This is a great example of one of the harder variants of the US M1816 style socket bayonets to find. The US Model 1819 Socket Bayonetfor the Hall Rifleis essentially identical in shape and form to the US M-1816/22/27series of bayonets with a nominally 16” long blade, face flutes of varying length, a T-shaped mortise and a friction fit socket with no locking ring. The two major differences are the bore diameter of the socket, about .783 +/- for the Hall and about .830” for the M1816/22/27, and that the bridge of the socket for the Hall bayonet is elevated and cut with an offset recess to allow the offset front sight of the Hall rifle to pass into the bayonet socket. Typically, Hall Rifle bayonets are unmarked, although occasionally a marked blade is found. Some are marked with US over a pair of letters (either the maker or inspector), but these are extremely scarce. It is believed that some of these letter-marked bayonets were produced by contractors as one of the markings occasionally encountered, US/SN, is attributed to Simeon North, the only contractor to produce Hall rifles. More often, if the face of the bayonet is marked it is at all it is simply with a single or double punch dot, or more rarely a sort of windmill (or Maltese Cross) mark. It is believed that these bayonets with simple tool marks, as well as the ones bearing no marks, were probably manufactured at Harpers Ferry.
As with the M1816 series of bayonets, the Hall Rifle bayonets are found with two distinct styles of blade point. The more common is known as a “prow point”, with the end of the blade being fairly blunt and resembling the prow, or bow, of a boat. The other type of point is a tapered, sharper point. It has been postulated that all Hall Rifle bayonets were manufactured and finished “in the white”, with an arsenal bright, polished steel finish. This seems unlikely, as from time to time a rare example surfaces with original, period applied, arsenal lacquer brown finish. I think that a more realistic answer is that the bayonets for the Hall Rifle were finished in the brown during the “National Armory Brown” period, which lasted for the decade from 1822 until 1832. As production of the M1819 Hall Rifle did not really begin until 1824, it seems logical that the early Harpers Ferry produced socket bayonets would be of the general type and finish currently being manufactured at Harpers Ferry. Only 2,000 M1819 Hall Rifles were produced at the Harpers Ferry Rifle works between 1823/24 and 1831, with 1000 officially “delivered” in 1824 and 1000 more officially delivered in 1827. Both of these deliveries took place during the National Armory Brown period. The next delivery of Hall Rifles from the Harpers Ferry Rifle works was in 1832, when 4,360 were produced. It was during 1832 that the browning of muskets was officially ended at both of the national arsenals, so I believe that the browning of the Hall bayonets ended at that time as well. Contractor Simeon North delivered only 600 Hall Rifles in 1830 and 800 in 1831. This makes the total delivery of Hall Rifles prior to 1832 only 3,400. This explains the rarity of the browned bayonets. The total production of Hall Rifles by both Harpers Ferry and Simeon North was 25,380. Assuming that only those bayonets produced before 1832 were browned, only 13% of Hall bayonets would have received that finish. Even if half of the total 1832 production of bayonets was browned as well (prior to the process being discontinued), only 6,250 bayonets would have been browned, less than ¼ of the total production of Hall Rifle Bayonets.
This very nice example of a US M1819 Hall Rifle Socket Bayonet is in about FINE condition. This is one of the standard bayonets that was polished to National Armory Bright. The ricasso of the blade is bears two punch dot marks, as well as what appears to be a sideways R inspection stamp. While punch dot marks are not uncommon, the additional inspection mark is. The bayonet has a .778” socket bore diameter and is approximately 19” in overall length with a 15 ¾” long blade that is .9” wide. The blade shows some tools marks as well as some original cross polish along more than half of its length, running from the ricasso to within ½” of the base of the 6 ¾” long face flute. This bayonet features the more common “prow pint tip”. While no definitive criteria has developed to allow the dating of Hall bayonets, it has been surmised that these tapered tip bayonets were either very early or very late production, as the prow tip would have been typical of standard M1816/22/27 bayonet production. The blade is quite smooth throughout, with only some scattered areas of light surface oxidation present, as well as some oxidized discoloration. The socket remains perfectly round, and the T-shaped Wilson’s Improvement mortise remains crisp and sharp without any significant dings or mars around the front or rear of the socket to impede the mounting of the bayonet on a Hall rifle. The socket shows some minor flecks of surface oxidation as well as some very lightly scattered pitting. There is also some thin dried brownish oil or grease on the socket with less on the blade. The bayonet is fairly crisp and sharp throughout, with the usual assortment minor dings on the outside of the socket and along the edges of the bayonet blade, all typical of handling and use during the period. There are also a handful of minor forging flaws in both the blade and socket, which are fairly typical of the bayonets of this era.
Overall this is a very crisp and nice condition example of a scarce US M1819 Hall Rifle Socket Bayonet. The bayonet is in a wonderful state of preservation and retains some of its original armory bright finish. If you have nice Hall Rifle, flint or percussion, this would be a great addition to the display or your gun.