2N Bayonet Collection

NO 4

MK I

N04 Nk 1 was manufactured only by Singer Machines in 1941 (75.000)

MK II

MK II Savage in MK I scabbard (throat broken), P37 frog.

MK II Savage in Mk.II scabbard with P37 frog.

MK II*

MK II* P.S.K in Mk.I scabbard, P37 frog.

MK II* P.S.K in M5 Victory Plastic scabbard, integral frog.

MK III

(1944) MK III in Mk.3 scabbard, frog P3, poss. indian.

The 1940-1941 wartime years were disastrous for Great Britain. The German naval blockade, added to massive bombings, forced Great Britain to self-sufficiency. Even if some North American convoys were reaching the Kingdom successfully, times were then dedicated to the maximization of the production: the country was obliged to speed up its armaments production efficiently and at the lowest cost.

This situation stimulated greater thought: modifications were brought to the Mk.I. It was mentionned above that the "List of Changes"of the 9th June 1941 introduced the No.4, Mk.II while the Mk.I was declared obsolete. The 13th February 1941, an "Instruction to Proceed"( verbal instructions, a telephone call for instance, to start the production before written confirmation was sent to begin the production ) was given to the Singer Manufacturing Co., the maker of the Mk.I, to produce the second type of No.4. The new type was identical to the Mk.I : the dimensions were the same as well as the components. A variation was introduced : the blade, which was of circular section without the fluted ( cruciform ) blade. The tip had a screwdriver shaped end.

The manufacturing process of the Mk.II was identical to the Mk.I, except for the machining of the blade. By the deletion of the four milling operations, time and money were saved, the production increased and a serviceable weapon was still obtained. From 1941 to 1944, the Singer's total production of this type of bayonet was 1,141,782 made. Singer was the sole maker of the Mk.II in Great Britain and produced them until 1947. The costing price was 6/91/2 each, circa 1/40 of a weekly British worker average salary. A gain, in term of war effort. But the British government was still uncertain about the supply of rifles and bayonets from local production. It ordered more from Canada ( Small Arms Ltd, Long Branch, Ontario ) and the U.S.A. ( Stevens-Savage, Chicopee-Falls, Mass. ). The Canadian arsenal made circa 910,000 Mk.II. 330,000 were delivered to Great Britain; 500,000 were used by Canadian troops; an additional small issues were sent to New Zealand and NewFoundland. The American company produced circa 1,237,000 Mk.II bayonets for British uses (40,000 for China ). Modifications were brought to the Mk.II. They are maybe minor modifications but they worth to be mentionned. (photo M-G) In 1942-1943, Singer altered the design of the socket. On the Singer's early socket ( S.M. or S.M.C. marked ), the front opening was looking slightly oval because the bayonet was made with a long V cut from the opening above the elbow; the ledge between the front and the rear of the socket was quite thin. (photo M(odif.Mk.II)-A) By 1943, in an attempt to improve security, each British makers were given an alpha-numerical code ( more details related to the codes will be given further in the page ). Singer's code was N67. The N67 marked bayonets had a circular front opening look because the bayonet was made with a shorter V shaped cavity above the elbow; the ledge on the socket was wider. (photo M-B) The reason why these modifications were brought to the N67 remains obscure. Mr. Priest mentions an hypothesis which suggests that new machinery may have been installed at the Singer's company in 1942-1943.The purpose would have been to solve the problems of larger orders and to cope with the new socket design ( see: "The Spirit of the Pike" written by Mr. G. Priest and published on the " Ist No.4 Bayonet Collectors Club"site). Notice that the blade remained the same on both Singer's variations. (photo M-H) The two North American makers also brought minor modifications to the Mk.II they produced, especially to the blade. (photo M-G) On some Mk.II made by these two companies, the diameter of the blade decreases regularly from the elbow to the tip (photos M-C; M-E ); on the others, there is an oval epaulement ( or shoulder? ) more or less strong in thickness from circa 2cm of the elbow, very similar to the Singer's made bayonets. (photos M-D; M-F) I think the first description of a North American bayonet blades mentionned above is related to an early production even if they are parkerized or phosphate coated. These coats could have been applied later, while the bayonets were refurbished. (photos M-I ; M-J) The reason for the modification brought to the North American blades could be one of realignment to the British standards of production. I also noticed the following fact: some 'regular diameter blades' (devoid of epaulement) do not fitted properly in some unmarked British made Mk.I scabbards or later dated ones. These modifications were maybe made to tighten more safely the bayonet into the scabbard? Or, to strenghten the blade at the junction of the elbow ? Mr. Renoux suggests that the modifications are maybe the 'signature' of different workshops ( in an article published in "Gazette des Armes",1995). To view the variations and modifications brought to the No.4,Mk.II bayonets, the collector can refer to the following photos related to the Mk.II variations:

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