90th IDPG Reviews


Reproduction OL Bayonets

Review Date: 12/18/2010
Author: Mike Ellis
Special thanks to Chris Ward


While the CMP plans to release 16" bayonets some time during 2011, it's well known that the price will likely be steep. The M1905, and subsequent M1942 16" bayonets were issued with both the M1903 and M1 rifles. Though not common during normandy and later fighting, they played a large role during earlier battles, especially in the Pacific. To date, reenactors have faced the choice of an ungodly expensive original, or a laughably bad (and expensive) reproduction. This may have changed.

During the past few months, I've run into several reenactors carrying reproduction 10" bayonets from a still-unknown reproducer - likely somewhere in China or India. These bayonets are all marked OL, with 1943 as the date of manufacture. Chris Ward was kind enough to send more in-depth comparison images.

Reproduction markings (1943), compared to original OL (1942). As you can see, this reproduction closely match text, font, and spacing, and while the ordnance bomb is different, it is also of period type. This is one time where markings actually improve a reproduction.

Comparison Photos

While an original OL was not on hand to compare, an AFH was substituted. Upon casual inspection, the repro matched the original in all approximate dimensions.


As of December 2010, the "OL" 10" reproduction is available for $25 from keepshooting.com, and for considerably more from several other sources.

The 16" M1942

While the above 10" reproduction appeared well-enough made, I already have sufficient examples - I was after the M1942, 16" model. Originals routinely go for hundreds in online auctions and sit unsold for the same prices at gun shows. Other reproductions of this pricey bayonet start at $70, and feature inferior, blurred markings, modern fonts, and "made in china" stampings.

I was surprised to find the "OL" model on gunbroker for $39, shipped - buy it now. As of December 2010, the same auction routinely reappears on the site, for those who are interested. In the mean time, I'm going to go more in-depth on the "OL" reproduction M1942 bayonet.

Just like the 10", the 16" 'OL' reproduction is well marked, and finished with what appears to be black oxide. While WWII production bayonets were parkerized, we'll get into this later.

The 'OL' repro scabbard is also well made, and well marked, but lacks the spring to hold the blade in once the catch has been depressed. Again, more on this later.

The reverse side of the blade is unmarked. For once - no fugly repro markings!

Grips were correct color and pattern, but appeared to be cheaply made plastic and left something to be desired.

It even fits on my M1 with absolutely no adjustment needed. How many other reproductions can say the same?

Overall impression...A well-made reproduction with a few - possibly correctable - flaws. And, for $40, this is nothing to sneeze at.

Despite the above positive review, I would not bring this blade to an event as-is. The lack of spring means it rattles uncomfortably loudly when carried. The bayonet also falls out if the catch is not applied - not good. The grips are piss-poor. And the finish is jet black. It just doesn't seem quite right.

On to Page 2 - Refinements




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