Background About US M7 Bayonets and M8A1 Scabbards
The M7 bayonet was used by the U.S. military for the M16 rifle and later the M4 rifle and it fits others as well, designated as NSN 1095-00-017-9701. Introduced in 1964 with the Colt M16 rifle during the Vietnam War, they were initially manufactured by Bauer Ord Company, Colt and Ontario Knife Company. Later on other manufacturers made the M7 bayonet: Carl Eickhorn, Imperial Knife, Columbus Milpar & Mfg. (MIL-PAR), Conetta Mfg., Frazier Mfg. and General Cutlery (GEN CUT). The M7 was also manufactured under license in Israel, Canada, West Germany, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Australia.
The M7 bayonet is very similar to its predecessor the older M4 bayonet for the M1/M2 carbines from Korean War era, except that the M7 has a much larger muzzle ring. The M7 has the same two-lever locking mechanism on the pommel as the M4. The M4 is derived from the M3 fighting knife introduced in 1943.
The M8A1 scabbard manufactured later in WW II has the M1910 bent wire hook. The scabbard throat flange is stamped “US M8” or “US M8A1” on the flat steel part along with manufacturer initials. Later M8A1 scabbards were manufactured with a modified extended tab on the web hanger to provide more clearance for the M5 bayonet which rubbed against the wider bayonet handle.