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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Gday folks, I've been pondering the whole philosophy behind restorations. We often hear of people finding Bubba'ed rifles. The aim with these rifles is often to restore them to military condition, either as originally built or some other time in their military service.

We find un-butchered wood (or newly-made wood for some rifles), new metalware and slings and return the rifles to something approaching original condition.

This is seen as a good thing, and indeed is considered to be rescuing a rifle and reversing the damage done by Bubba.

What about bayonets?

Let's take a Pattern 1907 bayonet that is early dated and would have been made with a hooked quillion. Would it be right to replace the quillion with a replica unit which had the hook? I would argue that such a procedure is the same as restoring a rifle, and returns the bayonet to original condition. Filling in the oil hole and replacing the hooked quillion shouldn't be too hard.

With 'hookies' rapidly climbing out of most budgets, and replica 'hookies' from India being rubbish, what are the thoughts on a 'reversal'? I'd like to give it a go.

(edit) As someone who collects bayonets for the Lee family of rifles, I ask this because I can't justify seven or eight hundred dollars on a hooked quillion bayonet. I have quite a few P'07 bayonets (only need a Mole to complete the makers) and I have different dates to cover the whole family. I'd like a 'hooky' for display purposes, but I don't have the coin to buy an original. (/edit)

Cheers,
Matt
 

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The one philosophical difference that comes to mind here is that you'd be reversing an official mod to the bayonet, rather than correcting bubba's depredation.
 

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My opinion would be to leave it be. The removal of the hooked quillon is part of enfielding history, just like when rifles where FTR and the long range sites removed. I don't know why but I just don't like the idea of it, I mean when you over haul a rifle your not wielding things back on are you?

Cheers Matt,
Lachy.
 

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I agree. The hooks were removed in service and are documented as an official military modification. Bubba didn't remove the hook the way he did woodwork and bits on the rifles.
Adding a hook is universally viewed as forgery/fakery/deception...
Nobody will be impressed but you, since afterall it's an example of your workmanship.

IMA is offering a reproduction hookie if all you want is one for looks. If you're bothered by the markings, then just buy one of the forgeries already on the market and pay a lot more for a practically worthless bayonet.
Also, by adding a hook back to a bobbed version you would actually be lowering the value of the original piece.

Be patient and be ready for when one eventually comes along. Mine came to me by way of a trade. Not the most pristine example, but then I only gave up two low-end firearms and $30 to get these.


 

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Hookie

JollyGreenSlugg your in Australia! Hookies are cheap in Aus. In the U.S.A. the price is 3 - 5 times higher. Now, I'll trade you a fake Hookie for a fake Australian Machette bayo. Dealer in Aus will not ship to the states :(
ATB
 

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Matt,
it's your bayonet mate.
I'd say take the idea as far as you are comfortable with.
Personally I wouldn't do it because -
1) I don't have the skills.
2) I'd rather own an original anything.
3) It's not like it's reversible by undoing a few screws.
4) It's an official modification and wasn't done by bubba and we don't alter that.
Don't we ?
Why is it that on this and other forums we regularly see questions about reversing official modifications that are not actively discouraged as is being done with Matt ?
I refer to those post on people wanting to "restore" their MkIII's to "original" configuration.
How many of you would look at a 1917 Lithgow MkIII with windage adjustable rear sight, volley sights and cut-off and think nice original rifle and how many would think bubba ?
One last question - how does what Matt wants to do differ from the replacement of volley sights on the P14's with reproduction parts ?

PS Matt, something you didn't address (and I'm sure it's just an oversight) is the issue of identifying the bayonet as a fake when you have completed your "restoration".
 

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Fakes and reproductions--the difference sometimes can only be in the spelling. I have heard the arguments pro and con. It is only for me--my use. But what about when you are gone? If the work is deeply marked as a reproduction, maker's name and a date, then I have no problem. Last year I saw a partial fake No.1 MkVI with crude checkered forestock and WWII wood. The seller didn't want me to see it for obviously reasons and the "hot to trot" buyer didn't want me to horn in (not that I would). While he was gone raising $3000 in cash, I got a look at it. Greed and ignorance has a price.

Should we as responsible collectors encourage this business for the fleecing of the next generation of collectors? My opinion for what little it is worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks guys, this is exactly the sort of discussion I was hoping for.

I can appreciate everyone's viewpoint and I accept the points as valid.

I suppose it is easier to explain for me because I come from a vintage aviation background. I've been involved in aviation restoration here in Australia, and have been part of some interesting restorations. Often the process of restoration involved 'backdating' an aeroplane to an earlier standard. This could reverse the official changes made to an aeroplane as part of its service life.

An example from the UK which would be familiar to practically everyone would be the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Lancaster PA474. As part of its service life, it was modified and was retired in the early 1960s with turrets removed and faired over. It has since been returned to wartime standard, and is representative of the Lancaster's wartime condition. This is true of many surviving 'warbirds'. It can be argued that this is allowable because it is important to recognise the service of these machines and there are few survivors. I've attached pics of the Lanc as it served in the 50s and as it is now.

I would argue the same thing with a bayonet. I was not considering trying to make it indistinguishable from an original. I was thinking of engraving in small letters something along the lines of "original bayonet 1912, replica hooked quillion 2007" on the metal visible on top or bottom between the grips. I'd also add a small "2007" on the hook itself. This would be done in small letters so it isn't obvious, but in such a way that it couldn't easily be removed.

I figure that one of the IMA replicas wouldn't be much good as frankly, they're terrible. They feel wrong, have a 'clunk' sound rather than the metallic ring when tapped. The lettering is crude and they just look wrong.

Anyway, I'm open to suggestions and I'd really like to see this discussion continue.

Cheers,
Matt
 

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cat among the pidgeons - 'bayo resto'

This string is among the best I've ever seen regarding 'restoration' of LE items; the replies are considerate and well-spoken. The entire string could serve well as a guide to restoration work. Thanks.
 

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Lincolns...off track again

Hey Matt

Nice pics of the Lanc. When I was a kid in the ATC in high school late 1950's we went on a camp to RAAF Richmond...and were allowed to clamber through the last Lincolns that were in RAAF service. I still have some 'box brownie' type pics I took of them somewhere...maybe the RAAF police turned a blind eye to a starry eyed kid taking photos at the base... :)

It wasnt long after that...(or about that time) that one of the first Neptunes crashed somewhere near Richmond...killing all on board. maybe 1959.

Also on a camp at Richmond we saw the arrival of the very first C 130 Hercs...all the base was lined up on parade and we watched the 12 of them land. Great stuff for a kid. Think that camp may have been xmas 1958.
 

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To apply a different twist to the scenario, here is an unmarked blade that I scored some time ago.

What is the opinion of you gents on building a hooky from scratch?
 

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A "parts bayonet" Lithy ? An interesting concept, and nowhere near as likely to be passed off as original without any stamps on it.
Finding grips and screws shouldn't be difficult, neither would having a crosspiece made up but finding a pommel might be an issue.
 

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Try Numrich in West hurley NY

JollyGreenSlugg your in Australia! Hookies are cheap in Aus. In the U.S.A. the price is 3 - 5 times higher. Now, I'll trade you a fake Hookie for a fake Australian Machette bayo. Dealer in Aus will not ship to the states :(
ATB
No Affiliation, etc.

THe other day I was on the Numrich site looking for a screw for my Lithgow and I saw they sell reproduction machette bayonets.

http://www.e-gunparts.com/DisplayAd.asp?chrProductSKU=932680&chrSuperSKU=&MC=



Apologies for cluttering up this post but I couldn't email Chalmers, he has that feature turned off.

paetersen
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Umm, Matt. Where do you reckon you're going to get one for that much?? You're not holding out on me are ya?

Dazza.
Heh heh! Nah, I don't know of any for sale in Oz. Just took a guess considering the prices they seem to go for. That's cheap these days! Maybe I'll find one someday, until then, the idea is there. I have a mate who I worked with in the aviation game who could knock up a hooked quillion to add to an original bayo. I'm still struggling with thoughts and ideas though.

I'm still interested to see what people think.

Cheers,
Matt
 

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bayonet restoration???

This Enfield bayonet was manufactured and issued with the downswept quillion and it was later removed by an overly ambitious armourer to the requirements that all pattern 1907 blades be dehorned.

This is the finest condition blade I have seen with almost perfect bluing (the flaw is where the quillion was cut off and polished). The blade is so highly polished it photographs looking like it is blued.

I will leave it as is as it is a legitimate evolution of the pattern. To "restore" it will damage the bluing and gain me what? There is only 1250 of them out there. If the restoration looks fake--then the whole blade will become questionable. Of course chome plating will cover all defects.
 

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Mr. Slugg,
First I would like to say how much I have enjoyed your videos... I think it truly demonstrates your passion for these rifles. I, however, must respectfully agree with the majority in regard to the retro fitting of a hooked quillion to a bayonet that never had one or to one that has had it removed as part of a official "change" in service. As a collector I have evolved,over the years ,to focus on maintaining the current issue status of a given rifle, bayonet or whatever. I have restored several sporter rifles back to what their condition would have been at the end of their service life.... not a FTR status or newly issued status. I have a few rifles which are 40's dated ( Dispersal, Lithgow ) possessing the magazine cut-off slot. By this time the magazine cut-off had long been done away with so I feel it incorrect to fit a cut-off to these rifles.

I have not always thought this way.. as I said.. I have evolved with experience and learned knowledge which I feel has helped me define my focus. When I bought my first P14 it was missing the pointer and rear aperture. I scoured the globe looking for these parts and was finally satisfied when originals were found and fitted. Now.. years later, they have been long removed again... Why ?... Because that is the correct status for that particular rifle and I felt it more correct.

I must say your argument regarding the Lancaster is a valid one at that.. and.. well... I dun have an answer. I would still much prefer seeing your workmanship in building one from scratch rather than sacrificing a honest example. Best of luck with your decision.

David
 
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