Modern bayonets still useful


February 14, 2003, 09:33 AM
Modern bayonets still useful

Friday, February 14, 2003 - Vladimir Ilyich Lenin once described the bayonet as "a weapon with a worker at each end," but the Russian revolutionary's rhetoric has never dulled the U.S. Marines' ardor for cold steel.

Marines have carried bayonets since Capt. Samuel Nicholas, first Marine commandant, recruited the first Jarhead in Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, where the Corps was born on Nov. 10, 1775.

Modern-day leathernecks still consider bayonets useful - even in an era of laser-guided bombs and other high-tech gadgetry, because when all is said and done, it's still the infantry that has to take the high ground and hold it.

So committed is the Corps to the bayonet that it recently ordered 120,000 of an improved version to put on the end of its M16A2 rifles.

To Marines, a bayonet is more than a parade-ground ornament. All Marines, no matter what their military specialty, learn rudimentary infantry skills, including intensive bayonet instruction to instill confidence and a fighting spirit.

The bayonet originated in 17th century France and has been attached to military firearms ever since - even in post-revolutionary Russia, Lenin notwithstanding.

The deadly accuracy of the rifled musket in the American Civil War and the meatgrinder machine guns of World War I relegated bayonet charges to acts of desperation. That doesn't make bayonets a useless accoutrement, however.

As firearms and other weapons improved, bayonets got shorter, from a 16-inch blade on the U.S. Model 1905 bayonet to the Vietnam-era M7 with a 6 5/8-inch blade. Today's U.S. M16A2 rifle is shorter and lighter than the 9.5-pound M1 Garand of yesteryear, but still can be used effectively with a bayonet

The new bayonet the leathernecks ordered from Ontario Knife Co. of Franklinville, N.Y., has an 8-inch blade that is wider and stouter than bayonets for the M16. It also has a sharper point and serrations to penetrate body armor and an improved handle for use as a fighting knife. (Kinder and gentler just ain't in the Marine vocabulary.)

Marine recruits now are taught enhanced knife-fighting in addition to traditional bayonet drill. Today's ground troops are likely to encounter close- quarter combat situations where a good fighting knife might come in handy - from dense tropical jungles to built-up urban settings or fortified tunnel complexes in the mountains of Afghanistan, where noisy gunfire may not be desirable.

The need for a better bayonet and fighting knife also is a sobering reminder that real war, where the Marines and other armed forces members put their lives on the line for us, is not a video game.

Modern Marines have readily embraced new technologies that enhance their combat capabilities, but they still insist troops know how to shoot - and fix bayonets when the ammo runs out.

We'll salute that!,1413,36%257E73%257E1178194,00.html

Kind of a different editorial for the Denver Post.....

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February 14, 2003, 10:02 AM
Click here for the VERY BEST use of a Baoynet. Yes the bayonet is still quite useful. There are other links from that page that will be quite enlightening on how to use firearm related devices and accessories. (

February 14, 2003, 05:57 PM
Okay, that's just plain demented.

I think a Mauser Bayo would have gone much better with that tablecloth. :p

February 14, 2003, 06:06 PM
My 50 year old bayonet (older than me!) is useful as well.

February 14, 2003, 07:14 PM
I like sharp pointy things. My truck gun (can't exactly call it a "trunk gun" because I don't have a trunk) is a Mosin M44, and comes complete with the bayonet. Love it.


Hey, I like that "purse" from the link: :D

I used to use an old leather map case for a purse.

El Tejon
February 14, 2003, 07:45 PM
Used mine to cut thorns out of the backyard when first bought the house and cuts open food packets when hiking.

Yep, still serving the same, old, useful purpose!:)

February 14, 2003, 08:02 PM

Standing Wolf
February 14, 2003, 09:23 PM
Runt of the litter: convincing, definitely convincing!

Ed Straker
February 16, 2003, 08:09 PM
Well, I beat you to the post...

...but this thread definitely has the better picture! :)

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