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31stWisconsin
03-03-2006, 12:49 AM
How strong are the Italian Bayonets compared to orginals?

For example, if I hold up my tent by an upside down musket with bayonet attached will it bend (As the Indian ones will)

I know some of you will suggest get an orginal; but I like to maintain a high polish on my rifle and I want a similarily polished bayonet; and I don't want to grind off the patina of an orginal.

13thKyCavCSA
03-03-2006, 09:11 AM
They are about as good as the crap coming over from India. Consider the possibility of purchasing an original.

TheQM
03-03-2006, 12:59 PM
I know some of you will suggest get an orginal; but I like to maintain a high polish on my rifle and I want a similarily polished bayonet; and I don't want to grind off the patina of an orginal.

31st,

I'd make a suggestion. Find yourself a "Beater" orginal bayonet, one that's pretty much brown rust from socket to point. I know other's milage will vary, but from my perspective, cleaning one of these things is actually saving history, not destroying it. If you look around, you can still find old bayonets well beyond the "patina" stage, that are reasonably inexpensive.

I have both a M-1842 and M-1855 that I found, and cleaned up. There was some minor pitting left on the M-1855 when I was was finished, but it shines up quite well and doesn't look out of place on my highly polished repop M-1861 Rifle Musket.

One warning, expect to spend a whole lot of elbow grease on this project!

Rob
03-03-2006, 04:05 PM
When I had a EA Springfield, I fixed the bayonet and stuck it in the ground. About ten seconds later, someone said to me, "Hey, Rob, look at your rifle." It was leaning over at about a 45-degree angle, stopped only by a table which happened to be in its path. I gently tried pulling it back upright, and the bayonet snapped in two.

I seem to remember, in the old forum, a post where someone said that they had heated and quenched the bayonet, making it stiffer (and perhaps more rust-resistant?), but I do not remember the particulars.

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
03-03-2006, 04:52 PM
Hallo!

I am not sure if it is still archived, but at one time, here or on the AC Forum I posted the period manufactuirng process for socket bayonets with all its steps (most of which the Italians/Indians/Pakistanis omit as they are making "jewelry" and not a function weapon.

One of the biggest differences lies in the absence of heat treating and tempering the elbow and blade. This allowed the bayonet to bend and flex back without breaking and without retaining the bend as "memory" and staying there. Part of the proofing involved bending the bayonet and checking for "return."

The repro bayonet will often break apart at the elbow, or the blade will bend and stay bent- and IMHO should not really be used for more than bayonet drill, inspections/parades, or maybe a candle stick if the ground is not too hard or rocky.

Others' mileage may vary...

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt

31stWisconsin
03-03-2006, 05:49 PM
Thanks for all the information.

Where can i find a "beater" bayonet? The only bayonets I can find online are in good condition and have a fine patina.

QM-
while browsing the internet I heard of a "Lye and Zinc" method for removing rust. Did you do this before moving onto the steel wool?

TheQM
03-04-2006, 12:47 AM
"Where can i find a "beater" bayonet? The only bayonets I can find online are in good condition and have a fine patina."

QM-
while browsing the internet I heard of a "Lye and Zinc" method for removing rust. Did you do this before moving onto the steel wool?

31st.

You have to hunt for the beat up bayonets. Antique stores, relic shops, and gun shows are all good sources. It's not usually worth people's time and money to advertise the "cheap" stuff.

I used the WD-40 and wet or dry sandpaper method to remove the rust from my bayonets. I soaked the bayonet in WD-40 and then started with oil soaked #320 grit wet or dry and worked my way down through #400 and #600 to #1600 grit and polishing compound. I also used a brass brush around the locking ring and a dowel to clean inside the socket. It's important to carefully clean the inside of the socket to avoid scratching up your shiny rifle barrel.

BTW, most of us really like to know who we're talking to.