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Interesting Slim's pointy sticks

slim63

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As most of you know I have begun to collect bayonets again, its a longtime interest of mine having acquired my very first aged 10, that collection grew over the next 30 years to number somewhere between 60 and 70 and was worth a fair bit of folding :) i eventually got rid to other collectors & even gave a few to mates for free about 10 years ago & have regretted it ever since

In the last couple of weeks I have started anew & now have 6 none of which are less than 100 years old, here they are ........



These are just general pictures so I will deal with them individually & give the history where I know it for those interested as I go along..



 

Cougar377

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One good thing about older bayonets is the length of the feckers.
If you're going to impale the opposition then you want something that keeps them at a decent distant while you're doing it, unlike the rather pointless concept of supplying an overgrown dinner knife with the SA80. :facepalm:
 

ogr1

I can still see ya.....
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Tape a claymore on the barrel.
Best of both worlds.
 

slim63

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Note dates quoted generally refer to the firearm bayonets were designed to fit rather than the bayonet itself, there can be up to a couple of years between the firearm date & the time the bayonet was accepted for use but the acceptance marks if found along with other stampings can usually help to narrow down the actual date it was made

I will start off with a nice easy and cheap introduction to bayonets which should help you with the terms used for the different parts and some of the markings which help with identification this is probably the best condition bayonet I currently own but also one of the cheapest & most complete

M1896 Mauser with scabbard & leather frog all as it should be


First produced 1896 in Sweden by Eskilstuna Jernmanufactur (EAB) and accepted either later that year or early the following year, around 90,000 of these were made, you can make out the makers mark on & serial number on the Ricasso in these pics



it is also marked with the swedish crown & has a unit rack number, this one is not the first model as can be seen by the rifle attachment clip, this one is conical where as the first were flat


The 3 digit serial number tells me its from a later production run but the absolute latest this could have been produced is 1912 as production was taken over that year by Carl Gustav & the makers mark changed accordingly


With so many of these being produced & exported its unusual for the scabbard & blade to have matching unit or rack marks, true to form this one in non matching although both are well marked as is the frog, I would say from the wear that these 3 have been together for well over a 100 years
 
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slim63

Never surrender
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Tape a claymore on the barrel.
Best of both worlds.
Funnily enough that's not too far from the origin of bayonets ;)

The very first were called plug bayonets which were nothing more than a blade of some sort with a wooden handle plugged into the barrel of a musket...... once soldiers realized that they could fall out leaving them with nothing more than unwieldy club they were tied in with a leather or cloth lace or rope which leads us on to proper bayonet attachment as me know it now

Oh and a claymore is a sword for heathens so has no place in this thread :meparto:
 

ogr1

I can still see ya.....
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Funnily enough that's not too far from the origin of bayonets ;)

The very first were called plug bayonets which were nothing more than a blade of some sort with a wooden handle plugged into the barrel of a musket...... once soldiers realized that they could fall out leaving them with nothing more than unwieldy club they were tied in with a leather or cloth lace or rope which leads us on to proper bayonet attachment as me know it now

Oh and a claymore is a sword for heathens so has no place in this thread :meparto:
You're gonna be in bother fer that one.
 

slim63

Never surrender
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One good thing about older bayonets is the length of the feckers.
If you're going to impale the opposition then you want something that keeps them at a decent distant while you're doing it, unlike the rather pointless concept of supplying an overgrown dinner knife with the SA80. :facepalm:
Interesting point mate

As firearms got more accurate, more reliable & range improved bayonets got shorter to to the point that short knife bayonets like the one for the SA80 etc were the norm

Also early bayonets were not factory sharpened in fact sharpening in the field was a serious offence & a soldier could find himself in deep shit for it well after ww2, later short bayonets became more of a tool than anything else & came with a fair edge as standard

For a collector an older unsharpened bayonet is ideal, in fact any work done outside the factory or unit armoury devalues it quite a lot
 

slim63

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The bayonet was the property of the government & as such had to be returned to its rack in good original condition, the individual soldier was responsible for this, sharpening was viewed as destroying government property

Add to this the fact that early bayonets are primarily a thrusting weapon & the need for an edge simply isn't there, its a common misconception that bayonets are sharp, only late modern ones ever were, I think the confusion comes from people thinking swords & bayonets are the same thing but nothing could be further from the truth
 

Cougar377

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Funnily enough that's not too far from the origin of bayonets ;)

The very first were called plug bayonets which were nothing more than a blade of some sort with a wooden handle plugged into the barrel of a musket...... once soldiers realized that they could fall out leaving them with nothing more than unwieldy club they were tied in with a leather or cloth lace or rope which leads us on to proper bayonet attachment as me know it now

Oh and a claymore is a sword for heathens so has no place in this thread :meparto:
That's cos you southern softies couldn't handle a two handed, nearly 6ft long sword. You're too used to doing things one handed. :D
 

slim63

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Do they all fit on a rifle???
Yes they all have the required fitments for use on a rifle or in some cases a sub machine gun that is what identifies it as a bayonet rather than a knife

As I will explain later once some bayonets were taken out of service they would often be modified to fit a different firearm & either exported or re-issued, this is what can make identifying some a complete nightmare
 

slim63

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Next up for scrutiny is a small but perfectly formed Italian


As you can see the condition is rough with plenty of rust but still some of the original blue on the blade has survived, the lack of or rusted out markings make this difficult to identify unless you have a little knowledge beforehand



Originally made for the M1870 Vetterli and probably in Turin this one appears to be from around the first production run in the 1870's
Interesting to note is the leaf spring style rifle clip, very simple very effective & not prone to getting gummed up like some of the "better quality" or more sought after bayonets


You wont see it on the pic but the rack number is stamped into the clip where it sticks out when the button is pressed, what a pain that must have been to do
Interestingly these were originally a much longer bayonet (20 odd inches) but were removed from service & later re-issued in 1916 after being cut down to a more manageable 9 inches, this one is over that which makes it an oddity & a little more interesting to a collector :)
 
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