the stainless military utuility knife

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thickskinner54
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the stainless military utuility knife

Postby thickskinner54 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:50 pm

Hey guys, did all of these knives come with a bail loop? This one is a Camillus 19712 model and it does not have a bail, did some come this way or was this one broken off or replaced? doesn't look tampered with. Thanks for any help with this.
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thickskinner54
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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby thickskinner54 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:53 pm

1971 it should say, I didn't proofread it..sorry :)
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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby XX Case XX » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:31 am

All the ones I've seen have a bail. Also, I have a 1981 version and it too has a bail. And come to think of it, a while back, some guy on eBay was selling a whole mess of these from all different years and they had bails.

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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby thickskinner54 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:59 am

Thanks, Mike, the ones I remember seeing I'm pretty sure had a bail, but I'm not 100% on that. The rivets are tight on this so it doesn't look like there is anything missing, here's the tang stamp. A few different companies produced these right? Do you think maybe Camillus may have left off the bail for a few years? Thanks
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treefarmer
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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby treefarmer » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:43 am

I've had several of these and seems they all had bails. The only one I could find right now is a 1986 with a single "Q" on the tang. A Queen of course and it has a bail/shackle on the opposite end. I blew up your pictures and it looks like the rivet on the back end of the knife has been peened compared to the other two rivets. Some one may have removed the bail because they didn't like it and again it may have been made that way. The rivet may tell the story. ::hmm:: They are rugged knives but not much to look at. :)
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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby just bob » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:01 pm

I went to Google and searched for metal military knife and then clicked on images. All of the knives similar to yours pictured have bails, with one exception about midways down. These knives are notorious for having broken springs. In fact I think I have 4 -5 right now needing a spring. It is entirely possible one of these has been repaired and the bail either lost or was just left off because it was easier to put back together. Not rocket science to put a head back on the pin and make the repair virtually undetectable. My best guess is that all of the original knives had bails. As it added to the utilitarian value of the knife. Maybe some later date knock offs were made without bails? They were still making similar knives in the USA in the 1990's and I think there are modern China knock offs. Here is my Google search.

https://www.google.com/search?q=metal+m ... 56#imgrc=_
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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby eveled » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:26 pm

These were a focus of my collection for a very long time, I’ve looked at thousands of them. From every maker.
Unless an employee made one without a bail to take home. They all had bails. Usually you can see the rivets look different.

The ones in this picture without bails have different blade configurations.

A6F02DA0-0854-48CF-B93C-BE1F0F1AF3E4.jpeg

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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby Gunsil » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:35 pm

Hey eveled, did you have a 1949 Camillus in your collection? I have heard they are quite rare. I believe Camillus did make one without a bail but it didn't have the US on the scale. Another note, the first ones, made at the end of WW2 had scales of monel rather than stainless. I don't consider any from the 1960s up to be "sturdy" knives. I carried many over the years and they would get wobbly blades with some but not a lot of hard use. I think they'd last me maybe two years before they got so loose I got a newer one. Of course two years was also a tour so maybe that was all they were intended to last.

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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby eveled » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:57 pm

No I don’t have a 1949 one. My focus at the time was different manufacturers and the different handle markings/finishes. In other words variants not years.

I have not noticed any monel ones. Not sure I could tell the difference?

I’ve noticed the sturdiness factor too. The best users are the stainless ones that have the pin on the cap lifter. I have heard that was a tool for a rifle take down pin? Not sure but they seem sturdier from that era.

Then it evolved into the smooth “stainless handle” and other knives with the same dimples. Then the bone handled military ones.

It started when I wanted birthyear Camillus knives for my nephews and my children. Most were easy to get I think I had a hard time with 1999. It must be a rare one. I was recovering from multiple shoulder surgery and spent too much time on eBay searching and cataloged everyone for most of a two year period. But can’t find the notes.

The Camillus without the US I was told was for Canada. I’ve never seen one without a bail.

I have two favorites. One made by Case. I’ve been told it was made by Camillus but it seems to be made to a higher standard brass liners and better fit smoother action.

The other is my mountain division knife with the Phillips bit for their ski bindings.

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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby kootenay joe » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:28 pm

Mike Silvey's book "Pocket Knives of the United States Military" calls this knife "Knife, Pocket, General Purpose" and he shows 5 examples, all with the long flat bail. He states that the manufacturers (mainly Camillus, Imperial, Ulster, Queen & Schrade) also made civilian versions. Quote page 123: "Those that display U.S.M.C., U.S.N., or U.S.A.F. on the handle have no real military affiliation"
He does not mention anything about not having the bail so presumably all versions originally had a bail.
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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby eveled » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:59 pm

There were lots of fun variants when Camillus was still alive. They jumped on every band wagon they could to sell knives.

I have one from NAHC. North America Hunting Club

one with a flag painted handle I think they were all made in 2001..

One with a flat desert sand treatment for desert storm. seems kind of scarce. Doesn’t make much sense to me it would be too easy to loose. Lol.

I had fun collecting them. The dura-tools and what-a-knifes are neat too.

I just got one marked Buck on the main blade but I think it is fake. I’ve also seen some creative blade replacements.

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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby knife7knut » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:50 pm

I am currently pursuing one that is tang stamped,"USA" and the pin on the cap lifter/screwdriver is missing. I understand that this is the way they were made. I'm hoping I can acquire it soon;it is supposedly WWII era.It has a bail.
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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby eveled » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:22 pm

If they were made without the pin there would be no need for the hole.

Are the scales stamped US?

Are the blades carbon steel?

It’s probably a Kingston.

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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby tongueriver » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:14 am

I had to look it up:
"Definition of Monel Metal—used for an alloy of approximately 67 percent nickel, 28 percent copper, and 5 percent other elements that is made by direct reduction from ore in which the constituent metals occur in these proportions"

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Re: the stainless military utuility knife

Postby Gunsil » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:14 pm

eveled wrote:If they were made without the pin there would be no need for the hole.

Are the scales stamped US?

Are the blades carbon steel?

It’s probably a Kingston.


I have four Kingstons, none have any tang stamp and none were made with US on them, they all say US Marine Corps as all the WW2 ones did as far as I know. They all have carbon blades and brass liners. The super rare Camillus 1949 one also has brass liners. I asked the guys at the little Camillus museum if the 1949s had stainless or monel handles but they did not know.


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