File this one under go figure. I am a big fan of the knife importer BudK and I was really excited when I saw that they are importing a reproduction of the Model 1942 US bayonet that was originally made for the M1 Garand, and that also fits the M1903 Springfield. The original length bayonets are hard to find, and when you find them in good condition they are often priced in the $200 range. For someone who just wants a cool original looking bayonet for their Garand, the BudK bayonet looked to be at great buy at $29.99. I thought this article would turn into a discussion of the possibility to make one of these into a real looking fake, but what a dissapointment. The bayonet doesn’t even fit the bayonet lug on a Garand, and it is overall cheaper looking and feeling than anyone would want.
When the Model 1942 was first made, the blade was 16″ long. In 1943 the government decided that the bayonets were too long, so they cut the already made ones down to 10″, more like the 9.5 German Mauser bayonet. These cut down bayonets are very common in unissued condition generally at cheap prices. It is easy to recognize them because the “blood groove goes all the way to the tip. They were cut down to below the top of the groove.
The replica matches up really well in the handle and the scabbard is excellent, but that is pretty much where the merits end. The blade itself is crudely stamped from steel that just doesn’t feel right, and instead of being parkerized like an original it is black blued, or perhaps even painted. The button release is loose and scratchy, unlike the original that even at 70 years old is still tight and smooth.
Worse, the bayonet doesn’t fit the lug on any of my Garands or Springfields. As you can see from the pictures, I even sunk the bayonet into a palm tree a couple inches with a full force stab in hopes of getting the bayonet to click in. It didn’t work. I had to hammer it off of course, but didn’t need to push the button.
The M1 Garand may still be the best battle implement ever made, which were Gereral Patton’s comments about the rifle. It would be nice to be able to buy an affordable original length bayonet for it. This one, however, is a definate stay away. You could file inside the notch, and since I’m stuck with this one due to my abuse of it I will probably try that, but I wouldn’t bother buying one unless you want to take that chance. Maybe BudK will read this and have it made correctly. If they do we’ll let you know.