Review: Waffentechnik Model B2K Hellion Bayonet
December 18th, 2023
6 minute read
Blades of all kinds pre-date firearms and remain useful as tools in everyday life. Resident knife expert Randall Wilson reviews the Waffentechnik B2K bayonet for the Springfield Armory Hellion. Does the Hellion bayonet perform in the real world? Read on for the full evaluation.
Yes, the bayonet is arguably a relic of the past. From the American Civil War to the trenches of World War I in Europe and beyond, we’ve all the seen images of rifles with blades affixed at the muzzle. Whether they are a practical addition or not, there is admittedly a certain fascination for many of us with these implements.
To that end, Springfield Armory provides a solution for owners of the 20” variant of the popular Hellion 5.56mm bullpup that want to “fix bayonets!”. Unlike the shorter 16” and 18” variants of the bullpup, the 20” Hellion features a handy lug for accepting a rifle-mounted knife — and Springfield has one to recommend. But more on that in a moment.
Gaining an Edge
Early bayonets were named after the Basque Bayonne region of France. In the 1500’s, hunters there carried a foot-long double-edged knife whose butt was inserted into the barrel of a musket. They were called plug bayonets for obvious reasons and were used to dispatch game.
Later socket bayonets affixed themselves around the barrel and allowed reloading without removal of the knife. In the late 1600’s, regiments of the French Fusiliers and British Dragoons began using the bayonet in warfare.
Since a musket is very slow to reload, wielding a bayonet could certainly be a lifesaver at certain moments. The bayonnette replaced the employment of dedicated pikemen to protect the musketeers during reloads.
The Springfield Armory Hellion bayonet, designated the B2K, is made by Waffentechnik, based in Solingen, Germany. The B2K bayonet is employed by the Croatian Ministry of Defence for use on the VHS-D2 bullpup rifles that are produced by HS Produkt (the manufacturer of the semi-automatic Hellion).
Offered in black or OD Green, the NATO-pattern bayonet’s flat ground Bowie-pattern blade is 7.3” of 440A stain-resistant steel, which has a high chromium content and moderate carbon. It resists the elements well and is relatively easy to sharpen. The bayonet has a special anti-corrosion coating on all metal parts and weighs in at 20.8 ounces. Overall length of the knife is 12.2”.
The handle scales are made from PA6 GK30, a resin which is reinforced with 30% glass beads. It exhibits toughness, heat resistance, and resistance to salts, chemicals, and corrosive media. Yeah, it’s a worthy polymer. It feels very non-slip in the hand.
A serious sheath accompanies the B2K. Waffentechnik calls it a Textile Wearing System. The sheath is composed of a web nylon and a polymer scabbard, and is MOLLE- & IDZ-compatible. A sapphire sharpening plate, drain hole, flat-tipped screwdriver, and lanyard tie-down enhance the TWS.
Waffentechnik Model B2K Bayonet Specifications
Here are the specs on the Hellion bayonet:
|440A Stainless Steel
|Black, OD green
|Wire cutter, sharpening plate, screwdriver
Wringing It Out
The blade’s clip and sheath combine to build a wire cutter that the manufacturer attests will sever hardened concertina. While I’m fresh out of that around here, I did find some lengths of galvanized steel cable and rod at the hardware store. While softer than concertina, the Hellion’s bayonet clip cut through the galvanized items with a sharp snap. Although there is a stop that keeps the blade from closing fully against the sheath, I would wear gloves and take special care when cutting in this manner.
My B2K’s edge required a minor touch-up to the 440A. It came reasonably keen from the factory, but I wanted to see if I could get it more “razory” for my assessment. Owing to the good edge geometry, some passes on a Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker satisfied this task.
[Catch Randall Wilson’s article How to Sharpen a Knife.]
A few ouchies were inflicted upon the B2K’s non-reflective coating during my testing. Much like a current knife-forging television show’s competition testing, I gave the bayonet no quarter. From slicing rope to chopping hardwood to bashing the edge on an ammo container, the bayonet proved to be very tough.
My efforts only slightly dulled the knife, which was brought back to sharpness without argument. I tried the sharpening plate attached to the polymer sheath body. While only about an inch square, it necessitates working small portions of the knife’s edge at a time. I would reserve its use for emergencies. But, it is very handy to have.
When tested on my personal AR-pattern rifle, the Hellion’s bayonet nested as advertised. I actually liked its looks when compared to my old U.S. Military M7 model, which I bought back in the 1980’s. The B2K appears more businesslike than its Vietnam War-era-looking counterpart.
In addition, I was able to acquire a 20” Hellion bullpup to act as a host for the B2K bayonet. I found that it clicked on solidly and securely to the Hellion, no surprise considering the fact the bayonet is employed on HS Produkt firearms. I did note that the unique configuration of a bullpup (where the action is located behind the trigger group) made the handling of the Hellion with the bayonet different than when I fitted the B2K to my AR.
A little research into bayonet usage revealed that some techniques have the operator grasp the narrow neck of a rifle stock behind the pistol grip with the rear hand. This lengthens the distance between the hands for more leverage. As a bullpup, the Hellion cannot practically afford this purchase. From an ergonomic standpoint, the dominant hand has to anchor on the Hellion’s pistol grip, which places the support hand just forward of it on the forestock.
The Springfield Armory B2K is a hearty companion to the 20” Hellion. With an impressive pedigree and clearly excellent quality, the Waffentechnik B2K Bayonet is a great accessory for your favorite bullpup. Priced at an MSRP of $299, it’s available in black or OD Green from the Springfield Armory Store.
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