|M 1904 MANNLICHER KNIFE BAYONET|
|One of the best kept secrets of the Ulster
Volunteer Force (UVF) gun-running into Ireland in 1914 was the inclusion of more than 10,000 M1904 Mannlicher rifles made by Steyr in Austria.
It was generally believed that the rifles imported at that time were old service ones and although in working order, were not much of a threat given the advances being made in military weapons before the First World War.
True there were Vetterli Vitali's, Gew 88's, Martini's but the M1904 Mannlicher was a formidable modern weapon, bought by the UVF brand new, made under contract and supplied with its own knife bayonet.
This bayonet, commonly found in Northern Ireland today, has become known in books as the "Irish Mannlicher".
It was a typical Austrian export model of a type previously supplied to Rumania with their M1893 rifle.
(The Rumanian knife bayonet was stamped on the pommel with the mark of a small phoenix)
Overall length 375mm, blade 250mm, muzzle ring diameter 14mm Bayonet all of polished metal. Blade picasso marked OEWG, crossguard stamped with a serial number of 3 or 4 digits, scabbard painted gloss black and marked OEWG . The back of the hilt is shaped to the hand, while the wooden grips are secured by domed
rivets. Occasionally the grips are stamped with the UVF cartouche.
Picture of 4 knife bayonets,all appear similar. The top two are M1904 UVF, the third one is a M1893 Rumanian, the bottom one is a standard German S71/84 with Imperial inspection stamps and leather scabbard.
Pictured side by side - on the left side is a M1904 UVF showing its 3 digit serial number lightly imprinted; on the right side is a M1893 Romanian with 4 digit number heavily imprinted.
Steyr & Rumanian
On the left the M1904 UVF - note press stud shape and the contour of the pommel; on the right side the Rumanian M1893 - note the phoenix stamp, contour of the pommel and the press stud which is perfectly oval.
Pictured is a M1893 Rumanian in between two M1904 UVF. Note the shape of the pommel - the Romanian one is more rounded, whereas the UVF ones are more squared.
All scabbards were painted gloss black and
were of standard Austrian pattern. Three different markings on the frog stud have been recorded
while all bore the OEWG trade mark of Steyr - OEWG and
OEWG only and OEWG with letter R above.
|The UVF cartouche was stamped only on some rifles and bayonets. The arms recipient had to bring his (or her) equipment back at a later date for stamping. Very few Mannlicher bayonets bear the stamp.|