US Model 1917 Bayonet with Home Guard Frog, by Remington 1918
Straight single-fullered blade with spear point, steel hilt with muzzle ring, wood slab grips secured by two screws, steel beaked pommel with oil hole and locking button. Brown leather scabbard with steel locket & chape fittings, the leather body painted olive green on the reverse side, brown leather frog with belt loop and retaining loop.
The blade is stamped on one side at the ricasso with the Shell and Flame (aka Flaming Bomb), the mark of the US Army Ordnance Branch, and an eagle head inspection mark over 19 (identifying the individual inspector), and on the other side with the manufacture date 1918 and a Remington roundel manufacturer’s mark. The leather of the scabbard is stamped on the rear side with ‘F.I.C.’ and the chape piece is stamped ‘US’ next to the staple. The frog is stamped near the retention loop rivets with ‘E’.
Due to the outbreak of WW1, manufacture of the new British P1914 Enfield rifle was contracted out to American manufacturers Remington and Winchester, including its matching 1913 Pattern bayonet. After the United States entered WW1 in 1917 the factories that had been producing for the British switched to supplying the same products to the US Army. In US service the P1914 Rifle became the ‘United States Rifle, Model of 1917’ with accompanying ‘Model 1917’ bayonet – both direct copies, now with US markings.
However, the distinctive pattern of frog that has been fitted shows that this bayonet did see use in British hands after all: it was issued to the British Home Guard during WW2, who were often armed with the M1917 or P1914 rifles, no longer standard issue but which still used current cartridges. The leather of US bayonets was often painted olive drab to match their uniforms, this paint appears to have been deliberately removed from the front side on this example to blend in better with British brown uniforms, but remains on the back where it would not be seen.
The blade is particularly fine, with a smooth evenly blued finish, no edge damage or significant wear. The hilt, exposed tang, pommel and scabbard fittings all also retain their blued finish, only showing wear on a few raised edges like the locking button. The wood grips are undamaged with no significant scratching or denting. The leather of the scabbard and frog is excellent. Some cracking and flaking to the frog retention loop.