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Thread: Broad Arrow markings on Enfield bayonets

  1. #1
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    Default Broad Arrow markings on Enfield bayonets

    ...Why would you put War Department and broad arrow (British Government)
    proof stamps on your US Civil War bayonet?
    This is a continuation of an earlier thread. We go back to our regularly scheduled programming...-RLL
    Last edited by FloridaHoosier; 02-17-2010 at 04:36 PM. Reason: Merged posts
    Craig L Barry

    Author: The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy

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    I didnt do it. I bought it that way from someone else.
    Ralph Clay
    81st PA Co.K
    CWPT
    Carbon Lodge No.242 F&AM

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    Well they are easily ground off...
    Craig L Barry

    Author: The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig L Barry View Post
    ...Why would you put War Department and broad arrow (British Government)
    proof stamps on your US Civil War bayonet?
    If It was made in England for the British military than shouldn't be stamped the British proof marks. The broad arrow was a post Civil War ear stamp. If anything it should have a crown stamped on it.
    Last edited by Jhammond; 02-17-2010 at 06:22 AM.
    Justin Hammond

    "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte

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    Default Broad Arrow

    ...was used by Ordnance Dept antebellum. Look at C.H. Roads
    "British Soldiers Firearms: 1850-1864." It means "government
    property" ergo, not likely to be in use in America during
    the Civil War-era.
    Craig L Barry

    Author: The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy

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    I could be wrong, but doesn't the "broad arrow" go back to the days of the, um, broad arrow?
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

  7. #7
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    M. A.

    Yes, it is a very old marking system for English/British Governmental acceptance of various accouterments including firearms. The "broad arrow" predates the 1704 "Act of Unification".
    There are many accouterments which were surplus items and sold as surplus to America during the time of the ACW.
    The one exception might be the RSAF "Enfield" made P-1853 4th Pattern firearms. The firearm itself was the most advanced and fully interchangeable firearm within the British Governments inventory. All other surplus type equipment shows up in America. Examples show up in Museums and private collection dating from George III to Victoria I periods and are so marked with the "broad arrow".

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    Default Broad Arrow

    Schnapps,

    While not a scholarly, credible source, wiki has an article on the broad arrow marking taking it as far back as 1544. It was used as the mark of the Office of the Board of Ordnance, and in 1855 was assumed by the WD, and now by the MOD. Blair is correct.. it was used ante-bellum... waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ante-bellum. (FWIW I had a Battle Dress jacket that had a broad arrow in a C stamped in it, and a pair of BD trousers with a regular Broad Arrow.)
    Bobby Hughes
    Co A, 2nd Battalion Ga Sharpshooters/64th Illinois Vol Infantry "Yates' Sharpshooters"
    Savannah Republican Blues
    Co C, 3rd US Infantry
    Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum & William Scarbrough House, Savannah, GA


    "I hope to live long enough to see my surviving comrades march side by side with the Union veterans along Pennsylvania Avenue, and then I will die happy." - James Longstreet at a Memorial Day Parade in 1902.

  9. #9
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    Default want to learn more

    Why is it that there are similar marks on original bayonets as you see on his reproduction?


    Isn't the broad arrow with C stamped around it a Canadian made item?
    Last edited by Jhammond; 02-17-2010 at 02:47 PM.
    Justin Hammond

    "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte

  10. #10
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    The Broad Arrow didn't mean it was made in Britain, but that it was property of the War Department. I am sure Craig or Curt will add more, but if they were produced for the Small Arms Trade, for export they would not have been marked as they had not been accepted by the Government. Not having seen original War Department bayonets I cant tell what is on them. The broad arrow was used on many things... IIRC I saw a british rev war era blanket that was marked with broad arrows. What is curious is that Dicken's also has the escaped convict in Great Expectations wearing clothing marked with the broad arrow.

    Try this http://www.radix.net/~bbrown/brit_bayo.html

    Yes The C broad arrow was Canadian

    Mods: Could this be a thread of its own, the markings of Enfield bayonets?
    Last edited by GaWildcat; 02-17-2010 at 03:04 PM.
    Bobby Hughes
    Co A, 2nd Battalion Ga Sharpshooters/64th Illinois Vol Infantry "Yates' Sharpshooters"
    Savannah Republican Blues
    Co C, 3rd US Infantry
    Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum & William Scarbrough House, Savannah, GA


    "I hope to live long enough to see my surviving comrades march side by side with the Union veterans along Pennsylvania Avenue, and then I will die happy." - James Longstreet at a Memorial Day Parade in 1902.

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