The French Model 1892 sword bayonet was manufactured from 1892 and was still in use during World War 1. The M1892 bayonet was used with the Model 1892 Mannlicher-Berthier Short Rifle and has become known as the Mannlicher-Berthier bayonet.
The 402mm single edged blade has a broad, flat spine and an almost full-length, deep fuller on both sides of the blade. The bayonet is easily identified by the fuller in the spine that runs for 155mm from the spear point.
The blade has a semi-circular indentation on both sides of the forte, which interact with internal springs in the scabbard to grip the blade and hold it firmly inside. The ricasso is stamped with an inspection stamp (poincon). The blade is clean and bright with minimal pale patination and in excellent condition.
The first pattern steel crosspiece has a narrow muzzle-ring, which is the same width as the crosspiece, and a hooked lower quillion. There were three variations of the crosspiece over the bayonet’s production span. The second pattern crosspiece was introduced in 1912, with a wider muzzle ring that extended over the grip. The third pattern crosspiece was introduced during World War 1, with an abbreviated lower quillion. At this time, earlier patterns tended to have their hooked quillon removed.
This example was made in the late 19th Century by the French State factory at Chatellerault – “Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault.” The hooked quillon is stamped with the factory poincon and an issue number, 79819, which matches that of the scabbard.
The steel hilt furniture is in good condition with a pleasant patina. The internal spring locking mechanism works perfectly. The bayonet has the early production black composite grips (wooden grips were introduced around 1905). The grips have cracked on both sides around the top rivet but are still fixed firmly in place.
The bayonet is complete with its matching blued steel scabbard. The throat of the scabbard has Chatellerault poincon and a matching issue number. The scabbard is in good condition with fading of the blueing and some pitting around the upper section where it was in contact with a bayonet frog.
This is a good example of a rare first pattern M1892 bayonet, made rarer by its matching serial numbers and unaltered hooked quillon.