Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Bulgarian AK bayonets
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Mr. B.
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Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby Mr. B. » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:32 pm

Has anyone else noticed the differences in the arsenal marks on these bayonets? How about any other variations? Mike
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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby kstim » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:05 am

I had not noticed this before. But, I have two that look like picture number two, and one like picture one. Mold numbers on the first two are 1-2, and on the different one, 1-1. So assume that would be the difference. On an unrelated note, the AK74 or whatever one calls it, is really a poor design of bayonet-- the blade design is interesting, but the tang only goes halfway through the grip (right about the second finger ridge). I have one that was broken in half at this point. The earlier AKM Type 2 was a much better knife.

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby Mr. B. » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:16 am

For the most part the AKM Type I and Type II bayonets will mount on the AK74 rifles. The early AK 74 rifles were issued with Type II bayonet and only later replaced with the new improved design AK74 Type III bayonets. The new Type III design was indeed an improvement on the using the latest technology and materials. The spear point blade is more efficient in thrusting as a bayonet and stabbing as a knife. The central ridge in the blade adds to the rigidity and keeps the blade from bending. The new design also used a more durable metal to resist corrosion and wear. The molded on grip is more durable and secure than the Bakelite type grip previously used. Also It is textured and has ridges for a better hand grip. The grip material and design also improves the electrical insulation of the entire hilt when using as a wire cutter. The wrist strap and the exposed hook on the crossguard were eliminated. They were only there as an afterthought, basically to increase the hand grip on the smooth plastic grips, especially in inclement weather. The Type I had a full length tang. But the 2 piece plastic grip panels were weak and provided poor electrical insulation at the pommel and were weak and subject to breakage. The tang on the Type II was NOT full length. The plastic grip was molded in one piece and secured to the short tang with a single plastic pin and filled with epoxy. The heavy metal pommel did not contact the blade tang and was secured to the grip by a single machine screw and epoxy. It did a better job of electrical insulation, but the grip and the attachment to the tang and pommel was weak. Overall the new Type III is more functional, ergonomic, durable and efficient when used as a bayonet, fighting knife or insulated wire cutter. Mike

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby Mr. B. » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:39 am

I stand corrected! The AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets DO NOT mount on most AK74 rifles. The small projection under the Front Sight Base for the front pin that secures the FSB to the barrel interferes with the plastic ears on top of the pommel. Pictured below are a Romanian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonet and a AIMS74 type II bayonet for comparison. They are shown with a Bulgarian AK74 which is similar in design with most AK74s.

Most, if not all A,KM 6X4 type II bayonets should mount on most AK74 type rifles as well as the AK74 Type III bayonets.
Mike
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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby kstim » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:14 pm

OK, all that makes sense. This is why I come here, to learn stuff I didn't know before!

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby kstim » Thu May 10, 2018 6:09 pm

Looking at my previous post about the relative quality/usefulness of the AKM Type 2 and Type 3, and Mike (Mr. B) response, I want to retract what I said about the type 2 being superior. Yes, I do have a type 3 that broke at the end of the tang. However, it should have been apparent to me that the type 2 is also a half tang weapon. If ya had a full tang running from the blade to the metal pommel, it would pretty much negate the wire cutter insulation. Duh. I am not nearly as smart as I think I am sometimes. I totally agree with Mike that blade design and ergonomics of the Type 3 are superior. If had to carry one or the other, it would be the type 3. I do not know what someone did to break mine, but it obviously took a lot of abuse to do it. And the bakelite on the type 2 I would put much less faith in than the type 3 grip material. It is kind of nice having one that got broke, because I can see the innards of the grip, tang, etc., which is interesting.

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby ilian » Thu May 17, 2018 3:53 pm

What is an AK74 type III bayonet?

I know:
- AK(47) type I (or first pattern like russian 6x2)
- AKM type I (like russian 6x3)
- AKM type II or AK74 type I (like russian 6x4)
- AK74 type II (like 6x5)

The last one could be AKM type III but why are you using AK74 type III, i don't understand?

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby Mr. B. » Thu May 17, 2018 7:21 pm

Overemphasis !? Some collectors. including myself, are confused as to how to label some bayonets. Some identify them by the rifle they mount on, some by the rifle they were designed for and others by the basic design or appearance. The more terms we use help narrow down the version we refer to or try to describe. That's also why we use pictures when ever possible.

AK47 (6x2) bayonets were created for and fit only the AK47. (no type number)
AKM (6X3) Type I bayonets were created for the AKM and fit most of them and also some AK74s. (rounded synthetic pommel/grip panels)
AKM (6X4) Type II bayonets were an improved version that also fits most AKMs and some AK74s. (metal Pommel)
AKM (6X5) Type III bayonets were another improvement that was designed for the AK74s, but also fit on most AKMs. (revised blade & hilt)

Scabbard types are also different by design

AKM Type I scabbards are metal and are used with both Type I (6X3) and Type II (6X4) bayonets.
AKM Type II scabbards are made of synthetic material and are also used with both Type I (6X3) and Type II (6X4) bayonets.

Of course the are also some exceptions to these designations, but the basic idea is the same. Mike

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby Mr. B. » Thu May 17, 2018 7:51 pm

To answer your first and last question Mark, lets use a couple of examples for comparison. How would you best describe the bayonet found on a currently issued Romanian AK74 rifle ? I would use AKM or AK74 Type II (6X4) bayonet and also designate either Type I or Type II scabbard as both are found. What if was a Russian or Bulgarian AK74 rifle. I would use AKM or AK74 Type III (6X5) bayonet and scabbard.

Most ComBloc countries followed different steps and different time schedules when, and if, they changed over to newer versions of bayonets and scabbards. This applies to both manufacture and/or issue. The above designations help use describe the basic differences in the bayonets and scabbards regardless of the rifles they are made for or mount on.

The AKM verses AK74 designation are very ambiguous and vague. The Type II and (6X4) are redundant as are the Type III and (6X5) designations, but they help clarify and confirm the variation. Mike

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby ilian » Thu May 17, 2018 7:59 pm

Ok Mike if i do understand correctly there is no AK74 type III ;)

If i follow your logic:

AK(47) bayonets (6x2)= (appearance) type I (but there is the modern bulgarian bayonet which could fit an AK(47), so it could be an "AK(47) type II" i guess?)
AKM T1 bayonets (6x3)= type II
AKM T2 / AK74 T1 (6x4)= type III
AKM T3 / AK74 T2 (6x5)= type IV

It's hard for me to find a correct classification (it's confused for me too) but i think it's important.

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby ilian » Thu May 17, 2018 8:05 pm

For the Pm. 86 in use in Romania (known as AIMS-74 in the US)

The first version would be: "AK74 type I transitional" (with steel scabbard)
and the second: "AK74 type I" (full resin/plastic variant)

I will use that term because the rifle is based on the soviet AK74.

Thanks for helping me Mike :)

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby Mr. B. » Fri May 18, 2018 4:02 pm

The AK47 bayonets and scabbards are unique to the AK47 and do not need a type number. The modern Bulgarian version is a retro fit and an individual oddity which doesn't fit any category.
The AKM and AK74 series of bayonets and scabbards are all basically the same in the way they fit on the AKM & AK74 rifles. They have the same basic style and dimensions for the muzzle ring and pommel locks and are all interchangeable for the most part. The AK74 rifle is basically the same as the AKM, but in a different caliber, they were designed to use the same basic AKM bayonets already in use. Because the AKM bayonets have been redesigned/revised three times, (so far), therefore they are designated Type I, II and III. The AKM scabbards have had two major revisions therefore are designated Type I and II. Perhaps we should not use the designation AK74 at all as it doesn't really identify a particular bayonet or scabbard. For example, it could be a Type II (Romania, E.G. etc.) or a type III, (Russia, Bulgaria, etc.).
Also remember that many countries are currently redesigning the Kalashnikov weapons system complete with new style bayonets and scabbards. All of these items will need new designations for collectors. Different countries already use different ways to ID their bayonets. IE, Poland uses 6H3 and 6H4, (to me that means no sawteeth?). East Germany uses Modell 59, 79, AK74 or even MPiAK74 to identify different versions and the rifles they were designed to fit. All can be very confusing to all but the advanced collectors who have more detailed references. If we all use the basic identifiers above we will all have a basic idea of what bayonet and scabbard we are trying to describe.
As always there will be exceptions to the identifications, such as the E.G. KM87 and some of the Chinese and North Korean versions. Mike

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby Brian » Fri May 18, 2018 4:59 pm

Agree with Mike.
As per most collectibles worldwide, collectors have to find a way to describe stuff, and it isn't always what the factory calls it, but it is easier for us to describe them and "pigeon hole" them into categories.
And therefore I stick with the designations which have been used since i started collecting, and what Martin uses in his book.
AK47 --> AKM Type 1 --> AKM Type 2 --> AK74 'type 3'
And then easy to describe a Polish bayonet as a Type II with Type I scabbard. We all know what is being described.

It works. There are odd exceptions, but they don't confuse too much if we describe them properly.
No-one says everyone HAS to use that, but it seems most collectors have been calling them by those designations and there is less confusion.
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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby ilian » Fri May 18, 2018 5:52 pm

i understand now ... i am a bit long, but english isn't my mother tongue.

You are using the name of the rifle like AKM or AK74 and the type of bayonet separatly.

AKM type II could be AK74 type I and for the third it could be AKM type III or AK74 type III right?

Brian wrote:And therefore I stick with the designations which have been used since i started collecting, and what Martin uses in his book.
AK47 --> AKM Type 1 --> AKM Type 2 --> AK74 'type 3'


Martin don't use AK74 type 3 in his book but:

- AK47 type
- AKM type I
- AKM type II / early AK74
- AK74 type

:-)

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby Brian » Fri May 18, 2018 7:39 pm

Yes, but type III seems easier to use, since both types before that will fit on the AK74 also.
But either way, at least we understand what is meant.
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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby ilian » Fri May 18, 2018 7:44 pm

Brian wrote:since both types before that will fit on the AK74 also.


T1 and T2 (6x3 and 6x4)?

But T1 can't fit an AK74 :?:

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Re: Bulgarian AK74 Type III bayonet and scabbard arsenal mark variations

Postby Mr. B. » Fri May 18, 2018 11:49 pm

I believe you've got it right Mark! In spite of the language barrier we can communicate. Thanks for you patience. As Brian says, " At least we understand what is meant". If in doubt send or post a picture. :) Mike


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