Jump to content

Info on Parachutist Knife


Recommended Posts

I sent you a PM. I have a little information on them. They are an "MC-1 Hook Blade-Snap Blade Pocket Knife."

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a good article from Knife World Magazine all about these knives, it was reprinted in the book: Military Knives a Reference Book. Dont recall the exact date of the article off hand but can check when I get home.

 

I have a Camillus made one in my collection. The original purpose of the thin snap closed pocket located on the inside of the leg of flight suits was to carry this type of knife.

Link to post
Share on other sites

hunterman,

There is a "Knife World" book called, Military Knives a Reference Book published in 2001. It contains an article called, "The MC-1 Hook Blade Knife". by Frank Trzaska. The article is from Knife World magazine October 1997

The MC-1 had its start in 1957 and had it's last contract cancelled June 15, 1993. They were made by Schrade/Walden, Camillus, Smythe/Logan, and in about 2001, was again introduced with a contract with Colonial Knife Co.

 

I don't believe that these were used by Airborne troops, but mainly issued to those who did not want to jump out of the plane unless it was absolutely necessary i.e. pilots, navigators, and the rest of the air crew. The later flight suits had a pocket on the thigh which allowed easy access.

 

One question that I and others had about these knives, is if the hook is designed to cut the lines of the parachute, then why would the snap feature only include the main straight blade? I got the answer (on this forum) when a forum member said that the MC-1 was carried in the pocket with the hook blade already open, so when the knife was withdrawn by pulling the string, the hook would be at the immediate ready.

 

Nice knife.

Marv

 

post-26996-0-29301900-1585108995_thumb.jpg

post-26996-0-24515700-1585109029.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know of an easy way to post .pdf documents, so if any of you are interested in this pub, send me a message and I will email you a copy of it. This is the 1957 Wright Air Development Center Technical Report on "The Mc-1 Hook Blade-Snap Blade Pocket Knife. It explains the problem and why the MC-1 was the solution.

post-177224-0-79627800-1585114588_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Marv, I'll add a personal observation from my time TDY with aircrews who were caring the MC-1. Many of them weren't aware of the intention that the knife be carried with the hook blade open and personally thought that the switch for the main blade was a FUBAR. Since the airmen riding in these aircraft didn't believe it was likely that they would survive an EGRESS from their aircraft they didn't dwell on the matter much.

Also there was a kit issued in the early days of the MC-1 knife that allowed the airman to take their flight suit to the tailer and have the pocket sewed on an earlier suit.

donation2014.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

sactroop,

Thank you for your input. I know it comes from first hand knowledge. That is so much better than hear-say. I imagine the concern about egress would depend on whether they were jumping from a bomber or ejecting from an F-4 Phantom.

You don't have to examine one of these knives very long to realize that they are a little flimsy. Of course, just to paraphrase a famous saying, "you jump with the knife you have, not the one you wish you had."

Marv

 

Hey sactroop,

Have you heard any information about the Colonial 724? It's a much more superior knife to the other MC-1s. However, although it is said that Colonial had a US contract in the 1990s, I have not heard any forum members that confirm the actual use by the aircrews. A couple of sources said that the 724 was issued as a part of a "survival pack" under the ejection seats. Do you know any information that would confirm or de-bunk that? Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Marv, I've had the chance to handle a 724, and it is a higher quality piece than the earlier MC-1's, including the use of coil springs in its construction. Colonial does link the knife with the same FSN as the previous MC-1's.

I know that Camillus continued to make the MC-1 right up to 2006 when the factory was locked down. Also it's sales were restricted so they weren't available to the general public, so I had to ask myself who were they for?

Unfortunately at this point I start running short of facts and things start running more on speculation and some of the stories I've heard that seem to be likely well sourced.

I have wondered if many things over the years have moved more away from large stocking contract strategies and towards individual and direct unit purchase models. Maybe, but I don't have much in the way of supporting evidence to back up this speculation. Another part of my problem is a lot of these changes have taken place since my time in service.

Frank Trazaska wrote a little about the Colonial M724. You might do a word search in his archived Knife Knotes pages for it.

OBTW, my aircrews were on RC-135's, so think of a tanker loaded with electronics and a lot of operators. Those planes weren't designed for people to jump out of.

donation2014.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Navy MA-2 torso harness from after 1993 that has a Camillus MC-1 knife packed in its rigger sewn pockets. I wouldn't be surprised if they are still floating around Navy life support shops. The Army used them til at least 1996 in the OV-1 aircraft survival vests.

 

In regards to the 724, not sure how service wide it is used, but my friend that is a MN ANG F-16 pilot has one in his G-suit knife pocket. Told me when he found out it was in there for the first time, the switch blade wasn't even closed, was actually unlocked and open but the white dummy cord its attached to was wrapped around it so tight it kept the blade almost closed. From my overviews of both the MC-1 and M-724, the 724 feels tighter and not as flimsy as was stated above but I feel like the metal quality (blades) arent the greatest. The MC-1s snap and hook blades seem thicker and better quality. Ill assume the flimsy reference to the MC-1 is meant by the rattling of the main blade when deployed.

donation2013.gif








Link to post
Share on other sites

I have several of the MC-1s, Camillus, Schrade, and Logan/Smythe. I found on mine that some of the blades seem loose, two had broken tips, and most do not lock into position unless opened blade side up. Now a lot of these issues probably occurred from use, but I have 3 mint ones, that perform fairly well. Would I depend on any to hold up under hard use in a survival situation, not really. But, a knife is better than no knife. Now, the shroud cutter, some cut pretty well, others no. I suppose if you got hung up in a tree it would be useful to cut suspension lines, especially with the pilot's weight. I have yet to even see an M-724, so I have no words on it. Overall I would rate the MC-1s as merely utilitarian on a short term basis. Just my opinion! SKIP

Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually had a Vietnam vet who was a TO in OV-1 Mohawks teach me a trick with the MC-1. Sometimes you might notice on a good one that even when you hold it horizontal with the blade opening up topside, it will have enough spring strength to get to the end of its travel and bounce back not locking open. He showed me to place the bail out horizontal as well, so when the blade hits it, it slows it up some to ensure it locks in place. Thought it was a pretty nifty trick I wont forget.

 

Add some pics, the one on the top is a friends who was a 2 tour Nam vet in OV-1s, 65-66 and 68-69. I thought it was interesting they did the M2 style lanyard. One on the bottom was the USN MC-1 that was in a late 90s MA-2 torso harness. Ive seen more than one from the USN that also had 100mph tape used as an extra safety method. Both are Camillus.

post-11373-0-21264900-1585347348.jpg

post-11373-0-50372500-1585347358.jpg

donation2013.gif








Link to post
Share on other sites

Open shot. Hard to really tell but the Colonial blades seem thinner, especially the hook one. Its sharp as a mother though. Lighting sucks when I took this, but the 724 is shinny, though Colonial did make a subdued version.

post-11373-0-79797400-1585347731_thumb.jpg

donation2013.gif








Link to post
Share on other sites

MohawkALSE

I couldn't help noticing that the line hook on your 724 is very different from mine. Look at my display case in post #5. The bottom knife is the 724. Colonial has made a few changes over the years. On the Colonial website, they show a line hook the just might be an improvement. https://www.colonialknifecorp.com/products/military-switchblade-m-724

Marv

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.