Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

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Mr. B.
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:55 pm

I am re-evaluating all my Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards in an attempt to restore them to as near as possible to original issue condition. Here are some observations I have noted during the process. We can now differentiate between the scabbards made by Tula and Izhevsk by the rivets in the cutter plate stop. Has anyone else noticed that the Tula cutter plate pivot welds are almost circular with a dimple in the middle. The Izhevsk welds are more of a splash and smooth? Check out the differences in the previous pictures.

There is also another cutter plate difference not noted in the references. On the Tula scabbards the cutter plate is shorter and a slightly different shape at the tip on the earliest scabbards compared to later ones. In the picture below the earliest scabbard is on the left. The one on the right is also early production with the flat top cutter plate pivot and without an insulator stop. This would indicate a change during early production. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:11 pm

I also found and documented another Russian AKM 6X3 Type I rubber insulator variation from Tula. This insulator was originally on the earliest Tula scabbard in my collection. I had removed it because it was dirty/discolored and slightly damaged. I wasn't even sure it was a Russian item because of the color. I had replaced it with a standard Russian insulator found on other reworked scabbards. The latest Russian reference book shows a longer early version of the Tula insulators for use on the early scabbards without the insulator stop. I dug out the old insulator and gave it a good cleaning. Another pleasant find. The long earliest one is shown below with my other Tula insulator variations. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:27 pm

This is the next step in the variations of the Russian AKM 6X3 Type I scabbards. This is a result of some new information that has become available. For me personally, perhaps a step too far. It seems there are differences in the interior tension springs. The line drawing below show the different variations in the Russian reference book. Illustration# 10 shows the 1st (earliest) design. These have a full width folded lip at the top and a square opening on the back side. When seen from the front the fold is on the left and the gap is on the right. There are also differences in the metal finish, blued, phosphate, and paint.

I am not sure if I really care or not, but being curious I dissembled all my Russian 6X3 scabbards. Found a good mix of all the variations for the pictures below. Not sure what I will do with them. Maybe try to assemble them in scabbards from early to late? Below are a couple of the 1st (early) ones that I found. Mike
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Last edited by Mr. B. on Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:55 pm

The next step in the drawings is illustration# 11. These are the same as first ones except the folded lip at the top has been shortened, (cut away), on both ends. They can be found with and without the square openings on that back like the early version. This could be a separate transition or a result of reworking the first version by shortening the top lip by cutting or grinding. Again these have the fold on the left and the gap on the right. They can also be found with different finishes.

The last version, (latest), is found in Illustrations# 12 & 13. I have grouped these together as they are virtually the same only a mirrored version. There is a good possibility this was done to make efficient used of the sheet metal they were stamped from, Like using a cookie cutter. They install and function the same in the scabbard. They both have the shortened lip on the top. The # 12 has a long main fold on the right side and a short small fold on the left leaving the gap toward the front. The folds and gap on the # 13 are reversed.

Pictured below are the # 11 and # 12 versions. The last picture is of the three main variations for comparisons. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:18 pm

As a side note, there are also minor differences in the scabbard tension springs on the Russian AK47, 6X4 and 6X5 bayonets and scabbards. They are very minor differences and not visible without removal. Not something I am interested in pursuing unless I would be restoring or repairing a bayonet and scabbard to correct original condition. Mike

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by RPBCPS » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:22 am

Mike,
WOW, now that is really an in depth identification, love it, :clap:

However, I am no where near ready to be going into that much detail when 'inspecting' my bayonets.

Stay safe
Richard

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:13 pm

Richard,
I agree, as I said, to much detail for me too. Just a matter of coincidence and curiosity. Confirming the new information that became available while inspecting my collection of reworked Russian 6X3 bayonets and scabbards for other reasons. I have no intention to include variations in scabbard tension springs in my collecting. However there are other enthusiasts that are more detail oriented. Some even detail small proof and inspection marks and the mold numbers and stamping markings, etc.. To each, his own.
Cheers, Mike

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:53 am

ilian wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:20 pm
Mr. B. wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:33 pm
Here is a better picture of the one with both arsenal marks.
For me it's not the izhevsk mark next to the Tula star, i alrealy saw tis kind of marks, it's a "T" on a triangle.

Regards.
I have been re-inspecting all my reworked Russian AKM 6X3 bayonets and scabbards. Sorting and combining the bayonets and scabbards by manufacture, Tula or Izhevsk. Then restoring them to display from early to late versions. Adding period correct insulators, straps and hangers. Removing and touching up the paint on the hand etched forced matching numbers on the metal surfaces, (that no longer matched).

This particular bayonet is one of my oldest Tula bayonets, Star and round hook on crossguard. There has been previous discussion about both the Triangle and Star on the crossguard. I removed the paint and this is what I found. The triangle contains a letter "k" and is most likely a proof mark. By looking closely a flattened diamond acceptance mark can also be seen to the right of the round rivet. The flat bottom grip panels appear to be original. Whether they are original or replacements, they are on an early Tula bayonet and do not agree with the latest reference book. The reference states the flat bottom grips were used on only new production Izhevsk type 2 bayonets with the squared crossguard hooks and the triangle on the flat behind the muzzle ring. To me either the information is incorrect or they were used for rework/replacement at some point. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by ilian » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:11 pm

For me these "square" grips are for rewoked bayonet certainly made by a subcontractor.

But i have no proofs for the moment ...

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:54 pm

I am in agreement with you. I base my opinion on the fact that I have personally seen the "square" grips on both early and late versions from both Tula and Izhevsk. All of them have been on reworked bayonets and were probably replacements. Some have still been in like new condition. Others, like mine above have seen lots of use since they were installed.
It is possible that Izhevsk and maybe Tula installed these grips on new production at some time. This would explain why some references have included them as original production. I would still identify them as from a subcontractor like the items with the "window" markings. Made for replacement / reconditioning items.
Does anyone own or seen a new, as issued, Russian 6X3 bayonet with ""square" grips? Mike

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:55 am

The following five Russian AKM 6X3 Type I Tula bayonets and scabbards are a result of my attempt to RESTORE the reworked ones in my collection. These bayonets and scabbards were disassembled, inspected, repaired as needed, parts replaced, paint touched up, etc.. Then randomly reassembled to meet minimum functional requirements and random matching, hand etched, numbers were added. Many of these bayonets had been reworked multiple times and several sets of previous numbers scratched out or painted over. These numbers could be found on the crossguards, grip panels, scabbard bodies and cutter plates. All of the reworked ones in my collection did had matching hand etched numbers.

I started by disassembled all my reworked Russian 6X3 bayonets and scabbards. I inspected and separated the parts according to the original arsenal, Tula vs Izhevsk. I then sorted them again by age, early production vs late. I cleaned all the parts, carefully hand sanded the metal parts to remove the hand etched numbers and the several layers of miss-matched paint. No metal was removed and the stamped numbers and markings remained. Some of the hand etched numbers were deep and are still visible. I then repainted the metal parts using Russian Black paint. My painting is not perfect or complete, just enough to cover the bare metal. After all these are reworked bayonets to start with.

I then reassembled the bayonets and scabbards by arsenal and age adding appropriate insulators, hangers and straps. My attempt is to display these restored items to represent the way they may have looked when originally made and issued.
These are all Tula, early to late (Left to Right) . More detailed pictures to follow. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:41 am

The first bayonet and scabbard are both from Tula. This one, in my estimation, represents the earliest production variation. The bayonet has the Tula star on the right side of the crossguard which also has the round shaped strap hook. The scabbard as the flat topped wire cutter pivot and is without an insulator stop. This one is also has the complete original flat bar for the hanger and the smaller, (short), cutter plate, The permanently attached, (riveted loop), fabric hanger with pebbled leather hilt strap is the first version carried over from the AK47 production. Note that the hilt strap is located much lower than the ones on the AK47s. This one had been removed by punching out the rivet and scrapped during rework. I installed it using a Russian style rivet and black washers. The rubber insulator is the first style which was slightly longer than the later ones. The leather wrist strap is the earliest style soft leather without buckles.

The second bayonet and scabbard are also Tula and represent the next step in production. Again the bayonet has the star on the crossguard which has the round hook. This bayonet is unusual as it has grip panels with a flat pommel end. These may be original or the result of previous replacement. The scabbard has the early flat topped pivot and is without an insulator stop. This one does have the later larger cutter plate and a hanger bar which has been notched, partially cut away to be used with a snap hook hanger. The hanger I installed is the second version which was also permanently riveted in place with a snap hook to attach it to a belt loop with a "D" ring. This hanger was cut off and scrapped during reworking. It is now held in place by its shape and covered by the rubber insulator. The dark rubber insulator is the early Tula style with the molded "T-T". The leather wrist strap has the riveted loop and a single early black buckle. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:05 am

The third bayonet and scabbard are also from Tula. The bayonet is early style with the star on the crossguard which has a round hook. This bayonet has an unusual release button with a ridge around the top. The scabbard is to me a "transitional" version. It has the early flat top pivot and is without an insulator stop. However it has the wire loop hanger bracket which is welded on higher than the late ones. The natural leather "T" hanger is typical early Tula style with the flat "D" ring. The light tan insulator has the Tula inscription molded on the back. The natural leather wrist strap is the early style with two buckles.

The forth bayonet and scabbard are both late style Tula. The bayonet is to me is also a "transitional" version as the star is on the side of the crossguard. however the cross guard is the later version with the more squared strap hook. The scabbard has the rounded top cutter pivot and the spot welded insulator stop. It has the typical round wire loop hanger attachment. The dark insulator is a later Tula version with the molded inscription on the back. The hanger is a standard natural leather Tula snap hook. The natural leather wrist strap has a riveted loop and is the style with only one buckle. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:37 am

The fifth bayonet and scabbard are both late style Tula. The bayonet is the last version as the Tula star is on top flat behind the muzzle ring. The crossguard is the late version with the more squared strap hook. The scabbard has the rounded top cutter pivot and the spot welded insulator stop. It has the late style round wire loop hanger attachment. The dark insulator is the standard Russian universal late version. The hanger is a standard natural leather Tula snap hook with the flat "D" ring. The natural leather wrist strap has a riveted loop and is the common style with only one buckle. This one represents the last version before being replaced by the AKM 6X4 Type II bayonets and scabbards. The placement of the arsenal mark on the flat behind the muzzle ring, the natural leather flat "D" ring hanger and the single buckle wrist strap carried over to the Tula 6X4 production.

These are the five Tula 6X3 bayonets and scabbards I will display in my collection as of now. I believe they are a decent representation of the Tula production and issue during that time period. They are not original, they have all been issued and used. They have all been reworked at least once. Some 3-4+ times from the layers of crude touch up paint and crossed of nmbers. I have tried to return them to as near original as possible. They have no matching numbers, but they could easily be added with an electric pen just like they were after the last rework. I prefer not to. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by MDIvie » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:29 pm

Very nice work Mike. Great information.

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:28 pm

Thanks Martin. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions please let me know. Mike

The next two RESTORED Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards are both early variations from Izhevsk. The first bayonet has the round strap hook on the crossguard. The triangle arsenal mark is on the top flat behind the muzzle ring. According to the references Izhevsk never placed their mark on the crossguard like the early Tula bayonets. The scabbard has the flat top cutter pivot and is without an insulator stop. The hanger bracket is a flat bar that has been modified by cutting away part of bar for a snap hook hanger. The natural leather snap hook hanger is an early transitional one combining the hilt strap with the belt loop using a riveted metal bracket and a second "D" ring. The Natural leather wrist strap is the early style with two buckles.

The second bayonet also has the round strap hook on the crossguard. The triangle arsenal mark is on the top flat behind the muzzle ring. This bayonet is unusual as it has a release button with concentric circles rather than checkering. The scabbard also has the flat top cutter pivot and is without an insulator stop. The hanger bracket is a flat bar that has been modified by cutting away part of bar for a snap hook hanger. The two piece hanger is an early version using two snap hooks and a stamped metal bracket. The top part of the hanger is a standard belt loop with a "D" ring. (Note: This style of hanger was later used by Hungary and Romania). The black leather wrist strap has a riveted loop and an early black buckle.
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:45 pm

Some notes about the rubber scabbard insulators on the Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards. Some of the early insulators used by Tula were a different size, color and/or had molded markings. The majority of the later insulators used by both Tula and Izhevsk were standardized in size and shape with colors from gray to blue/gray to almost black. Some were without any markings others had molded in markings in the hanger pocket. (The markings are all about the same just different versions). On my reworked 6X3s they were mixed about half and half marked and unmarked. My two original, like new, unused Izhevsk 6X3 have unmarked insulators. This leads me to believe that perhaps the original production ones were unmarked. The ones with the molded in 6X3 markings were later production to be used for replacement and rework. Mike

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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:22 pm

The next two RESTORED Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards are both later variations from Izhevsk. They were left over with non-matching numbers after sorting by arsenal and age. The first bayonet has the angular strap hook on the crossguard. The triangle arsenal mark is on the top flat behind the muzzle ring. . The scabbard has the rounded top cutter pivot and has the insulator stop. The hanger bracket is the wire loop style. The dark brown leather snap hook hanger is unusual as it has a triangular shaped snap hook ring. The metal bracket is black and the hilt strap stud is brass. The wrist strap is dark brown leather with a bright single buckle.

The second bayonet also has the angular strap hook on the crossguard. The triangle arsenal mark is on the top flat behind the muzzle ring. . The scabbard has the rounded top cutter pivot and has the insulator stop. The hanger bracket is the wire loop style. The brown pebbled leather snap hook hanger is the common early style one with a flat "D" ring. The wrist strap is tan canvas fabric with a bright single buckle.

This is the last of the ones I will restore for now. I have two more Izhevsk bayonets and scabbards that are mixed, early bayonets with late scabbards. They both have hand etched forced matched numbers. I also have seven more Izhevsk bayonets and scabbards that are all late style and have forced matched numbers. I will use these to display different hanger and wrist strap variations. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by Mr. B. » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:42 pm

While restoring the last two bayonets and scabbards (above) I noticed something that has not been discussed before. As I was removing the miss-matched hand etched numbers and touching up the paint I noticed the grips felt different. On the plum bayonet, the grip panels have a palm swell and taper to the crossguard. On the orange one, the grip panels are more straight sided and do not taper as much at the crossguard and were noticeably thicker. I checked out my other Russian 6X3 bayonets and several others like this. I even found one mixed with a thin grip on one side and a thick one on the other. I have no idea if these are originals or a result of replacement. However my two original 6X3s both have the thin, tapered style grips. One has orange grips the other has plum ones. Mike
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Re: Russian AKM 6X3 Type I bayonets and scabbards

Post by RPBCPS » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:31 pm

Mike,
Excellent work and dedication, as Martin says this is a great reference for us fellow collectors.

Stay safe
Richard

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