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4 blade pocket knifes


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have two 4 blade pocket knifes top one is a western made in Boulder , CO and on the blade it says S-901 Stainless camper - the bottom is a Camillus made in NY - the bottom looks to be the older of the two - was wondering if these were used by the military any one out there have any info - Pete

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Hard to say for sure about either. This style knife was sold commercially and it is usually quite difficult to show military use unless they are marked as such. The military name was Knife, Pocket, Engineer, Four Blade, with Clevis (Army) or Four Blade, Utility, Jack Knife (Navy) and millions were made during WW2

 

Mike Silvey's book Pocket Knifes of the United States Military shows a Western (page 53) but with the earlier blade configuration (yours has the later version with the can opener next to the main blade) which probably makes yours post war and less likely to have been military. Also I don't believe the long nail nick was used until the 1950s.

 

Can't say for sure about the Camillus. Are the handles bone or plastic? If plastic, it is probably commercial but if they are bone, it is possible as they were sometimes not marked with military style markings. The can opener is the earlier style, and on the opposite end to the main blade which is the common WW2 configuration, so it is possible if the handles are bone.

 

This is my Camillus which has the U.S.A. on the shield, making it almost certainly military issue.

 

CamillusEngineer.jpg

 

A lot, but not all, WW2 pocket knives had steel liners rather than brass since brass was a critical metal. If yours have steel liners it would make it WW2 manufacture and likely military. However, brass was used in early production and again near the end of the war, so having brass liners does not make it non-military.

 

This style was the immediate ancestor of the stainless steel 4 blade utility knife (MIL-K-818) that has been the standard issue now for over 50 years.

Gary Cunningham - Bayonetman

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  • 10 years later...
On 6/1/2010 at 8:06 PM, bayonetman said:

Hard to say for sure about either. This style knife was sold commercially and it is usually quite difficult to show military use unless they are marked as such. The military name was Knife, Pocket, Engineer, Four Blade, with Clevis (Army) or Four Blade, Utility, Jack Knife (Navy) and millions were made during WW2

 

Mike Silvey's book Pocket Knifes of the United States Military shows a Western (page 53) but with the earlier blade configuration (yours has the later version with the can opener next to the main blade) which probably makes yours post war and less likely to have been military. Also I don't believe the long nail nick was used until the 1950s.

 

Can't say for sure about the Camillus. Are the handles bone or plastic? If plastic, it is probably commercial but if they are bone, it is possible as they were sometimes not marked with military style markings. The can opener is the earlier style, and on the opposite end to the main blade which is the common WW2 configuration, so it is possible if the handles are bone.

 

This is my Camillus which has the U.S.A. on the shield, making it almost certainly military issue.

 

CamillusEngineer.jpg

 

A lot, but not all, WW2 pocket knives had steel liners rather than brass since brass was a critical metal. If yours have steel liners it would make it WW2 manufacture and likely military. However, brass was used in early production and again near the end of the war, so having brass liners does not make it non-military.

 

This style was the immediate ancestor of the stainless steel 4 blade utility knife (MIL-K-818) that has been the standard issue now for over 50 years.

 

I realize I'm about 10 years late on this but I figured I'd post this anyway as it's still relevant.

 

I believe the Camillus knife with the black handles are made of a plastic similar to Schrade's Delrin handles. Yours, Bayonetman, are bone but not just any bone. These knives were made with the highly sought after Rogers jigged bone handles. Rogers jigged bone came in various colors from a very dark maroon (almost black) to yellow. The yellow bone sometimes occurring naturally with time and lots of pocket wear.

 

Rogers jigged bone were made from older cattle that ranged the tougher ranch lands of Australia and later Argentina and a couple of other South American countries. This made the bovine bone extra dense so, tougher than regular bone handles, thus, cracks, chip or breakage were less likely to happen. The Rogers jigging itself is unique and very beautifully done. There are still a few Rogers jig bone machines stored away somewhere but have not been in used since, I believe, the 1960s.

 

My understanding is that these particular knives like yours were first made with brass liners and nickel silver bolsters early on in WW2 (1941, 1942..) but then because of the war effort they were changed over to steel liners and steel bolsters somewhere in 1943 or 44. Also, and I could be wrong on this, these WW2 military issue knives all had U.S.A., U.S.N. and some Medic shields and so on, on them. The other with no shield or no U.S.A. stamp on the shield, etc. were not military issue. That's what I found years back while doing research on these Camillus scout type knives.

WW2 Camillus G.I. Knife       .jpg

WW2 Camillus G.I. Knife      .jpg

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