Italian M1938 Carcano Folding Bayonet
Spear point fullered knife blade 6.9 inches in length (11.25 overall), hilt with muzzle ring and locking button for folding action, wood grips secured by two screws. Steel scabbard with oval frog hook. Tang stamped with ‘B4346’ and inspection stamps.
This bayonet was initially issued with the M1938 Carcano infantry rifle and its ‘Moschetto’ carbine version, its folding blade allowing the bayonet to be left affixed to the rifle rather than returned to the scabbard when not in use. However, the folding mechanism was found to be a point of structural weakness and the blade tended to rattle when locked open or locked closed (this bayonet is no exception).
During WW2 the M1938 was redesigned to be a fixed-blade bayonet, and many of the folding version were also converted to a fixed configuration with a new hilt piece. This makes the original unmodified folding types rarer today. The earliest folding M1938s used a latch-lock integrated into the grips to lock the blade, but this was quickly replaced with the less awkward button with an internal spring seen on this example. The folding & locking mechanisms are fully functional.