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Thread: No. 6-Style SMLE Bayonet

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  1. #1
    Member marysdad's Avatar
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    Ralph Cobb

    No. 6-Style SMLE Bayonet

    My apologies in advance for being so long-winded. I am hoping that someone may have some information or be able to suggest areas of inquiry to gain a better understanding of these interesting bayonets.

    There is a widely-held, longstanding belief that these were used by Israel. Iím wanting to better understand what information suggests that this is the case?

    I have looked at many reference books and everything that I can find online; and, everything attributes these to Israel without explaining the source of attribution. All of the period pictures I have seen, so far, showing SMLE rifles in Israeli service with bayonets are of the standard-length P1907.

    The following post includes a picture of the bayonet in a display at the IDF History Museum in Tel Aviv. Short SMLE bayonet? (milsurps.com) At that time, the museum collectionís displays included hundreds of firearms in sections attributed to many different countries. Unfortunately, the posted image doesnít show enough detail to discern to what country the museum is attributing the bayonet (Britain, Israel, or ?). The museum is in the process of relocating, so the pictured display no longer exists and the entire collection is in storage.

    I sent a PM to the OP some time ago to see if he is still in contact with the photographer (ho may have more info or additional images), but he doesnít seem to be very active at this point.

    One thing about these that seems uncharacteristic of Israeli bayonets is the lack of markings. Israeli bayonets are usually well-marked with obviously Israeli symbols.
    Similarly, discussion of where these bayonets were made centers on their either being made in Britain or Israel. Examining the bayonet suggests that the workmanship is probably too poor for Britishicon Government Factory production and probably too good for Israeli production of the late 1940s-early 1950s.

    Back then, Israeli-made weapons were pretty crude. It just seems doubtful that Israel would have gone to the trouble to produce tooling that so faithfully replicated the bayonetís more complex features (e.g., wrap-around grip scales, square fullered clip point blade profile). If they made these from scratch that early, the end result likely would have been more quick & dirty like the Israeli Mauser bayonet.

    The complexity and workmanship suggest that, if used by Israel, these were more likely procured than produced. The Israeli Haganah was very active in surreptitiously procuring weapons all around the world.

    British contractors (e.g., Sterling) and India/Pakistan seem likely possibilities that should also be considered for manufacture of these bayonets. Sterling made No. 5 bayonets and the India/Pakistan factories made both P1907 and No. 5 bayonets.

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    Contributing Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    One site I found says they were Britishicon produced for Israel but never accepted by the British themselves. They had an unmarked example there.

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