View Full Version : Bayonets for the US M1 Garand rifle.

12-16-2007, 11:54 AM
The M1 Garand rifle was adopted by the US military in 1936-37, however actual production was very limited prior to the onset of World War II. Developed at Springfield Armory by designer John Garand, a Canadian employed at the oldest US Government arsenal, more than 6 million M1 rifles were produced. During WW2 the manufacturers were Springfield Armory and Winchester firearms. During the Korean Conflict additional production was ordered from Harrington & Richardson Arms and from International Harvester Company.

The original design of the M1 rifle specifically allowed the use of the M1905 bayonet then issued for the M1903 Springfield rifle. The M1905 was manufactured between 1906 and approximately 1930, and keeping it in use with the new rifle was undoubtedly a cost-saving measure during the Depression years. The M1905 was manufactured by both Springfield Armory and Rock Island Arsenal and can be identified as follows: 16-inch blade with single-stopped fuller (blood groove) along each side of the blade, single edge with short false edge on the upper edge of the blade at the front; blued steel finish, walnut grip panels, markings at the ricasso included maker's initials (SA or RIA), US Ordnance Deparment "flaming bomb" proof marking, year of production, and a serial number.

On December 7, 1941 the Japanese struck US Naval forces at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, resulting in declarations of war against first Japan, then the German Axis forces. Contracts were let for massive production of war materials, including M1 rifles and new bayonets for the new rifles, which were designated as the M1942. Essentially a copy of the M1905 design, the M1942 was also a 16-inch blade but featured a phosphate anti-corrosive finish (Parkerizing) and black Bakelite (an early plastic) grip panels. Markings at the ricasso included maker's initials (contractors included Utica Cutlery "UC", Union Fork & Hoe "UFH", American Fork & Hoe "AFH", Wilde Toole "WT" and perhaps a few others), the "flaming bomb" ordnance proof, and year of production (all I have seen were 1942, but I have heard reports of some 1943 production).

Also, during the ramp-up of World War II production, existing M1905 bayonets were sent out to be arsenal-refinished which included new Parkerized finish and new Bakelite grip panels. All original markings were left intact. These are commonly refered to as the M1905/42 series.

In 1942-1943 the Ordnance Board decided that a 10-inch blade bayonet was advantageous for various reasons, and two things then occured. First, existing stocks of M1905 bayonets (as well as more than a few brand new M1942 bayonets) were sent out to contractors to be shortened to 10-inch length, Parkerized, and fitted with Bakelite grip panels. These were designated as the M1905E series (more below). Second, orders were sent out for production of a new 10-inch bayonet, designated as the M1 series (more below).

...read the full guide with pics here (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-1751-2978-71/1?AID=5463217&PID=2212781&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Freviews.ebay.com%2FBayonets-for-the-US-M1-Garand-rifle_W0QQugidZ10000000000118276)

12-16-2007, 01:56 PM
I've always wondered whether what they said in "Band of Brothers" ("Replacements" episode?) was true or not. That putting on the bayonet adversely effected the accuracy and range of the bullet?

12-16-2007, 03:10 PM
Nope, can't happen. The bullet is travelling fast enough that any reflected shockwave will miss behind it. Information can't travel through air any faster than the speed of sound, so anything behind it will not affect it.

What was almost certainly happening was that the bayonet changed the weight and balance of the weapon, thus the person shooting it was less accurate.

12-16-2007, 06:51 PM
i agree, the actual presence of the bayonet wasn't very likely to alter the accuracy, it probably had to do with the balance of the weapon, especially when firing from the prone position where a soldier may be more likely to have his hand further down on the rifle

12-16-2007, 07:33 PM
Big one that I never realised until I had a bayonet on the end and started running around a range - they're a lot heavier than they look, so your left arm starts getting tired awfully quickly.

At least it does if you're a wuss like me - rifle, helmet, webbing, body armour, rifle/bayonet and a hundred rounds or so feels f***ing heavy when I'm legging it.

Man of Stoat
12-18-2007, 07:56 AM
Hanging the bayonet on the end affects the natural vibrations of the barrel, and (in most cases) causes the point of impact to be significantly lower because it imparts an initial curvature to the barrel. A side mounted bayonet also affects the lateral deflection of the bullet. I know this, because I've done it.

12-18-2007, 09:38 AM
D'oh, good point. I was thinking in terms of shockwaves once it leaves the barrel (being an aerodynamics type) rather than harmonics and canteliver effects.

/me starts kicking self...