East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

German and DDR AK Bayonets
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Mr. B.
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East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

Post by Mr. B. »

The East German (DDR) AK47 bayonets and scabbards are easy to document as there are few variations. The bayonet remained unchanged from the first to the last production. Originally DDR imported AK47 bayonets from other ComBloc countries without change. As they began their own production using parts from other to supplement production and cross guards with the Russian Izhevsk mark have been found. The DDR bayonet is very well made, assembled and finished. With a matte chrome(?) blade, smooth dark blued hilt and shiny black plastic grip panels. Age can only be determined by the scabbard which is also relatively unchanged as well. The earliest ones had the internal tension spring (drag) retained by a small permanent rivet. This hindered inspection, repair and cleaning. A change was made a some point in time and the latter scabbards had a small square hole on the top front of the scabbard and a corresponding square protrusion was added to the drag to secure it in the scabbard.
Pictured below are the only bayonet variation and the only two different scabbard variations as produced. Many other minor variations can be found, however they are a result of modifications and rework. Both of these bayonets are new, unissued, and un-numbered and were in sealed packages. Mike
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Mr. B.
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

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DDR bayonets were rarely modified and remained unchanged. This is the one modification that is sometimes found or seen in pictures. The AK47 bayonet was prone to twisting around the axis of the barrel of the rifle. At times the securing hooks on the bottom of the front sight base would contact and chip or break the plastic grip panels. As a repair or prevention modification, the top front corners of the grip panels were milled away. This also facilitated the inspection and cleaning of the catch assembly. Mike
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Mr. B.
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

Post by Mr. B. »

These are DDR AK47 bayonet serial numbers samples, from early to late production. The numbers are small and appear to be lightly machine etched on the left side of the cross guard. The scabbards are not numbered to my knowledge. Mike
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MDIvie
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

Post by MDIvie »

The larger rivet scabbard as shown in my book is a definite repair. I have two scabbards with larger rivets and both are obvious repair jobs. Martin
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

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This is the only official modification or rework of the scabbard itself. The different sized rivets on the front are not a production variation. New issue scabbards came only with the small permanent rivet or the square hole and removable drag. As the early scabbards came in for inspection and repair the permanently riveted in drag was removed by drilling through both sides of the scabbard and drag. A new rivet was placed on one side of the drag to engage the new hole in the front, or back, of the scabbard securing the drag in the scabbard. The new rivets used came in different sizes from small, like the original permanent one, to medium and large. The larger ones made them easier to remove the drag. With this new design the drag can easily be removed from the scabbard by depressing the new rivet for cleaning, inspection and repair. Remember there are no drain holes on the DDR AK47 scabbards and they tended to fill up with debris. Also note that the majority of these reworked scabbards also have the original hanger replaced as well. Mike
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

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The original DDR AK47 hangers are all pretty much the same. Grey green webbing, sewn in place, with smooth small black faced snaps on the hilt strap. The snaps have small variations as the came from different suppliers. The replacement of the hangers whether in the field or at repair/rework facilities are widely varied in method and materials. Different woven fabrics such as cotton, nylon, etc., in all different colors, brown, green grey and even vertical stripe patterns, have been observed. Snaps vary in painted color or bright metal and come in all sizes from small to large. Whether the new hangers are simply for random replacement or if some are to designate a certain unit or rank is unknown.

The method of attachment of the hangers also varies. On some the loops are already sewn closed before installing on the scabbard. This can determined when both sides of the loop are inside of the lower bar rather than around it. This loop can be secured by placing a pin through the bottom of the loop and pulling the fabric tight. the pins can be short or long, wood ,plastic or metal. Also pop rivets have been used to secure the fabric to the bar. Other replacement hangers are simply sewn in place the same as the originals. Pictures below are, L. to R., Brown fabric similar to original, secured with a short pin, shiny silver grey nylon, secured with a long metal pin, and a dull grey nylon sewn in place. Mike
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Trombi
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

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You guys have pictures in very little details. Here is something from me.
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

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Brian
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

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Excellent. Thanks Trombi
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

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I agree! Very nice! I especially like the two more tan hangers that have the rivets. Very interesting to see the two different methods of attachment they used with them. One thru both loops retained by a pin at the bottom and the other with just the rivet in place of sewing. I have seen the rivet ones, but don't have one in my collection. Also liked seeing the different snap markings. I knew there was a variety, now I'll have to study all of mine. Mike
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

Post by ilian »

Some of my ex-DDR bayonets (AK47 pattern)

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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

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Here is a picture of an East German AK47 Bayonet that helps illustrate why some of these bayonets have modified grip panels. If the bayonet is twisted from side to side when mounted on a rifle, the locking lugs tend to damage the top front of the grip panels. I believe some of the grips were modified to prevent this from happening or it could have been done to salvage grips that had already been damaged. Mike
East German AK47 Bayonet and scabbard with striped hanger and chipped grip 3.jpg
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Mr. B.
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Re: East German AK47 Bayonet & Scabbard Variations

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Someone recently asked questions about an East German AK47 bayonet scabbard with a striped fabric hanger. I replied that I had seen several variations of these in person and pictures, but couldn't find the pictures. I just noticed this one on eBay. This is typical, but there have been other stripes and color combinations. All of the striped ones appear to be a result of rework and replacement and are not original issue. Whether there are any reasons for the strips or just using up old material at random is unknown. Mike
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