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USMC Raider Stiletto help needed


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Folks, I need some assistance with a Raider Stiletto that has been offered to me for sale. I have collected a long time and have concentrated on Marine items solely for most of the last decade, but I have never handled one of these nor studied them as much as other areas of my collection. I have admired them from afar lets say. I don't want to be one of those who asks everyone to do my work for me, so I have done some research before posting. I took a lot of photos, but if anyone needs something more, just ask. I tried to make sure all aspects are shown. 

 

This knife was recently acquired from an estate auction here in Arizona. The story is (I know don't by the story, but in this case, it is really not all that spectacular) the vet was a Navy Commander in WWII, and somewhere along the way, he traded some booze for this blade. He has supposedly had it in his possession until he passed. There is a letter written by the daughter attesting to this and identifying her father and his general exploits in WWII (nothing documented is really that special. He was ship board and his service had nothing to do with the Marines and no mention of the Raiders, their exploits, etc). The letter written by the daughter is dated 2007, so the family has known there was something special with this knife at least since then. The gentleman who purchased this lives in my hometown and knows quite alot about the Raiders, and their weapons as his grandfather was one in WWII. He grew up with stories, and idolizes the man, and is in possession of items he brought home, and some of his grandfathers personal stuff like his Kabar, dog tags, etc. Anyway....this gentleman has known about this knife for a decade and was made aware by the family of the auction. He has offered to the knife to me as he has seen my collection and thinks "it belongs here". He is asking a lot of money (at least I think it is a lot) but I don't know anything about fair market value on these.

 

I am looking for two things from forum members in the know....

 

1.) Is it real and does there seem to be any major issues?

 

2.) What would the market value be for one of these in this condition?

 

My take is yes it is real, at least my references and internet research makes me think so. It certainly feels right in hand. It is a first pattern scabbard, and I see nothing on the knife itself that raises any red flags. I believe it is likely in excellent condition for one of these based on what I have seen. In terms of condition, the scabbard leather is in excellent shape, and I see no evidence of anything being replaced or fiddled with. The closure trap with snap shows the most wear, but still decent. The pattern on the strap seems to be correct from what I have seen in Cole's reference. The rivet on the back side of the thong hole is missing (the front side is still there). There is some white residue here and there around rivets, etc. that appears to possibly be residue perhaps from saddle soap many, many years ago. Other than that it looks right to me, but again, I am very interested in what others say. The knife itself has no loss on the handle or cross guard as is so typical. Nice consistent light patina across the zinc. The blade has some cross graining from polishing process, the motto is outstanding and all there and the makers marking looks good as well. There is some light graying and speckles near the tip on both sides as shown probably from resting in the scabbard for years. This is really light though. Other than that, the knife looks near mint to me.

 

Okay, hopefully that is enough to go on. Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help out. Kevin

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I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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More photos

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I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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Looks good to me. If the blade is a full 7 1/4" I would think it would be in the $1800.00 and up category.

 

The tip is very fragile and many have been broken and shortened.

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Thank you guys for the comments, I sure appreciate it. I am sure the blade is full length, it comes in at 1/16th of an inch shy of 7 1/4. I can see no evidence of a re-tip, and the thing is sharp as a needle. 

 

I think the seller here feels it is worth a lot more than the current going rate, so I don’t know if I will be able to acquire it.  I have seen many items in my collection fall in value the last several years, (ega’s for example), has there been a down turn in value of these knives as well in the last decade or so? I have had difficulty finding previous sales of ones in similar condition, because most dealers and auction houses will just list the item as sold without the selling price noted. I have seen some sales in the $1400-$1500 range but those knives were not nearly as nice. The comment about $2000 seems about right based on what I could find. Any other thoughts on value out there by those who have been following these? Thanks again! 

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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Still has the motto, maker, handle not cracked. I had one in the same condition that I personally bought from a Paramarine who lived two blocks from me for $1500 about 15-20 years ago and I thought I did well. 

 

My 2 cents.

 

Kurt

My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

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Thanks Kurt, that is helpful. Let me pose the question this way......

 

What is the highest amount anyone anyone has seen one of these sell for in this condition? Has anyone seen figures as high as 4 to 6 thousand? I haven’t seen that myself but again, I haven’t been following these and a few in this condition that I have found on the Internet simply say “sold”.  From what I am hearing here, and what I can locate price wise in past sales, $2000-2500 might be the realistic going rate in today’s market for this one? 

 

Thanks again. 

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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16 minutes ago, warguy said:

$2000-2500 might be the realistic going rate in today’s market for this one

 

Here's a sampling of completed sales for the last  several year.  $2,500 seems to be the average low end price, but nicer ones can go for over $3,000.  Notice that one went for $3,350 this year and in 2016 one sold for over $3,700! 

 

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Warguy thats a fine example and I think youre probably the closest to current market value @ $2000 - $2500 K . So hard to find them with the script and maker fully Intact . A great Investment piece IMO . 

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Wow thank you guys! Bob that is incredible and so helpful to me. I can’t thank you enough, just reiterates what I already knew, that this forum is outstanding. 

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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There is a nice one , but not as nice as the one on the thread coming up in a auction tommorrow. I am not sure if it is OK to post a link to the auction. If it is OK I ill put the link up.

Dennis aka nifman

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Please by all means Dennis post it. I would like to take a look and watch the auction. Thanks, Kevin 

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

donation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2019.gif

 

 

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The link is to the auction. The USMC Raider Stiletto is lot #10. I have always have have mixed feelings about these knives. I had a friend that had a MINT one and I do not use mint very often. His went from a 10 to a 4 when the guard fell apart. I think they are all going to come apart at sometime.

https://www.proxibid.com/Montrose-Auction-Inc/Public-Firearms-Auction-Gene-Blalock-Estate/event-catalog/185567

Dennis aka nifman

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Thanks for the link, it sold yesterday for $2000. Looks like there is an 18% buyers premium so another $380 or so and we are getting close to that average of $2500 mentioned earlier. I think the stiletto itself in the auction is close to this one, I do see however some light surface scratches across the blade on the one in the auction, but it’s scabbard is maybe a bit better, so definitely comparable. 

 

I hear you on the concerns for the zinc handles. Collectors of these should, as the Brits say, “treat them like eggs”, but my understanding all the same is they sort of disintegrate from the inside out which isn’t comforting on an item this expensive. 

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

donation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2019.gif

 

 

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this knife appears to be the one that sold on gunbroker auction about a week and a half ago for $2670.00, you may already know that but thought I would let you know if you didn't. 

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On 9/24/2020 at 11:31 AM, Bob Hudson said:

 

Here's a sampling of completed sales for the last  several year.  $2,500 seems to be the average low end price, but nicer ones can go for over $3,000.  Notice that one went for $3,350 this year and in 2016 one sold for over $3,700! 

 

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Bob - Pls see PM.  Thanx

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20 hours ago, brad k said:

this knife appears to be the one that sold on gunbroker auction about a week and a half ago for $2670.00, you may already know that but thought I would let you know if you didn't. 

I did not know and that is not where it supposedly came from. Is there a way to access the sold items on gunbroker to check? Thanks!

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

donation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2019.gif

 

 

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8 minutes ago, warguy said:

I did not know and that is not where it supposedly came from. Is there a way to access the sold items on gunbroker to check? Thanks!

Well I found the auction listing from gun broker and you are correct, same knife. Helpful! Thanks

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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On 9/26/2020 at 7:29 AM, warguy said:

“treat them like eggs”, but my understanding all the same is they sort of disintegrate from the inside out

 

That's pretty much it: I don't believe anything can prevent it in the long run. In boating zinc is used as a sacrificial metal to help prevent corrosion of other metals such as prop shafts, through-hull fittings, etc. If I had one of these knives I would store it out of the scabbard just to keep the zinc from having any sort of connection with the brass or tanned leather in the scabbard. 


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