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Fixed Blade Military Feild Knives.........help me understand.

Discussion in 'Knives' started by dbeeksci, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. dbeeksci

    dbeeksci Empty Pockets

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    When I was a kid (45 years ago) my dad gave me a US military sheath knife, it is marked, "USM8 BMCO". I abused that knife for decades, for throwing, hunting fossils, playing mumblypeg with brave friends and everything you can imagine that a knife could be used for while camping. It never failed me and I still have it.

    Here's my question, this knife seems to be made of softer steel than most (like the new Glock sheath knives) it dulls quick it sharpens quick. Are these military knives made of a more non-brittle steel in order to keep the blade from breaking during hard use? Is this a part of the design of the field knife?
     
  2. Physics

    Physics Empty Pockets

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    I'm not sure what steel it would have been made from but its "softness" was most probably do to the heat treat. Whatever carbon steel the blade is, it was given a lower Rc hardness than you would find on most knives today. An Rc of 55 or so would make the blade "softer" but it wouldn't chip or break. Worst case scenario is a bent blade.

    I'm not an expert by any means but I hope that helps answer your question. :)
     
  3. moonshinematt

    moonshinematt Empty Pockets

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    glocks are 1095 stainless or leaf spring steal... hard to sharpen!
     
  4. yam350

    yam350 Loaded Pockets

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    I'm not sure this is totally right but, as I understand it, under the Geneva Convention, Articles of War. Knives were not permitted as a cutting weapon, only for stabbing as with a bayonet. In view of this, the steel on a bayonet or general purpose military knife circa WWII was not made to be sharpenable to where it could be used as a slashing weapon. So the steel only had to be good enough for sticking in things/people , probing for mines etc. What makes being bayonetted better than being slashed I can't imagine. I hope this is helpful.
     
  5. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    That doesn't explain the Marine K-Bar, nor is there any brief on what knives a Soldier may and may not carry. In Garrison, yes - that's a matter of installation policy, falling under the "personal weapons" section, but not for deployment purposes.

    I'll have to re-visit the GC and take a look, but I don't think that's it.

    -Trevor
     
  6. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

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    The old military knives are hardened pretty soft from what I've heard, in the Rc's of about mid-40's. This is just hearsay of course so regard it with what you will.
     
  7. filedog

    filedog Loaded Pockets

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    "this knife seems to be made of softer steel than most (like the new Glock sheath knives) it dulls quick it sharpens quick. Are these military knives made of a more non-brittle steel in order to keep the blade from breaking during hard use?"

    I don't think we can generalize about ALL mil blades, BUT most knives from that era WERE softer steel. Hard-use knives generally value toughness (resistance to breaking) over hardness (ability to keep an edge).

    "glocks are 1095 stainless or leaf spring steal... hard to sharpen!"

    1095 is carbon, or "tool" steel, NOT stainless, and compared to other hi-end steels, is EASY to sharpen. It IS used for springs:

    "The 10-series -- 1095 (and 1084, 1070, 1060, 1050, etc.) Many of the 10-series steels for cutlery, though 1095 is the most popular for knives. When you go in order from 1095-1050, you generally go from more carbon to less, from better edge holding to less edge holding, and tough to tougher to toughest. As such, you'll see 1060 and 1050, used often for swords. For knives, 1095 is sort of the "standard" carbon steel, not too expensive and performs well. It is reasonably tough and holds an edge very well. It rusts easily. This is a simple steel, which contains only two alloying elements: .95% carbon and .4% manganese. The various kabars are usually 1095 with a black coating."

    "under the Geneva Convention, Articles of War. Knives were not permitted as a cutting weapon, only for stabbing as with a bayonet."

    Interesting, the only thing I could find about this was something about bayonets being prohibited from being sharpened. It's so common for soldiers to carry a fighting knife, I doubt it's prohibited.
     
  8. zpo

    zpo Empty Pockets

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    If it was, the easy thing to do is change the name to utility knife. Who'd wanna prohibit those? That poor kid would die trapped under tsunami debris if you didn't have your utility knife..