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Original French Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 M80 Infantry Rifle by Châtellerault with Bayonet & Scabbard - Dated 1876

Item Description

Original item: Only One Available. The Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 M80 was one of the primary French service rifle of the late 19th century. The Gras used by the French Army was an adaptation to metallic cartridge of the Chassepot Mle 1866 breech-loading rifle, developed by Colonel Basile Gras. The first examples were in fact conversions of the Chassepot, replacing the needle-fire system with a bolt action one.

This is a very good example of the Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 M80, complete with an original T-Back Bladed M1874 bayonet and scabbard. The receiver on the rifle is marked MANUFACTURE D'ARMES / Châtellerault over M80, and to the right is the model designation Mle 1874. The rifle has a clear issue date marking of C. 1876 stamped into the right barrel nocks form, for manufacture at the Imperial Arsenal of Châtellerault in 1876.

It comes with all original steel mounts and an intact cleaning rod. Most fittings bear the correct government proof marks, though some are worn. The stock is in good condition with great color, though it appears to have been reconditioned at arsenal, which has made the markings faint. There are some small chips and gouges on the fore stock, and the stock and metalwork was varnished at some point.

This rifle has mismatched serial numbers, another indication of arsenal reconditioning. Serial number B 1278 is present on the barrel and bayonet stand, while the bolt and stock are marked with different serial numbers. The metalwork is in very good condition, having been reconditioned at arsenal. The bore is in very good condition, with crisp lands and grooves with just few small areas of oxidation. This rifle saw long service, but the bore seems to indicate that it saw little to no actual firing.

Included with this rifle a correct issue T-backed Blade Model 1874 "Gras" sword bayonet with steel scabbard. This bayonet is in good condition, with a bright blade with little corrosion, and all the correct issue markings, though it has been polished over the years. The T-shaped back of the bayonet is marked M're D'Armes de St. Étienne Août 1877, indicating manufacture at the St. Étienne Arsenal in August 1877. The hilt is in good used condition, while the scabbard is in great shape. It has had the hilt and scabbard varnished like the rifle.

An excellent condition Antique French Gras Rifle, Complete with original Gras Bayonet and Scabbard, ready to display!

This rifle had a caliber of 11mm and used black powder centerfire cartridges that weighed 25 grams. It was a robust and hard-hitting weapon, but it had no magazine and so could only fire one shot after loading. It also had a triangular-shaped sword bayonet, known as the Model 1874 "Gras" sword bayonet. It was replaced by the Lebel rifle in 1886, the first rifle to use smokeless gunpowder. In the meantime, about 400,000 Gras rifles had been manufactured.

The metallic-cartridge Gras was manufactured in response to the development of the metallic cartridge designed by Colonel Boxer in 1866 (Boxer cartridge), and the British 1870 Martini-Henry rifle. Those were soon emulated by the Germans with the 1871 Mauser.

The Hellenic Army adopted the Gras in 1877, and it was used in all conflicts up until the Second World War. It became the favourite weapon of Greek guerrilla fighters, from the various revolts against the Ottoman Empire to the resistance against the Axis, acquiring legendary status. The name entered the Greek language, and grades (γκράδες) was a term colloquially applied to all rifles during the first half of the 20th century. It was manufactured by various arms factories in France, though most of the rifles sent to Greece were made by the ŒWG Austrian Arms Factory at Steyr.

Specifications (Rifle)-

Year of Manufacture: 1877
Caliber:  11×59mmR Gras
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 32 Inches
Overall Length: 51.4 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: Single Shot

Specifications (Bayonet)-
Blade Length: 19 1/2"
Blade Style: T-shaped
Overall length: 24"
Crossguard: 4”
Scabbard Length: 23"

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