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Polish made mauser bayonets

Article about: This weekend I was exchanging mails with Tony and we spoke about Polish bayonets. It seems that there is no thread devoted to this topic. Well, I decided to write about this topic providing

  1. #1
    ?

    Default Polish made mauser bayonets

    This weekend I was exchanging mails with Tony and we spoke about Polish bayonets. It seems that there is no thread devoted to this topic. Well, I decided to write about this topic providing a short explanation of each type. The existing English and French books contain many mistakes. Polish books on the topic are also weak. I have learned from studying bayonets which I own now and in the past and also from a series of articles in Polish militaria/history magazines. It is unfortunate that no good reference book exists on this topic.


    So, lets start from the begining



    wz.22
    for Mauser wz.1898 rifle and carbine & Mosin 1891/98/25 carbine
    Made by: Zbrojownia Nr 4 w Krakowie (Zbr.4 – Arsenal Number 4 Cracow)

    First Polish bayonet made in II RP after 1918. It was more or less copied from German and Austro-Hungarian bayonets. Construction was quite fragile and often these bayonets were damaged in field use. Another problem was that each bayonet required individual fitting to its rifle (they were not interchangeable with other rifles).
    There are two versions of this bayonet. The early ones with markings up side down and then the later ones with markings done the “right” way around.

    early




    late





    wz.24
    for Mauser wz.1898 rifle and carbine & Mosin 1891/98/25 carbine
    Made by: Towarzystwo Fabryki Motorow “PERKUN” S.A. w Warszawie ( Motorcycle Factory PERKUN Warsaw )

    Once the fragility of the model 22 was established in 1924 a new model designated the wz.24 was designed and manufactured. This design was also based on German bayonets but was more solid and had a muzzle flash protector on the top of the grip. Construction was much improved over the model 22, but still each bayonet required individual fitting to their rifles.
    Late manufacture wz.24 bayonets were interchangeable with any rifle/carbine. These interchangeable bayonets were stamped with a small eagle under the head.
    Often these bayonets were marked with model designation on the head - “bg.wz.24” or “wz.24”.
    The font can be different on each bayonet due to the fact the stamping was done seperately by each unit's armourer.

    on picture with frog wz.22








    wz.27
    for Mauser wz.1898 rifle and carbine & Mosin 1891/98/25 carbine
    Made by: Towarzystwo Fabryki Motorow “PERKUN” S.A. w Warszawie ( Motorcycle Factory PERKUN Warsaw )

    Exactly same construction as wz.24. Only one difference is that all bayonets are interchangealbe with different rifles. They were marked as late wz.24 with eagle on the head.
    They were also marked with model designation - “bg.wz.27” or “wz. 27”.
    The serial number is very useful in identifying the wz.27. Model 27's are in the s/n range 342.751 to 378.110.

    Sorry guys no picture Before I obtained information about s/n I had one but I sold it because I thought it was wz.24. Silly me

    wz.28
    for Mauser wz.1898 rifle and carbine & PFK wz.29 carbine
    Made by: Towarzystwo Fabryki Motorow “PERKUN” S.A. w Warszawie ( Motorcycle Factory PERKUN Warsaw ), PFB w Radomiu ( Arms Factory Radom )

    Bayonet wz.28 was first Polish bayonet with muzzle ring. It was necessary because of the production of the Polish Mauser wz.29 carbine. This model still has a muzzle flash protector on top, although it was no longer necessary. The entire head was now situated under the barrel.
    This model fully eliminated all problems with unstable mounting to the rifle.







    wz.28 simplified
    for Mauser wz.1898 rifle and carbine & PFK wz.29 carbine
    Made by: Towarzystwo Fabryki Motorow “PERKUN” S.A. w Warszawie ( Motorcycle Factory PERKUN Warsaw ), PFB w Radomiu ( Arms Factory Radom )

    Simplified version of bayonet wz.28 was exactly the same as regular wz.28 with only one difference – lack of muzzle flash protector.






    Simplified bayonet wz.28 has the largest quanity of variations. Here are main “types”:


    Version with markings on different side´s (only made by PERKUN)
    This bayonet has the maker's name where previously was an eagle with the "WP" stamp and eagle on other side. It is not known why it was done that way. Serial number on that type always consists of 5 digits starting with “0”. Grip nuts and bolts were factory parkerized.





    Version with date 1939 (both factories)
    Commonly call “mobilization model” by collectors. Bayonets marked with a date were made only in 1939. There is no clear information why such markings appeared this year. One theory is because of the general trend of marking all military equipment and weapons with a date . Using this marking system would allow the QM officer to easily identify which stock was the oldest prior to distribution.
    Bayonets made by Radom plant had factory parkerized nuts and bolts. Catch nut also has a hole. The most logical explanation is that this simplified the production process by allowing the use of a machine to mount the catch in bayonets. Most of thees bayonets had their blades “combat” sharpened.

    Bayonets made by PERKUN were also marked “WARSZAWA” underneath. Nuts and bolts are also factory parkerized. Serial numbers are 5 digit always starting with “0”.

    This model of bayonet is quite rare despite many having been made. PERKUN made bayonets are scarcer.

    Radom




    Perkun Warszawa





    Version with date 1939 parkerized
    One of the rarest Polish bayonets. This finish is the likely result of field testing to prevent corrosion on bayonets. They were made only in the RADOM factory and it is not known how many of were produced. All bayonets had blades with combat sharpening.
    These are not be confused with bayonets with German black finish. The finish on the Polish bayonets is duller and gray-green. Germans used a rather shiny black finish. I have not encountered more than 10 originally finished bayonets of this type.

    this one was found with original uniwersal frog wz.24







    Version with simplified markings
    The rarest Polish bayonet. Referred to by collectors as the “May bayonet” because the production contract was approved on May 31st 1939. This bayonet is marked only with a small Polish eagle and familiar acceptance mark circumscribed in an oval. The serial number always consists of 5 digits and is in the 7xxxx to 8xxxx range. On some you can just discern evidence of the original full standard Radom factory markings which later were removed. It is possible that these were bayonets that did not initially meet quaility control standards but ended up being issued due to supply shortages (?). If so, it most reasonable to suspect that the Radom factory did this to avoid being associated with an inferior quality product. This is only a hypothesis. Planned production was 10,000 pieces. No one knows how many were actually made. Aside from photographs (less than 10 examples) I have only ever seen one, which is in my collection.

    The line across the s/n indicates that this particular bayonet was “liberated” by the Red Army in 1939... This is the manner in which they obscured the original s/n.





    I'd just like to mention a version which I do not own because they not pure Polish military issue, although during a WW2 battlefiled excavation an export bayonet was uncovered. It is possible that these may have been used due to shortages of any military equipment (?).

    Export version (only RADOM made)
    A simplified version of the wz.28 bayonet, together with carbine wz.29 were exported to Spain and Middle East. They are common, even in mint condition. They are marked with : F.B.RADOM, Polish eagle with WP . There is no military acceptance mark, no factory control markings and the 5 digit s/n has no letter in it.

    Here also pictures of polish frog wz.29




    If somebody has a wz.19 frog I am interested.


    I will not discuss German issue bayonets and their conversion to German standards.


    One more thing . In 1929 it was ordered to that each bayonet be marked with model designation. The instructions specified how each was to me marked, for example - “bg.wz.24”. But in practice this was often simplified to “wz.24”. As mentioned before, the font varied from bayonet to bayonet because it was done by each unit and not in the factory. Clearly, not all bayonets were marked as ordered.

    An important fact is that in 1933 all models were homogeneous and a new order was issued canceling markings on the head. The new model designation system was simple and was based on whether or not a muzzle ring was present. In this manner all bayonets without muzzel ring (wz.22, wz24, wz.27) were named as wz.27. Bayonets with a muzzle ring ( wz.28 i wz.28 simplified) were named as wz.29.

    Hopefully I have provided some helful information on the topic of Polish pre-WW2 bayonets. I would like to see other collections as well as well as exchanging info, etc. I would be grateful for any comments, suggestions and corrections if necessary. I have only shown pure Polish made bayonets. I do not collect and dont have much information about French, German or other nation's bayonets used in the Polish army. If somebody has bayonets like this bearing Polish markings please do send a picture and information.
    Last edited by A.J. Zawadzki; 12-15-2011 at 11:04 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Polish made mauser bayonets

    Excellent work Marcin! This is a valuable addition to the forum. Many thanks for putting in the time and effort assembling this for our benefit

    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  3. #3

    Default Re: Polish made mauser bayonets

    Here's a link to old-smithy's page on Polish mauser bayonets:

    POlish mauser bayonets

  4. #4

    Default Re: Polish made mauser bayonets

    Excellent stuff and thanks very much.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Polish made mauser bayonets

    Tony, Adrian thank you very much for you nice comment.

    I´m glad that can be useful. I hope it will help save some money too. So many dealers are selling german reworks as wz24 bayonets but they are wz.28 ´s with cut off muzzle rings...

    I hope to see you bayonets guys too!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Polish made mauser bayonets

    amazing - especially the dark grey finished blade.
    i always liked my wz.29 the most even with its german repro frog :-)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Polish made mauser bayonets

    Marcin

    Thanks for a very informative post.

    Regards

    Richie

  8. #8

    Default Re: Polish made mauser bayonets

    Quote by Marcin View Post
    . . . I hope to see you bayonets guys too!
    Here’s my “mobilization” bayonet, with close up showing detail of the factory ‘combat sharpening’ applied to a portion of the blade. The D2 marked scabbard retains most of its original finish.

    Regards,
    Tony
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  9. #9

    Default Re: Polish made mauser bayonets

    An F.B. Radom wz.28 bayonet with detail showing the factory edge on the blade. Scabbard also retains a good amount of the original khaki paint. I purchased this with the wz.24 universal frog as shown.

    Regards,
    T.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  10. #10

    Default Re: Polish made mauser bayonets

    Thanks Marcin and Tony

    Here's my (unfortunately bad) photo of the only two Polish bayonets that I own:

    Top one is a German Capture wz 1939 'mobilization' bayonet with the muzzle ring ground down and refinished by the Germans. Besides F.B. Radom, the year and the Polish Eagle - it has a WaA77 on the spine of the blade.

    Second is a wz 28 export to Spain. It is marked F.B. Radom and the Polish Eagle with WP. It has been refurbished with Spanish grips.

    Ignore the bottom scabbard and frogs, please. It belongs to a Swedish bayonet.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by dastier; 12-19-2011 at 07:59 AM.

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