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Thread: L3A1 SA80 Bayonet Casting

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  1. #1
    Legacy Member crayj's Avatar
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    L3A1 SA80 Bayonet Casting

    Hello all, can anyone please tell me what steel is used to cast L3A1 Bayonets?

    Many Thanks, Chris

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Are they not drop forged? A drop forging can have the appearance of a casting because of how it's forged, i.e. an upper and lower former to forge the steel.

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    Legacy Member Roy W's Avatar
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    They were Investment cast made on a tree of about 6 or 8 at a time.

    They were made at the Vickers Factory called Trucast, in Ryde, on the Isle of Wight.

    The factory also made the Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascots used on Rolls Royce vehicles and Turbo Hot End wheels. amongst other things.

    The factory is now closed and built on for housing.

    The bayonets were first made in green wax, joined to the trees, ceramic coated, the wax melted out, then the metal melted into the mould in a vacuum chamber.

    I used to work there.

    I can't tell you what the metal was though, I am afraid, just long round bars of steel.

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    Legacy Member limpetmine's Avatar
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    Steel, or aluminum? Seems like I saw one made from aluminum at the SOS a few years ago.

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    Legacy Member crayj's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Roy W View Post
    I can't tell you what the metal was though, I am afraid, just long round bars of steel.
    Thank you Roy, I thought that I remembered reading that they were made of some level of Stainless, but can not verify that....
    cj

    [IMG][/IMG]

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    Legacy Member Roy W's Avatar
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    it probably was stainless. Most everything that we cast was stainless of some grade

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crayj View Post
    they were made of some level of Stainless
    That would make more sense than anything else, they can be subjected to muzzle heat and stainless might survive better.
    Regards, Jim

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    The actual steel was always a problem because this particular bayonet had many demands placed on it. It was a knife and therefore had to bend. But in bending, the tips were always snapping off. It was also a cutter so the shearing side had to retain its edge. It had to be all things to all men and for many years there wasn't one steel that could do all things. Throw stainless into the mix adds a new dimension. At one time certain regiments wanted them to be suitable for chroming - that was a non runner after several attempts. But Nickel plating worked.

    All this......., as cheaply as possible. Mind you, whatever sort you came across, they were extremely tough material and drilling/tapping them for presentation pieces was a xxxxxxx nightmare

    That aside, everyone wanted their finger in the bayonet pie. Bottle openers, tin openers, letter openers, daggers, duck-board chopper uppers, hot and cold running water......... One report I read, from a plain speaker who has just passed away suggested just leave it as a means of stabbing people. It would be as cheap to and give everyone a Leatherman to do everything else

    Does anyone remember the early ones with serial numbers engraved in the groove. Very hard but the breaking tips made them useless!

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    It would be as cheap to and give everyone a Leatherman to do everything else
    That's what they finally did with us. That eliminated the useless clasp knives.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Peter, are SA80 bayonets now being made in Germanyicon or somewhere other than the UKicon as, presumably, the MOD still needs to procure new bayonets to replace lost/damaged ones?

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