REFERENCE: RARE US BAYONETS (NOT FROM MY COLLECTION)
On the prototype testing phase a few of these knives were made with white handles. This knife is from the 1st production run of about 20 pieces made by Ontario Knife Company in 1980. These knives were used for blade and guard fit testing before the final mold was procured for the production knives. The white grip was utilized as it was easier to detect any defects in molding. This particular batch of knives had only partial tangs and no steel butt cap as seen in the current issue Navy knife. It was fitted with a stainless steel pointed "skull crusher" tip screwed into the butt end of the handle. This is an added on piece and not a completely through tang ground to a point. These prototypes were then forwarded to the U.S. Navy for testing. Modifications were then made to the prototype knife that continue to this day with the addition of a steel butt, full through tang, black molded grip, and blackened stainless steel blade. It seems the white handle was desirable for underwater visibility yet not practical for use in the dark where stealth was essential. The SEAL’s doing the testing did not like the blade shape since the tip was too easily broken off in heavy use. Too bad they didn’t listen to those guys as that fragile tip continues on to this day. The blade was given a slight design change but basically the same as seen here. Quite possibly the best point on this new knife combination is the molded scabbard. Anyway the prototype seen here was one of the test items and it seems there may be as many as 19 others still out there somewhere. As for this knife style, it is probably produced more for commercial consumption then for the military.
White handle version