GERBER Mark II™ SHEATHS






Copyright ©2008-2017 by John T. Sabol








SHEATH INTRODUCTION

The Gerber Mark II has a surprising number of sheath variations. They range from the early, brown leather, round-tip, right-hand strap scabbards with staples and 2-line Gerber Stamp, to the late model, black, Cordura® ballistic nylon sheaths.

The sheaths presented here are organized into several categories, most of which are based on easily observable sheath shape or material. The categories can be accessed from the active buttons above.

For each sheath, a small thumbnail picture is included. By clicking on the picture, you can access a high resolution picture of the sheath.

I have tried to give an approximate time period for each sheath type based on the knife serial number. Note that these are just a guide as often there are overlaps between sheath types. (See also Mismatches)

Some of the descriptions below mention left or right sides of the sheath. These directions are in relation to the sheath being oriented with the rear side facing down and the sheath tip pointed away from the observer.

Note that none of the sheaths are serial numbered. The numbers that you find on later sheaths namely 97223 and 97224 are USPS ZIP Codes for Portland, OR.

Listed below are all of the Mark II sheath variations that I am aware of:

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ROUND-TIP SHEATHS

The round-tip sheaths are constructed of 2 pieces of acid tanned, relatively soft leather, 1/8 to 5/32 inch thick and 1 3/4 inch wide except for the top 1 inch that is 2 inches wide. The rear piece is approximately 15 inches long with the upper 1 inch (the 2 inch wide section) rolled over a brass military belt hanger (M1910 Wire Hook) and the lower 1 inch slightly narrowed with a rounded tip. The tip has two punched holes in which a 36 inch leather leg tie is threaded. The front piece is 7 inches long with square upper end and rounded bottom end. The front piece is located about 3/4 inch above the rear piece rounded tip. If the sheath has a sharpening steel, another piece of thinner leather about 4 1/2 inches long is used to form a pocket on the sheath face and located about 1 1/2 inches below the sheath throat. Heavy nylon thread is used to sew the front piece (and the steel pocket if present) to the rear piece and the fold over the military belt hanger at the top. The ends of the stitching at the sheath throat, the belt hanger and the sharpening steel pockets are reinforced with either staples (early sheaths), small 1/8 inch diameter headed rivets (transition sheaths) or standard, 3/16 inch diameter headed rivets (later sheaths).

A 3/4 inch wide knife retaining strap extends through a slot cut in the sheath rear piece just above the throat. One end of the retaining strap is riveted to the sheath rear piece. The strap retains the knife when folded across the handle guard and is secured to the front face of the sheath by means of a "DOT" snap fastener. There are two orientations of the strap. The early (RIGHT) strap comes out of a vertical slot cut in the sheath rear piece and crosses over the knife's right guard. The later (LEFT) straps comes out of a diagonal slot cut in the sheath rear piece and crosses over the knife's left guard.

The upper portion of the sheath rear piece has two 3-inch long vertical slots cut in the leather with small punched holes at their ends. Any flat belt can be threaded through these slots if the sheath is not being hung from the military belt hanger. Stamped on the front of the rear sheath piece, between the belt slots, is the Gerber name and factory location in either the earlier 2-line or later 3-line format. However, I have noted several Gerber sheaths that did have any stamp.

Included with the sheath is the above mentioned 36 inch leather leg tie and a shorter 18- inch tie that can be threaded through a hole in the knife pommel to be used as a wrist thong or can be threaded through the holes at the upper end of the belt slots and used to further secure the knife in the sheath.

All sheaths are unfinished or lightly dyed leather with the smooth (grain) side facing out and the rough (flesh) side facing the rear. On some early sheaths, little effort was made to match the two leather pieces and some sheaths will have a noticeable difference in the leather color between the front and rear or front and steel-pocket pieces.

I was told that the earliest round tip sheaths were manufactured by The George Lawrence Co. 306 S.W. First Ave., Portland, Ore. Later sheaths were made in the Gerber factory.


[Round-Tip Sheath 1 Thumbnail Image] Photo: Anonymous RT1 : ROUND-TIP TYPE 1 ; "COMBAT"; BROWN LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; STAPLES AT THROAT & HANGER(SOME HAVE NONE); 2-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT(SOME LEFT); BRASS HANGER; W/O STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The RT1 sheaths are the earliest sheaths. Almost all have staples, rather than rivets, at the ends of the stitching at the throat and at the military belt hanger. However, several without staples have been observed. They also have a two-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE., U.S.A.". The RT1 sheaths are found on 1967 knives up to about S/N 003203.


[Round-Tip Sheath 1S Thumbnail Image] RT1S: ROUND-TIP TYPE 1S; "COMBAT"; BROWN LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; STAPLES AT THROAT, STEEL POCKET TOP & HANGER; 2-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; WITH SGSC STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The RT1S sheaths are the earliest sheaths with sharpening steel. They are of the same materials and construction as the RT1 sheaths but have a sewn-on pocket containing a sharpening steel with the small Gerber name stamp. They have staples, rather than rivets, at the ends of the stitching at the throat, at the top of the sharpening steel pocket and at the military belt hanger. They also have a two-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE., U.S.A.". The RT1S sheaths are found on 1967 knives up to about S/N 003297.

NOTE: The picture shows a sheath that has rivets added at the sheath throat. This is a very typical field repair as the front face of the leather would tear away from the staples at the throat. I have also seen these sheaths with rivet repair at the military belt hanger.


[Round-Tip Sheath 2 Thumbnail Image] RT2 : ROUND-TIP TYPE 2 ; "COMBAT"; BROWN LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; SMALL RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; ; 2-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The RT2 sheaths are round-tip transition sheaths with rivets that have small 1/8 inch diameter heads. The RT2 sheaths were used for a limited number of knives. Possibly feedback from military users alerted Gerber that the narrow staples used to reinforce the stitching in the earlier Type RT1 and RT1S sheaths, would rip through the leather under the rough usage encountered in the field. The RT2 sheaths have the same materials and construction as the RT1 and RT1S sheaths except Gerber replaced the staples with rivets that have small, 1/8 inch diameter heads. They have these smaller rivets, at the ends of the stitching at the throat and at the military belt hanger. They also have a two-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE., U.S.A.". The RT2 sheaths are found on 1967-1968 knives in the approximate serial number range of 003333 to 005266.


[Round-Tip Sheath 2 Thumbnail Image] Photo: stevegvce ebay Feb 2010

RT2S: ROUND-TIP TYPE 2S; "COMBAT"; BROWN LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; SMALL RIVETS AT THROAT, STEEL POCKET TOP & HANGER; 2-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; WITH SGSC STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The RT2S sheaths are round-tip transition sheaths with sharpening steel, with the small Gerber name stamp and with rivets that have small 1/8 inch diameter heads. The RT2S sheaths were used for a limited number of knives. Possibly feedback from military users alerted Gerber that the narrow staples used to reinforce the stitching in the earlier Type RT1 and RT1S sheaths, would rip through the leather under rough use encountered in the field. The RT2S sheaths have the same materials and construction as the RT1 and RT1S sheaths except Gerber replaced the staples with rivets that have small 1/8 inch diameter heads. They have these smaller rivets, at the ends of the stitching at the throat, at the top of the sharpening steel pocket and at the military belt hanger. They also have a two-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE., U.S.A.". The RT2S sheaths are found on 1967-1968 knives in the approximate serial number range of 003479 to 005352.


[ Image Needed Thumbnail Image] RT3 : ROUND-TIP TYPE 3 ; "COMBAT"; BROWN LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; 2-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The RT3 sheaths are round-tip sheaths with rivets with a larger 3/16 inch diameter head that would become the standard size. The smaller rivets used in the RT2 and RT2S must have not completely solved the problem of sheaths being damaged. The RT3 sheaths have the same materials and construction as the previous sheaths, but with rivets that have larger 3/16 inch diameter heads. They have the larger rivets, at the ends of the stitching at the throat and at the military belt hanger. They also have a two-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE., U.S.A.". The RT3 sheaths are found on 1968 knives in the approximate serial number range of 005542 to 008887.


[Round-Tip Sheath 3S Thumbnail Image] RT3S: ROUND-TIP TYPE 3S; "COMBAT"; BROWN LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT, STEEL POCKET TOP & HANGER; 2-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; WITH SGSC STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The RT3S sheaths are round-tip sheaths with a sharpening steel with the small Gerber name stamp and with rivets with a larger 3/16 inch diameter head. The smaller rivets used in the RT2 and RT2S must have not completely solved the problem of sheaths being damaged. The RT3S sheaths have the same materials and construction as the previous sheaths, but with rivets that have larger 3/16 inch diameter heads. They have these larger rivets, at the ends of the stitching at the throat, the steel pocket and at the military belt hanger. They also have a 2-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE., U.S.A.". The RT3S sheaths are found with 1968 knives in the approximate serial number range of 005223 to 009134.


[Round-Tip Sheath 4 Thumbnail Image] RT4 : ROUND-TIP TYPE 4 ; "COMBAT"; BROWN LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The RT4 sheaths are round-tip sheaths with a 3-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The factory ZIP code was added and the information stamped on three lines rather than the previous two lines. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The RT4 sheaths are found with 1968-1969 knives in the approximate serial number range of 008567 to 010685.


[Round-Tip Sheath 4S Thumbnail Image] RT4S: ROUND-TIP TYPE 4S; "COMBAT"; BROWN LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT, STEEL POCKET TOP & HANGER; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; WITH SGSC STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The RT4S sheaths are round-tip sheaths with a sharpening steel with small Gerber name stamp and with a 3-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The factory ZIP code was added and the information stamped on three lines rather than the previous two lines. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The RT4S sheaths are found with 1968-1969 knives in the approximate serial number range of 008173 to 011558.


[Round-Tip Sheath 5 Thumbnail Image] RT5 : ROUND-TIP TYPE 5 ; "COMBAT"; BROWN LEATHER; LEFT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER ONLY; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The RT5 sheaths are round-tip sheaths with the retaining strap moved to the left side. Further feedback from military users indicated that the right-hand straps were oftentimes cut when hurriedly drawing or re-sheathing the knife. Normally, a right handed individual, when drawing or re-sheathing a knife, does so with the hammer grip (where you hold the knife as you would hold a hammer). You can visualize how the strap was cut by noting that with the hammer grip, a knife held at sheath level has the blade angled forward. A little haste with a drawing or insertion motion, with the knife at an angle to the sheath, and the right hand strap is sliced. These sheaths have the 3-line Gerber name/address stamp. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The RT5 sheaths are found with 1969-1973 knives in the approximate serial number range of 010855 to 030959.


[Round-Tip Sheath 5S Thumbnail Image] RT5S: ROUND-TIP TYPE 5S; "COMBAT"; BROWN LEATHER; LEFT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER ONLY; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; WITH SGSC(EARLY) & LGSC(LATER) STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The RT5S sheaths are round-tip sheaths with a sharpening steel with the small Gerber name stamp and with the retaining strap moved to the left side. Further feedback from military users indicated that the right-hand straps were oftentimes cut when hurriedly drawing or re-sheathing the knife. Normally, a right handed individual, when drawing or re-sheathing a knife, does so with the hammer grip (where you hold the knife as you would hold a hammer). You can visualize how the strap was cut by noting that with the hammer grip, a knife held at sheath level has the blade angled forward. A little haste with a drawing or insertion motion, with the knife at an angle to the sheath, and the right hand strap is sliced. Along with the strap change, the two rivets at the top of the sharpening steel pouch were eliminated. These sheaths have the 3-line Gerber name/address stamp. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The RT5S sheaths are found with 1969-1973 knives in the approximate serial number range of 011101 to 028783.


[Round-Tip Sheath 6 Thumbnail Image]

[Round-Tip Sheath 6d Thumbnail Image]

RT6 : ROUND-TIP TYPE 6 ; "EDDIE BAUER"; BROWN LEATHER; LEFT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; EDDIE BOWER SCRIPT NAME STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The RT6 sheaths are round-tip sheaths made for the Eddie Bauer Company in 1970. These sheaths are basically a RT5 sheath but have the cursive script Eddie Bauer name stamped into the sheath instead of the 3-line Gerber name/address stamp. The stamp faces the right side of the sheath.

There are two versions of this sheath. The first and most common is a single line of the cursive script Eddie Bauer name and has no border.

The second type is much rarer and has a double line stamp with an address under the Eddie Bauer name. The address reads "417 EAST PINE ST. SEATTLE WASH. 98122". The address line has a rectangular single line border. The two lines both lie within a larger rectangular single line border. I believe that the 417 address was the location of the first Eddie Bauer Seattle store. Today Eddie Bauer has a Seattle store at 600 Pine St #230, Seattle, WA 98101, which is just up the street east of the original location.

The RT6 sheaths are found with 1970 Eddie Bauer marked Orange handled knives. These knives have no serial numbers.


[Round-Tip Sheath 6S Thumbnail Image]

[Round-Tip Sheath 6Sd Thumbnail Image]

RT6S: ROUND-TIP TYPE 6S; "EDDIE BAUER"; BROWN LEATHER; LEFT-STRAP W/ ROUND END; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; EDDIE BOWER SCRIPT NAME STAMP FACING RIGHT; BRASS HANGER; WITH STEEL ETCHED WITH EDDIE BOWER SCRIPT NAME; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The RT6S sheaths are round-tip sheaths with a sharpening steel made for the Eddie Bauer Company in 1970. These sheaths are basically a RT5S sheath but have the cursive script Eddie Bauer name stamped onto the sheath on one line instead of the 3-line Gerber name/address stamp. The cursive script Eddie Bauer name is also etched into the sharpening steel. There are no rivets at the top of the sharpening steel pouch. The RT6S sheaths are found with 1970 Eddie Bauer marked Orange handled knives. These knives have no serial numbers.


[Round-Tip Sheath 7 Thumbnail Image] RT7 : ROUND-TIP TYPE 7 ; "20TH. ANNIVERSARY"; TAN LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ POINTED END; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; STEEL HANGER; W/O STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The RT7 sheaths are round-tip sheaths made for the 1986 20th. Anniversary Edition of the Mark II knife. These sheaths have a right-hand strap and look very similar to the early sheaths. However there are three major differences: 1) The right hand strap has a pointed end rather than the rounded end of the earlier sheaths. 2) The military belt hanger is made of steel rather than brass. 3) There is a 3-line Gerber name/address stamp rather than the original 2-line stamp and the stamp faces left rather than right. The RT7 sheaths are found with 1986 knives in the serial number range of XX0001 to XX5000.

NOTE: The XX prefix on the serial number are the Roman Numerals for twenty and were used to indicate that the knife was the anniversary issue and not an original earlier knife.


[Round-Tip Sheath 8 Thumbnail Image] RT8 : ROUND-TIP TYPE 8 ; "35TH. ANNIVERSARY", "2002 LIMITED EDITION" & "AG RUSSELL LIMITED EDITION"; DARK-BROWN LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ POINTED END; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; 3-LINE 97224 SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; STEEL HANGER; W/O STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The RT8 sheaths are round-tip sheaths made for 3 knives, the 2001 35th. Anniversary Edition, the 2002 Limited Edition and the AG Russell Limited Edition of the Mark II knife. These sheaths have a right-hand strap and look similar to the early sheaths. However there are 5 differences: 1) The sheath is dyed a dark brown color. 2) The right hand strap has a pointed end rather than the rounded end of the earlier sheaths. 3) The military belt hanger is made of steel rather than brass. 4) There is a 3-line Gerber name/address stamp rather than the original 2-line stamp and the stamp faces left rather than right. 5) The ZIP Code on the stamp is 97224 rather than 97223. The RT8 sheaths are found with the 2001 35th. Anniversary Edition knives in the serial number range of 010001 to 011250, the 2002 Limited Edition knives in the serial number range of A00001 to A01500 and the AG Russell Limited Edition knives in the serial number range of Z00001 to Z00100.


[Round-Tip Sheath 9 Thumbnail Image] RT9 : ROUND-TIP TYPE 9 ; "70TH. ANNIVERSARY"; BLACK LEATHER; RIGHT-STRAP W/ POINTED END; BLACK STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; STAMPED SLANT 3 LOGO NEAR TIP; NO HANGER; W/O STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The RT8 sheaths are round-tip sheaths made for the 70th. Anniversary (1939-2009) of the Gerber Legendary Blades Company. These sheaths have a right-hand strap and look similar to the early sheaths. However there are 6 differences: 1) The sheath is dyed black. 2) The Slant 3 Logo is stamped on the sheath face near the tip 3)The right hand strap has a pointed end rather than the rounded end of the earlier sheaths. 4) The military belt hanger is missing 5) There is a 3-line Gerber name/address stamp rather than the original 2-line stamp and the stamp faces left rather than right. 6) The ZIP Code on the stamp is 97224 rather than 97223. The RT9 sheaths are found with the 2009 70th. Anniversary knives in the serial number range of 0001 to 1500.

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POINTED-TIP SHEATHS

The pointed-tip sheaths are constructed of 2 pieces of acid tanned, relatively soft leather, 1/8 to 5/32 inch thick, 2 inches wide and with a wasp shape. The rear piece is approximately 15 inches long with the upper 1 inch rolled over a brass military belt hanger (M1910 Wire Hook) and the lower 1 inch narrowed with a pointed tip. The tip has two punched holes in which a 36 inch leather leg tie is threaded. The front piece is approximately 7 inches long with square upper end and pointed bottom end and also has a wasp shape. The front piece is located about 1 1/4 inch above the rear piece pointed tip. If the sheath has a sharpening steel, another piece of thinner leather about 4 1/2 inches long is used to form a pocket on the sheath face and located about 1 1/2 inches below the sheath throat. These sheaths were made in several colors as mentioned below.

A 3/4 inch wide knife retaining strap extends through a diagonal slot cut in the sheath rear piece just above the throat. One end of the retaining strap is riveted to the sheath rear piece. The strap retains the knife when folded across the handle guard and is secured to the front face of the sheath by means of a "DOT" snap fastener. There is only one orientation of the strap. It crosses over the knife's left guard. All the pointed-tip sheaths have a pointed end on the strap.

With the introduction of the black pointed-tip sheath, two minor design changes were made. The first modification was the addition of a welt. A welt is a narrow piece of leather sandwiched between the front and rear sheath pieces prior to stitching the sheath's seams. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy withdrawal and insertion of the knife. The second change was to replace the previously brass military belt hanger with one made of steel. Heavy nylon thread is used to sew the front piece (and the steel pocket if present) to the rear piece and the fold over the military belt hanger at the top. The end of the stitching at the sheath throat and the belt hanger are reinforced with the standard headed rivets made of steel.

The upper portion of the sheath rear piece has two vertical slots cut in the leather with small punched holes at their ends. Any flat belt can be threaded through these slots if the sheath is not being hung from a military belt. Stamped on the front of the rear sheath piece, between the belt slots, is the Gerber name and factory location in the 3-line format. For some reason the stamp was changed to face the left side during the early red-brown sheaths production period. The stamp can be found facing the right side on the early red-brown sheaths and the left side on later sheaths.

Also included with the sheath is a shorter 18 inch leather tie that can be threaded through a hole in the knife pommel and be used as a wrist thong or can be threaded through the holes at the upper end of the belt slots and used to further secure the knife in the sheath. These sheaths usually have a high gloss dyed finish applied to the smooth (grain) outside face of the leather. Most rear sides of the sheath are in the rough (unfinished) condition. However, most tan sheaths have the rough rear sides sealed with a black finish. The sequence of dye colors is red-brown, green, tan and black. All sharpening steels for the pointed-tip sheaths have the Gerber name stamp with the larger 0.17 inch high letters. The early steels having square corners on both chisel edges and the later steels having one of the chisel edges rounded.


[Pointed-Tip Sheath 1 Thumbnail Image] PT1 : POINTED-TIP TYPE 1 ; "SURVIVAL"; RED-BROWN LEATHER; LEFT-STRAP; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; W/O WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT(EARLY) & LEFT(LATER); BRASS HANGER; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The PT1 sheaths are pointed-tip sheaths and have a wasp rather than a straight shape. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a red-brown color. I don't know the reason for the change in sheath design. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. For some reason the stamp was changed to face the left side during this sheaths production period. The stamp can be found facing the right side on early sheaths and the left side on later sheaths. Both stamps read "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The PT1 sheaths are found with 1972-1976 knives in the approximate serial number range of 028629 to 048127.


[Pointed-Tip Sheath 1S Thumbnail Image] PT1S: POINTED-TIP TYPE 1S; "SURVIVAL"; RED-BROWN LEATHER; LEFT-STRAP; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; W/O WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT(EARLY) & LEFT(LATER); BRASS HANGER; WITH LGRC STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The PT1S sheaths are pointed-tip sheaths with a sharpening steel and have a wasp rather than a straight shape. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a red-brown color. I don't know the reason for the change in sheath design. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. For some reason the stamp was changed to face the left side during this sheaths production period. The stamp can be found facing the right side on early sheaths and the left side on later sheaths. Both read stamps read "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The PT1S sheaths are found with 1973-1976 knives in the approximate serial number range of 028631 to 048102.


[Pointed-Tip Sheath 2 Thumbnail Image] PT2 : POINTED-TIP TYPE 2 ; "SURVIVAL"; GREEN LEATHER; LEFT STRAP; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; W/O WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; BRASS HANGER; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The PT2 sheaths are dark-green colored, pointed-tip sheaths and have a wasp rather than a straight shape. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a dark-green color. The shade can vary and some take on an almost brown color. The distinctive feature is the white nylon thread stitching. The military belt hanger is present. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The PT2 sheaths were only made for a short time and are found on 1976-1977 knives in the approximate serial number range of 046671 to 058095.


[Pointed-Tip Sheath 2S Thumbnail Image] PT2S: POINTED-TIP TYPE 2S; "SURVIVAL"; GREEN LEATHER; LEFT STRAP; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; W/O WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; BRASS HANGER; WITH LGRC STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The PT2S sheaths are dark-green colored, pointed-tip sheaths with a sharpening steel and have a wasp rather than a straight shape. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a dark-green color. The shade can vary and some take on an almost brown color. The distinctive feature is the white nylon thread stitching. The brass military belt hanger is present. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The PT2 sheaths were only made for a short time and are found on 1976-1977 knives in the approximate serial number range of 049624 to 057258.


[Pointed-Tip Sheath 3 Thumbnail Image] PT3 : POINTED-TIP TYPE 3 ; "SURVIVAL"; LIGHT-TAN LEATHER; BACK OF SHEATH IS BLACK; LEFT-STRAP W/ BRASS SNAP; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT; W/O WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT(SOME RIGHT); W/O HANGER; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The PT3 sheaths are light-tan colored, pointed-tip sheaths that were factory issued without the military belt hanger. The sheath strap DOT snap cover is unpainted brass. The rear of the sheath is black. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a light-tan color. The reason for the color change is unknown. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the left side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A.". The PT3 sheaths were evidently not well received by knife buyers, were only made for a short time and are relatively rare. They are found with 1977 knives in the approximate serial number range of 057693 to 061616.


[Pointed-Tip Sheath 3S Thumbnail Image] PT3S: POINTED-TIP TYPE 3S; "SURVIVAL"; LIGHT-TAN LEATHER; BACK OF SHEATH IS BLACK; LEFT-STRAP W/ BRASS SNAP; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT; W/O WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT(SOME RIGHT); W/O HANGER; WITH LGRC STEEL; BROWN LEATHER TIES;

The PT3S sheaths are light-tan colored pointed-tip sheaths with a sharpening steel that were factory issued without the military belt hanger. The sheath strap DOT snap cover is unpainted brass. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a light-tan color. The reason for the color change is unknown. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A.". The PT3S sheaths were only made for a short time and are relatively rare. I have only noted 8 of these sheaths in the approximate serial number range of 058833 to 061321


[Pointed-Tip Sheath 4 Thumbnail Image] PT4 : POINTED-TIP TYPE 4 ; "SURVIVAL"; LIGHT-TAN LEATHER; BACK OF SHEATH IS BLACK; LEFT-STRAP W/ BRASS SNAP; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; W/O WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; BRASS HANGER; W/O STEEL; TAN LEATHER TIES;

The PT4 sheaths are light-tan colored, pointed-tip sheaths and have a wasp rather than a straight shape. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a light-tan color. The color is very similar to the light-tan presentation sheath. The sheath strap DOT snap cover is unpainted brass. The military belt hanger is present. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." They are found with 1977 knives in the approximate serial number range of 057142 to 060184. They are rare, as I have only noted 18 of them.


[Image Needed Thumbnail Image] PT4S: POINTED-TIP TYPE 4S; "SURVIVAL"; LIGHT-TAN LEATHER; BACK OF SHEATH IS BLACK; LEFT-STRAP W/ BRASS SNAP; WHITE STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; W/O WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; BRASS HANGER; WITH LGRC STEEL; TAN LEATHER TIES;

The PT4S sheaths are light-tan colored, pointed-tip sheaths with a sharpening steel and have a wasp rather than a straight shape. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a light-tan color. The color is very similar to the light-tan presentation sheath. The sheath strap DOT snap cover is unpainted brass. The military belt hanger is present. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." They are rare, as I have only encountered 3 in the approximate serial range of 058266 to 059116.


[Pointed-Tip Sheath 5 Thumbnail Image] PT5 : POINTED-TIP TYPE 5 ; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK LEATHER; LEFT STRAP; BLACK STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; WITH WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; STEEL HANGER; W/O STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The PT5 sheaths are black colored, pointed-tip sheaths and have a wasp rather than a straight shape. With the introduction of the black color a small design change was made. A welt, a narrow piece of leather, was sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a black color. The steel military belt hanger is present. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." These sheaths were very popular and were issued with over 50,000 Mark II knives. The PT5 sheaths are found with 1977-1981 knives in the approximate serial number range of 060217 to A1818S.


[Pointed-Tip Sheath 5S Thumbnail Image] PT5S: POINTED-TIP TYPE 5S; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK LEATHER; LEFT STRAP; BLACK STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; WITH WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; STEEL HANGER; WITH LGRC STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The PT5S sheaths are black colored, pointed-tip sheaths with a sharpening steel and have a wasp rather than a straight shape. With the introduction of the black color a small design change was made. A welt, a narrow piece of leather, was sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a black color. The steel military belt hanger is present. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The PT5S sheaths are found with 1977-1981 knives in the approximate serial number range of 059631 to 111601.

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FLAT-TIP SHEATHS

The flat-tip sheaths are the result of a minor redesign in sheath construction from the previous pointed-tip sheaths. It is a simpler design and results in a stiffer, sturdier sheath. The flat-tip sheaths are constructed of 2 pieces of acid tanned, relatively stiff leather, 1/8 to 5/32 inch thick, 2 inches wide and with a wasp shape. The rear piece is approximately 14 1/2 inches long with the upper 1 inch rolled over a steel military belt hanger (M1910 Wire Hook) and the lower end ending in a flat tip approximately 1 1/4 inch wide and slightly chamfered. Approximately 3/4 of an inch above the flat bottom tip, two punched holes extend through both pieces of the sheath and in which a 36 inch leather leg tie is threaded. The front piece is approximately 8 inches long with square upper end and square bottom end and also has a wasp shape. The bottom of the front piece is even with the rear piece. A welt, a narrow piece of leather, is sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces on both sides and the bottom. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. Heavy nylon thread is used to sew the front piece to the rear piece and the fold over the military belt hanger at the top. The end of the stitching at the sheath throat and the belt hanger are reinforced with 3/16 inch steel rivets on the earlier sheaths and extra-large 5/16 inch aluminum rivets on the later sheaths.

A 3/4 inch wide knife retaining strap extends through a diagonal slot cut in the sheath rear piece just above the throat. One end of the retaining strap is riveted to the sheath rear piece. The strap retains the knife when folded across the handle guard and is secured to the front face of the sheath by means of a "DOT" snap fastener. There is only one orientation of the strap. It crosses over the knife's left guard.

The upper portion of the sheath rear piece has two vertical slots cut in the leather with small punched holes at their ends. Any flat belt can be threaded through these slots if the sheath is not being hung from a military belt. Stamped on the front of the rear sheath piece, between the belt slots, is the Gerber name and factory location in the 3-line format. The stamp is facing the left side of the sheath.

The flat-tipped sheaths have a high gloss dye finish, in a black color applied to the smooth (grain) outside face of the leather. The rear sides of the sheaths are in the rough condition with just a light spray from the dye to color the rear face.

Also included with the sheath is a shorter 18 inch leather tie that can be threaded through a hole in the knife pommel and be used as a wrist thong or can be threaded through the holes at the upper end of the belt slots and used to further secure the knife in the sheath.

All sharpening steels for the flat-tip sheaths have the Gerber name stamp with the large 0.17 inch high letters and one square and one rounded chisel edge corner.


[Flat-Tip Sheath 1 Thumbnail Image] FT1 : FLAT-TIP TYPE 1 ; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK LEATHER; LEFT-STRAP; BLACK STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; WITH WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; STEEL HANGER; W/O STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The FT1 sheaths are black colored, flat-tip sheaths and have a slight wasp rather than a straight shape. They have a welt, a narrow piece of leather, sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces on both sides and the bottom. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a black color. The steel military belt hanger is present. Steel rivets with 3/16 inch diameter heads are used. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The FT1 sheaths are found with 1981-1982 knives in the approximate serial number range of 102377 to A6140S.


[ Image Needed Thumbnail Image] FT1S : FLAT-TIP TYPE 1S ; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK LEATHER; LEFT-STRAP; BLACK STITCHING; STANDARD RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; WITH WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; STEEL HANGER; WITH LGRC STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The FT1S sheaths are black colored, flat-tip sheaths and have a slight wasp rather than a straight shape. They have a welt, a narrow piece of leather, sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces on both sides and the bottom. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a black color. The steel military belt hanger is present. Steel rivets with 3/16 inch diameter heads are used. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A."

The FT1S sheaths must have been made for only a very short period of time. I have only noted two of these sheaths. One is a 1981 knife with the serial number of 103318 and the other was with a later knife and obviously mismatched.


[Flat-Tip Sheath 2 Thumbnail Image] FT2 : FLAT-TIP TYPE 2 ; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK LEATHER; LEFT-STRAP; BLACK STITCHING; EXTRA-LARGE ALUMINUM RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; WITH WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; STEEL HANGER; W/O STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The FT2 sheaths are black colored, flat-tip sheaths and have a slight wasp rather than a straight shape. They have a welt, a narrow piece of leather, sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces on both sides and the bottom. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a black color. The steel military belt hanger is present. Aluminum rivets with extra-large 5/16 inch diameter heads are used. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The FT2 sheaths are found with 1982-1987 knives in the approximate serial number range of A1527S to D9393S.

They can also be found with some Cutlery Shoppe knives in the serial number range of CS0060 to CS0312.

NOTE: These sheaths were also issued with the Guardian II knives. Some of the Guardian II sheaths have an additional stamp of "GUARDIAN II" either on the front of the sheath under the Gerber 3-line stamp or at about the same location on the rear of the sheath.


[Flat-Tip Sheath 2S Thumbnail Image] FT2S : FLAT-TIP TYPE 2S ; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK LEATHER; LEFT-STRAP; BLACK STITCHING; EXTRA-LARGE ALUMINUM RIVETS AT THROAT & HANGER; WITH WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING LEFT; STEEL HANGER; WITH LGRC STEEL; BLACK LEATHER TIES;

The FT2S sheaths are black colored, flat-tip sheaths and have a slight wasp rather than a straight shape. They have a welt, a narrow piece of leather, sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces on both sides and the bottom. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a black color. The steel military belt hanger is present. Aluminum rivets with extra-large 5/16 inch diameter heads are used. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the sheath in the area of the knife handle. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The FT2S sheaths are found with 1983-1984 knives in the approximate serial number range of A7258S to D5466S.

NOTE: These sheaths were also made for the Deluxe Gerber Guardian Three Knife Set, Model No. 5898, which includes three R.W. Loveless knives and comes with 5 sheaths and straps for various carry modes. They are relatively rare.

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CORDURA® SHEATHS

The Cordura® nylon sheath types are the only non-leather sheaths associated with the Mark II. They are a re-design, use different sheath materials and produce a more durable sheath. These sheaths are constructed of a black colored Cordura® ballistic nylon fabric similar to that used for making luggage. Cordura® has roughly twice the abrasion resistance of ordinary nylon. Additional advantages of Cordura® are quick drying, resists mold and mildew and is non-acidic so there is less chance of knife corrosion.

The sheaths measures 2 3/8 inches wide by 12 1/2 inches long with a narrowing to 1 1/2 inches at the tip. They are quite complicated in their construction, with multiple layers of fabric, stiff inserts and a welt made of a rubber-like material all stitched together with heavy nylon thread. The welt, a narrow piece of rubber, is sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces on both sides and the bottom. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. The end of the stitching at the sheath throat is reinforced with large headed rivets made of steel. The top of the sheath is folded-over in several different ways to form a belt loop. A small loop of nylon strap is sewn in at the tip, through which a 36 inch black nylon chord leg tie is threaded.

The knife is retained in the sheath by either one or two 1 inch wide nylon retaining straps which secure the knife by means of "DOT" snap fasteners. Sewn on the rear of some of these sheaths is a Bianchi® "Quick-Lock" belt fastener, the type used for military pistol holsters. Sheaths without the belt fastener are not marked. One of the sheath configurations has snaps on the belt loop and two have a sharpening stone pocket sewn to the front face. Although of a complicated design, they are probably less costly to manufacture than previous sheaths made of leather.

I have attempted to list the Cordura® sheaths in the order of their introduction. However, I am not sure as some of the sheath types have so few examples.


[Cordura® Sheath 1 Thumbnail Image] C1 : CORDURA TYPE 1 ; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK CORDURA® NYLON; FLAT-TIP; WITH WELT; TWO STRAPS - LOW ACROSS & UPPER WRAP-AROUND ; NO STONE POCKET; NO BIANCHI® FASTENER; SEWN, FOLDED-BACK BELT LOOP; NO SHEATH STAMP; SINGLE NYLON LEG TIE;

I believe this is the first Cordura® design. The Cordura® Type 1 sheaths are black colored, nylon cloth sheaths with two knife retaining straps and without the Bianchi® belt fastener. The top of the sheath is of the folded-over towards the back design and forms a belt loop. The belt loop narrows at the top. In order to be mounted on a belt, this design requires that the belt be unfastening and the belt threaded through the sheath belt loop.

The knife is retained in the sheath by means of two 1 inch wide nylon straps. The first strap is sewn to the center of the rear sheath piece and folds over the left knife guard and is secured by means of a "DOT" snap fastener. A second nylon strap is sewn 3 1/2 inches above the sheath throat, is of the "wrap around" type and is fastened around the knife handle and secured by means of a second "DOT" snap fastener. No belt hanger is sewn to the rear of the sheath. They have no identification anywhere on the sheath.

The Cordura® Type 1 sheaths are found with 1985-1986 knives in the approximate serial number range of D1077S to D7122S. I have never seen a Cutlery Shoppe CS serial knife with a type C1 sheath.


[Cordura® Sheath 2 Thumbnail Image] C2 : CORDURA TYPE 2 ; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK CORDURA® NYLON; FLAT-TIP; WITH WELT; TWO STRAPS - LOW ACROSS & UPPER WRAP-AROUND ; NO STONE POCKET; NO BIANCHI® FASTENER; FOLDED-BACK BELT LOOP W/ 2 DOT SNAPS; NO SHEATH STAMP; SINGLE NYLON LEG TIE;

I believe this is the second Cordura® design and probably very few were made. The Cordura® Type 2 sheaths are black colored, nylon cloth sheaths with two knife retaining straps and without the Bianchi® belt fastener. The top of the sheath is of the folded-over towards the back design and forms a belt loop. The belt loop narrows at the top. There are 2 black "DOT" snaps holding the belt loop closed. By undoing the snaps, this design allows the sheath to be mounted on a web belt without unfastening the belt and threading it through the sheath belt loop.

The knife is retained in the sheath by means of two 1 inch wide nylon straps. The first strap is sewn to the center of the rear sheath piece and folds over the left knife guard and is secured by means of a "DOT" snap fastener. A second nylon strap is sewn 3 1/2 inches above the sheath throat, is of the "wrap around" type and is fastened around the knife handle and secured by means of a second "DOT" snap fastener. No belt hanger is sewn to the rear of the sheath. They have no identification anywhere on the sheath.

The Cordura® Type 2 sheaths are rare. I've only observed 4 examples in the approximate serial number range of D3203S to D3204S. This design with the double "DOT" snaps holding the belt loop was used on the late Guardian II camouflage knife sheaths. Possibly an experiment since the Bianchi® belt fastener was introduced on Gerber sheaths in mid 1985. I have never seen a Cutlery Shoppe CS serial knife with a type C2 sheath.


[Cordura® Sheath 3 Thumbnail Image] C3 : CORDURA TYPE 3 ; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK CORDURA® NYLON; FLAT-TIP; WITH WELT; LOW WRAP-AROUND STRAP; NO STONE POCKET; WITH BIANCHI® FASTENER; FOLDED-FORWARD BELT LOOP; SHEATH STAMP & LOGO ON BIANCHI® FASTENER; SINGLE NYLON LEG TIE;

This is the third Cordura® design. There could have been complaints about the restrictions of the sewn belt loop of the Cordura Type 2 sheaths. The top of the Cordura® Type 3 sheath has a folded-over forward design and forms a sewn closed belt loop. However a Bianchi® "Quick-Lock" belt fastener is sewn to the rear of the sheath. The three-line Gerber name/address stamp is found on the belt fastener mount. The stamp, facing the left side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "LEGENDARY BLADES" / "Portland, OR 97223".

This knife is secured by means of a single 1 inch wide nylon strap which "wraps around" the knife hilt just above the guard and is secured by means of a "DOT" snap fastener. The change from double to single retaining strap may have been the result of complaints of slow access to the knife. Although the double retaining strap design is very secure, it doesn't allow quick access to the knife.

The Cordura® Type 3 sheaths are found with 1985-1993 knives in the approximate serial number range of D2349S to K9837S, Cutlery Shoppe CS serial knives from 1989-1994 in the approximate serial number range of CS0007 to CS1204 and unetched 1986 20th. Anniversary knives (type CT3N) in the approximate serial number range of XX3701 to XX4825.


[Cordura® Sheath 3S Thumbnail Image] C3S: CORDURA TYPE 3S; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK CORDURA® NYLON; FLAT-TIP; WITH WELT; LOW WRAP-AROUND STRAP; WITH STONE POCKET; WITH BIANCHI® FASTENER; FOLDED-FORWARD BELT LOOP; SHEATH STAMP & LOGO ON BIANCHI® FASTENER; SINGLE NYLON LEG TIE;

The Cordura® Type 3S sheaths are black colored, nylon cloth sheaths identical with the Cordura® Type 3 sheaths but with an added pocket for a sharpening stone.

A pocket for a sharpening stone is sewn to the front of the sheath. The pocket is of a clever design that allows easy insertion and extraction of the stone. The pocket itself is 3 1/4 inches tall and open at top and bottom with a male "DOT" snap mounted on the front face. Sewn to the front inside face of this open loop is a 1 1/4 inch wide 7 inch long nylon strap with a female "Dot" fastener on the upper end. The stone is placed on top of the strap and strap and stone pushed down into the pocket. The snap is then fastened on the front face of the pocket. Unsnap the snap and pull up on the end of the strap and the stone is easily withdrawn. People with large hands or thick fingers will love this design. However, I don't believe a sharpening stone was included with the sheath.

The knife is retained in the sheath by means of a single 1 inch wide nylon strap which "wraps around" the knife hilt just above the guard and is secured by means of a "DOT" snap fastener. A Bianchi® belt fastener is sewn to the rear of the sheath. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the belt fastener mount. The stamp, facing the left side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "LEGENDARY BLADES" / "Portland, OR 97223".

The Cordura® Type 3S sheaths are found with 1986-1987 Mark II knives in the approximate serial number range of D0269S to F2638S. They were also used on the Cutlery Shoppe CS serial knives of 1989 in the approximate serial number range of CS0003 to CS0198.


[Cordura® Sheath 4 Thumbnail Image] C4 : CORDURA TYPE 4 ; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK CORDURA® NYLON; FLAT-TIP; WITH WELT; LOW WRAP-AROUND STRAP; NO STONE POCKET; NO BIANCHI® FASTENER; FOLDED-FORWARD BELT LOOP; NO SHEATH STAMP; SINGLE NYLON LEG TIE;

The Cordura® Type 4 sheaths are black colored, nylon cloth sheaths almost identical with the Cordura® Type 3 sheaths but they do not have the Bianchi® belt fastener. In order to be mounted on a belt, this design requires that the belt be unfastening and the belt threaded through the sheath belt loop. There is no identification anywhere on the sheath. During the 1992-1993 time period, the Bianchi® belt fasteners were phased out.

The Cordura® Type 4 sheaths are found with late 1992 to end of production knives in the serial number range of K3060S to N4121S. They were also used on the Cutlery Shoppe CS serial knives of 1992-1996 in the approximate serial number range of CS0515 to CS1947.


[Cordura® Sheath 4S Thumbnail Image] C4S: CORDURA TYPE 4S ; "SURVIVAL"; BLACK CORDURA® NYLON; FLAT-TIP; WITH WELT; LOW WRAP-AROUND STRAP; WITH STONE POCKET; STEEL HANGER; FOLDED-FORWARD BELT LOOP; NO SHEATH STAMP; SINGLE NYLON LEG TIE;

The Cordura® Type 4S sheaths are black colored, nylon cloth sheaths almost identical with the Cordura® Type 3S sheaths but they do not have the Bianchi® belt fastener. The top of the sheath is of the folded forward design and forms a belt loop. The sheath also has a steel military belt hanger (M1910 Wire Hook). There is no identification anywhere on the sheath.

The Cordura® Type 4S sheaths are rare. I've only observed a few examples. The design with the belt hanger was also used on on some of the Guardian II knife sheaths.

The Cordura® Type 4S sheaths are found with 1986 knives in the approximate serial number range of E0929S to E1494S and the unetched 1986 20th. Anniversary knives (type CT3N) in the approximate serial number range of XX2699 to XX3717. I have never seen a Cutlery Shoppe CS serial knife with a type C4S sheath.


[Cordura® Sheath 5 Thumbnail Image] C5 : CORDURA TYPE 5 ; "2008 VERSION"; BLACK BALLISTIC NYLON; ROUND-TIP; WITH PLASTIC LINER; TWO STRAPS - LOW ACROSS & UPPER WRAP-AROUND ; NO STONE POCKET; PALS ATTACHMENT; EMBROIDERED SLANT 3 LOGO; NYLON LEG STRAP WITH SIDE RELEASE BUCKLE;

The Cordura® Type 5 sheaths are black colored, ballistic nylon cloth sheaths with a different design from the previous Cordura sheaths. They have a round tip and a hard plastic insert. Two knife handle retaining straps are used.

There are modified PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) nylon straps on the sheath back that allows the knife to be secured to MOLIE gear as well as providing the capability for other attachment methods. This consists of a 12-1/2 inch single nylon strap passing vertically through 5 horizontal 1 inch straps spaced on approx. 2 inch centers. There is a fastening snap at the bottom end of the 12-1/2 inch strap. There is a Slant 3 logo and Gerber name embroidered with black thread on the blade portion of the sheath face. Included is a 1 inch wide nylon leg strap, 18 inches long, with an adjustable fastex-style pinch-release plastic buckle.

It is somewhat ironic that this sheath was initially manufactured in Vietnam. (Ref. http://www.knivesplus.com/gerberknivesgb-1874.html). later versions are manufactured in China.

The Cordura® Type 5 sheaths are found with 2008 - 2013 type BA9, 2008 Version Mark II knives .

NOTE: There is a similar sheath with a square rather than rounded bottom, where the logo and Gerber name embroidery on the sheath face is done with white thread. It is issued with the Gerber Steadfast knife.

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PRESENTATION SHEATHS

The presentation sheaths are similar to the flat-tip sheaths but have a belt loop rather than a military belt hanger. The presentation sheaths are constructed of 2 pieces of acid tanned, relatively stiff leather, 1/8 to 5/32 inch thick, 2 inches wide and with a slight wasp shape. The rear piece is approximately 21 inches long with the upper 6 inches folded over towards the front face to form a belt loop. There is a chamfer on the folded over piece to thin the leather thickness in the area of the sheath throat. The lower end of the rear piece ends in a flat tip approximately 1 1/4 inch wide and slightly chamfered. The front piece is approximately 9 inches long with square upper end and square bottom end and also has a slight wasp shape. The bottom of the front piece is even with the rear piece. A welt, a narrow piece of leather, is sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces on both sides and the bottom. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. Heavy nylon thread is used to sew the front piece and the chamfered end of the foldover to the rear piece. A major difference in the presentation sheaths is that the smooth side of the leather faces out on both the front and rear pieces. There are no rivets in these sheaths.

A 3/4 inch wide knife retaining strap extends through a diagonal slot cut in the sheath rear piece just above the throat. One end of the retaining strap is riveted to the sheath folded over rear piece. The strap retains the knife when folded across the handle guard and is secured to the front face of the sheath by means of a "DOT" snap fastener. The brass cover of the snap fastener on the strap is not painted black. There is only one orientation of the strap. It crosses over the knife's left guard.

Approximately 3/4 of an inch above the flat bottom tip, two punched holes extend through both pieces of the sheath and in which a 36 inch leather leg tie is threaded. Stamped on the rear of the sheath about 2 inches from the top of the belt loop, is the Gerber name and factory location in the 3-line format. The stamp is facing the tip of the sheath rather than one of the sides.

The presentation sheaths have a high gloss dye finish, in a both a light-tan and dark brown color applied to both faces of the sheath. To my knowledge these sheaths were never constructed with a sharpening steel pocket.


[Presentation Sheath 1 Thumbnail Image] P1: PRESENTATION TYPE 1; "PRESENTATION"; LIGHT-TAN LEATHER; FLAT-TIP; LEFT-STRAP; BRASS SNAP; WHITE STITCHING; NO RIVETS; WITH WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP ON REAR; W/O HANGER; FOLDED-BACK BELT LOOP; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER LEG TIE;

The P1 sheaths are light-tan colored, flat-tip sheaths and have a slight wasp rather than a straight shape. Instead of a military belt hanger they have a large belt loop at the top. They have a welt, a narrow piece of leather, sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces on both sides and the bottom. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a light-tan color. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the rear of the sheath. The stamp, facing the tip of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A.". The P1 sheaths are found with 1977 to approximately 1985 knives (I am unsure as to the exact years the Presentation Knives were made) in the approximate serial number range of 000179 to 004683.


[Presentation Sheath 2 Thumbnail Image] P2: PRESENTATION TYPE 2; "PRESENTATION"; DARK-BROWN LEATHER; FLAT-TIP; LEFT-STRAP; BRASS SNAP; WHITE STITCHING; NO RIVETS; WITH WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP ON REAR; W/O HANGER; FOLDED-BACK BELT LOOP; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER LEG TIE;

The P2 sheaths are dark-brown colored, flat-tip sheaths and have a slight wasp rather than a straight shape. Instead of a military belt hanger they have a large belt loop at the top. They have a welt, a narrow piece of leather, sandwiched between the sheath's front and rear pieces on both sides and the bottom. The welt protects the stitching from the knife edge as well as allowing easy insertion and withdrawal of the knife. The leather has a high gloss dye finish applied in a dark-brown color. They have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the rear of the sheath. The stamp, facing the tip of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The P2 sheaths are found with 1977 to approximately 1985 (I am unsure as to the exact years the Presentation Knives were made) in the approximate serial number range of 000288 to 04635.

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DIVE SHEATHS

Dive sheaths are made of heavy, tallow impregnated leather able to withstand salt water immersion. The sheath is designed to be worn on the leg in the thigh area, fastened by two leather (early sheaths) or rubber (later sheaths) straps. The sheaths are constructed of 2 pieces of heavy, stiff, tallow impregnated leather, 1/4 inch thick, 1 7/8 inches wide and with a straight shape. The rear piece is approximately 14 inches long with the lower 1 1/2 inch narrowed to 1 3/8 inch and with a flat tip. The tip has two punched slots, 1 inch long by 1/4 inch wide, through which a leather or rubber leg strap can be threaded. An additional 2 punched slots are located 1 1/4 inches from the top of the sheath through which another leather or rubber leg strap can be threaded. The front piece is approximately 7 1/4 inches long with square upper end and rounded bottom end. The front piece is located about 1 1/2 inches above the rear piece flat tip. No welt is used with this sheath. Heavy waved nylon thread is used to sew the front piece to the rear piece. Most sheaths have a double row of stitches. But I have seen sheaths with a single row of stitches but they are not common. There are no rivets at the end of the stitching at the sheath throat.

The knife is retained by means of either a leather (early) or rubber (later) flap type keeper. The keeper is circular, 2 inches in diameter with a 3/4 inch diameter hole in the center. There are two tabs as an integral part of the keeper. The one at the top is 1 1/4 wide and 1 inch high. The one at the bottom is 1 inch wide by 1/2 inch high and is rounded. The keeper is laid flat in the same plane as the sheath and fastened to the rear sheath piece, 5/8 inch from the top. The early leather keepers are sewn to the sheath. The later 1/4 inch thick rubber keepers are fastened by two copper rivets and washers through the top tab of the keeper. The rivet heads are on the rear of the sheath and the rivet posts are peened over the washers on the front face of the keeper. The keeper is lifted, the knife is inserted and the keeper is lowered so that the hole fits snugly over the end of knife pommel. It is a little awkward but a very secure system, especially with the rubber keeper.

The dive sheaths also include two 1 inch wide leather (with inside facing edges chamfered) or rubber leg straps, and with 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" belt type buckles on one end; Most buckles came from the factory painted flat black although I have seen an example that seemed to be chrome plated. The paint wears off easily and some are seen slightly rusty. There are two makers of the buckles. Most have a small anchor stamped on the underside of the buckle, indicating they are corrosion resistant. Other examples have what appears to be the intertwined letters "CRC" on the underside of the buckle. The CRC possibly stands for "Corrosion Resistant Coating". The upper thigh strap is roughly 21 inches long. The lower strap is 18 inches long. By altering the length of the straps, the knife could be worn in one of three positions. On the thigh, on the lower leg or on the arm.

These sheaths have the three-line Gerber name/address stamp on the upper front of the sheath in the handle area, below the upper belt slots. The stamp, facing the right side of the sheath reads "GERBER" / "PORTLAND, ORE." / "97223 U.S.A." The dive sheaths are found on the 1970-1974 yellow handled dive knives. Yellow handled dive knives have no serial numbers.


[Dive1a Thumbnail Image]

[Dive1b Thumbnail Image]

[Leather Dive Straps Thumbnail Image]

D1: DIVE TYPE 1; THICK TALLOW IMPREGNATED LEATHER; SINGLE OR DOUBLE STITCHED; SEWN ON OR RIVITED LEATHER KEEPER; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; TWO LEATHER LEG STRAPS;

These are the earliest dive sheaths. Heavy tallow impregnated two piece leather sheath able to withstand salt water immersion; Waxed nylon stitching; Brown color; Top of sheath has two slots cutout for upper leg strap; Bottom of sheath has round shape with a rectangular leg strap tab extending down from the rear sheath half with two slots cutout for the lower leg strap.

There are two versions of this sheath. One has a double-stitched sewn-on leather-keeper and the second has a riveted on leather-keeper. I believe the rivets used for this second type are the same tubular type rivets used for fastening the buckles on the leather leg straps.

Sheaths have two 1 inch wide leather leg straps, chamfered on the inside and with 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" belt type buckles on one end. The buckles are a silver color, painted black and have a small anchor stamped on the underside indicating they are corrosion resistant; Upper leg strap roughly 21 inches long; lower leg strap 18 inches long. The D1 sheaths are found with early 1970 dive knives.


[Dive Sheath 2 Thumbnail Image]

[Dive Sheath 2 Thumbnail Image]

[Leather Dive Straps Thumbnail Image]

D2: DIVE TYPE 2; THICK TALLOW IMPREGNATED LEATHER; DOUBLE STITCHED; RUBBER KEEPER W/ TWO CU RIVETS; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; TWO LEATHER LEG STRAPS;

Heavy tallow impregnated two piece leather sheath able to withstand salt water immersion; Waxed nylon stitching; Rubber-keeper; Brown color; Top of sheath has two slots cutout for upper leg strap; Bottom of sheath has round shape with a rectangular leg strap tab extending down from the rear sheath half with two slots cutout for the lower leg strap; Sheaths have two 1 inch wide leather leg straps, chamfered on the inside and with 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" belt type buckles on one end. The buckles are a silver color, painted black and have a small anchor stamped on the underside indicating they are corrosion resistant; Upper leg strap roughly 21 inches long; lower leg strap 18 inches long.

Dive Type 2 sheaths have the same body construction as the Dive Type 1 but with a different keeper. Probably feedback from the field indicated that after use the leather keepers on the Dive Type 1 sheaths stretched and didn't secure the knife very well. Gerber responded with an improved keeper made from rubber and fastened to the sheath with two copper rivets. These sheaths have the same two leather leg straps as the Dive Type 1. The D2 sheaths are found with later 1970 to 1971-72 dive knives.


[Dive Type 3 Thumbnail Image]

[Dive Type 3 Thumbnail Image]

[Rubber Dive Straps Thumbnail Image]

D3: DIVE TYPE 3; THICK TALLOW IMPREGNATED LEATHER; DOUBLE STITCHED; RUBBER KEEPER W/ TWO CU RIVETS; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; TWO RUBBER LEG STRAPS;

Heavy tallow impregnated two piece leather sheath able to withstand salt water immersion; Waxed nylon stitching; Rubber-keeper; Brown color; Top of sheath has two slots cutout for upper leg strap; Bottom of sheath has round shape with a rectangular leg strap tab extending down from the rear sheath half with two slots cutout for the lower leg strap; Sheaths have two 1 inch wide rubber leg straps with 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" belt type buckles on one end. The buckles are a silver color, painted black and have a small anchor or the intertwined letters "CRC" on the underside of the buckle indicating they are corrosion resistant; Upper leg strap roughly 21 inches long; lower leg strap 18 inches long.

Dive Type 3 sheaths are identical to Dive Type 2 but include rubber, rather than leather, leg straps. Again, possibly feedback from the field indicated the leather leg straps would stretch and give problems. Gerber responded with rubber leg straps. The D3 sheaths are found with 1971-1972 to 1974 dive knives.

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PROTOTYPE SHEATHS

This section lists sheaths that are either prototype or experimental type sheaths and never put into production. Caution must be used when declaring an item is a prototype because of the possibility that the sheath may just be a modification of a standard sheath by an creative individual. Other times the item may be a "Lunch Box Special", made by an employee in the Gerber factory and carried out sometimes in a lunch pail. One of these "LBS" sheaths is shown in the Unusual section. Oftentimes a prototype sheath contains features that were later adopted and others that were not. More genuine prototypes probably exist and will be added as I learn of them.


[Prototype Dive Sheath XSD1a Thumbnail Image] Photo: John Gibson

[Prototype Dive Sheath XSD1b Thumbnail Image] Photo: Dave Yancosky

XSD1: PROTOTYPE DIVE TYPE XSD1: "DIVE"; BASED ON A RT4S OR RT5S SHEATH; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP FACING RIGHT; NO STRAP SLOT; FLAP-TYPE LEATHER KEEPER FASTENED WITH EITHER 2 OR 4 STANDARD RIVETS; BRASS HANGER; WITH STEEL; HEAVY LEATHER LOOP W/ 4 STANDARD RIVETS ABOVE POCKET RETAINS STEEL;

The XSD1 sheaths are a prototype dive sheath. They are based on a RT4S or RT5S sheath but made without a slot cut or rivet hole for a retaining strap. Instead a leather flap with a hole in the center is attached near the top of the sheath with either 2 or 4 standard sized rivets. The hole in the flap slips over the tapered pommel of the knife handle to retain the knife in the sheath. An additional small leather piece is fastened to the sheath body just below the throat with 4 standard rivets. The leather piece bows out slightly in order to retain the sharpening steel. Probably made around 1969, it is believed that less than 5 of these sheaths were produced.


[Prototype Presentation Sheath XSP1 Thumbnail Image] XSP1: PROTOTYPE PRESENTATION TYPE XSP1; "PRESENTATION"; LIGHT-TAN LEATHER; POINTED-TIP; LEFT-STRAP; BRASS SNAP; WHITE STITCHING; W/O RIVETS; WITH WELT; 3-LINE SHEATH STAMP ON REAR; W/O HANGER; FOLDED-BACK BELT LOOP; W/O STEEL; BROWN LEATHER LEG TIE;

The XSP1 sheaths are a prototype presentation sheath. They look similar to the production P1 presentation type sheath but have the following differences: First they have a pointed tip rather than the regular production flat tip. Second, the body is constructed with only two pieces of leather. There is no welt as there is on the regular production sheaths. Third there are rivets at the sheath throat that are not present on the regular production sheaths. This sheath was purchased by its original owner at the Gerber factory in 1984. The XSP1 sheath was probably made prior to the introduction of the presentation knives in the early 1980's. It is unknown how many were made.

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UNUSUAL SHEATHS

This section lists sheaths that are unusual or odd. They are probably unique items, either modified production sheaths or were made by an employee in the Gerber factory.


[Unusual Sheath U1 Thumbnail Image] Photo: jlumbtx on www.knifeforums.com US1: UNUSUAL US1: "UNUSUAL"; BASED ON A P1/P2 TYPE SHEATH; DYED GREEN; WITH LEG STRAP; STRAP AND SHEATH HAVE BEVELED EDGES SHOWING BROWN BARE LEATHER.

This sheath was probably made by a Gerber employee, possibly from rejected sheath parts and obtained before the leather was dyed. The buckle on the leg strap could possibly be one left over from the yellow handled dive sheath leg straps. This leg strap is not from a dive sheath however as the dive sheath leather leg straps were waxed. The edges of the sheath and leg strap are not dyed (or possibly ground on a wheel) and the edges of the leg strap beveled to give a nice contrast. Possibly made around 1976-1977, during the period of the green PT2 sheath. An interesting and attractive sheath. Probably unique.


[Unusual Sheath US2 Thumbnail Image] Photo: John Daniel US2: UNUSUAL US2: "UNUSUAL"; BASED ON A P1/P2 TYPE SHEATH; DYED GREEN; SEWN BELT LOOP; EXTRA LONG TIP; POUCH FOR STEEL; LEATHER DIVE-SHEATH TYPE KEEPER.

Again this sheath was probably made by a Gerber employee, possibly from rejected sheath parts and obtained before the leather was dyed. The Gerber stamp on the sheath rear indicates that P1/P2 sheath leather was used. However, the sheath does not have the smooth leather back. The sheath also has an extended tip with two slots. A leather dive sheath type keeper has been riveted to the belt loop to retain the knife. A pouch for a steel is sewn to the face of the sheath. Possibly made around 1976-1977, during the period of the green PT2 sheath. An interesting sheath. Again, probably unique and possibly made by the same individual as the US1 sheath above.

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SHEATH STAMPS

SHEATH STAMPS - There were four different Gerber dies used to stamp non-dive Gerber leather sheaths. The stamps are all text and are stamped into the front face of the upper portion of the sheath in the knife handle area, centered between the belt slots. Some stamps faced to the left of the sheath and some to the right. See the Sheath Table for each sheath type's orientation.

The four sheath stamps in order of introduction are as follows:


[Stamp 2 Line Thumbnail Image] 1) Two Line Stamp: This is the first sheath stamp used. It consists of only two lines. "GERBER" over "PORTLAND, ORE., U.S.A.". Note that there is a comma following the period after the letters "ORE." This is the same form of location marking found on the early knives with the First Slant Logo. Note the letter G in Gerber does not have the portion of the letter pointing back to the inside of the letter. Also note the lettering has a large stroke width and characters are not merely composed of a thin line.

This stamp was used during the years 1967-1968 in the approximate serial number range of 001001 to 008887.


[Stamp 3 Line Thumbnail Image] 2) Three Line Stamp: This is the second sheath stamp used. It consists of three lines. "GERBER" over "PORTLAND, ORE." over "97223         U.S.A." Note that a ZIP Code has been added and there is no comma following the period after the letters "ORE." The letter G in Gerber has been altered and now has the portion of the letter pointing back to the inside of the letter. Again the lettering has a large stroke width and characters are not merely composed of a thin line.

This stamp was used during the years 1968-1984 in the approximate serial number range of 008824 to D7167S. It was also used on the waxed dive sheaths of 1971-1974 but the lettering is constructed of thin lines.


[Stamp 20th Thumbnail Image] 3) 20th. Anniversary Stamp: This is the third stamp to appear on Gerber Mark II sheaths. Very similar to the Three Line Stamp, but the lettering is constructed of thin lines.

This stamp was used on the 1986, 20th. Anniversary knife sheaths in the serial number range of XX0001 to XX5000.


[Stamp New Zip Thumbnail Image] 4) New Zip Stamp: This is the fourth and last stamp to appear on Gerber Mark II leather sheaths. It consists of three lines. "GERBER" over "PORTLAND, ORE." over "97224         U.S.A." Note that a ZIP Code has changed from 97223 to 97224. The letter G in Gerber has again been altered and has reverted back to not having the portion of the letter pointing back to the inside of the letter. The lettering has a large stroke width and characters are not merely composed of a thin line.

This stamp was used on one 2001 and two 2002 special edition knife sheaths as follows:

"2001 35th. Anniversary" knives in the serial number range of 010001 - 011250.

"2002 Limited Edition" knives in the serial number range of A00001 to A01500.

"Limited Edition A. G. Russell" knives in the serial number range of Z00001 to Z00100.

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STEELS

Gerber sharpening steels are flat steel bars, approximately 5 inches long, 7/8 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick. The long outside edges are slightly rounded, have a rougher surface than the smoother flat sides and are intended as the main sharpening surface. The flat sides are intended for final honing. The bottom 1 inch is tapered to form a 7/8 inch wide chisel tip. The chisel tip can be used for hacking, prying or splitting. The top end is flat with a 1/4 inch (early) or 3/16 inch (later) diameter hole 5/8 inch from the top. The hole is threaded with a 10 inch length of leather tie looped to aid in extracting the steel from the sheath pocket.

Although commonly called sharpening steels, they are actually honing steels. Honing is a finishing operation. Small amounts of material are removed. It is not practical to perform substantial sharpening by honing.

Most have the Gerber name stamped at the top of the steel above the hole. The sharpener is forged from 0-1 tool steel. Chromium carbide is bonded to the surface and makes the tool hard enough to dress the edge of Gerber's high speed tool steel knives.

The sharpening steels can be found with Mark II leather sheaths with the steel pocket as well as in separate small leather scabbards and later in folding leather handles.

NOTE: The sharpening steels were also made in an 8 inch length in both the separate scabbard version and the folding handle version. With their longer length, the 8 inch versions were much easier to use. But probably due to their size and weight, the 8 inch versions are not as strongly associated with the Gerber Mark II.

Close-ups of the 5 inch steels are shown below.

[Steel Gerber Stamp Image] [Steel Corners Image]

There are four types of sharpening steels that are found with Gerber sheaths. I have coded them as follows:

  NGSC - No Gerber - Square Corner                         LGSC - Large Gerber - Square Corner

SGSC - Small Gerber - Square Corner                         LGRC - Large Gerber - Round Corner

 


 

[NGSC Steel Image]

The NGSC steels are earliest steels and lack the Gerber name stamp. They have the same large diameter hole and square corners on both chisel edges as do the SGSC steels. They were issued in the early scabbards with only the simple Gerber name stamp. Some early knives may be found with these steels. I was mistaken about these unmarked steels and assumed they were made by a different manufacturer. I've since obtained a near mint example with the early scabbard and paperwork which lists it from Gerber Legendary Blades, West Linn, Oregon, U.S.A.

 


 

[SGSC Steel Image]

The SGSC steels are the second sharpening steels. These steels have the Gerber name stamp with the small 0.10 inch high letters and have square corners on both chisel edges. The 1/4 inch hole at the top is slightly larger than the later Large Gerber steels. They are found with the round tip sheaths with steel pocket ("RTxS" sheaths) from 1967 to early 1971. They were also available in a small leather scabbard for knives that did not have the steel pocket.

 


 

[LGSC Steel Image]

The LGSC steels are the third type sharpening steel and are an intermediate form and relatively rare. These steels have the Gerber name stamp with the larger 0.17 inch high letters. The Gerber name was made larger for an unknown reason. At the same time the diameter of the hole at the top was made slightly smaller from 1/4 inch to 3/16 inch. They retain the square corners on both chisel edges.

There are few of the these LGSC steels because, at around this time, Gerber introduced the steel with a folding leather handle. The exposed square chisel corner presented a cutting hazard and were soon modified as explained under the LGRC description. The LGSC steels are found with both the separate leather scabbard and the early folding leather handle sharpeners.

 


 

[LGRC Steel Image]

The LGRC steels are the fourth version of the sharpening steel associated with the Mark II. These steels have the Gerber name stamp with the larger 0.17 inch high letters. The Gerber name was made larger for an unknown reason. They have the 3/16 inch (later) diameter hole. They also have a rounded corner on one chisel edge.

The rounded chisel end resulted when Gerber decided to eliminate the small leather scabbard and instead issue the steel with a folding leather handle. The handle is made such that the steel is sandwiched inside the handle and offset so that one of the long edges is exposed. A screw that passes through the leather handle and the hole in the steel holds the pieces together and acts as the pivot point. At some point Gerber must have received complaints that people were being cut by the sharp chisel edge exposed above the leather handle edge. Gerber's solution was to round the single exposed chisel edge. Rather than make two versions of the steel, the rounded chisel edge steels were also used with the leather scabbards and Mark II sheaths. They are found with some of the later RT5S round tip sheaths in 1971-1972 and the pointed-tip and flat-tip sheaths from 1973 until the end of Mark II leather sheath production in 1986.

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WIRE BELT HANGERS

[Hanger Thumbnail Image] Most of the leather and one of the Cordura Mark II sheaths have a military belt hanger (M1910 Wire Hook) as one of methods of carrying the Mark II knife. Earlier sheaths had a hanger made of brass while later sheaths have a steel hanger.

Occasionally you will encounter a sheath with the military belt hanger having been removed and you may want to bring it back to "as issued" appearance. I've seen two ways the hanger can be removed:

1) The folded over leather loop of the hanger has been slit, and the hanger removed through the slit.
2) One end of the wire hanger has been cut off allowing the remaining part of the hanger to be easily removed without damage to the sheath.

If the folded over leather loop of the hanger has been slit, there is little you can do other than obtain a spare hanger of the proper type, install it through the slit and use some leather glue to close the slit. Use care that the glue does't seep onto the hanger and bond it so it won't rotate. But this method isn't very secure and works for appearance only. You could lose the knife and sheath if you attempted to wear the sheath and the glue separates.

However if the original wire hook has been cut and removed, you can replace it. Cut a spare brass or steel hanger in half. Then find a thin walled tube that will slip into the folded over leather loop and that has an inside diameter slightly larger than the hangers wire diameter. The length of the tube should be shorter than the sheath top width so it wont show. Dry assemble the parts and lay above the sheath top. Adust to the correct width and center the tube between the hooks. Mark the each wire with a pencil at the location at the depth it should be inserted into the tube. Put a small dab of epoxy on the cut end of the one of the halves of the hanger, insert it into the tube up to the pencil mark and let dry. Then put another small dab of epoxy down in the tube open end (you don't want it to squeeze out and bond to the leather) and insert the tube into the loop at the top of the sheath. Finally insert the 2nd. half of the hanger, align and let set. Use care not to install the hanger reversed. The hooks should be facing the front of the sheath.

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SHEATH MISMATCHES

Many concerns about Gerber Knives will concern the possibility of knife-sheath mismatches. For example, a knife and sheath may get swapped with another knife/sheath or a sheath gets damaged and a later type sheath is used as a replacement. The swap will be obvious when a later model sheath is found on an earlier serial numbered knife. However, it is more difficult to determine if a mismatch exists when the knife and sheath are close to the same time period.

While knives are serial numbered and can be related to the year they were manufactured, the sheaths cannot be dated except by comparing them to examples where the knife and sheath are known to be related. The most reliable comparisons are done with "Mint in the Box" knives.

Confusing the issue are apparent mismatches. Since sheaths were made in batches, a small number of sheaths could get covered over with a batch of newer sheaths. If these conditions occurred during a transition period, an apparent mismatch exists. Or a few sheaths could get misplaced then at some later time be discovered and used. For example, the FT2 sheath was last issued with 1985 knives. However, in my collection are two Mint In Box, 1989 Cutlery Shoppe knives with FT2 sheaths in Gerber orange boxes with no end label. Gerber probably had a small number of the FT2 sheaths left over and decided to issue them with the CS knives.

Hopefully the descriptions and pictures provided will help you make a valid judgement as to a proper match. However, there is no substitute for experience. Carefully examine as many knife-sheath pairs as possible. Be critical. Is there a difference in the condition or amount of wear between knife and sheath? Has the sheath been repaired or modified in some way?

Here are some further items to be aware of:

Copies are usually a problem with collectable knives/sheaths. However, I am aware of only a couple of quality copies of the early Gerber sheaths. V Peloza John Carson, Rhondo Leather Works and Norseman Bladeworks of Canada all make nice copys but all also mark their sheaths with their logo. There is also several nice unstamped sheath copies made by makers in Japan, one by Daigo Kuga of Tokyo. Both Peloza and Carson make great looking riveted sheath copies (in the style of Nam era Randall knives). However, Gerber never made a "riveted" sheath.

In the past, unscrupulous individuals would put a 20th. Anniversary sheath with an early knife. However the price of the 20th. Anniversary boxed knives has skyrocketed and you don't see this happening much anymore. See 20th. Anniversary Sheath for a list of differences between the early sheaths and the 20th. Anniversary sheath.

There are several Gerber Mark II "Clone" knives (copies) by Guttman, Parker, Valor, CI and others. Several have fairly well made pointed-tip black leather sheaths and one, a black presentation style sheath. Look for the Gerber name stamp. If not present, the sheath is almost certainly from one of the copies. However, note that there is no Gerber identification on any of the Cordura® sheaths that lack the Bianchi® belt fastener except for the C5 sheath used for the re-introduced 2008 version Mark II Knife.

There is also the possibility that a round-tip or red-brown pointed-tip sheath has been dyed black by a previous owner. No round tip sheaths were factory dyed black. In the case of a pointed-tip sheath, look down into the throat of the sheath. Usually a careful examination will detect any dye effort.

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SHEATH CARE

The early sheaths are difficult to acquire in excellent to mint condition. Several factors conspire against you. First, any of the sheaths of knives used in Vietnam are usually falling apart. Jungle conditions are not kind to leather. The constant wetting and drying cycles as well as the presence of mold and fungus give the Vietnam carried sheaths the look and consistency of a piece of blackened toast. At home the passage of time slowly destroys them as the result of acid tanned leather in contact with metal parts of the sheath.

Taking care of your sheaths makes sense from several standpoints. First, you want to preserve the condition of the knife and sheath. Each is a piece of history and I feel we should take the best possible care of the knives in our safekeeping. Secondly, your knives are an investment. During the period you will own them they will almost surely appreciate in value. Any degrading of their condition due to improper care or careless handling will bring a corresponding decrease in their value.

The early Mark-IIs with L-6 tool steel blades require special care to keep the blades from discoloring, rusting or pitting and damaging the sheath as well. The most important rule is NEVER STORE A KNIFE IN A SHEATH !!! In fact, never store the knife in any manner that will allow the knife to remain in contact with the sheath or leather ties for any period of time. The reason for this caution is that all of the leather used for sheath production by the Gerber factory was acid-tanned leather. A very small amount of moisture is all that is required to start slowly destroying your Mark-II. Also, DO NOT SEAL IN PLASTIC! Plastic can trap moisture.

Another problem with the acid-tanned sheaths is that any hardware (any snaps, hangers, rivets, etc.) used on the sheath will be attacked by the acid. Steel parts will rust and I'm sure you've seen "verdigris", a green colored deposit on brass or copper. If allowed to accumulate it will badly stain the area around snaps and hangers and if allowed to progress further will weaken and damage the leather. Since moisture poses the greatest danger to knives and sheaths the only solution is to check your sheaths frequently and remove any accumulated verdigris. Dental floss or strong thread works well for cleaning under the DOT snaps.

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