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 German knife bayonet 1871/84 
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Bericht German knife bayonet 1871/84
- The first knife bayonet ever issued for military use is considered to be the German 1871/84 pattern issued in 1886. There is also an earlier model, the U.S. Navy Mod.1861 (Dahlgren) bayonet [the first U.S. knife bayonet] for the Mod.1861 Plymouth/Whitneyville .69 caliber [17.52mm] short musket rifle, a very heavy an ugly bayonet [designed by Admiral John A. Dahlgren] which is considered by some collectors to be the first knife bayonet ever issued for military use. In my opinion the German 1871/84 bayonet remains the first knife bayonet ever issued for military use. ---> About 5-6 years ago I was able to find in a flea market an old bayonet and I paid only 5 dollars for it. The seller had no idea what he was selling. It was a German 1871/84 knife bayonet with no scabbard, a bayonet which I do like very much and I'm proud to have. The bayonet was abused, the blade shows sharpening and it is about 3mm shorter than normal since the blade tip is broken. => Three of my pictures will be posted below showing my German 1871/84 knife bayonet. The top photo shows the full image of the bayonet [right side] and the pictures from middle and bottom show both sides of the handle. My German 1871/84 knife bayonet has these DIMENSIONS: a) Overall length = 373mm; b) Blade length = 247mm; c) Muzzle ring [interior] diameter = 17.4mm; d) Blade thickness [at the crossguard] = 6.6mm; e) Blade width [at the crossguard] = 27mm. The bayonet blade is fullered and each fuller is very long [212mm] and stops about 20-21mm short of the blade tip [which please remember that is broken about 3mm]. Both fullers have a width of 13mm and also have a square end which is 13mm away from the crossguard. A bayonet blade having fullers so long which extend almost all the way to the point shows an early pattern. The blade was not shortened, the fullers end clearly about 20-21mm short of the blade tip. All the metal parts of my German 1871/84 knife bayonet are nickel-plated and I assume that my bayonet was a private purchase or perhaps a dress model. Since the bayonet is nickel-plated, the only mark I can see is the number "324" stamped on the locking bolt [at the interior], the "L"-shaped piece of the lockig mechanism. The bayonet has a diagonal bird's head shaped pommel with a 34mm long mortise slot. The "hump-back" style grips are made of wood and are secured to the blade tang by 2 steel rivets with washers. Each rivet has a rounded head at the exterior. ---> From what I know there are 2 models of the German 1871/84 knife bayonet and each model has 2 variants. The "first model" bayonet has a blade with long fullers [like my bayonet with 212mm long fullers] and the second variant is similar but with saw teeth on the back side of the blade. The "second model" [with normal blade] has fullers only 181-182mm long which stop about 55mm short of the blade tip and the second variant is similar but the wooden grips are secured to the blade tang with 2 screws, not with 2 rivets. ---> The German knife bayonet 1871/84 [the model I have, the first model with 212mm long fullers] was issued in 1886. The bayonet is for the 11.15mm Mauser infantry rifle [and also for the Navy version] Mod.1871/84, a weapon which has an 8-cartridge tubular magazine below the barrel. The rifle was manufactured by various German factories [in Danzig, Erfurth and Spandau] between 1885 to 1890 and about 950,000 rifles Mod.1871/84 were made in total. The weapon was developed in 1882 and it was officially adopted on January 31st 1884. The Mod.1871/84 rifle [like the previous Mod.1871] fired the 11.15 X 60R rimmed cartridge. The Mod.1871/84 rifle has a bayonet lug on the right side of the front barrel band and when the knife bayonet is fixed to the weapon, the bayonet is on the right side. Since the 11.15mm Mauser rifle Mod.1871/84 had a short existence, the 1871/84 knife bayonet is a rare item today. To see the 11.15mm Mauser rifle Mod.1871/84 enter here at => http://www.militaryrifles.com/Germany/71-84Mau.htm I'll have 2 more pictures for this topic later. Orita 11/20/08

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20 nov 2008, 06:18
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20 nov 2008, 09:22
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Hello Orita,
nice bayonet.
I have a few S.84/98 alter Art which were made of S.71/84 bayonets with a new pommel soldered to it. They still have the same blades and handle profile (hump backs) but, apart from the new pommel, the muzzle ring is ground down.
I'll post some pictures with a blade comparison as I have a long and short fullered version.
Kristof


20 nov 2008, 09:25
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- @ Kristof: Thank you very much for posting my pictures [as usual]. I have 2 more photos for this topic and I'll post tonight a few comments for them. ---> I know that many German knife bayonets 1871/84 were modified and I would like to see your bayonets S.84/98. If somebody has an unmodified German knife bayonet 1871/84 [like mine], I would also like to see some pictures of it. ---> The diagonal pommel of the German knife bayonet 1871/84 is secured in place with a central rivet [both rivet heads are to the pommel level] and the pommel was brazed too. The soldering method is too weak to be strong enough for keeping in position the pommel. The S.84/98 bayonets have no muzzle ring because the Germans concluded after intensive field tests and trials that the bayonet lug [located below the barrel] was strong enough to mount the bayonet to the rifle. The real reason the Germans did not want a muzzle ring to their S.84/98 knife bayonets is this: When the rifle is fired the barrel vibrates and the bayonet muzzle ring which is in full contact with the barrel end will have a negative effect on the bullet accuracy. This is perfectly true and I tried myself to the firing range at the distance of 100-200-300 meters. I fired both the 7.92mm Czech VZ-24 and German Mauser 98K bolt-action rifles with and without their knife bayonets mounted, the same for the Russian made 7.62mm Mosin-Nagant Mod.91/30 rifle [with that long cruciform bayonet]. Normally the rifle is zeroed [adjusted] with no bayonet mounted but the Russians kept all the time their socket bayonets with a 430mm long cruciform blade [Mod.91 & Mod.91/30] mounted to their rifle. When the bayonet is mounted to the rifle, usually the bullet hits the target higher than normal because the bayonet muzzle ring does influence and effect the bullet trajectory and accuracy. => NOTE: The original and unmodified German knife bayonet 1871/84 can be recognized very easy by the large muzzle ring which has an interior diameter of 17,4mm. Orita 11/20/08

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20 nov 2008, 17:13
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Time for a family portrait (without scabbards but I do have them)

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20 nov 2008, 18:43
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What I can add to this:
The S71/84 got his name from the rifle is was build for, the Gew71/84. The rifle was adopted in 1884 but production only started in 1886 because most state factories weren't capable for making this new rifle yet. Production of the S71/84 only started late 1884. The First Gew71/84 were used with IS71 (Infanterie Seitengewehr 71) as there weren't suficient ammounts of S71/84's.
But in 1886 The French started manufacturing the M1886 Lebel and the Gew71/84 was already outdated before the production was in full progress. The German started working on a better rifle, this one was finished in 1888 and designated the Gew88. No new bayonet was manufactured for this rile, it was to be issued with the S71/84, but most units preferred to keep their long IS71's which could also be used on the Gew88. The IS71 was preferred because of its length, the S71/84 was too short compared to the bayonets issued with the Lebel rifles.
Most of the production of the S71/84 seized in 1889, only the Bavarian troops still made orders up untill 1897. After 1889 Prussia, Saxony and Württemberg made new IS71's instead of S71/84's.
As mentioned this model can be found with a sawback (watch out for fakes). More varaints can soon be found on www.bajonet.be
As mentioned a lot of S71/84's were remoddeled into S84/98 I's or aA's.

Orita, what I think should be corrected:
The short fullers are to be found on the old ones (1886-1888), the ones who extend to the tip are the newer ones, these are manufactured in smaller ammounts, from 1888 untill 1889. The older ones are sometimes reffered to as aA (alter Art) and the new ones as neuer Art. This designation is not official, but invented by collectors.

About your bayonet, I'm pretty sure it is a commercial variant, as no markings are present.

Now some not to great pictures of my example, this is a short fullered one made in 1888. It has very rare regimental markings for an interesting unit. The marking is L.1.59. This stands for the (First) Luftshiffer Bataillon, 1st Company, 62th weapon. Normally the marking should be 1.L.1.62., but the first "1" simply isn't there because this was the only Luftshiffer Bataillon in these times! This a a very rare unit, at the end of the war they even had only 5 of these batallions. These units mainly worked with observations ballons in order to get information about troop movements, infrastrcture, ... They were also used to give instructions to Artillery units. During the war the were somtimes used to drop bombs (even on London!)

Afbeelding

Afbeelding

Also a close-up from the "bump-back" grips. The mortise is T-shaped, after that all German bayonets were made with T-O mortises.

Afbeelding


20 nov 2008, 19:32
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- @ Kristof: Your 5 bayonets look great! Do you have any idea when [in what period of time] the 1871/84 knife bayonets were modified to the S.84/98 bayonets???? Since the new "Gewehr 98" rifle was adopted by the Germans in 1898, the modification wasn't made before that year. I assume those modified 1871/84 knife bayonets were used by the Germans during WW1. ---> @ Sam: I also like your bayonet! I'm sure you're right, since my German 1871/84 knife bayonet has no markings and it is nickel-plated, it was a comercial variant or maybe a private purchase and this may be a good reason why it survived 120 years. I had no idea the bayonet with short fullers [181-182mm] was made first and the model with long fullers [212mm] was made later. I'm glad to know the knife bayonet 1871/84 with long fullers [like mine] was manufactured in not so large numbers in 1888-1889, making it a rare item. Sam, do you know why the longer fullers were made??? I cannot find any answer to this question. Orita 11/20/08

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21 nov 2008, 05:12
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- I have 2 more pictures for this interesting topic, both my photos will be posted below. ---> TOP photo: It's a close view of the crossguard with the large muzzle ring which has an interiour diameter of 17.4mm. The crossguard thickness is 7.4mm, Note the rounded head of the grip rivet and the flat washer under it. The humps located on the back side of the wooden grips [also shaped into the blade tang] are very pronounced. ---> BOTTOM photo: Note the "L"-shaped locking piece [which is marked at top on the side with "324"], the 15mm long spring with an exterior diameter of 9mm and the round nut with the diameter of 11.3mm. All these 3 small pieces are in fact the locking mechanism located at the diagonal pommel. => Like I mentioned above, the only mark stamped on my German 1871/84 knife bayonet is the number "324" on the "L"-shaped locking piece. Orita 11/20/08

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21 nov 2008, 05:45
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21 nov 2008, 08:07
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The plating supports the theory of a dress bayonet.
Most of us know it but I just want to mention that people who are looking for a S.71/84 must be careful not to confuse it with a Spanish M1893 knife bayonet. Same overall look but the muzzle ring is higher.
http://forum.bajonet.be/viewtopic.php?t=663


21 nov 2008, 08:11
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@ Orita and the others. There is come confusion about when the S84/98 I (or aA) was manufactured. In the case of S84/98's the aA and nA don't reffer to long and short fullers, but to more different models. I rather work with the S84/98 I, II and III nomenclature, but the first model is often reffered to as aA.

Anyway, back to the point, Anthony Carter states that these were made around 1908-1909. A lot of people don't know this, as you ussualy tend to go by the date on the spine of the blade. There has been a lot a discussion in the past, but the documentary proof is present. The bayonet recieved its name from the S71/84 and the hirt for a Gew98. The blade, crossguard and tang remained the same. A new hilt was welded into place and new smooth grios were made. They did adjust the tang though to take the cleaning rod, also they drilled out clearing holes, as the S71/84 doesn't have that. Sometimes you can find S84/98's with double maker marks, one of these probably made the modifications but it is impossible to tell who really manufactured the blade.

I guess you could compare this bayonet to the S71/98, S69/98, S69/98 Säge and the Pfm71/98 which are all 'older' bayonet rehilted for an S98, but in much smaller quantities. I'm hoping to add one of these to my collection soon. I still also need the long fullered ones, too bad I sold one of these to Kristof a while ago :D. I can tell that the change occured in 1888, by doing this, the strength of the blades was improved.

As Kristof mentioned, the S71/84 was used as a design for many other bayonets, some nearly identical.


21 nov 2008, 13:17
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Some pictures of the ones I have.
First a comparison between S71/84 and S84/98 aA.
Afbeelding
Afbeelding
Afbeelding

From the top to the bottom:
S84/98 II
S84/98 II
S84/98 II Möwe-Werke, note the square fuller and the round clearing hole as can be found on the S84/98 I, a rare variant.
S84/98 II Säge
Afbeelding

S84/98 II Säge Abgesliffen
S84/98 III bakelite grips
S84/98 II wooden grips, portugal contract
The last one doesn't fit in to the row, but it is a German VZ24 coded dot in for manufacturing in Brno, Czech
Afbeelding

From left to rigth:
S71/84
S84/98 I (10th Co troddel)
S84/98 II (Prussian NCO troddel)
Afbeelding

S84/98 II Säge (MG Co troddel)
S84/98 II
S84/98 III
Afbeelding


21 nov 2008, 13:39
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- @ Sam: You have very nice bayonets and thank you for your comments posted above. ---> @ Kristof: You're right, for a person who doesn't know too much about bayonets both models 1871/84 and the Spanish M-1893 may look similar. The Spanish M-1893 is also a short knife bayonet [like the 1871/84] but it is for the 7mm Mauser rifle which fires the 7X57 rimless cartridge. There are a few clear differences between the 1871/84 and the Spanish M-1893 bayonets, differences that can be noticed very easy: => 1) The Spanish M-1893 bayonet has 216-217mm long fullers with rounded ends [in contrast with the 1871/84 bayonet which has 212mm long fullers with squared ends]; => 2) The Spanish M-1893 bayonet has fullers with a width of 11-12mm [in contrast with the 1871/84 bayonet which has fullers with a width of 13mm]; => 3) The Spanish M-1893 bayonet has a much taller crosspiece with a muzzle ring having an interior diameter of only 15.5mm [in contrast with the 1871/84 bayonet which has a shorter crosspiece but a larger muzzle ring with an interior diameter of 17.4mm]. At the Spanish M-1893 bayonet the distance measured between the center of the muzzle ring and the blade tang [or back side of the blade] is 27mm. At the 1871/84 bayonet the distance measured between the same points is only 15mm, a difference which cannot be ignored. ---> I have in my collection 2 Spanish M-1893 knife bayonets [with no scabbard], both bayonets were made in Germany [for Spain] by "SIMSON & Co., SUHL" and on the spine of each bayonet [by the crossguard] there seems to be a small mark showing the Gothic letter "L" inside of a circle (?). Two of my pictures will be posted below: ---> TOP photo shows [from top to bottom]: German 1871/84 knife bayonet and 2 identical German made M-1893 knife bayonets for Spain. Note the long fullers [on both models], the taller crossguards of the M-1893 bayonets and the different shape of the fullers end [squared for the 1871/84 model and rounded for the M-1893 models]. The wooden grips have the same "hump-back" shape and are secured with 2 rivets on washers as usual. ---> BOTTOM photo shows a closer view of the left side of the crossguard of one of the M-1893 knife bayonets made in Germany for Spain. Note the symbol of acceptance for Spanish military service [a cross with 4 more small crosses at each end] and the serial number "A 7762". Only one bayonet [M-1893 German made for Spain] has this mark stamped on the side of the crossguard. I would like to trade this bayonet since I have the other German made M-1893 bayonet [for Spain]. Also note in this bottom photo the rounded end of the fuller. Orita 11/21/08

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22 nov 2008, 05:19
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22 nov 2008, 07:25
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- @ Kristof & Sam: Do you know what type of wood was used for the grips of the bayonets you have [those posted above] ??? Could it be walnut, oak or what else ??? Orita 11/22/08

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23 nov 2008, 00:47
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