The bayonet Johnson developed for the Model 41
rifle is unlike any other used by the US military in recent years. It was
designed to fulfill the requirements of the Army Ornance Board, who specified
any rifle design submitted for military use must have provision for fitting
a bayonet. Tests with the standard Model 1905 bayonet caused the Johnson
rifle to malfuction as it impaired the barrel's recoil, so this lightweight
one was developed. In essence this bayonet was an afterthought with little
or no practical use. In the field the marines referred to these bayonet
as 'tent pegs' due to their similarity to the GI peg.
The Johnson bayonet is produced from a single
billet of steel that is forged into shape. It has no defined handle or
grip as does the Model 1905 bayonet, just a flat extension with a flat
spring clip riveted to it. This
clip to facilitate the removal of the bayonet from the rifle, disengaging
it from the lug on the rifle's barrel.
A mounting ring with a 3/4 inch diameter hole is mounted on the top of
the handle a third of the way along the total length of the bayonet. The
blade has a triangular profile, with the fuller making a concave indentation
on the blade's top face. The bayonet has an overall parkerized finish to
it and do not bear any makers name or identification.
The bayonet is carried in a russet coloured sheath,which
tapers to point at the bottom.
sheaths carry a serial number, their meaning is not clear at this time
and they are not believed to be related to Johnson Rifle serial
The Johnson bayonet is not common but can be found
at good Arms Fairs and shows. Prices
are in the $200 to $300 range depending on condition of bayonet and sheath.
The sheath is the scarcer part of the set.
Shown here is the Model 1941 Bayonet in its sheath. The bayonet is held
in to the sheath by the small strap which is secured by a small brass rivet.
Overall length of the bayonet is 11 3/4 inches and the sheath is 13 3/4
inches and weight of the bayonet is 8 ounces.
Warning - Collectors
should be aware of newly made reproduction bayonets
and scabbards that are now on the open market.
these are made in India and are of a very high quality. There are
differences (fortunately) between them and the genuine article.