The Springfield Edge

Knife & Bolo BayonetsBolo KnivesHospital Corps Bolo & KnivesEntrenching, Hunting & Belt Knives / ToolsSwords & SabersAccoutermentsManuals & PublicationsData & ResearchPictoral HistoryMessage BoardWeb Site ContributersLinks & Resources


M-1887 Hospital Corps Knife
Basic Information


Originally and specifically designed for the U. S. Field Sanitation Corps (later, by time of authorization and issue to be known as the Hospital Corps, then the Medical Corps), the M-1887 Hospital Corps Knife was produced at the Springfield Armory. In 1889, 650 knives were produced. In 1891, the armory produced 406 knives.

There are two distinguishing characteristics between the 1889 (Type I) and the 1892 (Type II) knives. The first type has an etched panel about 3.5 inches from the guard, and the edge is narrower near the guard than near the tip. The second type has an etched panel about 2 inches from the guard, and the edge is nearly even from guard to near the point.

The principle design purpose of the M-1887 Hospital Corps Knife was for clearing brush and cutting branches for field expedient splints or stretcher poles. Today, these highly sought after knives are scarce and excellent condition ones are quite rare. Reproductions are common.


M-1887 Basic Data

  Blade Length: 12.0 inches Overall Length: 16.875 inches

Blade Widths:

Type I: 1.5 to 1.875 inches

Type II: 1.5 to 1.625 inches

Blade Thickness: 0.125 inches  
  Scabbards: The Type I Hospital Corps Knife was issued with a belt loop scabbard made at Watervliet Arsenal, and so marked. The Type II knife was issued with scabbards that had a brass hanger and were produced at the Rock Island Arsenal, and so marked. Rock Island also made replacement scabbards with the brass hanger.