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USMC Bowie Knife
KA-BAR (trademarked as KA-BAR, capitalized) was a fighting and utility knife issued to American armed forces including the Marines and Navy. Additionally, KA-BAR is the name of a related manufacturing company most known for the same 11 3⁄4-inch fighting and utility Bowie knife adopted by the United States Marine Corps and United States Navy as the USN Fighting Knife Mark II.
A typical KA-BAR knife has a 7 in. clip point blade and weighs about 1.1 lbs. The KA-BAR fighting knife is made of 1095 carbon steel and features a leather-washer or synthetic handle made of Kraton (a non-slip rubber substitute).
KA-BAR makes Army and Navy versions as well as USMC versions. They are the same as the Marine version except for different initials at the bottom of the blade and different symbols on the sheath. Marines today often give the blades, guards and pommels of their knives a few coats of non-reflective matte black spray paint to reduce reflected light and give them a little more protection against saltwater corrosion. Its moderate carbon and low chromium steel mixture allows the blade to hold an edge very well. The 1095 cro-van steel used in the blades of today’s KA-BARs has a hardness of 56–58 HRC; the guard and pommel are made from sintered 1095 carbon steel. Outside combat, the knife has been used to open cans, dig trenches, and cut wood and roots. In 1995, the design was updated with a tool steel blade, synthetic handle, and synthetic sheath marketed as “The Next Generation”