(click to enlarge)
|USA||M4 First Production||Bayonet-knife for use on the caliber .30 U.S. Carbine M1. The M4 bayonet was also used on the selective-fire M2 Carbine which was developed post-War.
As first fielded, the M1 Carbine did not accept a bayonet. Beginning in June 1944, the front band included a bayonet lug. Most M1 carbines were subsequently retrofitted with the bayonet-lug front band (as shown in the last picture at left).
The leather-grip identifies this as being from the first production run of 1944–1945. Wartime M4 producers included:
—Aerial Cutlery Manufacturing Co.
This example was made by the Imperial Knife Co. of Providence, Rhode Island.
This example is as-issued and in exceptional condition, with the starburst staking on the pommel, smooth parkerizing on the blade, and factory sharpening done after the blade was parkerized.
|6.75||171||11.625||295||.590||15.0||Crosspiece: ordnance 'bomb' with "USM4" over "Imperial"
Pommel: "Sp" and "148"
Scabbard: "USM8" over "BM Co" on metal. Fiberglass marked "vp 45"
|M4 Hard Rubber Grip||This is a M4 First Production bayonet that has been modified with a hard rubber grip. This was an experimental attempt to find a grip material more resistant to rot than the leather grip, which did not hold up well in the Pacific Theatre.
It is believed that these modifications were done on Okinawa in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Some of these bayonets saw use in the Korean War.
The scabbard is the earliest M8 scabbard variant, used primarily with the U.S. Knife M3. Designed and produced by the Beckwith Manufacturing Co., this variant has the short web loop and no wire belt hanger.
|6.50||165||11.50||292||.590||15.0||Scabbard: “M8” over “B. M. Co.”|
|M4 Wooden Grip||This is a M4 First Production bayonet that has been modified with a one-piece wooden grip. This was another experimental attempt to find a grip material more resistant to rot than the leather grip.
This example was made by the W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. of Bradford, PA.
It is believed that these modifications were done on Okinawa in the late 1940's or early 1950's, and the bayonets saw use in the Korean War.
An unusual dated example, the scabbard is post-war production made in 1953. M8A1 scabbards made prior to 1955 did not have the metal tip (although the tip and securing grommet; or just the grommet, were sometimes installed on early scabbards during organizational-level maintenance).
|6.50||165||11.375||289||.575||14.6||Crosspiece: "USM4" over "Case"
Pommel: "Sp" and "43B"
|M4 Second Production||The M4 Second production bayonet resulted from post-war experimentation to address the shortcomings of the original M4. The two most significant differences are the two-piece molded plastic grip scales and the wider crosspiece.
Production began in 1954 and continued at least into the late 1960s. Producers included:
—Turner Manufacturing Co.
According to noted U.S. bayonet authority Gary Cunningham, it is possible that Bren-Dan Co. is somehow related to Conetta Manufacturing Co. Both firms are of Stamford Connecticut. Like the Conetta bayonets, Bren-Dan M4 bayonets are somewhat of a mystery. No government records have been discovered to identify when these bayonets were made or how many may have been produced.
This scabbard was assembled at the Pennsylvania Working Home for the Blind, in Philadelphia, PA. The Pennsylvania Working Home for Blind operated from 1874–1979. The Working Home was the prime contractor for assembly of M8A1 scabbards during 1965–70, the peak Vietnam War years.
The Working Home was a sheltered workshop that provided employment for visually-impaired people. Sheltered (i.e., live-in) schools and workshops were common until social policy was changed to integrate the disabled more fully into the community.
Read more about the Working Home's production of scabbards in my article: M8A1 Scabbards Produced at the Pennsylvania Working Home for the Blind.
|6.75||171||11.75||298||.590||15.0||Crosspiece: "US M4", "Bren-Dan"
Scabbard: "U.S. M8A1" over "P W H"
Glove Fastener: "RAD Fastener Co. Prov. RI"
|M4 Kiffe||Patterned after the M4 First Production bayonet, these were once thought to be made during the Korean War era for a military contract. However, no documentation exists to support this theory. Research by noted U.S. Bayonet expert, Gary Cunningham, has demonstrated that they are a commercial product, made during the early 1960's, when the Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) was selling off surplus M1 Carbines.
Kiffe bayonets vary. The leather grip can be found with either five or six grooves. The length of the blade's false edge varies. The blade and other metal parts are blued. The "Kiffe Japan" marking can be found on the ricasso or crosspiece. This example is of poor construction compared to U.S. military bayonets. However, some are of better quality, including a rare variation for use with the Armalite AR10 rifle.
The Japanese firm (or firms) that produced these is not known. The variations suggest that there may have been more than one manufacturer.
Kiffe was founded in 1875 by Herman H. Kiffe as a New York City manufacturer and retailer of sporting goods, especially baseball equipment. The company was renamed several times over their nearly 100 year existence. Examples include:
Herman H. Kiffe Sporting Goods—1875
Over the years, Kiffe sold all manner of camping, hunting, and fishing gear; and, military surplus as well. Both M4 and M5 bayonets have been observed with the Kiffe private label. Initially, the new-made bayonets were paired up with military surplus M8A1 scabbards and sold for $2.50. Later, the bayonets were sold with commercial copies of the M8A1 scabbard, some with leather belt hangers.
The scabbard with this example is a pre–1955 U.S. M8A1, made by the Beckwith Manufacturing Co. of Dover, New Hampshire.
The glove fastener was made by the United-Carr Fastener Corporation of Cambridge, Massachusetts. United-Carr was famous for developing the “DOT” fastener (aka Lift-the-Dot) still widely used today. United-Carr was absorbed into TRW Corporation in 1969.
|6.625||168||11.50||292||.595||15.1||Ricasso: "Kiffe" over "Japan"
Scabbard (throatpiece): "U.S. M8A1" over "B. M. Co."
Scabbard (body): superimposed "vp" over "6"
Scabbard (Glove Fastener): "United" over "Carr"
|M4 Sportsworld||Similar to the Kiffe M4 bayonet above, this is another early 1960s commercial M4 bayonet-knife.
Nothing is known about the retailer "Sportsworld." Although much less common than the Kiffe bayonets, these turn up often enough to have been produced in quantity. Construction and finish is very similar to the Kiffe bayonets, leaving open the possibility that they were produced by the same Japanese manufacturer.
|6.25||159||11.125||283||.585||14.9||Ricasso: "Sportsworld" over "Japan"|
|M4 Cast Aluminum Grip||This is a M4 First Production bayonet that has been modified with cast aluminum grip scales painted black. The grip scales mimic the second production plastic grip scales.
These were once thought to have been another experimental type. However, in his book, Collecting Bayonets, Jim Maddox confirms that these were a mid-1960s commercial product of a surplus dealer near Warner Robbins, GA.
Although not an official variation, the aluminum grips are an interesting curiosity. I have also seen an M5 bayonet with a similar cast aluminum grip.
|6.50||165||11.375||289||.590||15.0||Crosspiece: "USM4" over "Case"
Pommel: "Sp" and "43B"
|Greece||M4||Greek copy of the wartime U.S. M4 bayonet-knife for use with the caliber .30 U.S. Carbine M1.
The USA loaned Greece quantities of the M1 carbine during the 1950s.
The origin of these bayonets is a mystery. They came to the USA in 2010–11 when Greece returned its stock of loaned M1 Carbines to the U.S. Government.
Although patterned after the US M4 bayonet-knife, there are distinct differences and the workmanship is poor. The blade is copper-plated, then finished in a black coating of some sort. Traces of copper show through where the black finish has worn away. The leather grip has much greater taper than other leather-gripped M4 variants. The crosspiece is patterned after the wartime M4 production, however, the muzzle ring is slightly off-center.
The identity of the maker represented by the "EME" trademark and the date of production are unknown. In the Greek alphabet, "EME" would be Epsilon Mu Epsilon.
There is an Italian cutlery maker, EME-Posaterie. I corresponded with them and they indicate that they were not the maker of these bayonets. Hopefully, further research will reveal the maker's identity.
The scabbard is a U.S. M8A1, assembled at the Pennsylvania Working Home for the Blind, in Philadelphia, PA. The "TWB" marking was used 1969-1970 to represent the Working Home's corporate name, The Working Blind, Inc.
Scabbard: "U.S. M8A1" over "TWB"
|South Korea||K–M4||South Korean copy of the U.S. second production Bayonet-Knife M4.
The scabbard is also a South Korean copy of the US M8A1 scabbard.
|6.75||171||11.625||295||.595||15.1||Crosspiece (Front): "K-M4"
Crosspiece (Rear): Starburst inside a circle.
Scabbard (Throat): "K-M8A1" on front and winged star with Korean characters on reverse.
|Netherlands||M4||Bayonet for use on the caliber .30 U.S. Carbine M1. The USA provided quantities of the M1 carbine to the Netherlands after the Second World War.
The Netherlands M4 bayonet is patterned after its US cousin, but is a distinctly different design. The most obvious difference are the red phenolic grip scales, patterned after the US leather grip. The crosspiece is much heavier, requiring a stepped muzzle ring due to the extra thickness. The pommel is secured with solid pins, where the US bayonet uses rolled pins. Examples are found with grip scales secured by rivets or (like this example) with screw bolts.
These were made by the German firm, E. & F. Hörster, in 1951–52.
This example has the Hörster commercial trademark on the crosspiece, although not all are so marked. The scabbard is patterned after the US M8A1. However, the metal is blued and the plastic body has a woodgrain pattern.
|6.625||168||11.50||292||.590||15.1||Crosspiece: "H" bisected by a sword, inside an oval.|
|Norway||M4 SLK||Bayonet-knife for use on the caliber .30 U.S. Carbine M1, which Norway designated the Selvladekarabin (SLK).
The Norwegian M4 bayonet is closely patterned after the Wartime U.S. M4 Bayonet-Knife, with the narrow crosspiece and grooved leather grip. Similar in appearance and quality of manufacture to its U.S. cousin, the markings are uniquely Norwegian.
The scabbard is a clone of the U.S. M8A1, before introduction of the metal tip protector. The Norwegian scabbard is marked "U.S. M8A1" in outline letters, however, it was manufactured entirely in Norway.
At least 98,267 M1 Carbines were provided to Norway, beginning in the early 1950s. Production is believed to have began circa 1954 at Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk (Kongsberg Weapons Factory). Both bayonet and scabbard carry the Crown-K factory stamp.
|6.625||168||11.50||292||.590||15.0||Crosspiece: "U.S.M4" and Crown-K (Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk factory stamp)
Scabbard: "U.S. M8A1" over Crown-K
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