The “Bebut” kindjal was officially adopted by the Imperial Russian Army in 1907. Designated the M1907, it was intended as a replacement for the longer and more cumbersome shashka previously issued to enlisted soldiers. Initially, the M1907 was issued to the military police, then in 1908, machine gun crews and by 1909, artillerymen. The M1907 Bebut saw extensive service throughout World War One.
The M1907 Bebut was developed at a time when the Russian Empire (along with much of Europe) was struggling to modernize and establish whether traditional edged weapons were still of use in the face of accurate and rapid firing rifles and artillery. As a sidearm, its usefulness was questionable due to the nature of modern, distance fighting, but as a tool for clearing machine gun and artillery placements it was very effective and would have been fearsome as a last ditch weapon on the occasions when close quarter battle was required. The M1907 Bebut Kindjal was retired from service after the Russian (Bolshevik) Revolution in 1917. The new Communist regime believed (correctly) it to be a weapon that had no place in their modern arsenal.
This M1907 Bebut Kindjal was made by the Zlatoust Arms Factory in 1915.
The 438mm curved blade has a flattened diamond section with twin narrow fullers on either side of the medial ridge. The double-edged blade has been service sharpened and retains its original fighting edge. The forte bears the Zlatoust factory mark, the imperial double-headed eagle encircled by the armoury name in the Cyrillic alphabet, and the manufacture date of 1915. There is also an additional stamp like the letter “r”. The obverse forte is stamped with two inspection stamps resembling the letter “A,” one of which has a crown above.
The blade is in excellent condition. The edges have a couple of tiny nicks and there are faint manufacturing and sharpening scratches on both sides of the blade.
The wood and brass bound grip is in great condition with a beautiful use patina to the wood. The grip scales are held in place by steel rivets capped on one side by brass half olives. The spine of the tang is stamped with the number 3405 and another “A”. The facing grip scale is incised with a cross that matches the cross engraved in the brass suspension loop of the scabbard. I am unsure as to the meaning of this mark but it clearly has some significance. The blade is firm in the hilt.
The Bebut is complete with its original leather and lacquer covered wooden scabbard with brass fittings. The scabbard is in excellent condition. The suspension loop band is stamped with a Zlatoust factory inspection stamp and the numeral 16. The brass chape with acorn finial is firmly in place and bears a factory inspection stamp. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a fantastic example of the much sought after Imperial Russian side arm. The scarcity and popularity of this sword has resulted in a large number of fakes coming onto the market from China and India.
This Bebut is in excellent condition and unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine.