Gerber Mark II

Gerber Mark II

The Gerber Mark II is a fighting knife manufactured by Gerber Legendary Blades from 1967 to 2000, with an additional limited run of 1500 in 2002, and full production resuming as of July 2008Dick, Steven(2008) "Vietnam Legend Returns", "Tactical Knives Magazine", November 2008, p 30.] . It was designed by retired Army Captain Bud Holzman, who based the pattern off a Roman Mainz "Gladius".

It has a double-edged spear-point wasp-waisted blade, and used a distinctive handle similar to that of the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife developed during World War II.(Walker, 1993,p.30) The Mark II was commonly carried by US troops in the Vietnam War, and was second only to the KA-BAR knife in fame.(Walker, 1993,p.30) The Mark II gained additional fame when it was featured in a scene in the scifi/action movie "Aliens" and was also used by Mel Gibson in the film Mad Max 2. The MK II was the suggested blade in Paladin Press's controversial how-to book, . [cite book|title=Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors|author=Feral, Rex|publisher=Paladin Press|date=1983|id=ISBN 0-87364-276-7]

During the Vietnam war, some production runs of this knife had a 5-degree offset between the blade and the grip in order to ride in the sheath more comfortably.Pacella, Gerard (2002), 100 Legendary Knives, Iola, USA, Krause Publications, 145. ISBN 0873494172] This offset was intended to compensate for the angle of attack between the clavicles and position the blade for a more accurate strike into the vital organs when performing a rear overhead strike or upward thrust into the abdominal area from behind (as used for sentry removal). Toward the end of the Vietnam war, the military's base/post exchanges discontinued selling these knives under the reasoning of 'not in good taste' or 'too brutal'.(Walker, 1993,p.30)Walker, Greg (1993). "Battle Blades: A Professional's Guide to Combat/Fighting Knives" (Hardcover), pages 210 ISBN 0-87364-732-7] Al Mar, then working for Gerber as a knife maker added the sawtooth serrations toward the hilt marketing the knife as a "survival aid", making it more appealing to the PX System, which resumed selling the Mark II as a survival knife.(Walker, 1993,p.30)

Matte-black "sterile" versions of the Mark II have been produced in limited numbers for covert operations. Such knives have no maker's markings or serial number. [cite book|title=Enter the Past Tense: My Secret Life as a CIA Assassin|last=Haas|first=Roland|year=2007 |publisher=Potomac Books|isbn=1597970867|url=]


ee also

*List of daggers
*OKC-3S Bayonet
*List of individual weapons of the U.S. Armed Forces

External links

* [ Official Gerber Website]
* [ Details on the Mark, Command, and Guardian series of Gerber knives]
* [ Gerber Mark II Production Matrix]
* [ Detailed information on the Mark II] including production variations, packaging, advertisements, and accessories
* [ Images of the Gerber Mark II 20th Anniversary Edition prototype]
* [ Scene from Aliens]

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