Copyright 2006 T. Sheil & A. Sheil  All Rights Reserved

Milihistriot Quarterly

The Journal for Military Miniature Enthusiasts

Modern Bayonet


Back in my own basic training, we were introduced to the "instinctive" style of bayonet fighting.  It had been used by the Marines for many years, and had been "imported" to the Army in 1970 or 1971. The idea was to use natural body motion as fighting technique.  The moves had similarities to boxing.  As far as I can tell, the Marines were using it prior to 1960.  They had a manual showing its use with an M1, against an "enemy" in the old camouflage coverall and "aggressor" helmet with the crest. In fact, I remember seeing this exact style being taught in a rerun of "Gomer Pyle."   

They had a point about it being instinctive. To this day, I can still do it. I was taught this style over 30 years ago.


Is the bayonet outdated? Recently in Iraq, a British Highland unit led a successful bayonet charge against Iraqi insurgents.  The Scots won, causing casualties but receiving nothing more than a few cuts and bruises.  Of course, people thought cavalry charges were outdated, but there is footage of one in progress in 1992 in Afghanistan. 

Once again, good reader, this is merely a demonstration for military miniaturists.  It is not a class in how to fight with a bayonet.  For that, seek a qualified instructor and learn under his direct supervision.


The basic stance is like a boxer's stance.  His left hand grips the forestock, his right holds the rear stock.

The Thrust

This strike is like a jab or straight right in boxing

Horizontal Butt Stroke

This strike is like a right hook or right cross in boxing

Vertical Butt Stroke

This strike is like an uppercut in boxing

The Slash

This strike slashes with the blade.

The Smash

This strike uses the end of the rifle butt


A parry moves the enemy's blade aside, leaving him open for a counter attack.

High Block

Sample of an Attack

in this example, the soldier in helmet parries his opponent's bayonet to the left.  He follows with a slash and then a butt stroke

Side Block

Modified Thrust

Soldiers are taught to hold the rifle by the stock when fighting.  However, there is a modified technique should the soldier be holding the pistol grip when a fight begins.. The modified thrust and modified slash are strikes made while holding the pistol grip.  They are necessary techniques in the days of modern assault rifles. A soldier need not shift his grip to face a sudden attack.

This technique of holding the pistol grip has used by the British since the 1950s.

Modified Slash

Disclaimer: the bayonet methods shown here are for illustrative purposes only.  They are not intended as actual instruction in bayonet fighting and should not be used as such.  Bayonet training is dangerous.  It can be as dangerous for the user as it is for the target.  If you wish to learn close combat, seek a qualified instructor. One should never attempt close combat without the instruction and supervision of a qualified expert instructor .


Click here to return to the bayonet listing

The funding for this work comes from sales of our products.  Click the links below to see them::

Military Miniatures: castings for the Miltiary Miniature painter: handcast figures of various eras, for the hobbyist who prefers to do his own work

Hand Painted Miniature Knights   : our handcast knights, finished and painted.

Historical Military Reprints : genuine military resources from World War II reprinted.

Shambattle Games ; classic rules for games with toy soldiers, knight and cowboys.

Please stop by to see our products.  We hope you will find something you want.

Click here to return to the main page