Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

Czech VZ58 Bayonets

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Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

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I have been doing some research and translating various reference materials concerning the Czech V58 Bayonets and scabbards. The original design for the VZ58 rifles and bayonets was accepted in 1958 and production started in 1959. They were produced at the same time at the same factory through 1984. During this time there were only three production design variations of the bayonet.

The Type I was the original design. The blade, crossguard and hilt tang were forged from a single piece of metal. It required a considerable degree of machining. It had a simple locking assembly consisting of a button, catch and spring. It had a one-piece solid wood grip positioned and secured by adhesive and two rivets and four washers. Rivet position was pre-determined by two small holes in the blade tang. The wood grip came from a sub-contractor ready to install, fully inlet for the tang, washers and rivets. These pre-finished grips, rivets and washers were also suppled for repairs/rework as required. They were the only option in the early armorers' field kit and VOZ repair depot.

Below is an exploded view of a late Type I bayonet. Mike
VZ58 Type I Exploded 1.jpg
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Re: Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

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A small number of the first early Type I bayonet production were unique in that they used flat headed rivets that only required setting on one end. They were soon replaced by the straight rivets that required setting on both ends. These later rivets were used until the end of production of all three Type I -III, The early version was also without serial numbering. The numbering was added later at the request of the military. The only marking was a 1-3 digit production control number on the left side of the ricasso. This number indicated a certain production batch or lot. Mike
VZ58 Type I Early Version 1.jpg
VZ58 Type I Early Version 2.jpg
VZ58 Type I Early Version 3.jpg
VZ58 Type I Early Version 5.jpg
VZ58 Type I Early Version 4.jpg
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Re: Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

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This is the later standard version Type I bayonet with double ended rivets. It also has the sequential military serial number embossed on the left side of the ricasso. The factory lot control number has been moved to the right side of the ricasso. Mike
VZ58 Type I Late Version 1.jpg
VZ58 Type I Late Version 2.jpg
VZ58 Type I Late Version 3.jpg
VZ58 Type I Late Version 4.jpg
VZ58 Type I Late Version 5.jpg
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Re: Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

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Note that any Type I bayonet without rivets or rivets in different locations is not original. The original and replacement wood grips were supplied pre-inletted and finished. The grip is held in position by the rivets and using the small holes in the metal hilt tang and grip. Also note that they only used a certain style of rivet and setting for ALL 3 Types of the VZ58 bayonets. All other rivets or fasteners are either from emergency repairs or unauthorized. Fakes and replicas are quite common. Mike
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Re: Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

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The next version of the Type I bayonet with molded wood chip and plastic grip panels is considered the next Type or variation by some references. I believe it is just a repair and rework modification after the Type II was introduced. The Type II was intended to replace the Type I. It only made sense to extend the service of the Type I bayonets by replacing the grip with the new less expensive and more durable grips. Originally the rivet holes in the Type I tang were used to position the one piece wood grip. The new molded grips were self positioning. Rather than use the existing holes for the rivets in the tang, they used the new rivet positions specified for the Type II. M.
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Re: Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

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Here are pictures of the Type I bayonet as modified to type II specifications using Type II molded plastic grip panels. New original Type II grip panels are shown for comparison with panels modified to be used on the Type I bayonet hilt tang. the front part of the interior filler has been cut, ground or sanded to fit the lightening hole on the tang. Mike
VZ58 Type I Late Version Rework 1.jpg
VZ58 Type I Late Version Rework 7.jpg
VZ58 Type II vs Type I Rework Grip Panels.jpg
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Re: Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

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Here is a Type I bayonet and scabbard that has been officially modified to Type II standards. When the Type I bayonets were turned in for inspection, repair and rework they were modified by replacing the original wood grip with Type II grip panels. They were still functional and similar in appearance to the new Type II. M.
VZ58 Type I Late Version Rework 4.jpg
VZ58 Type I Late Version Rework 5.jpg
VZ58 Type I Late Version Rework 6.jpg
VZ58 Type I Late Version Rework 2.jpg
VZ58 Type I Late Version Rework 3.jpg
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Re: Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

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Here is the last official variation, (modification), of the VZ58 Type I bayonet. When the Type III production was started it was to eventually replace all the Type I and II bayonets in service. To extend the service life of the early bayonets an attempt was made to officially modify the Type I and II to Type III standards. This done by creating a pre-formed metal hilt tang extension complete with a locating hole for the grip rivet. This metal extension was welded to the short hilt tang then ground smooth and refinished. To complete the rework, new Type III grip panels were installed with rivets and washers in the now standardized positions. This project was soon ended as it was not worth the expense. It was easier and less expensive just to increase Type III production.

I personally do not understand why they attempted this rework on the Type I bayonets. They had already been replaced due to the weak mounting slot and the lack of an extended cross guard. At least the Type II looked and functioned like a Type III after the modification.

The modified Type I is easy to identify as it has the short flat cross guard and the all metal extended hilt tang and pommel. Welding and grinding marks can also be seen on the top and bottom of the hilt tang. These are borrowed pictures as I do not have an example of this variation. Mike
VZ58 Type 1 & II modified hilt 1.jpg
Scan_20201108 (4).png
VZ58 Type I Modified Type III Hilt (2).jpg
VZ58 Type I Modified Type III Hilt (2).jpg (30.12 KiB) Viewed 3068 times
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Re: Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

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I finally found one on eBay. Received it today. Czechoslovakian VZ58 Type I bayonet and scabbard. This one has the official authorized hilt modification. This was done by removing the original grip panels and welding on a pre-formed tang extension. This was ground smooth and then refinished. New Type III grip panels were then installed and riveted in place using authorized rivets and placement. This one is in decent shape considering it was reworked to start with. This completes my collection / display of VZ58 bayonets and scabbards either standard production or with authorized modifications.
Mike
Czech VZ58 Type I Modified Hilt 10 (2).jpg
Czech VZ58 Type I Modified Hilt 11.jpg
Czech VZ58 Type I Modified Hilt 12.jpg
Czech VZ58 Type I Modified Hilt 13.jpg
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Re: Czech VZ58 Type I Bayonet and Scabbard

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More pictures of the Czech VZ58 Type I bayonet with modified hilt. The bottom two show the differences between the Standard Type I Bayonet on top. Middle is a Type I with Type II grip panels. On the bottom is the Type I with welded on hilt extension and Type III grip panels.
Mike
Czech VZ58 Type I Modified Hilt 14.jpg
Czech VZ58 Type I Modified Hilt 15.jpg
Czech VZ58 Type I Modified Hilt 17 (2).jpg
Czech VZ58 Type I Modified Hilt 16 (2).jpg
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