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Rifles With Bayonets

Wars have been fought in every country and theater around the globe. While Soldiers are tasked with using a variety of handguns and long guns to defend themselves and their countries, No other battle instrument struck as much fear into the enemy as a bayonet.

No one knows the exact date of the invention, however, a Chinese document says they used a bayonet in the 16th century. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century though that the bayonet was used to its full potential.

Reach Doctrine

Bayonets changed warfare from a medium and long-distance firearm into a fierce fighting instrument at close range as well. They used bayonets for charging infantry and close-range combat. 

Military leaders started designing their firearms around the length of a rifle and bayonet and the soldier’s ability to stab the enemy. Leaders considered the reach as a tactical battlefield advantage. The French introduced a spike bayonet with the Lebel Model 1886 rifle that was nearly 21 inches long.

Five Main Types of Bayonets:

  • Plug fit directly into the bore of the rifle. This was problematic as it did not allow the soldier to fire his firearm.
  • Socket bayonets were developed as a fitting around the barrel with an offset bayonet.
  • Sword bayonets incorporated a single or double edged blade that could easily detach and be used
  • Sawback were dual purpose bayonets. As time passed it became necessary to make use of every part of the rifle, including the blade, as a saw for wood.
  • Spade or trowel bayonet was used as a digger for trenches and a plaster tool for huts. 

Un-Issued BM-59 bayonet with scabbard

Britain introduced their version of a shortened Lee-Enfield with a bayonet. Reach was shorter for the infantry and cavalry. Germans responded with a bayonet attached to the 1898 Mauser that was eight inches longer than the French setup. Eight inches became a source of inspiration and battle cry for the German soldier.

A military author of the day gave his impression, “The German soldier has eight inches the better of the argument over the British soldier when it comes to crossing bayonets, and the extra eight inches easily turns the battle in favor of the longer, if both men are of equal skill.” 

Decades passed, with leaders considering the tactical advantage of a bayonet equipped rifle. They built the training around bayonets. Lunge attacks, throw point, extended thrust, and lunge became the hot training words.

Advancements in military technology eventually led to the indisputable conclusion; the humble bayonet was becoming obsolete. Machine guns and artillery left the single infantryman pinned down sitting in a trench or fox hole.

Famous Rifles with their Bayonets

Classic Firearms Lee-Enfield chambered in.303 is a bolt-action rifle that has served as the primary firearm of choice for many countries. The British fashioned the Lee-Enfield with a Pattern 1907 bayonet. The 17-inch blade featured a walnut handle along with a leather scabbard. The reach of the Lee-Enfield and its bayonet still did not equal the German Mauser. British leaders conducted several trials to find a sword/bayonet longer than the German Mauser but chose its design, the Pattern 1907. 

Enfield #4 .303 British Bolt Action Rifle

Mauser 1889/90/91, chambered in 7.65x53mm from Classic Firearms, is the rifle British military leaders gaged their Lee-Enfield. Attach a bayonet to the Mauser and the setup gave the Germans a tactical advantage in hand to hand combat. Many of the parts on each new Mauser were interchangeable, except for the bayonet. The barrel shroud ring was too wide for other versions.

Original Military Surplus M91/30 Mosin Nagant Bayonet

Classic Firearms Mosin Nagant Model 1891 of the Imperial Russian Army, became even more of a killing machine with its attached bayonet. The Russians never carried a scabbard for their bayonets, opting to keep it fixed to the rifle at all times. In addition to their domestic production, nearly 300,000 Model 1891 in the United States by Remington and Westinghouse.

M1 Garand chambered in 30-06 served militaries around the world for decades.  Both the M1 Garand and M1903 Springfield rifles used the same M1905 bayonet. When production on the M1905 bayonet restarted in 1941, builders used the first commercial resins for the handle. We offer  the M1 in its original 30-06, and is built in the Springfield Armory.

Reproduction M1905 Bayonet

AK-47 had its design work begin in 1945. The bayonet was on the decline when the AK47 was coming into full force. In 1955 Russia decided to retrofit their AK-47 with a bayonet in line with other nations. Any soldier handling the AK after the bayonet was attached could tell it was an afterthought to the design, because the rifle felt awkward to handle.

Polish Original Military Surplus AK-47 Bayonet

Modern Bayonets

The bayonet is an obsolete warfare implement because there is little to no hand to hand combat anywhere in the world, except for many third-world skirmishes.  They use bayonets in the modern era as parade and drill team regimens.

However, bayonets are seeing resurgence in AR styled assault rifles. New bayonets feature the latest technologies, such as metals and handle materials, and innovative designs. 

Home defense is another area where the bayonet is seeing resurgence. Short-barreled rifles in close quarters make the bayonet the right choice for defense. Sellers are using the centuries-old argument that pointing a gun at someone does not work anymore. Put a bayonet on the end of the rifle, and you have something a lot scarier.

We have a full line of AR-style rifles chambered in calibers such as 5.56 NATO, 9mm, and.223. The rifles also have different barrel lengths, so it may be necessary to get a special adapter to mount a bayonet.  

A very cool adaptation of an age-old design is the Stinger, a retractable AR-style spike bayonet. The design and even its materials are still in development mode. They make the Stinger to stay on the platform and is retractable and easily deployed. 

Another classic design is the Snake Eye from Snake Eye Tactical. The overall length is 13 inches, with a full tang, and a wood handle. The Snake Eye fits the AR-15/M-16/M9/M1 with a weight of about 1 pound.

Final Thoughts

There are full networks of bayonet enthusiasts who document, price, and categorize every piece that comes across their desks. The history behind these swords/knives is fascinating, with each having its place in history.

Check out our great selection of bayonets.

  • BM-59 Bayonet with scabbard, UN-issued surplus military production bayonets in Very Good Condition.
  • US M-Series Bayonets for the 1903 Springfield and M1 Garand. These blades are 16 inches in length with a scabbard. These are great looking blades for any collection.
  • Mauser K98 Bayonet with Scabbard Made in Germany. Authentic blades for the most copied rifle in history.
  • Shop All Bayonets