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 Post subject: PROP PARTS: GERBER MKII (Hudson) Knife.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:43 pm 
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So, I'm a collector of knives and a Vietnam historian, so I'd thought I'd share with you some tips I've picked up about ID'ing and pricing of Gerber Mk2s

Generally speaking there are 3 basic 'eras' of Gerber Mk2
Vietnam period- naturally the most expensive.
Late 70s-80s period- in the £90-150 region, give or take condition.
Modern (2000s on) 'Remix'- £70 secondhand and £90ish new.

Identifying these is pretty straight forward:
Vietnam period knives are 'wasp waisted' in profile- the plain edge part of the blade is fatter than the serratted section. (Only very early 1960s knives are unserrated- these cost big money!)
Most came in brown leather sheathes
Handles are grey textured metal.
Serrations are 'pointy'
Blades are L6 carbon steel- when purchased at the PX or privately, they came with a little bottle of blueing chemical to black the blade and prevent rusting.

70s-80s period are 'straight' in profile- the plain section and serrated section are straight in line.
Handles are always black textured metal.
Sheathes are again- usually black leather but occasionally brown....During the early 1990s, ballistic nylon sheathes replaced the leather.
Blades are 440C stainless from 1978 onwards- not the carbon steel of earlier-
Very, very few knives were issued by Gerber with black coated blades during the 1980s but aftermarket parkerisation was common, as used on the movie knives
Serrations are 'pointy'
Production ended in 1998.

During the mid 2000s, Gerber began a 'Remix' Mk2.
For me, this is a lesser quality knife, being only 420C steel in the blade.
The easy 'spot' is the blades are always satin black coated and the serrations are 'chisel' toothed, not 'pointy'
They come in a nylon sheath.

For someone looking for the authentic movie knife, you're looking for a 1980s period Gerber in a black leather sheath with a black handle. There's lots of them out there, but many people label 'em as 'Vietnam' knives and overprice them accordingly. Buyer Beware!

This website presents you with the variations, and will even show you the actual build date of your knife by serial number:
http://militarycarryknives.com/Knives.h ... kArmorhide
If some is trying to sell you an 80's knife for $$$$, this is a useful way of beating them down.
http://militarycarryknives.com/KnifeTable.htm

Now- all that said, there are a goodly number of cheap (and not-so-cheap) copies of the Gerber Mk2. I won't speak to these as I've studiously avoided them for the most part.
Generally they look OK but I wanted the real thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:07 pm 
Jigoku e masshigura
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Thanks for posting this. I happen to have one of the Vietnam era Gerbers, which I got brand new back in the early 70s. It's the serrated wasp-waist version, grey handle with "judo stick" butt cap and brown leather sheath. It has been extremely useful for quickly cutting through rope on a few critical occasions. I wouldn't sell mine for any price.

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Mudshark wrote:
Thanks for posting this. I happen to have one of the Vietnam era Gerbers, which I got brand new back in the early 70s. It's the serrated wasp-waist version, grey handle with "judo stick" butt cap and brown leather sheath. It has been extremely useful for quickly cutting through rope on a few critical occasions. I wouldn't sell mine for any price.


Awww. :cry:

I've only got an '80s black model, but it's a solid knife and I picked up for very cheap indeed.

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Pretty good timing on this for me personally. Ever since I scored the night raider, I have been semi-obsessed with getting a proper Gerber mk2. An 80s one sold via 'buy it now' feature for just $110 shipped and I am kicking myself for not pulling the trigger first. I keep hoping to find an '84 with the black blade and tapered (non-squared) leather sheath (like Hudson's), but the only one on ebay at the moment is $350 via 'buy it now'... I want one, but not THAT bad.

I actually read a few amazon reviews of the 'old timers' that say in addition to the 'fake' (carved) cerations, the balance is off and all the materials 'feel cheaper' in general on the new ones. Apparently "Gerber" was sold off and the new company using the 'Gerber' name is essentially doing shoddy reproductions.

Good info though! thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:37 pm 
Jigoku e masshigura
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I checked out the web pages you posted. Somebody obviously went to a lot of trouble to compile all that data. Extremely helpful, thanks again. 8)

My dad gave me his WW2 Navy issue Camillus and USMC Bolo knife when I was old enough and that was the beginning of my military knife collection. The rest I just picked up over the years and held on to 'em. I have a modest collection, mostly dating back a couple of decades. Never imagined they'd fetch the kind of prices collectors are willing to pay nowadays. My Gerber and I have a lot of history together, which is mainly why I wouldn't part with it. :wink:

I used to have an Explorer Night Raider but traded it to a friend years ago. I've tried finding a replacement but haven't had much luck so far. Any idea where I might find one that wouldn't cost me an arm & a leg? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:41 pm 
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When I first joined the Colonial Marines and was putting my first costume together, I got extremely lucky and picked up an Explorer Night Raider on eBay for about $45 USD.

I'm not sure if the Raiders have the myriad of variants like the Gerber. The blade appears to have been black originally, but has worn down to the steel color along the cutting edges. The base of the blade reads "Explorer Night Raider" on one side, and "440 Stainless 21-047 Japan" on the other.

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:23 pm 
Jigoku e masshigura
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As I recall mine was Japanese made as well. Probably in Seki, the modern mecca of quality knife blade production over here. Sure wish I'd kept it, even though it wasn't nearly as dear to me as some of my other blades. I miss it now. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:40 pm 
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Everything below is probably pretty irrelevant to all except the most unhealthily obsesses stitch counters (or serial # counters in this case). But anyways...
As I continued my search for a proper Gerber Mk2, I thought it might be fun/useful to play the game "Which Gerber was REALLY Hudson's!?" I wanted to find 'THE one' "(exact model/version/run). I had fun with it and figured I would share the data.

The website, and specifically the serial # chart, provided by Mr. Demoncase have a HUGE amount of information and this was my process when narrowing the exact blade(s) down.

The chart
http://militarycarryknives.com/DateTable.htm

The Screen Caps
Attachment:
aliens_gerber_cap_01.jpg
aliens_gerber_cap_01.jpg [ 166.5 KiB | Viewed 14313 times ]

Attachment:
aliens_gerber_cap_02.jpg
aliens_gerber_cap_02.jpg [ 134.29 KiB | Viewed 14313 times ]



The facts
-With the movie being released in 1986, its obviously impossible for any knife made 1987+ to be "the one". It is therefore safe to remove any 1987+ blades from the chart.

-The cap clearly shows a "wasped" contour of the blade (as opposed to uniform "straight" edge throughout length of the blade). By eliminating the "straight" blades from the chart, we effectively eliminate 1980-1986.

-I count 15 'teeth' on the serrated portion of the blade in the screen cap. With a 2" serrated portion, clearly it is of the 8tpi variety. The website teaches us earlier versions of the knife had zero serrations, 12tpi, or 14tpi up until the middle 1976. The fact we see 8 teeth per inch is proof we can eliminate ALL candidates from 1975 and earlier.

-The chart shows us the 1976 blades were split with "fine" serrations and 8tpi "course" serrations. So half of 1976 is eliminated. As for the other half, the chart shows they came with Red and Green leather sheaths. More on sheaths below in 'notes', but with so much stacked against it, the likelihood of 1976 knife are not real good*.

-The blade in the scene is clearly not "canted" (bent at an angle) so you can eliminate all the factory knives that were (but by now those blades have been eliminated anyways by other facts)


Random notes
-RE: Sheaths. While it is possible someone changed sheaths on the knife, it is not super relevant. The sheath issue is more of a "double elimination" fact. The blade features are pretty telling on their own, but if we do consider Hudson had the black, pointed end, 'wasped' contour leather sheath, we can probably safely eliminate all knives that came with "cordora", "brown leather", 'flat tip' black, 'straight' (no countour) black and no-sheath-at-all knives. (This eliminates many of the "special edition" knives not already removed from contention due to age and doubly eliminates the vast majority of 80s knives). But while the sheath tells us little that the blade doesn't already say, it is absolutely worth noting if you are shopping because they are instantly recognizable!

-RE: Blade color. The "blued" blade doesnt actually tell us anything. Bluing these blades was common and earlier knives even came with a "field bluing" kit (according the site). It could even be aftermarket. No info there at all. The key takeaway is the blade is NOT black. But again, we already knew that. "Black" blades were all post 2008.

-RE: Handles. The black handle should be nice evidence, but it could have been painted. We really don't need that info though, because their are so many other telling facts. Even if the handle was painted black, most versions have been eliminated on other factors. So again, while not definitive on its own, for "quick reference" shopping, the black handle is definitely something to look out for.


THE VERDICT!


Now that we have eliminated what couldn't possibly be "the one" from a HUGE field, we are left with a pretty narrow window of what actually could.

1977-79 (ser#s 044016 - 085000). All these knives have:
-Black Armorhide handle
-Wide Wasp Blade with 8tpi
-Black leather "pointed" sheath (with contours to mirror style of 'wide wasp' blade)


*possible variable is if someone had 2nd half of 1976 knife that they swapped sheaths on.


The good news is that based on the chart, 1978 was the year the 2nd most Gerber Mk2s were produced and that 3 year stretch included 30,500+ knives made. I'm not a knife collector, but that doesnt strike me as super "rare". Also Hudson's Gerber was NOT a "war-time" weapon and hopefully the prices you find will reflect that. If they dont, argue the guy down. The 77-79s aren't that "special" compared to other Mark IIs so use that in your haggling.

Hope someone finds this useful and happy hunting!

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 5:35 pm 
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bigbisont wrote:
snip of excellent stuff

*possible variable is if someone had 2nd half of 1976 knife that they swapped sheaths on.

further snip


The other slight variable is that it's an aftermarket parkerisation or blueing of an earlier carbon steel model.
People did (and still do) get the blades coated off their own bat for a variety of reasons.

But- as you say- the screen-used model is good for us in that it was one of the most numerous years and is definately post-Vietnam- having this knowledge on hand, it makes for a useful bargaining chip with people over-pricing their Gerber with deliberate/unknowning* cache of being a 'Vietnam War knife':)

*If I had £1 for every E-bay advert I'd read that subtly (and not so subtly) suggested that the item in question was 'original 'Nam' kit to bump up the value of an otherwise mundane post-war bit of kit, I'd have a fair chunk to stick in the savings account ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:51 pm 
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Quick questions for you there demoncase! Your obviously a man in the know. I have tried googling this but apparently I'm not using the correct terms, because every time I try to research care of L6 'tool steel' I find only arguments about what is the best steel and/or advantages and disadvantages of it. The most common disadvantage is it requires "more care" than 440 stainless, but no one seems to list what that steps to proper care is!

-How do I properly "clean" it?

-What if I want to "field blue" mine? Would a common gun bluing kit from a sporting goods store get the job done? how easy or permanent is it? Any disadvantages?

-Is there a way to 'buff' out the sharpening stone marks on a blade? Or will buffing at all result in only more marks?

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 8:26 am 
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bigbisont wrote:
Quick questions for you there demoncase! Your obviously a man in the know. I have tried googling this but apparently I'm not using the correct terms, because every time I try to research care of L6 'tool steel' I find only arguments about what is the best steel and/or advantages and disadvantages of it. The most common disadvantage is it requires "more care" than 440 stainless, but no one seems to list what that steps to proper care is!

-How do I properly "clean" it?

-What if I want to "field blue" mine? Would a common gun bluing kit from a sporting goods store get the job done? how easy or permanent is it? Any disadvantages?

-Is there a way to 'buff' out the sharpening stone marks on a blade? Or will buffing at all result in only more marks?


Aha- These I can answer in the order you asked:

1. Tool steels rust- that's the issue compared to 440.
Tool steels contain high carbon, making them tough with good edge retention but little or no chromium to provide corrosion protection.
440 is one of the Stainless steel family and contain 6% chromium which forms a transparent molecular oxide on the surface of the steel, preventing rusting. You pay for that with strength and toughness: tool steels can be made harder, stronger and tougher than their stainless counterparts....You don't get a free ride. ;)

To clean tool steel, use WD40 to remove any surface gunk, dry, then oil the blade liberally with something like light oil: gun oil if you've got it, a wipe of light clean engine oil will do if not. There are plenty of specialist 'blade oils' and 'storage waxes' that will do the job too, but no better than gun oil.

Leather sheaths are typically tanned with oxides which promote rusting. Likewise, having a damp blade back in the a leather sheath will result in corrosion. My tip is to pull the blade at least twice a year and re-oil after checking for corrosion. And never, ever put it back wet with water.

2. Yes- A tube of Birchwood Casey's Cold Blue gel will do the job: my tip is to get the blade clean with steel wool, then grease free and polished well prior to working on it. For best results, boil a kettle of water and pour it over the just cleaned blade to heat it up (where an oven glove). Quickly dry the blade, the wipe the blue compound on smoothly and rapidly. This will give a deeper/darker result due to the increased reactivity of the hot steel.
I reblued a Kabar this way- it's 1095 carbon steel, so chemically similar to the L6

3. Definately! 1200grit emery paper (aka Wet & Dry) polish out scratches in the direction of the scratch, then polish up with Brasso or similar metal polish....Deeper scratches may need you to start with a rougher grit- 750 or so.
If you want, you can get the blade to a 'shaving mirror' finish with some time and elbow grease: start at 240grit, then move to 360, then repeat at 500, then go to 750, then 1000 then finish with 1200. Work 'wet' with a light oil, in one direction, taking care to ensure no areas are missed. Clean the 'slurry' off between stages with light oil. Finish with a metal polish compound.
Expect to have black fingers and snot for several days afterwards.
Google "How to polish steel" and you'll be bowled over with advice. ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:43 am 
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thanks the guys that saved me all the hassle of tracking down the info, as a collector of blades it's much appreciated:)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:18 pm 
Proceed on a 2-1-6...
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So what about this one? The serial number is B8974S...

Leather scabbard...

Would this be correct for a Hudson Gerber?

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:31 pm 
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ilovethecorps wrote:
So what about this one? The serial number is B8974S...

Leather scabbard...

Would this be correct for a Hudson Gerber?


In short, damn close, but not perfect. How literal are you trying to be when you say "correct"?

The "B" as a first number in the serial# puts it at 1982 and designates it as a "straight" (not "wasp") blade. The knife still looks damn good despite that super subtle wasp/straight variance. The slightly bigger issue for 'Screen accuracy" will be the sheath. If it has the original sheath (as indicated by the ser#), even though it is a black leather one, it has the "flat" end. Hudson had the pointed end. I'll post sheath pics when I get a chance to try and clarify.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:27 pm 
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It all comes down to: Do you NEED the screen-precise Gerber or can you live with 'just' a Gerber? ;)

Me, I can live with close enough....I've other 'Holy Grail' knives that tasked me more down the years to start attempting to track down the precisely correct Gerber.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:39 pm 
Proceed on a 2-1-6...
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The knife shown was in a shop close to me... It comes with a leather sheath with, as I recall, a flat end although I will check... It has a securing press stud fastening retaining strap for the knife and cords on the sheath to tie it to legs/kit etc.

The seller has £150 on it but said he'd take less...

How much should I pay maximum do you reckon?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:47 pm 
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They're about £80 brand new if that helps?

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:22 pm 
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Sorry this is so ugly, but I slapped it together just real quick in paint. It hits on the most common sheaths.

Attachment:
Mark 2 Sheaths.JPG
Mark 2 Sheaths.JPG [ 114.92 KiB | Viewed 14173 times ]


-The black leather "pointed" tip sheaths were on most Mark IIs 1976-1981.

-The black 'round' tips are similar and often sold new online, but they don't have the curves/contours on the body that give that sharp point look to the end.

-The simplified "Cordura" (ultra durable synthetic nylon blend) sheaths are on most 'new' knives today.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:27 pm 
Proceed on a 2-1-6...
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I think the one I was looking at had a square ended sheath... So is £80 the current value for that or is it more for a 1982 onwards Gerber?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:31 pm 
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Brand new, made yesterday ones mate. I have no idea about earlier ones sorry.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:39 pm 
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ilovethecorps wrote:
I think the one I was looking at had a square ended sheath... So is £80 the current value for that or is it more for a 1982 onwards Gerber?


Condition dependant, I'd go to £120 max....

Why more than the brand new?- The new ones are 420C steel. The older ones are 440C- a higher, tougher grade....In this case they REALLY don't make 'em like they used to!

Further, the blade of the new ones is thinner sectionally and the whole thing is lighter as a result- to the point where the older blade will NOT fit in the brand new sheath*

* I have a 2011 model and a 1986 model. In the hand, the 1986 feels more solid, the blade is thicker, the edge more defined and the serrations sharper.

I'd take a 1980s model over a box-fresh 2013 build any day of the week- including Sunday. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:45 am 
Proceed on a 2-1-6...
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Thanks chaps... I'll go and see what he'll knock off for me!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:07 pm 
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It's brand new... He wants £110 for it

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 Post subject: Re: Gerber MkIIs- some advice from a knife collector.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:27 pm 
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Need a sheath for your Gerber :?:

Well, some honch in a cushy office on Earth says go look at this link... I look, and I find this: http://savagemadesheaths.com/
$50 ain't bad marines! Hope this helps!

Cheers! :delta:
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:36 pm 
Proceed on a 2-1-6...
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F***in' 'ey! Nice find!

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"Errr... Roger that's a 2-1-6..."


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