Knife bayonet for use on the renowned 7.5 mm. Sturmgewehr 57 assault rifle (the Rolls Royce of assault rifles), made by the firm Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft (S.I.G.).The Stgw. 57 had a very long service life, remaining in production from 1958–1983.
As the low serial number suggests, this is an early example. The “W + F” mark indicates assembly by Waffenfabrik Bern, while “Victoria Schwyz” identifies the blade supplier as the firm, Victorinox, located in Schwyz Canton.
The scabbard has the leather tab for securing in the Schmidt-Rubin belt frog. Most early scabbards had the tab removed when the Swiss changed over to the button-style frog commonly associated with the Stgw. 57 bayonet.
To avoid conflict, the Swiss government gave half of the military knife & bayonet blade production quota to Wenger and half to Victorinox. Victorinox acquired Wenger in 2005, however, continues marketing products under both trademarks.
S.I.G. produced an export model bayonet to go with export versions of the Stgw. 57. The only significant customer was Chile, who purchased 14,500 rifles chambered for the 7.62 mm. NATO cartridge. The 510–4 export bayonet differs from the domestic Stgw. 57 bayonet in minor details.
Information from worldbayonets.com:
This example was made by Victorinox AG in the 1934–1949 period. Victorinox was located in Schwyz Canton. This example was made prior to 1950, when “Victoria” was added to the ricasso marking.
The bayonet and scabbard are unissued. The bayonet lacks a serial number and the scabbard’s frog securing tab lacks a buckle hole. The serial number was applied only when the bayonet was paired with a rifle. The scabbard’s buckle hole was punched when the scabbard was first mated to a belt frog to ensure a tight fit.
Based on serial number data, it appears that Victorinox initially produced the M1918 bayonet until the early 1920s. Elsener resumed production concurrent with introduction of the M1931 Short Rifle in 1934 and continued until M1931 Short Rifle production ceased in 1958.
The Script-P mark identifies the scabbard maker as the firm Paillard AG of St. Croix. Paillard was a very diverse manufacturer who produced an amazing variety of products over its 160 year history. The firm began in 1814 as a watch-maker, however, also produced music boxes, record players, typewriters, radios, and the famous Bolex line of motion picture cameras.
- ELSENER SCHWYZ