1903 Springfield / Krag Trials Experimental Bayonet, 1905, Extremely Rare For Sale
Up for sale is, in my opinion, probably the RAREST of all 20th century US bayonet types. This is a trial bayonet for the U.S. Model 1903 Springfield rifle, which incorporated the hilt of the previous Model 1892 Krag Jorgensen rifle bayonet, and the longer, 16 inch blade with false edge which became standard w/ the Model 1905 bayonet. From my understanding, only a trivial amount of bayonets in this configuration were manufactured for trials with the new Springfield rifle, once the original configuration which incorporated a "rod" style of bayonet (reminiscent of the style used with the last iteration of the "Trapdoor" series of rifle (1884), was rejected. (Interestingly, it took some personal input from then-president Theodore Roosevelt to get the ordnance department to shelve the idea of the rod bayonet once and for all, in favor of a knife-style). Since the '03 was a shorter rifle, the idea of incorporating the already standard Krag style hilt, coupled with a longer blade (in order to compensate for the lesser-reach of the '03 rifle), came about. This is one of those trial bayonets. It remains in very good condition, albeit at some point it appears that someone tried to clean it up a bit. There's a thin line of sharpening from the point which extends down the blade approximately 9 inches, but doesn't really detract aesthetically. The false top edge retains its original contours, as does the tip. The entire blade and most of the hilt have a dark, chocolate brown patina, with the exception of a few small areas of brightness at the widest junctions of the hilt (namely, at the center and muzzle-ring "swells" where it would've made contact when laying on its side. The wooden grip panels appear original, and are retained to the tang via two flush-ground rivets The pommel is likewise a mixture of age patina mixed with some brighter areas where a half-hearted attempt at cleaning it up a bit may have been made. Sadly, the locking pin and button are lost, however these can be easily replaced w/ a set from any standard Krag bayonet hilt. The mortise slot retains its original contours, as does the muzzle ring. The only markings extant, are the date "1905" on one side of the ricasso, and "U.S." to the opposite side, which is correct. Unfortunately, there is NO SCABBARD included with this bayonet. The correct scabbard would've been simply an elongated version of the earlier Krag style (steel, with swiveling arm which clipped over the wide "Mills" style cartridge belts). If you collect US military bayonets, this is your opportunity to add an example of what I'm sure is surely missing from most every collection, probably even the most advanced. With a bit of TLC, this one will restore nicely. Have a look at the photos and feel free to send any specific inquiries my way prior to the sale close. Buyer pays actual postage only, to be tabulated at sale close based on buyers location and method shipped. Please DISREGARD the postage shown, as it is likely inaccurate. Correct postage will be included with the winning buyers invoice. I accept most forms of payment, simply inquire prior to sale close. I do not ship edged weapons outside of the US as a rule, but will make exceptions where not prohibited by law. It is the potential buyers responsibility to ensure compliance w/ any local laws as I will take no responsibility for this item once it ships. I do not, as a rule, ship to China, far Eastern Europe, or the former Soviet Union due to customs issues. No buyers under the age of 21 years of age please. Thank you, and good luck! On Apr-20-13 at 10:25:38 PDT, seller added the following information:
HELLO FOLKS, AND THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST IN THIS RARE BAYONET. AN INTERESTED PARTY HAS BROUGHT UP THE SUBJECT OF THE IRREGULAR NATURE OF THE GRIP RIVETS, AND TO BE CERTAIN, THEY'RE NOT THE "NORM" FOR THE FINELY FINISHED PRODUCT OF THE REGULAR PRODUCTION KRAG RIFLE BAYONETS, HENCE I AM SIMPLY NOT SURE IF THE GRIP PANELS WERE SWAPPED OUT AT SOME POINT, OR IF THIS CAN BE CHALKED UP TO THE FACT THAT FOR THE TRIAL BAYONET PRODUCTION, NOT AS MUCH ATTENTION WAS PAID TO DETAILS AS THIS WAS PROBABLY NEVER INTENDED TO BE A PRODUCTION ITEM OR PASS GOVERNMENT INSPECTION. PLEASE CLOSELY SCRUTINIZE THE PHOTOS FOR ANY ADDITIONAL DETAILS AND MAKE YOUR OWN ASSESSMENTS. MANY THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST AND YOUR offerS!