(click to enlarge)
M1867/41 Albini- Braendlin
Socket bayonet for use with the 11 mm. M1867 Albini-Braendlin rifle. The Albini-Braendlin rifle was a breechloading conversion of earlier M1841 and M1853 muskets.
This example is a conversion of the earlier M1841 socket bayonet, as is evidenced by the off-center bridge and brazing lines on the socket. New-made M1867 bayonets were also produced.
This scabbard was issued into Belgian Army service in 1884, as indicated by the markings. The first number on the scabbard body is a regimental roll number and the second the year of issue.
These scabbards were also also used with export production by the Liege firms, such as the Uruguayan M1871 Mauser socket bayonet.
Socket: "N2334" various proofmarks
Locking Ring: "-LL"
Scabbard (body): "385" and "1884"
|M1916||Sword bayonet for use with the 7.65 mm. M1889 Mauser rifle and carbine. The slender double-edged blade is uniquely Belgian.
M1916 bayonets were produced from 1916–1924 at Manufacture D'Armes de le Etat (Arms Manufacturer of the State) in Liege.
The M1916 bayonet is distinguished from the later M1924, by the tang meeting the crosspiece at a right angle. The M1916 is of conventional construction, with the crosspiece pinned to the tang. The M1924 tang and crosspiece are a single forging, identified by radiused transition where the crosspiece meets the tang. Both M1916 and M1924 can be found with 17.5 mm. or 15.5 mm. muzzle rings (the latter for use with the M1935 and M1889/36 Short Rifles).
This example was originally made with a 17.5 mm. muzzle ring and has been bushed down to 15.5 mm. The bushing is clearly visible in one of the images at left.
Pommel: "L" inside a square
Scabbard (frog stud): "75733"
|M1916 Shortened||The blade on this example has been shortened, as was customary in the 1930s.
The original blade length was as shown above. The scabbard has been shortened by cutting off the lower portion and neatly brazing a cap on the end.
The "1Ch" crosspiece marking indicates use by the 1st Division de Chasseurs Ardennais (in English, The Ardennes Hunters), one of the most capable Belgian Army units to fight in 1940. The Chasseurs Ardennais were a small, highly mobile infantry force, equipped with light armored vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. The Division took the brunt of the German onslaught on May 10, 1940, as German panzers struck the low countries through the Ardennes Forest.
The Chasseurs Ardennais' mission was to delay the Germans and prevent them from encircling the Belgian Army, before French troops could come up to help stop the German advance at the Meuse River. At Bodange, vastly outnumbered and outgunned Chasseurs Ardennais held up Rommel's 7th Panzer Division for 9 hours, before giving ground. The Division fought its way completely across Belgium during the 18 days of combat, making its final four-day stand at Lille, France, buying the British precious time to evacuate Dunkirk.
With no chance of evacuation, many of the Chasseurs Ardennais evaded capture and fought on with the Maquis (resistance). More than 500 Chasseurs Ardennais were killed in the 18 days of May 1940. Over 200 more were later killed fighting with the resistance. Reconstituted after the German surrender, the Chasseurs Ardennais remains one of the most prestigious regiments in the Belgian Army, having served in Korea, the Belgian Congo, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.
|13.625||346||18.00||457||.700||17.8||Ricasso: "H" inside a circle
Crosspiece (right): "952•1Ch" and "H" inside a circle
|M1916 Gendarmerie||Sword bayonet for use with the 7.65 mm. M1889 Mauser rifle and carbine. The Gendarmerie bayonet blade is a T-back, rather than the flattened cruciform profile used on the regular M1916 bayonet.
These bayonets were produced at Manufacture D'Armes de le Etat (Arms Manufacturer of the State) in Liege, likely in the 1920s.
This example was originally made with a 17.5 mm. muzzle ring and has been bushed down to 15.5 mm. for use with the M1935 and M1889/36 Short Rifles.
The blade on this example was salvaged from a French M1874 Gras bayonet, as evidenced by the vestiges of script on the blade spine. The scabbard is also a former French M1874 that has been shortened and had the Belgian frog stud affixed. Although the scabbard is undamaged, the bayonet will not insert all of the way, the blade point bottoming out while leaving about 0.25 in. (6 mm.) of the blade exposed.
At the outbreak of the First World War, Belgium was given quantities of M1874 bayonets by France and subsequently modified some of their cavalry carbines to mount the M1874 bayonet. The gifted bayonets provided a ready source of M1874 blades for use in constructing the M1916 Gendarmerie bayonets.
The "2ChA" crosspiece marking indicates use by the 2nd Division de Chasseurs Ardennais. As described above, the Chasseurs Ardennais fought extensively in the Battle of Belgium, from May 10–27, 1940.
This example was found in a Second World War German leather belt frog, suggesting that this bayonet may have been issued to local "police" who helped maintain order during the German occupation. As shown in the last image at left, both the frog and the outward-facing wooden bayonet grip show evidence of charring.
|17.625||448||22.375||568||.615||15.6||Crosspiece (right): Circle-H and "2947•2ChA•"
Scabbard (frog stud): "2ChA" over "2947"
|Belt Frog|| Dark brown leather belt frog for carrying the M1916 bayonet.
The frog measures 8.00 in. (203 mm.) long x 2.375 in. (60 mm.) wide.
Constructed with four copper rivets, with large washers. Incorporates a securing strap with a plated steel buckle. The frog originally had a hilt strap, inside the belt loop. This example is missing the hilt strap.
Carter classified this frog as #43, indicating that this frog was issued with the M1916 bayonet.
|SAFN 1949||Knife bayonet for use on the Saive Automatique, Fabrique Nationale (SAFN) Modèle 1949 self-loading rifle produced by FN in the 1950s.
It has the classic Belgian hollow-ground double-edged blade, patterned after the M1916 bayonet. The finish can be parkerized or painted, as is this example.
The serial number and markings identify this example as one that was used by the Belgians, rather than for export. "S.A 30" stands for Saive Automatique caliber .30 (the Belgian rifles were chambered for the .30–06 cartridge). Belgium contracted for 87,777 rifles, representing approximately half of all SAFN 1949 production.
|8.875||225||14.00||356||.710||18.0||Pommel: "S.A 30" and (Crown F) proofmark and "10872"
Scabbard Throat: "10872"
Frog Stud: (Crown F) proofmark
|SAFN 1949||This example has a parkerized blade. The hilt and scabbard are painted. The sloppy markings and oversize grip scales suggest that this example may have been reworked. Owing to its pristine condition, it likely did not see service following rework.
The meaning of the "circle-M" marking is not known, although the circle-M bayonets are attributed to Belgian use. I suspect that it may identify the rework contractor.
|8.875||225||14.00||356||.735||18.2||Pommel: "SA 30" and "39018" and "M" inside a circle
Scabbard Throat: "39018"
|FAL Type A||Knife bayonet for use on the 7.62 mm. NATO caliber Fabrique Nationale - Fusil Automatique Leger (Light Automatic Rifle), or FN–FAL, assault rifle produced by FN beginning in 1953. The FAL was used by more than 50 countries and became known by FN's clever Cold War advertising slogan: "the free world's right arm."
This bayonet was used by NATO countries until NATO adopted the 22 mm. rifle grenade in 1961. However, some non-NATO countries retained this bayonet much longer, not changing over to the Type C socket bayonet adopted to go with the 22 mm. flash-hider. The Type A bayonet is unique in having flash-hider prongs integrated with the crosspiece. No other bayonet, before or since, has adopted this design feature.
Bayonets are encountered with wood, metal, and plastic grip scales. This example has wood grip scales. The finish can be parkerized, painted, or both. This example is parkerized, with traces of black paint on top of the parkerizing. The scabbard is blued, although many are painted black. Some scabbards have a teardrop frog stud (as pictured on the SAFN 1949 scabbard above). However, this example has an oval frog stud. I believe this scabbard to be one made in Europe for Argentina.
This bayonet's mounting catch pioneered the "free-recoil" concept. A spring, internal to the hilt, absorbed recoil during rapid fire, allowing the bayonet to "float" independent of barrel vibrations. This mitigated some of the bayonet's adverse effect on accuracy during rapid fire. This concept was subsequently employed by the Dutch on the bayonet produced for the Portuguese variant of the AR–10 assault rifle.
|FAL Type C||Socket bayonet introduced in the 1960s for the FN–FAL assault rifles that incorporated the 22 mm. NATO-spec flash hider.
This example is parkerized, with black paint over the parkerizing on the socket only.
Two models of spring catch were used on the FAL Type C bayonet. The M1963 with serrations and the M1965 with 'wings."
This scabbard is an uncommon Fabrique Nationale (FN) steel-bodied scabbard. Note that the throatpiece is oriented so that the socket faces outward when carried. This is typical of most FAL Type C scabbards.
This type bayonet and scabbard was reportedly used by the Netherlands.
|FAL Type C||This example is parkerized, with black paint applied over the parkerizing on the socket.||6.25||159||11.25||286||.890||22.6||None.|
|FAL Type C||This example is painted black overall and has an unusual scabbard. The scabbard is unusual in a couple of respects:
—It has a U.S. M1910-style wire belt hanger affixed to the scabbard throat piece.
—The throatpiece is oriented so that the socket faces inwards when carried. This orientation is generally associated with South African scabbards, however, this scabbard is not South African.
The bayonet's serial number is in a larger font than is typically observed.
Scabbard (body): "646" in yellow paint
|FAL Type C||This is believed to be the final Fabrique Nationale production type (ca. 1977–88), as FN sought to reduce cost of the FAL product.
FN constructed the socket by forging upper and lower halves using a drop hammer. Hot metal was poured in between the halves, to make the complete blank, which was machined to create the tubular socket. The sprue line is evident in the pictures at left. The earlier FAL Type C bayonets had a one-piece drawn socket.
I have seen an unfinished casting that has a FN mold mark, so know that FN used this construction method. The scabbard body is plastic, with an integral web belt hanger.
This construction method was subsequently used by the German firm, A. Eickhorn GmbH & Co. für Schneidwaren und Waffen KG (AES) of Solingen. These images of the FN (top) and AES (bottom) show differences that distinguish the two makers' production.
|Belt Frog||Post-war belt frog for use with the SAFN 1949 and FAL bayonets.
The frog measures 6.75 in. (171 mm.) long by 1.125 in. (29 mm.) wide.
Based on the British Pattern 1937 design, this example is made of olive green cotton webbing. It has a unique reinforcement providing a double thickness of webbing on the reverse where the frog would contact the equipment belt. The wide hilt strap floating loose inside the belt loop is characteristic of Belgian frogs.
This frog was not classified by Carter.
|Belt Frog||This frog is nearly identical to the frog above, except it is made of synthetic webbing. The synthetic thread sparkles in bright light.
The frog measures 7.00 in. (178 mm.) long by 1.25 in. (32 mm.) wide.
This frog was not classified by Carter.
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