bayonet(redirected from bayonets)
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a cold-steel thrusting weapon, affixed to the barrel of a firearm (since the 1800’s, a rifle, carbine, or automatic weapon) for hand-to-hand fighting. The bayonet appeared in the mid-1600’s in France (where it received its name). Originally it was a shortened spear that was driven into the bore of a gun barrel; by the late 1600’s bayonets were made entirely of metal with a sleeve that fitted tightly over the gun barrel, which permitted loading and firing with the bayonet in place. The bayonet was adopted by Russia in the early 1700’s. Various armies have used bayonets with three or four faces as well as blades, both detachable and nondetachable.
After World War II, Soviet troops were equipped with a bayonet-knife having a flat blade with teeth on one side, a hand grip by which the weapon could be attached to a gun, and a sheath; the bayonet-knife could also be used as a saw.