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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,
I picked up this bayonet last week and I looked into some reference books and online and I just can't figure out what it is.

The overall length is 20 inches
Blade is 17 inches long
Penny goes thru
There are no marks on it.

The person that I got it from said it came from confederate enfield rifle.
I didn't pay much for it and that is why I took a chance.
Now I need to figure out what I got :)

Thank you very much for your replies.

Please let me know if I need to post more pictures.
 

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Blade fullers and shoulder indicate a P53 or later Enfield bayonet. There were copies made of this bayonet at various times, some have come out of the now famous Nepal cache. If you have an Enfield see if the socket fits-if it is too small it may be a bayonet for the later Martini-Henry. The lack of markings may be the result of refurbishment although refurbished blades will sometimes have a mark indicating processing. Repros sometimes have maker marks but these can easily be removed and lack of markings does not necessarily mean a reproduction. Based on your photos it seems like a nice old bayonet of the Enfield pattern. I am hopeful that more knowledgable folks will help you further. Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Joe,
I started searching on P53 and found the following and the measurements nicely match the P53.
I wonder if in general not having any marks means it was a confederate bayonet.

The 1853 "3-Band" Enfield Socket bayonet has a common blade-length of 17" to 18" (although longer has been noted on American specimens); the socket internal diameter is ~.781"; the socket-length is ~3". This bayonet - when attached - rests to the right of the barrel-muzzle. The "sight-bridge" is in-line with the blade.

The 1876 Martini-Henry Socket Bayonet has a blade-length of ~22"; the socket internal diameter is ~.718"; the socket-length is ~3". This bayonet - when attached - rests to the right of the barrel-muzzle. The "sight-bridge" is in-line with the blade.

The 1895 Martini-Enfield Socket Bayonet has a blade-length of ~22"; the socket internal diameter is ~.656"; the socket-length is ~3". This bayonet - when attached - rests under the barrel-muzzle. The "sight-bridge" is not in-line with the blade, but at 90 degrees to it (this is the easiest way to identify the Pattern 1895).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Some more information :) from a website. it looks like this is a scabbard from the Feb 1863 since it has seven rivets in the frog.

For those trying to buy the correct style Federal scabbard, here is some help to date your scabbard to the desired time period.

1840 to circa 1859 the frog was sewn to the scabbard.

In 1859 two rivets were added for strength until early 1863.

In February 1863 the seven rivet frog was approved.

In 1864 the eight rivet scabbard came on the scene.
 

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You definitely have a British made bayonet for the P53 Enfield Rifle Musket. The P53 was heavily used by both sides. The bayonet has no makers marks or British inspection marks, the later is a good indicator of importation to the US from Britain for use in the American Civil War but it is impossible to say to which side it was issued. The degree of finish is exceptional, it appears to have most of the original bluing on the socket and the neck and the blade appears to retain it's polished finish. The bayonet is a real gem, you did well.

The real treasure in your purchase is the mid to late-War riveted scabbard. It is in very good condition and the stitching appears to be tight and complete and all rivets have retained their burrs, the brass tip is still in place though the staple appears to be missing. As long as the fish glue used to hold it in place continues to hold, you are good to go. It does show use but good care during it's period of use and it was well stored after the War. Very often leather scabbards deteriorated rapidly due to bad storage and are thrown away, you are lucky to have it in this condition. The only thing that is missing is the finial on the brass tip but that does not hurt it at all, they were often lost during wear. You may be surprised to learn that the scabbard is worth about 5 times more than the bayonet since the P53 bayonet is fairly common but scabbards border on rare and are very desireable. Keep them together and try not to do anything that will damage either one - keep the bayonet's socket lightly oiled and the blade dry and clear of fingerprints but do nothing to the leather scabbard, other than to keep it in an area where the the humidity is steady in the 50% - 60% range and the temperature is comfortable for you - not too cold and certainly not too hot. Also keep it out of direct sunlight and in an area where the air circulates well. And most importantly, don't put any goop on it. No oils or greases. Most especially? No mink oil or any of the various types of the concoctions made by Pecards.

Congratulations, you did very well.
 

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These bayonets were also made in America, Belgium, France, & Germany. Without any markings it cannot be discerned where & when it was made. Nor can it be said for who it was made. It is very hard to find a “known Civil War P53 bayonet.” But, with markings it can be determined that a particular bayonet was not made for the British military and therefore could have been used in the Civil War. The bayonet needs to be looked at closely. Some countries marked their P53 bayonets on the shank.

Without markings it’s anybody’s guess as to who made it, when it was made, and who originally bought it?

The modified scabbard looks good. It may very well be (and I would think most likely is) an 1853 modified scabbard that was for the Civil War. But that does not mean the bayonet is correct. I had a dealer try to sell me a fake or reproduction Johnson bayonet & scabbard. He knew it was good because he purchased them with a Johnson Automatic rifle. And since the rifle was correct the bayonet and scabbard had to be correct. (One does not prove the other.) It could also be an 1866 modified scabbard. Which would mean it could not have been used in the Civil War.

I base all of this on an article I have entitled “Enfield” Bayonets in the Civil War 1861–1865 by Graham Priest. If anybody wants a copy I have it in pdf format and would be happy to email a copy. Bill
 
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