By Bill Porter
If you want a month to go by quickly, just start writing a monthly column. When the first of the new month rolls around youíd swear it has only been about a week since you did your last write up.
I received an email from our fellow bayonet enthusiast Don Endonino telling me about the variations of the Argentine M1 Carbine bayonets in his collection. Don writes:
Thought you might be interested in some variants of the argy bayonet. I have three in my collection. One came with a white painted M8A1 scabbard and two came with metal scabbards that don't show any sign of having been painted. All three have differences in the grip scales. One has wood scales fastened with rivets; the second has aluminum scales, both of which are grooved; and the third has aluminum scales, one of which is grooved and the other completely smooth. None are numbered on the tang but do have 7 digit numbers on the ricasso. I assume these are the s/ns of the carbine the bayonets were issued with.
Thank you Don for sharing this information with us.
Last months column (which was actually written for July) continued with the foreign bayonets manufactured for the US M1 Carbine. Weíll continue this month along the same line.
South Korean M4 Bayonets
The South Korean M4 is an exact knock-off of the later issue US M4. At a quick glance they look identical, but upon closer examination you find that the overall quality of the South Korean bayonet is inferior to that of its US counterpart. The piece shown in the accompanying photos has a very dark, grainy Parkerized finish. I have handled several of these and many of them have loose crossguards. The fit of the plastic grips is also rather poor.
There are no markings on the blade. The front of the crossguard is marked "K-M4". The back is stamped with a circular design that is divided into five segments. The inside of the left grip has the letters "T Y" Cast into the plastic.
The scabbard is a copy of the US M8A1. It is covered with a heavy coat of OD paint. The face of the throat is stamped "K-M8A1". The back of the metal throat is stamped with a winged star superimposed over an anchor. There are also some symbols below this marking. I do not know the significance of this marking, but assume that it is a South Korean acceptance or property marking.
These bayonets hit the surplus market in my area a few years ago and were available for low prices at just about every show. I havenít seen as many around lately, but they still show up on the on-line auctions and surplus websites.
Overall length 294 mm
Blade length 170 mm
Blade thickness 4.7 mm
Blade width 21.9 mm
German M4 (Eickhorn Commercial)
This is probably one of the nicest, best finished M4s. The overall look of this bayonet is much like the US M4, but there are a couple of significant differences. The blade has a deep plum color, unlike any of the other M4 bayonets. The plastic grip is a one-piece molding and the pommel is retained by a single screw through the end of the pommel. The female threaded portion inside the grip appears to be metal. It was not easily determined if this is an insert molded into the grip or the end of the blade tang. The front of the crossguard is stamped "US M4".
The scabbard is a well made copy of the US M8A1 with a molded plastic body and a steel throat. The front of the throat is stamped "U.S. M8A1" over "MADE IN W. GERMANY". This is the same scabbard that Eickhorn uses on all of their commercial knives and bayonets with this style blade.
Overall length 297 mm
Blade length 168 mm
Blade thickness 4.7 mm
Blade width 21.7 mm
German KCB-70 M4 Bayonet
This is one of the scarcer of the M1 Carbine bayonets. This particular piece came to me from the collection of the great, late Jerry Janzen.
In 1970, the German firm of Carl Eickhorn Waffenfabrik AG (Eickhorn) in conjunction with the Dutch firm, Nederlandsche Wapen en Munitfabriet N.V. (N.W.M.) developed a new bayonet system for the U.S. Stoner assault rifle. The bayonet was copied from the Soviet wire-cutter bayonets. This bayonet was designated the KCB-70 M1. They also made prototype bayonets for the Belgian FN-FAL (KCB-70 M2) and the H&K G3 assault rifle (KCB-70 M3). Although it is not documented in any book Iíve seen, I believe the featured bayonet is a KCB-70 M4. The blade, grip, pommel and scabbard are identical to the other KCB-70 bayonets.
The blade is flat, bowie pointed with a serrated top edge. The Eickhorn squirrel logo is stamped on the left side of the blade. The grip is made of a hard black plastic. These grips are extremely brittle and many of the KCB-70 M1 bayonets I have seen have cracked plastic. This M4 has a hairline crack just behind the crossguard. There is a plastic screw that goes crossways through the grip securing it to the blade tang. A single screw in the butt end retains the pommel.
The scabbard is made from the same hard black plastic. It is equipped with an attachment at the bottom end that is used in conjunction with the bayonet to form a shear-type wire cutter. The plastic scabbard body has a protruding ring near the bottom to act as a stop, preventing the userís hand from sliding down into the cutting area.
This bayonet required an adapter for use on the M1 Carbine. Unfortunately, the adapter was separated from the bayonet and was not located.
Overall length 300 mm
Blade length 175 mm
Blade thickness 3.4 mm
Blade width 29.7 mm
That brings us to a close for another month. I have one Carbine bayonet left that I will feature next month. Any suggestions on where to go after that? If you have any information to add on any of this months or any of the previous months selections, please send me a note and Iíll get the information out in the next update.
If you have any questions or comments please drop me a line. If youíd like to correspond about any other bayonet related topic Iíd love to hear about your interests, too. I can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
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