The first issue Sharps bayonets-Bay State Tool Company
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Author:  Bill Skillman [ Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:13 pm ]
Post subject:  The first issue Sharps bayonets-Bay State Tool Company

Fellow Sharpshooters,

Sharps Firearms-The Percussion Era has provided us with another groundbreaking bit of research. The first bayonets issued with the Berdan Contract NM1859 Sharps rifles were not made by the Collins & Company as has traditionally been assumed. Instead, the bayonets were manufactured by the Bay State Tool Company of Northampton, Massachusetts.

A February 1862 letter by SRMCO. President Jno. Palmer to General James Ripley reveals: The pattern of bayonet is superior in point of strength, geometry and form to any I have seen.

On page 334, shows a July 1862 photograph of Private Henry Bedell (Co. K-1st) posing with his Sharps (taken at Harrison’s Landing after the Seven Days Campaign) and bayonet, with features that confirms it to be a Bay State Tool Company manufacture.

The identifying characteristics of the BSTCo. bayonet are:
Blade length=18 1/2 inches
Rear flutes/back fullers cut at corners
Locking clasp stop pin located 30 degrees (from the Springfield stop pin is located)
“L” inspector stamp on socket in front of mortise.

The Bay State Tool Co. stopped making bayonets in 1862-with Collin & Co. taking over production.

The College Hill Arsenal bayonet I originally identified as a Spencer bayonet is now correctly identified as a Sharps rifle-and likely a USSS issue.

Here is the updated link to the Bay State Bayonet (page 4 shows the “back cut fuller” just before the shank attaches to the socket)

https://collegehillarsenal.com/us-1st-c ... bayonet%20

The new research was brought to light by collector Paul D. Johnson (of Sharps cartridge box fame)

Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad Mess

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