British Pattern 1853 Enfield Socket Bayonet by Salter
- Product Code: EWB-2482B
- Availability: In Stock
This is a nice, untouched example of the British Pattern 1853 socket bayonet for the Pattern 1853 “Enfield” rifle musket. The blade is marked with the contractor name Salter & Co. George Salter & Co was a Birmingham manufacturer of spring steel and balances (scales) that was started in 1760 by Richard & William Salter. Upon their deaths John & George Salter took over the business and by the 1790s they had become one of the leading employers in West Bromwich (about 5 miles NW of Birmingham), continuing to manufacture springs and balances, and adding bayonets to their manufacturing capacity. For the next two hundred years, the company continued in business under the name of George Slater. During the late 18thCentury and most of the 19thCentury, they were one of the premier makers to produce bayonets for the British War Department, as well as for the commercial and export trade; especially to the both the North and South during the course of the American Civil War. During the latter part of the 19thCentury, Salter returned to their original specialty and continued to expand their spring steel, spring and weighing and balance business. Salter actually continues to do business today as a subsidiary of Avery Weigh-Tronix, who acquired Salter in 2000.
The bayonet is a nice, untouched example in about VERY GOOD condition. The blade of the bayonet is marked with not only the makers mark SALTER & CO, but it also bears a (CROWN)/6 British military inspection mark. Additionally, there is the initial E deeply stamped into the ricasso where the blade and neck of the bayonet meet. This mark is probably that of the Liège, Belgium or Solingen, Prussia maker who actually made the bayonet. During the Crimean War and later the American Civil War, the Birmingham trade could not produce a sufficient quantity of bayonets to keep up with demand. As a result, they turned to their traditional secondary sources for arms, Belgium, and their age-old source for blades, Solingen. The bayonet was probably made in Belgium or Prussia for Salter, who then delivered the bayonet to the British War Department. The obverse of the socket, which it oriented to the top when the bayonet is fixed, is engraved in two lines with the British rack number 17 / 215. This type of marking suggests he bayonet was in use with British Colonial Troops or Militia Troops, as the standing regular army markings were slightly different.
The bayonet is full length and still very sharp at the tip. It is 100% complete and retains the original locking ring and tension screw. The bayonet has an untouched, mottled gray and brown patina on the blade scattered over a dull, pewter colored blade. The blade shows some very light pinpricking scattered along its entire length. The socket and shank some faded traces of their original blued finish, which has worn and dulled, mixing with a lovely smooth plum brown patina that is very attractive. The locking ring has the same matching smooth, plum-brown patina, and functions smoothly. The blade is full-length, measuring 17 ¾” (nominally 18”) and has an overall length of 20 ½” with a 3” socket. The muzzle diameter (bore diameter) of the socket measures .786” and the diameter at the rear of the socket measures .798”.
Overall this is a really nice, completely untouched example of the classic Enfield socket bayonet. The bayonet would be a fine accompaniment to the display of any P1853 Enfield Rifle Musket or would a nice addition to a 19thcentury bayonet collection. As these bayonets were handmade and hand-fit to the guns with varying tolerances, there is no guarantee that this bayonet will fit your musket. That is why the dimension are given above to try to help you assess the likelihood that this bayonet will fit your gun.