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How to Spot Fake or Reproduction Camillus M3 Trench Knife?


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Recently purchased a Camillus M3 (blade stamped) Trench Knife (eBay) and I am pretty sure it is a reproduction. The pommel only has one pin and the leather handle is smaller than an M4 and M2 that I have. The blade stamped font matches other Camillus M3’s I’ve seen and the quality of the blade looks OK. Is the one pin in the pommel the best indicator of a reproduction? Also, did Camillus make these reproductions back in the 90’s?

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Yes, Camillus made an excelent M3 reptoduction and the one pin is a deffinate indicator of it not being WWII production. These one pin reproductions come up for auction often. I suspect that most sellers are aware that they are not WWII original. If the price is right, I see them as still being collectable.

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Yes, what I thought. It was represented as a WWII model, and the photos on EBay fooled me because the M8 sheath and blade looks correct. I should have done my homework about the pins. I plan to return it and start the search again.

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BryanJ- Besides the single pinned pommel, other ways to spot a 90s Camillus blade stamped repro is the color of the finish, originals are a bluish-black, not gray parkerizing, and the original "CAMILLUS" blade stamp is way smaller than the US M3, not almost the same size as the newer ones. Also, the leather handle on repros is a reddish color. Did it come with the Camillus stamped leather sheath, or was it in say an M8A1? SKIP

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Skip. The sheath is stamped “USM8 BMCO”. I’ve already sent the seller an email and let him know the issue and have requested a return, same with eBay. I’ve collected a lot of milsurp rifles over the years, just very few military knives. Already have my eye on another M3 that will be auctioned off locally next week. Here’s a few photos of the M3 and a couple others.

 

https://postimg.cc/gallery/yva0z2tq/

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BryanJ- Stay away from that Camillus M3 pictured in your photo! That's a single pommel pin repro, that has been used or aged. Dual pinned Camillus pommeled M3s are all over ebay. They are quite easy to compare. Also, check out the site that mikedon has posted. It will be very helpful.The sheath on the first US M8 BMCO is a legit issue scabbard that was added for use or enhance the sale value. SKIP

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Thanks. $175 lesson in doing my homework. The sheath was what fooled me...I will pursue a refund just because everytime a seller misrepresents an item to the collector community, we should all make life as inconvenient as we can to deter that sort of conduct.

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Bryan:

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

Posted below is a quick pic I swiped of the 'net to illustrate the Camillus M3 Fighting Knife reproduction. It is actually a very high quality knife but, as pointed out above, it has a number of features that make it easily detectable as a reproduction. The single pin in the pommel is the quick giveaway.

 

The pic also shows the somewhat cheesy sheath that came with these reproductions originally. While the blades are excellent reproductions, Camillus spared every expense with the sheaths. They are often tossed out and substituted with other sheaths to give a more authentic look.

 

Regards,

Charlie

 

Camillus M3 Knife Reproduction ed (1).jpg

 

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Thanks Charlie. The knife I picked up looks to be a quality knife. The sheath is legit.

The leather on the handle doesn't seem to be up to par. But it's a good reproduction. If I can't get the seller to take it back, I'll make you guys a deal on it if anyones interested.

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Bryan , each of the 9 M3 manufacturers used different tecniques to make theyre knives , although to the layman they may look similar I suppose . If you want to get serious about collecting M3's , you need to purchase Bill Walters M3 book . Once you know what characteristics to look for on an original knife you will not get fooled . No different than collecting Garrands , 03's , or 1911's , reference books are essential .

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BryanJ- Found this mint dated Camillus M3 on ebay. The photo is great, and you will see the differences in a heartbeat. Ebay item 202848672207. Check it out, it is a beauty. If someone could post the pic it would be appreciated. SKIP

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Not disagreeing w/ sactroop, but all the pommels I've seen w/ an extra pin implaced, are generally not the same type pin, nor are they centered on the pommel like the originals. But, beware, there are those unscrupulous, sellers out there. SKIP

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BryanJ- Found this mint dated Camillus M3 on ebay. The photo is great, and you will see the differences in a heartbeat. Ebay item 202848672207. Check it out, it is a beauty. If someone could post the pic it would be appreciated. SKIP

That is a gorgeous knife! I have it on my watch list and will have to ponder the price. I sent the repro M3 back to the seller today and immediately went back on eBay, and I’m a little gun shy now trying to figure out what’s real and not. I never knew the degree to which knives were reproduced. Several weeks ago I bought Michael Silvey’s book, US knives of WWII, and I will probably buy the book recommended above which sounds like it would be more collector oriented. I’ve recently sent several nice rifles, bayonets, a Patton Sword, and several other collectibles to a local auction house, and hope to have some $$ to add to the collection fund here soon. Hole is burning in my pocket in anticipation.

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I think when the second pin is added to these it’s position is incorrect if I remember what someone else said. Second on Bill Walters book. If you’re really into knives and especially if you don’t already have Cole it’s worth the investment. Especially if you’re looking at a several hundred dollar blade or mint example. If you want to know what it looked like shipped from the depot those books show it. There’s a deal if you buy both you can get vol 1 at cost I think.

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Ok, what am I missing here? I’m comparing M3’s on eBay with the photos in Michael Silvey’s book, and I’ve seen one that I’m confident is correct, with the majority of the others appearing suspect. Anybody want to take a SWAG what percent of those normally posted are repro’s.

 

SKIPH. I’m wondering how I can break it to my wife that I’d like to bid on the Camillus you referenced above. I’ll be watching Sunday when it comes off, that’s for sure.

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BryanJ when I got the bug to add an M3 to my own collection, I found myself feeling much the same way you're now expressing. I was much more confident in my ability to recognize how genuine many other types of knives were, while finding the wide variety of original M3's combined with the many reproductions a bit overwhelming my sense of confidence.

I ended up, I fear, making something of a nuisance of myself here with the amount of questions I asked and the opinions I sought out.

People here where very generous and I now know a bit more than when I started out, but I don't consider myself in any way expert on the subject of M3's.

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BryanJ- Since you have only bid on the knife, no need to worry yet. If you win, you may have to explain the funds used to pay for it. Or don't say anything, and just put it in the collection. Another way is to inform her it is an investment, and will steadily increase in value (which most will). A little extra advice, I have all my knives tagged w/ a description of exactly what the knife is, the scabbard info, any special markings. Also I put the date I bought it, how much I paid, and the current value range. I do this so if I drop dead, my kids are not selling a $1200 knife, for $5 in a yard sale. SKIP

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