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WESTERN CUTLERY CO.


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#1 Greg Robinson

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 02:55 AM

In my opinion, WESTERN made some of the finest fighting knives of WW2. Although they never had any major government contracts they sold thousands of knives through private and unit purchases.

One of the best was the L77. There is speculation that this knife was designed as an improvement to what is now known as the L76 in order to secure a contract with the Marine Corps. In the early days of the Marine Raiders many an L77 was purchased and carried by them while Stateside training. Of course, we all know that the Marines wound up going with the CAMILLUS Raider stiletto.

Here's a variation of the L77 used in WW2. It has the wartime plastic pommel and guard, is bright blade, and is in the long style scabbard with military cartridge belt hooks. I've seen these before with USMC provenance so I know they purchased some of these.

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#2 Greg Robinson

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 03:05 AM

THE BLUE BLADE L77

Made during WW2 it had the typical high grade polished blue finish as seen on all WESTERN knives of the period. It's almost impossible to show the finish on a photograph due to the spectacular glossy finish.

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#3 Greg Robinson

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 03:12 AM

BRIGHT BLADE L77

Same knife as the blued version but the blade is left bright and highly polished. This example has the wartime plastic pommel but retains the standard steel guard.

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#4 gunbarrel

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:28 AM

Beautiful knives, Greg. I particularly admire the blue blade Westerns, but I must say that the polished blade you show is stunning. Here is a photo of my one and only Western, a common shark knife that belonged to a naval aviator.

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#5 Greg Robinson

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:13 PM

Beautiful knives, Greg. I particularly admire the blue blade Westerns, but I must say that the polished blade you show is stunning. Here is a photo of my one and only Western, a common shark knife that belonged to a naval aviator.


I like it. :D And, yep, a lot of WW2 "Shark" knives were carried by Naval aviators.

Here's mine. I bought it off ebay from the Naval aviators brother. By the time he got qualified to fly the F4U Corsair it was late 1944 or early '45 and he never left the States so missed seeing any combat. But his brother still admired him. This is what he had say about his brother. The aviator had recently passed away when I got the knife.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Hi
His name was George Geras,Lieutenant Junior Grade.
Was in navy from 1941 before Pearl Harbour left navy 1946.He came up from
the ranks was Aviation Machinist 1st class. How many pilots could maintain
their own
planes not many.
Jim"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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  • Corsair.jpg
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#6 Greg Robinson

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:20 PM

Here's what M H COLE called the "type 2" Shark. Same knife with flat pommel.

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#7 camopara

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 01:43 PM

Western W31.

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  • W31a.JPG


#8 gunbarrel

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:09 PM

Western W31.


Be still my heart...a Parachutist! What a thrill...thanks!!

GB

#9 camopara

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:40 PM

You noticed!
I've only seen 3 to include mine. They are a tough one!

#10 robinb

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 10:17 PM

Excuse me, but make that 4 parachutists.
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#11 robinb

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 10:33 PM

What's fun with collecting Western's is that the variations seem to go on and on. Bright or blued blades. Aluminum or plastic pommels. Lanyard holes or not. Short, long, or half guards made from either steel of brass. And then there are variations in the blade markings. In my photo of the different Shark knives, the one on the for right is not marked at all, and the scabbard is one piece folded leather.
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#12 robinb

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 10:34 PM

MVC_124F.JPG
Baby Sharks:
MVC_125F.JPG

#13 gunbarrel

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 03:27 AM

What great knives! Keep them coming! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#14 Greg Robinson

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 03:46 AM

You noticed!
I've only seen 3 to include mine. They are a tough one!


No...not tough.....IMPOSSIBLE to find...and very expensive. :D

Greg

#15 camopara

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 04:51 AM

Yes Robin, that makes 4! Nice knife..

#16 dustin

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 03:55 PM

the western seemed to be very common item issued to naval pilots and aircrew members.I have seen lots of photos of them worn by naval aviators but unfortunately have not been keeping a photo reference of them.Here is a pic of a naval aviator wearing the flat pommel western.

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  • navy_pilot_shark.jpg


#17 Greg Robinson

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:50 AM

WESTERN cataloged this as their G46-8 and I've heard it called the "8" fighter". Developed during WW2 Western Cutlery hoped to sell it to the Marine Corps to fill their need for a fighting utility knife. But it was too expensive. Beautifully made and finished piece with a bluing comparable to that seen on pre war guns.

Greg

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#18 gunbarrel

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:26 PM

Beauty, Greg!!

#19 camopara

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:19 PM

Here's a pic that I just got that shows the W31 in use! There is a couple of cool things about the photo but I won't point those out for now....

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#20 camopara

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:20 PM

see if I can show it a little closer.....

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#21 gunbarrel

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:49 PM

Camopara,

That is a GREAT action shot of the W31! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif I don't believe I have ever seen another one. Often I have wondered about that tooled leather sheath, but there it is!

Speaking of W31's, does anyone know who made this replica? I can't believe they paid that kind of money for it, but, whatever!

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

#22 camopara

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Posted 09 September 2007 - 07:01 PM

GB,
Yes that is a lot of money for a reproduction, but just a fraction of what a original runs!

There are a couple more photos of the W31 in use in the book Paramarine! by Mason. I've never owned one (photo) until now, and glad that I was able to find one...

#23 McLin

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 08:49 PM

Guys, I have a question concerning the Western Bowie knife. I have just purchased one that has no letter date code. Stamped on the blade is has Western, centered under that is BOWIE in all caps and centered under that is USA. There are no markings at all on the hand guard.

The blade is well used and has been sharpened several times. Can any of you take a guess of the time period that this knife was made and could there be anything special about it?
Thanks.

#24 RAIDER

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 04:17 PM

I just purchases a Western L-46-6. I'm not sure what era this knife was produced. I was hoping to get any information I could about this knife. I purchased it because in was made in Boulder, CO. Concidering how Boulder has turned out, I don't think they allow knifes in the town anymore, I had to get it.
Thanks for the help.
Jon

#25 AK101

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 01:22 PM

Camopara,

That is a GREAT action shot of the W31! :thumbsup: I don't believe I have ever seen another one. Often I have wondered about that tooled leather sheath, but there it is!

Speaking of W31's, does anyone know who made this replica? I can't believe they paid that kind of money for it, but, whatever!

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem


Anyone save the pics? Would love to see this tooled leather sheath

THANKS


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