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4-digit serial (?) markings on a Mauser 98/05 bayonet

Article about: Hi! I noticed a 4-digit serial number on an 98/05 blade & scabbard made by Waffenfabrik Mauser in 1917 but I can't quite place it. Carter's well known volume on the subject does mention

  1. #1

    Default 4-digit serial (?) markings on a Mauser 98/05 bayonet

    Hi!

    I noticed a 4-digit serial number on an 98/05 blade & scabbard made by Waffenfabrik Mauser in 1917 but I can't quite place it.

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    Carter's well known volume on the subject does mention Mauser contracts going to Turkey... but says nothing on a serial-number marking. (Actually, he does - but this marking does not consist of Arabic numerals).

    I was thinking Poland... but the piece isn't altered in any way or marked 'WZ'. Nor is the stud slotted, so I'm not sure this is a post-war used piece. Browsing the web, I found 3 similar pieces - all made by the same company and marked with a 4-digit code on the ricasso (never the crossguard!) & the scabbard (which is also marked with the Mauser Waffenfabrik logo). I've picked up an idea on these being Bavarian serial numbers... but I'm not sure how that would work, all of these bayonets are Prussian.

    Any thoughts anyone...?

  2. #2
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    There has been a lot of discussion about these 98/05's with 4 digit serial numbers. As you have stated, Carter believed them to be rack numbers for the Bavarian police force. While I believe that this does explain some of them, I don't think it holds true for all. All that I have seen have been late war dated (usually 17), though I do have one 16 dated sawback. I don't see that one being a police sidearm. I believe that the Reichswehr, and later the Weimer republic, cherry picked the best bayonets, most likely being the later made, least used arms for continued use in their military organizations. I also believe they were serialized as rack and/or inventory numbers that also gave the appearance of complying with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, prior to the use of the "1920" stamp and after.

    Here are two of mine, a 17 dated Fitchel and Sachs with black painted scabbard, that I feel could be a Bavarian police sidearm and a 16 dated Henkles sawback with a 4 digit serial stamped on the ricasso.

    Jim
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    Thank you Jim, that's a very useful insight.

    I've never seen these markings on any other manufacturer than Waffenfabrik Mauser, obviously they exist! Did the Reichswehr stumble upon a whole batch of Waffenfabrik-bayonets and stamp them with serial numbers? You seem to have a solid theory. Maybe these are more common to find on late war bayonets... because more bayonets were produced at that time, and more survived?

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    Quote by Kris1981 View Post
    Thank you Jim, that's a very useful insight.

    I've never seen these markings on any other manufacturer than Waffenfabrik Mauser, obviously they exist! Did the Reichswehr stumble upon a whole batch of Waffenfabrik-bayonets and stamp them with serial numbers? You seem to have a solid theory. Maybe these are more common to find on late war bayonets... because more bayonets were produced at that time, and more survived?
    That is my line of reasoning anyway. With the military being regulated to a 100,000 only, keep the best for your self and sell the rest off as surplus.

    Jim

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    I have at least two of the 98/05s marked with a 4 digit serial number (never really thought about these numbers until I saw this thread). Both are dated 1917. One is Mauser made and is number 1910, the other is made by Weverserg Kirschbaum & Cie, numbered 4045.

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    More and more evidence appears showing the 4 digits on other manufacturers aswell, not solely on Waffenfabrik Mauser items. Do you have pictures of yours please?

    Thanks!

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    Hi,

    I am new to this forum, but I have been posting elsewhere on these serial-marked 98/05's. Have a look on Great War Forum, under "A serial-marked 98/05 in Sawdoc's collection", at: A serial-marked 98/05 in Sawdoc's collection - Arms - Great War Forum for a listing, to which I have alreadt added the three described here. It would be nice, aisuvc, if you would post photographs of yours for confirmation.

    Trajan

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    Quote by Jim P View Post
    There has been a lot of discussion about these 98/05's with 4 digit serial numbers. As you have stated, Carter believed them to be rack numbers for the Bavarian police force. While I believe that this does explain some of them, I don't think it holds true for all. All that I have seen have been late war dated (usually 17), though I do have one 16 dated sawback. I don't see that one being a police sidearm. I believe that the Reichswehr, and later the Weimer republic, cherry picked the best bayonets, most likely being the later made, least used arms for continued use in their military organizations. I also believe they were serialized as rack and/or inventory numbers that also gave the appearance of complying with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, prior to the use of the "1920" stamp and after.

    Here are two of mine, a 17 dated Fitchel and Sachs with black painted scabbard, that I feel could be a Bavarian police sidearm and a 16 dated Henkles sawback with a 4 digit serial stamped on the ricasso.

    Jim
    Are these actually serialled? Or are they just 1920-marked bayonets? It is not clear from what you have written... If serialled, would you show the numbers - on the ricasso and scabbard. TIA.

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    Sorry for the delay, just now show the request for photos, will try and get a couple posted soon.

  10. #10

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    Hi guys.

    Today, I bought another 98/05 bayonet which has a 4-digit serial (?) number on the left ricasso. It's a less common Carl Galle / Solingen and Walter & Co / Thüringen coöperation production dated 1917. Generally in not so perfect condition, but...

    Aside from the 4-digit serial, it has a very peculiar 5-digit number stamped on top of the tang. Also, the flashguard has been curiously altered. I'm guessing post-war. It has not simply been removed, but the top side has been split and cut open; leaving both left and right hand sides below the grips. Weird.

    The press-stud button has also been cut, another indication of post-war use.

    Any ideas on the '40755' stamp on top of the tang...?

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