By Bill Porter
I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season and the New Year is turning out to be a good one.
As I reported in my last column, technical problems with my digital camera prevented me from posting the intended photos. Iíve since solved the problem and now have the photos available. Back in November I had the opportunity to host Bill and John Humes for a great day of looking at bayonets. Bill brought along a few pieces along and I photographed them to share here with everyone.
M7 bayonet w/ Extended tang
This is a standard US M7 bayonet that has had the tang extended for use of the 16" M16 barrel. Some enterprising soul cut the tang on a standard M7 and welded in an extension piece. They then cut and fit a standard grip to fill in the resulting gap between the back edge of the original grip and the pommel. The end result is a rather funky looking piece, but it was well done.
Hereís another example of a homemade remedy for a rifle without a bayonet. The same procedure as above was used to lengthen the hilt. The gap between the grip and the pommel on this one was filled by wrapping black paracord around the tang until the outside diameter matched that of the grip.
M7 Bayonet w/ short blade
This piece is a bit of a mystery. In the late 1990ís Lan-Cay (the M9 bayonet manufacturer) was given a contract for M7 bayonets. This was around the same time that the government was selling off thousands of M7 bayonets as surplus. (I never could understand why they needed to purchase new M7 bayonets.) Lan-Cay wasnít equipped to manufacture M7 bayonets and the contract quantity didnít warrant tooling up for it. Lan-Cay subcontracted General Cutlery to manufacture the bayonets. They were paired up with a black M10 scabbard. These scabbards had the unique feature of having a single red thread in the web frog. This bayonet is from that contract, but the blade is significantly shorter than a standard M7. Iíve examined several other pieces that were from this particular run and they were all standard length. I have no idea why this piece is short, but maybe someone out there can enlighten all of us?
M7 Bayonet w/ green grip
This piece started out a mystery but it was very quickly solved. This is an early, green-gripped Colt M7 bayonet. We thought the blade markings were unusual as they did not match the two bayonets shown in Cole Book III. Before getting around to writing this up, we happened to look in Cole Book IV for a different knife and ran across a listing for this particular M7. Mystery solved. Non the less, a very nice green-gripped M7 with the correct scabbard.
Iíd like to thank Bill Humes for sharing these bayonets with us. Bill will be displaying his extensive M7 collection at the Forks of the Delaware Show in Allentown, PA the weekend of February 9 & 10. If youíre in the area, stop in and check it out. Iíll be there with camera in hand to see what else Bill has to share.
Itís also time to remind you about the upcoming Society of American Bayonet Collectors (SABC) annual banquet being held Saturday, March 17th in Baltimore. Thereís still time to sign up and join the party. Email me for more information.
Thatís it for another month. Any questions or comments can be forwarded to me at email@example.com.
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