Back in 1982 while I was in the 10th Special Forces Group (Abn) we had a briefing on the Falklands campaign by a British Major. The Scots Guards had been ordered to attack Mount Tumbledown, which was defended by the regulars of the Argentinian 5th Marine Battalion. Due to the rough, exposed terrain, the Scots Guards put in assault at night and made effective use of their bayonets on the enemy troops. Shortly afterwards, the British Army re-thought the specifications for their then new rifle, the SA80 (now the much-improved L85A2), a weapon not originally designed to take a bayonet. When you look at the current British bayonet’s round hollow handle and the way it fits over the flash suppressor with an offset blade, it does look like an afterthought.

Currently the U.S. Army’s Improved Carbine Competition (ICC) program is looking for the next generation of battle rifle. I recently talked with an Infantry NCO who was astounded that the army had decided that whatever rifle was adopted, it should take a bayonet. His reasoning was that many units in Afghanistan do not carry bayonets, partly because of the type war they are fighting (chasing bandits around the hills) and partly because of the very heavy loads they carry. There is an age-old truism in the army that we always train to fight the last war. If you are following current events in Asia, who is to say the next conflict will not be one of a more conventional type, with World War II-style amphibious landings on numerous Pacific islands and massive infantry attacks by both sides?

Adaptive Combat Bayonet

Good friend, Special Forces Chief Warrant 3 (Retired) Michael Haugen, is currently the Director of International Military/Law Enforcement Sales for Remington Defense. He recently casually mentioned, “Hey, we have a new bayonet, would you like to see it?” But of course!

The ACB is made in Italy by Fox, has a blade made of 440C (HRC 60-61) just over 7 inches long, 1.38 inch wide and 3/16 inches thick. The blade is clip-pointed with a slightly re-curved edge and very aggressive serrations. The spine of the blade has 3-inch section of double-row saw teeth. There is also a rectangular hole cut out of the blade that mates with a stud on the scabbard, allowing the user to cut barbed wire obstacles. The blade is coated with black “Idroglide” which eliminates reflections and provides additional corrosion resistance.

The 4.88-inches long handle of the ACB is covered with black “Forprene” a vulcanized Thermoplastic Elastomer. Because it is a bayonet, there is a muzzle ring/guard and a lug latch on the pommel. Note: the ACB is designed for rifles with barrels 14.5 to 20 inches, and certain military-issue flash suppressors and muzzle breaks (birdcage types, Izzy brakes, Phantoms, Mini and Y-comps). The muzzle ring opening is a NATO STANAG 22mm. The ACB without scabbard weighed in at 13 ounces.

The scabbard is in two parts, a fiberglass/nylon body that holds the ACB, and a Cordura “Frog” that straps around the scabbard. The frog has a belt loop, is fully MOLLE compatible and has a vertical retention strap. On the back of the scabbard is a 2.75-inch long diamond sharpening pad, and a drainage hole in the tip. The scabbard weighs another 10.5 ounces for a total of 23.5 ounces.

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