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Austrian M-1838/42 Boker Sample 12 Bayonet

Austrian M-1838/42 Boker Sample 12 Bayonet

  • Product Code: EWB-1464-SOLD
  • Availability: Out Of Stock
  • $1.00

This is a great example of one of the scarcest and least often-encountered Austrian socket bayonets that were imported during the American Civil War. This odd, pattern of altered bayonet was initially identified and documented by David Noe, one of the leading researchers and authors on the subject of imported arms of the American Civil War. David documents this rare bayonet in his article that was published in the Spring 2005 Issue (Volume 51) of the Society of American Bayonet Collectors Journal. This is a specially altered Austrian M-1838/42 socket bayonet. Initially these bayonets were designed for use with the M-1842 series of Austrian muskets, and it utilized the Laukart latch locking system. The bayonet had a straight mortise cut and a high bridge, and simply passed over the muzzle, guided along a stud, and was secured by a spring loaded catch. These scarce bayonets had their sockets altered to a more conventional, L-shaped mortise with a locking ring. The newly crafted socket resembles a typical French M-1822 socket (the model on which our US made Civil War era socket bayonets were based). These specially altered bayonets were used on M-1842 muskets that had their locking latches removed and had a new lug brazed onto the center, underside of the barrel, in a similar position to US M-1842 muskets. These altered muskets and bayonets were imported into the US by Herman Boker and are specifically identified in Ordnance Documents of the period as Boker Sample 12. The description of these guns clearly indicates that they are Austrian M-1842 muskets, altered to percussion, rifled with 5 grooves and with long-range sights added. The most salient featured for our discussion is Silas Crispin’s observation that the guns “had originally be adapted for the old model bayonet, but a stud brazed on the barrel has rendered it suitable for the modern class (sic) bayonet”. The reference to “class’ bayonet appears to be a misprint that should have read “clasp”. According to Ordnance Department records, Boker delivered 4,459 muskets of this pattern. Dave Noe notes article that through his years of research and observation, he has only encountered 4 of these muskets “ indicating a possible survival rate of less than a 10th of 1%!

The bayonet offered here shows the same workmanship and alterations noted in David’s article. The old Laukart slot has been filled and brazed up, with a new L mortise cut, a new bridge added and a locking ring added to the socket. Otherwise, the balance of the bayonet standard M-1838/42. The bayonet is in about VERY GOOD condition, with a smooth brown patina over mostly smooth, dove gray metal. There is only some light scattered peppering and pinpricking scattered along the length of the blade. The blade remains full length, and the socket retains the original locking ring and tension screw. The socket shows the somewhat crude workmanship that is mentioned in David’s article, and you can still see the remnants of the crude mortise cuts.

Overall this is a really attractive example of a very rare Austrian socket bayonet that was imported for Civil War use by Herman Boker. I will include a copy of David’s article with the bayonet so that you have all of the details available at your fingertips. If you like scarce and highly collectible Civil War import items, this is one item that it is very unlikely to be in your bayonet collection.


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Tags: Austrian, M, 1838, 42, Boker, Sample, 12, Bayonet