By Bill Porter
We’ll continue this month with more foreign manufactured bayonets for the US M1 Carbine.
Bavarian M4 Bayonet Scabbards
The identification of these scabbards is based solely on that provided by the person from whom I got them. I have gone through scores of books trying to find any documentation on them but have not had any luck. Maybe someone reading this can further educate us all.
The scabbard bodies are blued steel. They are very similar in appearance to the Belgian scabbard for the short FN blade type bayonet. The attached leather frog on each of the three specimens pictured is different. The upper most scabbard has a black leather frog. It does not have the bent wire hanger that is found on the other two examples. The leather is worn so it is not possible to determine if it has been cut down at some point or if it was manufactured this way. The leather retaining strap has a brass snap with the word "SLICK" in a triangle. The underside of the male portion of the snap is marked "CARR FAST.CO. BOSTON"
The center scabbard in the photo has a medium brown leather frog. The leather retaining strap on the frog is narrower than the other two scabbards and has two tooled marks the full length. It has a darkened brass snap that is unmarked. The underside of the male portion of the snap is marked "UNITED CARR". The leather frog is equipped with a wire hanger.
The bottom scabbard has a dark brown leather frog. The retaining strap is similar to the one on the black frog. The front of the snap is marked "VINCIT" in a triangle. The backside of the male snap is marked "CARR FAST.CO. BOSTON".
The bayonet in the photograph is a Dutch M4 bayonet that was manufactured by the German firm Horster. It was in the scabbard with the black frog when I acquired it and I have kept them together. According to the person who sold me the scabbards, the correct bayonet would be a leather-gripped US M4 of World War Two vintage.
Italian M4 Bayonet
These Italian manufactured bayonets are a close copy of the US M4. The overall design is the same but one major difference is the grip composition. These bayonets have a smooth hard plastic grip with eight grooves. The grips are a deep brown color.
Both bayonets pictured were manufactured in 1959. The left ricasso is marked "AET (Arsenale Esercito Torino) / Crossed cannons / 1959". The right ricasso bears a five or six digit serial number.
There are two entirely different scabbards for this bayonet. The first is a modified Vetterli leather scabbard body that has been cut down and refitted with a steel chape and mouthpiece. The second is a plastic M8A1 style scabbard. Both are equipped with a tan web frog. The frog on the plastic bodied scabbard is longer than that on the leather scabbard.
Overall length 289 mm
Blade length 166 mm
Blade thickness 4.7 mm
Blade width 21.7 mm
Italian M4 bayonets and scabbards
South Korean Modified M4 Bayonet
I thought I knew exactly what this bayonet was but in examining it more closely for this write-up I discovered that it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was. I picked this bayonet up back when all of the South Korean M5s were being imported. It was in a group of South Korean bayonets and I always assumed it was a South Korean M5 that had been modified for use on the M1 Carbine. Upon closer examination it was determined that it definitely is NOT a South Korean M5. It is either a US M5 or M6. The grips are US. I was not able to determine which US bayonet it originally was.
The bayonet has been modified by removing the original crossguard and welding a new, crude crossguard and spacer in place. The crossguard almost appears to have been cut freehand out of a piece of flat material. The muzzle ring is not perfectly round. The bayonet does, however, readily attach to the M1 Carbine. The top of the pommel has been machined to allow the bayonet to latch on to the M1 Carbine lug.
The bayonet is in a standard USM8A1 scabbard.
Overall length 286 mm
Blade length 160 mm
Blade thickness 4.5 mm
Blade width 21.7 mm
That wraps things up for this month. If you have any additional information on any of the items I’ve posted this month I’d really like to hear from you.
If you have any questions or comments please drop me a line. If you’d like to correspond about any other bayonet related topic I’d love to hear about your interests, too. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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