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Quillback bayonet - Peruvian 1909 or German S 98 n.A.?


trajan
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I picked this one up a couple of months back, but this past week while back in Turkey has been my first real chance to study it, and now post it. It is quite simply neither fish nor fowl!

In favour of it being a Peruvian 1909: no visible German inspection marks anywhere when there should be up to 12 (but I haven't checked beneath the grips yet) - the only mark is what looks like a '4' on the inner edge of the press-stud; the suspiciously good condition of the bayonet (and its scabbard).

In favour of it being a German S98n.A.: no Peruvian marks anywhere (should be a crest on the pommel head and a serial number on the crossguard, and neither pommel head nor crossguard show any evidence of ever having been 'shaved'-down); many more S98 n.A were made than Peruvian 1909.

At first sight the lack of German inspection marks might be taken as a decider here, but I have one 98/05 with no spine mark, although it does have a pommel inspection mark, while another of my 98/05's has no pommel inspection mark but does have a spine mark... So, this is one that could have slipped through the net - a presentation piece? 'Lunch-box' item?

I honestly can't make my mind up on this one. However, I have seen references to the Peruvian 1909 rifle having a different type of bayonet lug from the Gew.98, and so the bayonet for the one rifle cannot be fitted to the other. Which to my mind means that the mortise and catch system on a Peruvian 1909 bayonet should be different from a S98 n.A. - BUT, does anybody know in which way? If all else fails, then I guess I might have to remove the grips, which, if German, should in theory have a German inspection mark...

Trajan

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Back in the 'eighties there were quite a lot of Peruvian M.'09s and their bayonets about, but the total absence of markings on your bayonet could indicate that it was not made for the German Government nor for a foreign power but was extra-gewehr, intended for private purchase. No sign of plating I take it? - SW

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Thanks SW. I was aware from GBF that a pile of Peruvian 1909's had been off-loaded in 'recent times' but had no idea as to exactly when. I had wondered if this was an extra-gewehr (and no, no signs of plating), but if that was the case the lack of a maker-mark would be odd, apart from which I haven't seen any references to these being made for that purpose. I guess that I will have to remove the grips when I get back home (next January), and also clean up the patina on that pommel, just in case there is anything stamped there.

I honestly just don't get it - no obvious 'ownership' marks at all!

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I recently saw a cracking extra-gewehr S.98nA for sale. The blade was etched with an inscription indicating that it was a presentation piece to an individual - very well executed. No ordnance markings but it did have the maker's trademark - I think it was Alex Coppel to the best of my recollection. Standard scabbard also lacking inspector's marks. = SW

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That one must be quite an oddity! Would grace any collection!

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Hi Trajan

I've just purchased A G98, Seitengewehr 98 pattern, quillback bayonet.

manufacture code VC Schilling, Suhl. Complete with scabbard and leather frog. I'm a little concerned by what you have said as I can not see any marks apart from the manufacture ones mentioned. I will post some pictures when it arrives next week and would appreciate your thoughts as you seem to be knowledgable on the subject.

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Hi Trajan

I've just purchased A G98, Seitengewehr 98 pattern, quillback bayonet.

manufacture code VC Schilling, Suhl. Complete with scabbard and leather frog. I'm a little concerned by what you have said as I can not see any marks apart from the manufacture ones mentioned. I will post some pictures when it arrives next week and would appreciate your thoughts as you seem to be knowledgable on the subject.

Been away travelling for a week, so sorry for the late reply!

As far as I have been able then in the absence of official markings there is no way to tell a Peruvian from a German-issue or private-purchase S98. I have read somewhere that there is a difference in the locking system for the bayonet bar on the respective rifles, the Peruvian mauser having a different system to the Gew. 98, but I have not been able to confirm that - I need to try GBF as there is probably somebody on that site who can confirm this! My books are all back in Turkey, and although I know that Schilling made them for German use I am not certain if they also made them for Peru...

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Thanks again - have commented on the other S98 thread.

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  • 3 months later...

Some progress of a kind - well, an opinion really!

A German collector I contacted said that there are a few of these unmarked ones around. His opinion was that if there is no evidence at all of a stamp having been removed from the pommel head or a serial number from the cross guard or frog-stud, then treat it as an unissued German example made up of spare bits and pieces. He drew my attention to the way that any stocks of surplus completed bayonets and bayonet parts were held over after a contract was completed for selling-off elsewhere at which time the maker-marks, etc., were added. He thinks that this may have been the case with the 1909 Peruvian examples, these being left overs from the original German State contracts, which seemed to have peaked in 1906/07. This does not mean, however, it was never issued into service as there are a few German bayonets floating around that lack the usual Abnahmenstempel but do have other indications that they were issued into service.

Of course, only an opinion, but it does make sense. But whatever, mine is a nice looking piece, even if there is zilch in the way of markings - even on the tang or under the grips (except for a pencilled slanting German-style 4 on one grip)... Except, that is, for a '4' stamped on the inner face of the bayonet-latch which I will try and photograph...

Trajan

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Here are some photographs - there is some rust on the tang so it took quite a bit of patience to get the grips off without damaging them. I'll clean that up before I replace them.

Other than the grinding marks, the only thing visible on the tang (and only seen today in the morning sun!) is a stamped '4' at the base - visible in the photograph, and so matching the pencilled '4' on the inner face of the one grip (nothing on the other).

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The '4' on the press-stud latch was difficult to photograph, but it is there.

post-69449-0-06847000-1426487736_thumb.j

Trajan

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  • 1 year later...

Julian,

 

You were absolutely right in the thread about 98/05 bayonets.  The pensil markings I've found were on my (only!) S98 bayonet aswell, not an 98/05.  It's clearly a Peruvian export model, unlike yours.  No markings whatsoever apart from maker & serial number and a Peruvian crest on the back of the pommel.  Sadly, not matching the serial number on the scabbard.  But both are in very good condition.

 

Inside the grips, there's number '143' in pensil markings which also matches the stamping inside.  Nothing on the locking mechanism though :-)

 

This piece of history suddenly feels a lot closer now that someone wrote on it a century ago.

 

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Well, that's nice to know! I still have my doubts on mine... Simply no trace of any Peruvian markings having been scrubbed off pommel or crossguard or frog stud and yet no fraktur or maker's mark either... One German collector suggested it was a show piece - but why no maker's mark? Odd... But, interesting that your Peruvian one does have pencil marks so perhaps mine is one that didn't get there? Another bayonet mystery!

 

Julian

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Aha! I've found pensil marks beneath the grips of a transitional 1915 98/05!

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I found the courage to remove the most beautiful grips I've ever seen :-) I always leave the plain-headed bolts in the left grip, it's just way to dangerous to remove those. Some people use a fitting diameter pipe to gently hit them through, but a century old wood chips every time - don't touch them there! I took a picture with flash to show you the neat grain of the wood.

I'll show you more details & daylight pictures of this piece tomorrow. Just like the Lüneschloss example above, this W15 one has all the proofmarks it can have. Even beneath the grips. I noticed small proofmarks inside the scabbard aswell, on the base of the mechanism inside.

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