The “India Pattern” socket bayonet was so called because it was made on contract for the East India Company (E.I.C.) for use with their .75 calibre India pattern Brown Bess muskets. When Napoleon began invading and conquering the countries of Europe, Britain ramped up their own preparations for war and in so doing, adopted the EIC’s India Pattern Muskets. India pattern muskets were simpler, faster and cheaper to produce. They were also available in large numbers.
Stock of India pattern bayonets and muskets were commandeered by the Board of Ordnance and EIC contracts with private sector manufacturers were taken over with all arms production being diverted for the British war effort. This bayonet was made under contract to the E.I.C by James Makin
Blade of bayonets made for the EIC were usually 25mm (an inch) shorter than their British counterparts. The British Land pattern Brown Bess bayonet having a 17-inch blade while the East India Companies, India pattern bayonet was 16 inches.
The triangular blade of this bayonet measures 408mm (16 inches). The bayonet has a total length of 528mm comprising a 103mm long socket with an internal muzzle ring diameter of 25mm at the back and 23.7mm at the front.
The bayonet is in fair condition with pitting and a salt & pepper patina. The face of the blade is stamped with a worn Tower inspectors mark, showing only remnants of the crown and a clear numeral 6. The faint maker’s name, MAKIN is stamped below. James Makin produced these bayonets from 1795 - 1814.
This is a fair example of a socket bayonet for the famous India pattern Brown Bess musket, almost certainly issued for use during the Napoleonic Wars.
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