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

Muzzle
Ring
Diameter

Markings
      in. mm. in. mm. in. mm.  
M1754 Style Cadet or Officer's Fusil
Diminutive socket bayonet for a .60–.63 caliber cadet musket or officer's fusil, as it is only about 3/4 the size of a regular infantry bayonet. It is patterned after the French M1754 bayonet, which was used with the Charleville musket (which, incidentally, the Americans copied to produce the first U.S. military muskets made at Springfield Armory, following its establishment in 1795).

Although, I am classifying this as French, this bayonet was made in France or Belgium; or possibly here in America. It is hand-forged and devoid of markings, so there's no way to be sure. Either way, it would have been made in the latter part of the 18th Century, 1770 give or take.

The socket length is 2.812 in. (71 mm.).

11.00
279
13.75
351
.780
19.8
None.
M1847 Socket bayonet for a .69 caliber smoothbore musket. The M1847 was a refinement of the M1822 bayonet.

The 2.625 in. (67 mm.) long socket is cut for a bottom stud. The fuller is shallow, as wide as the blade, and squared off where it terminates at the ricasso.  The locking ring has a distinctive profile when viewed end-on. The M1847 also introduced the tapered blade shoulder, which the U.S. adopted for its M1855 bayonet.

The acceptance marking on the elbow is consistent with other known Liege, Belgium makers' acceptance marks. The identity of the maker represented by "NL" is not known. The ricasso marking is believed to identify the forger. The identity of the forger represented by "OM" is not known.

Bayonets of this type were imported to the U.S. during the American Civil War to go with the 140,000 French muskets and Belgian copies purchased by the U.S. Ordnance Department.

18.4375 368 20.75 527 .855 21.7 Ricasso: "OM"

Shank: crown over "NL"

M1866 Yataghan sword bayonet for use on the 11 mm. M1866 Chassepot needle-fire rifle. The M1866 rifle was referred to as the Chassepot, after its inventor, Antoine Alphonse Chassepot.

The M1866 bayonet also mounts to the 11 mm. M1874 Gras rifle, although this example is difficult to mount to the Gras in my collection.

This example was made in December 1867 at the French State Arsenal, Manufacture Imperiale de Tulle. The blade bears the commercial trademark of Gustav Felix in Solingen, Germany, indicating that the blade was made under contract and assembled into a bayonet at Tulle.

The scabbard has been modified by adding a German-style frog stud.

"Yataghan" is derived from the Turkish word for "one who lays down" to describe the downard-sweeping double-curve blade profile. The double-curve added strength and rigidity, while keeping the hilt and point in alignment for thrusting efficiency.

22.75 578 27.50 699 .690 17.5 Blade )Spine): "Mre Impale de Tulle Xbre 1867"

Ricasso (Left):  "candle lamp" or "hot air balloon" makers mark.

Ricasso (Right): "M" inside a circle

Crosspiece (Left): "R26090" and French proofmarks

Scabbard (Body): "50314"
M1874 T-back sword bayonet for use on the 11 mm. M1874 Gras rifle.  The M1874 was a conversion of the M1866 Chassepot design, that enabled use of the 11.15 x 59 mm. centerfire cartridge.  The M1874 rifle is referred to as the Gras, after the French Army officer who developed the conversion, Colonel Basile Gras.

This example was made in Austria, by Steyr, in 1879. Steyr produced approximately 200,000 M1874 bayonets for France, marking them in French "Usine de Steyr" (Machines of Steyr). Steyr also produced M1874 bayonets for Greece. However, Greek M1874 bayonets are marked in German, “Waffenfabrik Steyr” (Weapons Factory Steyr).

20.625 524 25.50 648 .710 18.0 Blade:   "Usine de Steyr, 1879."

Crosspiece:  "RS 7702"

Scabbard:  "RS 7702"

Commercial M1874 Scarce commercial example of the M1874 Gras bayonet.

Very little is known about the maker of this commercial bayonet. However, all signs seem to point to Sutterlin Lippmann & Cie., who produced Chamelot-Delvigne Model 1873 revolvers at St. Etienne from 1874–1884. "S * L" was Sutterlin & Lippmann's commercial trademark and is found on the revolvers they produced at St. Etienne. Hopefully, further research will someday uncover substantiation of the maker represented by "S.L".

This example is especially unusual in that it has a five-digit serial number (not four-digit). The placement, between the crosspiece pins, is also unusual.

Commercial M1874 bayonets were also produced by Francois Louis (F. L.) Henry at Châtellerault and by the German firm of Alex Coppel. All are uncommon.

20.625 524 25.375 645 .695 17.7 Blade (spine): "c" and "S.L" in an oval and "Mre de St. Etienne"

Ricasso: "S' or "g" inspection mark

Crosspiece (left): "60439"

Crosspiece (front): "19" "3" and illegible inspection mark

Scabbard: "S 79416"

M1886 Sword bayonet for use with the 8 mm. M1886 Lebel rifle.

Known affectionately as “Rosalie” to French troops, the M1886 was the French mainstay during WWI and many were still in service at the Fall of France in 1940.  The Lebel also saw extensive use worldwide by native troops in the French colonies.

The M1886 introduced the distinctive cruciform blade, which remained a feature of most French bayonets until 1956.

This example was made in 1890 at the Manufacture D'Armes St. Etienne (MAS). The scabbard was made by Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault (MAC). 

This is an early example that escaped later modifications, retaining its long blade, quillion, and raised round press stud. The silver-alloy grip is removable.

20.50 521 25.125 638 .600 15.2 Quillion (left): "M 78397"

Scabbard:  "D 83314"

M1892 Sword bayonet for the 8 mm. Mannlicher-Berthier M1890 Carabine de Cavalerie (cavalry carbine); and, M1892 and M1916 Mousqueton de Artillerie (artillery carbine).

This example was made prior to the turn of the Century by the French State factory, Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault.

This example has the first type crosspiece, with the narrow 15 mm. muzzle-ring (same width as the crosspiece) and hooked lower quillion. This example also has black vulcanized rubber grips.

The earliest examples had maker markings on the blade spine, similar to the M1866 and M1874. Marked blades are scarce, so this practice must have been ceased shortly after production commenced.

Wooden grips were introduced ca. 1905. The second type crosspiece was introduced in 1912, with a wider muzzle ring (that extends over the grip). The third type crosspiece was introduced in during the First World War, with an abbreviated lower quillion.

15.75 400 20.25 514 .520 13.2 Ricasso (left): proofmark

Crosspiece: "A 68028" and proofmarks

Scabbard: "D 21364"

M1914 Sword bayonet used with the 8 mm. Remington No. 5 rolling block military rifle.

This is the long-blade variant of the knife/sword bayonet produced by Remington for use with the No. 5 military rifle. Remington produced 100,000 No. 5 rifles for France in 1915–16, chambered for the 8 mm. Lebel cartridge. The No. 5 military rifle was also made in large numbers for Mexico and many other countries in 7 mm.

Remington also produced the No. 5 bayonet with an 8 in. (203 mm.) blade and and a 13 3/16 in. (335 mm.) blade.

This example bears no French serial number, so its classification as French is speculative. However, this long-blade variant is most often associated with France.

The blade marking indicates that the blade was likely made prior to Remington's merger with the Union Metallic Cartridge Co. in 1910. The pommel also lacks the oil hole inside the mortise (on the press stud side) characteristic of the French 1915–16 production. However, the bayonet could have been assembled from old stock already on hand in 1915, as military sales had nearly ceased due to the rifle's obsolescence.

The scabbard body is steel, with an integral leather belt hanger. The scabbard length, including the belt hanger, is 20.75 in. (527 mm.).

15.75 400 20.25 514 .590 15.0 Blade: Remington Arms Co. Ilion, N.Y.
M1936 Rod bayonet that stows in the forend of the 7.5 mm. M1936 bolt-action rifle. The rifle to which this bayonet belongs was manufactured in 1940, only a few months before France fell to the Germans.

This bayonet was also used on the 6,000 M1949 self-loading rifles produced under contract for Syria. M1949 rifles used by the French Army had no provision for a bayonet.

13.00 330 17.00 432 n/a End Cap: "55"
M1936–CR39 Rod bayonet that stows in the forend of the M1936–CR39 folding-stock paratroop rifle.

This bayonet is shorter than the standard M1936 bayonet, due to the shorter barrel and forend of the M1936–CR39 rifle. CR is an abbreviation for Crosse Rebatible (Folding Stock).

These rifles were not produced in large numbers.

11.375 289 15.125 384 n/a None.
Combat Knife British Pattern 1913 bayonet and U.S. M1917 scabbard that have been modified to serve as a combat knife.

It is believed that France purchased a quantity of Pattern 1913 and U.S. M1917 bayonets after the Second World War and modified them. The bayonet was modified by shortening the blade and grinding off the muzzle ring. The scabbard was also shortened and a leather belt hanger attached.

This example was originally made in 1916 by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. of New Haven, CT.

The belt hanger measures 5.00 in. (127 mm.) long by 2.25 in. (57 mm.) wide at its widest point

These are often advertised as being for the French Foreign Legion. However, these were not exclusive to the Legion. In addition to the Legion, these knives were also used by:

Marine Infantry Parachutists or RpIMA (Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine).

Marine Infantry Regiments or RCP (Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine)

Parachute Infantry Regiments or RHP (Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes)

Airborne Cavalry (Régiment de Hussards Parachutistes)

Parachute Artillery or RAP (Régiment d'Artillerie Parachutistes)

Parachute Engineers or RGP (Régiment du Génie Parachutistes)

7.25 184 11.875 302 n/a Ricasso (Left): "1913" over "12 16" over "W"

Ricasso (Right): Broad Arrow, Bend Test Mark, and various inspection marks.

Scabbard (locket): "M.S"

Scabbard (chape): "M.S"

M1949/56 Knife bayonet for use on the 7.5 mm. M1949/56 self-loading rifle.  This bayonet incorporates a unique dual muzzle ring arrangement. 

This is an early example, made 1956–58, with the blade patterned after the U.S. M4 bayonet. The blade was thought to be too weak due to the long false edge and was redesigned in 1958. According to Kiesling, approximately 40,000 of this early style bayonet were made.

The scabbard body is steel, with an integral leather belt hanger.

"E-RM" stands for Establishment Regional du Materiel.

8.50 216 13.25 337 .875 22.2 Crosspiece: "E-RM"

Scabbard: "E" and "HF" in an oval.

M1949/56 This is the more common post-1958 type, with the reshaped false edge. Because the blade is thicker near the point, the blade was shortened 20 mm. to keep the bayonet's weight the same. This ensured that the rifle would function the same with either bayonet.

This example was made by the Manufacture d'armes Tulle (MAT).

7.875 200 12.75 324 .875 22.2 Crosspiece: "MAT" over "F"

Scabbard: "MAT" over "F"

S.I.G. 540/542 Socket bayonet for use on the 5.56 mm. NATO caliber Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft (S.I.G.) 530, 540, and 542 assault rifles produced in France by MANURHIN (Manufacture de Machines du Haut Rhine). The S.I.G. 540 and 542 served the French Army as interim infantry weapons in the 1980s, until the FAMAS rifle was available in sufficient numbers.

This bayonet bears a resemblance to the Type C socket bayonet used on some variants of the Belgian FN–FAL assault rifle.

The 22 mm. socket diameter allows firing of the NATO-standard 22 mm. rifle grenades.

Since these bayonets are devoid of markings, it is not possible to determine whether this example was made in France or Switzerland.

7.00 178 11.00 279 .870 22.0 None.
FAMAS Knife bayonet for use with the 5.56 mm. NATO caliber FAMAS (Fusil daises de la Manufacture d'Armes de Sainte).

The bayonet is nearly identical to the M1949/56 bayonet. However, the scabbard is of a new design that has a plastic body, a web belt hanger; and, incorporates a retention device to secure the bayonet.

The FAMAS is the service rifle currently used by the French armed forces. Unlike the M1949/56, on the FAMAS, the bayonet mounts above the barrel similar to the the German G3. The French troops refer to the bull pup-style FAMAS rifle as le Clairion (the bugle), due to its unusual profile when viewed from the side.

This example was made in January 1984 (the scabbard was made in February 1985). I have not been able to determine the identity of the maker or establishment denoted by "DLT".

8.00 203 12.75 324 .910 23.1 Ricasso: "DLT" over "01 84"

Scabbard (body): "DLT" over "02 85"

Top                
© Ralph E. Cobb 2010 All Rights Reserved              
Imperial French Bayonet Markings Reference Chart

Bayonets of France

Home Navigation Button
 
Want List Navigation Button
Bayonet Collecting Navigation Button
 
Bayonet Identification Guide Navigation Button
 
Researching Your Finds Navigation Button
 
Library Navigation Button
 
Links Page Navigation Button
 
For Sale or Trade Navigation Button
 
BCN Certified Logo
 
Bayonet
Collectors'
Network
 
 
Society of American Bayonet Collectors