The M1905 Bayonet was one of the U.S. most widely used bayonet. It was used in both WW1 and WW2. It was originally designed to fit the M1903 Springfield Rifle. Early versions (up until 1918) of the M1905 bayonet had what is referred to as bright, bare metal blades. These were 16″ blades and which included a wooden had grip. After 1918-1922 the blades were Parkerized (phosphate anti-corrosive finish) and Blued and the grips were made from black walnut. From 1922-1939 production was halted. During World War 2 production resumed again. The new bayonets would be produced with bakelite (plastic) black or sometimes brown hand grips. These newer bayonets would sometimes be referred to as M1942, that being the year they were made, but in reality they were still M1905 bayonets with just a modification to the hand grips.
Below are known Serial Numbers for the 1905 SA and 1905 RIA known serial numbers for the years 1906 – 1922. The last manufacture date for the 1905 Springfield bayonet was 1922. The last manufacture date for the 1905 Rock Island bayonet was 1919. Every 1905 bayonet had the manufactured date stamped on the bayonet. There have been know to be a few of these bayonets without date stamps floating around. I believe these may have been produced prior to 1906, since this was the first year serial numbers were used. Most collectable 1905 bayonets will have early manufacture dates, include bright blades with blue strips near hilt. What also seems to be really valuable are the scabbards, these seem sometimes to be worth more than the bayonets themselves.
1905 Springfield (SA) Serial Numbers
Rock Island (RIA) Serial Numbers
In 1943, the War Department decided that they no longer wanted to use the 16″ bayonets, so production ceased. In its place would come what is referred to as the M1 bayonet. This new bayonet would essentially be the same overall design as the M1905, but only have a 10″ blade. In addition, most of the longer M1905 16″ blades in service would be ground down to 10″. These ground down M1905 Bayonets are often referred to as M1905E or M1905E1. The “Beak”, “Knife”, “Chisel” or “Bowie” modifications are most commonly referred to as the M1905E, while the “Spear Point” is most commonly referred to as the M1905E1. Both can be clearly identified by the fuller (blood groove) continuing through to the point of the blade. They are easily recognizable from their M1 bothers by the fact that the points are usually a “spear point” bayonet style like the original bayonet or a knife or chisel point style. The fuller or blood line that runs down the blade goes all the way to the point. What makes it really interesting is the “cut down” versions usually include the manufacture that made the modification. This means there could actually be 2 different manufacturer marks on the blade, even though in reality, only one manufacturer actually produced it. The second marking would be a manufacturer’s modification mark. This then makes collecting the M1905 bayonet so appealing to collectors.
The “first issue” production starting in 1942 included both blade point styles and usually can be identified by markings. The original markings on the ricasso (manufacturer’s initials, ordnance bomb proof, original production year, and serial number) were left intact. If the blade was cut down to from 16″ to 10″, the contractor doing the modification usually placed their marking on the upper tang between the grip panels. These were referred to as M1905E
The “second issue” production included only the “spear point” style, and can be identified by changes in the method of marking. A lot of the original markings were ground off and the ricasso (flat part of the blade near the handle) was restamped with the contractor doing the modification. Sometimes you will see the wording “MOD -” and then the contractors initials. These are also referred to as the M1905E1.
Near the end of 1943, the new designation of M1 was used and the bladed would then be produced with 10″ instead of 16″. After 1943, no date stamp would be added to the M1 bayonet.
There were 2 manufactures of the M1905 Bayonet starting in 1906 and continuing until 1922
Springfield Armory (SA)
Rock Island Arsenal (RIA)
There were 5 main manufactures of the M1905 bayonet & M1 bayonet starting in 1942-1945. These manufactures had either 2 or 3 letters designated as their symbols. “UC” – Utica Cutlery, “UFH” – Union Fork, “AFH” – American Fork and Hoe, “OL” Oneida Limited and “PAL” Pal Blade and Tool.
200,000 M1905 bayonets 1942
880,000 M1 bayonets from 1943 to 1945.
75,000 M1 bayonets (Korean War)
Union Fork and Hoe (UFH), Columbus, OH.
430,000 M1905 1942
460,000 M1 bayonets 1943 – 1944
American Fork and Hoe (AFH), Geneva, OH.
400,000 M1905 1942
1,015,000 M1 bayonets from 1943 to 1945
250,000 M1 bayonets in 1942 to 1943
Pal Blade and Tool (PAL), Plattsburg, NY.
210,000 M1905 1942
340,000 M1 bayonets from 1943 to 1944
Other manufacturers of the include:
Wilde Tool (WT) – Rare manufacture of the 1905/1942 16″ bayonet. I have seen these go for over $500 for the 16″ bayonet. The shorter 10″ versions sell for $120-$200.
When looking for the bayonets. The most valuable manufacture was Wilde Tool. The more valuable ones are the 16″ bayonets that were produced in 1942 and still have the 16″ blade. Next in the line up is OL and then PAL. If there are various unique markings, that will also bring up the price.
Other than markings, there are basically 6 different variations of the bayonet and hand grips. 16″ with a wooden handle, 16″ with a black bakelite handle, 16″ with a brown bakelite handle, 10″ with a ground spear point, 10″ with a ground knife point and 10″ not ground.
- FKF – Forsvarets Krigsmaterial Forvaltning (Defence War- material Administration)
- HMAK – Hærens Materiel Kommand (Army Materiel Command)
- HTK – Hærens Tekniske Korps (Army Technical Corps)
- VAR – Vaabenarsenalet (Arms Arsenal)
Reproductions – Whenever antiques get pricy or in low supply there will be various companies that popup to make a quick buck by producing reproductions or fakes. Now of course some of the companies producing reproductions will definitely serve a purpose for reenactors and some collectors. The problem is the many of these fakes and reproductions can fool both the buyer and seller. In many cases only a trained eye can spot a fake from the real thing.
I will be adding more to this M1905 Bayonet article as I find out more information.
Below are some website links you may find useful
- Swedish Bayonet – 1896 Bayonet
- 1917 Remington Bayonet
- Lithgow 1907 Bayonet
- M3 Trench Knife – The Fighting Knife
- Japanese Bayonet Markings
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