M-5 Bayonet

During the Korean War, the M-1 bayonet and M-1905 bayonet, which both mount to the M-1 Garand rifle using the same mechanism, were found to be very difficult to remove from the rifle with gloves on.

M5-1 Bayonet
M5-1 Bayonet
Photo: eBay seller sptsqn.

As a result the U.S. M-5 Garand bayonet was designed and issued in 1953. This was a total redesign and looks nothing like the original M-1905 or M-1 bayonets for the M1 Garand. The M-5 is the only U.S. bayonet without a barrel mount ring on the crossguard, making it look more like a fighting knife than a bayonet.

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M-5 Bayonet Description

The M-5 bayonet has a 6 3/4 inch blade, and overall length is 11 1/2 inches. Weight is 11 1/2 ounces. The blade has one side sharpened for its full lenght and three inches of the other side are sharpened. There is a relatively large push button release to deal with the problem of working while having gloves on.

M5 Bayonet mount

The stud on the bayonet crossguard fits the gas cylinder lock screw under the Garand barrel. Locking grooves attach to the bayonet lug on the rifle. The M-5 fits only the M-1 Garand and does not interchange with any other firearms.

There were three different patterns made: M5, M5-1 and M5A1. Quoting from the authoritative article "The history of M1 Garand Bayonets" by Robert Gibson on the Fulton Armory website, the differences are as follows:

In Kuhnhausen's book the M5 and M5A1 are almost identical, with the differences being: (1) the grind of the cutting edge on the M5 goes straight all the way to the guard while the M5A1 curves to nothingness at the guard, and (2) on the M5 the spring that activates the lug release button is at right angles to the button and the tang, while on the M5A1 the tang is modified slightly with an angled surface so the spring is angled toward the point of the knife at about a 45 degree angle instead of at right angles. A third difference is the lug release piece. On the M5 it is a folded piece of sheet steel that when viewed from the front forms a U shape, while on the M5A1 though it is almost identical, there is a fold of metal to enclose the front of the button at the front of the button piece. Frank Burke

The grips are checkered black molded plastic and all metal parts are a dark gray parkerized finish. There are no markings on the blade. The manufacturer name or initials and "US M5" (or other model) will be found stamped under the cross guard. Many M-5 family bayonets were made in Korea after the Korean War and these will have "K" stamped in place of the "US". Manufacturers included Aerial Cutlery, Jones & Dickinson Tool, Imperial Knife, Utica Cutlery, and Columbus Milpar & Mfg. The M5-A1 was manufactured during the 1960s and was the last bayonet made for the M-1 Garand.

Scabbard for the M-5 Bayonet

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.

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. It was also used with the M-3 Fighting Knife.

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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