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M-1905 Bayonet

The M-1905 Bayonet was issued for both the M-1903 Springfield rifle and the M-1 Garand rifle, serving for four decades until replaced during WW II.

Cpl. George Miner, from Tomah, Wisconsin; standing, with M-1903 rifle and M-1905 bayonet, on guard duty, Niederahren, Germany, 2 January 1919
Cpl. George Miner, from Tomah, Wisconsin; standing, with M-1903 rifle and M-1905 bayonet, on guard duty
Niederahren, Germany, 2 January 1919.

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M-1905 Bayonet for the Springfield Rifle

The bayonet for the M-1903 Springfield rifle was originally a rod bayonet, replaced in 1905 with the M-1905 bayonet. When the M-1 Garand rifle became the standard service rifle, this bayonet was still used. The M-1905 bayonet was the standard bayonet from 1905 through World War II and beyond, even though new, shorter bayonets were issued in the 1940s, such as the M-1 ten inch blade for the M-1 Garand.

M-1905 Bayonet for M-1903 Springfield Rifle
M-1905 Bayonet for M-1903 Springfield Rifle.

Description of the M-1905 Bayonet

The first model of the M-1905 bayonet was manufactured between 1906 and 1922 by the Rock Island and Springfield Arsenals (marked SA or RI with the Ordnance Department symbol, along with year and serial number). Technically this was called the "Model of 1905" since the M numbering system did not begin until the mid-1920s. The blade was 16" in length and the bayonet was 20" overall. Each bayonet had its own unique serial number (range 1 to 1,196,000). The grips were made of wood inset to the metal of the handle. The metal parts of the bayonet were unfinished until about 1917, after which they were parkerized.

The second model M-1905 was manufactured during World War II, in 1942-1943. It is sometimes called the M-1942 model by collectors, but that is not official nomenclature. These bayonets were made by contract suppliers on this list (the letters in parentheses are how the bayonets from this supplier were marked):

  • Wilde Drop Forge and Tool Company, Kansas City, MO (WT)
  • Utica Cutlery Company, Utica, NY (UC)
  • Union Fork and Hoe Company, Columbus, OH (UFH)
  • Pal Blade and Tool Company, Holyoke, MA (PAL)
  • Oneida, Ltd., Oneida, NY (OL)
  • American Fork and Hoe Company, Evansville, IN (AFH)

This model is identical to the M-1905 except they were all parkerized and were not as well finished. They had black or brown plastic grips rather than the wood used on the early M-1905 bayonet. They are marked with a year but are not serialized.

Replacement grips were made for the M-1905 so you may find individual examples of any combination of dates and grips.

M-1905E1 Bayonet

World War II operational requirements led to the Ordnance Department decision to shorten the M-1905 bayonet to a 10" blade. Large numbers of the M-1905 bayonets were returned to be remanufactured with 6" taken off and a new tip ground on the blade. There were two styles of tip, a spear point centered on the blade and a Bowie-knife style curved diagonal cut end. These bayonets are referred to as the M-1905E1 bayonet, the name given when in experimental production. Since no distinction was made regarding which M-1905 bayonets in inventory were to be reground, you can find examples of the M-1905E1 with any date markings. As a result of this regrinding, original M-1905 bayonets, especially the early production, are rare today.

In 1943 the M-1 bayonet was introduced with a 10" blade, putting an end to the M-1905E1 program. Since the M-1 was not cut down, its fuller (groove) stops before reaching the blade tip. The M-1905E1 can be easily differentiated because the fuller goes all the way to the tip, since it was cut from the longer M-1905 bayonet.

Scabbard for the M-1905 Bayonet

M-1910 Scabbard for M-1905 Bayonet
M-1910 Scabbard for M-1905 Bayonet.

M-1905 bayonets produced before 1910 had a leather scabbard. That model was replaced by the M-1910 scabbard made of canvas covered wood with a leather tip and with the bent wire pistol belt hook that was first used at that time. The World War II M-1905 bayonets (aka M-1942) came with the M3 olive-drab fiberglass scabbard made by Beckwith Manufacturing, standardized in 1941.

The M-1905E1 10" bayonet used the M3A1 scabbard, a shortened M3.

Bayonet Field Manual

Starting before World War II and continuing into the 1950s, the field manual covering bayonet training was FM 23-25. It gave training instructions for bayonet use in combat. Depending on the date of FM 23-25, different bayonets were illustrated. Another manual, FM 21-150 "Unarmed Defense of the American Soldier" described methods and techniques of bayonet disarming.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: m1905 bayonet. Then click the Search button.

Especially recommended: Gary Cunningham's Bayonet Points

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