can anyone shed some light...

is it illegal to sharpen a bayonet?
My understanding is that the answer would be no..... What if in a time of war?

But don't some of the scabbards include a sharpener? Of course, you could use it to manicure your nails...

You don't sharpen your Bayonet usually because it's designed to Tear and rip, not slice so don't do it.....
cheers Kingo

it was just something i was hoping to clear up, i would just like to have that one in the bank should someone ask me in the LOAC presentation...... considering whats been happening in the desert, I'm sure one or two lads will ask the question considering we're heading there soon.
I think bayonets are ONLY to be sharpened on initial issue and during war.

(Thought it would be better to do it before the war thing - not in the middle of it.)

Have a chat with your local neighbourhood armourer, they will have all the info on said pointy things!

Tally Ho!

Sharpening your bayonet is an act of war, a bit like calling up reserves and moving to the borders.
Never sharpen your bayonet unless on ops and it actually needs it. You will get a sharp one to play with for real. Hopefully. Maybe.

Seriously though, for training there is no need. Also, it's a bored squaddy thing. When they get handed back in they look like steak knives. Also, Kingo is right, sharpening the wrong bit ruins the bayonet.
Things would have to that bad that you have got to the point deciding if your bayonet is sharp enough.

Because by the time you are going to stick it in an ‘Enemy’ you would have suppressed him, tossed a grenade in his lap, then a given him a few rounds rapid.
(Don’t do a burst of auto anymore!).
"Bayonets should be sharpend by the user on the transition to war" (as per the SA80 training pamphlet) hence the sharpening stone on the scabard if you have dificulties with any weapons consult your unit Armourer.

Many years ago as a relative youngster I did a First Aid course with the St Johns Ambulance Brigade in Twickenham. One week a doctor came to talk about emergency aid, it was Dr John Burton, a Coroner (who I think did the inquest on Princess Diana). He told us that he had been a Surgeon Commander on one of HM's war canoes, must have been about 1960. One day sitting in the sick bay, a marine came in. He had been sharpening his pointy thingy till it was really unfriendly, but it had slipped and sliced open his right thumb. Badly. He clamped left hand round it and headed to the doc. On arrival he snapped to attention and threw up a crisp salute - but that measnt he took the pressure off. He left a red line across the floor, up the wall, across the ceiling, ending over his head, and stood there, blood draning from thumb and dripping from the line across the ceiling. As the doc said, he ddn't know wherther to reply with a salute or get the needle and cotton. I learnt about pressure on wounds and avoiding sharp things as far as possible that night.
The correct answer with the bayonet question is:

You shouldn't sharpen the bayonet. It means the MOD will have to buy you a new one when there's nothing left of the old one. When you go to war you have to sharpen it till its as sharp as you can get it. That said. The bayonet is for stabbing, not cutting. When you clean your bayonet you must only use water and a cloth. Using oils etc could result in you being taken to a military court for using chemical warfare.
so what happens if you let the thing get a bit rusty and then educate someone with? do you still get done by a military court plus they will be to busy with other things than if youve used a bit of wd40 on your bayonet
The present issue "sword" (in Rifle Brigade parlance) should probably not be sharpened as it is crap. It is good psychological weapon but a useless bayonet. Has anyone ever used that ridiculous wire-cutter?
I believe its legal to sharpen but illegal to paint them (I think we painted some SLR ones for a parade).

Its illegal cause its against the geneva convention, cause you could give the person poisioning when you've stabbed them ...........

or was I wha'd in my early days


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Think it also depends on whether you're sharpening them in full view of any prisoners!
Rifleman69 said:
The present issue "sword" (in Rifle Brigade parlance) should probably not be sharpened as it is crap. It is good psychological weapon but a useless bayonet.
It seemed to work fairly well on Telic 4.
It's not illegal, just sad. Remember the SA80 bayonet is a multi purpose piece of cack, and for most purposes it's useful for the blade to be sharp. IIRC the ban on sharpening was as a cost saving measure shortly after initial issue in the mid 80s, when the novelty of stropping the bayonet on the scabbard sharpening stone was causing a lot of bayonets to be damaged, as sharpening the bayonet evenly along the blade's length seemed to be beyond the average Tom.
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