Rare US M1817 aka M1815 Type IV Socket Bayonet
- Product Code: EWB-2452
- Availability: Out Of Stock
This is a scarce example of a transitional US socket bayonet that collector, researcher and author Peter Schmidt has identified as the US Model 1817 Socket Bayonet. Mr. Schmidt has identified this transitional bayonet as a pattern produced for about one year at the National Arsenals during the period of final development of the US Model 1816 Musket and Bayonet. Technically, he identifies this pattern of bayonet as being used on the US Model 1815 Type IV Musket, which would typically be dated 1817 or 1818.
While the bayonet appears to be a standard, common US M1816 bayonet, a closer look quickly reveals that the bayonet does not have the single most important identifying feature of the M1816 socket bayonet; a “T” mortise. This feature, known as “Wilson’s Improvement,” had been developed by Springfield Armory employee Andrew Wilson in 1814. Between 1818 and 1844 approximately one million bayonets would be produced using this “T Mortise.” The M1817 Bayonet retains the original three-step mortise of the earlier pattern bayonets but does not include the Wilson “T” shaped mortise cut of the M1816 pattern. However, it does more closely resemble the M1816 pattern than the preceding M1815 pattern. The 1815 bayonet had a longer socket, while the M1817 had a nominally 3” bridged socket like the 1816 pattern. The 1817 bayonets appear with both tapered points and the classic “prow point” associated with the 1816 bayonet. This suggests that some of the 1817 bayonets may have been later production replacement bayonets that were produced during the 1816 period to replace damaged or lost bayonets for the M1815 Type IV Muskets. These bayonets were M1816 patterns for all practical purposes with the M1817 pattern socket.
Offered here is a FINE condition example of a US M1817 (1815 Type IV) Socket Bayonet. The bayonet has a 16” prow-point blade that is .95” at the widest point with an 8 7/8” face flute. The socket measures a nominal 3” with a 1 3/16” muzzle-to-stud distance and has an overall length of 19 ¼”. The muzzle diameter of the socket measures a tight .817”, slightly smaller than the typical .820” diameter, however the socket is also very slightly out of round. The obverse of the socket of the bayonet is marked with the number 14 and a punch dot mark to the rear of the mortise cut. The number is a mating number to match the bayonet to the gun. The face of the blade is clearly stamped US / EB. The letters “EB” are the mark of Springfield Armory armor Elizur Bates, who apparently did some work as a bayonet forger prior to being promoted to inspector of arms.
The bayonet has a mostly smooth, mottled brown patina on the blade with the socket cleaned to a more pewter color. The metal shows some scattered surface oxidation and minor roughness as well as some scattered pinpricking that is somewhat more noticeable on the socket around the shank. The bayonet shows some forging flaws that are most noticeable on the reverse of the socket at the shank. As noted, the socket of the bayonet is very slightly out of round possibly period damage intended to make the bayonet fit a musket more securely. All of the markings remain crisp, and other than the cleaned socket the bayonet has a nice, crisp and untouched look.
Overall this is a very nice example of a scarce US M1817 (1815 Type IV) Socket Bayonet. A pattern rarely seen for sale and a piece that would be a fine addition to any collection of early American socket bayonets, particularly as a transitional example of a bayonet that was produced very briefly as the US M1816 muskets and bayonets were going into production.