90th IDPG Reviews


Reproduction OL Bayonets - Refinements

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

Now that we've done the side by side comparison - there's some room for improvement to these bayonets. Here's what I did to attempt to correct some of the flaws.

Refinements - Finish

As mentioned above, the finish is a major detractor in this and most other repro bayonets. To improve, we sand blasted and parkerized all metal parts.

An improvement, though still not perfect.

Upon closer inspection, the blade and handle appear to be two separate pieces of metal, welded together at the crossguard. The result was a slight two-tone appearance, and some discoloration in this area.

The weld also meant that the blade and handle were slightly skewed, and had to be bent straight.

In order to parkerize, the scabbard throat was carefully unbent and removed.

After refinish, it took on a nice light gray color.

Refinements - Springs

As stated above, the repro also lacked the flat springs inside the scabbard, which decreased rattling and prevented the blade from falling out at any moment if not properly secured.

To remedy this, we went to the local lumber supply and obtained 12" of steel lumber banding. This was free, as the band is considered waste once it has been cut from the lumber. The material is the correct thickness and similar to spring steel in originals.

The idea is to properly fold the spring to slide against the blade on both sides while in the scabbard. Ensure the blade will still fit your scabbard even if the spring is within.

Due to the thickness of the spring, you will have to remove a slight amount of material from the plastic portion of the scabbard. Draw the area to be thinned using a marker or similar instrument.

CAREFULLY thin the scabbard using a dremel-type tool. Wear eye and ear protection, and go slowly - you may damage your repro if not careful.

Using a vice, hammer, and pair of pliers, bend the spring steel into an approximate "U" shape. WEAR EYE PROTECTION. The spring may snap. Check for fit often, and as always, go slow. You're only removing the thickness of the spring so the throat will fit over this area again.

Once correctly bent, the springs will hold themselves on to an extent.

The scabbard throat does the rest.

At some point, you'll need to remove the paint from the lumber spring. This is very easy, and was done with citristrip. Underneath, pleasantly enough, is a fine layer of blue.


Bend the springs into a way shape to provide proper hold. Reassemble the throat.

Check the bayonet for fit and function - does it slide in too easily, or with too much force required? Adjust as necessary. Once you're done, carefully rebend the tabs which fix the throat to the scabbard.

That's it. You're done. And now it doesn't rattle any more.

Final Thoughts

Given the very low price for this reasonably good reproduction, I'd consider purchasing again. That it fits my rifle is a definite plus, though it would be nice if the finish had come out just a bit darker.

Once completed, the project reproduction looked well at home fixed to my '28 pack, possibly as part of an earlier war impression.

Speaking of which, it was also nice that the wire hanger actually fit my '28 pack - and was correctly made of steel rather than some other material such as brass, a commonly encountered problem in reproductions.

The grips still leave something to be desired, and it's more obvious now that other areas have improved. This is one area where my originals did not match up - original grips must be modified to fit this repro. I would consider finding nicer reproduction grips, or a poor pair of originals to modify to complete it.

All in all, not a bad winter's project.

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