Two types of bayonets were sent to Mexico with the initial batch of Mondragon rifles. One bayonet was a standard knife type, while the other was this radically new Spade type. Here is the original patent of the combined “weapon and tool.”
The pictures below are of the Mondragon spade bayonet. They are marked on the guard with “REPUBLICA MEXICANA” (REPUBLIC OF MEXICO). On the face of the blade, they are marked “HIERRO” and “MADERO” on either side and parallel to the strengthening rib. These markings, HIERRO which means “Iron” and MADERA which means “Wood” have long confused collectors for years as to their meaning. The original patent called for a different tempering of the metal for each edge of the bayonet. The MADERA side is for cutting wood and the HIERO side for cutting iron, such as barbed wire. The bayonet can also be used as an entrenching tool, and in a pinch…… impaling the bad guys. The holes on either side of the grip are for the rifle’s two-piece cleaning rod.
The spade bayonet on the left is on display at the Mexico Museum in Mexico City, the spade bayonet on the right was sold at a recent Julia Auction.
It should be noted these bayonets are rarer than the gun.
Closeup of the correct markings.
The knife bayonet is even more rare the spade bayonet, only one or two have been recorded. This one is from “Collecting Bayonets” by J.A. Maddox.
In my collection, I have a third type of bayonet that fits the Mondragon Model 1908. It is almost as if the original bayonet above, was cut down and removed of its frills and given a second edge to fit a soldier’s needs.
Below is a rare cased Model 1908 Mondragon rifle to presented to Alphonso 13th, the King of Spain in the early 1900’s. The original bayonet is missing, but you can see how this unknown model fits the original profile.
The empty slot above the bayonet is for a cleaning rod which was also missing, unfortunately!
Another blade that I have come across and is often mistaken as a Mondragon bayonet is this bowie type blade below as worn by the center soldier. Note the carbines and artillery logo on the kepis. Kid is kinda cute too.
It has been described as an additional knife blade issued to soldiers with a Mondragon rifle, which is wrong. Actually, it is more of a knife than a bayonet and was issued to soldiers in artillery units that were issued carbines which have no bayonet lug or bayonet. Its overall dimensions are about 22 inches long, with a 16 inch blade and is marked REPUBLICA MEXICANA (Republic of Mexico). The serial number is stamped on the Ricasso. The weight of both scabbard and blade is 1225 grams. The blade alone is 925 grams. It’s a hefty piece of steel.