Swedish Bayonet – 1896 Bayonet

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The Swedish Mauser Rifle has a rather nifty bayonet called the Swedish Bayonet, Swedish 1896 bayonet, M96 Bayonet or Swedish Mauser Bayonet.  The bayonets as far as I can tell, were made from 3 different manufacturer’s and had 3 distinctive manufacture markings.

Swedish Bayonet Markings 1896The first was by Eskilstuna Jernmanufactur AB (EJ-anchor-AB) beginning around 1899 – 1912.  They made 280,000 of which the first 10,000 had 4 digit serial numbers.  The early versions had what was known as a flat locking stud and were double edged.  These were produced from 1899 – 1904.  Around 1905 the design was changed to a conical stud and single edge (One side being dull).  At some point the 4 digit serial number was replaced by a 3 digit bayonets number system which went up to 999.  Once the sequence hit 999, they started the numbering at 001 again.

Starting around 1913 Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori (“Rifle Factory of Carl Gustaf’s town”) (Crown/C) took over production.

Another company known as E.A.B or Erik Anton Berg from Eskilstuna also made some of the bayonets.

The last rifle to use this bayonet was the M1942 and it went out of service in 1964.

Bayonet Markings

The use of unit markings on the bayonets ended in 1933, so if there are unit marks, that most likely means the bayonet was made before 1933.  Unmarked bayonets could have been issued anywhere from 1901-1964.

The normal sequence is a company number; a regiment code; a bayonet/weapon number. Regiment codes follow a set pattern with an ‘I’ for Infantry followed by the regiment number, and a ‘K’ for cavalry, followed by cavalry regiment number.

Each bayonet and scabbard had either a 3 or 4 digit (early version) serial number that corresponds to the Swedish M96 rifle serial number that the bayonet was issued with.

M1896 Swedish Bayonet Comparison

If you can find the earlier version of the Swedish bayonet with the Flat Stud or the 4 digit serial number it is worth more.  As with all bayonets, finding matching number hilts and scabbards always makes them worth a little more.  The bayonet itself is rather unique since it was made entirely from metal with a hollow tube shaped handle.  The overall length is 335mm and the blade is 210mm.  Typical prices range from $40-$80 and really is a great deal considering how well these are made.

Swedish Bayonet Frogs

I have seen at least 3 different versions of the leather frogs, which in military speak are commonly called Frogs.  I believe the Frog term comes from the appearance of a frog with 2 legs sticking out (Far right scabbard/Frog).  Whatever the case the word Frog seems to have stuck.

The one on the far right was the frog created for the 1896 bayonet.  This was often called a NCO scabbard and I have seen various ones from WW1 and WW2.  The Earlier models, WW1,  have a crown with a number underneath.  WWII versions have the date of the War. I have also seen some with a triple crown.   The middle frog was created for the M1914 bayonet and had been converted for the Swedish bayonet.  The one on the far left was probably also a conversion.

Swedish Bayonet Frogs

Swedish Bayonet – Retaining Clip

The Swedish Bayonet also had an attachment referred to as a retaining clip.  The retaining or locking clip was designed to serve two purposes.  First the clip would lock the bayonet into the metal scabbard, making it secure.    Secondly it was also used when performing bayonet training.  By securing the bayonet within the scabbard, you could stab your opponent safely during training exercises, without worrying about actually hurting them (At least not badly).  Many of the M96 metal scabbards out there can be pretty worn from the Swedish bayonet drills they perform.

The retaining clips have a triple crown stamped on them.

Swedish Bayonet Retaining Clip

Now of course as with many antiques, countries like China are always producing fakes.

Fake Swedish 1896 Bayonet

Swedish Bayonet Recap

1899 – 1912 – Bayonets made by Eskilstuna Jernmanufactur AB (EJ-anchor-AB)
1913 – 1964 Bayonets made by Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori (“Rifle Factory of Carl Gustaf’s town”) (Crown/C)
Pre – 1933 – Bayonets with unit markings
1901 – 1964 – May not have unit markings

Below is the Swedish Bayonet with the blade removed.  I haven’t tried this myself, but the blade is able to be removed from the handle.  I might attempt this soon and maybe put out a video.  Since the handle is hollow, I presume you could use a tool to unscrew the blade from it.  I have one of the Swedish Bayonets that has a “C” on the blade and a (EJ-anchor-AB) on the handle.  That is how I knew the two were able to come apart.

Swedish Bayonet Replacement Blade

When searching for the bayonet, use the following search terms “Swedish Bayonet”, “Swede Bayonet”, “1896 Bayonet”, “M96 Bayonet”

Here are a few really good reference websites
http://www.holmback.se/bayonets/Notes/SwedStamps.html
http://www.old-smithy.info/

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10 Comments

  1. Carlos Rodriguez on

    Tom I really respect your knowledge and experience. I recently bought one with serial number 000 with a crown on top and crown/c in the other side of the blade. The scabbard don’t have any markings other than EAB. Any information would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.

  2. Hey Carlos,

    I am not sure. I haven’t seen any with the 000 serial number, but maybe my information isn’t correct. I thought they always started with 001 once they hit 999. It could be that they actually started with 000.

    The scabbards and bayonets were never really issued as a set. They made scabbards and bayonets, but normally didn’t have any matching numbers. Many of the german bayonets had matching numbers, so you could tell if you had an issued bayonet with the issued scabbard.

    I would like to see a picture of the markings to really tell.

    Sounds like your bayonet was probably made after 1913 and the scabbard made before that time.

  3. Andrew smith on

    Hey tom I’ve got a bayonet that’s got markings on the scabed (pouch) With a OA marking and no ball on the end. Can you tell me what i have its very similar to the picture above it has makings either side of the blade a crown above three didget number 349 and EJ anchor then AB can you tell me roughly what the value of it is. No markings or numbers on the cross bar cheers

  4. Hello!

    I was given one of these by the father of my ex girlfriend, who runs an antique shop, and recently I became interested in finding out more about this piece of Swedish military history. This post here has helped me identify it as an Eskilstuna Jernmanufacture. On the “cross guard”, just below the EJ-anchor-AB on the blade, there is another EJAB marking, and one on the same place on the scabbard.
    On the opposite side of the EJAB marking on the blade there is a number, 047, and a crown above it. Is there any significance to these numbers?

  5. I have a 1899 – 1912 EAB that I wear on a daily basis along with my S&W K32 Masterpiece. (Proud holder of a Georgia Weapons Carry License) Thank you for this write up. 10 years ago I could find almost nothing about my favorite bayonet. Could you please list all firearms with which this bayonet is compatible?

  6. I just discovered one of these beauties while cleaning up some old furniture at home. There I found a stash of weapons that had been there for almost 25 years. My luck! It has the marking EJAB and the three digit serial number 875 (compared to 612). The regiment code is I 12/4 No 149 [12/4 could also be 124, but the digits 12 and 4 seem to be separated by a line]. It’s single edge, so, according to what you’ve written above, I presume it dates back somewhere between 1905 and 1912.

    • Just saw that I’ve forgotten to finish the information in parentheses. Stupid me. It has to be: “compared to 612 on the scabbard”. 🙂

    • Wow super nice find Sam. It’s always fun to come across stuff like that and be able to track down some history. I went to a yard sale one day and found a 1920’s surgery lamp. I bought it for $5. That was a great day!. IMO the bayonets were way ahead of their time. Mine still look brand new. Just goes to show the quality that went into them.

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