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Unusual WWII shop made knife

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I recently managed to acquire a WWII wood handled knife made with a honing steel blade. The blade is marked “SIMCO / U.S.A.”.


This variation of the WWII knives having a turned wood handle with flattened sides uses a nut and washer to attach the handle to the blade, most are peened.


I have been looking for an original Simco honing steel the blade was made from and finally found one. The blade is 13 ½” and was cut down to 8” to make this type of knife. A point was ground on it and the rest of the oval shaped blade ground to make the edges somewhat sharp. The blade was then plated. The honing steel was made in St. Louis by the Simmons Hardware Company and sold under their Simco line.


The knife is shown on page 121 of Cole IV, bottom knife. I have only seen a few of this type. If anyone has another I would sure like to see pictures to add to my file.


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“ Sunny Beaches”, rare knife, very nice.


"The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him" G.K. Chesterton

"A people that values it's privileges above its principles will soon lose both" D.D. Eisenhower


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Nice one.They had some variations for sure


In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
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I have a 16 example of this type of hone, German. The handle screws into the base of the hone, so no existing tang.

Based on the SIMCO stamp being present, the new handles have a long screw through the pommel. No sure how structurally sound that is? Has anyone taken or seen one apart?

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This Knife was made by Moss Cutlery Co., New York, which was owned by the huge Simmons Hardware Co, St. louis, MO. It is marked with the SIMCO shield logo.

I am unable to find out much about Moss Cutlery Co. There are some commercial Butcher knives on eBay, but nothing else.

The Moss Cutlery Co., New York made knives for the commercial/butcher trade market.  On the grip of the knife is a shield logo with SIMCO on it. Let me qualify this, but I think this means Simmons Company as in Simmons Hardware Co. They were notorious for buying small companies making high quality products and selling them under KEEN KUTTER or other names. However, a commercial product could be sold under the original manufacturer’s name, especially if that name had a reputation for quality and, as in this case, a logo was added.

The above is conjecture and guess work and I as my wife constantly points out, I could be completely wrong. Google has not been helpful here.

 

 

Let us examine this butcher/commando knife in detail. First, about me, my military experience is limited to JROTC, where I did not receive any knife training. My son received more in the Boy Scouts. I do have considerable metal manufacturing experience.  I have a lot of edged weapons and as soon as I picked it up, I noticed the near perfect balance. It naturally points and almost floats in your hand. It only weighs 7 ½ oz.  Maybe a good butcher knife should have a natural point, I do not know, because my butchering experience is the same as my fighting experience. I think Doug Marcaida would approve.

Let us examine the components, assembly, and finish.

The cross guard is made from 60 gauge by 1 ¼ of whatever steel they had around; it could be blade stock. Then using a simple die, they formed the “T”. The blade slot was ground at a grinding wheel by hand.

The blade blank was pierced out 11 gauge coil stock and then sent to preparation for heat treating. After heat treat and cleaning, grinding may have started but in this case, I think the walnut grips were attached and the finger groves put in. The outside contour could now be hand cut and ground. The cross guard is placed in a simple fixture and the blade was pushed in until it met the grip. Then two heavy punch marks locked the crossguard and blade together. Check the pictures.

With the grip and guard attached hand grind and polishing would be easy. The trade name “MOSS CUTLERY CO. N.Y. MADE in U.S.A.” and the SIMCO shield logo between them are lightly photo etched on the blade and are difficult to photograph. The logo is also found stamped on the wood grip.

It is just as likely that a finished knife could have been used to make this. I have look at hundreds of butcher knives on eBay and none have finger groves.

 It may lack the some of the utility factors of the Kabar type. But I think it could help break up the dirt for that fox hole as well as any other knife. The kabar blades will not bend, this blade will, but you would have to put considerable effort into breaking it. How much abuse does a butcher knife take? Another factor is the weight of 7 ½ oz. How much does a Kabar weigh?

Here is another feature from the butcher knife, the blade curves up. It is about 1/8th of an inch high above a straight line coming off the top of the grip.  The blade is not double edged. The back has dull edge until it gets to about one inch from the point.

The cost of making one these should be half of a Kabar. Think of this: coil stock, no forging. Less expensive tooling costs. Minimal hand assembly and finishing. No leather ovals to chase around. (Whose idea was that?)

I have noticed these “SIMCO” daggers made from sharpening steels; they could break up the foxhole dirt, but little else.

I think this is a real SIMCO fighting knife that was to be submitted to the Army for testing or it could be the result of a couple of guys fooling around in the Moss toolroom at lunch time.

I still think Doug Marcaida could keal with it.

 

 

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I got one - blade 8 1/4".  Got it from Gibson years ago.  Always liked the oval blade.  Can only be used for one thing.

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VEY NICE Simco! I have only see a few of them.


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