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#15470 10/04/2009 12:39 AM
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I thought I would take this opportunity to restart the original thread that explored fire bayonets. That thread, as many of you will remember, lasted at least a few years & had a tremendous amount of information. It also had tons of pictures from many GD members collections & I hope collectively we can recreate some of that thread here now. Please feel free to add pics of your pieces or any info that may help add to the appreciation of these fine edged weapons.

Feuerwehr bayonets are somewhat more popular now than when I started that thread 6 or 7 years ago. Initially I had no interest in dress bayonets, a sentiment I'm sure many dagger & blade collectors feel. First off there's plenty of them out there & it's probably human nature to practically disregard something that's so plentiful. I know, I do it myself.

As far as detail there's not much there, right? These pieces are as plain as plain can be & yet there is beauty in their simplicity. The lines are clean & true, almost utilitarian in their appearance.

Most collectors would look at a pile of fire bayonets thinking they're all the same but there are differences there, subtle differences that obsessive collectors can not only see but ponder over for hours. But I'll get to the subtle differences & variations at a later date. For now maybe it's best to start where I started, at the beginning. Here is that first piece.

Obverse_2.JPG (92.86 KB, 2185 downloads)

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#15471 10/04/2009 12:56 AM
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Back maybe 10 years ago I only had eyes for daggers. Every once in a while the colorful Feuerwehr bayonet knot would catch my eye as it really stood out but the bayonets did nothing for me. Guess one day I thought "maybe I'll get just one nicely conditioned piece to fill the niche.".

Yeah right, was that ever short sighted. So it was that I found this piece on Eban, seemingly perfect long model bayonet with nicely conditioned frog & well toned knot. The seller wanted something like $200 on a buy it now which was a lot in those days since I probably could have had a nice Heer dagger for $300. So I pull the trigger & the piece arrives a few days later.

My beginning in fire bayonets started where many German edged weapons collectors start, with the ubiquitous mark of Carl Eickhorn. I was soon to learn the significance & timing of maker marks but this is how I saw my first Feuerwehr piece. I was amazed at the plated blade & how utterly perfect it was, save for a few runner marks. The grip plates were similarly perfect & fitted just flush to the hilt. The curious crossguard caught my attention but then, that one of the main features that distinguished it from the standard Heer/Luftwaffe KS98. I read somewhere that the recurved crossguard was fashioned after the hooks that adorned the duty belts of the firemen of yore.

I picked up the piece many times that week & loved that even though it was 50+ years old at the time, it still looked like it could have been made last week.

FW_Eickhorn_'35-'41.JPG (88.43 KB, 2174 downloads)

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#15472 10/04/2009 01:27 AM
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I was satisfied with my seemingly perfect Eick fire bayonet. That lasted weeks, maybe a month. Then I realized there were long & short models & these curious, vicious looking sawbacks. The prices on the sawbacks, then as now, were significantly higher than the plain blades examples. And so it was that I decided to obtain an example of long & short models in both plain & sawback blade.

Jeff Slaker, also known as Colorado, an old GD'er had some fire bayonets he was unloading, most had frogs, some even had knots & all were priced most fairly. It was from Jeff that I picked up my first sawback, a '35-'41 Eickhorn long model. Jeff actually provided me with a number of nice examples over the years & I owe him & many others a debt of thanks.

This piece typified the differenced between the early era Eickhorns & later production pieces. The weight was lighter overall & the plating on the pommels & crossguards was thinner, as you can see from the slight bubbling in this pic. It was obvious to tell, especially in hand, that the parts used to make these later pieces wasn't as good as some of the others but the quality in construction was still there. While of a later vintage, all parts are so well fitted that it's tough to find fault with it. Additionally, it's sawteeth are frighteningly sharp. The maker's mark was the same as the other plain bladed example I had but it's such a decent mark in & of itself & I hadn't yet had the bright idea to buy at least 1 example of every mark on these bayonets. But that would change.

FW.JPG (81.72 KB, 2164 downloads)

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#15473 10/04/2009 01:39 AM
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This piece came off Eban back in the glory days. I remember I beat Ron Weinand out for it which meant to me the piece was probably worth having. Ron always said sawbacks are scarce but short sawbacks are scarcer still.

It was after I got this short sawback that I realized the very real differences between early & later production. Everything about an earlier vintage piece is better IMO & you can really see it in this bayonet from the quality. You can also date it's production to '33-'34 which is when Eickhorn is said to have used this logo.

FW.JPG (87 KB, 2158 downloads)

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#15474 10/04/2009 01:52 AM
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Besides the relative scarcity of these short sawbacks, what drew me to this particular piece was the unusual hanging device that was on this bayonet. The best I can describe it would be a semi crudely fashioned frog with suspension loop affixed to a clip that was hung from a belt. There also was a strap with snap button to hold the grip of the bayonet in place while in wear.

I loved the piece even more when I found a slight wear mark on the reverse of the pommel where the bayonet obviously rersted against the metal clip while being worn. It gave it just a little more character & also meant the hanging device was original to the bayonet. Volume V of Tom Johnson's original dagger books shows an identical hanging device on a short '33-'34 Eickhorn sawback.

The bakelite grip plates on this piece are the usually seen diamond pattern instead of the earlier, elongated diamond type which we usually see on very early pieces. I'll deal with the earlier bakelite in a later post.

Obverse.JPG (88.93 KB, 2137 downloads)

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#15475 10/04/2009 04:27 AM
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Billy:

Great start to this thread... Eek Big Grin Eek

John


Always looking for Eickhorns and etched bayonets.
#15476 10/04/2009 08:12 AM
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WOW just superb Smile

#15477 10/04/2009 09:37 PM
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Billy

Thanks for restarting your Fire dress bayonet thread. I would advise everyone to save this thread; one never knows how long it will be with us. In my opinion Dress bayonets are very collectable because they are under priced compared to other edged weapons, plus the unbelievable amount of TM's and distributors that are available.

Billy is an expert on Firemanís bayonets and we are sure to learn from this thread.


TKissinger
#15478 10/05/2009 07:15 PM
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Hi guys,

glad you made this thread. Fire bayonets and dress bayonets in general are a great niche that will never stop surprising a collector. They are still affordable and make it a perfect collectible for beginners and or people on a budget like me.

Here's one of my rarer fire bayonets bought from T. Wittmann about a year ago. Notice the unusual tip to go with the narrow fuller:





JAN Big Grin


An avid KS98 bayonet collector.
#15479 10/05/2009 07:25 PM
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Here's one more picture of my Spitzer short fire bayonet:





JAN Big Grin

#15480 10/06/2009 12:54 AM
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Thanks for the kind words guys. This hobby is completely a learning experience & it really never stops, I have to say I learned as much as anyone from the old firerman bayonet thread. So many new makers & variations popped up that my head was spinning every time I checked new posts.

Since the last thread disappeared I've picked up a bunch of new & quite interesting pieces that I hope to share with you. I think the last thread brought some heightened interest into this niche & I hope this thread will do the same.

Jan,

A very nice piece with the green felt buffer & unusual blood groove, it looks like it isn't a narrow or wide one. Sort of in between, this is a short model right? From memory, the piece has no maker mark but the owner's initials, right?

Here is a better shot of the rig that was attached to the short '33-'34 Eickhorn sawback.

E.JPG (96.52 KB, 1785 downloads)

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#15481 10/06/2009 12:57 AM
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Here's another short Eickhorn sawback that I picked up a few months ago. Very early piece showing the best quality parts & construction despite the slight plate lifting on the ricasso. Wait a minute, that isn't the '33-'34 double oval Eickhorn mark Wink

P8100013.JPG (96.33 KB, 1772 downloads)

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#15482 10/06/2009 01:03 AM
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Here's a better shot of the maker mark, a single oval squirrel. First time for me & I'm sure for many of you. When I reserved this piece, I fully expected it to arrive showing obvious signs of grip tampering or other indicia of it being rehilted over the years but alas that was not to be.

When it arrived, it was tight as a drum with very nicely fitted parts. The rivets & bakelite were very early & consistent with the supposed age of the piece, all other parts were looked like Eick production. Even the underside of the frog lug which had the Eickhorn part number 555CE. It was very heavy & was obvious, to me anyway, that the piece was original. A wonderful surprise & something I never thought I'd see.

As you can see, the lifting isn't that deep, certainly not enough to make me pass this one up.

P1010005.JPG (79.34 KB, 1736 downloads)

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#15483 10/06/2009 01:09 AM
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Here's a shot showing a comparison of the single oval squirrel to the '33-'34 double oval squirrel. The blades are virtually idential with the exception of the maker's mark. Interestingly, although the hilt of the single oval is Eickhorn shape, it is hefty. The double oval is finer in appearance although it shows the same profile.

As you can see in the picture, the single oval has the early bakelite pattern where the double oval has the more commonly seen pattern. When holding these early Eickhorn pieces one really sees the quality Eick used in their products. I know Pack has it's fans among bayonet collectors & I am certainly one of them but IMO Eick's early quality surpasses them all.

P1010012.JPG (93 KB, 1707 downloads)

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#15484 10/06/2009 01:19 AM
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A better shot of the obverse view. You can somewhat make out the relative difference in width of the pommels. The crossguards are classic Eickhorn too.

P1010011.JPG (91.94 KB, 1688 downloads)

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#15485 10/06/2009 01:41 AM
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While we're on the topic of early sawbacks, this might be a good opportunity to show another piece of similar vintage to the above Eickhorns. Very tight overall & just a pleasure to hold this one. This piece, like the others, shows excellent quality in everything. Same Eickhorn produced hilt, same early bakelite.

P3220251.JPG (97.62 KB, 1660 downloads)

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#15486 10/06/2009 01:45 AM
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So we're talking about another Eickhorn here, right? Not exactly. Eickhorn produced perhaps but this piece has another iconic mark, that of the twins of JA Henckels.

It's no secret that some of the larger edged weapons manufacturers supplied smaller makers with bayonet parts over the course of the 3R. We've seen many smaller cottage makers' marks on Eickhorn's products over the years. Not that I would consider Henckels a smaller manufacturer but it's possible to infer that at the time this piece was produced that Henckels didn't have a booming bayonet business & subcontracted with Eickhorn for parts.

I have another early Henckels fire bayonet however this one was produced later than the sawback. The hilt is not Eickhorn produced IMO which only leads me to believe either Henckels subcontracted early in the NS zeit, continued to subcontract with other companies than Eick or started producing their own parts as the war progressed. Anything's possible since Henckels mark on a bayonet is still a pretty scarce item.

P3220245.JPG (94.88 KB, 1646 downloads)

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#15487 10/06/2009 02:55 AM
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Billy:

That single oval Eick is amazing. I have only seen the single oval on very early HJs.

And to get it in that condition is also unbelievable.

Maybe you should buy lottery tickets with your luck Wink

John


Always looking for Eickhorns and etched bayonets.
#15488 10/06/2009 06:55 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Billy G.:
Jan,

A very nice piece with the green felt buffer & unusual blood groove, it looks like it isn't a narrow or wide one. Sort of in between, this is a short model right? From memory, the piece has no maker mark but the owner's initials, right?


Hi Billy, yes indeed. It has the initials LH on the blade, but as we agreed, it's not a TM or a distributor mark.

Beautiful bayonets you posted guys, I cannot stop but stare at these repeatedly. I have yet to acquire a sawback, but hey, sooner or later, I will have one too Smile

JAN Big Grin


An avid KS98 bayonet collector.
#15489 10/07/2009 12:02 AM
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John,

The Eick is a special piece & I'm happy it's here surrounded by bunches of relatives Smile Had I not snagged it before you, I have no doubt it would have been going to Canada. It definitely fits a niche in my collection as well as a link in the evolutionary chain in the 3R fireman's bayonet sawbacks. The good news is none of these pieces are unique, when we see another I'll be sure steer you to it. BTW, your luck with 2nd Lufts is the stuff of legend.

Jan,

Many thanks for the kind words. The sawbacks are out there too. You'll be able to find a nice one at your price if you just keep looking. Probably when you least expect it. That's exactly when I found the Henckels, just when I wasn't looking for it. Drop me an email with your preferences, maybe something will come around.


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#15490 10/07/2009 12:12 AM
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It seems only natural to move from Eickhorn, the maker with the lions share of fireman bayonet production, to another prolific Solingen manufacturer. WKC certainly made a tremendous amount of daggers, both Imperial & 3R but you don't see lots of WKC fire bayonets around. I only have 2 WKC examples, this one came to me last year from Tom Wittmann who had it on his site for a year or more. I used to look at it every few days & yet it stayed there. Maybe I thought I could find this variation on my own, maybe I didn't want to pay Tom's price. Either way all looking at it did was vex me more so I gave into the temptation & bought it.

Tom said he thought this mark was indicative of late war production but after seeing it in person I'd have to respectfully disagree. Just from it's appearance & parts, it really looks to be early production. Whenever the piece was actually produced, it's a short model with a WKC variation maker mark including the location "Solingen". Try as I might, I could never find one of these on a fire bayonet, or any bayonet for that matter. It has some other nice features too. For starters, a really wide crossguard, similar to the Eickhorn products. You never know, maybe Eick made it. Very unusual bakelite too, not the early type either. It's more like the type on the early Pack HJs. The blood groove is also not the wide or narrow type but a sort of in between width.

P1130138.JPG (95.02 KB, 1567 downloads)

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#15491 10/07/2009 12:16 AM
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This one is also a short model with the usually seen 3R era WKC mark with the embellished knight's helmet. Prewar construction but not nearly as early as the previous piece. I initially got it just to have a WKC but noticed something when it arrived home.

Upon taking it from the scabbard & bubblewrap I noticed the blade had a natural finish, sort of like a crossgraining but more pronounced. From what I've seen pieces with this type of blades aren't that common so I guess it's a keeper.

FW_WKC.JPG (106.17 KB, 1535 downloads)

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#15492 10/07/2009 12:46 AM
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While we're on storied old Solingen manufacturers, I find myself looking at a very special piece. Not so much special because of ultra rarity although the mark is probably pretty scarce. But special because it was this piece that started what I like to call "the sickness".

At the time I saw this piece back in the glory days of Eban, I wasn't the degenerate maker mark fiend I am now. I had maybe 4 or 5 fire bayonets, the nicest of these being the '33-'34 sawback Eick posted above. Anyway I saw this nice short model with the lovely snake & stump & decided to put in a half hearted bid which, as luck would have it, won it for me. The piece had a nice sturdy frog & I realized it was a much sought after mark, maybe the only opportunity for me to ever possess this mark. At some point shortly thereafter I got the bright idea to snag a few other obscure marks on these fire bayonets. Maybe 20 or 25 pieces later, I thought maybe I had a problem. About 100 pieces later I knew I had a problem.

This Voos mark seems to be the one most frequently seen on bayonets marked by Voos.

FW_Voos1.JPG (97.12 KB, 1525 downloads)

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#15493 10/07/2009 01:03 AM
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This Voos mark of stimp & snake with no name is pretty scarcely seen on anything IMO. I've only seen it on 1 or 2 Heer daggers & maybe 2 or 3 bayonets total. I got this piece from a fellow collector & fellow competitor for maker marks until he sold off his collection.

Collectors are funny & I think I'm no different. Initially I set out to find 1 mark from each maker. Then I added distributors. Then I got the bright idea to try & get every variation of each maker's logo. Silly right? This piece was one of them that got me over that final last straw of sanity to total bayonet obsession. In my defense, it's a cool mark Smile

FW_Voos3.JPG (98.82 KB, 1508 downloads)

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#15494 10/07/2009 01:09 AM
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This one is the 3rd variation of Emil Voos' logos that I've seen on fireman's bayonets. The mark itself is not that sexy but it finished out the set. In fact, the seller who was not a dagger & bayonet guy, didn't know what it said but I sure did.

2.JPG (97.5 KB, 1485 downloads)

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#15495 10/07/2009 01:12 AM
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I should confess, the real reason I was pushed into buying the 3rd Voos variation was as much the variation as it was what was hiding on the reverse ricasso. It turned out to have the scarce (rare maybe?) mark of the Berlin distributor Gustav Genschow.

Speaking of distributors, we've all seen fire bayonets dual marked with Tiger & the Munchen distributor Georg Reider. This is probably the most common maker/distributor combo & they're out there. Some dealers have listed them for ridiculous sums but the fact is they're on Eban all the time, often at a fraction of what some of the better known names in the hobby want for them.

I haven't observed many Voos fire bayonets over the years but this was the only time I have seen a Voos dual marked with a distributor.

2a.JPG (86.88 KB, 1258 downloads)

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#15496 10/07/2009 03:18 AM
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Billy, I love the thread so far.and I have a thing for the Voos tm'S I have a heer bayo Voos with no name, very hard to find. let alone on a FW. NICE!

Steve


Looking for PP mag # 981029
#15497 10/07/2009 07:19 PM
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here the mekersmark with the little firepolice helmet

BAJO_FEUERWEHR_MERK_L.E._(Small).jpg (35.72 KB, 1229 downloads)
#15498 10/08/2009 12:28 AM
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Nowhere near as nice as the ones shown previously, but here is my long sawback with the 35-41 TM

Obverse

Blade_Obverse.JPG (38.36 KB, 1191 downloads)

Always looking for Eickhorns and etched bayonets.
#15499 10/08/2009 12:28 AM
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Obverse really

Obverse.JPG (40.41 KB, 1174 downloads)

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#15500 10/08/2009 12:29 AM
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Reverse

Reverse.JPG (39.42 KB, 690 downloads)

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#15501 10/08/2009 12:29 AM
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The TM

TM.JPG (40.93 KB, 689 downloads)

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#15502 10/08/2009 12:29 AM
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The Blade Obverse

Blade_Obverse.JPG (38.36 KB, 687 downloads)

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#15503 10/08/2009 12:30 AM
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The Blade reverse

Blade_reverse.JPG (39.82 KB, 684 downloads)

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#15504 10/08/2009 12:30 AM
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The Hilt

Hilt_Obverse.JPG (40.52 KB, 681 downloads)

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#15505 10/08/2009 12:30 AM
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The Hilt Reverse

John

MVC-625S.JPG (39.55 KB, 679 downloads)

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#15506 10/08/2009 12:32 AM
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And, here is my short sawback with the 35-41 TM

Obverse

Obverse.JPG (40.24 KB, 677 downloads)

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#15507 10/08/2009 12:39 AM
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Reverse of the short

Reverse.JPG (39.14 KB, 675 downloads)

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#15508 10/08/2009 12:40 AM
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The short TM

TM.JPG (39.43 KB, 674 downloads)

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#15509 10/08/2009 12:40 AM
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The blade obverse short

Blade_Obverse.JPG (40.31 KB, 671 downloads)

Always looking for Eickhorns and etched bayonets.
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