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Ka-bar Handles


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There was a previous thread on differences in handle width, and I thought I'd post these two Ka-bars to compare the handles. Both are mid-1944 made, same sheaths (9-staple leather), same stampings (KA-BAR on one side, USMC on the other), and basically the same characteristics. However, it should be noticed that the handles have some differences, i.e.

1. The handles have a different thickness; the one on the top is 1.345 inches at its widest point, the lower one 1.255 inches (yes, I have a caliper).

2. The grooves are slightly different, there is a different spacing and the one on the top has deeper and slightly wider grooves.

3. The beveling below the guard is more pronounced on the top one.

4. The pommel pin on the top one looks like it was placed after the pommel was parkerized, while the pin on the bottom Ka-bar looks like it was placed before the pommel was parkerized.

Most likely all Ka-bars will exhibit small differences in construction and even ones made at about the same time will show these differences.

BTW, the bottom Ka-bar I picked up several years ago at an antique fair, and the top one I just picked up this weekend at a gun show. Going through my collection, I notice that these small differences among Ka-bars carries from the earliest ones, through their Mark 2s as well.

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