Early wood grip VZ58 Bayonet

Czech VZ58 Bayonets
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Brian
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Early wood grip VZ58 Bayonet

Post by Brian » Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:41 am

An example of one of the early wood grip bayonets. This one selling locally. There were a few wood grip ones imported here recently.
They come in flat rivet (earlier?) and this type. Missing a small piece out of the back of the grip, but probably while in service due to finish and patina.
I have one in my collection that starts with Axxx, and I suspect those are the earliest ones. They were probably serialed from A upwards..
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Re: Early wood grip VZ58 Bayonet

Post by Mr. B. » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:10 am

Here's another early version of the Czech VZ58 type I bayonet and scabbard. The Type I is the first of three different basic versions of this bayonet. The blade, cross guard and tang are all machined from a one casting. It has a short, rounded cross guard, and a short blade tang and a one piece wood grip. Almost all the original grips I've seen seem to be of beech wood. There are several sources making reproduction one piece wood grips out of beech as well as other woods on demand. Some are installed on the correct Type I bayonets and others are found on Type II bayonets which is incorrect. Also note the embossed honeycomb leather and green rivets and stud matching the leather on the early Czech 52 field gear. M.
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Re: Early wood grip VZ58 Bayonet

Post by Brian » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:17 am

I need to dig my own wood grip one out again, however what stands out is that the serial is A00173, which I suspect is very early in the beginning of these, if they were serialized sequentially?
It has the darker wood handles, varnished, and the short tang with short crossguard.
I only have one pic here on this pic. 4th from the left. Do you think it is more appropriate with the scabbard from the one to its right?
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Re: Early wood grip VZ58 Bayonet

Post by Mr. B. » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:44 pm

I am not positive, but it is my opinion that almost all the Czech VZ58 bayonets and scabbards that have turned up were inspected, repaired and reworked up to reserve standards when turned in from active service. This was done similarly to the reworked Russian and Bulgarian ones, etc.. No attempt was made to keep the scabbards and bayonets together during this inspection. Bayonets in one pile, scabbard in another. After independent inspection they were then randomly matched up to be serviceable.
I have seen late, like new, Type III bayonets in scabbards marked in the early '60s and obviously reworked and used Type I bayonets in like new scabbards marked in the late '70s.

It is also my opinion that the earliest scabbards were the embossed honeycomb ones which were a carry over from the field gear issued with the previously issued Czech VZ52 and VZ57 (similar to the SKS). The slings, ammo pouches and other leather gear were of this pattern. Some late dated ones of this pattern have been noted, but this may have been done during re-issue or when using old, new stock, scabbards. It is also possible that the smooth and embossed one were produced simultaneously by different suppliers, as different sew and rivet patterns have also been noted. Also note that an all white leather scabbard has been observed in several references as well, for dress/parade use!? M.

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Re: Early wood grip VZ58 Bayonet

Post by Mr. B. » Thu May 04, 2017 3:11 pm

I recently acquired a second Czech VZ58 Type I bayonet with an original one piece wood grip. It's in very good condition and seems all original as issued and use. I wasn't planning on keeping it I already had a nice one. On closer examination I noticed that it was different in that it had no serial number and the second number was on the opposite side of the blade. I wonder if it is a very early one or perhaps made without numbering as a spare or replacement bayonet? It is pictured below with my original one for comparison. M.
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Re: Early wood grip VZ58 Bayonet

Post by Mr. B. » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:29 pm

When the VZ58 was first introduced both the rifle and bayonet had wood furniture. This is a replacement VZ58 Type I bayonet wood grip from one of the earliest original issued VZ58 Armorer's repair kits. The one piece wood bayonet grips were prone to work loose and be damage due to moisture and temperature changes. Most of the original wood grips were replace / reworked with the newer style two piece molded wood chip composition grip panel. The Armorer's kit was also upgraded to contain only the newer molded grip panels which fit all three VZ58 Type bayonets. Mike
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Re: Early wood grip VZ58 Bayonet

Post by MDIvie » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:28 am

My wood grip is in a pebble scabbard dated 1960. It appears to be all original.
I also have a short tang no visible rivet in a pebble scabbard that's date is gone.
I have other rivet configuration short tang, rounded cross guard knives in smooth leather scabbards dated 61 and 62.
My only long tang is in a smooth scabbard dated 84.

I have a later armorers kit. The grip panels in it are chipped wood in resin and are of a thickness that is only good for the long tang knives.

I have a friend that had an earlier armorers kit with wood furniture and it had two piece wood replacement grip panels.
Suffering from stupidity as I occasionally do, I didn't buy any of these when he had them for sale and now have apparently missed out on them. I id recently see a bayonet with some of these two piece wood replacement grip panels on it.

MDI

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Re: Early wood grip VZ58 Bayonet

Post by Mr. B. » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:04 pm

Here is an early textured scabbard with a Type II bayonet. Nice markings. Mike
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