SA & NSKK Daggers
SA daggers remain one of the most popular daggers in the hobby to collect. They are more reasonably priced, aesthetically pleasing and there are a seemingly endless amount of manufacture marks to collect. Initial orders of over one million daggers in 1934 meant the production contracts were awarded to many companies to ensure timely delivery. This makes it rewarding to collect SA daggers, as there is always another maker mark to add to your collection. Initial production daggers usually will have nickel alloy fittings and grip eagles. They will also have anodized scabbards which are real tough to find in good condition. Most early production daggers will have a "group marking" or "area mark" on the lower guard. These marks were used to better organize the distribution of the massive one million dagger order. When judging the authenticity of these daggers, the area marks are often compared to the known makers for that area. If there is a mismatch, there is a possibility of the dagger being made of mixed parts after the war. Once the RZM was in full swing regulating edged weapons, the later period daggers hit the scene.
These daggers usually will have nickel or chrome plated fittings. The scabbard fittings normally of steel base metal and the cross guards of zinc or pot metal. The grip eagles were now aluminum and the RZM code replaced the Maker mark. The scabbards were now painted. There were substantially less RZM daggers produced due to the massive initial orders. Regardless of this, RZM daggers are usually less desirable due to condition issues from the lower grade base metals and lack of hand detail and fitment. However, the case can be made that a fine condition RZM dagger is much harder to find then a fine condition early dagger, making those sell at a premium. When daggers are found with parts and markings that seem to contract time periods, usually they are called "transitional". That is to say, manufactures were using up all their parts before switching over entirely to the new RZM guidelines. So it is not uncommon to find unmarked nickel fittings with an RZM blade, or RZM blades that also had the maker's trademark. NSKK daggers, are only differentiated by a black scabbard, usually painted and sometimes by hand.
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