Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Countries such as Cuba, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Vietnam etc with their own frogs/modifications etc.
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Mr. B.
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Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:41 pm

These AKM bayonets and scabbards have been around for a while. Both bayonets are identical except for grip panel color. Not much is known about them and there is a lot of conflicting information and theories. Most recently a member of this Forum mentioned a friend had seen them for sale in a Vietnamese tourist shop, so I went with that. There are others that say they were made, or assembled, in North Korea and several other countries. An other theory is that they were made up from surplus parts for the collectors and not for military use. Some known facts; The scabbards and hangers are East German (DDR) both Type I and Type II wire cutter scabbards are found randomly mixed with both color bayonets. These scabbards have all the original proofs and markings but no serial numbers, (unissued surplus). Both long and short new grey leather DDR hangers are also found mixed with the scabbards and bayonets. One theory is that the blades and cross guards are also DDR, but on close examination I am not sure about that. More on that later with pictures. Also note the black rubber insulator on the DDR Type I scabbard is rather unusual as well. Another important note is that these are AKM wire cutter bayonets, but they are NOT insulated against electrical current. They are solid metal from pommel to point. M.
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Last edited by Mr. B. on Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. B.
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:56 pm

Here are some close up pictures of one of these bayonets disassembled. I don't usually do this and don't recommend it, but my analytical curiosity got the best of me. These bayonets are very well designed and manufactured and of very high quality fit and finish. A small detail I noticed on reassembly is that the heads of the grip machine screws and their nuts are of different thickness and not interchangeable front to rear. This is to make up for the front of the hilt is narrower than the rear. Very over engineered. It would have been much easier and more economical to just use a shorter screw!? M.
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Mr. B.
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:16 pm

These are a series of comparison pictures between the "Vietnam" AKM bayonet and a East German (DDR) AKM 6X3 Type 1 and AKM 6X4 TYpe II bayonet. The blade tang most closely matches the 6X3 configuration right down to the holes for the grip screws. The Type II blade tang is more centrally located, has one hole and is much shorter, just past the mid point of the grips. The pommel is a completely different shape than the one inside the bulbous Type I grips. It is narrower than the Type II pommel and has a different shaped catch, oval vs flattened on one end. Also note that the release button does have the DDR circle pattern, but no slot. M.
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:19 pm

More comparison pictures. M
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:37 pm

Now for the blade comparisons. Many believe that cross guards and blades are East German 6X3 Type I. However I now question that theory. The cross guards would have to had been machined from blanks. If the completed DDR cross guards were used with just the hook removed they would still narrow down to the hook area where as the Vietnam one is full and rounded below the edge of the blade. The blades are different on several points. One is the blade point area it's self. The machining and beveling are different on the point, edge and false edge between the two DDR bayonets,(both 6X3 and 6X4), and the Vietnamese ones. The number, shape and orientation of the saw teeth are different. Notice that at least two of the forward saw teeth grooves point at the pivot hole, whereas none of the DDR ones do. A more major difference is the beginning of the machining of the edge bevel near the cross guard. M.
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:53 pm

Here is a final picture showing the difference in the grip screws and nuts front to back, left to right. they do not interchange!
Overall a very high quality, well engineered and manufactured bayonet and wire cutter. even though not insulated against electric current. M.
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby pwcosol » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:32 pm

Mr. B.: First-Class presentation of this variation whose parentage is still in question. I don't know if you read this submission on AKF, but if you missed it, may help to explain some of the mystery on these:

http://www.theakforum.net/forums/14-general-discussion/189494-deals-north-korean-ak-bayonets.html

In addition, MT-LB (Europe) is offering some of these on the For Sale Forum and appears he has some insight as to their history as well which seems to support what Stottman stated in the link provided...

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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:20 am

Thanks for the link! I had not seen this series of posts. They do add some additional insights, but nothing really positive as far as who manufactured and/or assembled them. Also the question remains as to if they were ever military issue and if so where.

Another recent claim is that they were made up in Bulgaria for a possible contract sales, (Viet Nam?). The theory was that a small lot of them were made up, with different color grips and scabbards, as sales samples / trials issue for possible sales to Viet Nam and/or others. This claim was backed by the known fact that Bulgaria bought large amounts of new surplus DDR bayonets, scabbards and other components. They reworked and reissued some of the 6X4 bayonets and scabbards internally, but had lots of components left over. Also there is the possibility that they bought incomplete blade and cross guard blanks and finished machining them or used there own production. This would also explain the Bulgarian circle 21 and 27 marks on the pommels. This claim also presented the question as to where the DDR AKM bayonet manufacturing equipment ended up. Bulgaria, N. Korea, Viet Nam or ?????? Interesting question! Mike

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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:36 am

I just re-read the "For Sale or Trade" section on this forum. If the bayonets were made in Viet Nam, why the unusual re-configuration of design? Where did they get the machinery, equipment and technology to manufacture them. Possibly the former DDR, China, or any of the European ComBloc countries that have up graded to AK74 and other newer versions? Still more questions than answers.
Mike

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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:44 pm

Here is a borrowed picture of the "Vietnamese" AKM bayonet with the circle 27 marking. I believe the circle 21 and 27 have also been observed on assorted Bulgarian ordinance as well as these bayonets. Could this have any significance or just a coincidence?
Mike
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pwcosol
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby pwcosol » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:15 pm

Both of mine (red grip/black grip) are "circle 21" marked. There seems to be some certainty that these were imported to Europe as "knives" sans scabbards, from Vietnam per Stottman. The question here is were they just referred to as "knives" by the exporting country because they lacked a scabbard (again, per Stottman) or were they true knives which were later modified into a bayonet configuration? It sounds to me they were imported in the present configuration. I was unaware they arrived on the scene so recently (2006). The amount of effort and expense to retrofit this "knife" into a bayonet would probably not justify the cost to do so. I agree the "circle 21 & 27" markings certainly resemble Bulgarian arsenal markings. It is possible these bayonets were made elsewhere and sent to Vietnam as a limited run for trials, etc. Still, I can't help wonder about the similarity of the general design (other than the blade) having a close resemblance to the N.Korean AKM bayonet. Not long ago I bought a Vietnam war era synthetic belt/buckle from a Ebay seller there. He sells a lot of militaria. I am going to post him with some photos of this bayonet and see if he has any knowledge about it and/or what the original scabbard may have been...

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MDIvie
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby MDIvie » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:44 pm

21-in-circle and 25-in-circle are known Bulgarian arsenal marks. I've never seen a 27-in-circle associated with a Bulgarian Arsenal. Doesn't mean there isn't one, I've just never seen it.

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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:06 pm

Recently saw a couple of these with circle 35 markings. One red grip version and one with black grips. Mike
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby MDIvie » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:36 am

My red is 21-in-circle and my black is 35-in-circle marked.
I saw a recent post on Facebook from one of the Dutch collectors claiming these were put together in the Netherlands.
I need to ask him whether he meant the knife was manufactured in the Netherlands or the knives and East German scabbards were married up in the Netherlands.

MDI

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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby mill_speer » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:10 am

@MDIvie
I can answer that, too.
The bayonet has been designed by a German militaria merchant to market his redundant East German scabbards . As Mr. B. has correctly observed, all parts are slightly different, and not like the Russian original 6X3.
Now the German is friends with a Dutchman, who made the bayonets in Vietnam.
The finished bayonets were then made in Germany with the East German scabbards
Completed and marketed.
The star mark and numeral are pure decoration!
Unfortunately, I can not say anything about the quantity of manufactured bayonets and the name of his Dutch partner, he did not tell me that.
Best regard

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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby MDIvie » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:18 am

Great info.

juris07
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby juris07 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:52 pm

I'm interested to buy Vietnam bayo

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Mr. B.
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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby Mr. B. » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:51 pm

Yes, these are interesting bayonets to collect and study. However they are not true military issue Kalashnikov bayonets. They appear to be an unusually designed and well made items possibly for the commercial market, but primarily the collectors market. I hope this helps you track them down. This is the last large dealer that I saw advertise them; www.northridgeinc.com . That and every once in a while one pops up on: www.Gunbroker.com . Good Luck, Mike

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Re: Vietnam AKM Bayonets (?)

Postby juris07 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:40 am

thank's a lot!
try to obtain :)

Juris


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