M1788 & M1791 Hirschfänger

I have frankly never understood the M1788 dating, I would have thought this to be a M1801. But as this is an “established” model year, so be it. Decisions to make a hirschfänger like the M1801 might have been made in 1788 or perhaps the Danes found out that it would be cheaper to make a M1788 look-alike by cutting down some of their broadswords and started doing that in 1791 until they just about ran out of broadswords. I really don’t know.

To start off with the M1791 Hirschfänger. This is the stripped and shortened version of the M1750 dragonpallask (to the left) and a few of the M1740 (to the right). A pity ruining beautiful old swords only to make them into into long daggers. The M1791 has a twin edge blade where the old engravings usually are almost invisible as the blade was narrowed.

The M1801 was meant to be a bayonet for the jäger rifles and both the M1791 and M1788(?) had the bayonet attachment mounted (well, I’ve never actually seen a M1791 in bayonet version). As a bayonet, they were hopeless! They were way too heavy, they sat 5-6 cm to the left of the rifle unbalancing the rifle, they were highly impractical etc. But it should take a good 25 years to get rid of them – as bayonets.

Both the M1791 and the M1788/1801 were later used as sidearms in Norway after 1835.