90th IDPG Reviews


STURM / SEMS Inc M8 Scabbard Review

Review Date: 11/24/2013
Author: Chris Guska


Infantrymen of the 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, U.S. Third Army, move across a tread way bridge near Scheuren, Germany. 6 March 1945


Once again being a sucker for a project, I have been on the lookout for reproduction M8 Scabbards that could be cannibalized for parts to rebuild damaged original scabbards, or otherwise be accurized to an acceptable quality.

I noticed the SEMS M8 scabbard available for reasonable prices from a number of vendors. A roll of the dice later...

M8 vs M8A1?

With regard to M8 scabbards, there are several variations. There's M8's, which as originally produced did not have a wire M1910 hanger, there are M8's that had 1910 hangers crudely added, there are scabbards marked M8, but were actually assembled from the factory as M8A1's, with the canvas loop lengthened and a 1910 hanger added - and finally M8A1's, marked as M8A1's.

Gary Cunningham's Bayonet Points has a very good overview of M8's vs M8A1's.



Ordering was quick and easy from D-Day Quartermaster.

Cost: $24.99 + Shipping

The Reproduction:

There is a lot going on here, it is almost overwhelming. I'll save the words for later in the review, for now just take in the photos of the M8 in all its egregious glory.

Front view

Rear view


An original M8 scabbard is being used for the comparisons with the SEMS / STURM reproduction.

At first glance a number of major issues are evident.

The retaining strap is significantly larger than that of the original, thus the hardware is also much larger. In 20 years of collecting, I have never observed a M8 or M8A1 scabbard with such a wide retaining strap.

The rivets holding the retaining strap and throat to the webbing are of a different style than the originals. The reproductions have a distinct domed top half of the double cap rivet.

In comparison with original M8A1 scabbard webbing, it is also evident that something is amiss with the retaining strap and hardware.

A positive, in that the webbing length and general construction is similar to the original M8A1 examples on hand.

The photo below makes the reproduction look all that much worse, as both originals have their snap fastening in the opposite direction of the reproduction. I have observed M8A1's with snaps fastening in both directions, so this is not necessarily a flaw when assessed on the basis of M8A1 webbing.

The binding tape on the webbing where the throat is attached is nylon. While Nylon was used in late WW2, notably on the binding tape of some M1 Carbine ammunition pouches, I cannot say I have ever observed it on a M8 series scabbard.

Details of the rivets are also visible.

The reproduction is nicely marked U.S. M8, which differs from the original slightly in size and style of font. The BM Co maker mark is omitted - better no marking than a fantasy marking such as "SEMS".

The throat feels to be of sturdy construction and well put together. The tabs holding the throat to the body could be bent further for a more permanent hold. This works in my favor since it will be taken apart for parts...

Details of the plastic body.

The plastic scabbard body is quite possibly the best part of this reproduction, as the webbing is not salvageable.

The body has a slight textured finish to it, with some of the fine details of the original being lost in the copy. This could be slightly sanded smooth and coated with paint to look very convincing.

The Victory Plastics logo and mold number are faithfully copied on the reproduction. A nice touch.

Another plus on the reproduction is the accurate internal construction of the scabbard, incorporating a separate plastic throat spacer and "springs" to retain the knife blade.

Typically this detail has not been copied on reproduction M7 bayonet scabbards. I appreciate that this was done on the M8 knife scabbards.

Here is the reproduction pictured with an original Imperial M3 knife. The knife fits as it should, without resistance but enough tension to retain the blade.

The oversize width retaining strap does close around the knife and snap securely.


  • Cheap!
  • Throat is OK and sturdy metal
  • Markings are minimalistic
  • Blade retaining "springs"
  • Plastic body is pretty good
  • Victory Plastic markings are a nice touch


  • Webbing top is straight up M8A1 style
  • Retaining strap is over width
  • Nylon binding tape
  • Hardware all around doesn't compare well
  • Need to spend money to fix it, or use it for parts on something


Products like this are why SEMS / STURM has a reputation for marginal authenticity.

The throat and scabbard body is pretty good on its own. This could be made to be a very good reproduction if it was combined with one of the AP Co M8 Scabbard Webbing Kits

The webbing on this product kills it. After all the trouble and expense that went into making the plastic and metal components, the webbing is a cop out. In my opinion, that is possibly one of the easiest aspects as the supplies are available from a number of sources - and SEMS / STURM already produces other reasonable webbing items.

I'd recommend this product simply as a cheap source of replacement bodies to rebuild broken original scabbards with.

I would not recommend this item for use as is, out of the box. In fact, if I saw it at an event, an unmerciful ball busting would be in order.


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