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WESTERN CUTLERY CO.


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Here's a Western Shark knife I found last week at the downsizing sale of a woman whose father was a Naval enlisted - later commissioned - pilot in WWII. The sheath and grip show their age but the blade looks like it has spend the last 65+ years in the sheath with great bluing and original edge.

 

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  • 4 years later...

Hi,

 

It's the same. The sheath was changed but it's the knife you've discovered in 2011

Please can you tell me about the pilot who owned the knife ?

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Best regard from France
Gilles

"LEGIO PATRIA NOSTRA"

 

2nd REP

 

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  • 5 months later...

Hello all. This is my first post and, as an utter newbie in the field of militaria, I hope my ignorance isn't too obvious.

 

I am very interested in Western Cutlery's WWII knives and I was wondering if anyone here knows of a timeline for their guard and pommel variations? I understand that the orange Bakelite was used during wartime but is there any consensus as to when? I have seen a Shark knife with a brass guard and plastic pommel as well as the ones on this thread that have aluminum pommels and steel guards or both being made of Bakelite. I know brass was only used in some knives pre- or very-early war and then again late-war so I assume that could be a dating tool, unless steel was the standard pre-war guard material. As you can see, I have much to discover.

 

Thanks for this wonderful forum and all of your knowledge. I look forward to learning here!

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If someone has a solid time line for the changes in material I've yet to see it. IMHO, from trying to get a handle, (OH I think I just made a pun), on those changes, I'm convinced that at the time the War started Western seems to have had a good supply of brass and aluminum in stock and was able to take advantage of it. The bakelite handles and pommels do make their way into production during the War. I have my doubts about late War production for Western switching back to metal for the guards and pommels. There are examples of post-war knives, (blade patterns not associated with War production), still using bakelite guards and/or pommels. These aren't very common to come across and I speculate that Western was just using up surplus stock that they had at the end of the War. Still that is a very general observation that seems to very among different knife patterns.

For instance the Western G46-8, their largest version of that specific knife pattern, only shows up with a steel disc pommel with the two ends of the bifurcated tang peened to the pommel. The guards for these always seem to be steel.

The G46-6, (Shark knife), can be seen with aluminum, and steel pommels. The guards include brass (something that I'm not totally sold on being used for War production in this knife), and steel. I'm still looking for examples of bakelite pommels and/or guards with this specific knife.

The G46-5, (baby Shark), only seem to come with aluminum, or bakelite pommels. The guards seem to be brass (?) , steel, and bakelite.

IMHO, the biggest problem is that the knife manufactures were in the business of making knives and not overly concerned in recording detailed documentation. In many, (probably MOST), cases what documents that were made seem to have been lost to time.

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