By Bill Porter
Those of you who have been following this column for a while have probably picked up on the fact that my collection has a fair number of foreign bayonets in it. In fact, when it comes to bayonets such as the M1, M4 and M5, I only have representative examples of the US manufactured pieces in my collection. The overall theme of this website is US military knives and bayonets and even though the bayonets Iíve featured are not US pieces, there is a connection because of their use on US military rifles. So, this month we will continue with the theme that we started many months ago with the first column with one minor variation. This month we will be starting a series on foreign bayonets manufactured for the US M16 Rifle.
German Eickhorn US M7L
This is a German commercial bayonet manufactured by Eickhorn. It has a one piece black plastic checkered grip, standard M7 style crossguard and a long, double-edged blade.
The crossguard and pommel have a dark gray Parkerized finish. The pommel is retained by a single Phillips head screw. "WEST GERMANY" is marked on the end of the pommel in white paint. The blade has a beautiful plum color.
The scabbard is similar to the US M8A1. It has a long, wood grained body with a standard style metal throat. The throat is stamped on the front side "U.S. M8A1". There is an attached cotton web frog in dark green with an olive green retaining strap. The frog has a wire hanger for the standard US web belt.
Overall length 358 mm
Blade length 229 mm
Blade thickness 4.7 mm
Blade width 21.9 mm
German/Eickhorn Colt M7
This is another commercial bayonet made by the German firm Eickhorn. It is made extremely well, probably one of the best quality M7 bayonets made. These showed up on the commercial market a few years ago. Theyíre still seen on a regular basis on eBay and it the Shotgun News.
The crossguard and pommel have a dark black finish. The crossguard appears to have been either machined or laser cut. It has very crisp, clean corners; definitely not a stamped piece. The crossguard is stamped "U S M 7" on the front side. The pommel is held in place with a single hex fastener.
The blade has a dark gray, almost black Parkerized finish. The left side is etched with the current Colt logo. The left ricasso is marked "MADE IN GERMANY" in white paint. The bayonet has an all black M8A1 style scabbard. Iíve also seen a limited number of these with bright blades.
Overall length 298 mm
Blade length 169 mm
Blade thickness 4.9 mm
Blade width 21.7 mm
German Rheinmettal M16 Bayonet
Rheinmettal was one of the first manufacturers of the German G3 rifle. They had the edged weapon manufacturing firm of Eickhorn make the first bayonets to accompany the G3 rifle. According to Jerry Janzen in Bayonets from Janzenís Notebook this featured bayonet was assembled from parts available at the Carl Eickhorn factory at the time of its bankruptcy in 1976. The component parts are similar to those on the G3 bayonet except the pommel and cross guard.
The grip is a reddish-brown plastic with six grooves. The scales are held in place by machine screws and hexagonal nuts. The pommel is welded to the butt end of the blade tang. The crossguard has a 22.0 mm full muzzle ring. Itís interesting to note the machined groove on the side of the crossguard that is not present on the G3 bayonet. This groove is present on many Eickhorn bayonets and is used to lock the bayonet in its scabbard by means of an external spring catch. The scabbard accompanying this bayonet does not have such a catch. Obviously surplus parts were used to assemble this bayonet.
The long doubled edged blade with a central ridge has a dull Parkerized finish. It is completely unmarked. The scabbard is a greenish wood grained plastic body with a metal throat and a cotton web frog. The frog is equipped with a standard wire hanger for the US web belt. The face of the scabbard throat is marked U. S. M8A1 over MADE IN W. GERMANY.
These bayonets were made in limited numbers and are rather hard to find.
Overall length 346 mm
Blade length 230 mm
Blade thickness 4.7 mm
Blade width 23.4 mm
Thatís it for this month. Weíll be continuing with this topic for several months to come. As always, I welcome your comments and especially your contributions. If you have anything to add to the above please drop me an email at email@example.com
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