Which Bayonet For The '97 "Trench Gun"?

by
posted on March 18, 2014
qanda2015_fs.jpg (3)

Q. I just purchased an original World War I, U.S.-issue Model 1897 Winchester “trench gun” with a heat shield and bayonet lug. I’d like to get the right bayonet for it. A collector friend told me there were separate Model 1917 bayonets intended just for the trench gun. Is this true? And, if so, how I do tell?

A. There was no “special” Model of 1917 bayonet made for the U.S.-issue trench guns. The reason the Model of 1917 rifle bayonet was selected for use with the trench gun in the first place was to simplify logistics. They were already in production at Winchester, Eddystone and Remington-the makers of the U.S. Model of 1917 Rifle. There would have been absolutely no reason to put a special shotgun bayonet into production, as that would have served no purpose whatsoever, and it would only have complicated logistics. The standard M1917 rifle bayonet worked just fine.

There is one caveat, however. Winchester did produce some commercial production M1917 bayonets after World War I that were identical to the pre-1919, U.S. military contract M1917 bayonets, except these were marked only with a circled “W” on the ricasso and had no martial markings. These were presumably made for use with the commercial-production Model 1897 trench guns made in the late 1920s or early 1930s. In any event, these were not military bayonets and were certainly not issued by the military with trench guns during World War I or subsequently.

-Bruce N. Canfield

Originally published March 2006

Latest

The Armed Citizen
The Armed Citizen

The Armed Citizen® September 20, 2021

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Sniping In Korea: 1950-1953

When U.S. forces rushed to stop the North Koreans from overrunning South Korea in 1950, there were almost no American snipers. As the battle lines stabilized, that would change, and the war would become ideal for the employment of well-equipped and well-trained snipers.

Preview: Archangel Mosin Nagant OPFOR

Greatly improve the ergonomics and versatility of your old Russian workhorse with the Archangel Mosin Nagant OPFOR—one of the few replacement stocks on the market compatible with most variants of the storied bolt-action.

Rifleman Q&A: Bullet & Primer Sealant

From the archives of American Rifleman, one NRA member questions the importance of the colorful or black-colored paint-like coating around the cartridge necks and primer pockets of surplus ammunition.

Preview: Zero Tolerance Knives 0357BW

The U.S.-made Zero Tolerance 0357 Black Wash liner lock features a 3.25" blade of hard, wear-resistant CPM 20CV steel treated with a scratch-hiding blackwash finish best suited for everyday carry.

The French FR F2 Sniper Rifle

Conceived during the Cold War and after thirty years of service, the French are beginning to phase out the FR F2 bolt-action sniper rifle, with the surplus rifles available for sale from Navy Arms.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.