PDA

View Full Version : Greek Schoenauer or Mannlicher bayonet



deadjune
11-04-2009, 07:36 AM
hey guys

I see very often on ebay these "Greek mannlicher M95 bayonets"
how can you tell if they are M95 or Schoenauer bayonets?
It would make more sense if the majority are MS, because
the Greek Army used only a very small fraction of booty M95.

For example ebay item 110453607180? What is this bayonet?:confused:

AndyB
11-04-2009, 08:30 AM
There exist two bayonets, one is this shape as normal M1895 austrian modell, other is long T shaped bladed with similar pommel.I assume one could be for rifle other for carbines?.best regards,Andy
PS i believe JPS and other senior members have here pictured rifles with bayonets, proof the search function on this forum.

Nick
11-04-2009, 09:59 AM
Ere, lad.

This is the standard Y1903 bayonet (disregard the spike bayonet, it's for Berdan 2):

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=242552&d=1257346510

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=242553&d=1257346510

And here is the ersatz bayonet, made from a Gras Mle 1874 bayonet (also shown for comparison):

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=242554&d=1257346510

The muzzle ring of the ersatz has been reworked as shown and the pommel has been ground a bit:

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=242555&d=1257346510

AndyB
11-04-2009, 10:19 AM
Hello Nick, nice piece, the Sorlini marked piece was realised probably postwar when the scabbard is correct for the piece? Looks like yugoslavian M24 scabbard. best regards,Andy

Nick
11-04-2009, 10:31 AM
the Sorlini marked piece

The scabbard appears to fit correctly. What is "Sorlini"? The bayonet is made by Zeitler.

deadjune
11-04-2009, 01:41 PM
Thanks Nick,

I believe that this T shape long blade was only introduced in the '24 and '30
contracts, that's why the vast majority have Italian stamps,
they came with the Breda rifles.

I have seen no photo that shows long bayonets in pre 1922 photos apart from reworked gras as shown. On the contrary they are the standard in WW2 photos.

Now, my question referred to the short, earlier version. Is this in most respects the same as the M95 with just different ring???:confused:

I hope JPS catches up with our discussion, I know he has loads of MS bayonets.

Nick
11-04-2009, 06:27 PM
Hello Nick, nice piece, the Sorlini marked piece was realised probably postwar when the scabbard is correct for the piece? Looks like yugoslavian M24 scabbard. best regards,Andy
Nope, just checked it again - it won't fit the Yugoslavian long M24. It's the right scabbard.


Now, my question referred to the short, earlier version. Is this in most respects the same as the M95 with just different ring???:confused:.
The only short bayonets for Y1903 & 1903/14 are the Mannlicher M95 reworks. Kiesling doesn't call them "earlier version", though.

AndyB
11-05-2009, 02:19 AM
Croatian sabre collector had deciphered the correct maker of 3 swords logo is no way a Zeitler, its a firm located to Croatia or Slovenia near Italian border, i believe the 20ies contract was delivered with bayonets from Italy and some are proofed with 3 swords logo.
To M95 short bayonets, there exist evidently with only greek stamps, and are part of contract, these are not reworks. The long bayonet have a 14mm or 15mm MRD? best regards,Andy

HELLASBAYOS
11-05-2009, 06:03 AM
Hello to all,
The majority of the short "M95 Greek" Mannlicher bayonets appearing often on ebay are ex Greek M1903 Mannlicher bayonets captured by the Bulgarians and altered by them to fit on their M95 rifles. The only alteration on them is the larger muzzle ring and the shorter crossguard. These bayonets, certainly cannot fit on the Greek rifles or carbines.
The first long T-backed long bayonet was the model M1903/14 with the Steyr marks (OE WG) and leather scabbard with steel fittings.
And yes, the scabbard is the right one for this M1903/14 and the bayonet's MRD must be 14mm.
Best regards,
Giannis.

AndyB
11-05-2009, 06:19 AM
Hello Thanks Gianni for the clearing, my opinion is that the M1895 with greek stamps are certainly for rifle, its possibility that the carbine were equiped with long bayonet as was normally realised by other countries. So these short bayonets are bulgarised with new crossguard .
I unfortunally didnt saw any long OEWG marked bayonets, but the pictured piece made by Croatian firm i believe was for the 1927 italy contract carbines or rifles? The metall scabbard has typical yugoslavian/FN M24 design.best regards,Andy

Nick
11-05-2009, 10:02 AM
Hello to all,
The majority of the short "M95 Greek" Mannlicher bayonets appearing often on ebay are ex Greek M1903 Mannlicher bayonets captured by the Bulgarians and altered by them to fit on their M95 rifles...
Here is my Greek M.95:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a50/NickStan/BGBayonetsWWI-6GreekCaptured.jpg

AndyB
11-05-2009, 11:19 AM
Yes Nick, i would called M03 converted to M95 configuration by Bulgarians.

HELLASBAYOS
11-05-2009, 01:47 PM
Hello, again,
The first order to Steyr for 100.000 M1903/14 rifles with long T-backed bayonets was done on July 1913. Only a part was delivered due to the situation at the time. These first long bayonets had leather scabbards as I mentioned above. I have attached a photo of one. These were marked with Saint George mark & OE WG and on the frog stud were marked with a small cross as in short M1903 scabbards & OE WG.

AndyB
11-06-2009, 02:36 AM
Thanks for details Gianni, great bayonet. The delivery of Y1903/14 were only realised in rifle lenght or there were carbines too? thanks,Andy

Nick
11-06-2009, 09:17 AM
In the Austrian book "In der Stunde der Not - Fremdlandische Gewehrmodelle in Osterreich-Ungarn 1914-1918" this long bayonet with a T-blade is described as "the original bayonet for Y1903 & 1903/14".

Kiesling describes the short M.95 as reworks for Y1903 & 1903/14.

AndyB
11-06-2009, 11:59 AM
I dont have unfortunally the long bayonet, but from the hungarian website was the blade lenght declared as about 500mm the carbine lenght is 950mm i believe the rifle with 1230mm plus 250mm long blade have both configurations same lenght, on various other rifles was this similar realised, the overall lenght were 1500mm which was enough for hit a cavalry man on horse for a infanterist. But maybe i am not correct on this, but certainly i have a nice M03 short bayonet converted by Bulgarians to M95 piece, the bayonet has origin finish and typical stamps like on Y1903 rifle, the one part that was changed is crossguard. Same as the frog stud has only the greek cross and producer stamp.Its not rework from other bayonet .best regards,Andy
One way to find the answer is the research on the serial numbers. unfortunally by M95 were changed the or crossguards so no possible to find, but i assume the T shaped are sarce for 130000 pcs, the OEWG bayonets are harder to find as Italian or Sorlini made.

Fatherandersonthepaladin
11-06-2009, 01:16 PM
If only they still made bayonets like these... I can't get enough of that old world quality.

HELLASBAYOS
11-06-2009, 03:22 PM
Hello to all,
All bayonets received from Steyr, till the acceptance of the M1903/14 rifle and its long T-backed bayonet were of the short type.

According to Steyr records and Sazanidis book, 137.454 M1903 Mannlichers were ordered till the beginning of first Balkan War/Oct 1912, (23.980 carbines included, 7.880 of them without bayonets).

The M1903 (short) bayonets were used on rifles and carbines. A very small number was ordered for the Greek Navy and instead of the Saint George mark, has an anchor (photo attached).

On first receipt of the M1903/14 Mannlichers and afterwards, the bayonets were of the long T-backed type. The short M1903 bayonets then were used mainly with the carbines.
I think it will be a good idea to move to the bayonets forum......:)
Giannis

AndyB
11-06-2009, 04:11 PM
Thanks very much for the interesting Information Giannis. best regards,Andy
PS. i have on my bayonet a remains of serial number on pommel, is this a old greek number or its a bulgarian number or the serials were marked on crossguards?

Nick
11-06-2009, 04:21 PM
Efharisto, kyr Giannis!

I have been trying through my Greek friends from church to buy Sazanidis' book, but to no avail. I would appreciate if you point me in the right direction with regards to this book.

sfm1904
11-07-2009, 06:13 AM
I believe the fellow member makedon has found some of Sazanidis books in new condition!!!! You can contact with him for a book.

Gianni, how goes your book on Greek bayonets?

deadjune
11-07-2009, 11:33 AM
Hello, again,
The first order to Steyr for 100.000 M1903/14 rifles with long T-backed bayonets was done on July 1913. Only a part was delivered due to the situation at the time. These first long bayonets had leather scabbards as I mentioned above. I have attached a photo of one. These were marked with Saint George mark & OE WG and on the frog stud were marked with a small cross as in short M1903 scabbards & OE WG.


That would explain why up to 1922 I cannot find any photo with a long bayonet, there seem to have been a rarity until they became the standard
with metal scabbard later in the 20s. And I agree that the same applies to both carbines and long rifles, they all are fitted with short bayonets.:rolleyes:

HELLASBAYOS
11-07-2009, 03:34 PM
Greek S/Ns Andy are marked on the crossguards of the bayonets. Exception are the Y1930 Greek FN Mausers with the S/Ns marked on the back of their pommels.
If you cannot find the book Nick through the source given by sfm1904, contact me so I shall try to find it.
The book Panagioti is on the final stage. I just want to complete my research on a Greek conversion not known till recently.

gk1
11-07-2009, 09:12 PM
Hi Gianni,
I will be looking forward to your book as I know very little about Greek bayonets and most other books do not have much (or any) on Greek bayonets.
Is the book going to be in Greek or English?
Make sure you let everyone know when its ready and how to get it.
George

HELLASBAYOS
11-09-2009, 02:56 AM
Hello,
Sorry for the delay, but it was due to my PC's problems.
The book George will be in Greek and its main parts in English.
I shall let you know when it will be ready.

pj308
11-09-2009, 08:31 PM
Greetings to all my fellow Greek collectors. It is so wonderful to find out the history of the Greek Military bayonets from all of you. I figure we should contact the administrator of GB and start a new discussion board called Greek Military Weapons. Just to jump in I will share my bayonet affixed to my 03/14.

AndyB
11-10-2009, 02:51 AM
Hello, very nice piece, is this piece made by Eredi Gnutti? looks like a piece to Italy rifle? Interesting is the different shape of press button to compare with austrian production. The serial number has a greek letter as prefix? thanks very much and best regards. Andy
PS Thanks to Gianni for answer about serial number on crossguards.

HELLASBAYOS
11-10-2009, 05:23 AM
This nice bayonet comes from the post war (1925-1927) order of 100.000 M1903/14/27 rifles & bayonets from the Breda factory. Part of the bayonets are marked EREDI GNUTTI - LUMEZZANE and another part EREDI GNUTTI - BRESCIA.
Yes Andy, the serial numbers has a Greek letter as prefix.

pj308
11-10-2009, 08:22 PM
My bayonet is marked EREDI GNUTTI - LUMEZZANE-I assume is was from the Breda Factory where the rifle came from. I purchased the rifle separately. I remember the first time the bayonet was affixed to the rifle. It snapped on tightly and the rifle became complete. The serial number prefix letter is B for BETA. I shoot the rifle on a regular basis and get 2-3" groups at 100 yards. I am hesitant to shoot it with the bayonet affixed.
Best Regards
Panayiotes

AndyB
11-11-2009, 02:38 AM
Interestingly there is probably only variation of marking as i assume Lumezzano is near Brescia, other point is what for serial is on the Nicks 3 sword logo bayonet, there are some present, and i assume it was too the Italy contract? but the X and 37xxx range is really high. best regards,Andy

AndyB
11-13-2009, 03:19 AM
There is on german forum similar bayonet made by one of the italian firm stamped with 5 point star on blade the serial number has 4 digit and suffix letter B, looks like the serialing were done in various manner, little confusing.best regards,Andy

deadjune
01-11-2010, 06:35 AM
Another thought as I was reading your comments lads,

What irony that Greece ordered twice weapons from countries that few years later were at war against her!
That's bad luck, I tell you. But I am happy that we did not have any bland SMLEs etc.

makedon
04-03-2010, 10:08 AM
Hello from Greece,
For whoever is interested, there are some copies of Ch. Sazanidis' book "Ta opla ton Ellinon", a detailed work on modern Greek guns and bayonets.
It costs 75 euros.
For more info, please contact me at [email protected]
Dimitris

Nick
04-03-2010, 11:37 AM
Hristos Anesti, Dimitris!

With the kind help of Hellasbayos I am now a proud owner of the book!

TrelosGreek
04-06-2010, 09:34 AM
Hristos Anestis to all ..
Can you tell me a little bit about the book like:
What rifle is the first one featured and the last one featured ?
Is it heavily illistrated with pics of various rifles and diagrams ?
Does it go indepth with serial numbers and stampings ?

Nick
04-06-2010, 04:41 PM
I will post a few scans from the book after work.

JPS
04-06-2010, 10:15 PM
Hello Gents,

Here are some photos of some of my Greek rifles and bayonets. The Gras bayonets are Greek conversions and the Model 1903/14 bayonets were manufactured by Steyr for the original contract. I also have one or more the Italian manufactured by Gnutti, but have never encountered any of the Greek M1903/14s with original scabbards, however I have seen the steel furnished leather scabbards in various museum collections.

The five-point star that appears on some of the Italian manufactured bayonets also appears on all of the small rifle parts that were produced in Italy during the post WWI rework.

I also greatly appreciate finally learning why the Greek marked M1895 bayonets don’t fit any of the Greek rifles nor have I ever been able to find any substantial purchase and issue of M95 Mannlichers in the Greek Army. So these are all Bulgarian conversions! Makes sense with the major overhaul and refurbishment that the Bulgarians performed on the 95s they had in inventory and acquired after WWI.

Hope this info helps!

Warmest regards,

JPS

Nick
04-06-2010, 10:55 PM
Here are the promised scans of the content of the book "The Arms of Hellenes":

JPS
04-07-2010, 02:40 AM
Thanks Nick!

I didn't open every scan thanks to the efficiency of the Great Firewall of China, however from the few that I did open, I take it that this particular book is entirely in Greek?

Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.

Warmest regards,

JPS

Nick
04-07-2010, 12:39 PM
Thanks Nick!

I take it that this particular book is entirely in Greek?


Yes, 99% Greek and 1% English - there is an English summary at the end of the book. There is a lot of information in a table format, which is relatively easy to understand. Plus I am using my Greek friends to translate certain excerpts that intrigue me. It's an ongoing process, though.

My only gripe with the book are the rather poor graphics - low resolution dark B&W pictures, and many of them are simply scans from other books. However, considering that this is the only quality Greek source, I am happy with the book.

TrelosGreek
04-07-2010, 07:24 PM
Thanks for that Nick,
Ok, it looks very informitive and from the first page (p7) I can see it saying "general Arming of the Army from 1821 to 1992", it looks like the book is structured in such a way that its made up by a multiple of books and even gets into the arming of diferent states as well. nice..
I think I would have liked more good quality photos and close up's of individual rifles with their markings though. By first glance at these few pages it definately is for the advanced collector with very indepth information.

Thanks once again Nick ,, and HEY there JPS !!!! ;)

DocAV
04-07-2010, 07:35 PM
Gnutti of Brescia: a Long-standing Steel Forging and Manufacturing Company in the Brescia District, with numerous Foundries and Forging Plants. Initially set up in 1920s to make Castings and Forgings for the Railways, they speciallised in making Ball and Roller Bearings sometime around 1950s. In the 1920s,& during WW II their Forging capacity was also utilised by Beretta and the Gardone/Brescia Army Workshops, for Blade manufacture for Bayonets.

(a lot of M38 folding Blades were made by Gnutti.) They were now one of the major makers of Rolling stock wheel bearings across Europe.( Roller bearing section sold to Timken, 1997)

Now engaged in precision Power-train and castings for Engine building of all types

"Eredi Gnutti" The Heirs to the Gnutti Enterprise. I will further research the Name and Business via the Italian Wiki and Google. See "ErediGnutti" or gnutticarlo.it on the Web

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics
Brisbane Australia

Nick
04-07-2010, 10:25 PM
...I think I would have liked more good quality photos and close up's of individual rifles with their markings though...

I'm sooo soft-hearted...

TrelosGreek
04-08-2010, 08:23 PM
I'm sooo soft-hearted...

No, not soft hearted,,, I call it just "too cool" ;)
Thanx once again Nick

trajan
07-05-2011, 09:17 AM
Hello to all,
The majority of the short "M95 Greek" Mannlicher bayonets appearing often on ebay are ex Greek M1903 Mannlicher bayonets captured by the Bulgarians and altered by them to fit on their M95 rifles. The only alteration on them is the larger muzzle ring and the shorter crossguard. ... And yes, the scabbard is the right one for this M1903/14 and the bayonet's MRD must be 14mm.
Best regards,
Giannis.

Thanks for you information on the Greek Mannlicher 1895/1903, which I greatly appreciate as I have recently bought what seems to be one of these. I'd be glad of further help on identifying it!

It has the small St.George and dragon mark on the pommel; the OEWG mark on one ricasso, the letter 'G' on the other (I assume for the German 'Graecische'?); serial numbers ending with the Greek letter GAMMA on the crossguard; scabbard with small cross in circle over OEWG; and a plain unmarked frog. The muzzle ring diameter matches my FGGY Bulgarian FGGY so I assume it has been reemed out.

But what was the MRD of the original Greek 1895/1903? And as there are no Bulgarian marks anywhere on bayonet or scabbard, do I have a Bulgarian 'capture' or a Greek 're-used' for a captured Bulgarian rifle?

Any help greatly appreciated!

Trajan

Nick
07-05-2011, 10:06 AM
OEWG = Österreichische Waffenfabriksgesellschaft. I am not sure what you mean by "1895/03 Mannlicher".

Most likely you have a Bulgarian captured Greek bayonet for the Y1903, which was reworked by replacing the cross guard with one for the M.95. The original Y1903 bayonets were almost exactly like the Austrian M.95 bayonets except for the different guard (muzzle ring diameter and its distance from lock).

trajan
07-05-2011, 01:46 PM
Thanks! I realised the Greek letter GAMMA after the serial number (1354) on my 1895/1903 Greek bayonet might be the Bulgarian equivalent of their GARRA, but your reply made me compare the 1895 Greek with the 1895 Bulgarian more closely. And the cross guard rivets on the 1895/1903 Greek are bigger than those on the 1895 Bulgarian, so, yes, I can understand that the crossguard could have been replaced after the bayonet was captured by the Bulgarians. So, a problem apparently solved. A Greek 1895/1903 captured by the Bulgarians and the cross guard replaced.

BUT, I would have thought that the Bulgarians would have erased the Greek St.George and/or overstamped a Bulgarian Lion... For example, my unmodified Turkish 1891 has the Sultan's symbol on the pommel, and my 1929 modified 1891 has the symbol removed and the Turkish Republic stamp ASFA placed there. So, in this case, COULD the muzzle ring of my 1895/1903 Greek have been reemed out by the Greeks to fit a captured Bulgarian rifle? This is why I wondered about the MRD of the Greek 1895/1905!!!

Trajan

EDIT: 1895/1903 Greek Mannlicher - my understanding was (I am happy to be corrected!) that the Greeks adopted a new Mannlicher rifle in 1903 with a different muzzle ring diameter to the standard Mannlicher Steyr and so need a new bayonet to fit this.

Nick
07-05-2011, 04:14 PM
1895/1903 Greek Mannlicher - my understanding was (I am happy to be corrected!) that the Greeks adopted a new Mannlicher rifle in 1903 with a different muzzle ring diameter to the standard Mannlicher Steyr and so need a new bayonet to fit this.

Mannlicher Y1903 is the first Mannlicher design adopted by the Greek army. It was slightly modified later (Y1903/14), but was basically the same gun. All other Mannlicher rifles and carbines in Greek service are Bulgarian captures and reparations, which came after the Second Balkan War and after WWI. The above quoted book by Sazanidis has a really good inventory of all guns in Greek service.

I have one such modified Y1903 bayonet with the St. George still intact. Why these markings were not obliterated is unknown to me. The Serbs also didn't touch the Bulgarian crest when reworking thousands of M.95s to M.95M.

trajan
07-06-2011, 04:24 AM
... I have one such modified Y1903 bayonet with the St. George still intact. Why these markings were not obliterated is unknown to me. The Serbs also didn't touch the Bulgarian crest when reworking thousands of M.95s to M.95M.

Thanks for the info. Evidently, erasing original markings was not considered a necessity by some nations when using captured or requistioned weapons, no matter how surprising that might seem. In fact I remember reading somewhere that the Waffenamt marks on the ex-Wehrmacht rifles and bayonets supplied to the Israeli's before the 1948 War were left in place... And wasn't it the case (I seem to remember) that the German Bundeswehr Honour Guard was still using Waffenamt marked rifles and bayonets until relatively recently?

Having said all that, what WAS the difference(s) - if any - between the standard Mannlicher 1895 bayonet and those supplied to Greece in 1903? Length (i.e., height) of crossguard? Height of muzzle ring above the bayonet spine? Sorry to bother you with might seem inane questions, but I do like to get my facts right when learning about a specific bayonet!

Trajan

Trajan.

Nick
07-06-2011, 09:38 PM
For whatever reason the Greek Y1903 bayonet is pretty obscure, possibly because of its similarity with the Austrian M.95 bayonet. Kiesling doesn't describe it at all, Jansen incorrectly describes its Bulgarian rework as "Greek M1895 bayonet". So far I have only seen it described in one book and once "in person" - a captured one in Bulgaria that survived without being reworked (being in private hands).

Here is a scan of a very poor photo from Christos Sazanidis' book "The Arms of Hellenes". Bayonet #3 is the bayonet in question. The dimensions that differ from the Bulgarian rework are those of the cross-guard only. Muzzle ring diameter = 14 mm, distance from the handle to the bottom of the muzzle ring = 17.8 mm

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=443617&d=1310002550

trajan
07-07-2011, 05:38 AM
Many, many thanks - now the wait until I get home and do the measuring!

Trajan

trajan
07-07-2011, 10:29 AM
The dimensions that differ from the Bulgarian rework are those of the cross-guard only. Muzzle ring diameter = 14 mm, distance from the handle to the bottom of the muzzle ring = 17.8 mm

Nick,

Finally home and checked and rechecked the distance from the handle to the bottom of the muzzle ring on my 'Greek' Mannlicher 1895 and it is about 17.8 mm (one of the kids has 'mislaid' my calipers - but it is certainly close to 18 mm!). I also checked and rechecked my 'Bulgarian' Mannlicher bayonet and it is 13 mm or so (rather rusted!)...

So if I understand you correctly, I have an unaltered Greek Mannlicher bayonet? And so a pretty rare item? In which case, what is it - a Mannlicher 1895/Y1903? A Mannlicher Y1903?

Thanks again for your help earlier, without which I would not have not this far - and looking foward to your comments on this news!

Trajan

EDIT: without which I would not have GOT this far(!!!)

Nick
07-07-2011, 11:46 AM
... what is it - a Mannlicher 1895/Y1903? A Mannlicher Y1903?

According to your dimensions and the above book it appears that you have a Mannlicher-Schoenauer Y1903 bayonet. Congrats, you got an uncommon bayonet!

trajan
07-07-2011, 12:40 PM
According to your dimensions and the above book it appears that you have a Mannlicher-Schoenauer Y1903 bayonet. Congrats, you got an uncommon bayonet!

GREAT! I also checked the muzzle ring diameter you gave and this also fits with it being a Greek 'Schoenaeur'. I found it in the local monthly 'Antique Market' - presumably it got 'left behind' after the Turkish War of Independence against the Greeks. I bought it mainly because of the Greek markings and its frog to go as a companion piece with the really ropey condition FGGY Bulgarian Mannlicher 1895 I already had (and an OEWG Czech/Bulgarian I am thinking about). So, I am mighty pleased that not only is it a nice looking bayonet, but it is also an 'oddity'!

A couple of final questions if I may - at least with this one! (1), how to catalogue it? Mannlicher 1895/Y1903? Or as a Mannlicher Y1903? (2), and excuse my ignorance - what does the 'Y' stand for?

Thanks again for your input on this one! VERY much appreciated!

Trajan

EDIT: found the W*****a article on the MS 1903 rifle, where it states 'The original Steyr-made Y1903 ('Y' stands for model in Greek)', so that's cleared up. It seems there is no way of dating my bayonet closely, given the various contracts between Greece and Steyr (in 1906, 1914 and 1930, according to W*****a), although as it has larger rivets on the cross-guard than those on my Bulgarian M1895, I would hazard a guess it is probably post-WWI.

Nick
07-10-2011, 11:29 AM
It seems there is no way of dating my bayonet closely, given the various contracts between Greece and Steyr (in 1906, 1914 and 1930, according to W*****a), although as it has larger rivets on the cross-guard than those on my Bulgarian M1895, I would hazard a guess it is probably post-WWI.

The short bayonets were only made prior to 1914, hence they are called Y1903 after the rifle & carbine model. After that the longer Y1903/14 were made (Y = ΥΠΟΔΕΙΓΜΑ, model)

Some Gras Y1874 bayonets got reworked for the Y1903 & Y1903/14:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a50/NickStan/GrasMle1874-6.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a50/NickStan/GrasMle1874-7.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a50/NickStan/GrasMle1874-1.jpg

TheGreenMan
07-10-2011, 01:34 PM
The short bayonets were only made prior to 1914, hence they are called Y1903 after the rifle & carbine model. After that the longer Y1903/14 were made (Y = ΥΠΟΔΕΙΓΜΑ, model)

Some Gras Y1874 bayonets got reworked for the Y1903 & Y1903/14:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a50/NickStan/GrasMle1874-6.jpg
Finally! I have that exact bayonet (bottom one). I have been looking all over and asked here what I had but could find nothing. It is a Steyr 1885 Gras bayonet that has had the muzzle ring reworked. So this is for the Greek Y1903 or Y1903/14 rifle? Thanks Nick!

Slightly separate question: The bayonet is fairly covered in non-active rust, though not really any pitting. Would it harm the value to use some oil and bronze wool on it?

Nick
07-10-2011, 01:54 PM
So this is for the Greek Y1903 or Y1903/14 rifle?

For either, there is no difference in attaching points dimensions. I would remove the rust with WD40 & a bronze brush.

JPS
07-10-2011, 11:21 PM
Hello Gents,

Here are shots of the Greek rifles and bayonets in my collection. The only thing I lack is an original Y1903 knife bayonet. I have several different variations of the Greek Gras bayonet conversion as well as the original Greek Gras as produced by Steyr for the Greek contract Y1874 Rifle.

Please keep an eye out for an original unaltered Y1903 knife bayonet for me Nick!

The photos include two M1903/14 Austro-Hungarian commandeered rifles that were issued to A-H troops early in the war.

Warmest regards,

JPS

trajan
07-11-2011, 12:01 PM
Please keep an eye out for an original unaltered Y1903 knife bayonet for me Nick! JPS

I'll keep a watch for you JPS: Turkey might be the place to find another unaltered example. Mind you ALL bayonets in Turkey are more expensive than in Europe or the US!

Trajan

trajan
07-11-2011, 12:19 PM
The short bayonets were only made prior to 1914, hence they are called Y1903 after the rifle & carbine model. After that the longer Y1903/14 were made (Y = ΥΠΟΔΕΙΓΜΑ, model)... Some Gras Y1874 bayonets got reworked for the Y1903 & Y1903/14:

Thanks, Nick, for Y1914 info..

Re: the Gras. Did you see my thread on my 'odd' Greek Gras bayonet? Mine has the same recess behind the crossguard as on your upper photo top example, and the same WAFFENFABRIK script on the spine as your lower photo bottom example. The top one is a French Gras fitting? So mine is at least a Gras? But it has what I was thinking is a Mannlicher type mortice? Then the problem with the serials and inspection marks, etc., on this one. It bugs me. (BTW, I can't even be certain it has an adjusting screw... It has been so rusted and over-cleaned that it MIGHT be a rivet. I doubt it as the diameter of the 'head' is larger than that of the bottom.)

Many of my queries I suspect are things that an experienced collector could dismiss as simplicities - but as a beginner with no reference works save Kiesling and no collections to compare things with all help is appreciated!

Trajan

Nick
07-11-2011, 12:29 PM
The top one is a French Gras fitting? So mine is at least a Gras?

Check out my pictures in post #43. It is hard to answer your questions without pictures, but a Steyr-made bayonet marked Waffenfabrik Steyr is most likely for the Greek order of Y1874 Gras, also made by Steyr.

trajan
11-10-2012, 02:16 PM
I'll keep a watch for you JPS: Turkey might be the place to find another unaltered example. Mind you ALL bayonets in Turkey are more expensive than in Europe or the US!

Trajan

I might have another Mannlicher Schoenauer Y1903 soon... see photos - the height of the muzzle ring (compare with a regular Mannlicher 1895) and the G on the ricasso seem right, scabbard not right... Currently being negotiated but if confirmed that would make only four known unconverted examples of this Y1903 bayonet amongst our bayonet brotherhood on GBForum. I'll report more if things go my way, but even if they don't I thought it of use to put it on record.

603487603488603489

car99
11-10-2012, 09:16 PM
Trajan, I've been following your posts with interest, and wanted to ask why prices are so much higher in Turkey. Are there really that many collectors there to keep demand high? I always thought Turkey, along with Syria & Iraq would be a good place to find plenty of them, and therefore prices would be lower.

JPS
11-11-2012, 03:10 AM
I might have another Mannlicher Schoenauer Y1903 soon... see photos - the height of the muzzle ring (compare with a regular Mannlicher 1895) and the G on the ricasso seem right, scabbard not right... Currently being negotiated but if confirmed that would make only four known unconverted examples of this Y1903 bayonet amongst our bayonet brotherhood on GBForum. I'll report more if things go my way, but even if they don't I thought it of use to put it on record.

603487603488603489



Hello Trajan,

Great find my Friend! Just from looking at the distance to, and diameter of the muzzle ring, I'm certain that you have correctly ID'ed this bayonet as a Y1903 knife bayonet. Another great find.

Should you decide to keep it, I'm sure everyone would understand why. If you decide to part with it, I have a nice Y1903 Mannlicher upon which I am certain it would fit.

Either way, the photos are an excellent addition to our understanding of what used to be a very confusing subject. I have several of the Bulgarian converted examples that had me searching for Greek contracts for the M95 Mannlicher straight-pull rifles/carbines for years! Jantzen's book only added to the confusion.

Thanks again for your contributions to this thread as well as to GB Forums in general.

Warmest regards,

John

trajan
11-15-2012, 09:27 AM
Trajan, I've been following your posts with interest, and wanted to ask why prices are so much higher in Turkey. Are there really that many collectors there to keep demand high? I always thought Turkey, along with Syria & Iraq would be a good place to find plenty of them, and therefore prices would be lower.

Car99, why indeed are prices so high here?... To start with, there are not that many collectors in Turkey (I have only come across two others here), but as there are very few bayonets for sale anyway (maybe 2 a month on local youbay and possibly 2 at the monthly antique fair), so it is a seller's market. And so this 'orrible rusted Y1903 cost me the equivalent of USD 100... Ok, this is a rare type, but the seller did not know that - but USD 100 would be the normal price for what looks to be a regular Mannlicher M1895 bayonet (and for one of those in good condition think in terms of USD 175+!) I think one factor in the high prices here is that it is illegal to import bayonets (or even camping knives!) and as there are so few around, well the price is always high. It is (or at least was) the same situation in Syria, where I bought my first bayonet in 2004: this was a 98/05 Waffenfabrik butcher blade - and it cost USD100... The only advantage I have is that I can spot an odd or rare bayonet and so can sometimes get it below face value in the USA or UK. So, for example, I got a UK P 1888 Mk II for USD 80, when thee are normally much higher - and recently I just missed by a nano-second a UK P 1907 hooked quillion that went for USD 400 - think USD 1400 as a regular price for one of those!

Best wishes,

Trajan

trajan
11-15-2012, 09:45 AM
Thanks John,

Your reply quite made my day, coming from you, a highly esteemed collector of lots of lovely pointed ones!

Well, this suspect has arrived and is indeed a Y1903, but a very rusty one.... The crossguard and pommel are badly corroded (there is no trace [yet] of a 'St.George' or serial number); the release button is more than frozen; and the frog stud is broken. But it is what it is and so ;)

Anyway, here is a photo' with (top to bottom) my Y1903 scabbard and bayonet; the 'new' Y1903 (its scabbard supports all bayonets); and a regular Mannlicher 1895 for comparison purposes. This new one will need quite a lot of TLC and will never get back to anything approaching the appearance of its buddy on the top, but, it is what it is...

Trajan

605033

tplan
11-15-2012, 10:20 AM
Thanks to all for this thread, and now I know why I can put my Greek marked bayonet on my Bulgarian rifles. And, Trajan, we are all salivating over your fine collection of Greek bayonets, there.

John

trajan
11-15-2012, 11:59 AM
...and now I know why I can put my Greek marked bayonet on my Bulgarian rifles...John

Cheers John,

The nicest thing about this forum is the chance and ability to share knowledge and discuss things... I have learnt so much from threads on this Forum and it is nice to be able to give something back to others who collect these pointed things! After all, in this specific case it was the initial and later posts on this thread (especially by Nick and Hellas) that allowed me to identify my first Y1903!

Trajan

trajan
03-07-2013, 03:54 AM
An update. I finally managed to get the catch on the rusted Y 1903 free (post 66), but have not managed to get much further with cleaning the rest of it, although I can now see the outline of the St.George and Dragon.

And now you guys - and especially JPS - are going to REALLY hate me... Picked up my 3rd unmodified Y 1903, in condition mid-way between my first and second... Scabbard is lacking the frog-stud, and the serial number is in the 4,000's (my first one is in the 1,000's, don't know yet what the second one is). Apologies but my camera is being repaired at the moment but I'll post piccies when I can.

Trajan

trajan
03-08-2013, 12:55 PM
Some Gras Y1874 bayonets got reworked for the Y1903 & Y1903/14:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a50/NickStan/GrasMle1874-6.jpg



Will you give me the height and the MRD on the bottom one please? I assume 180 mm height and 14 mm or so MRD...

Trajan

Nick
03-09-2013, 10:08 AM
Muzzle ring diameter = 14.2 mm; distance from bottom of muzzle ring to back of blade = 25 mm.

trajan
03-09-2013, 10:44 AM
Thanks Nick,

But I am a bit confused about your "distance from bottom of muzzle ring to back of blade = 25 mm" - the distance between the bottom of the muzzle ring and the tang on the short Y 1903 is only 18 mm, and I had assumed that this is the same on the long Y 1903/1914 (which I don't have) and so likewise on the Gras converts to fit the 1903/1914 rifle (which I also don't have, but I do have my eye on one!).

Don't have any rifles, but is the greater distance on the Gras convert (and presumably also the long 1903/1914) because of the stacking ring on the 1903/1914 rifle?

Trajan

PS: I have been meaning to ask this since I first saw that bottom one: never seen a 'K' or similar mark on the spine of a Gras before - any comments on that?

Nick
03-09-2013, 11:28 AM
I am a bit confused about your "distance from bottom of muzzle ring to back of blade = 25 mm"...I had assumed that this is the same...

Why? Your assumption is incorrect, these are completely different bayonets with different pommels, tangs, etc. The Mle 74 pommel is filed down to fit the bayonet lug - hence the different distances. Comparison below - the modified Mle 74 is a perfect fit on a Y 1903/14.

trajan
03-09-2013, 02:08 PM
Thanks again Nick, that photo clarifies everything. Yes, I realised that the pommel hump, etc., probably had a bearing on this but having neither the rifle nor the bayonets (my Greek Gras 1874/1878's are all the regular Gras-type fitting), I needed the visual to make it come together.

Now, if you'll forgive me for yet another possibly stupid question, that 'K' mark on the converted Gras that you illustrated. Not seen that mark before - is it on a Waffenfabrik or French-made version? I have seen probably 10 or so Greek-serial marked Gras over here, but cannot recall ever seeing that mark.

Oh, also, about a year back, when new to this hobby, I saw a Gras with a converted crossguard and a MRD of about pea-shooter size. i.e., 10 mm or so... Any thoughts on that?

And finally, a general observation on these Greek bayonets. I assume that many or most of the ones I have bought/seen over here in my limited period of collecting were 'left behind' after the Turkish War of Independence. I now have three unconverted short Y 1903 (and have my eyes on another, but with modern replaced grips, but I might get it for research purposes), and have two examples of the unconverted Greek Gras, and have seen converted examples of these for sale also (but priced too high!), but oddly enough, I have never yet seen a long Y1903/1914...

Trajan

Nick
03-09-2013, 02:32 PM
All Greek reworked Gras bayonets were made by OEWG Steyr (as were the rifles). "K" is a Steyr control & acceptance mark on firearms, but I haven't seen it on edged weapons, so I don't know what it means in this particular case.

Here is a Y1903/14 bayonet:

Nick
03-09-2013, 02:43 PM
And here are the Y1903 (with St. George and the big lizard) and Y1903/14:

trajan
03-10-2013, 03:17 AM
Many, many thanks again Nick - as the adage has it, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Trajan

trajan
03-21-2013, 03:42 PM
This a bit of a teaser, I know, but I may have spotted another unaltered Y1903, so they are around. I want to check first and will give a follow-up later...

Trajan