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U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc. 894

No Life Club Posts: 1,240 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« on: April 17, 2021, 02:54:26 PM »
Hello, netizens of MTO,

I finally received my first U.S. Army knife. I was searching for a thread about them, and if there is one, I haven't found it yet. (search results get flooded with the Swiss Army Knife stuff).

I am aware that the knives of this pattern were made by several different companies. It seems that Camillus made a heap of them, and I saw one by Imperial on the bay, and this one I picked up is by Ontario USA.

Is there a thread dedicated to these things? If not, discussion on....


This life is merely a staging ground for eternity. Are you preparing for the rest of forever?
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 52,687
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2021, 03:25:09 PM »
Also known as the "Demo knife"  They were made by a few quite a few companies over the years.  Stevens, Kingston, Ulster, Imperial, Western, Case, Queen and Camillus made versions of this knife.

No Life Club Posts: 1,240 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2021, 03:28:31 PM »
Also known as the "Demo knife"  They were made by a few quite a few companies over the years.  Stevens, Kingston, Ulster, Imperial, Western, Case, Queen and Camillus made versions of this knife.

Interesting. Demo? Demonstration? Demolition?

Were they issued to troops on a regular basis? Or just available for them to buy?

This life is merely a staging ground for eternity. Are you preparing for the rest of forever?
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 52,687
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2021, 04:19:16 PM »
Jr. Member Posts: 88
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2021, 04:20:21 PM »
Check out Myron’s piece:

http://www.roverhaven.com/the-rover-haven-blog/2020/2/14/t9rssec8yoygr6gsmj3pg8bvrfznir


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Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,630
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2021, 04:40:53 PM »
I've got a Vietnam era Air Force survival knife.  I had one before ( not Vietnam era ) but sent it to a member.  I was pretty stoked to find a Vietnam era one.  I'll post a pic later.   

Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 1,240 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2021, 04:55:32 PM »
Mine, made by Ontario, does not have a year stamped on it.

Thanks for the info. Very interesting!

This life is merely a staging ground for eternity. Are you preparing for the rest of forever?
No Life Club Posts: 1,240 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2021, 05:30:39 PM »
So mine does not have a year stamped in it. Does that mean it was not an issued knife? Possibly a civilian market product?

This life is merely a staging ground for eternity. Are you preparing for the rest of forever?
No Life Club Posts: 4,802
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2021, 06:41:27 PM »
So mine does not have a year stamped in it. Does that mean it was not an issued knife? Possibly a civilian market product?

I do know that, about 5-ish years ago, Ontario sold them on their website for about $35 as a "Camp Knife".  Possibly, that was one of those.
No Life Club Posts: 1,240 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2021, 06:53:22 PM »
I do know that, about 5-ish years ago, Ontario sold them on their website for about $35 as a "Camp Knife".  Possibly, that was one of those.

You're probably right, that's what this would be. Now I wonder if it's exactly the same pattern, or a modified copy of the mil spec Army knife.

A quick check of their site shows it does not seem to be sold anymore.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2021, 07:10:14 PM by Jim the Brave »

This life is merely a staging ground for eternity. Are you preparing for the rest of forever?
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,630
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2021, 08:57:38 PM »
I do know that, about 5-ish years ago, Ontario sold them on their website for about $35 as a "Camp Knife".  Possibly, that was one of those.

 :tu:  Thanks Cody for this information. 

Esse Quam Videri
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,630
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2021, 09:05:34 PM »
I see the Demo knives a lot at the flea market but not always in the best shape.  Many times the sellers want quite a lot IMO. 

Heres my Camillus Air Force knife. 

Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 1,462
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2021, 09:19:48 PM »
I served in the army combat engineers for my service, and these knives were pretty common in both he engineer tool kits and the 'demo' kits when we had to move/take down something using explosives. The supply room sergeant held them dear, but iffy sweet talked him you could get one overt the counter. It won't until Vietnam that they really got hot. A 'demo' knife in downtown Saigon could be traded off for a iced down case of "33" and maybe even some nice female company if you tossed in a carton of American cigarettes from the PX.

Some of them in the late 60's and early 70's had a nasty habit of the springs breaking. The Swiss made equivalent, the pioneer, was a better knife, but the U.S. version had the 'mystique' once the war was over.

Don't get too serious, just enough will do.
No Life Club Posts: 1,594
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2021, 02:50:47 PM »
Mil-K was their designation..  :tu:

All who wander are not lost..

It only take a little bit of sharp..
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,607
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2021, 03:04:37 PM »
Found an 81 stamped version locally last year made by Camillus.
It's a decent and fun tool and very uncommon around these parts.
Think I payed €12 for it.

Buy now or regret later
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,537 Bon Journee!!
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2021, 04:10:40 PM »
I had one a long time ago.  They're really practical fixed blades.  That one is a month older than me!!
I see the Demo knives a lot at the flea market but not always in the best shape.  Many times the sellers want quite a lot IMO. 

Heres my Camillus Air Force knife.

Barry
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,630
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2021, 04:13:35 PM »
 :D.  The one I had a while ago I did put an edge on and I was very surprised how well it came up.  I didn't use it but I would not hesitate if I needed to.  This one is purely for the collection. 

Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 1,240 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2021, 03:11:33 AM »
I tried out the self-promoting can opener on mine last night. It worked, but I don't think it worked any better than the 91-93 mm SAK can openers, which are discretely non-labled....

This life is merely a staging ground for eternity. Are you preparing for the rest of forever?
Hero Member Posts: 520
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2021, 07:34:04 AM »
I have my own theory on the can opener label.

Its for those people who think a knive only consists of a blade. Seen those people. Not everyone was in scouts or was taught proper knife handling.
They will open a can with whatever they have in hand, probably not even knowing how to operate that can opener.
Army not only needs to make things tank proof but also dumbass proof.

I once read that story:  Cans as food rations were introduced into service before army knifes exist. There were dedicated openers, which were often lost. So the soldier used what he had on hand, including their bayonets which didnt end well at all times.
This was the reason the army included can openers to their pocket knifes.

When at the university we were preparing a party for our faculty. We had to remove some posters and stuff to hang up our decoration, so there were some screws to be removed. A dude asked if anyone has a scredriver. I handled him a Spartan (my knife to give to others...the better ones dont leave my hand anymore). He instantly opened the blade to unscrew the phillips.  :facepalm:  I shouted at him, took my knife back and did it myself. Was the last time I ever gave my knife to someone else.
Do not exspect other people to know things we know, to have the practice we have.
Some people are lucky not to hurt themself leaving the bed.
No Life Club Posts: 1,240 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2021, 03:07:10 PM »
Whenever I hand somebody a knife for a task, I tell them which tool to use if it isn't the main blade. Typically, I open it for them.

Whenever I give somebody a knife as a gift, I give them a tutorial on what all the blades and tools are.

This life is merely a staging ground for eternity. Are you preparing for the rest of forever?
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,630
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2021, 03:43:48 PM »
Interesting thoughts Shuya.  I would agree that a great many would have had no clue which tool to use for what other than the blade.   

Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 1,240 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2021, 03:48:09 PM »
That may all be true. Myself, I have a hard time thinking that people in the 1940's weren't highly familiar with opening cans by using this type of can opener, as a separate tool. Nowadays, with rotational can openers superfluous, and pull-tab cans common as well, (not to mention so much fast-food and instant breakfast), it would be far more common for green GI's to not know what the can opener is, but I would think in 1943, everybody would have known. However, I wasn't born yet at that time, so  :dunno:

This life is merely a staging ground for eternity. Are you preparing for the rest of forever?
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,630
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2021, 03:50:36 PM »
Maybe the younger folk  :dunno:.  Young men joining the military leaving home for the first time. 

Esse Quam Videri
OCD Squad Leader Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 11,820
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2021, 04:13:31 PM »
That may all be true. Myself, I have a hard time thinking that people in the 1940's weren't highly familiar with opening cans by using this type of can opener, as a separate tool. Nowadays, with rotational can openers superfluous, and pull-tab cans common as well, (not to mention so much fast-food and instant breakfast), it would be far more common for green GI's to not know what the can opener is, but I would think in 1943, everybody would have known. However, I wasn't born yet at that time, so  :dunno:
Actually, "that style" of can opener was not that prominent (oh and fun fact, electrical can openers were introduced in 1931!!!). You should also not forget that in that time, few men were found in a kitchen. It is well possible that many of those men held a can for the very first time (especially a tin can, this was the time of home-canning and that means glass jars).

Emergency Kit: Ovo Sport, chocolate, cheese, crispbread and a coin
Hero Member Posts: 520
No Life Club Posts: 1,462
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2021, 12:33:00 AM »
When it comes to opening cans, my sister in law is a bit spoiled. Electric everything. Can opener, stirrer and beater, anything.

One day about 15 years ago, the wife and I were over the SIL's and I was helping make a spaghetti dinner. Diane, (the SIL) was opening a can of tomato paste for the suave, and her wonderful electric can opener broke. he little cutter thing sheared right off the spine it was mounted on. Di was frantic to send her hubby out to the store for a can opener when I opened my wallet and produced my old army issue P-38.

Blank stares. They hd no idea what it was, and how was that silly little thing going to open a can?

About 40 seconds later, (I was out of practice from my army days) the can was opened and Diane and her hubby Roy, ( a college guy who had a student deferment during the draft and never served) were amazed.

I doubt many people under 50 who never served in the old army would recognize or know how to use a P-38. The most wonderful little multitool in the world.

Don't get too serious, just enough will do.
No Life Club Posts: 1,240 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2021, 01:54:26 AM »
When it comes to opening cans, my sister in law is a bit spoiled. Electric everything. Can opener, stirrer and beater, anything.

One day about 15 years ago, the wife and I were over the SIL's and I was helping make a spaghetti dinner. Diane, (the SIL) was opening a can of tomato paste for the suave, and her wonderful electric can opener broke. he little cutter thing sheared right off the spine it was mounted on. Di was frantic to send her hubby out to the store for a can opener when I opened my wallet and produced my old army issue P-38.

Blank stares. They hd no idea what it was, and how was that silly little thing going to open a can?

About 40 seconds later, (I was out of practice from my army days) the can was opened and Diane and her hubby Roy, ( a college guy who had a student deferment during the draft and never served) were amazed.

I doubt many people under 50 who never served in the old army would recognize or know how to use a P-38. The most wonderful little multitool in the world.

I must admit, I heard about P38 can openers for years, but never knew what they looked like. I guess I expected them to look a little more like a P38 Lightning....

This life is merely a staging ground for eternity. Are you preparing for the rest of forever?
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,715
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2021, 04:51:32 AM »
I saw one for sale near me - Imperial, 1974.

Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,630
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2021, 04:05:06 PM »
 :tu:.  Nice find. 

Esse Quam Videri
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,715
Re: U.S. Army knives, Vietnam era, etc.
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2021, 09:58:28 PM »
I'm not getting it though.  :pommel:
Just thought it was kinda interesting.


 

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