WW2 era Rudy Ruana large fighting knife handmade pre-1943, 7-in blade, correct early “belt buckle keeper” signed leather scabbard; RARE


Original WW2 era Rudy Ruana fighting knife, huge 7-inch blade, square-cut stag scales; made pre-1943. Included is the GI-signed correct early “belt buckle keeper” leather scabbard. VERY rare type in great overall condition, considering the age.

1 in stock


WW2 era Rudy Ruana fighting knife, huge 7-inch blade, square-cut stag scales, GI-signed correct early “belt buckle keeper” leather scabbard; made pre-1943. VERY rare type in great overall condition, considering the age.

This large superb quality fighting knife was handmade by the famous RUDY H. RUANA (1903-1986) in Boner, Montana during WW2 circa 1939-1942. It’s one of the harder to find “private purchase” fighting knives – a similar Ruana fighter type is illustrated on page 131 of THEATER MADE MILITARY KNIVES OF WW2 book by Bill Wright – a well-established expert and the author of a number of books on the subject of the US military edged weapons (see book’s page scan attached). Rudy Ruana made a relatively small number of these impressive fighting knives for GIs in his spare time after working long hours as a mechanic in a nearby shop; all are highly prized today. He didn’t become a full-time knifemaker until 1953; later in life for his dedication and outstanding contribution to the craft of knife making Rudy Ruana was inducted into the American Cutlery Hall of Fame. This is an excellent quality scarce hand-made knife in great overall condition.  A superb Fighter handmade early in the war by the master himself; you will not be disappointed.

This beauty is about 11-3/4″ / 30 cm overall; the blade is about 7-1/8″ / 18.4 cm long. High-carbon steel blade is hammer-forged, heat treated, and oil quenched to provide a superior edge for years to come. The blade has been lightly re-sharpened;  the edge is RAZOR-sharp, the tip is intact; a few scratches on one side are noted for accuracy. Cast aluminum handle with “square-cut” elk stag scales – Rudy Ruana’s favorite handle materials; the handle is tight with no loose parts. Rudy developed his own method of casting aluminum handles directly on the semi-finished blade, which eliminated rust-prone gaps between the handle and the blade and produced a solid, almost-indestructible and very practical knife. The handle is unmarked as Rudy only started marking his knives with his signature stamp in 1943.

This WW2 era Rudy Ruana fighting knife comes with original early WW2 thick leather scabbard with correct “square belt buckle” keeper. The front is faintly signed with what looks like GI’s name: WILL HAILP (or Haiep, I’m not 100% sure).  The lettering is only partially visible as all of the original ink is long gone.  The scabbard is well-made with good quality leather and heavy stitching.  The leather is still soft and supple still; all original stitching and rivets are intact; a small cut on the throat and a punch hole near the the sheath’s tip are noted for accuracy. This is an excellent quality fighting knife by one of the greatest American knifemakers; you will not be disappointed. With proper care this old-timer will last you another 80 years 😉

Rare original WW2 era Rudy RUANA fighting knife  & scabbard in great overall condition – this rare fighter will be a great addition to any collection!  Please check out our Collectable Blades and Militaria sections for a variety of custom-made and various WW1 and WW2 combat knives.

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International shipping for this item will be $55 and up to most countries on our “ship-to” list.

Additional information

Weight 2.1 lbs