Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bayonet as a Utility/Fighting Knife

Ferfal, I just wondered what you thought of the Spanish Bayonet?  I
got one when I bought an old FR-8 carbine.  I believe it was also used
on the Cetme.  I keep it in my truck for use around the farm as well
as a working tool on the road.  It takes a good edge, is useful for
all kinds of things a knife shouldn't be used for such as prying.  I
wouldn't hesitate to use it for self defense.  It is tough as they
come.  Any bayonet would be useful as a heavy duty tool, I would
choose this for its chopping abilities as well as stabbing over any
other I have seen.
Spanish Bayonet for FR-8

Hi Mike,
I have a small collection of bayonets and some of them would be good general purpose knives. The Spanish bayonet you mention should serve you very well.
They are not made of the latest high tech super steel but then again they are usually tougher and less brittle than the “survival” knives you sometimes find. Some people think that the harder the better and that a 55Rc hardness like the one you may find in a bayonet is too soft.  60Rc may sound good on paper but more is not always better. First it’s harder to sharpen, something that you eventually have to do with any edged tool. Second, you also lose in terms of brittleness, and such a hard blade may snap if its too hard and the tempering wasn’t perfect. Bayonets on the other hand, they are purposefully made for fighting, sticking it into an enemy and applying torsion without breaking. What you lose in terms of edge retention you more than gain it in terms of how much you can abuse the blade.
By all means, if you like bayonets or you happen to enjoy this one you have, there’s nothing wrong with it and I’m sure it will serve you well. For prying, abusing, striking like a hammer, its hard to find a tougher tool.

As a Weapon

In the age of gunpowder the humble knife is often underestimated as a weapon. Phrases like “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” often reinforce these erroneous concepts. The funny thing is, it’s the same people that also know most gunfights occur at 7 yards or less distance. Close in a couple more yards and you’re getting into ranges where a knife used by someone that knows a thing or two about them can literately create a bloody mess. Knives are plentiful, a large chef knife that can be used as an incredibly efficient weapon can be found in any home.
During the riots it is said that baseball bats sold out in London. I would have gone to a supermarket and bought the largest chef knife I could find instead.
When I wrote my book, “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” the section on knife fighting was considered excessive by a couple readers. There was a reason for that.  I can write quite a bit about guns, and I did, but knives is what every person has near by at any time in their home, what a person that hasn’t gone through defensive training and never bought a gun will still manage to get hold on, and what people in countries were guns are heavily restricted or banned can still use for defense. It’s as if its embedded in our DNA, maybe it is after thousands of years of having used one as a weapon or tool. It is because of this that I went into such detail explaining the best way to use the most common blades available to people.
Since the bayonet is designed for combat it’s no surprise that it will excel as a weapon. Though many old bayonets where strictly for stabbing and therefore were not sharpened, modern bayonet-knives are also intended as utility knives and do have respectable sharpness. Steel used in bayonets isn’t fancy and wont hold and edge like some of the better modern steels, but they compensate by being easy to sharpen and resistant to abuse that would easily break a knife made of “better” steel.
A bayonet like the one you mention would be perfect for defensive purposes. The penetrating tip is designed just for that and properly sharpened it will hack and slash nicely too. The currently issued M9 Bayonet would be a good choice as well.
Ontario Knife M9 Bayonet, Fixed Blade Knife with 7.0" Black Oxide Stainless Steel Blade, & Textured Thermoplastic Handle, Overall Length 12.125"
Ontario Knife M9 Bayonet, Fixed Blade Knife with 7.0″ Black Oxide Stainless Steel Blade
Its not a bayonet but still worthy of recommendation, anyone looking for a fighting/utility knife will be more than well served by the time-proven KA-BAR USMC Fighting Utility Knife.
KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corp Fighting Knife, Straight
KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corp Fighting Knife

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Anonymous said...

here's the bayonet i use:

the steel is really good
for the price.

Anonymous said...

Bayonets made in the old days (pre-50's) is the schizzle! A metal gripped Swedish bayonet for their bolt guns has fantastic steel! For a tool that can take the abuse of a young camper (i.e. kid), a bayonet would be a fine choice.

The fly in the ointment - collectors have caused the market in bayonets to rise in price. An alternative would be the Glock knife, especially for the price.