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1917 Knuckle Duster Trench knife. Complete

Started by avigo , Jan 05 2014 01:01 PM

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#1 avigo

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:01 PM

I've always wanted one of these. My friend just got his hand on one that almost looks too good to be true. It's mint with the sheath.

He's looking for $500 cash/trade.

 

Does this look real to you guys and is that a decent price?

 

Looking to possibly get it later today so I'd love some quick input.

Thanks guys!

 

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#2 bayonetman

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:47 PM

Not a true expert on these, but looks good to me.  Price is a little high to me, but is in line with what they seem to be selling for in this condition.



#3 militariaone

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 02:58 PM

Greetings Avigo,

 

     The set appears completely legitimate from what may be viewed in your posted pictures, I’d ask to see the butt end of the knucks to see if it has been re-peened (happening a lot recently as folks “refinish” tired blades to increase their resale value). Handle's finish does look to have some minor wear on it (a good thing). Barring any shenanigans there, I’d say the price was fair enough (that’s also assuming the scabbard has all of its rivets and is not glued or some how cobbled together).

 

     As a comparison here’s a very nice conditioned one for $395.00, yet has no scabbard with it http://www.jjmilitaryantiques.com/catdet.asp?TargetItem=15658&CategoryType=Knives

Point being that with a scabbard the price of the one you have posted is about right/decent marketwise. That’s again assuming the knife has not been “refinished” and there are no unseen issues with the scabbard’s condition. Good luck!

 

Regards,

 

Lance



#4 avigo

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:28 PM

Greetings Avigo,

 

     The set appears completely legitimate from what may be viewed in your posted pictures, I’d ask to see the butt end of the knucks to see if it has been re-peened (happening a lot recently as folks “refinish” tired blades to increase their resale value). Handle's finish does look to have some minor wear on it (a good thing). Barring any shenanigans there, I’d say the price was fair enough (that’s also assuming the scabbard has all of its rivets and is not glued or some how cobbled together).

 

     As a comparison here’s a very nice conditioned one for $395.00, yet has no scabbard with it http://www.jjmilitaryantiques.com/catdet.asp?TargetItem=15658&CategoryType=Knives

Point being that with a scabbard the price of the one you have posted is about right/decent marketwise. That’s again assuming the knife has not been “refinished” and there are no unseen issues with the scabbard’s condition. Good luck!

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

 

Thanks Lance!

Stupid question, but what is the "knucks"?

I also posted this in another thread here on the forum and a member said that the scabbard was a reproduction from a place called prairie flower leather company...but they don't look at all the same. From the research I've done this scabbard looks correct. Is that true?

(Little confusing since the knife is marked 1917 and the scabbard is 1918)

 

Thanks for your help!



#5 RustyCanteen

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:34 PM

 


Stupid question, but what is the "knucks"?

 

Not a stupid question at all. He is referring to 'knuckle', which is the guard over the handle.

 

Also, it looks good to me.



#6 avigo

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:34 PM

Here are a few more pics of my sheath and knife

 

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#7 bheskett

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:39 PM

IMHO  Looks right as rain.   It would be a great addition to any collection. 

 

Bob



#8 avigo

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:43 PM

Thanks guys! I'm glad all looks good. It has been a knife I've always wanted.

 

Does anyone know why the blades are marked 1917 and the scabbards dated 1918?

 

Here are a couple more pics of the knuckles.

 

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Edited by avigo, 05 January 2014 - 07:54 PM.


#9 militariaone

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 10:54 PM

Greetings Avigo,

 

     Peened bottom portion of the “knucks” (or properly "knuckles" as already pointed out) looks exactly as it should (perfectly circular peen). Scabbard looks awesome too, as is the set is definitely worth a solid $500.00.

 

     According to Frank Trzaska’a website @ http://www.usmilitaryknives.com/amewm_18.htm The flanged models of triangularly bladed wooden handled knuckle knives are properly designated as the M1917s and the L.F.& C. pyramid knuckled ones (as you have posted) are properly designated as the M1918s. The bronze/brass handled ones are designated M1918 MK.Is. The reason is they are,

 

“Designated as such in Benedict Crowell’s America's Munitions we have continued to use the designation. There is still much controversy as to which is the Model 1917 and which is the Model 1918 so we will stick with the Assistant Secretary of War until proven otherwise.” (Trzaska,1994).

 

     The date confusion seems to be a contemporary issue between the contracted companies and the US War Department. Some contractors thought they were putting the year of manufacture on their knives while the War Department was expecting to see a model’s designation (this confusion happened with some M1917 bayonets receiving “1918” dates as well). In 1917 defense contracts for rapid mobilization were awarded without the pedantics of the normal (slower) acquisition system's detailed/specified contracts. Obviously, the knives with mixed up date/model designations were otherwise serviceable and the AEF were desperate for them. So we collectors have been stuck with the confusion over dates versus models’ designations ever since. This has all been discussed before on the forum by wiser men here http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/65710-wrong-year-buddy-model-1917-vs-model-1918-trench-knife-nomenclature/ I apologize for the long winded response, but it’s one of those “chicken versus egg” questions, which does not lend itself to a short answer.

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

Reference:

 

Trzaska, F. (1994). AMEWM 18. Retrieved January 6, 2014 from  http://www.usmilitaryknives.com/amewm

 

 

 



#10 avigo

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 07:51 AM

Thanks so much for the detailed reply Lance!

I love learning about new stuff and this is totally new territory to me.

Very interesting how there was confusion with the date/model.

 

So even though they are marked differently, this could easily be the original knife/scabbard pair?

I was concerned it might have been a scabbard someone just added to the knife somewhere along the way.

 

Thank you again!



#11 ponyradish

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 08:20 AM

It's a dandy. Wouldn't mind owning it at all. Pony.



#12 militariaone

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 08:47 AM

Thanks so much for the detailed reply Lance!

I love learning about new stuff and this is totally new territory to me.

Very interesting how there was confusion with the date/model.

 

So even though they are marked differently, this could easily be the original knife/scabbard pair?

I was concerned it might have been a scabbard someone just added to the knife somewhere along the way.

 

Thank you again!

 

Yes, an as originally issued set. There are other scabbard variants see some here http://www.usmilitar...e/#entry1404210 but there's absolutely no issue(s) with the set you have posted being mated/matched together. Now get the damn set so you can work on getting the rest of 'em!

 

Regards,

 

Lance



#13 avigo

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 09:06 AM

 

Yes, an as originally issued set. There are other scabbard variants see some here http://www.usmilitar...e/#entry1404210 but there's absolutely no issue(s) with the set you have posted being mated/matched together. Now get the damn set so you can work on getting the rest of 'em!

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

Awesome :)

And I got the set. It's officially mine, and I love it!

I think I'll have to be happy with just one for now until the budget allows haha.

 

 



#14 sactroop

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 10:00 AM

Great acquisition!  

 

I thought I'd post this description from Prairie Flower Leather Co. regarding their reproduction of these sheaths which was mentioned above.

 

“Triangular blade trench knife scabbard. The rivets are correct.
The color and number of stitches per inch are matched to an original.
It is sewn on a 1917 Singer 78-1 machine, just like our helmet liners
and is period perfect as we can make it,
right down to the keeper springs on the inside.
Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it ain't there.
Blackened brass hanger and metal parts, even the tooling marks on the tip
are like the originals.
What you WON'T FIND on this scabbard is the name Jewell
and the inspectors mark on the tip. They are marked PFLC 1918 on the leather
to avoid being passed off as originals six weeks or six years from now, they are that good.”

 



#15 militariaone

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 02:08 PM

 

Awesome :)

And I got the set. It's officially mine, and I love it!

I think I'll have to be happy with just one for now until the budget allows haha.

 

 

Congrats and best of luck resisting getting other variants. Alas, I'm addicted to the things and get all "squiffy" when I see one for sale of a type I do not already own. Then again, it is all about the chase...once you get something "new" the effects wear off faster each time...at least for me they do. So, what I'm saying is enjoy the rush while it lasts;-)

 

Regards,

 

Lance



#16 avigo

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 03:02 PM

Congrats and best of luck resisting getting other variants. Alas, I'm addicted to the things and get all "squiffy" when I see one for sale of a type I do not already own. Then again, it is all about the chase...once you get something "new" the effects wear off faster each time...at least for me they do. So, what I'm saying is enjoy the rush while it lasts;-)

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

 

I think my next one will be a beat up one that I'm not afraid to play around with!



#17 militariaone

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 04:26 PM

 

 

I think my next one will be a beat up one that I'm not afraid to play around with!

I highly recommend you do not store the knife in its scabbard. Each time you put it in and draw it out the runner marks on the blade (scratch marks) become more pronounced. Also, leather scabbards have the ability to hold moisture that may effect the blade's finish if left alone.

 

Regards,

 

Lance



#18 avigo

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 05:28 PM

I highly recommend you do not store the knife in its scabbard. Each time you put it in and draw it out the runner marks on the blade (scratch marks) become more pronounced. Also, leather scabbards have the ability to hold moisture that may effect the blade's finish if left alone.

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

Ya, it is currently out of the scabbard and it will stay that way. I did put it in and take it out a few times, but I had to ;)

 

That's why I'd like a heavily used one...but I haven't really seen one available recently. 



#19 militariaone

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:51 PM

     I saw this today and it just makes you wonder where some folks get their pricing from?

 

http://www.armslist....c-with-scabbard

 

You could afford two of the same (and better condition) knives as posted by this thread's OP and still have plenty left for a nice night out on the town!

 

Regards,

 

Lance



#20 Still-A-Marine

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:32 PM

I agree. Looks right to me and the price is fair.

Bill


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