Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

Russian AK Bayonets
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Mr. B.
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Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

Post by Mr. B. »

It is my observation that the Russian 6X4 bayonets went through four distinct steps in Arsenal markings. Both Tula and Izhevsk arsenals appear to go thru the first three steps, but only the forth step was made by Izhevsk. This indicates to me that Tula stopped production of bayonets at some point before the forth step was made by Izhevsk and the beginning of 6X5 production.

Before addressing the marking on the bayonets, it should be noted that the arsenal markings on the 6X4 scabbards from both arsenals are present on all of the scabbards. The molded in Tula star and Izhevsk arrow in triangle are located on the lower edge of the back side of the scabbard just above the cutter plate. These marking can be found with a multitude of different variations, large, small, rounded corners, slightly different shapes, etc.. Probably from different times and molds, and to numerous to address. It has also been noted that there are also one or more different markings, supposedly from another manufacture, possible as replacement/rework.

Mike
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Re: Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

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In my opinion, the following Tula and Izhevsk arsenal marks represent the earliest or first step in 6X4 bayonet and scabbard production. The arsenal marks for both arsenals are found on the small flat behind the muzzle ring. I base this assumption on the fact that this appears to carry over from the end of the 6X3 production at both arsenals. There are no markings on the grips, not even mold numbers. The pictures are of two bayonets from my collection, both have matching original numbers.

A side note to help identify the different arsenals. The ink/paint inspection/proof marks on the Tula bayonets and scabbards are usually white/yellow. The Izzy ones are usually black ore a dark color.

Mike
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Mr. B.
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Re: Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

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Another note on identifying Tula vs Izzy scabbards. The cutter plate pivot weld on the Izhevsk scabbard is usually ground smooth. The weld on Tula scabbards protrudes and is not ground. See pictures in this series. Mike
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Re: Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

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Now for the next, or second step in Izhevsk and Tula arsenal marks on Russian 6X4 bayonet. The arsenal marks are now found stamped on the front of the cross guard next to the blade. During this phase several other changes also seem to take place. Mold numbers begin to appear on the plastic grips in various styles and positions. Also the change over from the old tapered pins securing the cross guards, (smooth finish), to the countersunk exposed rivets takes place at both arsenals. Pictures to follow.

As a side observation, I have noticed that the first step and some of the early second step bayonets from both arsenals seem to come with hangers with flat "D" rings. By the third step all seem to have the round wire "D" rings. This is just a personal observation after examining many original as issued bayonets with matching numbers. However hangers can easily be switched or replaced at any time.

Mike
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Re: Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

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These are pictures of an original matching Russian 6X4 from my collection with second step arsenal marks from the Izhevsk arsenal. Note the small mold numbers in the top groove of the grip and the flat hanger "D" ring.

Mike
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Re: Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

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These are pictures from my collection of an original matching 6X4 Tula bayonet with second step arsenal markings. Note the mold numbers on the grip side and the exposed rivets on the cross guard.

Mike
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Re: Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

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The third step in Russian 6X4 bayonet arsenal markings finds the Tula star and the Izhevsk arrow in triangle molded on the side of the grips. These markings can be found on either side, various sizes, shapes and positions and usually found along with mold numbers. It seems all step three bayonets now have the exposed countersunk rivets on the cross guards and come with round wire "D" ring hangers. Also there seems to have been a transition period from step two to step three arsenal markings as occasionally original as issued matching bayonets can be found with both markings. Pictures to follow.

Mike
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Re: Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

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Third step Russian 6X4 arsenal markings. Two different Izhevsk styles and positions plus right and left side Tula marks.

Mike
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Re: Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

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Now for the forth and final step in Russian 6X4 arsenal markings. As stated previously, it seems that Tula ceased production of bayonets and scabbards sometime during the third step. The Izhevsk arsenal moved the molded arrow in triangle mark to the grip bevel next to the cross guard on the right side of the grip. There is a multitude of difference in placement and shape of these marks and mold numbers. This step seems to be the most current and most common of the Russian 6x4 series. These forth step bayonets all appeared to be issued with a narrow khaki wrist strap and brown pebbled leather hangers with round wire "D" rings.

Below are pictures from my collection showing different styles and placement of the forth step marks. Note the different positions compared with the cross guard rivet and the rounded vs pointed triangles. One is Russian original as issued with matching numbers and a cast light weight pommel. The second one came from Lithuania in a desert camo hanger with matching numbers. The third one came to me directly from a former Russian navy officer who stated it was used for special dress, (honor guard?). It is like new, has no numbers, a black web wrist strap and a fine grain black leather hanger.

Mike
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Re: Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

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Great info as always Mike.
Brian
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Re: Russian 6X4 Arsenal Markings

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I found this picture of a slightly different version of the Izhevsk triangle and arrow on the right side of the grip. right side up with rounded corners. Mike
Russian 6X4 with triangle on grip side 4.jpg
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