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Bayonets were designed to give the hand-to-hand combatant a tactical edge with longer reach. Traditionally used on the end of a rifle there were many designs adopted over the years. From the simple plug bayonet which made it impossible to also fire your gun to the modern representations that no longer pose any hurdle in firing. Size also changed as one-on-one combat became less a part of a battle plan after WWI. From the size of short swords to more manageable combat knives which serve utilitarian purposes the advent of newer, better firearms made has made them almost obsolete. Almost. Lee Enfields, M1 Garands and AK 47’s along with other famous guns were issued a variant and many are still in use today making them highly sought after collectibles. Although the style of fighting has changed, the function and use of today’s bayonets as combat knives is still effective in the field and look intimidating on parade.
Today the bayonet is rarely used in one-on-one combat. The complexity of using a bayonet and low stopping power of a single bayonet thrust make it impractical. In modern combat, it's more efficient to put an enemy down with technology and firearms, than with a bayonet. Despite its limitations, the bayonet is still issued by many armies. Additionally, the bayonet is still used for controlling prisoners and as a weapon of self defense and for utilitarian purposes in camp. Some even claim that training with one teaches a level of aggression that is valuable on the battle field.
Current bayonets are often multi-purpose knives such as the US M9 bayonet which is also an efficient fighting knife or the Soviet AKM bayonet which was also a ground breaking survival knife that can be used as a wire-cutter. Some bayonets can also be used as utility knives, bottle openers or throwing knives. There is also the obvious financial benefit of issuing one multi-purpose bayonet/knife as opposed to multiple knives to confuse and burden today’s soldier.
We feature bayonet replicas, genuine military surplus bayonets, army surplus bayonets and accessories like hard to find scabbards and frogs to accurately carry them.