Bayonets of the World

Recently I've got another example of Dahlgren bayonet here in Poland for rather occasional money. But it is in many aspects different from my previous one, which I aquired from I think more serious source (though one never knows...).  I turned to the net to explain my doubts, and here... no clear knowledge. And to make things more complicated the bayonets has bad reputation, for being reproduced by many sources for many years. From the other hand there were probably a few thousands manufactured, so the bayo should not be so rare. I have read somewhere that many were sold as surplus to gardeners.

I had to reach for books and it is good to have books. Hardin explains the issue completly. He lists 4 variants of the bayo.

First variant - manufactured in 1861 with the date stamped on ricasso in very small cyphers. No stylized italic "DR" stamped on the pommel. On obverse ricasso "AMES MFg Co"/"CHICOPEE"/"MASS" in square pattern. The hilt is secured by three brass pins passing vertically thorough the hilt, visible in the leading groove on it's back. The one piece wooden grip is also secured with pins. This one is my new piece. From my observation I can add that it is slightly heavier - 1111g versus 987g (1864). The finial above the barrel ring is thicker. The frog has different shape and is generally shorter then later variant. The blade has slightly different shape, bit like a bolo. According to Hardin some of these had weapon numbers stamped on wooden grip.

Second variant - only difference from the above version is that the hilt is secured with one brass screw visible in leading groove one third of it's lenght from the crossguard.

Third variant - these are stamped "1862" or "1863" below "U.S.N." and "DR". The letters twice the size used previously. Hilt secured by the screw. There is stylized "DR" in an oval stamped on the pommel.

Fourth variant - dated "1864". General apperance as above, but on the reverse ricasso 3 lines "AMES MFg Co"/"CHICOPEE"/"MASS" form semioval here. The date is sometimes overstamped with "P", "G.G." or/and anchor. "GG" stands for Commander Guert Gansevoort. The hilt is held by the screw, there is "DR" on the pommel. It weights 987g. This is the second piece I own.

Jim Maddox also pictures two variants in his awesome book - first and fourth.

Update on 9 Dec 2014:

A few days after publishing this text a friend, who is a guy with great knowledge and razor sharp eye for bayonets, explained to me that this Ist variant of mine is a copy, probably made in 70ties of 20th century in India or Japan with great respect for details. The main differences are blade shape - slightly curved downwards in replica and font of "AMES....." - here are the pictures:

fake org 

Here are some pictures illustrating differences between my two Dahlgrens - variantr 1st and fourth:

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 Both bayonets side by side

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 "AMES MFg Co"/"CHICOPEE"/"MASS" - curved on 1864 (a bit rusty)

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 A date on both bayonets

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 Frogs - shorter on 1861

 

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 Hilt fixation - a screw on the left on 1864. The finial above barrel ring thicker on 1861.

 

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 A lead groove - upper 1864, in lower visible 3 pins (not so clearly, but belive me). The finial above barrel ring thicker on 1861.

 

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 Grip fixation - pins on the upper - 1861

 

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Pommel - on the right 1864 with stylized "DR" in oval