I’ve never really been a bayonet collector, though I have a few relatively scarce ones because they go with a military rifle I own. I have a 1917 Enfield bayonet, for example, to go with my Winchester Model 97 Trench Gun. I also own two others because they go with two of my favorite rifles, but also because I think they are good examples of Swiss craftsmanship.

I like fine Swiss watches and firearms—two of those firearms are the semi-auto versions of Switzerland’s assault rifles. The first is a PE57, the semi-auto version of the STG (Sturmgewehr) 57. The STG57 was Switzerland’s first assault rifle, and as its designation indicates, it was adopted in 1957. Swiss reservists take their rifles home with them upon completing initial training and keep them in case they are mobilized. Generally, when a new weapon is adopted those reservists issued a previous weapon continue to use it. Hence, ammunition choice for the STG57 was determined somewhat by the 7.5x55mm GP11 cartridge used in the K31 rifle previously in service. Design of the STG57 was also influenced by the fact that Switzerland places great stress on marksmanship among its infantrymen. The STG57 is a very accurate rifle, but it is also a good-sized one—43.3 inches overall. Its design is very practical and has its own unique style, and the bayonet also reflects 1950s styling and Swiss quality.

STG57

At 14.6 inches overall with a 9.4-inch blade, STG57 bayonet, when affixed to the lengthy STG57, almost harkens back to the days when Swiss pikemen were the most feared soldiers in Europe. The bayonet can serve as a pike—it is an unsharpened double-edged with a spear point. The blade is stainless steel, which for some strange reason was left un-heat treated as a cutting tool. The grip is ribbed and offers a very sure surface when grasped. Makers were Waffenfabrik Neuhausen and Wenger, the latter well known for producing Swiss Army Knives. A leather frog attaches to a polymer sheath via a strap that fits through a loop on the sheath.

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