vintage gerber knives

Mark II Combat Survival Knife

These knives originally went into production in 1966 and ceased in 1999.  They were designed by Captain C.A. "Bud" Holzman, USA, Retired, of Gerber Legendary Blades of Portland, Oregon.  A prototype was first made and then field tested and evaluated at Fort Lewis, Washington by members of the U.S. Army's Fourth Infantry Division in 1966.  Following their suggestions, a second prototype was made and tested in August, 1966.  Their design was finalized and the Mark II went into production in October 1966. 

mark2 knives

Advertising started in December 1966 with the first shipments made in early 1967.  The original factory brochure stated "A
good man deserves a good fighting knife - and that's what we made!"  Production started with serial number 1001 and by the end of 1967 about 4000 had been made.  The original knives had the gray "Steel-Grip" handles and non-serrated "wasp" blades
with a 5 degree cant in straight, staple reinforced, brown leather sheaths w/round tips.  Approximately 2,746 knives {sn 1001- sn#3747} were made in the original variation.  At least 235,000 were made in the first thirty years of production between 1966 and 1997.

NOTE:  Stainless Steel is designated by an "S" as the last character in the serial number; tool steel is indicated by "T".

1966-1979 L6 alloy tool steel
1970-1974 440C stainless steel, MK II-D
1975-1979 440C stainless steel
Mark II Blackened blade in 1984 (Model# 5707)

Mark II Technical Information




Blade Variations:
1966-late 1967: Narrow canted wasp blades (sn#1001-sn#3747)
Late 1967-1973: Narrow Straight wasp blades
1973-12/1979: Wide Wasp Blades
12/1979-current: Straight edged blades
1.: Small serrations, optional 14"
1976-current: Large serrations, standard 8"
1966-1979: L6 Alloy Tool Steel
1970-1974: 440C Stainless Steel, MK II-D
12/1979-current: 440C Stainless Steel polished vs.
blackened blades
Post 1967: Canted blades(?)

6 7/8" blades (by 1979 example, sn# 079,096 w/canted
wasp blade)

Mark I Knife

mark1 knives

In production from 1976 - 1997

1976-1981 composition comprised of Special Alloy Tool Steel (L6)
1976-1980 Blade length 5"
1981-1997 composition comprised of High Carbon Surgical Stainless Steel
1981-1997 Blade length 4 3/4"

1979-1983 (Model# 5611) Presentation Mark I

9" overall length
Rc 58

Mark I blackened blade variety was offered in 1984
(Model# 5604)