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Thread: U.S. Mess Utensils- Knives

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    Default U.S. Mess Utensils- Knives

    Howdy,,
    Here are a few of my latest interests, mess knives. For young guys who may not know what I'm talking about, these are the knives that were provided to troops for eating their meals with. Now a days plastic throwaways are the norm. Back in the day, your mess utensils were carried with you the same as your other issued equipment.

    I was surprised at the quality of these items,,, tin plate, rust resistant stamped steel,, the handles were Bakelite or aluminum. I set a bevel on one of them & it was the toughest job yet on a knife or razor,,, I worked it for a long time on DMT 325 & 1200. They may look a little flimsy, but they are far from it,. I prefer the aluminum handle ones. The good news is that they are cheap to acquire & are better kitchen knives that most of the crap being sold today.

    Thanks for looking,
    Hirlau

    L.F.& C. Company 1944 (Landers, Frary & Clark) 1934 pattern, World War II issue,,

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    This one, L.F.& C. 1941, has the Bakelite & was owned by someone named "Tiny" He cut "4" X's in the handle,,, I hope that was for the 4 steaks he cut in the field,,,

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    Last edited by Hirlau; 04-18-2015 at 10:27 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Very cool Hirlau!
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    Lupus Cohors - Appellant Mors !

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    Not 4 steaks, 4 times he saved the guys life next to him and didn't get a steak!
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    32t
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    How are the edges on these? I almost bought one but it looked more like a butter knife so I passed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 32t View Post
    How are the edges on these? I almost bought one but it looked more like a butter knife so I passed.
    There are no edges really,,, if you want one, you need to set a bevel & finish it out. It's not easy, but a 325 will take care of it. I have one with a 1K edge on it & I will collect 5 more & 1K them,,,, so I can have a steak knife collection.

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    I should have stated my question clearer. How are the edges after sharpening? How long until they turn back into a butter knife?

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    Also I should add that I find it silly that they would issue a dull blade to someone in the military......

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    Quote Originally Posted by 32t View Post
    I should have stated my question clearer. How are the edges after sharpening? How long until they turn back into a butter knife?
    Quote Originally Posted by 32t View Post
    Also I should add that I find it silly that they would issue a dull blade to someone in the military......
    I took one of them to 1k & it easily removes arm hair,,,, with a 325 & 1200 DMT's,,,worked off a little of the rough edge with a beat-up Swaty, that I only use on knives. I don't know how long it will last,,, just started with this interest & have only used it on soft stuff like apples,, etc.

    They were given other styles of knives that served other purposes,,, the mess knife was often sharpened by guys, as you can see from photos on Ebay of knives for sell. Some look like worn out razors, due to the sharpening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 32t View Post
    Also I should add that I find it silly that they would issue a dull blade to someone in the military......
    The contents of the "K" and later "C" rations didn't require much of an edge to dissect, (and steaks for dinner weren't regular fare) so providing us with a sharp implement wasn't a priority. If it were used in self defense, however unlikely and without going into to much grisly detail, an overly sharp blade could be a hindrance. Flesh seals around a smooth blade making it difficult to withdraw, whereas a knife with a sharp point and blunt edge will leave a jagged incision, allowing air to escape and the blade to be withdrawn. Seeing these, I can still hear the rattle of them in the mess kits I packed over 20 years. Pretty neat.

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    Cool. My lawn man gave me one that he found somewhere because he knows that I am a knife guy. Mine is made by the same contractor, but is the old style straight cast metal handle version made in 1917.
    Last edited by JDM61; 04-21-2015 at 03:57 PM.
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