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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Saw this piece on Ebay and thought it was interesting. It is a late Russian AKM T2/AK74 bayonet with modified pommel. Though relatively scarce, I found this example unusual in that it seems to be a Bulgarian rework. The grip appears to have had the original serial number removed, and new one etched above. The scabbard has neither the Izhevsk triangle nor Tula star, so suspect it must be Bulgarian. Reinforcing this is the serial number on the bayonet "AB 3487". There was only one photo of the obverse of the scabbard. I was not able to discern the entire serial number, but did see it was a 4-digit, "AB" prefix serial. In looking thru AK47 The Grim Reaper 2, I saw a photo of a "29" date, Bulgy AK74 with laminated wooden furniture. It bears serial number "AB 3770". To my knowledge the Russians only applied a serial number to their AKM T1/T2 bayonets. Since the Bulgarians initially received Russian components to build their AK74s, they likely got bayonets as well.

RusBulgAKMT2Mod.JPG
 

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You're right on the mark. Your bayonet is a Russian Type II with a Bulgarian Type II scabbard. The serial number is in the Bulgarian style (two letter prefix and number). You'll also find a lot of East German Type I and especially Type II bayonets that way as Bulgarian used a great many East German bayonets.

Somewhere along the way of its life in the Bulgarian military, the Russian bayonet ended up without its original scabbard and a replacement Bulgarian scabbard was mated with it. In the military, it wasn't important or necessary to keep the original scabbard with the military if the exact same type could be used as a replacement - particularly if it wasn't serialized at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the info. Well, it even gets more unusual. The same seller listed another late Izzy w/mod pommel. However, this one had a recessed flat carved out of each grip. I suspect the flats were done to use as a support for the thumb when the bayonet was held as a knife. The scabbard was also modified with what must be some sort of belt or harness clip.
 

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these were cool, I'd have grabbed both if I had the funds!
thanks for the info on them !
 
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Make sure the "modified pommel" is cast in one piece and there are no machining marks.
These variants are being faked and sold on eBay in various disguises. Easy to do, and with a refinish most people don't spot them.

Brian
 

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I saw this post when I was trying to figure out more about the unusual serial number of my latest bayonet. I have Bulgarian bayonets with an "AB" prefix that is electropenciled, but I have not seen one that is stamped with the "AB" prefix, let alone on a Russian bayonet.

This bayonet came with a Bulgarian hanger that was well worn and torn. It did not have a wrist strap attached. It has been cleaned up and had a lot of fine talcum like powder sand in all of its nooks and crannies.
IMG_5877.JPG IMG_5878.JPG IMG_5879.JPG
 

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I saw this post when I was trying to figure out more about the unusual serial number of my latest bayonet. I have Bulgarian bayonets with an "AB" prefix that is electropenciled, but I have not seen one that is stamped with the "AB" prefix, let alone on a Russian bayonet.

This bayonet came with a Bulgarian hanger that was well worn and torn. It did not have a wrist strap attached. It has been cleaned up and had a lot of fine talcum like powder sand in all of its nooks and crannies.
View attachment 25390 View attachment 25391 View attachment 25392
Very unusual! Does anyone have any ideas what the stamped "AB" serial numbers mean on this re-worked Russian manufactured bayonet. Was it a new Russian bayonet transferred to and then numbered by Bulgaria before being reworked? Or is it a used Russian item reworked and then renumbered and issued in Bulgaria? Or perhaps it is fully Russian and they used the "AB" numbers? I have seen evidence that both the Russians and the Bulgarians have used similar "AB" numbers on other weapons/equipment!? M.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My guess would be this Russian bayonet was renumbered to match a Bulgarian AK74. The question is by whom and when. My understanding is the Soviets did supply parts & support when Bulgaria first undertook AK74 production. If that is the case, then it is possible bayonets were also initially provided. However, when Bulgaria left the East Bloc and began to dump their Soviet-based weapons, many were sold on the international market. Countries like Iraq, etc. acquired quantities and it is possible the Soviet bayonet was numbered to match the rifle during a refurbishment. Some Bulgy 6x4 bayonets are found to be painted black as well.
 

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Thanks for the info. Well, it even gets more unusual. The same seller listed another late Izzy w/mod pommel. However, this one had a recessed flat carved out of each grip. I suspect the flats were done to use as a support for the thumb when the bayonet was held as a knife. The scabbard was also modified with what must be some sort of belt or harness clip.
Yes, Bayonets like this have been listed at infrequent intervals on eBay. They are advertised as "Spetnaz" and/or "Airborne" special issue bayonets. Several knowledgeable authorities state that they are "fakes". This is entirely possible as they are not shown or listed in any references and somewhat easy(?) to make from a late standard model AKM type II. I do have references that indicate that the Russians did create some machined lightened pommels either as trials/prototypes or early production before the cast lightened pommels. They could also have machined the ones currently in stock, unissued, to conform to the new lightened pommel specifications and supplement the cast pommel production. The thumb cutouts and belt/equipment metal hook seem logical but are supposedly aftermarket fakes. Anyone else have any proofs or theories?
IMG_2145.JPG IMG_2144.JPG IMG_2143.JPG ~
 

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I've seen the "AB" prefix on a lot of bayonets. I have a few First Model bayonets that have the "AB" prefix as well as some Type II bayonets. The prefix gets around!
 

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Mr B, can you please post closer photos of the pommel from above the pommel on all 3 angles of the cuts.

VDV do use bayonets but the only modifications I have seen are sharpened blades which are polished to more or less a mirror shine. Which to most people not knowing would just look like a ruined sharpened bayonet.

My opinion on the milled pommel, from what I can see the machining has been done in one pass with a small rad, leaving a part circle concave at the front of the pass where the tool has stopped. Going by Russian quality in general they would have bothered to repeat a second pass from the side to remove the radius and square up the inside of the pommels cut. Which tells me it was either done in a rush or by a poor machinist. Armorers in general likely wouldnt have access to a mill. And even so I doubt they would be interested in going through such lengths to remove a few grams of steel.
The pommel does look repainted, although of course if it was genuine it would have had to be unless the work was done at the factory.
Hope thats not too sceptical, can you also post some close ups of the cuts from the handle and also the clip that seems to ha e been premenantly attached to the scabbard please.
Even in the case of it being a fake its still a interesting one.
 

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I'm fairly sure they are fakes. Considering the few out there have come from auctions, and from the same sources. Plus they are easy to do, and show signs of refinishing. Once you know that the modified pommels come at a premium, it is easy to convert a few and make a couple of hundred bucks. These pommels should be cast, not machined.
Sorry, but in my opinion, this one is a duck.
 
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