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Bayonet restoration

Restoration? Rebuilding? Rennovation? Reworking? The issue of restoration will always be a subject of concern for most of us. What " bubba " has done to alter an original format can sometimes be reversed although it may be a " bubba " who is doing the work as well. I suggest that part of the problem for many of us is that too many neophytes ( which we all were once upon a time ) view restoration as meaning returning an item to like new condition and makes many of us more experienced folks think that bubba has a large investment in stocks from varnish and snadpaper companies. Amongst the collecting fraternities there is ample ground for argument based on whether you are of a preservation or restoration turn of mind. If you want to see some real diehards on such matters just ask a serious collector of Samurai swords what he thinks about " restoration ". In any case most of us are concerned that even the most well meaning " rebuild " diminishes the supply of original bayonets and scabbards, or rifles or swords or what have you. The idea of marking the " reconstruction" while the intention is good can be abrogated by any skilled welder and metal finisher. While some of the folks on this forum might be able to spot such a later forgery many can not or their desire to own a " questionable " prevenance bayonet clouds their judgement. I definitely would like to own an original " hookie " but can't afford one and other than the basics of identification don't know the fine points.
In the end a person who wants a " hookie " bad enough will either get lucky and find one, make one or buy ( unknowingly ) a fake. A good copy does fill a " demonstration or " example " hole but it still is not the real thing. I have seen the copies mentioned previously and they look more like copies of a Type 30 bayonet altered to fit an SMLE. I do a lot of " cleaning ", broken parts replacement, minor stock repair for collectors and have a hard time convincing some that cleaning, R and R and minor repairs do not a " mint " rifle make. I think that most of us would generally dfeel better with the hole in the collection than investing in a bayoent with a doubtful parentage. Your call! Best regards, Joe
 

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JGSlugg,

I do believe the bottom line is not to mess up an original, collectable example just to fill an empty slot. I was able to fill some slots with EFD's having the hook (1908), the hook removed (1910), and one made without (1914).

You would need to find one with a lopped hook since the crosspiece profile is sometimes slightly different from those made without. Find a damaged one with a bit of 'meat' left where is was cut, ground, and polished.
Also, you must be aware that the different manufacturers all had slightly different profiles in the hook. The most noticable is between Lithgow and the British makers. However, the British makers also had some variations due to their finishing methods.
I won't divulge my observations in an effort to thwart more forgeries, so you'll need to do your homework.
Many of us have incorrect blades I'm sure, but there needs to be some sort of evidence it's not original. My latter day Camillus M4 is one of those.
In fact, I'm working on a dilapitated P88 myself. A $12 abused and pitted hulk. Sort of a rainy day project. Whenever I get around to finishing it off it will appear to be a trade conversion to a P88 MkIII. Strictly for open display in the cabinet since I prefer to keep my more desirable specimens locked away. The underside of the grips will be signed and the back of the pommel will also be stamped deeply with the date I finished it.

When it comes to a hookie, I think your best bet for a looker is to strip and work up a reproduction. So what if it doesn't "sound correct"? You're not trying to pass it off as authentic anyway. Right?

Since P14's were mentioned, I too retro-graded a Winchester P14. There are no WRS markings on the stock and the wooden plug in the butt was already cracked and loose.
The simple fix at the time was to screw a blank ID disc into the slot. Then my father handed me a rear sight iris and another friend provided a Winchester dial plate and pointer. I opted to buy a repro screw and washer. A spare M1917 stacking swivel finished off the early look.
To put it back, all I need to do is put back the original cut iris/spring detent and the original dial plate. Then remove the piling swivel and insert the blank wood plug I have for it now. (See, I'm ready) Easily reversible at any time with a screwdriver and a mallet.

So there you have it. You aren't the only one who desires a 'restored fake' for nostalgic reasons :)
 

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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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do not give up hope of finding an original at the price you will pay , id looked for years and happened onto the one i wanted - mole 1910 , and found the fortitude to pay a bit more to get the right one , not cheap but not the current Ebay prices eather ,
keep the faith , and go with the repro for now if you think you need to - id not mess with an original myself
 

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I don't think anyone would object to taking a near-relic and restoring it. Making a $75 reproduction out of a $20 junker is far more acceptable than making a $75 reproduction out of a $100 bayonet. Find a junker bayonet and restore it with the hook.
 

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The point of the quillion (please correct me if I'm wrong) was to parry an enemy bayonet thrust. (I may be, and probably am, completely wrong) As to adding a quillion to an early dated Pat. 1907, I would have to agree with the majority of the people who posted on this thread. It would be like putting volley sights on a Mk. III that was FTR'd in the '40's. On a side note, I have seen two hooked quillion bayonets in Kansas. One was at a gun show where a man bought one for $55 and would not sell it to me or trade for it. He knew what he was doing. The other was in a private collection of a friend that had been given to him by his grandfather (being a doughboy, I wonder as to how he got hold of it) so I didn't even think about asking how much he wanted for it.
 

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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. Cheers,
Matt
I think it's a very appropriate analogy Matt. No reasonable person looking at "Mickey Moocher" (I was going to load some photos of my daughter standing in its bomb-bay & next to it but photobucket is rejecting me) would think that the plane was totally as it was '39 - '45 but it looks authentic & it flies right. It does however conjure up the bravery, camaraderie, grit & determination of those who flew in her. So with our Lee-Enfields.. When you buy a 1916 #1 MkIII* does anyone really believe that it is as is when some poor squaddie went over the top on the western front? Get real, it has seen lots of parts both metal & wood changed out over its service life BUT it does shoot the same & conjures up images of past heroes screaming at the top of their lungs charging into a muddy hell. My '15 #1 MkIII with its transplanted wood with full volley sights, cut-off, regimental disc & leather sling may not have seen service together but service was seen by all the component parts & I believe that for posterity my kids & grand-kids & so on down the line deserve to see a fine example of the rifle that preserved our right to have this discussion.
So rant over.
Matt post photos of your project if you go ahead. You have my blessing for what its worth.
Sprog
 

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Quillons (correct sp) and their function

Quillons were made as a Parry or guard to the holder's rifle and hands.

Look at the many Bayonets (German etc) with "swept" Quillons, rather than Hooked.
The parried blade is deflected away from the holder's Fore-hand grip.

Whilst the idea of the "hooked" quillon to catch and break the opponent's bayonet sounds OK, this is slightly implausible, as the hook itself is not that strong (ie, it is not hardened or toughened like the blade is).

More likely the Hook was to act as a substitute "Stacking" Hook; with the bayo attached, the original stacking swivel or hook or cleaning rod may be in-accessible, so a Hooked quillon serves the Purpose.

When it was found in 1914, that Hooked Quillons had a bad habit of catching barbed wire and getting Entangled in it, it was deleted, both in the field(cutting and grinding) and in production ( by omitting all the processes of forming it...saved metal and work time and some tooling to Forge and machine it. Both the British and the French eliminated their Hooks, the Italians, the Russians never had them, and only the Austrians kept them most of WW I; but only on some bayonets...others didn't have them either.

Somehow, the Japanese persisted with it well into WWII, but they too, dropped it with their "economy version" of the Type 38 Bayonet ( straight guard).
Even the Turks removed it from all their WW I bayonets during the 1930s refurbs.

PS the "Gallipoli" HQ bayos were all workshop fakes (welded and ground hooks added to cheap M1907s); Nowadays, the whole bayonet would be investment cast, either in aluminium or steel,machined and new grips added...M1907s (No Q)are now in the $150 to $200 bracket...so no Movie is going to spend more on bayos than on rifles for a film.

regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics
 

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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.


Cheers,
Matt
You can fill in the oil hole and replace the cross piece but there'll be at least one modification stamp that will forever mark such a creation as a very unconvincing fake.
 

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Matt, This is a touchy subject; so please do not take it the wrong way. If you are going to reproduce a hook quillion bayonet, please stamp somewhere on the piece either "specimen" or "example", or "copy". This is to protect future buyers (not as experienced as our forum members) purchasing your replica in the future who may have bought it thinking that it is original.:(
 
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