By Bill Porter
WEíRE BACK!! A huge thank you to Frank for resurrecting the site with a new host. We were all getting a little burned out and the long summer vacation was great. Frank added a new "Frequently Asked Questions" section. If you havenít read it yet I suggest you do. (insert link to FAQ) Some might view it as a little harsh but Iím 100% behind Frank on everything he says there. We do this for fun, and when we have to put up with rude, money hungry, demanding people it just isnít fun anymore. Now when someone wants to know "whatís it worth" we have an excellent link to forward to them.
A lot has happened since we last posted to the site. The most significant event in my life is that I lost my father, Harry Clinton Porter Jr. back in June. Those of you who have read my first post may remember that it was my dad who first got me interested in bayonets when I was ten. He didnít collect them himself, but fully supported my interest. He was a World War II Navy veteran, discharged as an Electricianís Mate First Class in 1945. He was a plankholder on the U.S.S. Massachusetts. I remember visiting the ship in Fall River, MA when I was a kid and walking around the ship listening to stories that came to his mind as we walked around the upper and lower decks. I now wish that I had written them down.
Dad was my constant companion at gun shows until his failing health and physical condition prevented him from walking around the venues. But he always wanted to see what new treasures I came home with. Sure do miss him.
Harry C. Porter, Jr
Way back in the beginning of the year we started a feature of foreign made bayonets for the US M16 rifle. Weíre going to continue with that, but first I want to highlight one of my latest major scores:
Phrobis / Buckmaster Prototype
This is one of five original, hand-made knives made by Mickey Finn. Mr. Finn took these five knives to Buck to discuss a licensing agreement. An agreement was reached and it was during this meeting that Mr. Finn suggested to Buck that they call the knife the "Buck Master". The five knives were left with Buck in an un-heat treated state. Buck then marked the blades BUCK KNIVES / USA /XXXX and hardened the blades. These knives evolved into the model 184 Buckmaster and it was made in an attempt to win a 2500 piece contract with the Navy SEALs in 1984.
The prototype knife is extremely well designed and well made. Many of the features on the prototype were changed or eliminated by the Buck engineering department in an effort to reduce manufacturing costs. The prototype blade has a machined edge grind rather than a hollow grind. It has also been machined in a manner to give the saw teeth some relief. The top edge of the blade (the portion with the saw teeth) is thicker than the rest of the blade. This machining gives the blade a grind line which is parallel to the backbone. The sand blasted blade is engraved BUCK KNIVES / USA /XXXX on the left side. The anchor pins are partially knurled and have both a sand blast and satin finish. The guard is machined in a manner which gives the anchor pins the offset needed so that they angle away from the handle. The handle is knurled in the standard fashion but has a semi polished finish. The original handle that was designed for the prototype knife was a pineapple design. There is a small compass recessed inside the removable butt cap.
Click on the thumbnails for full size photo
German Eickhorn / Colt Commercial M7
This is a currently available commercial M7 bayonet manufactured by Eickhorn in Germany for Colt Industries. This is a very well made bayonet with a black oxide blade, black crossguard and grip. The grip is one piece and is molded to the blade tang. The pommel is held to the grip with a Torx head fastener. The left side of the blade is marked with the current Colt script logo and MADE IN GERMANY. The front of the crossguard is very lightly stamped USM7.
The all black scabbard is the standard USM8A1 style and is marked as such on the front of the steel throat. The black cotton web frog is secured to the scabbard body with two brass rivets that are marked EICKHORN SOLIGEN.
These bayonets first appeared on the US commercial market a few years ago and are now available from most of the larger militaria and knife distributors. I have seen a couple examples with bright blades but I believe that these are relatively scarce as I have only seen two of them in private collections and have never come across one for sale.
Overall length 298 mm
Blade length 169 mm
Blade thickness 4.8 mm
Blade width 21.8 mm
Click on thumbnails for full size photo
German Eickhorn / Colt Commercial M7 w/ Extended Pommel
This bayonet is identical to the previously feature bayonet with the exception of the extended pommel. There is a machined plastic spacer installed between the back end of the plastic grip and the pommel. This places the pommel approximately 43 mm further back from the crossguard. The pommel is retained by a long Philips head machine screw which, surprising to me, is bright, not black oxide.
It is my understanding that these bayonets were made specifically for the AR15 Carbine with a 16" barrel.
Overall length 341 mm
Blade length 170 mm
Blade thickness 4.8 mm
Blade width 21.7 mm
I hope you enjoyed this monthís featured items. Weíll continue next month with more foreign manufactured bayonets for the US M16 rifle. Until then, any questions or comments can be forwarded to me firstname.lastname@example.org.
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