About the M1 Bayonet

About the M1 Bayonet

May 18th 2023

It’s easy to get confused talking about the “M1 bayonet” since the M1 designation was shared across a wide range of models, including the bayonet as well as the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine.

This is because the Army used the “M” nomenclature for “model,” signifying, in each of these cases, that the model was the first of its line - not that the M1 bayonet, M1 Garand, and M1 Carbine are inherently related, because they are not. Remember also that there was an M1 helmet, which is also not related in any way to any of these.

However, it just so happens that the M1 bayonet was designed for the M1 Garand rifle. Here are a few things you should know.

When Was the M1 Bayonet Used?

Prior to 1943, the United States officially issued a sword bayonet, the 16” M1905 bayonet. This bayonet had wooden or plastic grips, a 16” blade, and a 4” handle.

The M1905 bayonet also fits the bayonet lug of an M1 Garand rifle, but the M1905 and M1 bayonet are not the same.

Early in 1943, presumably in response to the fact that sword style bayonets were proving cumbersome in close-quarters combat, the Army made the decision to slim down the M1905 bayonet, converting it into a smaller version with a 10” blade.

These new bayonets, which were really nothing more than an M1905 bayonet with a blade that had been ground down to a spear or beak point, were reissued as M1 bayonets, and also compatible with the M1 Garand rifle’s bayonet lugs.

Between 1943 and 1945, upwards of 2 million M1 bayonets were issued and produced, by a variety of companies. The largest producer, which issued more than 1 million of these bayonets, was Union Fork and Hoe Company.

Other large producers of M1 bayonets were American Fork and Hoe, Utica Cutlery, and Oneida, Ltd.

Since most M1 bayonets that were produced were really just reinvented M1905 bayonets, the M1 can be found with both wooden scales or phenolic resin grips that were either black or red.

The M1 bayonet is compatible with the earlier versions of scabbards that were issued during the First World War, but through the Second World War, the Army released two additional scabbards for these bayonets: the M3 scabbard and M7 scabbard.

The M3 scabbard was made of resin-impregnated canvas, not entirely unlike today’s Micarta, with a metal throat and a wire hook hanger. It fit the M1 better than the earlier scabbards intended for the M1905, and included ribs near the chape to secure the point of the blade, helping to eliminate rattling.

A second scabbard was designed for the M1 bayonet, the M7 scabbard, which was basically the same as the M3 scabbard, except instead of interior ribs near the chape, it contained spring steel near the throat to secure the blade and presumably to improve retention.

What Bayonet Fits the M1 Garand?

More than one bayonet is compatible with the M1 Garand rifle. If you are looking for a compatible bayonet, both the M1905 bayonets (which were originally designed for Springfield M1903 rifles) and M1 bayonets will mount to the lugs under the Garand’s barrel.

Another type of bayonet, known as the M5 bayonet, will also mount to the M1 Garand rifle. The M5 bayonet was designed in 1953 to replace the earlier bayonets that were compatible with the Garand..

The M5 bayonet was designed in response to the experiences of troops in Korea, who found that the WWII M1 bayonet was difficult to mount and remove in extreme cold or when wearing heavy gloves. The M5 represents a significant redesign and lacks a barrel ring on the crossguard, making it easier to mount, and with a push button that aids in release.

The M5 bayonet is also substantially shorter, with a 6.75” blade, bringing the overall length to 11.5”, hardly longer than the blade of the M1.

This makes the M5 bayonet smaller, lighter, and quicker. It’s also more versatile, and fills the role of a fighting knife in addition to serving in the role of M1 Garand bayonet, like the M1905 and M1.

What Bayonet Fits the M1 Carbine?

When the M1 Carbine was first designed, it lacked a bayonet lug. Consequently, troops that were issued the carbine were also issued a fighting knife - the M3 fighting knife.

Later on, as the M1 Carbine was redesigned into new variants, subsequent models contained bayonet lugs that were compatible with a different bayonet, the M5 bayonet, which was an  adaptation of the earlier M3 fighting knife.

Neither the M1905, M1, or M5 bayonets are compatible with the M1 carbine.

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Looking for Bayonets for Sale?

Whether you’re looking for an M1 or M5 bayonet for your Garand or an M4 for your M1 Carbine, we’re here to help.

If you still have questions about these different models of bayonets for sale, variants, or compatibility (or are looking for a bayonet for a different model) get in touch with us at 610-250-3960 or visit us in our showroom in Easton, Pennsylvania.