These scarce bayonets were made for use with the Sten MkV sub machine gun. Originally they were also intended for the Lee Enfield No.4 rifle but after incidents involving rounds hitting the muzzle ring were only issued with this rifle for parade purposes.
This bayonet was made by the Birmingham Small Arms factory (BSA). The contract to produce the No.7 was awarded to BSA on the 6th February 1945. The swivel socket bears BSA’s wartime dispersal code “M74 B.”
The No7 Mk 1 Land service bayonet was designed in 1944 and a total of only 330,000 were produced. The design was perfected by the Wilkinson Sword Co., who produced 1,000 bayonets in 1944 and subsequent production was carried out by four others makers from 1945 until 1948.
The bayonet’s innovative design with its unique swiveling pommel allowed it to be both bayonet and fighting knife with deep finger grooves in the hilt which is made of resin impregnated cloth called Paxolin.
The 207mm clip point blade has a deep single fuller on both sides, is in very good condition, retaining its original polished finish with minimal age related wear or marks. The ricasso is stamped with the bayonet’s designation “No.7 MkI/L.” An additional inspection stamp is also present. Only 10% of BSA production received this extra inspection and the subsequent mark. The obverse ricasso bears the War Department Broad Arrow stamp.
The swivel pommel retains its original black finish and bears the War Department broad arrow on the front of the socket and the spring catch. The side of the socket bears the dispersal code, M74BThe Paxolin grips are in good condition with some mild, age appropriate wear.
The bayonet is complete with its No.5 MkI scabbard in very good condition. The top of the scabbard is stamped with the maker’s identification number “S286,” which is the dispersal code for Vanden Plas of London. This scabbard is one of only 20,000 produced by Vanden Plas who had the smallest production run of any supplier.
This is a scarce and highly collectable bayonet in great condition and with a rare production MkI scabbard and a rare inspection stamp.