Original British P-1888 Mk.I Bayonet for Lee-Metford & Long Lee-Enfield Rifles with Scabbard - dated 1890

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This a very nice late Victorian Era British Pattern of 1888 bayonet, made originally to fit the Magazine Lee–Metford (MLM) rifle, first introduced in 1888. This rifle had been designed to use a .303 Black Powder cartridge, however smokeless powder was later introduced for a new .303 cartridge, and the Metford rifling proved to be wholly unsuited for the more powerful propellant. As such, a new rifle was introduced in 1895, the Magazine Lee–Enfield, or MLE, which was almost identical to the MLM, but with a new barrel and sights. The stock and fittings were the same, and it took the same bayonet. This rifle was then itself superseded by the legendary Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee–Enfield or SMLE in 1904, which had a different bayonet mounting system.

The P-1888 is designed to mount to a lug underneath the MLM and MLE barrel, and slides over the cleaning rod, much as in the German 1898 Mauser model rifles. The bayonet has a wooden handle retained by brass rivets, and has a spear point hollow ground blade. This same blade was then used on the short lived Pattern 1903 bayonet for the new SMLE rifle. The bayonet comes with a very nice early Pattern scabbard, with the "teardrop" shaped frog stud and 1940 dated leather frog.

The blade ricasso is marked CROWN / VR / 8 ' 90 on the blade ricasso, for acceptance in April of 1897 by the Victorian military. The other side has the ARROW / WD War Department stamp and other proof markings. The scabbard has no markings we can see.

Condition of the bayonet is very good, with a near excellent blade. It still has its factory bright finish, with little wear and only light staining. The grip is in great shape, with just a bit of peppered patina on the hilt. The scabbard is in good condition, with solid leather, though the metal fittings are covered with light pitting, as shown. The throat is still intact, and it grips the bayonet well.

This really is a gem and ready to fit to your Lee-Metford or Long Lee-Enfield Rifle!

Blade Length: 12"
Blade Style: Double Edged Hollow Ground Spear Point
Overall length: 16 5/8"
Crossguard: 2 5/8”
Scabbard Length: 12 3/8"

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