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Dug French Socket Bayonet


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#1 BruceS

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 03:25 PM

Hello,

New to your forum.  Just a few posts now. 

When I was a child we lived outside of Pawling New York.  For fun, I would poke around in old trash dumps looking for mostly bottles.  I found this while digging where an old barn or out building used to be.  I didn't know that then, I was just looking for milk bottles and it seemed like a good place.  The dumps were so old usually just glass, china, and metal were all that remained.  When I found it I was using it as a digging aid.  How stupid.  I found its way home and my mom saved it for me and put it up somewhere. 

Could never figure out what nationality it was, and when was in college, a chance trip to the Smithsonian had fully intact specimens and it appears to be French.  From a Charville Rifle.  The lower ridge has hollow ground surfaces on each side.  An estimated overall length was maybe 18" to 20".  Some of the tip and the lock ring have been lost to time.  This is all of it that I found.

 

Any info would be nice.  I can take more pics if needed.  I've never cleaned it.

 

Thanks

Bruce

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#2 easterneagle87

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 03:54 PM

cool find



#3 BruceS

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 04:11 PM

Especially since I found it 45 years ago and I've managed to hold on to it.  We live in Texas now.  Very far from where I found it.

 

Bruce



#4 sundance

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 04:13 PM

Interesting bayonet and a neat find. I hope you thanked your Mom for putting it away rather than chucking it.



#5 BruceS

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 04:23 PM

Yes, I've discussed with her lately about this relic and her hiding it from me.  My mom is getting up there in years.  Her mind is still sound.  We played fight the red coats with our stick guns.  It would have been tapped it on the end of a broomstick and used for play.  I'll photograph it some more and put it in the safe deposit box this next week.  Before I pass (which I hope is not soon)  I'll probably donate it to a museum and pass on my story and where it was found so other can enjoy it.  The land it was found on is on the Appalachian Trail. 

 

Any help from the bayonet guys would be appreciated.



#6 marysdad

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 07:33 PM

Looks to be a French M1769 or M1771 socket bayonet. These bayonets were the first ever to have a locking ring, which was at the base of the socket. The locking ring is missing, however, the collar and short, straight mortise are evident. The blade is basically the same style as the earlier M1763 bayonet.

#7 BruceS

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 08:00 PM

Thanks Members.

 

As a kid, the school buss drove by the old house close to where I found this.  There was a sign dating the house to 1776.  Found it in the woods behind that old house.  This was probably lost, left behind, or discarded by someone passing thru during or after the Revolutionary as I not aware of any battles in the area.  Just so I have this right, this bayonet would fit the Charville Muskets provided to us by the French, Correct?  It post dates the French & Indian war.  Thanks for your reply.

 

All the best.

 

Bruce



#8 Sgt. Stubby

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:05 AM

That is a great piece Bruce, and a great story!  I wish my mom had that attitude I remember she threw away a broken cholera medicine bottle I found...

 

Is it consistent with being in the ground 200 years?  I take it it's iron.  Here's another guess... It's a Revolutionary War souvenir and it was just one of those things hanging around the house for several generations. Eventually, nobody remembered who it belonged to.  There was an incredible war-weariness after the Civil War. Stuff like uniforms and equipment were considered junk, and a bayonet was DANGEROUS junk.  My guess is some post civil war mother chucked it out with the milk bottles you were collecting.  Which explains a 100 years in the ground appearance and in the same established junkpile time and local as your bottles.

 

Without any further provenance, I know money-wise it's all about the piece and condition.  But as far as what you value it, your story is PRICELESS!  And by all means, think about and speculate the possibilities of its unknown past. Enjoy the ghosts.  Here's a sobering thought... That very bayonet may have killed several young British soldiers.  Sometimes we forget that the cool stuff that passes through our hands once had a much more serious purpose.




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