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View Full Version : Surpluse Bayonets as hunting/survival/fighting knives


FirstFreedom
December 1, 2005, 09:40 PM
As a general proposition, would it be a good value to just use a smallish milsurp bayo as a hunting/survival knife, provided you can find a suitable sheath for it? Would the size/materials/features be suitable, and if so, is the value for the price for this use as good, worse, or better than buying an ordinary new or used knife in this category? If so, which bayos, and anyone know of a sheath that happens to fit a particular bayo very well? Thanks.

saands
December 2, 2005, 09:43 AM
It has been my experience (examining the bayonets that arrived with my mil-surp rifles ... mostly Mausers, although I've seen others Garand, CETME, etc) that they are designed for thrusting and prying and not for cutting. Metallurgically speaking, this optimization will mean heat treating and then tempering them to a lower hardness and higher toughness (they don't really need to hold a razor sharp edge, but you CAN'T have them break in use). From a knife design perspective, that same optimization will lead to thicker cross sections and steeper grind angles leading toward the edge. What this translates into is a blade profile that, even if it hald a razor sharp edge, would slice very inefficiently. It might make good shallow cuts, but then the thickness would quickly get in the way.

I think that the Finnish Pukka bayonets were the exception, but these are VERY rare and quite expensive IF you could find one. I would recommend that you just save your pennies and get a good quality knife from reputable maker. I make my own so I get to determine both the blade geometry and the hardness, but if I were to buy one today, I'd look seriously at the SOG Northwest Ranger or Field Pup (although I'd prefer less toughness and a harder steel than these have). In general, I'd stay away from designs that purport to be unbreakable (that's why we use crow bars when we need to pry something) and I would lean towards flat grind profiles instead of the hollow ground that seems to accompany the KaBar and Bowie style of knives. The design of the Fallkniven F1 is very close to what I have settled on as the perfect all purpose fixed blade. I don't know about their heat treatment, but they use good quality steel in that one ... might be more $$$ than you want to spend, though.

Hope this helps.

Saands

USMC Tanker
December 3, 2005, 01:47 PM
Early bayonets were designed as a "use for anything and everything" field knife. Digging, chopping,etc. If you just want a simple, rugged knife, a $30 Kabar should do you just fine. I bought an Ontario Knife Company bayonet for Iraq, and it hasn't disappointed me yet. About $90 though.

shoot870p
December 3, 2005, 03:14 PM
my bayonet(I think it was a Buck brand) served well. This was from the early M9 versions (I think that was the nomenclature).
This model is more "knife" than "stick and slash" to my opinion.

DimitriS
December 3, 2005, 05:17 PM
My East German AK Bayonet is great :)

As saands mentioned sharpening one doesnt do anything to a bayonet so dont plan on cutting a apple with one I know I tried with mine had to use my Buck Knife folder after :o

Mine hasnt been sharpend only redone to the same high angle they have for "anything use" so the blade wont dull out fast. :) If you point and rip something with it it will cut almost anything no problem just dont expect it to cut as well as a hunting/utility knife, for thouse applications I suggest a Buck Knife (maybe a folder ??) or similar. :D

If I had to use only one knife in a survival situation I'll take my bayonet anyday over any other knife I handled. And I carry it while hunting for general use and just incase I get lost ;)

Its a good knife and Sportsmans Guide has them for like 20$ so they arnt too expensive. (http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=213657)

Dimitri

ChiefPilot
December 3, 2005, 11:42 PM
Bayos can be made to work that way, certainly, but if that's the primary use then I'd be inclined to just pick up a surplus USAF Pilot Survival Knife. I've got two of them I use, one as a camp knife and the other is in my flight bag. I also have bayo's for my AR's, M1A, and M1 Carbine, but I decided to get a "real" knife after considering how many times I needed a bayonet vs. how many times I needed a hunting knife. I can clean a rabbit much more easily with my pilot knife than I can with any of my bayonets, for example.