A bayonet is a large knife or spike placed at the end of a firearm to be used as a close quaters weapon. Bayonets were more prominent in the age of muzzle loading firearms because these firearms only had one shot, after that shot the rifleman effectively became a pikeman. Bayonets mostly fell out of combat use in the 1950's with the introduction of assualt rifles to replace the clumsy boltaction and semiautomatic rifles in most armies.