One of the most desirable and sort after bayonets is the well versed Pattern 1907 Bayonet.
The P07 bayonet fits the SMLE rifle and is one of the most broadly accepted rifles, used by many countries through many conflicts and tested over a considerable period of time. The .303 rifle is one of Australia's favorite with the P07 the matching bayonet.
With high demand for these bayonets drawn from the collectors through to rifle owners desires for a bayonet attachment, it may be beneficial to share some broad points to the P07 creation, the various manufactures and the respective volumes produced. This information is primarily based on the British manufacturing of the P07.
The Pattern 1907 Bayonet was approved in the United Kingdom on the 30th January 1908, with a straight and single edge blade and a hooked quillon, no clearence hole was implemented.
Production levels upto 1911 for the P07 bayonet indicates estimates of:
R.S.A.F. Enfield (EFD / ENFIELD) - 175,000
Wilkinson Sword Co. (WILKINSON) - 25,500
Sanderson Bros. & Neubold (SANDERSON) - 22,500
James A Chapman Ltd (JAC / CHAPMAN) - 14,200
Robert Mole & Son (MOLE) - 13,300
The hooked quillon was removed from the 29th October 1913 as part of implemented changes, as bayonets were returned for service the hooked quillon was removed. The Crossguard shows a slightly different and 'pointed' shape after removal compared to P07 bayonets manufactured without a quillon. It is very difficult to guage how many P07 hooked quillon bayonets still exist, it is likely only a small percentage of the hooked quillon versions are avaliable today and their respective collectability and value is ever increasing.
It is important to note that many 'Fakes' and 'Reproductions' have been seen in the market place. This is important to be aware of when investing into a genuine peice of bayonet history.The other significant change we see with the P07 was a clearence hole introduction in early 1916 with bayonets returned for service modified to reflect this change. Again it is difficult to gauge the numbers of P07's that have not been altered with a clearence hole, is fair to assume that a minor number of P07 without the clearence holes is in the collectable market and adds value, rarity and intrigue to the display. It should be noted that these example without a pommel hole would have likely to have had a short service life.
By the end of the Great War the following is guide to estimate total production figures for the P07 bayonet:
Wilkinson Sword Co. (WILKINSON) - 2,360,000
Sanderson Bros. & Neubold (SANDERSON) - 1,600,000
R.S.A.F. Enfield (EDF / ENFIELD) - 500,000
James A Chapman Ltd (JAC / CHAPMAN) - 300,000
Remington Arms (REMINGTON) - 100,000
Robert Mole & Son (MOLE) - 60,000
Vickers Ltd (VICKERS) - 10,000
Special note - Vickers did not commence production till early 1917 with their particular P07 design incorporating a larger clearence hole in the pommel.
The finish for the P07 bayonet will vary considerably. Original production shows a polished blade with blued pommel and crossguard, with blades later showing a sandblasted, blued and parkerized finish. These variations in blade finish are would have occured anytime when the bayonets would have been in for service or refurbishing / refreshing.
Many other countries used the Pattern 1907 bayonet, not only during the Great War but also WWII and other conflicts. Australia and Canada imported and used many British made P07's for their own Armed Forces. With countries like Australia commencing manufacture to their own P07 bayonets to supplement supply needed during both wars.
Millions of P1907 bayonets were produced in Britain, Australia, India, and the USA. This example was made in December 1918 by Sanderson Bros. & Newbould Ltd. of Sheffield.
The scabbard pictured is a No. I Mk. II scabbard with the teardrop frog stud. Some scabbard producers adopted a round frog stud, which was approved in 1915.
British Imperial forces were likely to find they could either be fixing Pattern 1903 or 1907 bayonets to their SMLE Rifles. The blade width of a P1903 bayonet is 30mm, a P1907 bayonet only 23mm.
To render the Wire Breaker universal to both bayonets, a swiveling wedge was built into the bottom, providing a snug fit against either blade when moved to the appropriate position.
To help the soldier determine the correct position of the wedge during the heat of battle, the numbers ‘3’ and ‘7’ were stamped into the opposite sides of the body and swivel of the Breaker, corresponding to the pattern of bayonet in use. Matching the two numbers meant the Breaker was in the correct position to fit either the P1903 or P1907 bayonet.
Five further patterns were approved, including one to fit the P1913 bayonet, and all were finally declared obsolete in February of 1921.
Lost, destroyed or recycled over the years, these mass produced ‘penny’ items are now extraordinarily hard to find, and highly desirable to the bayonet collector.