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Thread: Original? USMC Marine Corps Raider Stiletto dagger knife

  1. #1
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    Original? USMC Marine Corps Raider Stiletto dagger knife


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    Hi everyone!


    Here's a web album link until I figure out how to post here on bladeforums.com:
    https://plus.google.com/photos/11616...42398983110305

    I recently got this USMC Raider Stiletto knife through a Craigslist trade with a local retired chef. The trade also came with two John Miller damascus chef knives.

    He told me this raider stiletto was handed down by a family member, and that it had been used in WWII during the battle of Guam. He said some were made by prisons but I don't think he said what maker this knife was. Year??? > or < 1942?

    Anyone think this is a pre or non - Camillus knife?
    How much more should I restore it? Or will I ruin resale?

    Measurements are 11 7/8" total length X 6 7/8" blade length X 13/16" blade width X Hilt = 2" wide.
    There are a couple small spots of black coating on the handle, and tiny casting defects in handle, but I cannot distinguish any identifying markings on blade. The steel appears very brittle and poor for cutlery steel with obvious corrosion; handle is in better shape. Doesn't look like it's ever been resharpened.

    Other thoughts?
    Thanks,
    Sam

  2. #2
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    looks like a sykes fairbairn to me. I wouldnt restore it, im pretty sure most things are worth more untouched aside from letting it corrode more.

  3. #3
    Over all the knife looks correct. But the odd thing is that the handle seems to have weathered the time better than the blade. With these knives it’s usually the opposite.
    The USMC Raider was inspired by the Fairbairn-Sykes commando knife. But the cast hilt is a notable difference.

    The hilt casting looks the same as the Camillus made Knives I’ve seen. Camillus marked the blades with what looked to me as a light etching. A lot of the old knives loose some or all of this over time. With the condition of this blade I’d be surprised if you could find any left. There have been reproductions and copies of these knives made so it’s possible that the knife would need closer inspection.

    As a side note. Theres what I'll call an urban legend out there. It's been said that someone at Camillus uncovered some blades left over from the original production of these knives back during WW2. The story goes that some of the reproduction knives that Camillus produced were made with these blades.
    Does anyone from Camillus think there could be anything to that legend?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sac troop View Post
    Over all the knife looks correct. But the odd thing is that the handle seems to have weathered the time better than the blade. With these knives itís usually the opposite.
    The USMC Raider was inspired by the Fairbairn-Sykes commando knife. But the cast hilt is a notable difference.

    The hilt casting looks the same as the Camillus made Knives Iíve seen. Camillus marked the blades with what looked to me as a light etching. A lot of the old knives loose some or all of this over time. With the condition of this blade Iíd be surprised if you could find any left. There have been reproductions and copies of these knives made so itís possible that the knife would need closer inspection.

    As a side note. Theres what I'll call an urban legend out there. It's been said that someone at Camillus uncovered some blades left over from the original production of these knives back during WW2. The story goes that some of the reproduction knives that Camillus produced were made with these blades.
    Does anyone from Camillus think there could be anything to that legend?
    As usual, I completely concur with your assessment of the knife Sac Troop!

    The story of the Camillus reproduction of the Marine Raider Stiletto is great one!
    The blade of the knives we made were indeed discovered in a 55 gallon drum; they were just blade blanks, not heat treated or ground. I will let Tom Williams comment on dates & production quantities.

    The original knives had cast zinc handles.
    The reproductions had cast pewter handles. We used an original knife to cast soft molds to produce the pewter handles on the blades (outside vendor).

    To my knowledge we produced 2 variants of reproduction:



    The one on the left was the first of the reproductions as part of a series. It came in an oak display case with a brass plaque.
    The one on the right were the leftover knives, sold to SMKW. They came with a remarkably unimpressive leather sheath. They were etched Camillus in the center of the blade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by james terrio View Post
    I'll jimp anything legal, if the price is right

  5. #5
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    There was a 55 gallon drum full of U.S.M.C. Raider Stiletto blanks. The story was that they were left over from WWII. Our records indicate that we made the U.S.M.C. Stiletto in 1942 with a total production of 14,370. An unknown quantity were coated with a black parkerizing finish for the Canadian Air Corps. At the September, 2007 auction I acquired a log book that shows that we made more than 14,370 Stilettos. There was an additional production. Where the blade blanks left over from WWII?
    While searching through the Camillus manufacturing records (S-Cards) another production run of the Stilettos (pattern #5677) surfaced showing that Stilettos were also made in 1967. I will try to locate the S-Card (S-2287) for more detailed information.
    Tom Williams
    I think we may also have made a few Stilettos with CASE markings that were sold by Smoky Mountain Knife Works.

  6. #6
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    So is it safe for me to assume my knife USED to have the Camillus blade markings? I had sortof wondered if it'd been a parkerized version, or something of the sort, because the steel doesn't seem to have ever been shiny. There are also a couple dark marks on the handle.

    Given the corrosion on the blade steel; is it safe to assume that this is a 1942-ish original?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuel.l.thompson View Post
    So is it safe for me to assume my knife USED to have the Camillus blade markings? I had sortof wondered if it'd been a parkerized version, or something of the sort, because the steel doesn't seem to have ever been shiny. There are also a couple dark marks on the handle.

    Given the corrosion on the blade steel; is it safe to assume that this is a 1942-ish original?
    Blade corrosion is NEVER an indication of age!
    I could take one of my reproductions & make it look like that remarkably quickly.

    That said, your knife may be from 1942 (or 1967).
    Because of the (sad) state of the blade, you will need an expert to examine the handle to determine if it is an original or an aged reproduction.
    Фил Гиббс
    Jack of all Knives....
    Master of None!

    Quote Originally Posted by james terrio View Post
    I'll jimp anything legal, if the price is right

  8. #8
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    The original WWII Raider Stiletto (#5677 pattern) was etched on the blade near the guard "CAMILLUS" over "CUTLERY" over "CO." over "CAMILLUS" over "N.Y." One side of the blade also had etched "U.S.M.C." in a fancy scroll. The etchings become very faint or invisible over time. The cast zinc handles tend to crack and become very brittle. Many Stilettos suffer from broken blade tips and have been repointed. I have the S-Card and a drawing of the Stiletto. If sac troop would be willing to post it here I will send him a copy. I also have an original U.S.M.C. Raider Stiletto in excellent condition that I can photograph for sac troop to post the photos.
    Tom Williams

  9. #9
    Tom, PM sent.

  10. #10
    Uh duh deal spotting removed

    Sorry, was just pointing out that the person who asked the question had already posted the knife for sale rather than waiting for further comments and information. I won't get involved again.
    Last edited by bayonetman; 02-16-2012 at 04:46 PM.

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys. I kinda felt awkward about that guy posting the link.
    I know the rules here; I'm not trying to promote.

    That being said... I don't want to seem like a scammer...
    So, can I request a moderator to eventually move my thread over to the knives-for-sale forum? (individual, production)?

    Thanks,
    Sam

  12. #12
    I'm a little late to this thread, but I thought I would post some pics for comparison ( I agree w/ sac troops comments).











    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    For those who didn't see or visit my web album link...
    https://plus.google.com/photos/11616...42479723231634
    I finally found the insert-image button:






  14. #14
    Does anyone know where to have a Camillus Marine Raider handle repaired? The hilt has broken off and is missing.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by foxcolt13 View Post
    Does anyone know where to have a Camillus Marine Raider handle repaired? The hilt has broken off and is missing.
    I am afraid there is no way to correctly repair a cast handle that I am aware of.
    Фил Гиббс
    Jack of all Knives....
    Master of None!

    Quote Originally Posted by james terrio View Post
    I'll jimp anything legal, if the price is right

  16. #16
    The only thing I can think of would be to find a foundry that would cast a handle to the blade. Expect a custom one of project to be expensive though. I doubt that they would do it in the original material. That wouldn't be all bad as thats the biggest problem with the original knives. Camillus changed the composition of the handle when the new knives were re-introduced if I'm not mistaken.
    It might be worth while to contact Eight Dollar Mountain Foundry. They would know what it would take to do the handle. They are very busy most of the time and they may not be able or willing to take on this custom project. It still might be worth while to contact Dale there and explain to him what you have and what you want to accomplish. If he canít do anything for you he still might be able to point you to someone else who would.
    http://edmfknives.com/

    I also remember a foundry out in Spokane Washington that was casting handles to blades. If I can run across the information again I'll post it in this thread.

  17. #17
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    Interesting points sac.
    Sadly getting a mold made, producing dummy blades to set the mold up with prior to re-casting the original, would probably cost 3-4 times more than a mint knife is worth.
    Фил Гиббс
    Jack of all Knives....
    Master of None!

    Quote Originally Posted by james terrio View Post
    I'll jimp anything legal, if the price is right

  18. #18
    Phil I would agree. Someone could make a mold or sand cast from a good original. But unless someone wanted to cast a lot of blades to run down the unit cost I don't think the price would make much sense. Although the actual cost is a speculation on my part at this time. Although a knife with a replacement handle would not have much value to a collector.
    Would you know if the handles of the knives were done in house at Camillus or sent out?
    Last edited by sac troop; 10-11-2012 at 05:06 PM. Reason: addition

  19. #19
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    I know the re-production Pewter handles were cast by an outside vendor & am fairly confident the original Zinc ones were too.
    Фил Гиббс
    Jack of all Knives....
    Master of None!

    Quote Originally Posted by james terrio View Post
    I'll jimp anything legal, if the price is right

  20. #20
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    The original WWII U.S.M.C. Raider Stilettos had the handles made by Precision Die Cast in Syracuse, New York. The blades were blanked and ground at Camillus and then sent to Precision Die Cast to have the handles installed. They were then returned to Camillus for finishing which included etching the blade and sharpening.
    The stilettos that were made by Camillus in1967 had the handles installed by the Precision Castings Co. I believe the barrel of stiletto blanks that were used for the reproduction stiletto were left over from the 1967 production run of 5,000 pieces.

    Tom Williams

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