Category Archives: knives

Do you have a Wilde Tool M1905E1 bayonet?

As a gun guy who also has a debilitating knife habit, of course, I am into bayonets, an addiction that I have regularly chronicled. Since my early teens, if I came across one in a swap meet, gun show, estate sale, or buddy’s collection at a decent price, it attracted my hot little hands.

If you have a similar monkey on your back, check your collection for a “WT” marked M1905E1. Produced by Wilde Tool out of Kansas City, Missouri, who made some 60,000 standard 16-inch M1905s for the U.S. M1903 Springfield rifle/M1 Garand, the “E1” mod is the later cutdown mod with the blade trimmed to 10-inches.

Thus

Apparently, they are running the same price as M1s themselves these days!

For Pocket Knife Fans

Recently snagged these plastic cards as part of a T&E I am doing on Case knives. I have a few extra on hand to pass on to fans of folding knives. Just shoot me an email with your shipping address to egerwriter@gmail.com and I will drop one in the mail (no, this is not a plot to add you to a mailing list for anyone or send your info to an eagerly awaiting Nigerian prince.)

For those of you who would rather just have the digital version, of course just click “save as” on the images.

Happy Monday!

But do you have it with aluminum handles?

The Turkish military was an early and frequent user of the M1 Garand. First fielding the .30-06-caliber autoloader in 1950 as a brand-new NATO ally, it took the place of reworked 1890s-era German Mausers. 

Pvt. Eyup Capkin of Turkey loading ammunition into an M-1 rifle in Korea (Springfield Armory National Historic Site TEMP-965.1)

In all, the U.S. sent over 300,000 M1s as military aid to Turkey by 1972.

Turkish paratroopers, Cyprus, 1972. Note the M1 Garand and M1A1 Thompson submachine gun

In recent years, as the Turkish military has been updating its arsenals, lots of M1s have filtered back via the CMP as ordnance returns– for instance, an estimated 13,000 former Turkish Air Force Garands came back in 2018. 

However, Uncle Sam provided Istanbul with few bayonets, forcing the Turks instead to come up with their own solution. This included converting old M1935 Mauser knife bayonets in the late 1950s. We have covered these already.

As the years rolled on, M.K.E. in Ankara (Makina ve Kimya Endustrsi Kurumu = Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corp.), produced a clone of the U.S. M5 bayonet, substituting black-painted aluminum grips for the traditional American plastic panels.

As the bayonets were not included in the ordnance returns, the Turkish military has been selling them on the milsurp market where both the Mauser- and M5-type have been circulating among importers (SARCO et. al) for around $20-$30.


Note the extensive wear, with the paint almost gone and some surface rust, which is common.

Like the standard M5, they are 11.125-inches long with a 6.5-inch blade.

I have to say, they are pretty neat.

Testing the Bhojpure

Matt Easton of Schola Gladiatoria has been cleaning and testing a relic Bhojpure kukri (khukuri) from the large collection of original 19th century Nepalese Government military stores that IMA and Atlanta Cutlery scored back in 2003. Of course, he is a little late to the party as I picked up one of these a few years back and found it to be just a remarkable edged weapon. Truly excellent once you got the yak grease off.

Here is Matt testing it:

Speaking of Gurkas, this year’s intake at Infantry Training Centre Catterick has gone off swimmingly.

However, with Nepal still in COVID-19 lockdown, the 2021 Intake could be delayed, which could mean some uncertainty in the manning of the Brigade of Gurkhas, the Indian Army’s seven Gorkha regiments, and the Singapore Police Force’s Gurkha Contingent.

The Ottomans liked a little flash

I’ve seen probably tens of thousands of historic edged weapons in my time, but I have to say this 18th/19th century  Turkish Yatagan probably comes closest to taking the cake when it comes to an ornate presentation sword.

From the Sofe Auction description:

Featuring massive hilt with traditional eared grips of marine nature and seldom encountered form, gilt silver mounts with intricate filigree decorations, all set with numerous large fluted red corals to its hilt and upper scabbard. One side of the scabbard bearing an ink written number, matching to the number written on top of one of the large ears, and is most likely a Museum inventory number. Mounted with an unbelievably gorgeous large blade of traditional form but very nontraditional level of decoration, having large fire blued panels heavily inlaid with finest quality Gold Arabic scriptures, symbols and Koranic passages to both sides. In its beautiful repousse silver scabbard, depicting Islamic Temples, War Trophy panoplies, and wonderful floral scrolls.

You have to wonder how many times in this sword’s life it has been a war trophy in some soldier’s rucksack.

Getting a feel from some Black Ice

Since about mid-March, I have been working on a T&E on Kimber’s newest take on the M1911A1 platform– the Rapide (Black Ice). With a name familiar in Europe commonly used for a fast express train– and a popular Aston Martin model– the Rapide is billed by Kimber as a 1911 platform built for speed and is both competition and range ready.

The pistol is feature-rich including stepped cocking serrations, slide lightening cuts, a DLC coated barrel for extreme durability, extended magwell, and new V-Cut match-grade trigger. It also comes with Tru-Glo TFX Pro Day/Night sights and G10 grips. A 70-series gun with a 4.9-pound trigger pull on average, the variant I have been working with is a 10mm Auto, and I have to say, it is fetching.

The folder, btw, is a Case Gunstock in Curly Maple, which I think pairs well with the big Kimber. A blend of old and new.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

Bringing a rifle to a sword fight

Matt Easton with Scholagladiatoria covers military bayonet/rifle fencing equipment that was common from about the 1850s through the 1930s, with, naturally, an emphasis on British kit.

You had to be a serious Tommy to suit up in one of these outfits back in the day.

British fencing musket as a properly-mustached sergeant looks on

The French also used much the same kit, as seen with this Pouli using his Berthier rifle in a fencing duel against a gendarme

The more slappy and less complicated U.S. M1912 Fencing Bayonet, for use with the M1903 Springfield

Of course, you can’t talk about British Tommies and bayonets without the mandatory mentioning of the venerable Corporal Jones of Dad’s Army fame.

Happy National Napping Day

Just in case you didn’t know, the Monday after Daylight Savings Time spring’s back is National Napping Day. In true LSOZI fashion, this is my take.

Marine Sgt. Robert Gwinn, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, takes a nap waiting for a helicopter to transport him back to base after a five-day recon patrol in the hills near Da Nang, Vietnam, 1969.

Official USMC photo by Gunnery Sergeant Bob Jordan via Marine Corps History Division

Official USMC photo by Gunnery Sergeant Bob Jordan via Marine Corps History Division

Of note, the likely exhausted Gwinn carries an aircrew/pilot’s survival knife and not a traditional K-Bar fighting knife. You can tell by the bolt-shaped pommel and sharpening stone pouch on the sheath.

As Gwinn’s patrol, according to the MCHD, “worked closely with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing pilots and aircrews,” he likely got the knife in trade. Below he is shown filling his canteen in another shot from the Corps Archives. That CAR-15 XM177, tho…

Robert Gwinn Fills His Canteens, 1969 1st Recon Danag Vietnam Marines CAR15 XM177

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