Saturday, November 15, 2014

Izzy Bayonets - From Latvia with Love

Had to do it, got the real deal, a beautiful bakelite Izhmash AKM Type II bayonet and an Izhmash AK74 bayonet for my small collection.

I was originally looking for a ((10)) Bulgarian AK74 bayonet, but found a seller on eBay named soviet_surplus_sale (link to his store) with excellent feedback and decided to up my collection and buy Russian instead of Bulgarian. Besides the quest to procure an AK74 bayonet (plum or black), soviet_surplus_sale was also selling Type II bakelite AKM bayonets. I decided to buy both and he combined my shipping. I was very satisfied with the quality of the bayonets I received and his pricing.

[Click on image to enlarge]




Izhmash 6x4 Type II bakelite bayonet details:

- Izzy feathered arrow/triangle logo on scabbard & grip
- 38/2 factory mold on grip & 80 mold on scabbard (do not know any details)
- Ink inspection marks on grip only (OTK 15, 5, red dot, n)
- No stamped proof marks (usually on crossguard)
- Etched number on scabbard & grip: 910
- Weight (scabbard + bayonet): 1.03 lbs
- OAL: 12.875"
- Blade length: 5.75"
- Condition: Unused/Excellent
- Features: Bowie style, clip-point blade with sawteeth along the spine and can be used as a wire-cutter when combined with it's scabbard. Non-conductive scabbard. The pommel is steel and can be used as a hammer.







Izhmash 6x5 AK74 "True Black" polymer bayonet details:

- Izzy feathered arrow/triangle logo on scabbard only
- 14-1 factory mold mark grip with 9•1 on scabbard
- Ink inspection marks on scabbard (OTK U) & blade (OTK 17, h)
- No stamped proof marks
- Etched number on grip only: 547
- OAL: 13.5"
- Blade length: 6.25"
- Weight (scabbard + bayonet): 0.81 lbs
- Condition: Unused/Excellent
- Features: Spear point blade with sawteeth on the false edge and can be used as a wire-cutter when combined with it's scabbard. Non-conductive scabbard. Textured polymer grip (and I'm sure there's someone out there who has stippled one).






Following is a great post by GoatHerder from AR15.com (link) that I found while searching for details on the AK74 blade. He got railed for suggesting that many a soldier has used his issued AK74 bayonet as a survivalist knife/tool, so while others scoffed at that, it is not at all unfounded. How dare he use common sense and make constructive comments! We have access to many options in our current market, so while the AK74 bayonet is not the perfect survivalist knife, to the lowly soldier in the middle of no-where, he makes it work. Some excellent suggestions from GoatHerder:

"If you want to use this as a BOB tool then think of it as a dive knife. Sharpen the edge with a fine file and keep a medium diamond flat hone as a sharpener. Wrap 6 feet of paracord around the bottom of the rubber area of your sheath, not the metal and add in a ferrocerrium fire steel and the sharpener. If you don't have an AK rifle then disassemble the lock mechanism and there should be a hole through the knife. Take 16 inches of cord and run it through the hole and then immediately as it all comes out and is even, then tie an overhand knot. Tie 2 more 1/2 inches apart and then leave enough space to just get your hand through and tie a final knot. Cut off the excess. This will be a hand lanyard and by putting your hand through it and twisting your hand around the cord a couple times will take up the slack. The knots are to space the cord enough so that your hand doesn't cinch toward the back of the handle. Loop this over the guard when carrying so it is out of the way. I looked and all the ones I have are made from Bakelite material and I paid an average of 5 bucks each. The swinging of the knife sheathed is a PIA, so figure something out that will tighten it up. I changed the clip into a loop strap with some left over ballistic strap and slid it over the sheath. Can be removed but much better to carry on your belt or pack. Good luck."

Final notes: Throughout this post the term 'bakelite' is used to describe the AKM Type II bayonet's grip and scabbard, however, it is not actually bakelite, it is a nylon based plastic that is reminiscent of bakelite. AK magazines do not use bakelite either, though universally referred to as bakelite mags, they are also made of nylon based plastic.

The horizontal marks ~3/4 up on the blades of the bayonets are from the retention system employed by Soviet/Russian scabbards. It wipes right off, but is still visible, like the "scratch" on your receiver for the AK safety.

Shop around. The best price I had previously found for an Izhmash marked bayonet was over $100, some priced closer to $200. There's some guy on eBay right now selling a current production ((10)) Bulgarian AK74 bayonet for $250, the same model that is selling at K-VAR (and is still available as of today) for $90. For the most part you should be able to get a standard polymer ((10)) Bulgarian AK74 bayonet for around $40. Then there's always the chance you find a seller who is practically giving away the item you have been searching for. Besides being on eBay, soviet_surplus_sale is also on Gunbroker as JerichoLV. Look him up, he has some incredible items that any collector would want.

Read more about AK bayonets at World Bayonets PAGE 1 and PAGE 2.

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