This is a FINE condition example of the .69 caliber socket bayonet known to collectors as the US M1842 Socket Bayonet. The designation as the M1842 is only a modern term of convenience used by collectors, and this designation was never applied to this pattern of bayonet. The reality is that this pattern of socket bayonet was not even produced until after 1855. The more correct term would be the US M1835/40 “Replacement” Bayonet. These bayonets were produced after the adoption of the US M1855 socket bayonet and were intended to replace those earlier M1835/40 socket bayonets that had been lost or damaged in service. The bayonets utilized the original pattern M1835/40 .69 socket, mortised for a bottom mounted lug, in conjunction with the then current pattern M1855 bayonet blade. This made perfect sense as all of the bayonet making machinery had been changed over to manufacture the M1855 .58 socket bayonet. This also allowed both the current issue M1855 bayonets and the M1835/40 replacement bayonets to use the same pattern bayonet scabbard.
This .69 caliber US M1835/40 Replacement Bayonet is in very nice condition. The blade is full length and retains some of its original “arsenal bright” polish. There are evenly distributed scattered patches of minor age discoloration and light surface oxidation present over the entire blade, giving it a sort of mottle appearance. Much of this light surface oxidation could probably be easily cleaned off the blade. The blade is almost entirely smooth, with only some extremely minor patches of widely scattered light pinpricking. The ricasso of the blade is clearly and crisply marked with the typical U.S. stamping. The socket matches the blade well and, retains some of its original arsenal bright polish as well. The original locking ring is in place, but the original tension screw is missing a never replacement is in the ring. The locking ring still functions correctly and rotates smoothly. Like the blade, the socket shows only a couple of tiny patches of light pinpricking and is otherwise quite smooth. The socket and neck of the bayonet show a few minor impact marks, and the socket shows one obvious nick at the leading edge of its right side.
Overall this is an extremely nice example of the Civil War era .69 caliber socket bayonet for the US M1835/40 and M1842 muskets. Although the collector name of M1842 is technically incorrect, it is not likely that the designation will ever be replaced in the collecting community. This is a great bayonet to add to your high condition US M1835/40 conversion musket or your M1842 musket, and would be a very nice, high condition addition to any Civil War bayonet collection.