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Thread: The 44cvl - Some Variations and Anomalies

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    Default The 44cvl - Some Variations and Anomalies

    Starting this thread to highlight some of the variations and more unusual oddities observed for cvl (WKC) bayonets produced in 1944. This might be seen as a prequel or at least an extension of the 44cvl rivet grip thread located at the hot link below:

    http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread....S84-98-Bayonet

    While the rivet grip variations are the last of the WKC bayonets produced during 1944 (some even speculate the o and p block pieces may have been assembled in 1945) we will start this thread with the beginning of 1944.

    Perhaps the earliest of the cvl bayonets during 1944 are the very rare 44/43cvl double dates. This variation features a 1944 dated bayonet matched to an identically numbered 1943 scabbard. This example is serial numbered 5278t and is the earliest recorded 44/43cvl bayonet. WKC ended 1943 production in the t block and it is thought that this variation was produced for a very short period during the date transition which carried over into 1944. The bayonets and scabbards have matching number with the blades being dated 44cvl and the scabbards 43cvl. Note that this configuration is opposite of the much more commonly encountered 43/44asw bayonets which feature 1943 dated blades and 1944 scabbards. I have only five examples recorded in my databases which range from serial number 5278t to 6987t. The last recorded matching example from 1943 is serial numbered 3761t leaving a rather small time frame that these were produced. These pieces have all the features standard in late 1943 or early 1944 WKC production but for the unusual double date stamping.
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    Here is another seldom seen early 44cvl variation. Rather typical early production for that year in the middle of the a block having high quality fit and finish with good bluing. The serial number is 5727a. In this case, note the reverse ricasso of the bayonet was originally stamped 43cvl but the 3 has been overstamped with a 4 to indicate the date of 1944. Also note the heavy grinding to this area of the ricasso. The scabbard is stamped 44cvl with matching numbers to the bayonet and has not been overstamped. Very few of these unusual bayonets have been recorded, all in the serial number range of approximately 4500a to 7500a. One might speculate that some left over 1943 dated blade blanks were being pressed into service in early 1944. It does seem ironic however that the first bayonet is 1944 dated to match a 1943 scabbard and in this case a 1943 bayonet is overstamped to match a 1944 scabbard! As in the example above all other features of this bayonet are standard early 1944 production.
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    Another relatively early production WKC piece bearing serial number 2774d. Unremarkable in most areas but for the rather unusual placement of the date and maker stamp to the reverse side of the blade. Note the stamping is completely below the flattened ricasso area with the cvl code being the only portion that is completely legible. The 44 date designation is not readily discernable as it was mistakenly stamped into the depressed fuller area. Only the “front horizontal point” of the first 4 is legible within the fuller. Some careless stamping work that day in Solingen perhaps but this issue would certainly not affect functionality.
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    Toward the middle of 1944 production a noticeable change in quality and workmanship begins to become apparent. This example is serial numbered 7509k and shows some of these changes. Note the defect (at the 7 area) to the serial number side of the ricasso. Also of interest is the very unusual “bronze or copper color” appearance of the scabbard finish. Hard to capture in the pics but the weak chemical bath at use during this time created only a very thin blue finish with an underlying reddish bronzing. The blade however is still of high quality manufacture and well finished. Also note the change in WaA acceptance stampings during this time frame. Unlike the previous examples, there is now only a single WaA519 stamping to the reverse upper pommel above the locking lug. Current research indicates that WKC eliminated the second pommel WaA in the early g block of production. Lastly, note the grinding to the end of the upper grip retention bolt. Although this is often noted on postwar reworks in this case the work is period. Out of length tolerance bolts have been noted on numerous bayonets by WKC as well as other makers (notably Paul Weyersberg).
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    What a difference a letter block or perhaps approximately 10,000 bayonets can make! This piece bears serial number 9558l and displays a drastic reduction in quality from the example above. Toward the end of the l and into the m blocks the “late war” appearance becomes even more apparent. The blade shows much in the way of heavy machine grinding marks and lack of polish and fine work. The finish is thin and weak and in this case almost a flat gray phosphate appearance instead of blued. The date and maker stamp is thick and shallow. There is a noticeably dished area defect and striations to the serial number side of the ricasso and uncleaned slag present (near the 9). Note the unusual deeply inset countersunk holes for the grip retention bolts and spanners to the obverse. Also of interest is the unusually small size of the finial ball which is poorly secured to the tip of the scabbard.
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    During the m block of 1944 production WKC commenced the sporadic use of blued domed head rivets for grip retention in lieu of the conventional bolt and spanner configuration. See this aforementioned thread for additional details:

    http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread....S84-98-Bayonet

    I used the word sporadic because the use of grip retention rivets as well as bolts and spanners appears to have continued simultaneously until WKC’s bayonet production ceased entirely. The earliest riveted example that I have as yet recorded is serial number 4959m. This piece below bears serial number 7898n and is thus well within the established range for riveted grip production. The finish of the blade is again a flat gray, rough and with heavy grind and tool marks. Note especially the heavily striated grinding marks to the thick section of blade above the fuller. Also of interest is the out of line serial number stamping and sloppy attachment of the crossguard (note the uncleaned slag and hanging metal slivers) to the blade blank. Another noticeable defect is the split metal (between the 8 and 9) at the mouth of the obverse scabbard. Perhaps caused by aggressively forcing the internal retention springs and throat fitting assembly into the scabbard shell. The locking lug, although functional does not fit well or cleanly within its mortise. Lastly, note that the WaA519 acceptance mark is uncharacteristically stamped upside down to the reverse pommel.
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    Last edited by Slash; 10-26-2013 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Corrected serial number information.

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    Near the very end of production for WKC is this example with serial number 354o again utilizing the conventional bolts and spanners for grip retention. Although riveted grips had been introduced nearly 20,000 units earlier, both manufacturing variations remained in production. The quality of this piece again exhibits the features expected from very late war production and expediency. Roughly tooled blade with a very weak blued finish actually has a unique “case hardened” appearance with shades of green, red, and brown. Misshapen ricasso area created by very crude edge and fuller grinding. The grip scales are barely finished, oversized, and sloppily fit to the blade blank. Note also the manufacturing defect to the top edge of the pommel and the gouged area missing from the locking lug. I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I have always found these late war pieces to be most attractive.

    Will follow this study with additional 44cvl examples or for other makers if there is interest. Hope you enjoy the pics ….
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    Moderator - RIP denny gaither's Avatar
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    Excellent information and excellent photos from your outstanding collection!!!
    Keep 'em coming.
    WANTED TO REPURCHASE!! WALTHER PISTOL MODEL PP - AC CODE - Ser. No. 382000P
    REWARD FOR INFO ABOUT THIS PISTOL!!

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    Interesting photos and information on cvl bayonets. I find WWI/WWII bayonets just as interesting and collectable as the rifles.

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    This is doctoral level research you've done and shared here!! And it's AWESOME!! Can't wait for your next installment!

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