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Thread: 1927 RFI MKII Kukri

  1. #1

    1927 RFI MKII Kukri

    Hello SFI,

    I seem to have struck a rich vein of classic military kukris that I would like to share with you. Its funny how these things come in starts and stops. A year goes by and you see nothing you need, but then before you know it, it is raining antique Nepalese steel.

    I am happy enough about the first of these new acquisitions that it is going to get its own post.

    Here we have an 1927 interwar MKII manufactured by the Rifle Factory Ishapore outside of Calcutta in West Bengal.

    As you would expect the kukri is marked RFI, 1927, MK II. There is one other small inspection stamp (which resembles the pie sign) on the base of the blade. There are no other markings on the knife, and no post-WWII Indian Army property or inspection stamps.

    The scabbard is incomplete and worn to a considerable degree. I cannot tell whether it ever had a metal chap or not. The condition of this specimen is not great and the entire kukri has the feel of well used knife. The metal plate has been ripped of the hilt at some point, there is light pitting along the blade, and the edge has been rolled in multiple places (as you can see in the more detailed pictures).

    The dimensions of the kukri are as follows:

    Total Length: 44 cm
    Blade Length: 33 cm
    Handle Length: 10.5 cm
    Depth of the Blade: 5.5 cm
    Thickness of Spine at Base: 9 mm
    Point of Balance: 10.5 cm from the bolster
    Weight: 670 grams

    While spine is surprisingly substantial at the base it narrows quickly. It is also rounded rather than peaked. In terms of the factors that are less easy to quantify, this blade, while not as elegant as my WWI MK II, feels better than most of the later WWII models that I have handled. I am very happy with this knife and best of all it was pretty inexpensive. I had been looking for an RFI kukri since I first started collecting, so its nice to fill this hole in the display.

    I have one other piece of news that might interest the SFI community. A couple of months ago I started an academically focused blog on martial arts history and Chinese martial studies for anyone who is interested in those topics. Recently I posted some thoughts on the role of kukris in the modern military that you might find interesting. It is fairly introductory stuff as most of my readers there have never seen a kukri before, but its a fun exercise.

  2. #2
    Hi Benjamin,
    nice looking well used knife, if it is not too much bother gould you post a photo of the back of the scabbard as I am planning to restore my scabbard and am looking for some images to work off.
    much appreciated

  3. #3
    nice kukris there, the RFI is as usuall a stunner and very kool with the more current indian army RFI pic!
    the blog super also, and will reply more when i have some more time, but admire the work u have made!
    intressting to note is the increasing number of nepalis (usually from traditional gurkha recruit/sending)familes who have gone into the french foreign legion...yes with kukri too nothing large in numbers but a few adventoures and brave souls....


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