US M1816 BAYONET WITH “S” INSPECTOR’S MARKING

$135.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1052-82

This M1816 bayonet has a blade marking that seems to be an “S” with serifs and has the numeral “121” stamped near the edge of the socket. It is possible the blade mark is something more idiosyncratic, the upper loop of the letter looks almost closed, but it is in the standard position of maker and inspector marks for these bayonets, which were made by a variety of makers over a long period of time. The number is most likely a batch number, i.e. the bayonet’s number within a specific group at the manufacturer, though a unit rack number cannot be ruled out. The condition is very good: in the bright with scattered salt-and-pepper gray spots.

The model 1816 is a collecting category of its own. Nominally measuring 19 inches overall with a 3-inch socket and 16-inch blade generally with a blunt “slash” point (in Reilly’s words,) its production extended into the 1840s and its use extended well into the Civil War, with some replacements made as well. There were variations in the presence or absence of face flutes and the shape of the point up to about 1822, but the pattern is readily recognizable by the T-shaped bayonet lug mortise (which may have started about 1813) and integral bridge, that would keep the bayonet on the muzzle of the musket even if pulled forward when withdrawing the blade from a target or jarred by the recoil of discharge. They were generally finished in the bright, with some possible browned exceptions from 1822 to 1831, and a few tinned examples. Careful inspection resulted in high degree of uniformity, but there is a lot of variety in blade markings, as here, along with sockets marked with maker batch numbers, etc.  [SR] [ph:m]

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