The M1 Garand rifle is one of the most heavily extolled weapon platforms in all of history. Not to ruffle any feathers here, but this might have more to do with the fact that United States troops carried it through World War II and Korea than it has to do with the virtues of the gun itself.
Patton loved it so much that he called it “the greatest battle implement ever devised.” Civilians are enamored with the rifle, and there are still competitive shooting matches held across the country that are dedicated to the M1 Garand. Consider the CMP, or the Civilian Marksmanship Program, for example.
The takeaway here is that there are many M1 Garand rifles still in circulation and that parts, shooting accessories, and attachments for these rifles are in high demand.
Among them are bayonets – of which there are three principal models (and a few variants) that were compatible with the M1 Garand.
The M1905 was not developed for the M1 Garand but these bayonets can still be mounted to M1 rifles.
The M1905 was actually developed early in the 20th century for Springfield Armory’s M1903 service rifle. It is more like a sword than a bayonet, with a 16-inch blade and a 4-inch handle, with grips either of wood or phenolic plastic.
The bayonet’s blade features a square fuller and a short crossguard that could be affixed to the rifle’s barrel lugs via a catch mechanism underneath the crossguard.
Due to the large size of the M1905, it wasn’t long before the Army sought to alter it to make it more practical, presumably for greater maneuverability in close-quarters engagements or to improve its handling as a fighting knife or utility knife.
By 1943, in the heat of the Second World War, the M1905 was changed substantially. The blade was shortened to 10 inches, although the remainder of the knife, down to the mounting mechanism and phenolic handles scales, was untouched.
Many M1905 bayonets that were in circulation were also repurposed in this manner and reissued.
M5 (and Variants, M5-1, and M5A1 Bayonets)
By the time of the Korean War, the M1 bayonet was still in official circulation. But there was something different about this war that necessitated a change. It was cold. Remember derisive monikers like “Frozen Chosen” and you’ll get the picture.
Evidently, it was difficult to manipulate and mount (or remove) the M1 bayonet while wearing heavy gloves, which was a necessity for many soldiers during the war. As a result, the M1 bayonet was reimagined substantially and reissued as the M5 bayonet.
The M5 and its variants have a few distinct differences from the M1 bayonets that preceded them. They have 6.5-inch blades and are 11.5 inches overall, and instead of a square fuller, they have a raised ridge along the midline of the blade that stiffens it and adds structural integrity. There is also a swedge above the point. Like the M1 bayonet, the M5 and variants featured black checkered plastic grips.
The crossguards of these knives also lack a barrel mount ring on the crossguard, which makes them look more like a fighting knife such as the M3 fighting knife.
The M5 was produced in three variants, which are the original M5, the M5-1, and the M5A1. These bayonets mount to the gas cylinder lock screws of the M1 Garand and feature a large release button that is easy to disengage even while wearing gloves.
Where Can I Get an M5 Bayonet?
Looking for an M5 or an M5A1 bayonet or a scabbard for one, such as an M8A1 scabbard? Visit SARCO, Inc., online at SarcoInc.com for more information. They carry a massive array of firearms and parts including hard-to-find historical collectibles – perfect for Garand collectors. Visit their website for more information or get in touch with them at 610-250-3960 for more information.