In an effort to address this age-old problem, the Mauser Brothers introduced an alternative bayonet mounting system in 1898. The Mauser bayonet bar is much more substantial, capable of supporting the bayonet without need of a muzzle ring. This means the weight of the bayonet is borne solely by the stock, making the bayonet independent of the rifle barrel.

These pictures of a World War II German 8 mm. Mauser Kar 98k rifle and bayonet illustrate the Mauser bayonet bar. Note how the rifle barrel does not support the bayonet. Also note how the cleaning rod extends into a hollow in the bayonet hilt to allow the bayonet to mount.

With the Prussian mounting system, the bayonet lug supported only the rear of the bayonet, requiring a muzzle-ring to provide much of the support. The weight of the bayonet, hanging on the end of the barrel, was the problem. These pictures of a Finnish 7.62 mm. M1939 rifle and bayonet illustrates a typical bayonet mounting requiring a muzzle ring (and, yes, that's a real Finnish M1939 bayonet).

An ongoing issue since the advent of the sword bayonet was the bayonet's impact on accuracy. The rifle's sights were adjusted to shoot accurately without the bayonet in place. Mounting the bayonet could cause considerable change in the bullet's point of impact, resulting in inaccuracy.
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© Ralph E. Cobb 2009 All Rights Reserved

1898—The Mauser Bayonet Bar

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