Hirschfänger

Hirschfänger

Hirschfänger (German, lit. “stag catcher”), the sidearm of the Jäger and Schützen, which serves them as a bayonet. It consists of the blade, which, approximately two feet long, is provided with a cutting edge and a point, and of the hilt, of conventional design, similar to other Hirschfänger hunting daggers, and only fitted with a crossguard. There is an opening on the left side of the grip, where the Hirschfängerhaken (bayonet lug) of the Jäger rifle plugs in. An external spring, called Hirschfängerfeder, engages the opening with a small hook, and fits into a notch in the bayonet plug, to hold the Hirschfänger sword bayonet in place when it is attached to the rifle. Another type of bayonet for rifles are the so-called “Schwerdter” of the Austrian Schwerdt rifles, which have been used by the Prussian army (Silesian Schützen Battalion of the 1813–1815 Wars of Liberation) as well. The Schwerdt has a socket and an arm like the bayonet, which is why the stock of the Schwerdtbüchse is shorter than the barrel, to allow the Schwerdt to be fixed. The blade, which is over two feet long, and nearly 2 inches wide, has a single edge and a tip, and may be used for slashing as well as stabbing.

Source: Rumpf, H. F.: Allgemeine Real-Encyclopädie der gesammten Kriegskunst (Berl. 1827)

Military Glossary