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Thread: Sword Bayonet Discussion & Photos

  1. #1

    Sword Bayonet Photos and Discussion

    This thread is dedicated to discussing and sharing photos of sword bayonets. The bayonets can be from your collection or just a bayonet in which or have an interest or a question.

    To start, below are two mid 19th century sword bayonets from my collection. I have had trouble pinning each of them down exactly, so I will do my best to provide accurate information. I am very open to corrections!

    First is what I have seen called an "1855 Mississippi" sword bayonet. It is marked S&K, for Schnitzler & Kirschbaum, on one side of the forte, while the other side is struck with an anchor. I do not have a scabbard for this one. Does the 1855 Mississippi description seem appropriate?







    Second is what I believe to be a French bayonet, possibly a Model 1842 saber bayonet. The forte is marked 1851 and the cross guard is engraved with regimental markings I am unable to decode. Again, there is no scabbard. Any thoughts on its true origins?







    Bayonets are not a huge draw for me, but there are are few patterns I would like to add to my collection when funds permit. Above all other patterns, I would be especially keen to add an Elcho bayonet to my collection. I also like the yataghan pattern British bayonets and would gladly add a few to my collection at some point.

    Please add to the thread with thoughts, photos, or questions!

    Thank you,
    Jonathan
    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 03-25-2008 at 01:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    Jonathon,

    I'm wondering if the 1855 Mississippi is in reference to the Mississippi rifle, which is a pattern 1841. There is a US pattern 1841 sabre bayonet. Looking at "Fighting Men of the Civil War", there is a photograph of a waistbelt and sabre bayonet described as a pattern 1855 rifleman's waist belt and bayonet. The guard on the 1855 US sword bayonet is straight across and looks very similar to the first bayonet. Also, the blade is straight. However, some features of either don't exactly match yours.

    The second bayonet's guard turns down at the base and the blade is curved. Looking more at the reference, I find a picture of a Belgian pattern 1842 short rifle with sabre bayonet. I think that we may have found our match for the second. The markings on your second bayonet don't look to be US or CS markings.

    In sum, I think that the best I can say definitely is that these are both mid 19th century sabre bayonet. Then again, I'm not a bayonet guy. I'm just a guy with a bunch of books.


    Andre
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  3. #3
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    I'll go with this. bayonets aren't really my thing, but I have a couple.
    The 1st is a Baker Rifle bayonet. No markings, but complete and the spring still works. Lots of dings at the pommel from either trying to tighten it up (unsuccessful) or by using it as a hammer.

    Second is a Krag bayonet from pre WWI. It was passed down from my grandfather who was getting ready to ship out when the war ended. It came in a picket pin scabbard which may not be original issue, but I've seen much debate on the issue. It seems that only krags are seen with them, so I'm open to reasonable explanations. It is a loose fit.
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    What a wonderful thread! What is the definition of sword bayonet, JG? I read somewhere that 16 inches or more was the cutoff.

    Lucky you to have a m1842, that's one on my short list I haven't been able to acquire yet.

    Below are my long ones, a 1st pattern 98/05, 2 Chassepots, an 1867 Danish yataghan, and the 1884 mod to that pattern (internal coilspring as opposed to external leaf spring), 5 Gras , 2 Argentine Mausers, a Yugoslavian (I think) Mauser, an Arisaka, and the m1907 I posted yesterday.

    The most interesting is one of the argentines, it is a m1891, but with wood handles, 1891s are suposed to have white metal or brass handles. Below, I took a comparison, with the 1891 and my 1909 next to each other and you can see they are completely different, down to the press catch on opposite sides.

    Also, while not a sword bayonet, I figured while I was taking pictures I'd add a somewhat uncommon and sought after creature as well- a green handled Colt/Armalite m7.
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  5. #5
    Andre,
    Thank you for the additional information. I just came across some more info at Arms2Armor.

    Wayne,
    The first bayonet I have pictured has the same wear to the pommel. The marks appear to be the result of using the pommel as a hammer--for tent stakes perhaps?

    N White,
    Would you say that the second bayonet I have pictured is in fact an M1842?

    All, thanks for contributing your information and photos!

    Jonathan

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    Jonathan-

    http://www.bayonetsonline.com/c_europe.htm

    http://www.old-smithy.info/ (go to by country then france).

    Looks to me like a 1842, but you have it in hand, so compare to the examples presented on those sites. the 1st link mentions some were made by german manufacturers- I'd suspect that was the case with yours, since the french made bayonets/swords almost always have the year/place of manufacture on the spine.

    As for the markings I have seen examples of french Chassepots being stamped with german unit markings, being siezed in WW I and re-issued by the germans. This may or may not be the case with your bayonet, but if it is, it usually adds value, lucky you.

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    Hi Jonathan can't help with yours I know nothing about sword bayonets other than what my three are called so I'll share these, from top to bottom, a M1886-16 Lebel, not sure if you'd consider a sword bayonet but it's 19.5 inches long, next a Chassepot 1871 and last a M1874 Gras, all French.
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  8. #8
    N White,
    Thank you for the links. The main difference in construction between may bayonet and other 1842 style saber bayonets is the fuller termination at the ricasso. The fuller transition on M1842s is smooth and gradual, whereas the fuller on mine ends abruptly.

    Also, as you noted, mine is missing the typical French markings. The regimental markings on the cross guard look more German to me than French.

    Jonathan
    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 03-25-2008 at 11:36 AM.

  9. #9
    David,
    Thanks for sharing your bayonets. It seems that the French were prolific in their manufacture of sword bayonets. They seem to be the first, or one of the first, major European nations to adopt sword bayonets for all ranks, not just NCOs and elite units. The Chassepot and Gras bayonets are quite common 19th century sword bayonets in today's market, and are still very affordable.

    Jonathan

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    As long as we are discussing bayonets . . .

    Following up on Jonathon's thread about sabre bayonets, here is a picture of one that is quite interesting. Notice the ring mounted on the pommel so that it could be used with a variety of weapons.

    Anyone care to take a guess at the nation and the manufacturer?


    Andre
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    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  11. #11
    CSA, Boyle, Gamble & MacFee saber bayonet?

    Jonathan

    (You should have posted this in the discussion thread! )

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    CSA, Boyle, Gamble & MacFee saber bayonet?

    Jonathan

    (You should have posted this in the discussion thread! )

    Correct -- and maybe I wanted my own discussion thread.

    Andre
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by A.Ducote View Post
    Correct -- and maybe I wanted my own discussion thread.

    Andre
    I guess you had to leave the nest eventually!

    Did the CSA manufacture and use many sword bayonets? I imagine the zouave units had them.

    Jonathan

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.Ducote View Post
    ... and maybe I wanted my own discussion thread.

    Andre
    now that that's settled ...

    actually, it would probably be more lively if we didn't spread the sword bayonet stuff too thin.

    ... and Andre, can you make the bayonet ID a little more challenging next time?
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

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    Ok I know this isn't a sword bayonet but with all the attention this thread is getting it seemed like a good idea to add it here. I bought this in Australia 35 years ago and still don't know it's origin, does anyone know? Blade is 10 inches, please and thx. David.
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    David, if you don't mind, what's the maker on your Gras? It's a matter of curiousity to me, certain ones seem to turn up more often than others, and so far I have only seen one source that identifies a specific rarer maker. (L. Deny). Most I see are St.Etienne.

    Also on the subject of French manufacturers, any francophiles able to tell me the maker Chirt " ? Its similar to the abbreviation for Chatellerault (Chat "), but my bayonet clearly says Mre" d' armes de Chirt" mau 1875. See below. EDIT Looking around on the net more, I found a few Chat marked blades that the engraver did not connect the top of the "a" on... none as bad as mine but I think that's what happened on mine- sloppy cursive. -For the record I have 3 Etiennes, an L.Deny and this Chatellerault.

    Thanks,

    Nick
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    Last edited by N White; 03-25-2008 at 06:10 PM. Reason: answered my own question I think

  17. #17
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    David, it's German, looks like a German 84/98 bayonet. No muzzle ring = german or used by germans. The 41cul is a WW 2 manufacturer's code- according to http://www.donet.com/~mconrad/bcncode.htm

    cul- Ernst Pack und Sohne, Solingen the 41 should be the year. (1941)

    Here are my 2 for comparison.
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    Many thx Nick, I've been asking and looking all these years and after five minutes on here there's my answer. The Gras maker is St.Etienne, thx again, David.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    I guess you had to leave the nest eventually!

    Did the CSA manufacture and use many sword bayonets? I imagine the zouave units had them.

    Jonathan

    Mark settled the quarrel.

    As to your question, I've not seen production figures, but I think its more likely that sockets were carried. However, there were a few manufacturers of them.

    As duly noted, Boyle Gamble & MacFee of Richmond, VA, made a few different versions including a bayonet/bowie knife combination. Cook & Brother in New Orleans, LA, made a few sabre bayonets. Examples marked to the Georgia Armory in Milledgeville, GA (actually the state penitentiary) are known to exist. Many pre-war US patterns were also used as well as import bayonets which came with rifles -- such as the Enfield or the Belgian. I would imagine that the bayonet a particular soldier was issued depended greatly upon the firearm he carried.

    There really weren't that many CS zouave regiments -- the exception being a few from Louisiana. The most famous of those is Wheat's Tiger Zouaves. I don't know if the were issued shorter rifles and sabre bayonets as the Union zouave regiments tended to be issued. My guess would be that the bayonet carried by a CS soldier depended more upon the rifle he was issued and availability than his dress. Uninformity was attempted, but most likely not achieved especially early in the war when many Confederates went into battle with shotguns, flintlocks and smoothbore flintlock conversions. As soon as a springfield or an enfield became available (many on the field), the older weapons were discarded along with their bayonets.

    Andre
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  20. #20
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    Well! I was wrong!

    Jonathan-

    On the Old Smithy site I linked earlier- go to dedicated pages, then yataghan, then scroll down to Italy.

    Pic below from the site-
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  21. #21
    Nick,
    That is it!! Thank you! And hey, only 6000 were made--pretty neat. Now to find some more...

    Jonathan

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    I think the first one is a confederate s&k short sea marine. There's one that looks identical to it at the civil war preservation web site. The other I have no idea what it is. Not sure how to link to the site. Hope this helps.

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    Here's an old french 1866 chespote, but a japanese honor guard issue. The only spot not chromed is the crisanthimum mark.

    The second is a turkish model 1874 sword bayonet.
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    here are a couple more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis East View Post
    I think the first one is a confederate s&k short sea marine. There's one that looks identical to it at the civil war preservation web site. The other I have no idea what it is. Not sure how to link to the site. Hope this helps.

    Good eyes, Dennis. Reading the description on the site, it says that it is an enfield pattern bayonet for an enfield short sea service musket made under contract in Belgium. The bayonet on that site has a serial number stamped on it as well as a series of dots. The description does say that the Confederacy imported these bayonets for naval use.

    With that being said, i think that we need to be careful before we pronounced Jonathon's bayonet Confederate. Many nations imported enfields during the time period of the Civil War, including the US and CS. The bayonet would have come with the enfield musket. The only enfields generally accepted to be CS have the marking of JS over an anchor.

    I'm not sure what makes the bayonet on the website Confederate, but it may have something do to with the serial number or the dots. Some arms have been traced to the Confederacy by serial number. I don't know if that tracing works with enfields. Others bear simplistic markings such as Roman numberals or a pattern of dots.

    My suggestion is to contact the dealer and find out more about the bayonet that they have. Confederate edged weapons are quite rare and fetch amazing high prices. Confederate naval edged weapons are even more scarce.

    Andre
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

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