4thGordons, on 12 August 2010 - 12:46 AM, said:
Yes Afghan made but I think in the official arsenal. The workmanship is a bit rough on the button but everywhere else it's fine. I don't think the blade is recycled and the hilt is identical length to all my others, MRD fine too, fits fine. Came with a version of the Indian pattern scabbard with the integral leather belt loop.
I have seen some marked with the Royal Afghan cypher which is like a star shaped seal. I think you'll find that the timber grips of the hilt can be marginally shorter, even lopsided which gives the impression of shorter hilt overall when viewed individually. The Afghan one in the centre of the photo shows that unevenness, also note the rivets not quite centred with slightly different spacing and no clearance hole. Does your scabbard look like the bottom one in the photo below.?
The top one is the Pattern 1888 Mk.I sword bayonet fitted with the regular Pattern 1888 Mk.I Land version scabbard in the earlier black leather.
The bottom one shows the Pattern 1888 Mk.II sword bayonet fitted with an irregular style of leather scabbard which is based on the Pattern 1903 Mk.I Land version.
There is a bit of uncertainty surrounding the origins of this type of scabbard with some speculation that it was an Indian pattern. The standard P1903 scabbard is fitted with an internal chape not the external metal one as shown here. I've recently found a reference from Skennerton's B&CB that from 1909 some of the scabbards were fitted with the external chape from the P1907 scabbard (also found in LOC 14866) so that sounds like the most plausible explanation.
Interestingly, all these brown leather scabbards that I have come across have been marked with the letters BAH together with a 3 digit rack number. Sounds like a cache of weapons and gear may have been unearthed in the more recent past, that was all originally marked to the same unit, and that stuff is now finding its way onto the collectors market. They do remain a bit of a mystery though.