Original U.S. WWII M1 Garand M1905E1 10" Cut Down Bayonet by Rare Maker Wilde Tool with Original Grips & Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fantastic service used M1905E1 U.S. bayonet with a 10 inch cut-down blade for the M1 Garand Rifle, complete with the correct WWII Issue shortened M3 scabbard. It was made by the VERY scarce maker Wilde Drop Forge & Tool. Like all shortened bayonets, it began life as an M1942 bayonet with a 16 inch long blade. Technically, these considered an M1905 bayonet by the U.S. Army, manufactured in 1942 with plastic ribbed grips, often referred to as an M1905/42
The M1 Garand rifle was designed to take the same blade bayonet as the M1903 Springfield rifle, so at the beginning of the war they were issued with bayonets originally made for those rifles. To keep up with Wartime production, new orders were placed for a version of the M1905 bayonet with plastic grips, and collectors use the designation M1942 for these bayonets, made from 1942 to 1943. Six civilian firms produced 1,540,578 M1905 bayonets from April 1942 to May 1943. Of these, only 60,000 (4%) were made by Wilde Tool, making this the rarest of all makers!
Wilde Drop Forge & Tool was a small hand tool manufacturer that received a government contact on September 27, 1941 for M1905 bayonets at the price of about $3.34 per bayonet. Although it was planned for deliveries to begin in late 1941 or early 1942, the first deliveries were not made until late summer of 1942. Wilde had tremendous difficulties meeting their production quotas, and because of this, Wilde and the Ordnance Department agreed not to extend their contract for bayonets. They were dropped from the bayonet program in February 1943, having made only 60,000 units, though they continued to supply pliers and other tools they were well-known for making. Considering how many Garand bayonets were lost, sent to other countries, etc, finding a Wilde Tool bayonet is definitely a feat!
We have heard that there may be some faked examples of these rare bayonets out there, but we have compared the markings on this bayonet with other 1942 dated Wilde Tool bayonets, even some in museums, and they are completely correct. It looks like Wilde had some issues with stamping dies during early production, and the markings on 1942 bayonets are a bit "crude", to say the least. The "flaming bomb" on these looks almost engraved on, showing uneven "flames", and has a small circle in the middle. The U. S. marking and 1942 date being are also somewhat deeply and crudely stamped, with a different style than the "WT" marking above the bomb. The company is still in existence, and this style of marking exactly matches the one shown on their website: Wilde Tools History. 1943 dated bayonets show a completely different marking style more in line with other makers. All Wilde Tool bayonets have a WT stamped on the top of the cross guard as well.
Another interesting feature of the Wilde Tool bayonets is the grips, which are a brown color and look to be made from a type of bakelite material, showing black inclusions throughout. They also have a VERY distinctive large black rectangle around the securing screw, not seen on any other maker. The grips themselves are extremely rare, and we have seen just a SINGLE grip scale sell for a few hundred dollars.
This lovely example is in very good shape, show wear from age and use. The blade ricasso is maker marked W T (Wilde Drop Forge and Tool Company in Kansas City, MO) above U. S. around the Ordnance "flaming bomb" and the date 1942. The top of the cross guard is marked correctly with W T, and the spine of the grip is marked U F H (Union Fork & Hoe of Columbus, Ohio), for the company that cut down the bayonet and reprofiled the blade. The original parkerized finish on the blade is retained a little, and it does show much signs of use after being cut down. The hilt also has a very nice finish, and the original Wilde Tool grip panels are in lovely condition, with only light wear, showing the black rectangles clearly on both sides.
The original scabbard is marked U.S. on the parkerized steel throat over the "Flaming Bomb", and is in very good condition. The style of the throat shows that it was originally a longer M3 scabbard for the 16" bayonet, but was then shortened to its current length. The B-N marking on the underside of the metal throat lip indicates manufacture by Beckwith Manufacturing, who produced a variety of thermoplastic impregnated cotton fabric scabbards during the war. The N is for New England Pressed Steel, who made the steel throats under contract with Beckwith. Condition is very good, with a great lightly worn look.
A fantastic 10" cut down M1 Garand bayonet by the rarest of all makers, complete with the equally rare original grips! This is the first time we have had a bayonet by Wilde Tool, and do not expect to have another anytime soon. Ready to display or fit on your Garand Rifle!
Blade Length: 9 7/8"
Blade Style: Single Edged with Fuller
Overall length: 14 1/2“
Crossguard: 3 1/2”
Scabbard Length: 11 1/4"
More on Shortened Garand Bayonets:
In 1943, the U.S. Army made the decision to shorten the M1905 bayonet's blade to 10 inches (25.4 cm) and as many of the M1905 and M1942 bayonets were recalled, their blades were cut down to size, and were reissued. These shortened M1905 bayonets were re-designated as M1905E1.
The U.S. Army also introduced a new purpose-made shorter M1 bayonet which was designed to be used with the M1 Garand rifle. The M1 bayonet's blade is 10 inches (25.4 cm) long and the handle is 4 inches (10.1 cm) long. Like this example, they are easily identified by the blade fuller, which on a cut-down version runs to the edge of the blade, such as the blade on this example.
These shorter bayonets functioned well in the European theater, where in the rare bayonet-actions of the time they were matched up against the 9 3⁄4 inch long blade of the German S84/98 III bayonet fitted on the Karabiner 98k rifle. However, in the Pacific theater, the Japanese used the much longer, 15.75 inches (40.0 cm), bladed Type 30 sword bayonet on the already very long Arisaka rifle, which caused many American troops to retain the longer, unmodified M1905 bayonet.
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