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Sawback removal on 98/05 blades: regulations?


Kris1981
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Hi,

I was thinking... was the removal of sawbacks regulated? By that I mean the technical specs of the actual handling. I've seen different 'ways' in which this was done, one more thorough than the other.

Every removal seems to start at the back of the spine about an inch from the crossguard, in many (sad!) cases shaving of crowned stamps and dates in that location. I've noticed these types and included pictures from my collection:

1) Shaving continues over the entire blade and includes (most of) the false edge along the tip
802083d1423748317t-sawback-removal-98-05

2) Shaving stops neatly where the fals edge begins, creating a perfect symmetry and only removing the sawback itself and NOT the tip
802084d1423748337t-sawback-removal-98-05

3) Sloppy shaving resulting in a still visible sawback (like on some Turkish ones)

Here's an example of the sloppy kind:
Bavarian bayonet. Not in great shape, but an interesting piece. The crowned 'O 11' marking on the spine has been largely removed along with the sawback. According to Carter's "German bayonets - Vol 1' this company only produced for Bavaria in 1911, marked 'O'. By the placing of the remaining "1" - I'd guess this was marked "11" There's severe damage on the tip of the blade and the false edge, looks like someone used a hammer on it... Could this saw be removed by the Turks, or did they shorten all of their pieces?

802085d1423748367t-sawback-removal-98-05802087d1423748374t-sawback-removal-98-05802088d1423748380t-sawback-removal-98-05



Any thoughts...?



PS: I'm sorry to bother you with exclusive queries about (and only about) this type of bayonet, but I limit my collecting field to exactly this one ;-)

Kris

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Hi,

I was thinking... was the removal of sawbacks regulated? By that I mean the technical specs of the actual handling. I've seen different 'ways' in which this was done, one more thorough than the other....

3) Sloppy shaving resulting in a still visible sawback (like on some Turkish ones)

Here's an example of the sloppy kind:

Bavarian bayonet. Not in great shape, but an interesting piece. The crowned 'O 11' marking on the spine has been largely removed along with the sawback. According to Carter's "German bayonets - Vol 1' this company only produced for Bavaria in 1911, marked 'O'. By the placing of the remaining "1" - I'd guess this was marked "11" There's severe damage on the tip of the blade and the false edge, looks like someone used a hammer on it... Could this saw be removed by the Turks, or did they shorten all of their pieces?

802085d1423748367t-sawback-removal-98-05802087d1423748374t-sawback-removal-98-05802088d1423748380t-sawback-removal-98-05

Any thoughts...?

Interesting question that... Was it indeed just a general order or were detailed instructions given? My suspicion is the former... How else to explain the various ways this was done?

But I was at first slightly confused by your last one - the middle photograph shows what is clearly part of the saw, but then I realised that this was the cut down remnants of the original saw. Well, it is usual to blame the Turks for anything bad that has happened in the past to a German bayonet - but I have never come across any reference to the Turks feeling the need to remove saws from any sawback bayonets they had. That apart, if I recall correctly, but don't quote me on this, there are are no sawbacks intact or sawbacks removed 98/05's (or any other type for that matter) with Turkish serials or showing Turkish shortening - well, I am no expert, but I think I would have noticed one if there was...

More to the point, chronology. As far as I have been able to establish, the Turks did not start to get regular German bayonets until 1917, when (according to something I have seen elsewhere but also personal observation on what's around) some 90-95% of what they got were WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER. In addition, all the W/MAUSER ones I have seen on sale in Turkey and Syria and Lebanon have been W/17. As Sawback production stopped in April 1917, and sawback removal commenced in January 1918, this could be interpreted as indicating that the Turks never received any sawbacks, and so no Turkish sawback removed. BUT, as usual, there is an exception to that rule... I have a W/MAUSER W/17 with an intact sawback that I bought here in Turkey...

Trajan

PS: That's a good idea, focussing on one type, the 98/05! I am a generalist, I like all types - have to be given what's available in Turkey! I even have ( :excl: ) a shortened Turkish M.1890 in my collection!

PPS: I need two pairs of 98/05 grips (reproductions acceptable!) and a 98/05 push button assembly kit to improve two of my 98/05's - any suggestions?

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Hi Trajan! Carl (old smithy) mentions this about Turkish (removal of) sawbacks on his website:

"Sawback and plain blades can be found and the Turkish removal of the sawback was not as total as that of the German army."

The examples on his site are 1935 pattern conversions though, but very alike my Bavarian 98/05. I've never handled one myself, but my experience isn't long-going like his/yours. I personally think there were no regulations on the subject either, even if that seems un-German at first. Keeping in mind It was a hectical period at the end of the war...

As for grips, I've seen them on e-bay numerous times, both originals and replica's. However: ever tried switching grips between two 98/05 models? It's never a 100% fit, which proves it was a splendid handmade effort in those days. I do have a spare set in good shape, but they are stuck on a bayonet which is in very very poor condition. I can't get them off because of the rusted bolts and washers. Drilling them straight through is the only option to save them. The bayonet isn't worth saving at all, someone took a diamond grinding wheel to it by the looks of it.

Maybe your best option is bying online and filing them down somewhat so they fit accurately? I've seen push buttons incl. springs aswell.

I'd go for originals, just for the patina. Although I tend to clean the blackend grips aswell, as in the case of the Bavarian bayonet in the last pictures - they were black to start with. I don't want to open a "to restore or not to restore - discussion" here, but good cleaning never hurt anything.

PS: classic collector's story for me. I found an 98/05 while helping out at a farm in my early teens... and fell in love with it ;-)

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Kris,

real interesting bayonet you have there mate, never came across a high eared with sawback removed yet, do another 1 to look out for to add to 98/05s.

Julian,

sure I sent you pics of my turked 98/05s inc. both sawback intact & sawback removed but will have a quick look & get some more pics as nearly sure that I have another with sloppily removed sawback as shown in Kris pics.

Aleck

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Hi Trajan! Carl (old smithy) mentions this about Turkish (removal of) sawbacks on his website:

"Sawback and plain blades can be found and the Turkish removal of the sawback was not as total as that of the German army."

The examples on his site are 1935 pattern conversions though, but very alike my Bavarian 98/05. I've never handled one myself, but my experience isn't long-going like his/yours. I personally think there were no regulations on the subject either, even if that seems un-German at first. Keeping in mind It was a hectical period at the end of the war...

As for grips, I've seen them on e-bay numerous times, both originals and replica's. However: ever tried switching grips between two 98/05 models? It's never a 100% fit, which proves it was a splendid handmade effort in those days. I do have a spare set in good shape, but they are stuck on a bayonet which is in very very poor condition. I can't get them off because of the rusted bolts and washers. Drilling them straight through is the only option to save them. The bayonet isn't worth saving at all, someone took a diamond grinding wheel to it by the looks of it.

Maybe your best option is bying online and filing them down somewhat so they fit accurately? I've seen push buttons incl. springs aswell.

I'd go for originals, just for the patina. Although I tend to clean the blackend grips aswell, as in the case of the Bavarian bayonet in the last pictures - they were black to start with. I don't want to open a "to restore or not to restore - discussion" here, but good cleaning never hurt anything.

PS: classic collector's story for me. I found an 98/05 while helping out at a farm in my early teens... and fell in love with it ;-)

Kris,

real interesting bayonet you have there mate, never came across a high eared with sawback removed yet, do another 1 to look out for to add to 98/05s.

Julian,

sure I sent you pics of my turked 98/05s inc. both sawback intact & sawback removed but will have a quick look & get some more pics as nearly sure that I have another with sloppily removed sawback as shown in Kris pics.

Aleck

Thanks Kris for checking over with Carl Old Smithy - I'll do a look there and also at Otto's Turkish Bayonets later (one of those very busy days today). I had heard that it was difficult to take grips from one 98/05 and put them on another, and it is good to have that confirmed.Incidentally, I still have the grips off from one of mine (see my thread 'What's behind the grips..' at: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=223618)and so I'll take a look at how those 'fit' with one of my grip=less 98/05's. Mind you, why the Germans stuck with that ogival-shaped pommel is a mystery as it must have caused a bit of a production nightmare! Yes, it is originals I'm after, but haven't yet found a suitable beaten up one here...

Aleck, I must have those piccies stored on the e-mail files, and will have a look over those as well later. I'll send you details...

Like I said, full teaching load today and then of this afternoon for a high-powered trip to Bodrum area to guides some diplomats (and bored bodyguards!) around the archaeological sites there, so not certain when I'll be checking back in properly...

Julian

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real interesting bayonet you have there mate, never came across a high eared with sawback removed yet, do another 1 to look out for to add to 98/05s.

Just remembered that comment of yours Aleck - yeah, interesting isn't it? Shades of a HQ that was never de-hooked and continued in service... So, a high ears 98/05 that never had its ears taken down or had its flash guard fitted, but which had its saw removed... I am wondering if this was an example of a 98/05 that went east when the Germans were fighting with the Ottoman army in Palestine, and then went to the Turks?

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Don't mean to be churlish, but I have to ask - in pure financial terms which commands a higher price today. If condition of both are the same, is an intact sawback worth more than a "removed" one?

Thanks,

Dave

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Don't mean to be churlish, but I have to ask - in pure financial terms which commands a higher price today. If condition of both are the same, is an intact sawback worth more than a "removed" one?

Thanks,

Dave

Depends on who is buying... In my experience, 98/05 bayonets with sawbacks are not that rare, but sawback-removed examples are rarer, but generally only attract the specialist collectors. Kris - as a dedicated 98.05 collector - might have a better idea on this matter.

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Trajan is right, the sawback removed bayonets are not common, far less so than the ones with the sawback intact yet those that have the removed sawback are the unloved stepsister and, when found, sell for less with few takers. The same attitude was displayed by the soldiers digging through piles of surrendered bayonets at the end of the Great War who wanted one to take home to show their friends and families.

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Thanks for those answers. Makes sense that the intact sawback is more common but interesting that collectors don't have a preference for the rarer version.

Dave

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Well, I think collectors do but the average "buyer" who just wants an example for the collection will prefer a sawback over both the standard plain back version and the sawback removed.

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In my opinion they are very collectable as to complete any 98/05 collection you need any variation from higheared 98/05 aA , sawback, sawback removed, , transitional variants of these with no ears/ flashguard or high ears with flash guard & the variants of the more common 98/05nA.

I have quite a few yet to complete my collection but so far I have managed to pick up-

98/05 aA

98/05aA sawback

98/05 nA transitional sawback with no flashguard

98/05nA

98/05nA sawback

98/05nA sawback removed

couple of ersatz sawback versions

even added a fair condition 98/02

saveral turk versions inc. sawback, neatly removed sawback, sloppy sawback removed & sloppy sawback removed ersatz buthers both with remnants of most of their teeth.

Aleck

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Kris,

just been thinking about your question about if this could have been done by the turks.

I have a full length turkish ersatz (cant remember which type tho) in the turk part of my collection & missed out on a full length turk sawback last year (cant remember if it was aA or nA) but both had osmanli markings.

Does your example have any strange markings on it ?

Aleck

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Depends on who is buying... In my experience, 98/05 bayonets with sawbacks are not that rare, but sawback-removed examples are rarer, but generally only attract the specialist collectors. Kris - as a dedicated 98.05 collector - might have a better idea on this matter.

Hi,

Well... all has been said here really. It does depend on the buyer. I usually notice a higher price for sawbacks than for a removed sawback, many people don't like a 'disfigured' bayonet. Ironically these pieces are far more interesting from a collecting point of view - evidently not if your only aim is displaying a fierce looking weapon on the wall ;-)

Happy collecting!

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Kris,

just been thinking about your question about if this could have been done by the turks.

I have a full length turkish ersatz (cant remember which type tho) in the turk part of my collection & missed out on a full length turk sawback last year (cant remember if it was aA or nA) but both had osmanli markings.

Does your example have any strange markings on it ?

Aleck

Hi Aleck,

No, not at all... puzzling isn't it? It has every 'usual' marking possible (maker, inspection marks and partially shaved off crown/date). That's it.

When pressing the locking stud, one side of it has '526' stamped into it though. Might aswell be a factory assembly stamp, I believe the same numbers appeared beneath the grips as many letters or numbers do sometimes. But that doesn't mean anything really.

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Hi Aleck,

No, not at all... puzzling isn't it? It has every 'usual' marking possible (maker, inspection marks and partially shaved off crown/date). That's it.

When pressing the locking stud, one side of it has '526' stamped into it though. Might aswell be a factory assembly stamp, I believe the same numbers appeared beneath the grips as many letters or numbers do sometimes. But that doesn't mean anything really.

VERY quickly as bed time for the boys here... I have a S.98 with numbers on the side of the press-stud... Wonder how often that is?

Kris, you clearly have a few of these 98/05's, so why not develop that interest here? Start a thread on 98/05's! At the very least you will get a lot back from Aleck Sawdoc and me! Most of mine, though, are good old boring Waffenfabrik Mauser W/17's, but I do have a few others...

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Not a bad idea. I don't focus on quantity though, but I'm cataloguing my collection with pictures & personalised files. Maybe I'll start a thread when this is finished, could be a nice discussion-platform.

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Ok, not a 98/05, but a KS98, but apart from its other 'faults' (this one has been around!), look at how badly the saw has been treated! This is a purchase in Turkey, and you have me wondering now if this is an attempt in Turkey at removing or at least minimising the saw...

post-69449-0-35834800-1424315373_thumb.j

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kris,

certainly an interesting bayonet, will check mine for markings on studs at the weekend & would like to see the rest of your 98/05s when you get the chance :)

Aleck

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