Original French MLE 1866-74 M80 Gras Converted Rifle with Saber Bayonet and Scabbard - Dated 1873

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 M80 was a French service rifle of the 19th century. The Gras used by the French Army was an adaptation to metallic cartridge of the Chassepot breech-loading rifle by Colonel Basile Gras. This example was originally a needle fire Chassepot, the French ignition system introduced in 1866. It was a single shot bolt-action rifle and was among the best of its kind at the type, being superior to the German Dreyse Needle fire system. It was quickly surpassed however,  principally by the British Martini-Henry system. In 1874 the self contained cartridge Gras bolt-action system was introduced, and the Chassepots in service were converted to this system, and had additional markings added indicating this.

The receiver on this nice example is marked MANUFACTURE / Châtellerault Mle 1866-74 over M80. The rifle has an issue date stamped into the barrel of C 1873, indicating that it was originally manufactured at Châtellerault as a Chassepot in 1868. It was then later converted to the Gras rifle system in 1882 at the same arsenal, indicated by the marking C 82. The rifle has mismatched serial numbers, with a clear AB 15750 on the barrel and bayonet stand, and different ones on the bolt components.

The rifle has an excellent bright bore with clear lands and grooves, and little sign of any real use. Overall condition is also very nice, though the stock has been refinished completely ,and most likely sanded down several times, so most of the original markings have been removed. Metal finish is very nice, with a nice blued finish on the barrel and receiver, and a worn bright finish on the bolt.

Included with this rifle a correct issue T-backed Straight-Bladed Model M1874 Gras sword bayonet with steel scabbard. This bayonet is in good condition, with a bright blade with a little corrosion, and all the correct issue markings, and no sharpening. The wood on the handle is nice, though the steel crossguard has suffered some corrosion. The T-shaped spine of the bayonet is marked Mre d'Armes de St. Étienne Février 1876, indicating manufacture at the arsenal in St. Étienne, during February 1876. The scabbard is mostly straight, with a bend near the end, and the finish is worn with some oxidation. Also included is a recent production reproduction French-style sling.

A really nice M-1866-74 Chassepot/Gras rifle with bayonet, fully cleaned and ready to display.


Year of Manufacture: 1873 - converted 1882
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

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