plain ole leather sheath isn't bad either, but not as nice as the Gerber MOLLE balistic nylon sheath.

    Overall, I'd give the edge to the Gerber Mark II as a pure fighter knife, but there's some advantages to the Honshu. You might prefer the meatier grip, pommel and cost of the Honshu. I think I prefer the better penetrating blade of the Gerber and lighter/faster.
     
  9. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    I will stick with my Ol Fairbairn Sykes dagger ;)

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