- This is the oldest bayonet from my collection and it is in a very nice condition. The US M1816 socket bayonet is for the .69 caliber M1816 smoothbore muskets. The bayonet blade is triangular and 16 inch [406m] long. The top face of the blade is wide [0.905 inch / 23mm by the shank] and it is fluted a little more than half of its length [8 1/4 inch / 209mm]. The blade also has 2 back flutes very deep and wide which run for the full length of the blade. The bayonet blade has an unusual "prow" point. The socket of the US M1816 bayonet has no locking ring, it was made without a locking ring. The socket is also 3 inch [76mm] long and it has a "T"-shaped mortise and a bridge over the stud groove. The inside diameter of the socket is about 0.826 inch [21mm] and the distance from stud to muzzle is 1 3/16 inch [30mm]. The overall length of the US M1816 socket bayonet is 19 inch [482mm]. The US M1816 socket bayonet was manufactured until 1840s and this bayonet model was used even during the Civil War [1861-65]. ---> MARKINGS: The socket of my US M1816 bayonet is stamped with "S 89". Is it a unit number or a batch number????? On the flat top blade by the shank it is deeply stamped "US" over "JB" and half of the letter "H". I'm not 100% sure of the meaning of the mark "JB", it may be the inspector's mark or perhaps the mark of the person who manufactured the bayonet. There is a list showing the "U.S. Inspector Markings" and for the mark "JB" is listed the name of "James Bell" and the year "1827". Probably Mr. James Bell inspected my US M1816 bayonet in 1827 and I assume my bayonet was made in 1827 or 1826. The list mentioned above can be seen here at http://proofhouse.com/cm/us_inspector.htm ---> Four of my pictures will be posted below. Note the "T"-shaped mortise and the markings I mentioned above. From what I know the US M1816 socket bayonets were not interchangeable, each bayonet was made to friction-fit a certain .69 caliber M1816 musket. ---> QUESTION: Anyone of you guys who has a similar US M1816 socket bayonet??? I would like to know the markings stamped on your bayonet. Anyone who knows the precise meaning of the markings stamped on my bayonet ["S 89" and "US" over "JB"]????? Lido 03/10/08
- The .69 caliber Mod.1816 muskets and their socket bayonets were manufactured at Springfield Armory, Springfield [Massachusetts] and at Harpers Ferry Armory [Virginia?]. Perhaps the US M1816 socket bayonets were manufactured by some other contractors too. Until 1844 when the production ceased, about 325,000 Mod.1816 muskets were made at Springfield and about 350,000 at Harpers Ferry Armory. Lido 03/11/08
Lido, your M1816 is a beaut are would be very difficult to upgrade IMHO. I Believe you are corrrect in assuming the JB to be an inspector's initials; that being the standard method of the time (according to Reilly, who does not list the initials JB but also mentions that his list is not all-inclusive).
I have two M1816s- one is stamped H over US and the other is unmarked with the exception of a deeply-struck 'period' on the ricasso. Both appear to have been browned originally (indicative of earlier manufacture, I think). Too bad better records weren't kept on these early socket bayonets- I have quite a few and the hunt for documentation can be frustrating at times. But hey- it keeps me out of the bars