In over 28 year of U.S Army service, in all but one Infantry unit I served in, all issued M9s spent their entire military careers sitting in units’ arms rooms only being used for (very) infrequent bayonet training (with the notable exception of their issue for the Jump into Panama; during Operation Just Cause). The bayonets would of course deploy with the units, but usually did so in a locked footlocker or secured crate. This container could be readily accessed if there was a need for them by the unit’s armorer, but more importantly, they would not be lost, abused by the Soldiers playing Mumblety-peg or other such shenanigans caused by large groups of type “A” personalities carrying (issued) sharp pointy things. Point being, most people who buy/purchase their own carried knife are far less likely to abuse, lose, or misuse it, than masses which are issued one.
Unless a unit had some riot control mission, bayonet training scheduled, or some other such dire need, M9 bayonets were not normally issued en masse (in the Infantry). However, the unit’s armorer could easily carry one around (as a working knife) as he/she is in charge of their physical security. I have seen a few MP and Quartermaster type units which did issue M9 bayonets en masse, but it always seem like they were doing so to “look” tough and by doing so not appear an easy target or simply needed a BFK to break banding materials etc.
That said, I did see (while deployed in OIF & OEF) fellow American Soldiers (Infantry & otherwise) using M9s of various makes and plastics’ colors, which were (I) assumed to be privately purchased (as most unit’s armorers are loathe to issue them out long-term due to the aforementioned accountability, potential for injury, and future serviceability challenges). These (privately purchased M9s) would be kept sharp because they were first a “working” knife, but of course they had the additional "emergency" benefit that they could be used as a bayonet if the circumstances called for it. These accordingly would be sharpened to their owners’ desires/likings. And let's face it, there are a lot of people who cannot sharpen a blade without scuffing it up a bit.
It would be silly (& folly) to declare your sharpened/posted example as a private purchase M9 as there were and remain plenty of contract over-runs available for purchase, which of course (many) appear exactly the same as various officially contracted M9 DoD issued deliveries. Who knows maybe it is maybe it isn't, in either case I like it.
Now that I have written myself blue about everything but your original question, the short answer is “yes” it would have been quite possible to sharpen an issued M9 bayonet while in U.S. Army service, however, when you went to turn it in to the unit’s arms room/armorer at say the end of a tour and it looked like your example, your Company Commander might just have you pay for it as being “damaged” or “unserviceable." Then again, he/she might just as easily consider the blade's scuffs fair wear and tear. Regardless, I never heard or saw any directive where this (sharpening of bayonets) practice was specifically banned as official policy during the M9's service. Hope this info helps.
Thx. a lot, Lance !
I sat on my foot locker and sharpened the blade as did some other guys in 56
Officially a no no but I saw it done when I as in US army circa 1971. timothy
In WWII US bayonets were very often sharpened.
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
We had these "bayonets" for the F88 steyr in the Aussie Army......however due to the saw type teeth on the back of the blade these were officially called "survival
However using these on traditional bayonet assault courses, we broke dozens of these....