Fine US Model 1855 Socket Bayonet with Engraved Initials on the Blade
- Product Code: EWB-B253B
- Availability: Out Of Stock
This is an extremely nice and extremely crisp example of the US Model 1855 Socket Bayonet, the standard socket bayonet used on all .58 caliber US rifle muskets from the Model 1855 through the Model 1870 Allin Conversion muskets. The Model 1855/70 bayonet was the most used socket bayonet of the American Civil War era, with well over one million produced by the National armories and a variety of contractors from about 1855-1865. The Model 1855 introduced a new shape to the shoulders of the bayonet blade, which took on a smoothly tapered profile with this pattern, eliminating the sharp shoulders that had been typical from the pre-1816 pattern US bayonets through the Model 1835/40 bayonet. This new blade shape would remain in use with the Model 1873 socket bayonet for the Model 1873 Trapdoor Rifle, and all subsequent Trapdoor rifle models that accepted a socket bayonet would use it as well. This is the “Type II” variant which has a locking ring with a slightly longer throw than the earliest “Type I” bayonets.
This particular US Model 1855/70 .58 Socket Bayonet is in VERY FINE+ condition and is somewhat unique in that the blade is engraved with a set of initials. It is not clear why, but enough engraved presentation US Model 1861 Rifle Muskets exist that it may have been mated to one of those guns. Some time ago I sold Norwich Contract presentation rifle musket that had an engraved lock which is now in a Connecticut public institution, so this bayonet may well have been intended to accompany such a gun. The blade is engraved with the script initials H.C.H. which are about ¼” tall and about 2 ¾” from the shank of the bayonet, in the face flute. The bayonet also has a C inspection mark on the obverse of the socket, forward of the mortise cut and the inspection mark 26 on the rear face of the socket. The blade has a deeply stamped U.S in the usual location on the blade’s ricasso.
The blade retains much of its original arsenal bright polish, which had dulled very slightly. The blade shows a few areas of widely scattered, speckled, lightly oxidized age discoloration spots along its entire length, mostly in the last few inches closest to the bayonet’s tip and on the reverse of the blade. The metal is mostly smooth and is free of any pitting, showing only some very lightly scattered flecks of minute pinpricking on the blade and socket. The socket and shank show small patches of lightly oxidized discoloration as well and would likely improve with a light, careful cleaning. The blade is full-length and unaltered. The socket retains its original locking ring and tension screw, which function exactly as they should.
If you have been wanting a very crisp and bright .58 caliber Model 1855 bayonet to your collection, this one would be a great one. It would also be a wonderful addition to the display of your high condition US .58 1855/61/63/64 Civil War era rifle musket. It is also a nice example of an interesting variant on the standard US Model 1855 bayonet with the uncommon engraved initials on the blade.