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WKC Police Bayonet - Thoughts?

Article about: Hello Everyone, I’m a brand new member of these forums, so please be patient with me. I have a WKC police bayonet, and thanks to the help of MAP and AZPhil, I was directed to this forum to

  1. #1
    RTP
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    Default WKC Police Bayonet - Thoughts?

    Hello Everyone,

    I’m a brand new member of these forums, so please be patient with me. I have a WKC police bayonet, and thanks to the help of MAP and AZPhil, I was directed to this forum to post pictures and ask for help identifying/describing what I have.

    The bayonet was given to me 35 years ago by my great-uncle. He served in WWII and brought this back with him. It has essentially been untouched since he gave it to me, and now I’m looking to learn more about it.

    I know very, very little about these, so apologies in advance for my ignorance. I don’t know all of the correct terms for describing the various features and parts. I’m here to listen and learn, and look forward to interacting with anyone who is willing to.

    Pictures follow. If anyone wants to see a close up of something specific, or a different angle, I’d be happy to take more. One thing to note: the pinkish color on the middle sections of the blade is not a reflection or weird lighting; that color has been there since I got it. I have made no attempt to clean or polish the blade, handle, grips, scabbard, or anything else because I don’t know if that is the correct thing to do, or a no-no.

    Thank you very much in advance for any help. Your expertise on these forums is much appreciated.

    RTP

    WKC Police Bayonet - Thoughts?WKC Police Bayonet - Thoughts?WKC Police Bayonet - Thoughts?WKC Police Bayonet - Thoughts?WKC Police Bayonet - Thoughts?WKC Police Bayonet - Thoughts?

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  3. #2

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    You have an authentic Police side arm made during the Weimar republic era (by WKC) and modified (blade length shortened and insignia changed) around 1936. It has a weapon number of 29 on both crossbar and scabbard. However, condition is not too good due to poor storage.

  4. #3
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    Thank you Anderson. I have no idea how or where it was stored before I took possession of it. It looks identical today to how it looked 35 years ago. I have had it stored in a cool, dry, dark closet for almost all that time, but prior to that is anyone’s guess. My great-uncle died many years ago, and unfortunately I never had a chance to ask him mote about it. Regardless, I appreciate the information.

  5. #4

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    A little careful cleaning would improve the appearance. It's been in damp conditions at some stage, possibly stored in a shed or garage.

  6. #5

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    A pinkish hue on a shiny plated surface is often due to something like copper leeching out of an alloy. This can't be the case here obviously because the blade is steel so it is either a component of the plating or something external related to the storage conditions. This should mean that it is not the plating that has changed colour but that an element from within has surfaced or something has settled on the surface discolouring it. Therefore, this discolouration should be limited to a couple of microns at the actual surface.

    Because of the present condition of the blade the "clean don't clean" debate is rather irrelevant now and the aim is to improve the appearance without causing further damage.

    As Anderson has said a "light" clean will be beneficial.

    It is always best to proceed by degree but the important thing is to avoid serious abrasion which will completely destroy the appearance you are trying to improve. I would suggest;

    1. Warm soapy (soap such as hand wash not strong chemical detergents) and a bristle brush such as a nail brush to remove loose surface dust and grime.

    And/or

    2. Ordinary household vinegar and a cloth. Vinegar is incredibly versatile for cleaning just about anything solid even polished wooden furniture.

    3. If these don't work or not as well as hoped. A little Solvol Autosol (An automotive metal polish available worldwide and used since the '20s) thinly smeared over the blade with a cloth, allowed to dry and then buffed away by hand with a soft cloth.

    Bear in mind the Autosol IS an abrasive by nature but it is specifically designed for cleaning and polishing the chrome parts on vehicles. Just remember to use very little pressure or vigourous rubbing. Remove any polish residue by again washing the blade with soapy water and soft brush. This is especially important to avoid visible residue in the spots where the plating has flaked away. Lastly and most importantly ensure that the whole piece is totally dry. A warm (not hot) airflow from a hairdryer is ideal.
    You should find you achieve better results than you expect. You probably know this but a top tip for handling polished blades is to wear gloves because the natural oil in human fingerprints is acidic and will etch a metal surface!

    Here's a picture of one I treated in exactly this way. Granted this one was in better condition to begin with but it didn't look as nice as it does now. Just remember to make the distinction between genuine patina and plain old filth!

    WKC Police Bayonet - Thoughts?

    Regards

    Mark
    Last edited by Watchdog; 06-07-2020 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  7. #6
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    Thanks Watchdog, that’s very helpful advice for cleaning. I’ll try the things you suggest, proceeding with caution. Any suggestions for the brass on the handle and scabbard? I feel like the greenish tarnish could be easy enough to remove, but again I’m hesitant to do something stupid out of ignorance.

  8. #7

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    I should also have mentioned the throat and chape of the scabbard. They should be nickle and will clean very well with something like Autosol as well. They are not plated so no worry about rubbing that away just be gentle and only remove the crud. Don't polish it so much you remove all the dings, scratches and wrinkles of age. All you want to do is remove that horrible greenish muck. Several ight treatments is far bettewr than one "blitz" and DO NOT use a power tool!! Gentle and sympathetic "restoration and conservation" not "reconditioning" A good quality leather care product (natural not synthetic) eg Fiebings 4 Way will help the leather of the scabbard too.

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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    Polizei Seitengewehr shortage, i would be carefully by restoring, the rust on blade is not heavy and mostly the nickel on fittings are gone probably by long time wrong place storage, its untouched find. b.r.Andy

  10. #9

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    If the discoloration is rust (which I suspect it is) personally I would treat is the same way that I would a period gun. Which would not involve re-hydrating it with water. Best Regards, Fred

  11. #10

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    Quote by Frogprince View Post
    If the discoloration is rust (which I suspect it is) personally I would treat is the same way that I would a period gun. Which would not involve re-hydrating it with water. Best Regards, Fred
    Hi Fred,

    I don't disagree in principle but the pinkish hue is the wrong colour for Iron Oxide and in these pics appears to be an affliction of the plating. Where the plating is missing the natural colour of the steel is apparent but for some darkened spots which, again from these pics, don't seem to amount to full oxidisation of the steel and probably not pitting so a wipe over with soapy water will cause no harm as long as it is fully and properly dried.

    I fully agree that soaking heavily rusted steel in water is a very bad idea but I think this is a different scenario. I have used the method I describe above many times with really good results.

    If I hadn't I wouldn't suggest it

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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