Russian AK Bayonets
Perhaps this should have been the 1st item in this post. This is one of the 1st examples of a Russian AKM snap hook hanger. What is believed to be the original hanger was a sewn or riveted on fabric belt hanger that carried over from the Tokarev, Siminov, and AK47. This proved impractical as the belt had to be unfastened and the entire scabbard assembly removed to be able to use the wire cutter. Several different designs were tried to make the scabbard easier to remove from the belt using a snap hook. This one is the earliest one found in pictures or drawings. It used the flat bar attachment on the existing AKM scabbards. The snap hook assembly was permanently attached to the scabbard and used existing "D" ring belt loops the were part of the service belt. Later this design was obsoleted/recalled and was removed during inspections and rework. The hanger had to be cut off and the flat bar attachment modified to be able to attach a snap ring directly to the scabbard. These hangers are very rare as most were scrapped and destroyed after being cut off. M.
Here's another step in the design of the hangers for the early Russian AKM Type I bayonets and scabbards. This is an example of a Russian two hook style hanger. It uses a stamped metal bracket to connect a snap hook from the bracket to the scabbard and another to attach to the belt loop with a "D" ring. A natural leather hilt loop is attached to the bracket with two rivets. Note that the belt loop and hilt loop rivets have the typical Russian black washers plus Russian style snap hooks. The bayonet and scabbard are both early ones, but have been reworked and have forced matched etched numbers. The bayonet has the early 1st version cross guard with the rounded strap hook similar to the Hungarian ones. The scabbard is the early 1st style with the flat top cutter pivot and the flat bar hanger mount. It was modified during rework by cutting away a small semi-circular piece from the hanger bar to be able to use a snap hook. Also note that the wrist strap on the bayonet is the early 2nd style with two buckles. Mike
This two hook style hanger style was also adopted and used on early East German (DDR), Romania and is still in use by Hungary with only minor differences on AKM Type I bayonets and scabbards. Mike
Here's another early Russian AKM 6X3 Type I hanger. I believe this one should have been before the one above chronologically. This one is probably the first attempt at a two snap hook hanger. The one I my collection, pictured below has two "D" rings, but only one snap hook. In place of a second snap hook is a riveted together belt loop at the top. I have seen a similar hanger with second snap hook at the top in place of the attached belt loop. It would require a separate belt loop with a "D" ring. Shown with an optional "D" ring and snap hook in the last two pictures. Notice the similarities to the illustration from the Russian AKM manual previously in this series of posts. Displayed below with an early reworked Tula Type one with a matching number early scabbard with a modified flat bar hanger bracket. Also note the 2 buckle wrist strap.
I recently acquired another early style Russian snap hook hanger. This is the variation with the metal bracket and single snap hook. The one I posted previously was made with synthetic (vinyl) leather. This one is real leather and probably the original version. They are pictured here together for comparison. The reddish one on the left is vinyl, the one on the right is leather. Mike
I have a friend in the Ukraine who knows I am interested in weird ass Russian AK stuff. He has been a good source over the years. Everything I've received from him seems to be in decent original condition with only wear and aging. As far as I can tell, no new hand made items, no fakes or copies. Evidently he has access to the items that are removed as obsolete where inspections and rework is preformed. Or perhaps has access to items that are remove from long term storage prior to them being sold off or scrapped. Mike
This is a Russian AKM 6X4 & 6X5 experimental / test hanger made up in small numbers as a way to simplify production. The "D" ring for the snap hook was eliminated and the snap hook was attached directly to the hanger bracket. They restricted movement and were not well received. They were not accepted as replacements and not mass produced. I do not have one of these and would like to obtain one. I have seen them on both late issued 6X4 and early versions of 6X5 bayonets. Below is a borrowed picture of this hanger.
I recently received these two snap hook hangers from Ukraine. I am not sure what they are, but the appear to possibly be early attempts at a one piece hanger. They use the same unusual snap hook and "D'" ring shown in the early manuals and found on the earliest permanently installed leather snap hook hangers. The leather and rivets are also consistent with the first version. However, they may also just be made up from spare parts to be used as replacements on reworked/inspected bayonets and scabbards. Either way, unusual Russian snap hook hangers.