Camillus USN

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OSCAR
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Camillus USN

Post by OSCAR » Sun May 26, 2019 10:14 am

Camillus combat knife I have. It appears that the blade is plated, possibly chrome, maybe nickel. It doesn’t look at all like stainless steel. Marked Camillus and USN. Any information and value would be appreciated. A few small spots on blade, otherwise blade is in great shape. Leather wrap handle is good except for darkening from age. Thanks. I have tried to research this, but unable to find out why they would plate blade. Makes no sense for combat knife to be reflective. Only guess I have is saltwater resistance ??
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New_Windsor_NY
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Re: Camillus USN

Post by New_Windsor_NY » Sun May 26, 2019 5:05 pm

At first I thought it was one of the knives that came as part of the "Combat Knives Commemorative Set." It was released by Camillus in 1991 I believe. But yours has no etching on the blade. There are other differences between the two. Read the description below. Maybe your knife is some sort of ceremonial presentation knife. Whatever it is, it is a nice looking knife. ::tu::
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zzyzzogeton
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Re: Camillus USN

Post by zzyzzogeton » Sun May 26, 2019 6:19 pm

I have seen references to these before, but have never had one in hand to examine.

Some have thought they might have been chromed for diving use, but not enough of them have popped out of the woodwork for that to have to be a viable reason for chroming them. The Navy would not have wasted the effort on just a few knives

Someone else thought that they were for ceremonial use, but a MK2 does not get used like a ceremonial chromed bayonet does, on the end of a color guard's rifle. Some M1913 Patton sabers were chromed for a mounted unit in China before WW2, but saber flourishes with a MK2 would look rather ridiculous.

Another theory proposed was that they were post-WW2 surplus sales marketing gimmick knives, but that would not explain the blade marked versions in Pal Blade sheaths.

I have seen nothing in writing that states "The Navy had xxx MK2s chromed for Y purpose." Until someone finds the proverbial "smoking gun" document, the subject remain one of those mysteries open to rampant speculation. :mrgreen:

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OSCAR
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Re: Camillus USN

Post by OSCAR » Sun May 26, 2019 11:47 pm

Thanks for replying. I agree we may never know what they are. I have tried to research it for about 6 years since I acquired the knife. I did not get a sheath with it. The ONLY thing I know for sure is that it’s got to be worth more than the $35.00 I have paid for it. Still I’d like to know more about it. Thanks again. Maybe some day we will find out about it.
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Re: Camillus USN

Post by knife7knut » Tue May 28, 2019 10:09 pm

What makes you think the blade is plated? Are there any areas where the plating is chipped off? If it is plated it would likely be chrome(which has a bluish tint whereas nickel plating looks yellowish gray).To properly plate steel it must first be copper plated;buffed and then a nickel coating applied to bond the chrome to the copper.The chrome plating is the last step.
When parts are plated they are usually hung on a piece of wire to allow them to be submerged in the various tanks.The plating does not stick under the wire and this is what verifies it is plated.On a knife blade they would likely wrap the wire around the tang under the handle so if the handle could be removed it could be easily verified.
Plating will sometimes chip off either due to exterior damage(being struck by another object)or by improper cleaning of the part during the plating process.This will usually expose the under layers(nickel and copper).
Nickel plating as a top layer is unlikely because of it's relative softness and being prone to scratching.Copper plating is even softer.
The only fixed blade I have ever come across that was chrome plated was a Schrade-Walden Hunter and the plating had deteriorated badly.
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OSCAR
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Re: Camillus USN

Post by OSCAR » Tue May 28, 2019 10:54 pm

I can’t be certain it was plated. I think it may be because the finish on it is extremely highly polished. I’ve NEVER seen this high degree of finish on any stainless steel. It appears to resemble a bumper on a brand new car. Granted it’s not scientific proof. It’s just that it has a VERY high mirror polish. That also begs the question why did the make a combat knife reflective ? They are usually grey phosphate finish parkerized or at least some sort of non reflective finish so as not to be seen from a distance. ???? I’m not sure what this is as I’ve never seen a combat knife with a mirror finish.
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Re: Camillus USN

Post by knife7knut » Wed May 29, 2019 3:29 am

OSCAR wrote:I can’t be certain it was plated. I think it may be because the finish on it is extremely highly polished. I’ve NEVER seen this high degree of finish on any stainless steel. It appears to resemble a bumper on a brand new car. Granted it’s not scientific proof. It’s just that it has a VERY high mirror polish. That also begs the question why did the make a combat knife reflective ? They are usually grey phosphate finish parkerized or at least some sort of non reflective finish so as not to be seen from a distance. ???? I’m not sure what this is as I’ve never seen a combat knife with a mirror finish.
It appears to have been polished;possibly with a buffing wheel.Some soft edges visible.It is likely carbon steel which can be highly polished with relative ease using wet-or-dry sandpaper and Mother's Mag Wheel Polish. A buffing wheel isn't really needed;it can be done by hand in a relatively short period of time.
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OSCAR
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Re: Camillus USN

Post by OSCAR » Wed May 29, 2019 10:00 am

Thanks for the prompt reply. I’ve tried to research that knife since I acquired it. If that’s true, I would bet the previous owner polished it and not Camillus. Ive not seen another. Doubt they just would have made just one. And reflective combat knives makes no sense. I believe you are most likely correct. Your explanation makes sense. I never knew carbon steel could polish up like that. I’m learning a lot on AAPK. Thanks again.
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