Original German WWII Rare SS / SA Reitersturm Marked 98k Bayonet by Alexander Coppel with Scabbard & Frog - 1934 Date Code

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. In 1935 the German military introduced the K98k bolt action rifle or Karabiner 98 Kurz, as a replacement for the older GEW98 or Gewehr 98. A new, shorter bayonet was designed to go along with the shortened rifle. The K98 bayonet was officially named Seitengewehr 84/98 III or SG 84/98 III. The bayonet was designed as a close combat sidearm that could be placed on the tip of a K98, and was nearly identical to the earlier Seitengewehr 84/98 II.

The total length of the K98 bayonet was 15.2 inches, far shorter than the 20 inch long GEW98 bayonet. The blade was also straighter in shape and the hand guard was omitted. The K98 bayonet was carried in a leather frog, or Seitengewehrtragetasche, on the left side on the equipment belt in combination with the shovel and its carrier. The maker marks on k98 bayonets where stamped onto the top of the blade. On the reverse the batch number and suffix were stamped.

Model bayonet: Seitengewehr 84/98 II/III
Markings: S/173K, R.ST.
Material: Blued steel
Grip material: Wood

The blade of this example does not have a serial number marked, and instead is stamped with R. ST. on the ricasso, the abbreviation for Reitersturm (Rider Storm), the designation used for a "mounted regiment of Storm Troops or Elite Guard". This information comes from the War Department Military Intelligence Service Publication GERMAN MILITARY ABBREVIATIONS. These units were utilized by both the SA and SS, which originally had been part of the SA. Intended to be elite, they were utilized both during parades, as well as during military actions.

The most well known of the various Reitersturm units was the SS Cavalry Brigade, which operated on the Eastern Front. Unfortunately there is no real way to tell what type of unit this bayonet was issued with, however given its very early manufacture, it could have been used anywhere. Definitely some great research potential in this bayonet!

Condition is very good, with much of the bluing present on the blade and hilt, though it may have been refinished during the war. The wooden grips are in great shape with a nice color, and the locking button on the pommel works great. The blade has the original factory "sharpening", which did not really make the blade sharp: that was up to the soldier. There are no signs of major damage or sharpening to the blade, just some light oxidation spotting as well as wear from the scabbard runners.

The blade's reverse ricasso is marked with the Zahlencode (number code) that was used from 1925-1940 to obscure manufacturers, and often had a date suffix after them, such as with this example. S/173K indicates 1934 production by Alexander Coppel, a well-known edged weapon maker from Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in western Germany. There are early "Weimar" style stick eagle inspection marks on the pommel.

Per J Anthony Carter's Work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, Alexander Coppel & Co. KG, Stahlwarenfabrik, (Steel Ware Factory), this company was a major manufacturer of edged weapons and tools from the end of the 19th century up until the WWII period. Unfortunately, as NSDAP-control increased, brothers Carl Gustav and Dr. Alexander Coppel, the Jewish owners of the firm, were forced out. In 1936 the firm had been "Aryanized", and started using the name ALCOSO to hide the Jewish family name. By the end of 1936 the brothers were ejected from their Solingen offices, and by 1940 the brand trademark initials ACS were changed to AWS to reflect the change in ownership and name: Alexander Coppel Solingen to Alcoso-Werk Solingen. Carl Gustav Coppel committed suicide in Solingen in 1941, and Dr. Alexander Coppel was arrested in 1942 and sent to Theresienstadt Prison camp, where he died August 5th 1942. The factory itself was destroyed by Allied bombers in November 1944.

The scabbard included with the bayonet is not matching, and is marked on the back by maker E. u. F. Hörster of Solingen, with a date of 1939. It shows age and wear, and was painted black at some point, with about 60% still retained. The rest shows flaking and light oxidation. It has few small dents, which do not interfere with sheathing the blade.

The frog is held in a nice well worn leather scabbard featuring early aluminum rivets. It does not look to have been made with a securing strap, and is maker marked and dated on the back with W. Wanders / Wuppertal Wf. / 1939. Most of hte original finish is worn away, but the stitching is still intact. There is a tear at the top left side of the sleeve for the scabbard.

A great example of a rare Reitersturm bayonet from the Pre-WWII Period. Ready to research and display!


Blade Length: 10"
Blade Style: Single Edge w/ Fuller
Overall length: 15 1/4“
Crossguard: 1 1/2”
Scabbard Length: 10 1/2"

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