(click to enlarge)
|Germany||The Rheinmetall G3 bayonet was used in limited numbers on the 7.62 mm. NATO caliber G3 assault rifle.
This is the bayonet designed by Rheinmetall AG of Dusseldorf when they began G3 production in 1959. The bayonets were manufactured by Carl Eickhorn Waffenfabrik AG of Solingen. This example carries both the Eickhorn squirrel and Rheinmetall diamond-circle trademarks on the ricasso. This example also has a serial number on the flashguard, indicating that it was actually issued.
The Rheinmetall G3 bayonet differs from the more common H & K G3 bayonet in having a bright, double-edged blade that is 2.875 in. (73 mm.) longer. The red-brown plastic grip has 6 deep grooves. The press catch is at the 9 O'clock position (when viewed from the rear). It has a broad plain crosspiece secured by two domed rivets.
The scabbard is patterned after the U.S. M8A1, but with a woodgrain colored plastic body. The web frog terminates in a belt loop. The hit strap is missing on this example.
The person from whom I obtained this example indicated that he had purchased it in Thailand many years ago. The West German government granted Burma a license to manufacture the G3 in 1960, in a move to forestall Burma aligning with communist East Germany. In advance of their beginning domestic production, Burma received 10,000 G3 rifles from Germany in 1961 and another 12,000 from Rheinmetall in 1962. I suspect that this bayonet was associated with one of the 1961-62 G3 shipments to Burma and later made its way across the border into Thailand.
|9.375||238||14.375||365||.870||22.1||Ricasso: diamond-in-circle and squirrel
|This G3 bayonet was H & K's design, dating from 1959 when H & K began producing G3 rifles.
The blade is patterned after the U.S. M4 bayonet-knife. The black plastic grip has 12 grooves. The press catch is at the 9 O'clock position (when viewed from the rear). It has a broad plain crosspiece.
The scabbard is patterned after the U.S. M8A1, but with a woodgrain colored plastic body. The web frog terminates in a belt loop, rather than the M1910 wire hanger typical of U.S. made scabbards.
The G3 rifle had a very long service life in Germany, entering service with the West German Bundeswehr (Federal Armed Forces) in 1959 and serving until adoption of the H & K G36 rifle in 1997.
|This example was made by Gesellschaft für Metallverarbeitung mbH & Co. (GMS) [in English, Society for Metalworking L.L.C.]. GMS became the first successor to Carl Eickhorn Waffenfabrik AG, purchasing the Carl Eickhorn Waffenfabrik factory in 1976. GMS went bankrupt in 1981, so this example would date from that period.
GMS introduced a larger 20 mm. pommel for its G3 products. This innovation eliminated the need to install an adapter to the G3 rifle, in order to mount a bayonet. The GMS bayonet has a 12-groove black plastic grip that is more roughly-textured than the Eickhorn bayonets. The press catch is at the 4:30 position. It has a broad plain crosspiece.
The scabbard has a black plastic body with an angular tip. This scabbard design is believed to have originated at Carl Eickhorn Waffenfabrik AG, prior to the firm's bankruptcy in 1975. This scabbard lacks the locking device to retain the bayonet. The scabbard's integral web belt hanger is made of black nylon.
The plain crosspiece and lack of a locking device; and the nylon belt hanger suggest that this example was likely made for commercial sale rather than military use.
|This example has the 12-groove black plastic grip, similar to the 1959 design. The press catch is at the 9 O'clock position. It has a broad notched crosspiece.
The blade has a plum hue, which is characteristic of products manufactured by A. Eickhorn GmbH, Solingen (AES), the successor to GMS following their 1981 bankruptcy.
The scabbard has a black plastic body with an angular tip. The scabbard incorporates a locking device to secure the bayonet in the scabbard. The scabbard's integral web belt hanger is one inch longer than on the earlier 1959 design scabbard.
|This example has the 7–groove black plastic grip with integral pommel. The press catch is at the 9 O'clock position. It has a half-notched crosspiece.
The blade has a plum hue, which is characteristic of products manufactured by A. Eickhorn GmbH, Solingen (AES).
This example has export markings "Solingen Germany" on the scabbard body, suggesting that it was produced following reunification in 1989, but before AES' bankruptcy in 2004.
The scabbard has a black plastic body with an angular tip. The scabbard incorporates a locking device to secure the bayonet in the scabbard.
|6.50||165||11.875||302||.870||22.1||Scabbard (body): "Solingen" over "Germany"|
|Denmark||The Danish m/75 (AG3) bayonet differs from the later type German G3 bayonet in only minor ways.
The blade is patterned after the US M4 bayonet-knife. This example has the 10:30 press catch, however, examples may also be found with the 9 O'clock press catch. Three m/75 variations exist:
Earlier scabbards had the British-style belt fastener, like the m/62 bayonet scabbard. Later scabbards, like this example, had the U.S. M1910-style wire belt hanger.
All Danish m/75 bayonets were made in Germany. This example was made by AES. However, early examples may have been produced by Carl Eickhorn Waffenfabrik or another contractor. The flashguard marking, HMAK, is an abbreviation of Hærens Materiel Kommando (Army Materiel Command). The HMAK marking was used beginning in 1969.
Denmark purchased G3 rifles from Rheinmetall AG in Germany in the mid-1960s, designating them the Gevær m/66. The m/66 had a selector lock that required insertion of a special key to enable full automatic fire. In the mid-1970s, the Danes leased additional G3 rifles from Germany, designating them the Gevær m/75. The m/75 rifles were true selective-fire weapons. These were issued to the regular army and the hobbled m/66 rifles relegated to the home guard. The G3 was replaced in regular army service by the Diemaco C7 (M16) in the mid-1990s.
|6.75||171||12.25||311||.875||22.2||Flashguard: crown over "HMAK"|
|Guatemala||A variation of the Spanish M1964 bayonet used on 7.62 mm. NATO caliber CETME Model C assault rifles purchased from Spain.
Guatemala adopted the CETME Model C in 1969. CETME rifles and bayonets were produced at the Empresa Nacional de Santa Barbara de Industrias Militares (in English, National Business, Santa Barbara Military Industries) factory in Toledo, Spain.
This example bears both the Fábrica de armas de Toledo (Toledo Arms Factory) and Santa Barbara crests.
These bayonets are often referred to by collectors as the "Model 1969." However, I haven't seen anything documenting that Guatemala designated it as such.
The Guatemala CETME Model C bayonet differs from the more common Spanish M1964 bayonet (see Spain, below):
Absence of Spanish serial number; and,
Black scabbard body (M1964 is green).
|8.875||225||13.50||343||.870||22.1||Ricasso (Left): (crown) over "FN" over "Toledo"
Ricasso (Right): Santa Barbara Crest
|Iran||The Iran G3 bayonet differs from the German G3 bayonet in having a blade that is 2.50 in. (64 mm.) longer and patterned after the double-edged Rheinmetall G3 bayonet. It has the 12–groove plastic grip, however, olive green in color. The press catch is at the 9 O'clock position. It has the broad plain crosspiece of the German G3 bayonet.
The scabbard is crudely constructed of two halves of stamped sheet steel welded together. The throatpiece is spot-welded in place. The crudeness and construction methods suggest Iranian manufacture.
The Shah adopted the G3A6 rifle in 1971. At some point, Iran began manufacturing the G3 at the State Arms Factory in Mosalsalasi. Production continued well into the Islamic Republic period. The G3 has been supplemented by AKM variants and clones of the Chinese clone of the U.S. M16 (go figure). Iran's smorgasbord of 7.62 mm. NATO, 7.62 mm. Soviet, and 5.56 mm. NATO caliber rifles would be a logistical nightmare, should Iranian forces ever have to conduct large-scale operations.
|This example has seen very hard use. It was found in Iraq after the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussien.
Quantities of Iranian G3 rifles and bayonets have been captured in Iraq, suggesting that it could have been acquired during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980–88 or more recently smuggled into Iraq for use during the post-invasion insurgency.
Given the hard use exhibited by this example, it more likely was an Iraqi souvenir from the Iran-Iraq War of 1980–88.
|Norway||The Norwegian AG3 Type 1 bayonet differs from the German G3 bayonet in having a 0.5 in. (13 mm.) shorter hilt. The shorter hilt and narrow crosspiece keep the hilt behind the rifle's flash-hider, eliminating the need for a steel flashguard.
The blade is patterned after the U.S. M4 bayonet-knife. The ungrooved, oval, stippled green plastic grip is unique among G3 bayonets. The press catch is at the 9 O'clock position and lacks the serrations found on other G3 bayonets. It has a plain narrow crosspiece.
The scabbard is patterned after the U.S. M8A1. Early examples had a woodgrain colored plastic body with a metal tip protector. This example is a later type, with a green plastic body and large leg-tie hole characteristic of A. Eickhorn GmbH, Solingen (AES) production.
The earliest examples were made by Carl Eickhorn Waffenfabrik in Germany. Subsequent production was at Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk (Kongsberg Weapons Factory), initially, by rehilting M4 bayonet blades. Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk later produced bayonets with new-made blades. This example is likely an Eickhorn, as it does not bear the Kongsberg factory stamp.
The AG3 rifle entered Norwegian Army (Hæren) service in 1967, with 250,000 made at Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk by the time production ceased in 1974. The AG3 was phased out of army service following adoption of the HK416 rifle in 2007, but is still used by Home Guard (Heimevernet) units.
|The AG3 Type 2 differs from the earlier AG3 Type 1 bayonet, in that it has the standard-length hilt and flashguard common to most G3 bayonets.
The blade is patterned after the U.S. M4 bayonet-knife and has a plum hue. It has a 7-groove olive green plastic grip with an integral pommel. The press catch is at the 9 O'clock position. It has a half-notched crosspiece, although the scabbard does not have the locking device.
The scabbard is patterned after the U.S. M8A1, with a green plastic body and large leg-tie hole. This example still has the restraining lace.
The Norwegian AG3 Type 2 bayonets were produced in the 1990s by AES in Germany as replacements.
|Pakistan||The Pakistan G3 bayonet differs from the German G3 bayonet in having an inverted, fullered clip-point blade patterned after the British No. 5 Mk. I. It has the 12–groove black plastic grip. The press catch is at the 9 O'clock position. It has the broad plain crosspiece.
In the U.S.A., these are rarely found with scabbards. The Pakistan G3 scabbard is a shorter, crude copy of the British No. 5.
Pakistan began producing G3A4 rifles under license in 1967 at the Pakistan Ordnance Factory in Wah Cantonment. This example was made there in 1969.
|6.625||168||12.00||305||.870||22.1||Ricasso (right): "P.O.F." over "69"
Fuller: Broad Arrow acceptance mark
Crosspiece:"621" overstamped with "164"
|Spain||The Spanish M1964 bayonet was used on the 7.62 mm. NATO caliber CETME Model C assault rifle. It was also used on the FR–7 and FR–8 training rifles.
The first version of the CETME, designated Model 1958, did not mount a bayonet. These bayonets are often referred to as the M1969. However, according to Calvó, the official designation was Machete Bayoneta Modelo 1964.
The M1964 bayonet has checkered plastic grips and an unfullered bolo blade. The scabbard has an integral web belt frog. This bayonet has a very unusual rectangular mounting slot. A variant of the CETME Model C bayonet was made for export to Guatemala in 1969 (see Guatemala, above).
CETME is an acronym for Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales (Center for Technical Studies of Special Materials). CETME was the Spanish government design and development establishment where German designer, Ludwig Vorgrimler, modified the German StG45(M) assault rifle to create the CETME.
The two crests stamped into the blade are the Toledo Coat of Arms and the factory crest of the Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI), Empresa Nacional de Santa Barbara de Industrias Militares (in English, National Industrial Institute, National Business, Santa Barbara Military Industries). Santa Bárbara Sistemas was purchased from the Spanish Government by General Dynamics Corp. in 2001, who operated it until its closure in 2013.
|8.75||222||13.25||337||.875||22.2||Ricasso (Right): Toledo Coat of Arms
Ricasso (Left): "ET91467B" over Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI) Crest
|The Spanish CETME Model L bayonet was used with the 5.56 mm. NATO caliber CETME Model L assault rifle, a variant of the HK33.
The CETME Model L superseded the 7.62 mm. NATO caliber CETME Model C rifle beginning in 1986. The CETME Model L was not well-liked and was reported to have performed poorly in the 1990–91 Persian Gulf War. Post-war attempts to reduce production costs exacerbated the rifle’s problems, leading to adoption of the Heckler & Koch G36 rifle in 1999 and the CETME Model L's eventual retirement.
The CETME Model L bayonet blade is patterned after the U.S. M4 bayonet-knife, but is 2.25 in. (57 mm.) longer than the more common H & K G3 bayonet. It has an 11–groove green plastic grip. It has a broad plain crosspiece secured by two domed rivets, similar to the Rheinmetall G3 bayonet. The blade, guard, and pommel are painted black. The scabbard is closely patterned after the M1964 scabbard.
The CETME Model L bayonet was produced by the state-owned Santa Bárbara Sistemas factory, under auspices of the Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI).
When I received this example, it still had the Spanish inventory tag attached. The tag included the bayonet's NATO Stock Number: 1095-33-000-0293 and Description: Cuchillo-Bayoneta (Knife-Bayonet).
|8.875||225||14.00||356||.875||22.2||Ricasso (Left): "ET74943A"
Blade (Left): Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI) Crest
Blade (Right): Toledo Coat of Arms
|Sweden||The Swedish m/1965 bayonet was used with the 7.62 mm. NATO caliber AK4 (Automatkarbin 4) assault rifle. The AK4 is a variant of the German G3A3.
This example was made by AB Bahco in Enköping. It has the 6-groove black plastic grip and broad-notched crosspiece. The press catch is at the 1:30 position. The blade is patterned after the U.S. M4 bayonet-knife and very finely made, being left in the white. The Bahco trademark is applied using an electropencil.
The scabbard has a black plastic body with an angular tip. The scabbard incorporates a locking device to secure the bayonet in the scabbard. The belt hanger is made of nylon webbing.
A second procurement of the m/1965 bayonet occurred in 1976, from Carl Eickhorn Waffenfabrik AG of Solingen, West Germany. This must have been one of the final contracts fulfilled by Eickhorn prior to its bankruptcy.
AB is an abbreviation for Aktiebolag, which is the equivalent of Corporation in the USA. Bahco is an acronym for "Bernt August Hjort & Co.," the firm's original name. Bahco is a manufacturer of hand tools, established in 1886. The firm's founder, Johan Petter Johansson, invented the plumber's wrench in 1888 and the adjustable wrench (i.e., crescent wrench) in 1891, both of which are still widely used today. Bahco is still in business, having been purchased by Snap-On Inc. in 1999.
Beginning in 1966, Sweden produced the G3A3 under license by the national defence organization, Förenade Fabriksverken (FFV), at Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfabrik and Husqvarna Vapenfabrik.
|6.50||165||12.00||305||.870||22.1||Blade: Bahco trademark and "422 6 8 016"
Flashguard: 3 Crowns property mark
|This example is from the second procurement of the m/1965 bayonet which occurred in 1976. A quantity of the m/1965 bayonets were obtained from Carl Eickhorn Waffenfabrik AG of Solingen, West Germany. This must have been one of the final contracts fulfilled by Eickhorn prior to its bankruptcy.||6.50||165||12.00||305||.870||22.1||Blade: Eickhorn Squirrel trademark and "593 75 009"
Flashguard: 3 Crowns property mark
|Turkey||The Turkish G3 bayonet differs from the German G3 bayonet in many ways. It has a a fullered, double-edged blade that is 3.00 in. (76 mm.) longer. It has a 20–groove, convex, green plastic grip. The press catch is at the 9 O'clock position. It has the broad plain crosspiece.
The scabbard is constructed of two halves of stamped sheet steel folded together, similar to the First World War German Ersatz scabbards produced by Friedrich August Göbel of Solingen (Turkey received and used many Göbel scabbards).
Beginning in 1977, Turkey produced G3A7 rifles under licence at M.K.E. in Ankara (Makina ve Kimya Endustrsi Kurumu, in English, Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corp.). As of 2011, M.K.E. still listed the G3A7 in their product catalog.
|© Ralph E. Cobb 2013 All Rights Reserved|
A G3 bayonet was designed by each of the firms contracted to begin G3 rifle production in 1959, Rheinmetall's bayonet was produced in small numbers by Carl Eickhorn Waffenfabrik. H & K's G3 bayonet was widely adopted and became the standard G3 bayonet used by the German Bundeswehr (Federal Armed Forces) for nearly 40 years. The G3 bayonet's odd hilt design was unlike anything that preceded it. It has never subsequently been copied, making it a unique design. The G3 bayonet's long production period and production in many countries resulted in numerous variations, which make it an appealing bayonet for collectors. The following are the G3 and CETME variants which I have acquired, however, these few just scratch the surface of what has been produced. In 2009, British bayonet historian R.D.C. Evans published an excellent and comprehensive article on G3 bayonets that is available for download at no cost.
|Society of American Bayonet Collectors|