Original French Gras 11m Model 1874 Carbine with Bayonet dated 1881 - Camel Gun
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a French 11mm Model 1874 Gras Carbine actually dated as manufacture of 1881. It is all BRASS mounted, which the French reserved for Colonial Service, not Naval as one might expect. The Gun does not have all matching numbers but does comes with its fitting Saber M-1866 Bayonet, which does match to the serial # on its scabbard. The blade was unfortunately once heavily rusted, but has cleaned up nicely.
This carbine shows a lot of use but is totally honest, with considerable old pitting on the left side of the action and on the barrel. Still totally operational for dry firing. The corrosion has unfortunately obliterated most of the markings, though ARMES is still visible on the receiver. This normally would have indicated the manufacturer.
A very romantic Camel Carbine from the days of the FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION. Remember the great Foreign Legion Movie "BEAU GESTE" with Gary Copper saving the day ? Fully cleaned and ready to display.
These short compact bolt action Carbines were single shot were and ideal for use by the Camel Corp in the French North African Sahara desert. Carbine shows use but is totally honest and getting hard to find especially in nice condition and with Matching Serial numbers. The bore is in excellent clean condition, with clear rifling.
History of the Gras rifle:
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 Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne, one of several government-owned arms factories in France. However most of the Gras rifles (60,000) used by the Hellenic military were manufactured under licence by Steyr in Austria.
The Gras rifle was partly the inspiration for the development of the Japanese Murata rifle, Japan's first locally-made service rifle.
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