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The M1905E1 Bayonet

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The shortened M1905 bayonet, often referred to as the M1905E1, doesn’t seem to generate much interest among collectors, although I suspect many US Militaria collectors have one in their closet. I’ve heard that the shortened version may not have been used much (if at all) during WWII, even though production data in Gary Cunningham’s book indicates that by December 1943 230,142 of them had been delivered to the military services, and by December 1944 that number was 841,991. The US Army considered them indistinguishable from the M1 bayonet when they were issued which may have obscured their use during WWII. I have four of these modified M1905 bayonets, two beak points and two spear points. One of the beak points is made by AFH (marked on the tang) and one is by UFH (marked on the Ricasso). One spear point is by UFH (marked on the tang) and the other is by PAL (marked PAL-MOD on the Ricasso). For some reason known only to psychologists I decide to acquire bayonets made by PAL, and picked up a PAL M1905 and M1 fairly easily. However, it took me over three months of searching on Ebay and several shows to find just one of the shortened M1905 (it was an OL dated 1943 with a spear point). I haven’t seen a record of the relative output of the five manufacturers (AFH, UFH, OL, UC, PAL) and it appears that Springfield Armory shortened some M1905 bayonets as well, but it appears from my searching that the PAL modified M1905 bayonets are scarcer than those by UFH, AFH, or UC (I only saw a couple of OCs, but still more than the PAL-MOD marked bayonets). To be fair, it’s not easy going through the auctions on Ebay trying to see the markings on the Ricasso or tang. Given that there are five manufacturers plus Springfield Armory creating both spear point and beak point bayonets, and markings on both Ricasso and tang, there are a possible 24 variants of these shortened bayonets. It would be interesting to see a picture of each variation. I’ll start with my shortened M1905 bayonets.

First up are the beak points:

 

 

 

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Nice thread! I don't even have one of these yet. Hmmmm

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Don't forget about the Wilde Tool, that one gets awful pricy.

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I have one that you called out as a "beak tip"....I've seen them also called out as a "bowie tip"....Bodes

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Here's a couple of 1944 pictures with cut down M1s. I have three cut downs, two are cut down by UFH and one PAL-Mod.

Marv

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Just got motivated to check my M1905E1s, have six. Two SA, 1xRIA, 1xWT, beak points, plus a PAL, & OCL spear point. Haven't got time to check who modified them right now. Good thread Bill! SKIP

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"Given that there are five manufacturers plus Springfield Armory creating both spear point and beak point bayonets, and markings on both Ricasso and tang, there are a possible 24 variants of these shortened bayonets."

 

This quote is inaccurate - there are far more than 24 possible combinations.

 

There were six makers of the M1905 (AFH, OL, PAL, UC, UFH, and WT) and two of the Model 1905, SA and RIA. That means there are 8 possible makers that were shortened. In theory, all of them may be found with either the spear point or the prow point. I have not seen a PAL with the prow point, but they may well exist. This gives us 16 possible combinations of maker and point style. Although the ruling finally was made that the bayonets with square fullers would only be shortened with the prow point, many were shortened prior to that ruling taking effect. I have also seen round fullers shortened with the prow point although in theory this should not have occurred. They are pretty uncommon.

 

When we add in the marks of who shortened them, we really go into the stratosphere.

 

I have never seen any marked with a mark that might be those shortened by Springfield, but have seen ones with no mark which probably indicates that Springfield did the work. I have seen both spear and prow points without marks. So that could give us 16 possible combinations of original maker, point style, and lack of mark to show who converted them.

 

16 combinations marked AFH on the tang.

 

16 combinations marked UC MOD on the ricasso.

 

16 combinations marked PAL MOD on the ricasso.

 

16 combinations marked OL on the ricasso.

 

16 combinations marked UFH and a number on the tang.

 

16 combinations marked UFH on the tang.

 

16 combinations marked UFH on the ricasso.

 

Total of 16 possible maker/point styles times 8 possible markings = 128 possible combinations.

 

I am certainly not saying that all of these actually exist, but the possibility is there. Anyone want to assemble the collection?

 

I have seen the prow/beak point versions called the bowie point, but that is incorrect. For some reason, some can be found with the a so-called bowie point, but that was not authorized and MAY have been done overseas by other countries - Pakistan supposedly did some that way, also shortening the blades even further so they would fit in the scabbards of the British No. 5, No. 7 and L series bayonets.

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Gary Cunningham - Bayonetman

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

Please click here to read the tributes to Gary:




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Not sure where they are at but I have a few. My only comment is that as Misfit has pointed out there is plenty of evidence or photos of them being used from D-Day onward. While not substantiated, most of the bayonets (short) I see in pictures are of the modified type. As an example I just did a quick flip through the orange is the color of the day book (Holland) and of the 10-15 mounted short bayonets that I noticed only 2 appear to manufactured.

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quick look, I found 2 both 1906 dated spear points, one RIA the other SA. The RIA is unmarked while the SA is a UC-Mod. Couple more data points for the collector who is trying to get them all....

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FYI - Cut-down M1905 bayonets were in service as long as the M-1 rifle was being used until replaced by the shorter M-5. I recall them in the late 1950s. My 2-cents. Bobgee


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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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My estimate on variations was based on not considering the original manufacturers; I assumed that each manufacturer of the shortened version could have used any or all of the 8 different original manufacturers. However, one thing I didn't consider is the square fuller verses rounded fuller; taking that into account and assuming that any of the shortened bayonet manufacturers could have done both to any of the fuller types, you would have to factor in the M1905 bayonets made with both the square and rounded fullers. Certainly more than 24 variants and if you want to include every manufacturer, then Gary's calculations certainly open up the field. So if you have any, please feel free to post pictures.


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Don't forget about the Wilde Tool, that one gets awful pricy.

 

Don't know if you noticed, but the beak point marked AFH on the tang has the Wilde Tool grips.

 


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Thanks, ALL, for the history lesson and new saved reference!!

Ken


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Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less."

GEN Robert E. Lee

 

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The number of variations and flukes to the M1905 and M1 bayonets is huge. During the change from 16" to 10" bayonets in 1943 many events were taking place which would conspire to thoroughly mix and confuse any reliable records and data for, not just bayo's, but

everything WWII.

 

Gary Cunningham wrote some great books! And for that we are forever beholden to him. So to add to my knowledge base (untill a new book comes out) I take copious notes. I am sure many of you do as well.

 

This has helped me form pocket "cheat notes" , so I can readily check dates, ser # ranges, total production figures, etc.

 

40 years collecting and still haven't caught a few!

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Really good thread, especially Bayonetmans post. For production numbers I suggest obtaining and reading:

 

Bayonets, Knives & Scabbards United States Army Edged Weapons Report 1917 thru 1945 Declassified. DOD Directive No. 5200.9 Edited by Frank Trzaska.

 

I would have posted a pic of the cover but being new I guess Im not authorized yet.

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