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The M-7 bayonet-knife is used as a bayonet on the M-16 series rifle and as a hand weapon, fighting knife. The M-7 entered service in 1964 when the M-16 was phased in as the U.S. military service rifle.
Description of the M-7 Bayonet Knife
The M-7 blade and hilt are very similar to the M-4 bayonet with the Korean War era plastic grips for the M-1 Carbine except that the M-7 has a much larger muzzle ring. The M-7 has the same two-lever locking mechanism as the M-4, that connects to a lug on the M-16 barrel. The M-7 will fit the AR-15 as well as the M-16 family of rifles, including the M-4 Carbine. Other military firearms, such as combat shotguns, have been fitted with this bayonet.
The M-7 1095 carbon steel blade is 6 3/4 inches long, with an overall length of 11.9 inches. Blade width is 7/8 inch and it weighs about 9.6 ounces. One edge is sharpened its full length while to opposite side of the blade has approximately 3 inches sharpened. There are no markings on the blade itself. The manufacturer's initials or name along with "US M7" will be found stamped under the crossguard (see photo, right). The non-slip grips are molded black plastic. The steel parts have a uniform dark grey/black parkerized finish.
The M-7 bayonet is NSN 1005-00-017-9701. The initial contrator was Bauer Ord Company. Colt (manufacturer of the M-16) and Ontario Knife Company made many of the M-7 bayonets for the military and continue to make and sell them commercially. Other manufacturers included Carl Eickhorn [for Colt], Columbus Milpar & Mfg. (MIL-PAR), Conetta Mfg., Frazier Mfg., General Cutlery (GEN CUT), and Imperial Knife. About 3 million M-7 bayonets were delivered.
Technical Manual for the M-7 Bayonet
Along with the M-6 and M-9 bayonets, the M-7 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 that TM.
Scabbard for the M-7 Bayonet
During its initial service life the M-7 bayonet was used with the M8A1 scabbard, the same one used for all the post-WW II bayonets until it was replaced by the M10 scabbard which is now listed as the scabbard for the M-7 bayonet.
There are two variations of the M8 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 scabbard 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.
Where to buy the M7 Bayonet and Scabbard
The M7 bayonet and scabbard are available from militaria dealers or sources like eBay, as well as from other vendors of military items. Amazon.com lists several versions of the M7 bayonet, along with related books and manuals.
Huge numbers of the M8A1 scabbard were produced and surplused and are widely available from militaria dealers or sources like eBay as well as from other vendors of military items.
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