Rifleman Q&A: Correct WWII M1 Bayonets

posted on September 12, 2021
soldier rifle m1 bayonet blade gun war

Q. I would like to get a bayonet for display with my World War II M1 Garand rifle. There are different blade lengths and handle types on bayonets said to be for M1s at my local gun shows. What type of bayonet do I need?

A. For M1 rifles in service up to circa 1943, the M1905 bayonet (16” blade) would be correct. M1905 bayonets were in production from 1905 until the early 1920s at Springfield Armory and from 1905 to 1919 at Rock Island Arsenal.

Large numbers of these bayonets remained in use during World War II. In 1942, the M1905 bayonet was put back into production by several commercial firms. The World War II-vintage M1905 bayonets were not as well crafted as their pre-war, arsenal-made counterparts and were fitted with plastic, rather than walnut, grips.

In early 1943, the M1905 bayonet was superseded by the “M1” bayonet. It was virtually identical to the World War II M1905 bayonet except the blade length was reduced to 10”. Fairly large numbers of M1905 bayonets had their blades shortened to 10”, although many unmodified bayonets remained in use throughout the war.

—Bruce N. Canfield

This “Questions & Answers” was featured in the October 2004 issue of American Rifleman. At time of publication, “Questions & Answers” was compiled by Staff, Ballistics Editor William C. Davis, Jr., and Contributing Editors: David Andrews, Hugh C. Birnbaum, Bruce N. Canfield, O. Reid Coffield, Charles Q. Cutshaw, Charles M. Fagg, Charles Karwan, Angus Laidlaw, Evan P. Marshall, Charles E. Petty, Robert B. Pomeranz, O.D., Jon R. Sundra, Jim Supica, A.W.F. Taylerson, John M. Taylor and John Treakle.

To subscribe to the magazine, please visit the NRA membership page and select American Rifleman as your member magazine.


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