This is a very nice example of one of the harder variants of the US M1816 style socket bayonets to find. The US Model 1819 Socket Bayonet for the Hall Rifle is essentially identical in shape and form to the US M-1816/22/27 series of bayonets with a nominal 16” blade, face flute 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 being 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 VERY FINE condition. This is one of the standard bayonets that was polished to National Armory Bright. The ricasso of the blade is marked with a single, deep punch dot. This is one of the more typical markings on the examples of Hall socket bayonets that are marked. The bayonet has a .785” socket bore diameter and is approximately 19” in overall length with a 15 ¾” long blade that is .895” wide. The blade shows some of the original cross polish along more than half of its length, running from the ricasso to about the base of the 9” 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 mostly smooth throughout with a bright appearance and was probably lightly cleaned at some point in time. There are some scattered patches of oxidized surface discoloration present on the face of the bayonet, with slightly more oxidized discoloration along the reverse of the blade. The blade is mostly smooth with some scattered pinpricking around the base of the face flute and some very minor pitting around the tip; mostly along the edges. 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. The bayonet is very crisp and sharp throughout, with only a handful of minor dings and mars on the outside of the socket, on the shank and along the edges of the bayonet blade, all typical of handling and use during the period.
Overall this is a very crisp and quite nice condition example of a scarce US M-1819 Hall Rifle Socket Bayonet. The bayonet is in a very nice state of preservation with a nice bright metal surface that suggests its original arsenal bright appearance. If you have nice Hall Rifle, flint or percussion, this would be a great addition to the display or your gun.