By Bill Porter
We left off last month with one foreign M1 Carbine bayonet remaining in the collection to highlight. Since then, an additional example has shown up.
Japanese M4 Bayonet
This is a post-WWII commercial copy of the US M4 bayonet. It has a segmented leather grip with six grooves and a resin spacer at each end. The blade is marked on the right ricasso with ROSCO in a diamond over JAPAN. The bayonet, for the most part, is the same as that shown in the March 2004 Report (page 7). One interesting difference is the finish on the blade. The first 1-1/2" of the blade has a blued finish, while the rest of the blade has a plumb color. I donít know why this was finished this way.
The scabbard is a copy of the US M8A1. The steel throat is unmarked and the scabbard body is a molded plastic. The attached leather frog is brown. Iíve seen many of this style scabbard and all that I have seen in the past had either a tan or black frog. This is the first piece Iíve seen with a brown frog.
These bayonets are by no means rare, but in over 35 years of bayonet collecting this is only the second Rosco M4 that I have come across.
Overall length 290 mm
Blade length 166 mm
Blade thickness 4.3 mm
Blade width 22.4 mm
French Experimental M1 Carbine Bayonet
This bayonet was left for last because it is, in my opinion, the coolest of all the foreign carbine bayonets. Modeled after the British Fairbairn / Sykes commando knife, this bayonet has more of an appearance of a dagger than a bayonet.
The exact designation for this bayonet seems to be a little uncertain. In The Bayonet Book by Watts and White it is referred to as a MAS M1949 Experimental bayonet. Kiesling, in Bayonets of the World, calls it an experimental bayonet ca. 1965 and Atlas de la Baionette de Collection (ABC) refers to it as an experimental model 1955-60. ABC goes on to say that this bayonet was used on US M1 carbines equipped with a special adapter. These carbines armed the officers and certain specialists (radiomen) with the French Marine Commandos during the War of Algerian Independence (1954-1962).
The grip is cast metal with 26 rings or grooves. It is non-ferrous and painted black. The bright, double-edged blade is diamond in cross section. The crossguard at first glance appears to be a stamping but it is actually a machined part. There is a thick leather spacer on the blade side of the crossguard. The bayonet is completely unmarked.
The scabbard body is steel with a smooth black finish. There is a green cotton web frog riveted to the scabbard body. A hole drilled through the tip of the scabbard from front to back accommodate a leather thong.
There are two different variations of the bayonet, the difference being in the attachment device on the end of the pommel. The first bayonet shown below has a notched stud on the end of the pommel. It is very similar in appearance to the bayonet stud on the front of the French Berthier rifle. This is the bayonet that was photographed for The Bayonet Book. The second variation has a slightly domed fillister head screw at the end of the pommel. Both bayonets used a special adapter to mount to the M1 carbine. Pictured are two of the adapters for the second type bayonet. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate any information on the adapter for the first style attachment.
I would like to acknowledge Laurent Clemenceau of France for sharing his photos of the two adapters. He also sent me the photo below of a French Marine commando armed with a M1 carbine with the bayonet clearly visible on his side.
Overall length 288 mm
Blade length 163 mm
Blade thickness 5.5 mm
Blade width 24.7 mm
That brings us to a close for another month and to another category of foreign bayonets made for a US weapon. I appreciate the additional information that was sent in and thank the contributors. As Iíve said before, we all have a little information to share and this is a great forum to bring it all together.
Next month weíll be on to a new topic. Any suggestions? If so, please drop me a line and share your thoughts. I can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
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