Small Arms

Bayonets | Pistols  | Rifles
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Carl Gustav


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3.7-inch Gun


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Small Arms & Light Weapons

.303 Mk VII
7.62mm NATO
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106mm Ammunition
Armour Piercing
Armour Piercing Composite Rigid
AP Discarding Sabot
High Explosive Anti-Tank
High Explosive, Squash Head


Fixed ammunition
Proximity Fuze


As with the discussion of "standard Service Rifles" it should be borne in mind that many different weapon types were used by the Canadian Army in the 20th Century. The number of variants for the standard rifles alone are staggering; what is presented here are some representative samples of bayonets for the most widely used rifles in Canadian service.

Bayonet fighting was taught in the first half of the century, but after the Second World War less and less emphasis was paid to it. Statistics showed that bayonets were rarely used to injure or kill on the battlefield; even going back as far as the US Civil War (1861-1865) bayonets seem more to have been a psychological weapon than an instrument of death.

The bayonet was a useful tool for shepherding prisoners of war, and could presumably be used for utilitarian tasks (Pierre Berton tells us in Vimy that Canadian troops used their sword bayonets to toast bread over open fires) though Canadian soldiers have always been issued clasp knives and other tools for tasks such as opening cans of food, and usually did them better.

Regardless of the effectiveness of the bayonet, it was yet one more item among a soldiers inventory of impedimenta - the spike bayonet could not be fixed to a Bren Gun, for example, but photos of Bren Gunners usually show the bayonet carried on the soldier's belt. Throughout the century the bayonet retained a ceremonial importance beyond its actual battlefield worth; regiments and units afforded the ancient privileges of Freedom of the City considered it an honour to be permitted to parade "with bayonets fixed" and infantry regiment colour parties still used the unsheathed bayonet to guard their precious Colours.


A note should also be made differentiating the scabbard - a metal (plastic on later bayonets) receptacle for the bayonet when not in use, and the frog - a leather, web or nylon carrier for the scabbard with which the bayonet could be attached to a waistbelt.

Bayonet frogs are a separate subject to themselves; ceremonial frogs in white leather (later plastic) were often very different from those frogs designed for field issue (originally in brown or black leather, replaced early in the century with khaki cotton webbing and then in the 1950s with green webbing, finally replaced with a nylon frog for the C7 in the 1980s). Many of the cotton frogs were also simply whitened for ceremonial use.

All photos and artifacts on this page are courtesy Ed Storey.

Pattern 1888 Bayonet

The bayonet in use in 1900 was the Pattern 1888, the Mk II is shown here with both a buff Slade Wallace General Service Mark I Bayone Frog and the brown leather Canadian 1896 Oliver Pattern Bayonet Frog.

Ross Bayonet

The adoption of the all-Canadian Ross Rifle prior to World War One was an important milestone for the nation's fledgling arms industry; its impact on the fighting abilities of Canadian soldiers in 1915 was equally marked. The Ross came with its own bayonet, worn in a brown leather frog (here we see the Mark II) as part of the Oliver Pattern infantry equipment with which Canadian soldiers were equipped prior to and in the early years of World War One.


Pattern 1907 Bayonet

Canadian adoption of the Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield (SMLE) came about unofficially at first, as SMLEs from British casualties were obtained by Canadian soldiers dissatisfied with the performance of the Ross under battlefield conditions. In time, the SMLE officially replaced the Ross in line infantry units. The SMLE (later also called No. 1 Mk III) would soldier on until 1943 when replaced by the later No. 4 Rifle.

The sword bayonet was carried in a variety of frogs; shown at right from the top are the 1908 Pattern web frog with helve carrier attached, leather Canadian 1915 Pattern Olvier Bayonet Frong, and the narrower 1937 Pattern Web No 1 Mk III Bayonet Frog with retaining strap.



Pattern 1913 Bayonet

The use of the Enfield P14 and Enfield P17 also saw the issue of these bayonets, for use with that rifle. The frog at top is the standard 1937 Pattern also illustrated above, and the British No. 6 1937 Pattern Bayonet Frog (narrower and without retaining strap).


No. 4 Rifle Bayonets

The No. 4 Mk I and No. 4 Mk I* rifles (introduced into Canadian service after Dieppe) differed from the SMLE in that a spike bayonet was attached with a simple socket attachment. The spike was much shorter than the sword bayonet of the older Lee Enfield. A variety of web frogs were used, including the longer version used by the sword bayonet, and later purpose built spike bayonet frogs which were much shorter. These will be found in khaki (1937 Pattern) and in green (as used by the later 51 Pattern equipment).

Spike Bayonets in various Mk I scabbards. Frogs are (left to right)

  • Mk I Spike Bayonet in British 1937 Pattern No. 1 Mk III Bayonet Frog

  • Mk II Spike Bayonet in Canadian 1937 Pattern No. 4 Mk I Bayonet Frog

  • Mk II* Spike Bayonet in British 1937 Pattern No.1 Mk III/No. 4 Mk I Bayonet Frog

  • Mk III Spike Bayonet in Canadian 1951 Pattern No. 4 Mk I Bayonet Frog

The Mk 5 Sten Gun (issued primarily to parachute troops) could also be fitted with a spike bayonet.


Mark II bayonet in Mk II Scabbard, Mark II* Bayonet in Mk III Scabbard, and Mk II* Bayonet in US M5 Scabbard

The frogs in use are the Canadian 1937 Pattern No. 4 Mk I Bayonet Frog, Canadian 1937 Pattern No. 1 Mk III/No. 4 Mk I Bayonet Frog, and the US M5 Bayonet Frog.



Blade Bayonets

The Spike bayonet was supplemented in Canadian service with blade bayonets of various types, as used by the No. 4 rifle. They served side by side with the spike bayonet.

  • No. 5 Mk II Knife Bayonet

  • No. 7 Knife Bayonet

  • No. 9 Socket Knife Bayonet



The No. 5 Bayonet was issued to the Exercise Eskimo infantry units who were trialing the No. 5 Rifle in 1945. (The No. 5 is popularly known as the "Jungle Carbine", a shortened version of the Lee Enfield with a cutaway forestock and large flash hider on the muzzle). With a similar attachment to the old SMLE bayonet, the ring was wide enough to pass over the flash hider on the muzzle.

The No. 5 Rifle was not adopted, and in fact had the shortest service life of any rifle in the history of the British Army, being an official weapon for just five years; its heavy recoil and "wandering zero" eventually led to it being dropped from official use.

The No. 7 Bayonet was issued to the Governor Generals Foot Guards during the mid-1950s and appear to have been used strictly for ceremonial parade use. Grips were possibly found in two colours, red or black.

The No. 5, 7 and 9 Bayonet used the same scabbard which was similar to that issued for the FNC1 Bayonet. The FNC1 Bayonet used the same blade design as the aforementioned bayonets, with the pre-FN Scabbards using a brass chape or throat piece, and the FN having a blackened throat piece.

X2E1 and C1 Bayonet

The C1 Bayonet was the standard bayonet used on the C1 and later C1A1 assault rifles, finally replacing for good the spike design in use since 1943. The web frog was only produced in green; by the time of the adoption of the FN in the late 1950s, 1951 Pattern gear (and the soon to be introduced 1964 Pattern) was the official pattern used by the Canadian Army. The frog at left is the Canadian 1951 Pattern FN Bayonet Frog, which was replaced by the frog at right - the Canadian 1964 Pattern FN Bayonet Frog.

The C1 Bayonet could also be fitted to the C1 submachine gun.


C7 Bayonet

The C7 Bayonet was adopted with the C7 assault rifle. The scabbard was in plastic rather than metal, and the Canadian 1982 Pattern C7 Bayonet Frog (the 1st type is illustrated here) used nylon in its construction rather than the traditional cotton webbing.



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