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Any thoughts on this mismatch?

Article about: Greetings, I'm new to this forum - what an amazing collection of expertise and information! I did some collecting of war relics back in the 70s as a teenager. During that time, I picked up a

  1. #1

    Default Any thoughts on this mismatch?

    Greetings, I'm new to this forum - what an amazing collection of expertise and information! I did some collecting of war relics back in the 70s as a teenager. During that time, I picked up a K98 bayonet in an antique store in SF. Used this forum to learn a lot about the markings and makers. So, it appears I have a ddl made bayonet (1942?) with a S174 scabbard (WKC, 1935). While they are technically a mismatch, the strange thing is the original scabbard number is struck out and the matching number was struck below it. It doesn't appear to be an attempt to create a fake match as the original numbers are plainly visible. Anyone care to speculate what circumstances might have given rise to this pairing / adulteration? Thanks!

    Any thoughts on this mismatch?
    Any thoughts on this mismatch?
    Any thoughts on this mismatch?

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  3. #2


    I have owned a few K98 Bayonets over the years..never encountered anything like this. I know that is not helping you, but for me...????
    "When 10 men tell you you're drunk, you better lie down."

  4. #3


    I would have no problem with mismatched numbers whether found in the field half being lost to the other in the heat of battle..and one picked up along the way..or your example above...having production constraints using preexisting stock and restamping them for redistribution.

    I see no issues with this example and thankyou for the photo by the greatly helps us help you
    Wait for further replies and our ever present WRF Member Anderson should be along soon. Including Fred P Andy , Sleepwalker

    Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  5. #4


    Unsure if it's likely to be related, but I've seen quite a few P38 pistols 'renumbered' in a near identical way. Every one I've seen this done to had Russian capture markings, and I'm wondering if a similar practice was likely to have been followed here. I'm aware that K98 rifles were broken down and reconstituted by the Russians, and am wondering if the corresponding bayonets could have received the same treatment. Seems a little odd to me, but it seems like a tangible link.

    For reference, here's the best photo I could find showing what I'm trying to describe. It's rather grainy, but the 'X' capture marking and crossed-out serial numbers are clearly visible.

    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Any thoughts on this mismatch?  
    "Don't worry about the bullets, I've got an umbrella". - Major Digby Tatham-Warter

  6. #5


    You've got an interesting one there Gregg. You know we collectors can be a snobbish lot sometimes, the market discounts or down grades the value as "it's not as would have left the factory". But history can be more interesting, is this example shows. Combat bayonets got knocked around in combat and a soldier falling to the ground perhaps to take cover could dent the scabbard so that removing the bayonet from the scabbard was difficult. They had a tool to push out shallow dents from the inside but with a bad dent the scabbard would be discarded and the company quartermaster would issue a replacement scabbard, or it might in the field simply have been taken from a fallen comrades recovered kit. So most mis-matched bayonets, the numbers don't match.
    What you have here is more unusual. This bayonet has been paired with a spare or recovered scabbard not in the field but probably back at a regiment's armoury. In effect the bayonet has gone back into the armoury for later reissue to another soldier. The armoury staff have re-stamped the WKC scabbard to match the bayonet, something they wouldn't bother to do in a combat zone. What we can't be sure of though is, was this re-issue during WW2, or did it occur post-war. So you have a rather unique pairing. Not a pair that left the factory together, but a pair that did leave an armoury together.
    How would the fickle collector market price such an example as yours, lower price as it's not factory spec, or higher price as a rare armoury reissue? I like it and would like such an example in my collection. If you post more photos of the blade and scabbard, full length we might be able to give an opinion on whether it's been refurbished post war.

  7. #6


    Thanks so much for all of the kind comments and thoughts! All very interesting. Just to be clear, I wasn't lamenting its unusual pedigree, just curious about it. Anderson, thanks for fascinating insights! Here are some more images (sorry, the lighting isn't so great).
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Any thoughts on this mismatch?   Any thoughts on this mismatch?  

    Any thoughts on this mismatch?  

  8. #7


    My sense of the bayonet here is that it may have also been refinished, and more of a higher echelon like a factory/depot reworking of the bayonet. Something that very definitely was done in the TR period, as well as postwar - that is sometimes an 'in hand' judgement call. As an aside - and not a 100% rule many of the other Russian reworks that I’ve seen have had the markings added to match via the use of an Electropencil type of mechanical engraving. Something that included reworks of the Russian SKS carbine/rifles. Best Regards, Fred

  9. #8


    I agree with Fred, looks like there has been a refurbishment, literally a rebluing of the steel. But I'm open to it being a wartime job as I'm seeing a reasonable amount of bluing wear on the blade. Many of the post war Soviet era refurbs were a very deep bluing finish. This seems not quite so. Secondly although the scabbard was reblued, in the second photo I think I can see a faint line marking the edge of the leather bayonet frog, suggesting it was issued and saw some sort of service. Difficult to be precise now.

  10. #9


    One of the things that was evident with many of the Russian SKS reworks was that the bluing often had a frosted or matte type of look. The originals having more of a polished look that more accurately reflected the final machining/polish prior to bluing. Early German period reworks using the rust bluing process like the original makers did, that later evolved to the "hot dip" type that became the new standard (but not all of the makers at the same time). Just something else to factor in when making a 'judgement call'. Best Regards, Fred

  11. #10


    Good one, correctly reserialed.About the blueing is hard to say.b.r.Andy

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