The socket bayonet’s presence waned significantly during the 20th Century.  However, it still remains in service, more than 325 years after its introduction. Today, the Swiss SIG 540 series of assault rifles and the British SA80 family of assault rifles use socket bayonets that were developed in the 1970's and 1980s.

This British L3A1 (SA80) bayonet was first produced in 1985 and illustrates how the socket bayonet has adapted to modern times. The L3A1 remains the British Army's standard bayonet today. British troops, attacked and outnumbered by insurgents, have employed the L3A1 in bayonet charges that resulted in battlefield victories in both Iraq (2004) and Afghanistan (2011).

Image of British L3A1 (SA80) socket bayonet

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© Ralph E. Cobb 2016 All Rights Reserved

1974—The Socket Bayonet Lives On

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