Porter's Report

By Bill Porter

October Update

Last month one of the bayonets I featured was the Taiwanese M1 Bayonet. I was going through some old notes and ran across a piece of information relative to that particular piece. Back in February I purchased a Taiwanese T65 scabbard from a gentleman named Chuang (Roger) Shih-yu who resides in both the US and Taiwan. The T65 scabbard has a circular symbol on the front of the throat that is identical to the mark found on the blade of the Taiwanese M1 Garand bayonet. According to Roger this symbol represents the Combined Logistics Command in Taiwan.

T65 scabbard.jpg (77589 bytes)
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Thank you Roger for sharing this information with us.

 

November 2003

We continue this month with more of the foreign manufactured or modified bayonets for the US M1 Garand Rifle. As always, I welcome any input, comments or additional information from anyone.

 

Italian M1 Bayonet

This bayonet is an exact replica of the US manufactured bayonet. The Italians used surplus M1 bayonets prior to manufacturing their own in the mid to late 1950s.There is a great deal of information on these in Cesare Calamandreiís Baionette Italiane 1814-1991. Unfortunately, my command of the Italian language is lacking.

The bayonet can be found with both wood and plastic grips. My first thought was that the early bayonets had wood grips and during the manufacturing process they gradually changed over to plastic. Closer examination of the four pieces in my collection showed earlier dated, lower serial numbered bayonets with plastic grips and the mid-dated piece has the wood grips. Possibly the earlier bayonets had the original wood grips replaced at some point in their life.

The left ricasso is stamped with a five or six digit serial number. The examples with the six-digit number are also marked on the left side with a five-pointed star over a two-digit number, in the case of the two illustrated pieces, a 56. The right side of the blade is marked with a small rectangular box with a star over FAT over 56. FAT stands for Fabbrica Armi Terni and the 56 represents the year of manufacture (1956). Itís interesting to note that the latch lever is also marked with a star and two-digit year of manufacture.

The bayonets are fairly well made and the finish is comparable to the US manufactured bayonets, except for the five-digit serial numbered piece. Its quality is rather crude. The blade is poorly finished and the crossguard and pommel are rough. All of the bayonets are parkerized.

This bayonet can be found in two distinctively different scabbards. The first utilizes a leather scabbard body similar to the Italian Model 1870 Vetterli bayonet scabbard. It is equipped with a steel mouthpiece and tip that are riveted to the leather body. The mouthpiece is manufactured like the US scabbard with a place for the wire belt hook. In place of the hook there is a cotton web loop. The entire scabbard, with the exception of the web loop, is painted dark green. There are no marks on the scabbard.

The second style scabbard is modeled after the US M7 scabbard. It has a fiberglass body with a steel mouthpiece. Like the previous scabbard, it is equipped with a cotton web loop. The entire scabbard is painted OD and is completely unmarked.

Overall length 370 mm
Blade length 251 mm
Blade thickness 5.7 mm
Blade width 26.3 mm

Italian01.JPG (50538 bytes)    Italian02.JPG (40669 bytes)    Italian03.JPG (62629 bytes)    Italian04.JPG (61799 bytes)  
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Haitian M5A1 Bayonet

This M5A1 bayonet is a very well made and finished piece. It is made by the world-renowned German firm Eickhorn. Like most of the Eickhorn manufactured bayonets it does not bear any of the manufacturers identifying marks. The front of the crossguard bears the model designation US M5A1.

The blade is a standard M5 type blade but with a deep plum color. The left side is engraved with the alphanumeric code 05152-S. The hilt is configured much like the US model but is much heavier and the component parts are considerably stronger.

The scabbard is a standard US M8A1 style scabbard. The front of the throat bears this model designation. The plastic scabbard body is dark green with a shoelace tie-down.

These bayonets showed up in small numbers in the US in 1986-87. There were also US M6 and UZI bayonets with similar markings. The story I was told at the time was that these bayonets were made to fill an order placed by Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier of Haiti. Duvalier was overthrown and fled Haiti before the bayonets were ready for delivery. Eickhorn then sold the bayonets on the commercial market.

Overall length 286 mm
Blade length 167 mm
Blade thickness 4.7 mm
Blade width 21.8 mm

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Norwegian 84/98 M1 Bayonet

This is probably the most unusual and ingenious of the foreign M1 bayonets. The Norwegians were supplied with US weapons shortly after World War II. They also had a fair number of German weapons that had been surrendered. According to Paul Kiesling, author of Bayonets of the World, a small number of the German bayonets were modified around 1957 for use with the M1 Rifle.

The original bayonet is the standard German Model 84/98 3rd variation. It still has the German manufactureís markings as well as the original waffen amps. A bracket is brazed to the backside of the crossguard and the top of the tang. The bracket has a stud to connect to the gas plug assembly at the front end of the Garand rifle. The grips are the original bakelite grips. Iíve also seen these bayonets with wood grips.

The scabbard is a modified German scabbard. The original frog stud has been removed and a new bracket has been brazed to the front of the scabbard. The bracket is fitted with a wire belt loop.

Overall length 386mm
Blade length 253mm
Blade thickness 5.0mm
Blade width 24.8 mm

Nor01.JPG (23472 bytes)    Nor02.JPG (43640 bytes)    Nor03.JPG (29937 bytes)    Nor04.JPG (32786 bytes)    Nor05.JPG (23921 bytes)    Nor06.JPG (23495 bytes)
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Well, thatís it for this month. As always, I look forward to any additional information on any of these bayonets. If you have something to add or anything youíd like to ask, please feel free to drop me a line at porterkids@aol.com.

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