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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Gentlemen, thanks for your input. I appreciate your points of view and experience.

I was mainly acting as 'devil's advocate' to see whether what was appropriate in the vintage aviation field would translate to the Enfield scene. I'm interested to see what people think, and there does seem to be some divergence of opinion.

What I was considering was (IMHO) acceptable because;

1) The 'host' bayonet would have been one of the $30 ones easily available.
2) It would have been early dated and thus originally would have had a hook.
3) It would have been clearly identifiable as a new modification, with small lettering to point out what had been done.
4) It would not be done for money-making purposes
5) Such 'backdating' is acceptable in other fields of preservation
6) The number of P1907 bayonets is such that it is not an ultra-rare item being destroyed.

It looks like I'd be better off just sitting back and waiting for an appropriate bayonet to find me. Some may argue that I seem to be a magnet for interesting rifles, so I'll hope that such magnetic powers will turn up a 'hooky' someday.

I might see if I can take a photo and print it at full size, to include in my display.

Thanks for your thoughts, any further comments are welcome.

Cheers,
Matt
 
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