M1905 bayonet

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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.

1905 Bayonet 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

1906: 848-191848
1907: 193367-241238
1908: 243450-356683
1909: 361603-432574
1910: 435784-466305
1911: 474325-500681
1912: 514458-546577
1913: 552927-582544
1914: 585087-608876
1915: 612212-631695
1916: 636229-648575
1917: 680384-764822
1918: 779916-1040319
1919: 1064286-1124796
1920: 1128795-1166024
1921: 1180376-1187249
1922: 1193795

Rock Island (RIA) Serial Numbers

1906: 82605
1907: 90687-116110
1908: 120818-138171
1909: 139458-160668
1910: 172896-182146
1911: 196333-216900
1912: 218451-229323
1913: 239730-241258
1914:
1915:
1916:
1917: 253700-302413
1918: 303670-416888
1919: 390139-423496

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.

Diagram of M1 bayonets Types

M1905 & M1 Bayonet Manufacturers 1

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.

Utica Cutlery (UC), Utica, NY.
Production Output
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
Oneida, Limited (OL), Oneida, NY.
150,000 M1905
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.

Price Guide
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.

Fun FactsSpeedline Hoe – When the decision was made to cut down the bayonet blades from 16″ to 10″, after the war some creative types asked to get the scrap 6″ blade parts.  These blade parts where to become part of a hoe known as the Speedline hoe.  The hoe was  produced by the Union Fork & Tool Company of Columbus, Ohio, between 1946 and 1950.  The scrap blades took the shape of an elongated arrowhead steel blade with a rounded tip and a swallowtail back.   This was attached to a blue wooden pole that served as the hoe handle.   The text “Bayonet Hoe Repair Handle No B220″ and “Speedline Made from an Army Bayonet.” were stamped into the wood.  There is a steel ferrule that connects the blade to the handle.
U.S.N. Mark 1 Training Bayonet – Not all M1905 Bayonets had metal bayonet blades.  The M1905 had a plastic brother known as the U.S.N. MARK 1 plastic training bayonet.   Part of the iniative to going to plastic was to save steel for the war effort.During WW2, two companies  produced the U.S.N. Mark 1 plastic bayonets.   The Pro-phy-lac-tic Brush Co. had at least 2 contracts, NXSO17249 dated 11/1942 and completed 6/1943 for $156,000.00 and NXSO29524 dated 5/1943 completed 7/1943 for $85,000.00 totaling $241,000.00.   Beckwith Manufacturing Co. through its Victory Plastic Division had a single large contract, NORD 3066 dated 3/1943 completed 7/1943, for $225,000.00 to produce bayonets. All told the Navy spent roughly around $466,000.00 on plastic training bayonets. Contracts below $50,000.00 are normally not recorded, so there may have been other manufacturers.  These contract numbers are normally stamped on the ricasso area of the blade.Blade lengths are 15 3/4 inches long, 1 inch wide and 15/64 inch thick. The fuller was left out from the molding process as an unnecessary step, strength was not an issue nor was weight as the bayonet weights in at less the 3/4 of a pound. The real strength of the bayonet lies in the three-piece steel core. Spot welded together the two outer sections form the tang supports while the center core supports the handle components and the opposite end runs for about two inches into the blade for additional support. All the observed bayonets have the reverse ricasso marked U.S.N. / MARK 1 while the obverse side reveals the manufacturer and the contract number mentioned above.
The Danish Army also used the M1 bayonet design in the 1950’s.  The United States assisted Denmark by lending them the M1 Garand rifle for their use. As such Denmark also had a bayonet produced for it.  There are subtle differences though.  The most common one will be marked with a crown and FKF, which stands for Forsvarets Krigsmaterial Forvaltning and the manufactured date.  The actual model number is G M/50.  The scabbards have a wood like appearance instead of the army green of the US.  There were actually 4 different Danish manufactures making the bayonet and these include.
  • 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

http://www.cruffler.com/Features/SEP-01/trivia-September01.html
http://www.usmilitaryknives.com/bayo_points_23.htm

 

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15 Comments

  1. Tom Crandall on

    Here is something I just learned today. The M1 bayonets that are out there that look like a knife are sometimes called M1 Bayonets with California Clips. From what I understand the name comes from the fact that shape vaguely resembles the shape of the state of California. The clipped blade has a similar look to what is known as a Turkish Clip Blade. It was clipped this way because it was thought to be easier to penetrate with. This design does make the blade a little weaker verses a spear point or spear cut.

    Here is a great article on Clip Cuts

    • I just recieved my third bayonet from the CMP program. Two of them have been in used condition. The one I have just recieved is a 1942 UC, flaming bomb between US, 1905 modified (modified by UFC , stamped on the tang between the grip UFCU41032) Crossed cannon on the ricasso. It is probably a greek return. The odd thing I found is that the blade is prime condition with 100% blueing. Not even scabbard marks. A rare Find? Did UFC reblue any of the modified bayos?

      Thank You
      Bob Morrow

      • Tom Crandall on

        Hey Bob,

        I have a S A 1918 that is the exact same way. It was modified by AFH when they cut it from 16″ to 10″. The blade is like new with almost 100% blueing as well, so I have to think that they must have reblued some. I haven’t found any text that states they did it, but I did see some mention of something similar with the M3 Trench Knives.

    • Just acquired a OL bayonet with scabbard. It was made in 1943, was cut from 16 to 10 inches. Has OL with the flaming bomb on one side of the blade where the handle meets the blade I guess. On the other side it has the crossed cannons and says Pal Mod. Is this the real deal? Thanks

  2. This bayonet has “NN 614″ stamped on the hilt ?? the blade is 18 1/2 inches long. Can someone help me identify it??

  3. I’m currently bidding on a UFC bayonet that will require a complete restore since the bayonet is just the blade and scabbard. I can get my hands on all the required parts except for the two hilt pins. Any idea where I can acquire the pins?

    Thanks Brad

    • Tom Crandall on

      Hi Brad,

      Restores are a real pain IMO. Your better off finding one that is in better condition, unless you like restoring stuff. The best place I have found is Ebay for bayonet parts.

  4. i have a ria, dated 1908 #136279 bayonet, bomb burst, wood grips, tan cowhide over wood scabbard stitched on face not on edge as i’ve seen. it is pointed not rounded. both in excelent cond. no knicks or tears.
    any help as to value would be greatly appreciated. i have searched and can’t find one
    thankyou
    also have jap. bayonet, 1939 mukden type 30, #115416

  5. I have a 16″ bayonet marked AFH 1942 with the Flaming Bomb in the center. The scabbard also has US with the Flaming Bomb and there is an indentation where the metal from the throat meets the scabbard. Any idea if i have a repo or the real thing? And approx what it might be worth? Thanks

  6. Hey Tom,

    Seems to me to be the real deal based on your description. They certainly made 16″ 1942 blades. They really didn’t make the switch to smaller ones until 1943.

  7. I don;t know if this is useful, but I have a 1917 SA serial # 764822, which is a fair number past the listed last # of 758820.

  8. I recently obtained a RIA 1917 with the serial number 289327. While the number is right this one has been cut down and has black bake lite handles. I got it with a leather scabbard that has a usmc globe, anchor and eagle at the point. I guess someone might have put the handles on in ww2 but I cant find any marks associated with alterations made to the knife. It has a bright blade stamped RIA over flaming bomb over 1917 on one side and US over the serial on the other. The blade has been cut down to seven and a half inches. A ww2 veteran who was also an engineer for nasa owned this bayonet. Any insight you could give me concerning this knife would be appreciated.

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