Gerber Mark II

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Gerber Mark II
Gerber Mark II.jpg
Gerber Mark II with after-market anodization.
Type Dagger
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1966
Production history
Designed 1966
Manufacturer Gerber Legendary Blades
Produced 1967-2000

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,[1] and full production resuming as of July 2008.[2] It was designed by retired US Army Captain Bud Holzman, who based the pattern on a Roman Mainz Gladius.[1][2]

It has a 6.5 inch (16.5 cm) double-edged spear-point wasp-waisted blade, and uses a distinctive handle similar to that of the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife developed during World War II[3] for the British Commandos. The Mark II was commonly carried by U.S. troops in the Vietnam War, and was second only to the Ka-Bar knife in fame.[3] The MK II was the suggested blade in Paladin Press's controversial how-to book, Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors.[4]

During the Vietnam war, the first production run of this knife had a 5-degree offset between the blade and the grip in order to ride in the sheath more comfortably and give the user a grip similar to that of a fencing foil.[1][2] This design feature led to a significant number of knives being returned by users for having a "bent blade", so Gerber discontinued that element on subsequent production runs. In the 1970s, the military's base/post exchanges discontinued selling these knives, reasoning that they were "not in good taste" or "too brutal".[3] Al Mar, then working for Gerber as a knife designer, 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, rather than a fighting knife.[3]

Gerber manufactured a scaled down version of the Mark II known as the Mark I. The Mark I had a 4.75 inch (12 cm) blade and was marketed as a boot knife.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Pacella, Gerard (2002). 100 Legendary Knives. Iola, Wis.: Krause Publications. p. 145. ISBN 0-87349-417-2. 
  2. ^ a b c Dick, Steven (November 2008). "Vietnam Legend Returns". Tactical Knives Magazine: 30. 
  3. ^ a b c d Walker, Greg (1993). Battle Blades: A Professional's Guide to Combat/Fighting Knives. Boulder, Colo.: Paladin Press. p. 30. ISBN 0-87364-732-7. 
  4. ^ Feral, Rex (1983). Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors. Boulder, Colo.: Paladin Press. ISBN 0-87364-276-7. 
  5. ^ Loveless, Bob; Richard W. Barney (1995). How to Make Knives. Iola, WI: Krause Publications. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-87341-389-3. 

External links[edit]