Bayonets - Do They Still Have a Use?


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CmdrSlander
August 6, 2012, 02:46 PM
As you probably know, the M16 and M4 rifles in use by the US military are capable of accommodating a bayonet (the M9 bayonet, I believe). My question is this: should the next generation of carbines and rifles issued to the military be able to mount a bayonet? Is there any need for one these days?

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Esoxchaser
August 6, 2012, 03:00 PM
Yes. Warfare is tending towards close quarter urban ordeals.

cyclopsshooter
August 6, 2012, 03:01 PM
They make a pretty darn good tent stake too

fatcat4620
August 6, 2012, 03:02 PM
As long as wars are fought there will still be a need for a pointy stick.

rcmodel
August 6, 2012, 03:06 PM
Work great for herding prisoners.
Nobody wants to get stuck on the end of a bayonet.
I don't care who ya are.

rc

danweasel
August 6, 2012, 03:06 PM
Sure. I taped mine to the side of my tent to make sure I could cut my way out in the event of a fire.

CmdrSlander
August 6, 2012, 03:08 PM
Sure. I taped mine to the side of my tent to make sure I could cut my way out in the event of a fire.
So a combat knife would have served the same purpose just as well.

My question is if bayonets - mounted on rifles - still have a use.

Caliper_RWVA
August 6, 2012, 03:19 PM
Is there any need for one these days?

Have modern humans evolved a resistance to bayonet wounds? A bayonet gives you extra reach over a combat knife and lets you wield both a rifle and a short spear at the same time.

desidog
August 6, 2012, 03:20 PM
I'd say now, yes, just as ever.

A Garand without a bayonet is a mean, heavy club. If you run out of ammo, you can bash someone with it. Then reload, and start shooting again.

An empty M4 with modern optics on the top is not as effective a club; and if you used it as one, you very well may damage the receiver extension and kill the zero on the optic.

Acera
August 6, 2012, 03:28 PM
Heck Yes they are still useful, especially if you know how to use it. Want proof?

As recently as 2004 in Basra Iraq, 20 British soldiers were ambushed by 100 insurgents, when ammo ran low, they fixed bayonets and took care of business winning the fight in hand to hand combat. 20+ enemy dead, no British deaths, 3 minor wounds. That was even after they charged over 200 yards of open ground and attacked the enemy in their trenches!!!

There is a tremendous amount psychological advantage to bayonet training and the mindset to employ it.


http://sadefensejournal.com/wp/?p=391
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/88661/Bayonet-Brits-kill-35-rebels.html

Like I said, you have to know what you are doing, and have the balls to pull it off.

68wj
August 6, 2012, 03:32 PM
I'd say now, yes, just as ever.

A Garand without a bayonet is a mean, heavy club. If you run out of ammo, you can bash someone with it. Then reload, and start shooting again.

An empty M4 with modern optics on the top is not as effective a club; and if you used it as one, you very well may damage the receiver extension and kill the zero on the optic.
An M4, and more so M16, works very well on the blunt end. Bayonet fighting is taught with use of both sides of the rifle, and they will withstand more impact than some think. Smash, slash, thrust, butt-stroke, move on.

Continued use of bayonets is cheap insurance to stay in the fight, and a confidence builder to the individual.

missouri dave
August 6, 2012, 03:37 PM
Yes. I like them for defensive purposes. Nothing says you don't want to get to close to me like a big sharp piece of metal.

One_Jackal
August 6, 2012, 04:15 PM
Bayonets are low cost. They have many uses, including a last line of defense. Lets find something expensive, that serves no use to the soldier on the ground to make obsolete.

akodo
August 6, 2012, 04:38 PM
So a combat knife would have served the same purpose just as well.

My question is if bayonets - mounted on rifles - still have a use.

you got it backwards.

If you are going to have a knife, why not have a knife that you can put solidly on the barrel of your rifle.

Texan Scott
August 6, 2012, 05:15 PM
Yes... they still get used. I've seen 'em used. When all else fails, low tech still works. You do NOT want to charge that line of soldiers or try to grab that rifle. Nothing says calm down and back the off, in any language, like a line of fixed bayonets on leveled rifles.

WardenWolf
August 6, 2012, 05:16 PM
Bayonets discourage people from getting too close. It's that simple.

Hand to hand combat with rifles involves both the bayonet and what military people like to refer to as "butt stroke". "Butt stroke" is the polite term for "Smashing someone's face in with the butt of a rifle". That and the bayonet are the two primary tools used to keep an enemy from gaining control of your weapon.

EnglishmanInArizona
August 6, 2012, 05:33 PM
I've been curious about this for a while. I had a relative who led an entire company in a bayonet charge in WW2 because the enemy had excellent cover and had to be dislodged quickly to keep the momentum of the battalion's advance. It worked for the same reason that most bayonet charges have worked - the enemy lost their nerve.

I don't think there is the slightest bit of doubt about the psychological effects of sharp steel, both on the wielder and the intended recipient.

That said, today's soldier carries a huge load, and the modern knife bayonet tends to be a pretty heavy piece of kit. In addition, how many in a modern infantry squad can actually even fix bayonets to their weapon? Less than half in the US Army, I believe.

In fighting in built up areas, the bayonet adds length that is problematic.

There is a lot that needs to be done to reduce the load carried by the modern soldier, and the bayonet is a relatively easy thing to eliminate. The knife bayonet is a relatively awkward cutting tool, so most soldiers carry pocket knives and/or small fixed blades anyway.

For the very rare occasion on which it might be useful in combat, striking with the butt would almost certainly suffice and doesn't weigh anything extra.

While in civilian life we can say "It is better to have it and not need it", things are a little different when you are carrying half your own bodyweight in equipment already.

Edit to add:

Crowd control is a classic use, and one where they have enormous potential.

Coop45
August 6, 2012, 05:52 PM
I haven't humped with a rifle company since 1968, but I seriously doubt an M4 would survive many horizontal butt strokes. On the other hand a bayonet is still a handy tool when the ammo is running low. The entrenching tool has already been downsized to something that would have little use other than digging a cat hole. Of course, if you only believe in best case scenario, why even take a rifle. A grunt needs lots of weapons to survive on the battlefield and none of them carry themselves there. They are carried on the back of the 0311 or the 11B

meanmrmustard
August 6, 2012, 05:54 PM
I hear some Mosins shoot more accurately, or rather, group tighter with the bayonet.

Vern Humphrey
August 6, 2012, 05:59 PM
I recall a young lieutenant published an article in Infantry Magazine, proposing to replace the bayonet with a sealed 10-round magazine for emergency use. He closed the article by saying he would take on anyone with his system and with them using the bayonet.

Several people replied, "You're on. Your rifle is the one with the broken extractor and the case stuck in the chamber.":D

C-grunt
August 6, 2012, 06:00 PM
Close in combat still works. My team leaders brother killed an Iraqi soldier during the invasion with his E-tool. One of the squad leaders in my platoon during my second tour butt stroked an insurgent with his M4 which by the way was VERY effective.

Texan Scott
August 6, 2012, 06:19 PM
I know what you mean, Vern!
If infantry grunts don't need bayonets because they have rifles, why do F-15 pilots need 9mm pistols?
(hint: because when 'fancy' doesn't work, 'crude but effective' is called for.)

lemaymiami
August 6, 2012, 06:32 PM
If I'm any example I don't think anyone that's had serious bayonet training is ever going to forget it. I'm also pretty sure that most with the training pray that it's never needed.... Anything that keeps your opponent from getting close enough to bite you is worth having on hand when your ammo is gone or that fine weapon is jammed.... Scare me enough I'm probably going to use it.

SharpsDressedMan
August 6, 2012, 06:35 PM
My brother gave me a refinished M1 Carbine bayonet he got at a flea market for about $15. It had a broken tip, which he reground, then reparkerized. I was amazed at how sharp and nice the edge was after resharpening. The M1 Carbine bayonet had previously been designed as an (M3 ?) fighting knife. It would be as practical today as it was in WWII as a knife, especially with an edge like that on mine. I'm sure a lot of dead enemy would say the same about the Garand bayonet. Do we need them? I hope not, I don't like being that close to the enemy. Would I want to be without a good, strong, big knife that I could use to fight with, or open a can or crate? No. A bayonet serves those purposes. Just think of it as tool that works as well today as it did thousands of years ago.

SharpsDressedMan
August 6, 2012, 06:40 PM
"That was even after they charged over 200 yards of open ground and attacked the enemy in their trenches!!!" Can you Imagine the look on their faces?:D

2ndAmFan
August 6, 2012, 07:35 PM
Yes, they do.

NG VI
August 6, 2012, 08:08 PM
It's still nice to be able to make your rifle sharper.

henschman
August 6, 2012, 08:45 PM
It's not particularly hard to make a rifle able to accept a bayonet. A few extra machining operations, adding maybe a few bucks to the overall price of the rifle, is well worth it just in case it is ever needed. I rarely mount one on my own rifles, but it is nice to have the capability.

tech30528
August 6, 2012, 09:04 PM
The bayonet on a MN has many purposes. You can use it as a rotisserie to cook your dinner or as a pole vault.

Texan Scott
August 6, 2012, 09:11 PM
The bayonet on a MN has Kant purposes. You can use it as a rotisserie to cook your dinner or as a pole vault.

"Kant" purposes? Meaning you consider it a 'catagorical imperative', or are you purely critiquing our reason? :p

ETA: dern it, you edited.

tech30528
August 6, 2012, 09:35 PM
Lol
Typing on a Kindle. Autocorrect and whatnot.

ShadowsEye
August 6, 2012, 10:05 PM
It's not particularly hard to make a rifle able to accept a bayonet. A few extra machining operations, adding maybe a few bucks to the overall price of the rifle, is well worth it just in case it is ever needed. I rarely mount one on my own rifles, but it is nice to have the capability.
Not even that, maybe a few extra pennies worth of steel but it is simply a matter of adding the lug to the bottom of the barrel, you aren't machining a separate part. Still the same number of operations.

Centurian22
August 7, 2012, 12:20 AM
MMM Beat me to the mosin comment. I have to agree with the majority that if for no other benefit than the psychological benefit to the good guys and detriment to the bad guys, yes it's still usefull / important.

ScottieG59
August 7, 2012, 12:36 AM
We were trained to use our bayonets decades ago. It is one of those useful things most will never use. You do not want to leave the bayonet fixed all the time. Years ago, one of out soldiers died when he slipped and empaled himself with his bayonet fixed to his M16.

As a soldier, I liked having the option, and in close quarters, it is very deadly and effective.

As a civilian, I also have a rifle with a bayonet. I do not foresee ever using it while there in law and order in the country.

Sheepdog1968
August 7, 2012, 01:51 AM
If I recall correctly, about four years ago the Brits did a bayonet charge in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

gatorjames85
August 7, 2012, 09:45 PM
My mom, wife and I made and ate dinner out in the woods one time using a surplus EG AKM bayonet and saw palmetto utensils. Worked quite well.:D

Acera
August 7, 2012, 10:15 PM
Sheepdog1968 wrote:
If I recall correctly, about four years ago the Brits did a bayonet charge in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

Yes they did. Read about it in post #10 of this thread.

CZguy
August 7, 2012, 10:31 PM
Bayonets - Do They Still Have a Use?

Well.......yes they have pretty much the same use that they always have had.

You would think however, that in this day and age of high technology that they could build a better bayonet. :D

JAV8000
August 7, 2012, 11:33 PM
I am currently active duty army infantry operating as a Bradley gunner in a mechanized infantry and armor CAB (combined arms battalion). I deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedome April 2011 straight out of infantry OSUT. I received no bayonet training in infantry basic or my duty station prior to deploying in a light infantry role (when I say light I mean little use of trucks, mostly Chinook air insertions) to Kandahar Afghanistan. I wasn't issued one either, none of us were. My Leatherman MUT was all the knife I ever had or needed over seas…thankfully. We were trained on the "muzzle thump" docterine of extreme CQB. The modern battlefield doesn't really allow much time or maintain much need for affixing bayonets. I'll take something smaller and lighter thanks. The average load out in kit for a infantry grunt these days is at least 100 lbs, usually more. We didn't have room to strap, tie, or bungee any more crap to ourselves or kit. Take this for what you will.

jogar80
August 7, 2012, 11:41 PM
I've never even seen an m4 or any AR with a bayonet attached. Anyone have a pic? Curious how it looks!

jbkebert
August 8, 2012, 01:17 AM
Perhaps this was a fluke within my unit. Just wondering if anyone else had the same experience.

If you asked for a bayonet from the armorer it was like pulling teeth. My lord did you get proper clearance from on high and from above beyond high. Then you would get a look like. Don't you know someone could get hurt with those things. A dang bayonet was treated like some pricless jewel that could not be replaced.

Go to the same armorer to draw grenades or claymores. Then it was; oh here you go how many you want. No questions, no problems, didn't care where the last ones went. But that footlocker of bayonets my goodness them are special.


I did see a PFC get a feild grade Article 15 for sharpening a bayonet. Part of me misses to Army but none of me will ever miss the stupid.

68wj
August 8, 2012, 06:31 AM
I've never even seen an m4 or any AR with a bayonet attached. Anyone have a pic? Curious how it looks!


Modern bayonet. http://www.m9bayonet.com/images/rra-mid-m9bayonet.jpg

USMC style
http://gunwebsites.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/00-gun-build.jpg

adobewalls
August 8, 2012, 07:03 AM
The "Bayonet" is a mindset.

With that said, I remember getting my first lesson in the bayonet drill from my Grandfather (World War I vet) when I was about 10. He was in his upper 80's at the time and it still meant something to him.

Ky Larry
August 8, 2012, 07:28 AM
There are few things better at crowd control than a line of soldiers advancing with fixed bayonets. Also, my dad told me he saw several Americans killed and wounded by Japanese soldiers in the Philipines and on Okinawa with bayonets. A spear killed soldiers 5,000 years ago. A knife on the end of a rifle will still kill people today.

jogar80
August 8, 2012, 11:30 AM
I thought a bayonet would look out of place but it actually looks pretty cool!

P.B.Walsh
August 8, 2012, 03:40 PM
Looks better on a wood and steel rifle.... or shotgun!

CZguy
August 8, 2012, 03:50 PM
Looks better on a wood and steel rifle.... or shotgun!

While I agree with you.......there are those who feel just the opposite.

A square 10
August 8, 2012, 03:54 PM
and heres one of a slightly earlier era -

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r188/Asquare10/mikesrifles027.jpg

jogar80
August 8, 2012, 04:19 PM
Looks better on a wood and steel rifle.... or shotgun!
I agree, it does look better on a wood and steel rifle... but it doesn't look bad on an AR.

sixgunner455
August 8, 2012, 07:03 PM
My unit did not have any bayonets. "Sharp and pointy things? Eewww! Are you really sure we should be giving these people bullets?"

I had a bayonet, an M7. I bought it, and still have it. People were jealous, believe it or not. They wouldn't issue me a pistol, so I figured I needed one. Nobody ever complained about me having it.

I never had to use it, but then I never had to fire a round in the combat zone, either.

BTW, who cares how it looks! It's supposed to kill people, not look cool.

Nickel Plated
August 8, 2012, 07:05 PM
The other question is really WHY phase them out? What's it take to mount a bayonet on a rifle? A little lug under the barrel. Might as well keep that functionality. Not like it burdens the troops and may even save your life once in a blue moon. Like the Brits proved in 2004.

musicman10_1
August 8, 2012, 09:03 PM
I buy bayonets for all of my guns that are able to attach one. It is just something that I do as part of my hobby and whenever I show any of my collection to someone they are always amazed by the bayonet. I do think that they look cool too.

Vern Humphrey
August 8, 2012, 09:11 PM
A plus is that bayonets give Saran Brady the Leaping Fantods.:evil:

TaylorBrassjole73
August 8, 2012, 09:24 PM
I spoke to a former Marine Corps Drill Instructor once and asked a similiar question. He told me that hand to hand and bayonet fighting are a recruits first taste of combat training, that it gets alot of recruits pumped up because they know more is coming. He explained that it has alot to do with installing a warriors attitude and confidence, plus its tradition. Even if they don't use it, troops gain confidnce that the CAN use it. That's just what he explained to me.

7thGenAustinite
August 8, 2012, 09:27 PM
this!
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm274/TerryGecko/Tactical%20Equipment/Guns/ThisismyGlock01.jpg

CZguy
August 8, 2012, 09:55 PM
My unit did not have any bayonets. "Sharp and pointy things? Eewww! Are you really sure we should be giving these people bullets?"

Some is horribly wrong here. I was in the Air Force and they gave me a bayonet. :o

A plus is that bayonets give Saran Brady the Leaping Fantods.

I'll admit......that is a important consideration. :D

rookorami
August 8, 2012, 10:22 PM
While it looks cool on the Glock, I do not see much of a benefit for a pistol. I can control a knife in my hand better than on the end of a pistol. On a rifle I can see it being useful as a last resort. The simple systems sometimes work the best.

Float Pilot
August 8, 2012, 11:58 PM
Riot control is one other consideration I have not seen listed here.
50 guys with body armor, gas masks, helmets and fixed bayonets makes a very effective barrier.
In some cultures, like the mid-east, knives and swords are a big part of their items which they either fear or respect.... I guess somebody is always firing an Ak in the air, but when uncle Habib goes nuts with a big knife, it is time to run...

rookorami
August 9, 2012, 12:06 AM
LOL! I almost spit my drink on the screen.

jim in Anchorage
August 9, 2012, 12:11 AM
What the point of a "spike" bayonet anyway? Some thing you can only stab with. Why not a blade you also can slash with?

rookorami
August 9, 2012, 12:19 AM
From what I can find most of the early bayonets were the spiked ones and the developments led them away from the spike to a blade.

7mmstalker
August 9, 2012, 12:50 AM
My pops wouldn't allow me firearms as a youth, but knives and bayonets were OK.
One of the old timers I did some trading with claimed the Geneva Convention did away with the spike style because the wound from a blade was more easily repaired.
Like non expanding bullets that take a soldier out of the fight but , in theory, don't destroy as much tissue as soft points.

jim in Anchorage
August 9, 2012, 12:54 AM
From what I can find most of the early bayonets were the spiked ones and the developments led them away from the spike to a blade.
I was thinking of the SKS a pretty recent gun. Mine has a spike.

kingcheese
August 9, 2012, 07:06 AM
Yes they should, i do believe even recently bayonet kills have been made, but the bayonet can also be used as a last ditch knife by its self, and that seems to be its more common use, no need to ditch thebayo life, that 1/4 once it adds makes it a lot more modular

1911Tuner
August 9, 2012, 07:32 AM
I don't know if there would be a real need for bayonet fighting in modern theaters...except occasionally...but I were to go to war, I'd want one. First and foremost, it's a knife. A knife has utility almost anywhere. In a desperate survival situation, you'll have far more need of a strong knife than a gun.

On the riot control question...Oh, yeah. While a crowd of malcontents may at some point work up the nerve to charge a line of riot control personnel with shields and batons, they'll be a bit less prickly when a line of cold steel is leveled at their midsections. Like the sawed-off shotgun in 1880 Dodge City, it tends to make the hotheads real peaceable and calm.

HoosierQ
August 9, 2012, 07:43 AM
It is probably a fantastic training tool. I have not had the priviledge to serve. Came of age at an awkward time and my father was dead set against it having served in WWII along with his brother and all of his classmates, my cousin in Vietnam, worried his sister to death etc. "Our family has served enough!".

But...in football we boxed during spring training. Taught aggression, help us overcome any fear of a blow, that sort of thing. Ramped up to a military setting where we're talking life and death, I would presume that bayonet training, and subsequent issue of same, would serve as a motivator to troops.

Spoken by a life-long civilian so take my thought for what they're worth.

sixgunner455
August 20, 2012, 04:42 PM
I believe you're right on the mark, Hoosier. Bayonet training teaches aggressiveness, and instills the attitude of taking violent action when called for.

Trent
August 20, 2012, 05:31 PM
These modern rifles and their little pointing things.

You all need a REAL rifle to mount a true pigsticker on.

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/s720x720/381926_303253946372209_735351122_n.jpg

I'm 6'2" - that's a bayonet mounted to a 1933 Spanish Mauser, butt of the rifle is resting on the floor next to my foot.

Used to be a whole different kind of war back then. :)

paintballdude902
August 20, 2012, 05:46 PM
One of the old timers I did some trading with claimed the Geneva Convention did away with the spike style because the wound from a blade was more easily repaired.


not the spike, that refers to the v shaped bayonets. the issue was that they created a wound too hard to sew up and led to lots of agony and lingering. now they have to have a single cutting edge IIRC from my loac and war crimes class in basic

Vern Humphrey
August 20, 2012, 05:51 PM
The Geneva Convention covers prisoners, sick and wounded. The Hague Convention addresses weaponry.

Triangular ("V-shaped") bayonets are not outlawed -- the Soviets used them right up through WWII and beyond on the Moisin-Nagant rifles.

Trent
August 20, 2012, 06:03 PM
Yeah, that Spanish Mauser/Bayonet combo, that two foot blade even has a blood gutter.

Not there to let blood out, though - it's there to allow extraction of your blade against the suction of the body cavity it's stuck in to, so you can move on to pig-stick the next unfortunate enemy slob you run across.

Vern Humphrey
August 20, 2012, 06:05 PM
Actually the fuller ("blood gutter") is there to make the blade stiffer and lighter.

Trent
August 20, 2012, 06:05 PM
(You know, that says a lot about how war has changed.. old bayonets had features to aid extraction from a human body. New bayonets have "wire cutters" and other odd features.)

Stiffer blade? Sure. You say, stiffer blade.

I say blood gutter!


:)

SlamFire1
August 20, 2012, 06:14 PM
The MKII never held a candle to the P07


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/swords/DSCN7376MkIIspikebayonet.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/swords/DSCN7380P07bayonet.jpg

Trent
August 20, 2012, 06:22 PM
HAHAHAHAHA oh great photos!!!!

Vern Humphrey
August 20, 2012, 06:23 PM
And the old canteen cups had a horizontal slot in the handle to fit the baynet, for just that purpose -- taking a canteen cup of boiling water off the fire.

68wj
August 20, 2012, 06:47 PM
http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h152/bryanseye/28c73559.jpg
Chassepot, M16, AK:)

splattergun
August 20, 2012, 07:47 PM
My stepson was in Kosovo with the 101st AB in July of 2001. THeir job was to keep Christians from killing all the Muslims, and also to keep foreign insurgents of both parties from coming across the border to escalate the fighting. One day his squad came across a platoon sized group of Al Qaeda fighters (the very same AQ) coming across the border. The AQ fired first, so his squad engaged with the SAW, rifles and grenade launcher.

After the smoke cleared, the surviving AQ were rounded up and held AT BAYONET point until the Intel unit arrived. Son said those insurgents were scared senseless of the little pointy things.

Full-on bayonet charges may be a thing of the past, at least for the time being, but bayonets still serve a legitimate purpose.

Trent
August 20, 2012, 08:11 PM
68wj - what's the square hole in the AK bayonet for? And where could a guy buy such a deliciously evil thing? ;)

Hacker15E
August 20, 2012, 08:17 PM
There is a documented case of UK troops fixing bayonets in Iraq both during the initial invasion in 2003 and again in 2004.

fatelk
August 20, 2012, 09:22 PM
68wj - what's the square hole in the AK bayonet for? And where could a guy buy such a deliciously evil thing?
I'm not 68wj, but I'll answer. There's a lug on the scabbard that goes through the hole in the blade, forming a kind of scissor that makes a pretty good wire cutter. I used to see AK bayonets all over at gun shows for $10 to $15.

I've never served either, but I've heard that you know you're in deep when the call is given to fix bayonets!

68wj
August 20, 2012, 09:37 PM
68wj - what's the square hole in the AK bayonet for? And where could a guy buy such a deliciously evil thing? ;)
To echo fatelk, it was to pair with the scabbard to cut concertina wire. Worked pretty well from what I understand, but never needed to. That one came from Iraq, but they are common anywhere surplus is found.

CZguy
August 20, 2012, 10:05 PM
(You know, that says a lot about how war has changed.. old bayonets had features to aid extraction from a human body. New bayonets have "wire cutters" and other odd features.)

Stiffer blade? Sure. You say, stiffer blade.

I say blood gutter!

Trent,

Should you care to learn, Vern is absolutely correct. The groves are there to stiffen and lighten the blade.

I have found (after much research) that Vern Humphrey knows a lot of stuff, about a lot of stuff. ;)

Greenmachin3
August 20, 2012, 10:24 PM
Regarding the purpose of spike bayonets vs bladed and the action of slashing:

Bladed bayonets are more versatile. Can be used as field knife, wire cutter, etc. Other than that, I would never slash with a bayonet except to put my opponent off balance. Slash wounds are very seldom fatal, whereas stab wounds are very often fatal. Spike bayonets are a cheap and effective way of achieving stab wounds on the opponent. I suggest anyone interested to read the book "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" It goes into good detail about training a soldier to stab, and how unnatural it is at first. Roman soldiers knew this, they were taught to stab, and were even known to use the word slasher in a derogatory sense when referring to an untrained enemy soldier since slashing is apparently a more natural motion to stabbing in the chaos of battle; it's also considerably less effective.

I think bayonets most certainly have a use. From crowd control to room clearing to ceremonial purposes to the traditional bayonet charge. I honestly think the Brits have kept them the most relevant with successful bayonet charges in the Falklands and both Gulf conflicts. Before the invention of the firearm, the spear was the king of battle. It was the primary, and soldiers across the globe fought with them first and foremost, the sword was the secondary. The bayonet is like having a backup spear to your firearms.

hang fire
August 21, 2012, 01:48 AM
In WW1, the Germans were terrified in their trenches when the French Poilus got into close combat with the bayonet. Just finished reading the 8 volumes of "Stories of the Great War" and there were numerous incidents of German soldiers screaming in fear and fleeing when the Poilus made bayonet charges.

The individual French Poilu in that war was exceptionally well trained with the bayonet and used it to great effect.

DBR
August 21, 2012, 02:16 AM
Just a FYI:

Removing material from a blade or barrel will never make them stiffer than they were before they were modified.

Depending on where the material is removed from it may make them stiffer for their weight before they modified.

Ignition Override
August 21, 2012, 02:24 AM
The book "Urban Survival" must have been written/published in the UK. The photos of the locations leave little doubt.
It was in the Memphis/Germantown' Borders Books' shortly before they shutdown.

In the self-defense chapter with a photo of knives, one is a blade bayonet for the Lee-Enfield #4/Mk. 2 rifle. This proves how effective it can be, right?
By the way, this UK book warns you not to use force on any attacker which exceeds the level of the threat. But how do you evaluate the threat until After you are attacked, knifed (very popular right now), shot etc?

68wj: one of your bayonets looks exactly like it fits an AK clone, one other is a duplicate of my black Spanish FR8 (G-3) blade.

ninjaiguana
August 21, 2012, 04:41 AM
As an instructor in an aviation co. I had the privlige (sp.) of instructing and cert. a gentleman who had fought in the 7th division of the Army of the United States....He was stationed on the 38th parallel in 1945 and at THAT time had north korean line crossers in his area and north koreans (Stalinists) trying to provoke him....in lots of ways...in one instance this north korean stood 10 feet inside the south korean border taunting the american guards for an hour my "student " Gene fired his M1 Garand 8 rounds into the tree immediatly above said miscreant's head...30.06 at 15 feet! talk about loud! the subject remained and again mocked the GI's..Gene fixwd his bayonet...the subject fled right away,,,,,Something about cold steel!

kBob
August 21, 2012, 09:42 AM
"What now, LT?"

Beat Vern has heard that line. In Officerbasic the instructors will put young shave tail into some despirite situation or another and ask that dread question. At some point the instructors would pile it on so deep that sunlight had to be piped in just to see what the new butter bar would do.

I always made them happy when I looked down the line and yelled out "Prepare to fix bayonets!.......FIX! .....BAYONETS!"

I learned the "old style" bayonet drill in high school. One of our JROTC instructors believed that the bayonet was important.....based on his having used one on multiple occassions as a weapon. I "learned" the modern style in basic training. We had little actual training in the service, but Pugil stick training was a highlight in basic. WHat bayonet training there was was mainly to intill the spirit of the bayonet. In those days everyone went through eight weeks of Basic Combat Training before being sent to Advanced Individual Training. Cooks, clerks, mechanics, photographers, and the few Combat Arms folks went through eight weeks together before being sent to other places. Later I would be a trainer in a One Unit Station Training where all the trainees in our company were to be 11B and 11C (Light weapons and indirect fire crewman) Infantry.

Whether Infantrymen, Tread heads, Redlegs, Chaindogs, finance clerks, night bakers, or chaplins assistints, the blood pumped faster and harder when the steel came out. Bayonet traininng instilled the spirit of the bayonet when taught enmass. For that reason alone the bayonet is or can be important.

I will say that with the M-16 A1 and M7 Bayonet-knife we were taught to never use the veritcal butt stroke as this put pressure on the recoil spring tube that might break it at the point it enters the lower reciever. We were taight to use the horizontal butt stroke wher ethe rifle is raised with the muzzle over the shoulder pointed away and the butt plate slammed in a straght line horizontally into the target. I also found that using the M-16A1 in parries could result in the foregrips breaking and that the front sights and gas tube seemed more fragile ( actually broken or damaged)than the M-ls and M-14s I learned and spared with as a highschooler. Twists on the rifle while the bayonet was in or against something could also result in the bayonet coming off the M-16A1, not something I saw happen with wood stocked rifles but I imagine might be a problem with the carbine with its simular bayonet attachment.

Still I would be happier when I had an M7 to go with an M-16A1 than when not...even when carrying a full load, body armor, and spare water. I also carried sheath knife, pocket knife, a file a double sided stone and a cresent wrench as all were useful and my M2 cap crimpers.

In one unit I belonged to the bayonets were kept sharp, even the so called "false edge". I thought this a very good thing for while a slash was not the preferred attack, anything that could hurt the other guy was a good thing. I was taught to slash as a follow through to parries or when at very close quarters to slash while getting into the position to thrust. Other units insisted the blades were not to be sharpened.

BTW in that sharp unit we also sharpend three of the four edges of our old style wood handled e-tools and, in my platoon, a couple of times turned out with e-tools for some "batting practice" What was to be done with an e-tool was neither a stab or slash but a chop like with a meat cleaver. When we saw our first tri fold e-tool we immediately had a digging contest which the wood handle easily won, the outcome of a e-tool fight between the trifold and a 1944 Ames wood handled folder seemed a for gone conclusion though.

With the bayonet, slashes, parries, and butt strokes were taught as means to get into position for the thrust which was the kill.

WHen I was working as a gunrag writer and editor I got one of the early Primus M-9s to test and write up. Don't know if they still have them but the original design had a bottle opener built in. It was just a cuttout on the blade side of the cross guard, but it worked as I opened my Dr.Pepper with it all week and a photo of a Dr. Pepper botle being open appeared in the article. This was considered an important feature as GIs would use the feed lips of their rifle magazines to open bottles with. I saw more than one bottle opened with a magazine and believe that pressure on the feed lips sometimes bent the feed lips causing failures to feed in the M-16A1. Not sure there are many non twist off bottle caps around these days though. I cut some double stranded barbed wire, some hurricane (chain link) fencing and a live electrical cord with a lamp plugged into it with the knife linked to the sheath. There was an attched sharpening stone on the sheath. I still felt that the M7 was a better weapon though the M9s' other uses were convinent.

I, long ago before M9s and before AKM bayonets were generally available in the USA, had a "Stoner bayonet" for the AR rifles. It had wire cutting ability, a usable saw ( I used it to make flat ends on feild expeident tent pegs), and a flat head screw driver. But the blade was a thin flat piece with a beval on just one side and a faux bowie false edge. Mine did not have the front sight adjustment tool which was the main feature I thought would be useful.

The bayonet is of course a weapon but it is also a statement. It says to an enemy "I am ready to stick you and mess you up all permentant like" It says to the man weilding it "You are ready to stick him and mess him all up all permentant like and YOU CAN!" Frequently attitute is the most improtant thing going on, it can prevent bad things from happening. The spirit of the Bayonet is an attitude, an attitude of winning.

-kBob

Art Eatman
August 21, 2012, 11:14 AM
There's just something about a Garand with a bayonet that speaks "I'm just real serious about messing you up!"

artee
August 21, 2012, 01:05 PM
Well stated, kBob, Amen.

Greenmachin3
August 21, 2012, 06:39 PM
Great post, kBob.

Your last few sentences about the state of mind when one fixes their bayonet resonates with me and what I've read. I have to recommend that book again "On Killing: the Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society". It describes not only the importance of actually fighting, but the importance of posturing as well. The bayonet is the ultimate posture describing extreme confidence. Like many have said, merely expressing your will to do what the other guy can't or won't by attaching your bayonet is often enough to come out of the situation on top.

Vern Humphrey
August 21, 2012, 07:28 PM
Back in '69 we sprung an ambush at the edge of a village. The surviving NVA (there were no real VC left after Tet of 68') ran back into the village. To close with them, we had to cross a wide open area. I had the platoon leader have his men fix bayonets, and we went across that open area on line. The NVA didn't stand to meet us, but ran out the other side -- where they ran into another ambush.

The most memorable thing that happened was that as I jumped from row to row, I saw by the light of a flare a pile of rags lying between two rows. I jumped over it and then heard someone behind me yell, "He's alive, he's alive!" followed by several quick shots. I looked back to see the bundle of rags holding up an AK 47 and jerking and twitching as each shot hit him.

And there are two morals to that story. The first is that fixing bayonets is something anyone can do, which commits him to do something else he might not otherwise be able to do. The second is never step over a dead man.

Romeo 33 Delta
August 21, 2012, 08:49 PM
Boy ... do they still have a use? I wouldn't go into combat without one ... EVER!

C-grunt
August 22, 2012, 01:08 AM
The second is never step over a dead man.

Modern SOP is to double tap the dead guys you have to pass. Though a quick stick with a bayonet would work well too.

Vern Humphrey
August 22, 2012, 08:01 AM
The point is, if the dead guy is the enemy, he ain't dead.

If he's friendly, where do you think he was standing when he got it?

C-grunt
August 22, 2012, 12:43 PM
The point is, if the dead guy is the enemy, he ain't dead.

If he's friendly, where do you think he was standing when he got it?
Great words of wisdom right there.

Trent
August 22, 2012, 01:12 PM
I have to admit, that story shook me a little, along with Vern's synopsis. "Where was he standing when he got it?"

Damn glad to have guys like you that have been there - looking at my 5 young boys and girls, and the freedom they have and enjoy - it's a good time to pause, and say "Thank you".

Infidel4life11
August 22, 2012, 02:58 PM
Heck Yeah, the enemy knows you can't shoot them a little bit but you can cut them a little bit. They never got as scared as I thought they would when you pointed a gun at them, however they would freak out as soon as you pulled a blade. And I always need a way to open a pepsi can when the tab breaks off........AMERICA

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