Gerber Mark II
|Gerber Mark II|
Gerber Mark II with after-market anodization.
|Place of origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Gerber Legendary Blades|
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 2008. It was designed by retired US Army Captain Bud Holzman, who based the pattern on a Roman Mainz Gladius.
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 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. The MK II was the suggested blade in Paladin Press's controversial how-to book, Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors.
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. 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". 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.
In popular culture
- The Mark II gained additional fame when it was used by Mel Gibson in the 1981 film The Road Warrior.
- The black coated blade model of the Mark II was used during the mess hall knife play scene in the science fiction film Aliens.
- The 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier features the Winter Soldier using a Mark II in a fight with Captain America.
- During a scene in Man of Steel, Colonel Nathan Hardy (portrayed by actor Christopher Meloni) uses a Mark II in an attempt to fight the Kryptonian lieutenant Faora Hu-Ul before Superman intervenes.
- Often miscredited as being a Mark II, Jack Burton's (played by Kurt Russell) knife in the 1986 film Big Trouble in Little China is another Gerber knife entirely, the Blackie Collins-designed TAC II. The shorter blade (including the serrations) and the push-button sheath are the big giveaways that it is not a Mark II.
- Wonderful application of fighting work with Gerber Mark II was demonstrated in the movie Under Siege, 1992 (starring: Steaven Seagal, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busy etc.).
- Pacella, Gerard (2002). 100 Legendary Knives. Iola, Wis.: Krause Publications. p. 145. ISBN 0-87349-417-2.
- Dick, Steven (November 2008). "Vietnam Legend Returns". Tactical Knives Magazine: 30.
- Walker, Greg (1993). Battle Blades: A Professional's Guide to Combat/Fighting Knives. Boulder, Colo.: Paladin Press. p. 30. ISBN 0-87364-732-7.
- Feral, Rex (1983). Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors. Boulder, Colo.: Paladin Press. ISBN 0-87364-276-7.
- Loveless, Bob; Richard W. Barney (1995). How to Make Knives. Iola, WI: Krause Publications. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-87341-389-3.
- 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