Pictures
(click to enlarge)
Type Description Blade
Length
Overall
Length

Muzzle
Ring
Diameter

Markings
      in. mm. in. mm. in. mm.  
Thumbnail image of Afghan Khyber Pass socket bayonetThumbnail image of Afghan Khyber Pass socket bayonetThumbnail image of Afghan Khyber Pass socket bayonetThumbnail image of Afghan Khyber Pass socket bayonetThumbnail image of Afghan Khyber Pass socket bayonetThumbnail image of Afghan Khyber Pass socket bayonetThumbnail image of Afghan Khyber Pass socket bayonet "Khyber Pass" Socket Bayonet Socket bayonet for use with an unknown rifle, most likely Afghan-made “Khyber Pass” Martini-Henry pattern rifles.

The blade is that of a Russian M1891, mated to a socket that is dimensionally identical to those used with the British Martini-Henry rifle. At 18.2 mm., the socket bore is too large for a Berdan II Dragoon rifle. The cut from severing the M1891 bayonet elbow results in a distinctive shield-like ricasso when the M1891 blade is welded to the new socket. The blade bears the Ishevsk Arsenal bow-and-arrow trademark, indicating that it was manufactured prior to 1928. It also has the characteristic screwdriver point.

The socket length is 3.00 in. (76 mm.). This example has an odd shape to the inside of the bridge, as if the rifle's front sight was off-center, while the outside of the bridge is symmetrical (so is not merely damaged or bent).

Several examples of this uncommon bayonet have turned up (I know of four), the first in 2009. All bear the Russian serial number on the blade and three of the four bear the Ishevsk trademark. This example and one other have absolutely identical ricasso markings (same combination of letters/numbers, same placement, same font), suggesting that the marking may be spurious. In any case, the markings are not Russian nor are they British. Of the other two examples, one had no ricasso markings, but had been heavily polished, so the ricasso markings could have been obliterated. I did not observe the fourth example’s ricasso.

Identification as Afghan is speculative, however, evidence appears to point this way. These were most likely purchased by soldiers of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the Afghan bazaars and brought back as souvenirs of their wartime service.
17.75 451 20.75 527 .715 18.2 Ricasso: "E" over "1/75" over "8" over "M" and "7" (sideways)

Blade (left): "34419"

Blade (right) bow-and-arrow trademark

Pattern 1903
Knife bayonet for use with the .303 caliber Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield (SMLE) No. I Mk. III rifle.  The SMLE was the mainstay of British forces during the First World War and also saw extensive use by Commonwealth countries during the Second World War.

This example is a commercial contract piece, bearing only the Wilkinson Sword Co. trademark and no British government or military markings.  It is undated, so exact date of manufacture is not known. It was sent back from the war in Afghanistan by a U.S. Army soldier in 2006. Note the Dari writing on the upper and lower tang.

The scabbard is the Mk. I land pattern, missing the leather belt hanger.

12.00
305
16.75
425
.660
16.8
Ricasso: "Wilkinson London" and Wilkinson inspector's mark

Tang (upper): MKT 6/56 (in Dari script)

Tang (lower): "L2 H1 K2 T3 B3 102" (in Dari script)

           
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© Ralph E. Cobb 2010 All Rights Reserved       Top

Bayonets of Afghanistan

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