Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Russian AK Bayonets
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Mr. B.
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Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:46 pm

I noticed nothing on this site about the elusive Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets with the Type II, (Plastic) scabbards. These original "Transitional" models are rumored to exist, but would be extremely rare. I have never seen a real documented one, only ones with suspect markings. The ones usually found are either a result of reworking or attempted fakes. Do they actually exist? If so from Izhevsk or Tula arsenal or both? Here is one version of a Russian AKM 6X3 Type I - Type II "Transitional" bayonet and scabbard. This one is not original as it was probably combined during a rework operation and has forced matching numbers. Both the bayonet and scabbard are from Tula arsenal and the correct time period. The arsenal star is stamped (hard to see in photo), on the flat behind the muzzle ring and molded on the scabbard. The bayonet has an etched number on the cross guard in place of the original one which has been lined out and a new number etched on the side of the grip and no other markings. The scabbard has the original number ground off and a new number etched on the same place. Both the bayonet and scabbard have been crudely covered with shellac which covers the original white ink proof marks. A Tula style wrist strap and hanger with flat ring have been added. Mike
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Last edited by Mr. B. on Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:48 pm

More pictures of the reworked Tula "transitional" showing markings. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:00 pm

This is another version of a Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -Type II "transitional" bayonet and scabbard. This one is from the Izhevsk arsenal. This one may also be a result of a rework operation, but it is nearer original. The arsenal mark is on the flat behind the muzzle ring. The race track 11 and diamond GB marks are on the right side of the crossguard. The original(?) number 5920 is etched on the left side of the grip. However, the 5 has been partially obliterated, (deliberately?), and is hard to read. The scabbard has the original molded arsenal mark and the matching original number 5920 is etched in the correct place, but both the 5 and the 920 have been lined out separately. A new number 920 has been etched on the cutter plate. A possibility the bayonet and scabbard were kept together during inspection and rework. They do not show signs of much other repair except for the numbering. They also came with a period correct wrist strap and hanger. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:02 pm

More pictures of the Izhevsk 6X3 transitional showing markings. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by ilian » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:36 pm

Like this one ;)
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by ilian » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:37 pm

Some details ;) ;)
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:09 pm

Very nice pictures! Thanks for sharing, looks like they do exist. At least from Izhevsk. Nice synthetic hanger too. Is this one yours Marc? I would like to see close ups of the arsenal marks on the bayonet and scabbard if you could. Is the one on the bayonet stamped on the flat behind the muzzle ring? Thannks, Mike

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by ilian » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:02 pm

Yes it's mine i will add some pics ;)

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by ilian » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:10 pm

Some pics like asked :-)
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:56 pm

Excellent detail! Thanks! Beautiful bayonet and scabbard. To say I'm envious would be an understatement! Mike

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by ilian » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:05 pm

Thanks Mike i try to do my best.

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Brian » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:33 pm

Have one also matching, unreworked. Will try and get some pics posted.
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:08 pm

I keep waiting for someone to comment on the new information regarding these "Russian 6X3 - 6X4 Transitional Bayonets". In 2018 an article was posted titled " The History and Evolution of the Soviet/Russian AK Bayonets". In this article the author made the following quote regarding the change over from the 6X3 to the 6X4 Type l bayonet in 1964 - 65. "6X4 Type l - This very first version of the 6X4 bayonet was equipped with the scabbard borrowed from the previous model (6X3). It turns out that the distinctive red scabbard of this bayonet entered the service much later than the bayonet itself". If this statement is true, it contradicts what we have previously believed about the "Transitional Bayonets".

This new information raises a lot of questions. Why are there like new 6X3 bayonets with what appears to be original matching numbered Type II scabbards in pictures and references? Are they left over NOS, (New Old Stock), 6X3 bayonets paired and issued at a later date? Does anyone have knowledge of a 6X4 Type I bayonet in a Type I metal scabbard with original matching numbers?

I have seen and owned numerous examples of both of the above versions of "Transitional" bayonets and scabbards over the years. Almost all have been obviously reworked or of questionable originality. Almost all have forced matched numbers. The pictures and references of 6X3 bayonets in Type II scabbards with what appear to be original matching numbers in the correct style and position have led me to believe this is the correct version. How about the rest of you?

Mike

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by ilian » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:51 pm

i'm thinking like you Mike, for me 6x3 style bayonet with 6x4 polymer/plastic scabbard is the real transitional as we can observ on east german bayonets.

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by RPBCPS » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:22 pm

Mike and Ilian,
Since reading the article "The History and Evolution of the Soviet/Russian AK Bayonets", I have been thinking this over myself.

There is precedent of the 6X4 bayonets being issued with 6X3 scabbards, in Egypt and Romanian, as we know. However, apart from that article, I have never read of 6X4 bayonets being issued with 6X3 scabbards in the Soviet Union, only the 6X3 bayonets, with the 6x4 polymer/plastic scabbard. So I was surprised to read it in the article, indeed I thought the author must have made a mistake. As we understand it, East Germany, also issued their version of the 6X3’s, (Mod. 59/1) in a 6X4, ( Mod 59/2), polymer / plastic scabbard for a period of time.

A fellow collector in Eastern Europe, whom I contacted about this, informed me that the Soviet scabbards were not produced in the same factories as the bayonets, but were produced in smaller factories subcontracted by Izhmash / Tula. He believed when production of the 6x4’s began, there was still a stock of 6x3 bayonets, but they did not have the same corresponding numbers of 6X3 scabbards left in stock.

My friend also added, "in the USSR itself there were many uncertainties and unregulated situations in the production process. Consequently, this kind of transitional was also born. It is a fact however that under the big Izhmash and Tula factories there were workshops, small factories, (even in other cities), that fulfilled the orders of these factories".

Hence, some of the stock, (unknown quantity), of new unissued 6x3 bayonets were matched with the new 6x4 scabbards.

However, where these issued to Soviet units, perhaps reserve or support units?

Maybe like the UK, France and other western nations, when an item is replaced with a newer model, the older versions are sold, to overseas contracts. Indeed on occasions not sold, but given to ‘friendly forces’, as happened with a lot of Soviet material during the cold war. An example is the old 7.62mm aluminium waffle magazines produced in the early 1960’s for the AKM, as I discovered cases of them, in brand new condition, amongst the stock of magazines that were bought from the Bosnian government in the mid 2000’s, by a UK dealer.

So perhaps the majority of 6X3 bayonets, with matching serial numbers 6X4 scabbards, were added to some overseas contract, and were shipped abroad. So they could now be lying in storage, awaiting discovery, like the Soviet Lend-Lease Thompson guns & accessories, that flooded the market a decade or so ago.

Just some thoughts I have had on the subject, and I know we will probably never know the true story, but I was wondering what your opinions are? I love a good discussion.

Stay safe
Richard

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:30 pm

Hi Richard,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the new information you had acquired. I pretty much agree with you, especially about never knowing what the true story is.This is a summation of my thoughts on the matter.

At some point in time, with the stroke of a pen, a final design approval and production orders were issued for the new AKM 6X4 Type II bayonets and scabbards. More than likely the bayonets and scabbards were ordered simultaneously and from both the Izhevsk and Tula arsenals. It is possible that the bayonets and scabbards may have been manufactured at the arsenals. It is also possible that some or all of the individual parts could have been produced by sub-contractors under arsenal supervision. These parts could then have been assembled into bayonets and scabbards at yet a different facility or the arsenal. At some point the bayonets and scabbards were combined at the arsenal. The majority of the bayonets were then numbered to match with a rifle to be delivered for issue or storage. Extra parts, bayonets, scabbards and complete assemblies were also produced as replacements due to loss or damaged. These were also stored in warehouses or sent to various facilities, depots and field units as needed for replacement, repair or rework.

At the same time, or prior to, the introduction of the 6X4 Type II bayonets and scabbards, the production of 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards production ceased. They were removed from main line service as the 6X4 bayonets became available. More than likely large quantities of new un-numbered 6X3 bayonets plus individual bayonets and scabbards as well as parts and components were still in the supply system. They were in storage at the arsenals, warehouses, depots and field units to be used for replacements, repair or refurbishing. Balancing out the availability of the left over unissued new 6X3 and the new 6X4 bayonets and scabbards may have resulted in the mixing of the Type I and Type II components at any time or location in the supply chain. After all the Kalashnikov weapons system was designed around interchangeability. Add the Russian mentality, If it fits and functions, it's good. The 6X3 and 6X4 bayonets and scabbards interchanged and would mount on the AKM rifles from almost any ComBloc country. They would fit and function as a bayonet, knife or insulated wire cutter in any combination of bayonet and scabbard.

To add to the confusion for the historians and collectors large quantities of 6X3 Type I and 6x4 Type II bayonets and scabbards were sold or provided to various foreign entities along with the rifles during this time period. Also replacement bayonets, scabbards, parts and components would be included. Some were new unissued, numbered or unnumbered, others were used or reworked to various standards. Again this leads to the possibilities of mixtures of Type I and Type II bayonets and scabbards.

Internal Russian military inspection, repair and refurbishment was and is constant. An individual bayonet or scabbard could be repaired or replaced due to loss or damage at unit level or just turned in for reissue, they are constantly being inspected, repaired and reworked, As they become obsolete and are replaced they are reworked to minimum functional standards. They then may be sold as surplus or placed in storage as reserves. In the case of the AKM bayonets and scabbards, both 6X3 and 6X4 versions have now become subsequently obsolete and replaced by the AK47 6X5 bayonets and scabbards. These 6X3 and 6X4 surplus bayonets were often mixed during rework operations and storage. Again with the possibilities of mixed parts and components.

Detailed records of the history of theses bayonets and scabbards were either not kept, not retrained or are not available. Occasionally new information becomes available from different sources which is helpful, but difficult to document or prove. Often new information may conflict with what was previously assumed to be correct. That being said, even if we had the whole true story, there would probably be exceptions. It certainly makes collecting interesting. It's also helpful to be logical and analytical. Always something new to learn.

Just MHO, Mike

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:46 pm

Some where in my files I have a color pictures of Russian troops on maneuvers in Poland during the Cold War Period. It was in a magazine, possibly "Life". One picture showed a crew of three men in Russian tanker uniforms and head gear taking a smoke break in front of a T-54/55 (?) tank. The 1st one leaning on the tank had a AKM 6X3 Type I bayonet and scabbard with a dark (plum) hilt hanging from his belt. The 2nd one also leaning against the tank had 6X3 Type I bayonet in a matching orange Type II scabbard. The 3rd man was sitting on the front fender and had a 6X4 Type II bayonet and scabbard that was more of a red/orange. Photographic proof!? I'll post it if I can find it. May have been lost due to unbacked up PC melt downs. Mike

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by pwcosol » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:50 pm

Looking at the pics of illian's example, this is what I would expect to see on a legitimate 6x3 Russian transitional:
Unaltered markings/serial number, low mold number on the scabbard (as they were just coming into service), and orange grips to match (not the result of a refurbishment re-grip). Now, if a totally original, later 6x3 had the scabbard damaged or lost, a virgin replacement (6x4) scabbard could be substituted and numbered to match the bayonet, if no other repairs were necessary. This repair would likely be accomplished at the field level. Of course, anything available that was suitable would work as well, so anything might be possible.

I have two Izzy examples, but both are the result of refurbishment. This is evident by the sloppy, glued screw plugs on the grips of each (and the first one having a etched serial number on the left side of the grip, just forward of the front plug). This bayonet had a original scabbard number shaved off, but interestingly it is a "mold #6". The other bayonet has a etched serial number on the crossguard which matches the unaltered number on the scabbard. However, since the scabbard is "mold #285", this would be a much later refurbishment, with the bayonet matched to either an unaltered scabbard number, or new scabbard numbered to match the bayonet.

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by MDIvie » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:25 am

Image

Transitional bayonets in use.

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I -II Transitional Bayonets and Scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:10 pm

Unique picture. However after closer examination I am not sure about the bayonets being "Transitional". The one on the left appears to me to be a 6X4 Type II. Note the ridge on the grip at the crossguard and the separate all metal pommel. The bayonet hilt on the right is hidden in the clutter and indistinguishable. It could be either a 6X3 or 6X4. Nice picture but not much help. M.
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