P1888 "Lee Metford"

Technical data :

Total length : 425 mm
Blade length : 305 mm
Muzzlering : 16.5 mm

Was used on : Lee Metford

General information :

This bayonet is easily recognisable due to the special shape of the pommel. The blade is double edged and the grip plates are fixed by 2 or 3 rivets or screws, depending on the model.

The first model, which went into production in 1889, featured 3 rivets in the handle. A few months later, during tests and field use, the wooden grip plates proved to be vulnerable at the back due to those rivets. Before the end of the year production of the 2-rivet model started but the model designation remained Mk.I. It was only in 1899 that a P1888 Mk.II was issued. This new model was nearly identical to the P1888 Mk.I with 2 rivets but featured a cleaning hole right behind the second rivet.

In 1901 yet another modification was done by using 2 screws instead of the rivets. This new model was designated P1888 Mk. III. The cleaning hole was no longer in the handle either but moved to the pommel. The metal parts of the Mk.III, with exeption of the blade, were blued.

A short summary of the model evolution :

P1888 MK I : 3 rivets, cleaning hole inbetween the 2 small rivets
P1888 MK I 2nd type : 2 rivets, cleaning hole right behind the second rivet
P1888 MK II : 2 rivets, cleaning hole in the pommel
P1888 MK III : 2 screws, cleaning hole in the pommel, blued metal parts

Known makers :

R. Mole
Royal Arms Factory, Enfield
Sanderson Bros. & Neubold
Wilkinson Sword Company




© www.bajonet.be