US M1819 Hall Rifle Bayonet by Simeon North - Rare
- Product Code: EWB-2430-SOLD
- Availability: Out Of Stock
This is a very good example of one of the harder variants of the US M1816 style socket bayonets to find. The US M1819 Socket Bayonet for the Hall Rifle is essentially identical in shape and form to the US M1816/22/27 series of bayonets with a nominal 16” blade, face flute of varying length, a T-shaped mortise and 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 these letter-marked bayonets were produced by contractors with the US / SN mark being attributed to Simeon North, the only contractor to produce Hall rifles. More often, if the face of the bayonet is marked 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 bayonet, 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 at least some of 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 M-1819 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, when compared against the total production of Hall Rifles (by both Harpers Ferry & 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 nice example of a US M1819 Hall Rifle Socket Bayonet by Simeon North is in about VERY GOOD condition. This is one of the standard bayonets that was polished to National Armory Bright. The ricasso of the blade is marked US / SN, indicating production by North. As noted, marked Hall bayonets are very scarce. North delivered a total of 5,700 Hall Rifles between 1830 and 1836, with a similar number of bayonets being delivered as well. North’s production only represents about 22% of all Hall Rifles, so less than 1 in 4 Hall bayonets were part of North’s contract. It is not clear if all of the bayonets that North delivered were marked with his initials, but based upon their extreme rarity, it seems unlikely. Much like other arms makers and even the national armories, North likely subcontracted at least some of his bayonet production to outside sources. It is unlikely that these bayonets would have had North’s mark on the blade.
The reason that North received a contract to produce the Hall Rifle was due to the demand for the guns from the states. During the period, the standard Ordnance Department policy was to send contractor produced guns to the states for use under the Militia Act of 1808, while arms produced by the National Armories were usually reserved for issue to the Regular Army, or for issue to volunteer regiments in case of a national emergency. As such, it is likely that the large majority of Hall Rifles that were issued to the states were produced by North. In fact, based upon an inventory of Hall Rifles sent to the various states between the adoption of the gun and the end of fiscal year 1839, some 5,740 were issued. As this was more than North produced, at least some were obviously Harpers Ferry rifles. The two states that received the largest numbers of Hall Rifles were Maine (1,071) and Virginia (1,000), with ten additional states receiving at least some of the breechloading guns. A total of 3,948 of the guns went to “northern” states, with the balance of 1,792 being sent to “southern” states, including Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.
The bayonet has a .780” bore diameter and is approximately 19” in overall length. The blade is 15 13/16” long, is .891” wide and has a 7 ¾” long face flute. The Hall bayonets were produced with two styles of blades; a prow-tip that is typical of most US M-1816/22/27 socket bayonets and a tapered tip that is sharper. 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 M-1816/22/27 bayonet production. The blade is mostly smooth throughout, with only some evenly distributed pinpricking and light surface oxidation present. The socket remains round and the T-shaped 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 even surface oxidation as well, matching the blade. The ricasso has been lightly cleaned, to make the markings more visible. The bayonet remains in fairly crisp condition throughout, with some scattered minor dings on the outside of the socket, on the neck and along the edges of the bayonet blade, all typical of handling and use during the period. The bayonet shows real world use, but no abuse.
Overall this is a solid example of a scarce Simeon North Marked US M1819 Hall Rifle Socket Bayonet. The bayonet is in solid and complete condition and would be a wonderful addition to you Simeon North contract Hall Rifle, or your Confederate altered Hall, as it appears that about one third of the Simeon North made bayonets were issued to southern states prior to the Civil War.