Your Rifle Needs a Bayonet

Your Rifle Needs a Bayonet

Your primary home defense rifle needs to be able to take a bayonet, and you need to have a bayonet ready to mount to it.  You scoff, of course. You think, “I’ll just shoot them.  The military hasn’t used bayonets in years”.  But I ask you to remember what you’ve seen on the nightly news for the last few weeks and think about it.  What are you going to do when you find yourself in the middle of a violent mob that will rush you and kick your head into the pavement if they decide they don’t like you?  The military may have abandoned the bayonet, but I’m not in the military. Most of the time I’m at home with my family.  I have to think about what benefits me and my situation. I have seen enough videos by now to convince me that a sharp, pointy blade on the end of my rifle is very good, for two reasons.

The bayonet is on the rifle. And the chair is against the wall. The bayonet barely fits this 14.5" midlength with a pinned extended flash hider. but it DOES fit.

The bayonet is on the rifle. And the chair is against the wall.
The bayonet barely fits this 14.5″ midlength with a pinned extended flash hider… but it DOES fit.

First, it serves as a psychological motivation for people to keep away from you.  Occasionally, pointing guns at people does not seem to have an effect.  I know a man who spent time in the military over in Iraq and he commented that he could point a gun and angrily shout commands, but when he reached for his knife people started to take him seriously. Why is that?  I think it’s because most people have not been shot, but everyone has been cut or stabbed by something at some point in their lives.  Most of us understand blades at a much deeper psychological level than we do bullets. If a mob rushes upon you to do violence, a gun pointed at them may not deter them much if they don’t think you will use it (shooting it probably will), but if there’s a bayonet on the end of it, they will avoid it. If they rush you, you don’t have to take much action; they will be the ones injuring themselves. No one hates their own body, but cherishes it and cares for it. Nobody will willingly impale or cut themselves.  A bayonet is like barbed or razor wire for your person, clearly stating “STAY BACK”.  A group of friends all together with bayonets pointed outwards would be even better.  Your rifle needs a bayonet.  Your friends need bayonets too.

the classic. just look at it. a dangerous beauty.

the classic.
just look at it.
a dangerous beauty.

Secondly, it does serve as a backup to bullets.  Years ago I went to go see the zombie movie World War Z and sat by myself in the theater to kill some time.  The protagonist has to fight zombies and he taped a butcher knife to the end of his rifle.  I thought it was silly, but he had to fight on a tight stairwell and the rifle, as a firearm, was worthless.  The distances were just too short.  The zombies were grabbing and clawing at the hero, right up in his face, and the knife on the end of the “stick” was used to deflect and push them back. All of a sudden it didn’t seem so silly anymore.  I know; it’s a movie… But it looks similar now to the video I see from Minneapolis, Atlanta, NYC, Seattle, etc.  If you can’t use your rifle as a firearm, either because you are out of ammo or the bad guys are right up in your face, a bayonet on a rifle can be useful. Your rifle needs a bayonet.

An AR/M16 bayonet will properly fit the 20" rifle (top), 16" midlength (middle), 14.5" carbine (not shown) and a 14.5" midlength with an extended flash hider (bottom)

An AR/M16 bayonet will properly fit the 20″ rifle (top), 16″ midlength (middle), 14.5″ carbine (not shown) and a 14.5″ midlength with an extended flash hider (bottom)

But can your rifle take a bayonet?  Maybe not, even if it has a bayonet lug.  If you have an AK, your rifle will more than likely take an AK pattern bayonet if it has the lug.  If you have a 20-inch rifle or a 16-inch midlength AR-15 with a bayonet lug, it will take an AR-pattern bayonet.  But many older 16-inch AR rifles have the shorter carbine gas system, and although they have a bayonet lug, a bayonet will not fit properly.  The end of the muzzle is too far from the lug.  The bayonet will go on the rifle, but the seating ring will sit on the thinner barrel rather than be held properly by the flash hider.

16" carbine with an extender and bayonet. This device promotes social distancing.

16″ carbine with an extender and bayonet. This device promotes social distancing.

Some companies make an adapter to correctly mount a bayonet to a 16-inch carbine barrel.  The one I bought is made by  Triple-R products and functions as a simple extender for the lug.  It is meant to be attached and left on the rifle.  It looks a little goofy, but it is made of blued steel and seems robust.  It was about $30 and worth the money in my opinion.  My primary critique is that it had a lot of sharp edges and corners. But I want the bayonet sharp and the mount smooth, so I spent about an hour filing and sanding it down and rebluing it. A quick-release model is also available.

the Triple R solid mount attaches with three set screws and puts the lug at the right location for a 16" carbine gas rifle

the Triple R solid mount attaches with three set screws and puts the lug at the right location for a 16″ carbine gas rifle

The bayonet mounted to the 16" carbine gas rifle with the Triple R mount. It seems solid. We shall see. Without the extender the bayonet muzzle ring would rest on the thin barrel- not very effective.

The bayonet mounted to the 16″ carbine gas rifle with the Triple R mount. It seems solid. We shall see. Without the extender, the bayonet muzzle ring would rest on the thin barrel- not very effective.

But there are problem guns with no easy answer.  What about a short-barreled AR pistol, or a dissipator style rifle with a front sight base all the way out towards the muzzle?  Some companies make a short bayonet handle to fit these firearms, but they look flimsy to me.  I suggest you get a decent bayonet and cut it down to fit if you have the skills.  Another problem is a “modern” free-floated AR rifle with no front sight base or a bayonet lug. I’ve only seen a few adapters to mount a bayonet to the handguards, either Picatinny, M-Lok, or keymod, but they are either outrageously expensive or look gimmicky.  I think the best way to mount a bayonet to these rifles is just to create a blade that mounts directly to the handguard without using the lug feature at all.  I think there’s a market for this and hope companies someday offer direct-mount bayonets.  In the meantime, I hacked up a spare front sight base to get the barrel ring with the lug and then drilled and tapped it for three set screws.  It now serves on a rifle with a low profile gas block and a free-float handguard. It’s ugly, but it works.

A problem gun: how do you mount a bayonet to a 10.5" barrel. It has the lug, so it's possible...

A problem gun: how do you mount a bayonet to a 10.5″ barrel. It has the lug, so it’s possible…

Here's an answer to a short barreled rifle: a cut down bayonet! Unfortunately this is not for sale on cmmgs website.

Here’s an answer to a short-barreled rifle: a cut-down bayonet! Unfortunately, this is not for sale on cmmg’s website.

A problem rifle: How do you fit a bayonet on a free floated rifle with low profile gsblock? I cut off the barrel ring with the lug and drilled and tapped it or three set screws. It works, But if someone would make a lug that mounts to the M-Lok handguards, that would be better.

A problem rifle: How do you fit a bayonet on a free-floated rifle with low profile gas block? I cut off the barrel ring with the lug from a standard front sight base and drilled and tapped it or three set screws. It works, But if someone would make a lug or a blade that mounts directly to the handguards, that would be better.

If you want to buy a bayonet for an AR rifle, I suggest getting a surplus M7 bayonet.  They are selling right now in the $25-$50 range for used but decent.  Even eBay and Amazon have them. Occasionally new knockoffs can be found for less, and maybe less quality too.  Bud K online currently has a stainless one from China for under $20 that has decent reviews. This would be a good option for a cut-down bayonet to fit a short rifle rather than cutting up a sentimental GI bayonet.  If you want fancy, the new M9 GI bayonet and commercial ones will cost you a hundred dollars or more.  My only suggestion is NOT to buy a bayonet that either has a serrated or saw-back edge or one that has a hollow handle as a “survival” knife.  If you perform a bayoneting, the serrated or saw tooth edge will get caught on ribs or other rigid objects and be next to impossible to remove, and the hollow handle blades notoriously break.  It is true that I have no experience bayoneting anything, and have never received official government bayonet training.  But my dad fought in Korea and told a story or two. His advice was to turn the rifle sideways so that the blade goes between the ribs, parallel with them, instead of thrusting straight out with the blade edge perpendicular to the ribs, which usually resulted in a stuck blade.  But that’s all the advice I can pass along.

Surplus USGI M7 bayonet on the left and a Sarco "economy" knockoff on the right. The knockoff will work.

Surplus USGI M7 bayonet on the left and a Sarco “economy” knockoff on the right. The knockoff will work.

The riots and anarchy we see should make us consider every single tool available to us.  The bayonet has its place in the citizen’s toolbox.  Your rifle needs a bayonet.  Get one.  There are some shopping links below that will give you some options.

Maintain your Social Distance

Maintain your Social Distance

Bayonet options:

Triple R Products Bayonet Adapters

General Clamp-On bayonet lug

Side mount to modern handguards:

Universal Bayonet Mount

16″ Carbine Mount Extended Adapter

Standard Bayonets

Marine OKC3S

M9 Bayonet with Scabbard

Ontario Knife M7 with Scabbard

Ontario Knife M7-B with Scabbard

Written by Theoden


  1. CapnMike · June 23, 2020

    Good article.
    I was lucky enough to have gotten US Army Bayonet Training back in the day and it’s a very effective psychological weapon. That’s how it was traditionally used for crowd control.
    And “When the cartridges run out” I would rather have an expensive aluminum spear in my hand then an expensive aluminum club.

  2. Mark H · June 23, 2020

    Decent article although “I’m” not ‘feeling the pressure at the moment’. Good reply “Cap’n Mike” BTW. I do have 2 M7’s, both of which are at the ready…not affixed, but at the ready.

  3. Geoff · June 24, 2020

    None of my ARs have a bayonet lug, I guess I could duct tap my Bowie Knife to one.
    My M1 and my 1918 Enfield have bayonet lugs, but I don’t have bayonets for them.

  4. Shane · June 25, 2020

    I think a bayonet is worth considering for the home defense role. I do wish there were more options, and lower-priced ones.

  5. h0neyc0mb · June 27, 2020

    How’s your accuracy with it attached?

    • Richard · June 27, 2020

      Unaffected within 40 yards, that was the farthest target at the match I shot at last weekend. I have never compared accuracy with and without a bayonet at 100 yards.

  6. cthulhu · August 15, 2020

    either do it right, or don’t do it at all. applies specifically to bayonets. does not fit correctly on the 16″ midlength, it will twist and then break the blade. the extendo-adapter helps only slightly. so forget it. the 16″ carbine is even worse and requires one of those clamp-on adapters, which, if it comes loose… you either break the blade, or you just closed with the enemy while repeatedly poking him with the muzzle wondering why nothing is happening. how do you think that is going to turn out for you. the 14″ carbine does not fit good enough. it can, possibly, get knocked off the muzzle, in which case it twists on the FSB lug and breaks part of it off rendering it useless.

    only the 20″ Master Race can properly deploy the bayonet. disregard these fools that claim otherwise.

    • Theoden · August 15, 2020

      A bayonet works just fine on a 16″ midlength, identically to how it works on a 20″, the only difference is length of reach. The adapter for the 16 inch carbine appears to be rigid and works fine to mount. I have not bayonetted anything or anybody yet to test it. We disagree, you and I, but at least we are clear.

  7. desertpartisan · August 29, 2020

    Or you can get more ammo to make sure you never have to use a bayonet, choose targets and your shots well enough to not use a lot of ammo to accomplish a task, OR possibly avoid engagements with people trying to do you harm in accordance with utilizing the least amount of ammo for a given task.

    I understand the concern for having for CQB, but realistically if we’re having to resort to bayonet fights at close range with enemy combatants, something went horrendously wrong with planning and scheme of maneuver.

    • Theoden · August 29, 2020

      Perhaps, but I see examples of society gone horrendously wrong on the news almost every night now. It should now be considered common.

  8. Kevin's Concealment · September 29, 2020

    I’m about to try making some by welding 4″ to 5″ of 7/8″ tube onto a flash hider, grinding it down in a long forward slope to a point, and heat treating it. I have 4130 tube ordered from Aircraft Spruce and I think it’ll work. A bayonet could have saved Kyle Rittenhouse a world of grief.

  9. RF6Gun · October 31, 2020

    I just assembled a PSA Classic 16″ kit using my LAST $50 Anderson lower (DAMN), it has a bayonet lug but bayonet was way down on the barrel. I didn’t need a gas port but I ordered Brownells AR15 Modular gas block kit and Modular gas block lug, mounted it ahead of existing front sight assembly. Installed Crimson Trace laser on top rail of it, screwed bayonet lug to the side and can still access the original lug for a bipod. Also as you pointed out the bayonet is now mounted sideways to slide between Zombie ribs!! So it took care of 2 issues, laser mount and bayonet position. Kit 080000382, lug 080000439

  10. Jeffrey Francis Szabo · June 26, 2021

    I don’t know where you get that the military has rid itself of bayonets. Everyone gets one!

  11. Jeffrey Francis Szabo · June 26, 2021

    There are many examples of hand to hand combat in ‘rifle’ wars; and no tactical mistakes were made. It just evolves that way. Read more history. Run out of ammo and you WIL thank GOD you have your bayoney!

  12. Papa Dutch · August 27, 2021

    You can take rifle scope rings or a full rifle scope rail of the correct size for a bayonet and attach it to an MLOK rail under your rifle. Add a quick release if you want to be able to easily remove it. Improvise, adapt, overcome!

  13. John · June 20, 2022

    I have the M7, M9, and USMC OKC3S bayonets. The M9 and OKC3S are beefier and less likely to break in actual use than the M7 which was made for primarily for stabbing and little else. The M9 and OKC3S are more utilitarian and can be used to slash as well as stab. The muzzle ring on the OKC3S is located very slightly farther from the pommel lug but should work on a 20″ and a 16″ with a mid-length gas port. The M9 has the wire cutter feature for cutting barbed and razor wire in conjunction with the M10 scabbard. Haven’t tried it on Hurricane fencing but it would probably cut that soft steel wire as well. Put a bayonet lug on my 18″ Remington 870 Tactical and the muzzle ring goes over the end of its magazine extension (same length as barrel). The military has put M7/M9 bayonet lugs on their shotguns using a clamshell that goes around the barrel and magazine tube as the magazine alone isn’t sturdy enough. Very intimidating combination. My bayonet lug is aftermarket but mounts much the same way. The M7 and M9 fit it perfectly. I’d have to move it slightly rearward for the OKC3S (not worth the bother). The weight of the bayonet changes the balance of the rifle or shotgun significantly.

    Not a big fan of the extender for a carbine gas port on a mid-length 16″ barrel rifle – if the bayonet will actually be used. The weak point is where the bayonet pommel attaches to the extender lug. If actually used, bayonet attachment to the rifle must be quite sturdy to withstand considerable twisting and bending forces. A mid-length rifle should have the matching mid-length gas system. As a footnote, I never liked the M6 bayonet for the M-14 (different from the M5 for the M-1 Garand and Carbine). Its locking mechanism wasn’t the best and they did occasionally come flying off the end of the rifle when performing manual of arms with bayonet attached – causing considerable consternation among those in the general direction of its trajectory. Ceremonial units using the M-14 will use a method of some type to ensure the bayonet stays on once mounted. I can attest – from personal experience having used one in the military – that a bayonet on a rifle or shotgun is extremely intimidating – and tends to discourage attempted grabs of the barrel by an adversary.

  14. Pigg Sticker · August 15, 2022

    Amen, and AMEN !!! I searched Long and Hard for my OKC Marine Bayonet for my Colt AR. Needed an extender, but it sits Well and Looks “Vewwy Skewwy” to one and all. (ps… it also fits my 12g 590 and Looks REALLY Vewwy Skewwy)

  15. Woody · March 12, 2023

    So what is the premier length of the rifle barrel to be able to attach a bayonet to an AR-15?

    • Theoden · March 12, 2023

      A 20″ barrel with a front sight base is the original, and a 16″ barrel with a mid-length gas system and front sight base will also work. A 16″ barrel with a carbine length gas system will not work without the adapter. A 14.5″ or 14.7″ barrel with a carbine gas system will work, as that’s what the military uses with the M4.

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