(click to enlarge)
|USA||Early U.S. Fencing Bayonet||Early U.S. Fencing Bayonet used with the .69 caliber U.S. M1840 flintlock and M1842 percussion muskets.
This example, based on the M1835 socket bayonet, may be the first of its type known to exist. Fencing bayonets based on the M1816 bayonet (Type I) and the M1855 bayonet (Type II) have been documented, but not a fencing bayonet based on the M1835.
American use of fencing bayonets for training began before the U.S. Civil War. The original blade would be cut away, to be replaced with a receptacle that held a flexible whalebone blade with a leather-covered cork or rubber ball at the end. Later fencing bayonets, like the U.S. M1912, had flexible spring steel blades covered in russet-colored leather.
Little is known about when and where fencing bayonets were produced; and how many were made. Schmidt documented that Watervliet Arsenal in New York produced 1,500 of the M1816-based Type I fencing bayonets in 1852–53.
The workmanship on this example is quite good, suggesting that it was likely altered by one of the government arsenals. The original “U.S.” ricasso mark and face flute are still partially visible after machining the blade stub to accept the fencing blade receptacle.
|M1855 Socket Bayonet||Socket bayonet used with the .58 caliber M1855, M1861, and M1863 rifle-muskets.
The standard socket bayonet used by union forces during the U.S. Civil War, 1.5 million were produced by Springfield Armory and private contractors 1857–1865. The socket length is 3.00 in. (76 mm.).
This example was made prior to 1864, when the locking ring mortise was lengthened by 2/10 in. (5 mm.) to allow the locking ring to travel past center for increased securing force. Collins & Company had previously began setting the stop pin above center to serve the same purpose (see Sharps New Model bayonet below). Springfield Armory opted for the locking ring modification instead in November 1863, as the improved locking ring could also be retrofitted to earlier bayonets.
|Enfield Rifle-Musket||Socket bayonet for use with the .577 Caliber Enfield Rifle-Musket (also referred to in the USA as the "3-Band Enfield").
This example has no British government markings, indicating that it was likely imported to the USA during the American Civil War. The Enfield was the second most common rifle used in the American Civil War, with nearly 1 million imported and used by both sides. The socket length is 2.9375 in. (75 mm.).
According to British socket bayonet authority Graham Priest, the “J•R” marking indicates that the bayonet was likely made in Liege, Belgium. The other ricasso marking may be an incomplete CHAVASSE. There was a retailer, Horace Chavasse & Co., at Alma street, Aston Newton (near Birmingham, England) 1860–1868. Chavasse has been documented as also having marked P1856 sword bayonets.
|17.25||438||20.25||514||.787||20.0||Ricasso: "P (dot) B" and “CHAVAS”
Socket (rear edge): 2 punch marks and 7 notches
|M1840/42 Musket Conversion||Socket bayonet for use with .69 caliber U.S. M1840 and M1842 muskets that were updated by rifling the barrels and, in the case of the flintlock M1840, converted to percussion ignition.
The M1840 was the last U.S. military flintlock musket. The M1842 was the first U.S. military percussion musket and the last U.S. infantry musket to be made as a smoothbore.
A clone of the M1835/42 socket bayonet, made after M1835/42 production had ceased at the national armories in Springfield, Illinois, and Harpers Ferry, Virginia. This example is identical to the M1835/42 bayonets made from 1839–1855, except for its tapered blade shoulders. Period M1835/42 bayonets had scalloped blade shoulders, like the Enfield bayonet pictured above. Tapered blade shoulders were not introduced until after 1855. The socket length is 2.625 in. (67 mm.).
Perhaps this bayonet was made 1856–59 when existing M1840 and M1842 muskets were rifled at the national armories; or early in the Civil War, when the converted M1840 and M1842 Rifled-Muskets were pressed into service.
|J. D. Greene||Socket bayonet for use with the .546 caliber J. D. Greene bolt-action breech loading rifle.
Patterned after the M1855 socket bayonet, the J. D. Greene socket differs in having a basal locking ring and straight mortise. The socket length is 3.00 in. (76 mm.). J. D. Greene bayonets had a blued finish, where the M1855 and most other Civil War socket bayonets were finished in the white. This example retains much of the original blue finish on the blade.
Approximately 4,000 J. D. Greene rifles were manufactured 1859-63 by the Asa H. Waters Armory in Millbury, Massachusetts, 3,000 of which were shipped to Russia. The Massachusetts State Militia is believed to have received a small number of Greene rifles, which they likely employed in September 1862 at Antietam. Antietam was the only documented Civil War use of Greene rifles (Greene cartridges have been excavated there). The U. S. Ordnance Dept. contracted for 900 Greene rifles in January 1863; taking delivery later that year. These rifles are believed to have remained in stores, never seeing service.
Patented in 1857 by Lt. Col. James Durell Greene, and improved in 1862, this was the first bolt-action rifle adopted by the U. S. Ordnance Dept. In addition to being the first regulation bolt-action, it was the only regulation underhammer action, only regulation oval-bore rifle, and only regulation rifle whose cartridge held the bullet behind the powder charge. The action was complex to operate and the unconventional loading procedure was simply beyond the ability of the common soldier to manage under fire.
|18.187||462||21.00||533||.781||19.9||Ricasso: "J. D. G."|
|Early Sharps/ Spencer Socket Bayonet||Socket bayonet for use with.52 caliber Sharps breech loading rifles and .52 caliber Spencer repeating rifles adapted for a socket bayonet.
According to research published in the Society of American Bayonet Collectors (SABC) Journal, Volume 26, Winter 1998, these early Sharps/Spencer bayonets are believed manufactured by W.T. Clements of the Bay State Works, Northampton, Massachusetts.
Bay State Works is documented as having received a State of Massachusetts contract for sword blades, bayonets and gun barrels on July 2, 1861. The Army purchased 668 Sharps rifles from the Union Defense Committee of New York one month later, in August 1861. Collins & Co. produced most of the socket bayonets used with Sharps rifles, however, did not begin production until much later, so the bayonets supplied with these first Sharps rifles came from another source.
Bay State Works is also believed to have produced the bayonets supplied by Boston contractor, Augustine J. Drake who altered Model 1841 rifles to the Lindner patent for the State of Massachusetts. All of these bayonets share an unusual blade design, with the back flutes cut all the way through the elbow, that has come to be known as the “Drake Pattern.”
The first 1,200 Spencer repeating rifles delivered to the Army are documented as having been accompanied by socket bayonets with 18.5 in. (470 mm.) blades produced in Northampton. These bayonets were not compatible with the Army’s existing 18-inch bayonet scabbards. In November 1862, the Ordnance Department accepted the bayonets that had already been produced, but required that any additional Spencer bayonets be of the standard 18-inch blade pattern as those used with the .58 caliber Springfield rifle-musket.
If the above is an indication, fewer than 2,000 of these bayonets may have been produced. Only a handful of examples are known to exist today.
The socket length is 3.00 in. (76 mm.).
|Socket bayonet for use with the .44 caliber rimfire M1866 Winchester lever-action infantry musket.
The M1866 socket bayonet is distinctive by its small size and exceptionally brief elbow. Note the high bridge required to clear the Winchester's tall front sight.
Production of the M1866 infantry musket began in 1869. The number produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. of New Haven, CT is unknown, because M1866 production records are incomplete.
The M1866 infantry musket was used by some State Militias and was produced for foreign sales. M1866 muskets produced for Turkey mounted a sword bayonet, rather than this socket. The Winchester was not adopted by the U.S. military, due to the insufficient long-range performance of the .44 caliber cartridge and the Ordnance Department's disdain for the repeating rifle.
The socket length is 2.625 in. (67 mm.) and the muzzle length is 1.125 in. (29 mm.).
|Socket bayonet for use with the Model 1867 Peabody cartridge rifle.
This uncommon and nondescript socket bayonet is identified primarily by its dimensions and the rather long ricasso, compared to regulation U.S. bayonets. The socket length is 2.625 in. (67 mm.).
Approximately 96,000 Peabody rifles that used the M1867 bayonet were produced 1867–71 by the Providence Tool Co. of Providence, Rhode Island, based on a design patented by inventor Henry O. Peabody. The vast majority were for foreign contracts:
Although the Peabody fared exceptionally well in the breechloading rifle trials of 1865, the hoped-for large U.S. Government contract never materialized.
|Socket bayonet for use on Remington No. 1 Rolling Block rifles produced for export.
Closely patterned on the Swedish M1867 socket bayonet, 10,000 of which were made by Remington. Completely unmarked, this example differs from the Swedish contract bayonet in having been produced in the white (Swedish bayonets were blued) and in having a steel socket (Swedish M1867s made by Remington had an iron socket). The socket length is 2.625 in. (67 mm.).
One of the challenges with Remington Rolling Block bayonets is that there were so many customers/production contracts (and everybody wanted something different). It is not clear which rolling block rifle contract this bayonet was produced for, as it does not exactly match any of the examples listed in Janzen's book on Remington bayonets.
|M1873||Socket bayonet for use on the .45–70 Caliber U.S. Rifle M1873 (Trapdoor Springfield).
The beautiful high-polish blue finish illustrates the painstaking workmanship exhibited on these rifles and bayonets. The socket length is 3.00 in. (76 mm.).
Leather scabbard hanger is for a 1.50 in. (38 mm.) wide equipment belt and was made at Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, NY.
The scabbard is attached to the leather hanger by two small tabs, one of which is riveted to the leather. According to Reilly, this is indicative that this scabbard was made prior to the riveted tab being phased out in the early 1880s.
Scabbard Hanger: "Watervliet Arsenal" and "U.S." on brass rosette
Scabbard (Leather Throat): Feint inspector name, believed to be "A.R. Smith"
|M1873 Cadet||Socket bayonet for use on the .45–70 Caliber U.S. Cadet Rifle M1873 (Trapdoor Springfield).
This bayonet is a scaled-down version of the issue M1873 socket bayonet. The socket length is 3.00 in. (76 mm.).
The cadet rifle was shorter than the standard M1873 infantry rifle, since its primary use was for drilling. However, the cadet rifle was made to the same standards as it's full-sized cousin and was every bit as accurate and lethal.
|Socket bayonet for use with the .44 caliber M1873 Winchester lever-action infantry musket.
The bayonet is unusual in that the elbow is only 3/4 in. long, about half the length of a U.S. M1873 Springfield bayonet above. It is also unusual for the time period, in having the mortise cut so that the bayonet hangs beneath the rifle barrel. Notice the high bridge to clear the Winchester's tall front sight. Most socket bayonets don't have a very sharp point, but the point on this one is like a needle.
The M1873 was the first Winchester rifle to use a centerfire cartridge. Approximately 35,000 M1873 infantry muskets were produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. of New Haven, CT, from 1874–1919. Infantry muskets accounted for roughly five percent of M1873 production.
The M1873 infantry musket was produced mostly for foreign sales. It had some popularity in South America, going to Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. They also went to Mexico, France, and Turkey. The Winchester was not adopted by the U.S. military, due to the insufficient long-range performance of the .44 caliber cartridge and the Ordnance Department's disdain for the repeating rifle.
The socket length is 3.00 in. (76 mm.) and the muzzle length is 1.25 in. (32 mm.).
|Winchester-Hotchkiss||Socket bayonet for use with the .45–70 caliber Winchester-Hotchkiss rifle. This bayonet is also believed used with the military musket variant of the Winchester M1876 and M1886 lever-action rifles (very few made).
The Winchester-Hotchkiss bayonet is distinguished from the M1873 by its slightly longer blade and smaller socket diameter (smaller than either the M1867 Peabody or M1873). The socket length is 3.00 in. (76 mm.). The way in which the elbow was formed created a slight "pinch" at the inside radius, where the ricasso terminates; and a slightly bulbous "swell" on the outside radius, where the blade flutes terminate at the elbow.
The Winchester-Hotchkiss was a bolt-action repeating rifle produced by Winchester 1879–1899 and at Springfield Armory 1879–81. During this period, 84,555 rifles of all variants were produced. 2,986 rifles were manufactured at Springfield Armory: 513 for the Army (designated M1878) and 2,473 for the Navy (designated M1879). The U.S. Government purchased an unknown quantity of additional rifles of a third type produced by Winchester (designated M1883).
|M1855 Modified||Originally made 1855–1865 at the Springfield Armory, Springfield, MA. This example was subsequently modified by cutting off the rear portion of the socket.
Modified for use on a cadet musket or possibly as a movie prop, by shortening the socket length to 1.875 in. (48 mm.). Mounts perfectly to my .577 Caliber Enfield Rifle-Musket.
Similar examples turn up periodically, so were modified in quantity. No way to know who altered them (Bannerman, one of the movie houses, or ?).
|18.25||464||20.125||511||.770||19.6||Ricasso: "US" over "S"|
|M1873 MGM Movie Prop||U.S. M1873 socket bayonet altered by MGM Studios for use as a movie prop.
The socket has been split to adapt the socket to different diameter rifle barrels. Approximately 1/8" has been removed from the socket rear, shortening the socket length from 3 in. (76 mm.) to 2.875 in. (73 mm.).
The "MGM" property marking indicates that this example came from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios prop department, the contents of which were sold off in 1969-70.
|M1891 Remington||Socket bayonet for use with the 7.62 mm. M1891 Mosin-Nagant rifle. This example was produced in the USA by the Remington Arms Co., in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for the Imperial Russian Government.
In 1915, Russia contracted with Remington and with the New England Westinghouse Co. to produce the 7.62 mm. M1891 Mosin-Nagant rifle and the accompanying bayonets. When the Communist Revolution of 1917 overthrew the government of Czar Nicholas II, the contract was cancelled, leaving Remington and N.E. Westinghouse holding a large quantity of M1891 rifles and bayonets; with factories tooled-up to produce Russian arms. The U.S. Government purchased all of the rifles and bayonets on hand, plus any more they could produce while thier factories were converted to produce Browning machine guns.
The tiny circle-R and serial number, and the absence of any Russian markings, identifies this example as having been produced by Remington. Some of the U.S.-purchase bayonets were marked with the Ordnance Dept. "Shell and Flame" device, however, many were not. As this example illustrates, the fit and finish of the Remington bayonet is better than on Russian-produced M1891 bayonets.
|17.00||432||19.75||502||.585||14.9||Socket: "571004" and circle "R"|
|Daisy #40||Socket bayonet for use with the Daisy #40 military style BB gun. The bayonet is made of stamped blued steel, with a functional locking ring and small rubber tip. No scabbard was produced.
The socket length is 1.375 in. (35 mm.).
Produced by the Daisy manufacturing Company Inc. of Plymouth, Michigan, approximately 150,000 #40 rifles and bayonets were made from 1916–1934.
The #40 is said to be one of the most sought after items by today’s collectors of Daisy BB guns. Examples of the bayonet are far less common than rifles, with many having been lost (or confiscated and disposed of by concerned parents).
|Johnson Model of 1941||Triangular bayonet for the caliber .30-06 Johnson Model of 1941 self-loading rifle.
The Model of 1941 was an innovative rifle design developed by U.S.M.C. Capt. Melvin M. Johnson as an alternative to the M1 Garand. The rifle's recoil-operated action required a lightweight bayonet, which accounts for the bayonet's skeletal appearance.
Essentially, a socket bayonet without a socket, this bayonet mounts to the rifle by means of an ingenious flat spring. The scabbard is leather with a brass thorn to secure the hilt strap.
A total of approximately 30,000 Johnson Model of 1941 rifles are believed to have been produced. The Model of 1941 rifle and bayonet were used in small numbers by U.S. Marines, the Netherlands, and Chile. The CIA armed some of the Cuban-Exile guerilla forces with Johnson rifles during the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion.
Serial numbering of the muzzle ring is believed to have been done by the Netherlands, indicating that this example likely saw service in the Far East with Dutch Naval Forces or the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger or KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army).
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Johnson was assigned as an observer of the Army trials of the Garand and Peterson rifles. During his time at Springfield Armory, he developed his own designs for the Model of 1941 self-loading rifle and Model of 1941 light machine gun. The designs were considered especially innovative. The Johnson Model of 1941 rifle’s 8-lugged rotating bolt design was adapted by designer Eugene Stoner for his revolutionary Armalite AR-10 assault rifle and is still used today in the M16 assault rifle.
|7.75||197||11.75||298||.570||14.5||Muzzle Ring: "242"|
|© Ralph E. Cobb 2011 All Rights Reserved|
|Society of American Bayonet Collectors|