For the Identification of Unknown AK Bayonets and Related Discussion such as Displaying, Use, etc
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
So I was using the magnifying function on my phone (a cool feature) and decided to try to interpret the inspection marks on one of my new Tulas. I don't have them on any of my other Russian 6H4's ... Arsenal marks yes but not inspection stamps. Are they common? I notice that one side has the OTK mark but I don't know what the two on the other side are all about.
I just checked 14 random Russian AKM 6X4 Type III bayonets from my collection, (7 from each arsenal). They all have various inspection/proof marks if you look close. Each part is subject to multiple inspections/tests during manufacture, sub-assembly, assembly, finishing and completion. Inspections may be 100%, totally random or statistical. For example 1 0f 100, or beginning and end of a time period. To me, as a collector, these markings are not important. They are not consistent from different arsenals and time periods, contracts and inspectors. Basically meaningless to a collector for identification of an item. Each individual component and sub assembly may have been made and inspected at a different facility at a different time. Final assembly, completion, inspection and acceptance may have been at yet a different facility and time. Without the factory and inspection records the mold and inspection marks have little meaning. Mike
To analyze the pictures of the cross guard above one must understand the manufacture and assembly of the components involved. This would mean the completed blade, the cross guard and the rivets. I believe this inspection was after the rivets had been installed attaching the cross guard to the blade and before the finish / paint was applied. Whether this particular sub-assembly was picked at random or because of a problem is unknown. The fact that there are two similar stampings indicates to me that either both rivets and/or installation were inspected. It is also possible that they were inspected, repaired and re-inspected. The OTK, (military acceptance), stamping on the other side indicates that the assembly passed the sub-assembly inspection. Note that the OTK stamp was placed connecting a rivet and cross guard. There also appears to be a dimple on the cross guard between the rivet and muzzle ring. This could be from a metal hardness test. There may also be other various inspection marks on the front and back of the cross guard as well as the blade tang. Again, of no real value or information to an enthusiast or collector. Mike
Another thing to note is that the stamped marking on the metal parts and sub-assembly were done on the bare metal before the final finishing of paint and sealant/adhesive. The finish often covers or obscures previous markings. The final inspection and acceptance marking on the completed bayonet and scabbard are usually done with paint and ink stamps that do not damage the surfaces or protectant finishes. They are not intended to be permanent. Also remember that the bayonet and scabbard were relatively low cost weapons/tools for military, (functional, expendable), use. They were mass produced, (millions?), over a number of years, at the lowest possible cost. Yes, there were quality control inspections and markings, but only a few were actually individually tested and inspected. Mike
Excellent presentation of the inspection protocols. This inspection process is, in general, not unlike that used by many nations to this day. Perhaps, because of of modern technology, the accuracy of manufacturing tolerances, etc. is superior. Thus, less inspections might be required today than in the past.
Following Mike's valued comments I decided to look more closely at other Russian variants in my modest collection and in the main they all have something to offer by way of inspection marks. I'm now prepared to have duplicate bayonets that carry different inspection marks.