Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Czech VZ 24 Mauser Bayonet and Scabbard, Czechoslovakian VZ24

Today I will showing off and reviewing my Czech VZ24 Mauser Bayonet.  This is the bayonet that I have paired with my Romanian - Czech VZ24 Mauser that I will be showcasing in an upcoming post.


The VZ24 bayonets are not uncommon and it is thought that the Czech's manufactured several hundred thousand of these over the years!  Even though they are a "common" bayonet, that does not take away from their quality, and beauty.

The most unique feature on these bayonets is the "reversed blade".  When you first look at a Czech VZ24 bayonet, it looks like any other Mauser bayonet of the era, however, on closer inspection, it is apparent that the cutting edge is on the TOP of the blade!  It is not known why this blade configuration was chosen, but it is quite unique and distinctive.

Manufacture of these bayonets started in 1924, with the first production of the VZ24 Rifles and continued through until the end of WW2 with only a few variations.  
The first variation that you are apt to encounter is the VZ24 bayonet that has had the muzzle ring ground off so that it resembles the German K98 Bayonet. 
The next variation is a VZ24 bayonet that was manufactured without the muzzle ring.  

When the Germans invaded and captured Czechoslovakia, in 1939, they took control of the Czech firearm factories.  The Germans took control of vast numbers of VZ24 rifles and existing bayonets.  The Germans issued and used the Czech rifles and bayonets throughout WW2 and often entire military units were issued the Czech VZ24 rifles and bayonets instead of the German K98 Mausers.  

German soldier carrying VZ24 Rifle, bayonet with muzzle ring, and Czech shovel.
Initially the Germans issued existing Czech bayonets.  The Germans then had the muzzle rings ground off the captured VZ24 bayonets before issue, and then they changed the production lines to produce bayonets without the muzzle rings.  These "K98 Style" bayonets (bayonets manufactured without rings) were stamped with the three letter code of DOT and still retained the unique Czech "inverted blade" of the originals.  The Czech bayonets will fit both the VZ24 and K98 Mausers without any alteration, with or without the muzzle rings.

I am not certain of the exact date that production changed from producing bayonets with muzzle rings to those without, but I would assume it was shortly after Czechoslovakia was taken over by the Germans in 1939.

The Czech VZ24 bayonets with the muzzle rings, are not stamped with the date of manufacture, however, there is a Czech Army acceptance stamp that has the date the bayonet was put into military service.  It would be assumed that this date would very closely approximate the production year of the bayonet.

My bayonet is stamped with CSZ on the bayonet, indicating that it was manufactured by the Czech State Armory, "Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka".  The meaning of the letter B under the CSZ stamp is unknown, however I would guess that it corresponded to a "batch run" of bayonets.  These bayonets can be dated to a "time period" based on which side of the blade the CSZ is stamped on.  1923-1937 on the left, and then switched to the right side in 1938.  My bayonet falls into the 1923-1937 period, which matches the 1936 date on the scabbard.


The scabbard is stamped with the Czech Military Acceptance Stamp, a Bohemian Lion with the year code for 1936., as well as CSZ indicating the Czech State Armory for manufacture.


Let's take a look at a few more photos of this unique bayonet.















3 comments:

Anders Sørensen said...

hey.

do you know what the "S" stands for??

Anders Sørensen said...

The stamp "S" under The CSZ stand on The blade....

Unknown said...

The only visible markings I can make out is a Z with swirls in a circle. Can you tell me about that marking could it be a replica?