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M-6 Bayonet

The M-6 bayonet-knife is used as a bayonet on the M-14 series rifle and as a hand weapon, fighting knife.

The M-6 Bayonet Knife entered service in 1957 and was mostly utilized during the Vietnam War until superceded by the M-16 rifle with its M-7 bayonet or M-9 bayonet (roughly 1968 for Army, used by USMC earlier). About 1.6 million M-6 bayonets were delivered to the Army in the 1960s.

Drawing of M-6 bayonet from TM 9-1005-237-23&P
Drawing of M-6 bayonet from TM 9-1005-237-23&P.

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M-6 Bayonet Knife Description

M-6 bayonet

The M-6 blade and hilt are very similar to the M-5 or M-5A1 bayonet for the M-1 Garand Rifle except that the M-6 has a ring that slips over the flash suppressor muzzle of the M-14 while the M-5A1 attaches to the Garand with a stud. The M-6 is not interchangable with any other rifle; it only fits the M-14.

M-6 bayonet markings

The M-6 blade is 6 3/4 inches long, with an overall length of 11 1/2 inches. Blade width is 7/8 inch and it weighs about 12 ounces. There are no markings on the blade itself. The manufacturer's initials or name (AERIAL, AN, IMPERIAL, or MILPAR COL.) along with "US M6" will be found stamped under the crossguard (photo on right, enhanced to bring out markings). The non-slip grips are molded black plastic. The steel parts have a uniform dark grey parkerized finish.

Imperial Knife Company was the main contractor for the M-6 bayonet.

M-6 Bayonet Technical Manual

M-6 Bayonet with M-14 Rifle, from TM 9-1005-223-20
M-6 Bayonet with M-14 Rifle, from TM 9-1005-223-20.

Along with the M-7 and M-9 bayontes, the M-6 is covered by TM 9-1005-237-23&P with the long title, "ORGANIZATIONAL AND DIRECT SUPPORT MAINTENANCE MANUAL (INCLUDING REPAIR PARTS AND SPECIAL TOOLS LIST) FOR BAYONET-KNIFE, M6, WITH BAYONET-KNIFE SCABBARD, M10 (1095-00-014-0369), BAYONET-KNIFE, M7, WITH BAYONET-KNIFE SCABBARD, M10 (1095-00-017-9701) AND M9 MULTIPURPOSE BAYONET SYSTEM (1005-01-227-1739)". The manual appeared with various dates including January 1993 which supercedes 18 November 1986. The above illustration is from the M-14 TM.

M-6 Bayonet Scabbard

M8A1 Scabbard for M-4, M-5, M-6, and M-7 bayonet
M8A1 Scabbard for M-4, M-5, M-6, and M-7 bayonet.

During its service life in the 1960s the M-6 bayonet was used with the M8A1 scabbard, the same one used for all the post-WW II blades. The M8A1 was replaced by the M10 scabbard which is now listed as the scabbard for the few M-6 bayonets left in service, accompanying the M-14s still used for match shooting or ceremonial duties.

There are two variations of this scabbard, both with an olive drab fiberglass body with steel throat. The early version, designated M8, has only a belt loop, no hook. The M8A1 retains the general look and can be slipped over a belt, but also has the M-1910 bent wire hook available. The model is stamped "US M8" or "US M8A1" on the flat steel part along with manufacturer initials. This sheath is correct for all post-war US bayonets including the M-4, M-5, M-6, and M-7.

The "Scabbard, Bayonet Knife, M8A1" is assigned NSN 1095-00-508-0339. It has been replaced by the black "Bayonet-knife scabbard M10", NSN 1095-00-223-7164. Huge numbers of the M8A1 were produced and surplused and are widely available.

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