No.5 Jungle Bayonets +
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Thread: No.5 Jungle Bayonets +

  1. #1
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    Default No.5 Jungle Bayonets +

    With RTI finding and then selling off a bunch of No.5 bayonets it sparked my hunt for a few missing pieces in my collection. Unfortunately, RTI's bayonets all seem to be of WSC manufacture which is sad for the collector as they are the most prevalent. Hopefully, though it will spark some new interest in finding the rarer examples for other collectors. I have seen a few single screw WSC examples in my many years but with their cost and possible questionable originality, I have passed on all.

    In review the published numbers:

    Wilkerson, WSC or S294 188,000
    Radcliffe, N187 75,000
    Viners Ltd, VNS or N79 42,000
    Elkington, M78 11,000
    Poole, P (in circle) unk
    Sterling unk
    Ishapore, RFI unk


    Skennerton and Richardson state that Radcliffe's numbers might just be parts from subcontractors. I doubt the 75,000 as complete bayonets as they are not that common.

    Only Poole and RFI are dated. Poole used different size font during their manufacture. My large font P1946 has been thinned down to be used as a knife with the pommel latch removed, my small font P1947 is still in standard condition.

    Real RFI examples are hard to find as 99% of those out there are cheap fakes. A close look at the grips and markings will help those looking. I have seen 1977 and 1978 dated examples, (I lack a '78)

    Sterling is not a No.5 bayonet but as it is technically identical and standard No. 5 bayonets were issued with Sterling SMG's I have included them: they are also fun to find! As seen some have clearing holes, some do not. Grips vary from wood, plastic and steel. Pommels are either void of markings or not. One of mine have "BSA" over "C" and another has "H" over "C". Some have been noted with "STERLING" engraved in the blood groove, only one of mine does.


    Hope this inspires..
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    Last edited by Lance; 06-22-2020 at 04:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Very nice collection. How long has it taken you to amass them all?

  3. #3
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    Very nice collection of some very scarce bayonets!
    Purists of the world, unite!

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
    Samuel Adams

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  5. #4
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    Very nice!

    Any more pics of the knife-modification bayonet?
    "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."
    - Jebediah Springfield

  6. #5
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    Enfield collecting for 30+, I would say No. 5 bayonet collecting for 20+. Just picked up my newest example (plastic grips) last week...

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    The modified example, mine a '46 Poole, the standard a '47 Poole. Per the internet, modified to be used as a combat knife. Blade thinned down to minimal thickness and blackened. I cannot find any documentation on it so please don't quote me on this one. If interested examples for sale can be found on Gunbroker still and sometimes Ebay...
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  8. #7
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    Congratulation are in order - now i know why i can't find many!

  9. #8
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    Great collection, Lance. Always a thrill to find a No. 5 bayonet for sale at a decent price.

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    As I recall, there were several thinned bladed ones which arrived with the Malaysian surplus. The FMP batch.

  11. #10
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    Default Lance - what is your assessment on this No. 5 bayonet?

    I got this bayonet when I was a kid at a fun show, over 40 years ago, so its not a recent repro like you can get from Atlanta Cutlery and others. Older Indian production? or old repro from the 70s-80s?
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG08 View Post
    I got this bayonet when I was a kid at a fun show, over 40 years ago, so its not a recent repro like you can get from Atlanta Cutlery and others. Older Indian production? or old repro from the 70s-80s?
    Looks to me like a real example. If there are no markings on it besides the rack number I would guess it is a well used early Sterling.

  13. #12
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    Great thread, and some really nice bayonets, BUT, I have a naked No.5 rifle that needs one. Who or what is RTI ? Is it a company selling a trove, or what ? Please educate me !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexei View Post
    Great thread, and some really nice bayonets, BUT, I have a naked No.5 rifle that needs one. Who or what is RTI ? Is it a company selling a trove, or what ? Please educate me !
    Royal Tiger Imports.
    They're selling a bunch of "*junk*" from the Ethiopian cache.

    Edit:

    https://forums.gunboards.com/showthr...-No-5-bayonets
    "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."
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  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    The modified example, mine a '46 Poole, the standard a '47 Poole. Per the internet, modified to be used as a combat knife. Blade thinned down to minimal thickness and blackened. I cannot find any documentation on it so please don't quote me on this one. If interested examples for sale can be found on Gunbroker still and sometimes Ebay...
    I understood the thinned No5 bayonet conversions to be intended as tourist souvenirs/letter openers from Malaya? I doubt they would last long as combat knives.

  16. #15
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    RTI still showing some of these on hand, at $149 ! Up $50 from when they started selling these.
    But I'm sure these are allot "nicer". Glad I got mine for the c-note price. And don't forget the shipping extortion. 🙄

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    Quote Originally Posted by NimrodMRA4 View Post
    I understood the thinned No5 bayonet conversions to be intended as tourist souvenirs/letter openers from Malaya? I doubt they would last long as combat knives.
    Interesting point!

    Look at the blade thickness of, say, a US Ka-Bar.
    "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."
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    Quote Originally Posted by NimrodMRA4 View Post
    I understood the thinned No5 bayonet conversions to be intended as tourist souvenirs/letter openers from Malaya? I doubt they would last long as combat knives.
    No, they wouldn't last very long as a combat knife or bayonet. We all agreed on that back when.
    First I have heard about letter openers for tourists. It would make sense but for one thing. Why did they arrive with the military/state police surplus shipment if they were in civilian hands aimed at the tourist trade?
    Is this something you heard in passing? Are you able to elaborate on it?
    There was a lot of guessing back in the day but I don't recall anyone nailing it down. FWIW, most of them but not all still had the catch assembly intact. The grips were all soaked black like the one pictured above in this thread.

    I have a strong hunch many of the thinned ones were cannibalized for parts such as grips, screws, and catches..same thing happened to a lot of the S. Korean shortened M1 bayonets, as well as some of the Turked blades.

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    I have been around for a long time and have seen importers lower pricing to move items but NEVER raise prices twice in less than a month!

    RTI started out at $99.99.....then $129.99 and now $149.99....

    Read ALL the reviews and then decide if you want to roll the dice...

    The only thing that remained constant was the rip off shipping charge.....

  20. #19
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    It would be OK if the quality of what was left was improving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staffy View Post
    It would be OK if the quality of what was left was improving.
    Yes, at this point you'd have to make an offer on their remaining inventory. Regardless of what that actually may be, or what they know about it.
    "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."
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  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ITWORKEDOUT View Post
    I have been around for a long time and have seen importers lower pricing to move items but NEVER raise prices twice in less than a month!

    RTI started out at $99.99.....then $129.99 and now $149.99....

    Read ALL the reviews and then decide if you want to roll the dice...

    The only thing that remained constant was the rip off shipping charge.....

    Stop complaining about the shipping charge, you blokes.
    To order a $10 part from the US and ship to Australia costs $30-$40 depending on the supplier.

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Martini View Post
    Stop complaining about the shipping charge, you blokes.
    To order a $10 part from the US and ship to Australia costs $30-$40 depending on the supplier.
    I have to agree. If I needed a WSC No. 5 bayonet I wouldn’t hesitate to order one from RTI. When I was a lad I had to order one mail order from the UK. They were rarely seen in my neck of the woods in the US.

  24. #23
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    No. 5
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  25. #24
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    Doc, you're right and the point taken sir. I am glad I bought one when I did. I'm happy with it
    No need to beat a dead horse.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard in NY* View Post
    Very nice collection of some very scarce bayonets!
    Outstanding collection and congrats, I am sure lots of time and hunting was expended.

    Viewing these bayonets, I had to go check mine and its a WSC mfg. Nothing exotic but in over 50 yrs of hunting...always finding these bayonets outrageously expensive, the one I have today came with the last No.5 that I bought at $500. I am just happy to have a decent No.5 bayonet. Cost always high and the longer I walked away from those few encountered, the scarcer they became & price moved to near $275.

    As to the RTI offerings, when first came out, it was the least expensive sale of these hard to find bayonets that I've ever seen. Any No.5 bayonet in 1970 was pushing $200 so at the RTI price recently, it was a good deal. A buddy of mine bought 2 of them immediately when RTI advertised them and they came in NRA Good condition , I told him he can double his money in a year easily.

    Condition is everything (well.. unless you are into relic condition) and when you see a Enfield or proper British / Aussie bayonet in great condition, the time to buy is then. If priced reasonably, walking away thinking price will fall or you can easily find another cheaper may be flawed reasoning.

    7 yrs ago, I was sniveling that I paid $500 for a No.4MkII mint condition rifle, nowadays I don't see them for sale and RTI grade rifles selling at $550 and higher. However 7 yrs ago, buy it now or regret not doing so drove me to plonk down the money.

  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB White View Post
    No, they wouldn't last very long as a combat knife or bayonet. We all agreed on that back when.
    First I have heard about letter openers for tourists. It would make sense but for one thing. Why did they arrive with the military/state police surplus shipment if they were in civilian hands aimed at the tourist trade?
    Is this something you heard in passing? Are you able to elaborate on it?
    There was a lot of guessing back in the day but I don't recall anyone nailing it down. FWIW, most of them but not all still had the catch assembly intact. The grips were all soaked black like the one pictured above in this thread.

    I have a strong hunch many of the thinned ones were cannibalized for parts such as grips, screws, and catches..same thing happened to a lot of the S. Korean shortened M1 bayonets, as well as some of the Turked blades.
    This is where the information about thinned No5 bayonets was noticed, some time ago, and I have managed to re-find.

    Personally, I don't really think one can argue with this information but some probably will.

    https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=39490

  28. #27
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    and no collection is done without one ...every maker that is.

  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by NimrodMRA4 View Post
    This is where the information about thinned No5 bayonets was noticed, some time ago, and I have managed to re-find.

    Personally, I don't really think one can argue with this information but some probably will.

    https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=39490
    Thank you very much!! It all makes much more sense now and it's understandable how a forgotten case or two could have been mixed up with the surplus lots.
    I know you had to take time to pull that up from old archives. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
    I owe ya one!

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    wink2

    Definitely Thank You !!!!

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    Very nice collection.

    I've had one of the BSA versions for about 20 years. it appears unissued and I assumed it was for the Sterling but wasn't sure.
    Can you tell me what you know about them?
    Mine was missing the scabbard when I got it, what would I look for when looking for the correct one.

    My Bayonet knowledge is practically non existent.

    Thanks in advance,
    B

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    Not up to snuff as some others might be on Sterling bayonets but I'm inclined to believe yours is a Serling/commercial version. Nothing to be ashamed of as they aren't often seen.

    The scabbard you want is the No5. Either variation will fit but they too aren't often seen on the loose. The No5 scabbard was used on bayonets 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and some of the L1 series blades. Because most scabbards were already in the system they were often refurbed/reissued as other blades were removed from service.

  33. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB White View Post
    The scabbard you want is the No5. Either variation will fit but they too aren't often seen on the loose. The No5 scabbard was used on bayonets 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and some of the L1 series blades. Because most scabbards were already in the system they were often refurbed/reissued as other blades were removed from service.
    Here's a source for a No.5 scabbard: https://www.bryburn.com/product-cate...net-scabbards/

    Cheers

  34. #33
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    Prices aren't exactly coming down. Are they?

    I used to think IMA's scabbards were just a little pricey at half that cost in years past. One of those rare times when investing at retail price would have probably paid off double in the long run....in spite of inflation.

    Briar, I noticed your bayonet is almost identical to one Lance posted. A quick reference to B&CB shows a single example of a BSA and that one has the later riveted metal grips.
    I should probably pay more attention to the Sterling blades?

  35. #34
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    [QUOTE=JB White;10350439 I'm inclined to believe yours is a Serling/commercial version. Nothing to be ashamed of as they aren't often seen. .[/QUOTE]

    I just ran off the road....there were commercial No.5 bayonets made ? Why would that be? Would not all No.5 bayonets be made for MOD contracts like Poole, WSC bayonets ? You lost me this commercial bayonet comment. Thank you in advance for any information on this.

  36. #35
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    Outstanding, thank you for the information... and thank you for the bryburn link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milprileb View Post
    I just ran off the road....there were commercial No.5 bayonets made ? Why would that be? Would not all No.5 bayonets be made for MOD contracts like Poole, WSC bayonets ? You lost me this commercial bayonet comment. Thank you in advance for any information on this.
    Think outside the MoD. Countries around the world were using British or British type arms. BSA as a private business could make just about anything a foreign client needed.
    Look back at the prime contractor list for UK government contract No5 bayonets. No BSA listed. Doesn't mean they were unable to

    Note. Commercial doesn't necessarily mean 'civilian retail'.
    But it could.....

  38. #37
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    If BSA had sold say 100 bayonets to an arms dealer who then sold them on to another country or organisation, provided that all the paperwork etc etc was in order it would just be a "commercial sale", surely?

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