90th IDPG Reviews


Allied Workshops Cattaraugus 225Q Sheath Review

Review Date: 1/24/2009
Author: Chris Guska


Allied Workshops appears to have ceased operations (out of business). This product is not currently available as far as I know - and at this point is only a reference on what was previously available.


The ordering process was pretty smooth via the new Allied Workshops web site. After selecting the item, creating an account and going through the checkout process, I received a series of confirmation emails as the order was processed. I placed my order for the sheath on Saturday the 16th and received it via USPS on Saturday the 23rd.

Cost: $25.00
Shipping & Handling: 6.95
Total: $31.95


The Cattaraugus 225 Q or Quartermaster knife is highly under recognized and under appreciated in the reenactor / living history community.

The 225 Q is a 6 inch fixed blade, US Army issue knife that was contracted by the US Army and US Navy from 1942 through 1945. Made from 1095 carbon steel, 10 3/8 inches in overall length, with a stacked leather washer handle and steel pommel - it is a robust knife and formidable in the hand.



Frank Trzaska of US Military Knives has published some outstanding research on the "Q" knives as well as various other US edged weapons. A particularly insightful article which I will highlight from is available at the US Militaria Forum.

In 1942, it was obvious that the armed forces would swell to unprecedented numbers - with an unprecedented need for edged weapons and knives. The Army, Navy and USMC simply purchased off the shelf existing stocks of suitable 6 inch fixed blade hunting knives. Additional contracts were made for knives outside of the traditional "M" designation knives like the familiar M3 and M1918 according to a new pattern. That pattern was the No. 225 "Q" knife to be made by Cattaraugus and Case. By the end of the war, over 1.2 million "Q" knives had been produced - with Cattaraugus producing about 1 million.

The "Q" knives werent PX items. They were issue knives for the Army - to be issued concurrently with other knives such as the M3 with no distinction or preference made to branch of service or priority.

Once you start looking for the "Q" knives, and other knives beyond the "common" M3 and M1918 knives - they show up in significant quantities. The frequency is significant enough in my opinion to regard them as under recognized and under utilized by reenactors.


225 Q Knife on the Staff Sgt at far right - 90th Division Chapel Services, June 1944


Allied Workshops' Sheath:

I realize that might not be the best comparison, or representative photo, as it would be most fair to compare unissued originals to the new reproduction. 

I must also say, that my original is a dried out shriveled turd. My collection of 225 Q knives is what you see in this photo. I wish I had several unissued original examples to compare against to give Allied Workshops the best shot possible - but I dont.

Leather can shrink over time so I'll try not to dwell on that too much. I'm looking at overall pattern, fit, finish, hardware and details.

Here's the side by side detail:



The good:

The #1 thing is that they got the orientation of the scabbard correct. What's somewhat unique about the 225 Q knives is that they are a "left hand" knife, with the blade facing to your back when it is on your left side. The overall shape is similar.

The leather is quite thick and has a good "sturdy" feel to it. It looks, feels, smells and handles like quality leather unlike some other reproduction sheaths and scabbards that I have got over the years. The leather is unfinished, without any superfluous color, paint, dye or "dressing". This is a major plus.

The bad:

The sheath seems substantially larger - to the point where i doubt shrinkage could be that significant. I'm not sure how much variation original scabbards had over their production life in size.

Hardware and construction:


The rivets used are significantly larger than the originals on my example. The rivets are well set, with no sharp edges or burrs on either side.

The stitching is nice and tight, with no loose threads. The stitch count is significantly higher, but I wont even go there.

I'd venture to say the the body of the scabbard is better constructed than my original example from a quality standpoint.



The retaining strap is made from thicker leather and retained with a much more substantial rivet than on the original example.



This is the first photo with the knife actually in the sheath. It fits. Its a snug fit, but it fits and isn't excessively difficult to put in or take out.

The strap is the correct length to secure the handle of the 225 Q knife. The snap works positively and isn't mushy on closing or opening. The strap is placed somewhat higher on the sheath and captures the handle just below the pommel, rather than a fingers width below the pommel on the original example.

Summary Pros and Cons


The knife fits in the sheath
Thick leather
No BS leather dye, color, polish or stupidness
Well constructed
Hardware is good quality and installed properly
The transaction was easy and quick

Slightly larger overall size than my original sample
Rivets are larger
Maybe that it costs $25.  I’d love to see them for sale for $20 or less.

Overall, I really dont have much to complain about. Is it "fake" quality, No. Was it advertised as "fake" quality, No. It was advertised as a "Replacement" rather than as a reproduction, or "super authentic" or "perfect" or any other superlative. That being said It meets my expectations, and I feel that it looks to be a quality item.  I’m happy to replace an original out of my kit with this one.  It’s a recommended buy if you want to replace an original scabbard or simply are missing a scabbard entirely.

I'd like to see the product improved to be "fake" quality, but that's just because I want perfection. If I knew what I know now, I'd most likely still purchase this product and use it without shame.





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