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Posted:  8/24/2012 11:07 AM #33543
CTD Blogger

Joined: 7/14/2009
Posts: 10828
Last Post: 8/20/2014
Subject: Are Bayonets a Good Idea for Survival Guns?
( by Scott Wagner: For civilian use, little thought has been given to the bayonet, other than interest as collectors’ curiosity. With preparation for civil disaster, the bayonet should no longer be considered a collector piece, but as an essential item in the survival toolbox. Starting in late WWII, the bayonet changed in form and function. Prior to that time, most military bayonets were almost a type of short sword, with a blade roughly from 10-17 inches in length.

This length gave the soldier maximum reach for thrusting through their opponent when battle was close or ammo was low. However, this bayonet length, or the spike-style bayonet on the SKS was really not good for a whole lot of other purposes, and it spent most of its time adding weight to a soldier’s belt without maximum utility.

As WWII progressed, and the M1 carbine was in front-line combat service, there arose a cry for a bayonet that would fit it. Due to the short length of the carbine, the old school full-length sword bayonets would unbalance the gun severely. The M4 bayonet was introduced along with the barrel band bayonet lug. The M4 was much like the Ka-Bar fighting knife that was made for the U.S. Marines.

With a 6.5-inch blade length which could be sharpened on both sides, the bayonet was no longer a little-used burden for a soldier to carry, but a piece of equipment that could be used as a bayonet, fighting knife or tool for prying or opening rations.

Eventually the M5 knife/bayonet was introduced for the M1 Garand, which replaced the “sword blade” bayonets that were previously issued. The M5 used the same blade as the M4 and was equipped with a plastic handle.

The advantages of the knife bayonet were not lost on the rest of the armies in the world and many followed suit by switching to knife-style bayonets.

Bayonet as a retention tool

A bayonet works well against someone trying to grab your survival gun.

Use of the bayonet on today’s survival rifles is not for last-ditch bayonet charges. Where the bayonet shines is for use as the ultimate weapon retention device. There are a many long gun retention techniques taught to law enforcement officers in order for them to safeguard and control their guns (although my method of defense is a pull of the trigger to discourage the attempt) but affixing a bayonet is most likely the best method of retaining control. Even though some long-range accuracy may be degraded, any close-quarter gun grab would be stopped immediately.

In addition, the modern bayonet is of course, a knife and a tough one at that. If you have a rifle that can accept a bayonet, find a good used one or a new reproduction model, and make it your survival knife to maximize its usefulness. Anything you are carrying for emergency evacuation use should have as many uses as possible for it to earn a space on your body.

One particular bayonet that does this is the newest M-16 bayonet, the M9. There are a number of manufacturers who make the M9, which has more focus as fixed-blade survival knife, since that is the most likely use for this tool in today’s army. The M9 is an upgraded version of the previous M-16 bayonet, the M7 in that a wire cutter attachment has been added to the scabbard tip in a fashion similar to the design on the AK-47 knife/bayonet, and the handle is hollow for storage of a small amount of survival items. The M9 makes a very fine stand-alone survival and camping knife even without the rifle to go with it.

Note that the M9 can be added to properly equipped Mossberg 500/590 shotguns as well, which helps address their lower magazine capacity issue.  Any rifle that can mount a bayonet should have one available for it. If you have one of the Auto-Ordnance M1 carbines, a barrel band bayonet lug can be added to it with little effort.

Posted:  8/24/2012 8:15 PM #33551

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 2063
Last Post: 9/30/2014
Bayonets give you comfort. They make you feel safe. You know that if you run out of ammunition, you can kill yourself with it before your enemies get you.

Posted:  8/24/2012 11:00 PM #33554
Texan Raven

Joined: 5/22/2007
Posts: 411
Last Post: 1/9/2013
Always with the negative waves, Moriarty.........

Posted:  8/24/2012 11:57 PM #33556

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 2063
Last Post: 9/30/2014
Not negative - potentially real. A good many of Custer's men offed themselves in anticipation of a very grisly end at the tender hands of Indian squaws adept at administering discomfort and annoyance. World War 1 fighter pilots carried handguns to spare themselves the agony of burning in the air if their plane was set alight by enemy bullets. One day, caught in the uncertain future, any of us might be confronted with a similar circumstance. 

Posted:  9/1/2012 3:27 PM #33634

Joined: 2/26/2009
Posts: 53
Last Post: 2/19/2013
I really dont see a need for a bayonet. I am not interested in making my weapon system longer. I see what your saying about someone grabbing your weapon but IMO no one should ever be getting that close and if they are that close its most likely going to be in a house and if thats the case they are going to be close enough to grab the weapon itself and you arent going to want an extra 6 inches length when moving inside anyway... I would rather have a fixed knife on my belt in that situation.

Posted:  9/1/2012 4:37 PM #33636
Amazingrace II

Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 240
Last Post: 10/2/2012
Hand to hand combat is a reality in any hostile environment. ......... Bayonet...? maybe not, but definitely a knife on my person.@import url(;
When the second falls the rest will follow.

Posted:  9/2/2012 1:18 AM #33645

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 2063
Last Post: 9/30/2014
Some of you have stated you prefer a knife on your person to a bayonet, and under numerous inaginable conditions, I can understand the position. But what's wrong with having a knife on your person that also happens to fix on to your rifle's barrel as well? Bayonets for the HK91/CETME, AK47, M1A, AR15, and several shotguns also happen to be pretty good knives in their own right. If you have the right rifle, the bayonet for it does double duty. Spike bayonets for Mosins and Enfields aren't so flexible, so I can appreciate passing on them for a good knife.  

Posted:  9/2/2012 4:37 PM #33652

Joined: 9/2/2012
Posts: 10
Last Post: 9/19/2012
i have to agree with horselips, while in most cases a bayonet on the end of a rifle is not needed, a good knife is almost always needed even if only for opening a can of beans when you forgot your can opener.  personally i own a standard issue M9 bayonet that is meant to mount on the mil spec ar-15 platforms and that blade has the best edge on it of any field knife i have owned.  also, the sheath features a sharpener and concertina wire/chain link cutter.  while i most likely will never put this knife on the end of my rifle for anything more than a bit of a laugh, its functionality is what sells it.

Posted:  10/8/2012 10:00 PM #34509
rusty shackleford

Joined: 1/3/2012
Posts: 126
Last Post: 12/31/2013
I disagree on the mosin spike bayonet statement horselips. Being that the mosin is already has a 29 inch barrel (and looks like a musket) adding the spike bayonet possibly makes it the best antizombie/madmaxbondagegearwearingphsyco weapon possible, since it basically turns your gun into an almost full length spear, and comined with the principle of firing a single round at close range (imagine trying to grab the bayonet, since its a spike, and then having that rediculous blast come out of the barrel, if it doesnt burn you, its definatley going to deafen, and disorient you), noone should be able to take it from you. Not to mention, with zombies, the best defence is distance from them at all costs, so a spear/sniper rifle is pretty much the best weapon imaginable.
ssssha shaw pocket sand!

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