MS Ltd. XX Metal Stampings Limited Clasp Knife


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W.R. Case & Son opened a subsidiary factory in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1948 for the purpose of producing a knife for the Canadian military. The factory remained in operation until the mid-1950s. The knives were made according to Canadian military specifications using a pattern that predates WWII. The identifying marks are found on the main blades tang.

The knife is basically a slab-sided 6353/1905 pattern knife. The tang on the main blade is stamped MS LTD XX. The MS stands for Metal Stampings, the subsidiary name for the Case factory. The XX is the Case XX stamp common to Case knives. These knives are often erroneously sold as WWII rigging knives. While this pattern knife was used in World War II, the Metal Stampings Ltd. were not used during that war as the company did not exist at the time. If the Metal Stampings knives saw cambat it is more likely during the Korean War. In fact Case made this pattern knife for Canada during WWII but the blade is stamped "CASE" not MS Ltd. XX.

At almost five inches closed, these knives are big and heavy! My knife was actually misused as hammer by its previous owner which made it necessary for me to do some file work on both ends so that the punch blade and bail would move freely. Despite this abuse, the knife still works quite well; a testament to the original workmanship.

The marlin spike has about 1/8 inch wobble when closed (again partly due to abuse) but is quite tight when in the half stop and full open position.  It still closes with a good snap. At 4 inches, it is a monster of spike which allows you plenty of space for gripping and holding while working with knotted lines..

The punch blade, was never sharpened and with the exception of the normal patina found on a knife of this age is in exceptional condition. I'm not sure how useful the punch is as as can opener but it is quite wide and if you need to put a big hole in a can, this blade will get the job done. .The point can be used as phillips screw driver head for large screws. The edge of the punch can be used as a flat head screwdriver, at least in a pinch.

The main sheepfoot blade needed major sharpening when I first got it. On the bright side, I think this is because it was never sharpened!  The blade has a bit of wobble when opened probably due to the owner using it the head of the knife as a hammer. I think this minor wobble can be fixed with a little TLC. It is due to the top pin being a little loose. Despite the wobble, the blade is massive, has a thick spine, and still holds a good edge.

All in all, the knife is a decent shape for a 60 year old knife that saw heavy use and constant abuse. This is one of my favorites.

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Pattern: 6353/1905 (slab sided)
Origins: 6353/1905
Manufacturer: Metal Stampings (W.R. Case & Sons subsidiary)
Country: Nova Scotia, Canada
Closed Length: 5 inches
Blades: 3
       1)  Sheepfoot: 3 3/4inches
       2) Marlin Spike  4 inches
       3) Punch Blade 1 5/8 inches
Blade Steel: 1095 Carbon Steel (assumed)
Handle: 1095 Carbon Steel
Shield: none
Pins: 1095 Carbon Steel
Lining: 1095 Carbon Steel
Bail: 1095 Carbon Steel
Bolsters: None

ms xx