Fusil Gras mle 1874

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Gras M80 Model 1874 rifle
Fusil Gras M80 Modèle 1874
Fusil Gras M80 1874.jpg
Fusil Gras M80 1874
Type Bolt-action rifle
Place of origin France
Service history
In service 1874 onwards (France)
Used by Chile
France
Kingdom of Greece
Monaco
Wars French colonial expeditions
Sino-French War
War of the Pacific
Chilean Civil War of 1891
First Italo-Ethiopian War
Thousand Days' War
Greco-Turkish War (1897)
Balkan Wars
World War I
Greco-Turkish War (1919–22)
Spanish Civil War
World War II
Battle of Vimy Ridge
Second Italo-Ethiopian War
Production history
Designed 1874
Manufacturer Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne and Steyr
Specifications
Weight 4.15 kg (9.15 lb)
Length 1305 mm (51.4 in)
Barrel length 820 mm (32.3 in)

Caliber 11×59mmR[1] & 8×50mmR Lebel
Action Bolt action
Feed system Single shot, 10 round gravity hopper
Sights Iron sights

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.

Description[edit]

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.[2] Those were soon emulated by the Germans with the 1871 Mauser.[2]

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.

According to the Vietnamese historian Phạm Văn Sơn, a Vietnamese general in the Hương Khê uprising, named Cao Thắng (1864-1893), managed to copy the design of "a 1874 type fast-firing rifle of French". However, the Vietnamese version did not have a rifled barrel, and the range was limited.[3]

Comparison with contemporary rifles[edit]

Comparison of 1880s rifles[4]
Calibre System Country Velocity Height of trajectory Ammunition
Muzzle 500 yd (460 m) 1,000 yd (910 m) 1,500 yd (1,400 m) 2,000 yd (1,800 m) 500 yd (460 m) 1,000 yd (910 m) 1,500 yd (1,400 m) 2,000 yd (1,800 m) Propellant Bullet
.433 in (11.0 mm) Werndl–Holub rifle Austria-Hungary 1,439 ft/s (439 m/s) 854 ft/s (260 m/s) 620 ft/s (190 m/s) 449 ft/s (137 m/s) 328 ft/s (100 m/s) 8.252 ft (2.515 m) 49.41 ft (15.06 m) 162.6 ft (49.6 m) 426.0 ft (129.8 m) 77 gr (5.0 g) 370 gr (24 g)
.45 in (11.43 mm) Martini–Henry United Kingdom 1,315 ft/s (401 m/s) 869 ft/s (265 m/s) 664 ft/s (202 m/s) 508 ft/s (155 m/s) 389 ft/s (119 m/s) 9.594 ft (2.924 m) 47.90 ft (14.60 m) 147.1 ft (44.8 m) 357.85 ft (109.07 m) 85 gr (5.5 g) 480 gr (31 g)
.433 in (11.0 mm) Fusil Gras mle 1874 France 1,489 ft/s (454 m/s) 878 ft/s (268 m/s) 643 ft/s (196 m/s) 471 ft/s (144 m/s) 348 ft/s (106 m/s) 7.769 ft (2.368 m) 46.6 ft (14.2 m) 151.8 ft (46.3 m) 389.9 ft (118.8 m) 80 gr (5.2 g) 386 gr (25.0 g)
.433 in (11.0 mm) Mauser Model 1871 Germany 1,430 ft/s (440 m/s) 859 ft/s (262 m/s) 629 ft/s (192 m/s) 459 ft/s (140 m/s) 388 ft/s (118 m/s) 8.249 ft (2.514 m) 48.68 ft (14.84 m) 159.2 ft (48.5 m) 411.1 ft (125.3 m) 75 gr (4.9 g) 380 gr (25 g)
.408 in (10.4 mm) M1870 Italian Vetterli Italy 1,430 ft/s (440 m/s) 835 ft/s (255 m/s) 595 ft/s (181 m/s) 422 ft/s (129 m/s) 304 ft/s (93 m/s) 8.527 ft (2.599 m) 52.17 ft (15.90 m) 176.3 ft (53.7 m) 469.9 ft (143.2 m) 62 gr (4.0 g) 310 gr (20 g)
.397 in (10.08 mm) Jarmann M1884 Norway and Sweden 1,536 ft/s (468 m/s) 908 ft/s (277 m/s) 675 ft/s (206 m/s) 504 ft/s (154 m/s) 377 ft/s (115 m/s) 7.235 ft (2.205 m) 42.97 ft (13.10 m) 137.6 ft (41.9 m) 348.5 ft (106.2 m) 77 gr (5.0 g) 337 gr (21.8 g)
.42 in (10.67 mm) Berdan rifle Russia 1,444 ft/s (440 m/s) 873 ft/s (266 m/s) 645 ft/s (197 m/s) 476 ft/s (145 m/s) 353 ft/s (108 m/s) 7.995 ft (2.437 m) 47.01 ft (14.33 m) 151.7 ft (46.2 m) 388.7 ft (118.5 m) 77 gr (5.0 g) 370 gr (24 g)
.45 in (11.43 mm) Springfield model 1884 United States 1,301 ft/s (397 m/s) 875 ft/s (267 m/s) 676 ft/s (206 m/s) 523 ft/s (159 m/s) 404 ft/s (123 m/s) 8.574 ft (2.613 m) 46.88 ft (14.29 m) 142.3 ft (43.4 m) 343.0 ft (104.5 m) 70 gr (4.5 g) 500 gr (32 g)
.40 in (10.16 mm) Enfield-Martini United Kingdom 1,570 ft/s (480 m/s) 947 ft/s (289 m/s) 719 ft/s (219 m/s) 553 ft/s (169 m/s) 424 ft/s (129 m/s) 6.704 ft (2.043 m) 39.00 ft (11.89 m) 122.0 ft (37.2 m) 298.47 ft (90.97 m) 85 gr (5.5 g) 384 gr (24.9 g)

Users[edit]

  •  Chile during the War of the Pacific
  •  Ethiopian Empire: the Gras was used by the Ethiopian Army[5]
  •  France: due to firearm shortages in World War I, France converted 146,000 rifles to fire 8mm Lebel in 1914
  •  Greece: the Gras was used by the Hellenic Army as late as 1941 in the Battle of Crete
  •  Monaco
  •  Russian Empire: due to firearm shortages in World War I, the Russian Empire received Gras rifles from France[6][7] France sent 450,000 Gras rifles to Russia.[8]
  • Vietnam: Vietnamese insurgent of the Hương Khê uprising managed to produce the copy version of Fusil Gras mle 1874. The Vietnamese version did not have rifled barrel, though.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://members.nuvox.net/~on.melchar/11gras/index.html
  2. ^ a b The Tools of Empire by Daniel R. Headrick p.98
  3. ^ Phạm Văn Sơn, Việt sử tân biên (quyển 5, tập trung). Tác giả tự xuất bản, Sài Gòn. 1963. p. 147
  4. ^ "The New Martini-Enfield Rifle" (PDF). The Engineer. 2 July 1886. p. 16. Retrieved 3 April 2017 – via Grace's Guide to British Industrial History. 
  5. ^ Г. В. Цыпкин, В. С. Ягья. История Эфиопии в новое и новейшее время. М.: «Наука», 1989. стр. 217
  6. ^ А.А. Игнатьев. Пятьдесят лет в строю. том 2 (кн. 4-5). М., 1989. стр.127
  7. ^ "Во время первой мировой войны царская Россия испытывала недостаток в стрелковом вооружении, поэтому в армии кроме винтовок русского образца были также и иностранные - японские Арисака обр.1897 и 1905 гг., австро-венгерские Манлихера 1889 и 1895 гг., германские "88" и "98". Кроме этих винтовок использовались также и устаревшие образцы, стрелявшие патронами, снаряженными дымным порохом - Бердана № 2 образца 1870 г., Гра 1874 г., Гра-Кропачека 1874/85 г., Веттерли 1870/87 г."
    А. Б. Жук. Энциклопедия стрелкового оружия: револьверы, пистолеты, винтовки, пистолеты-пулеметы, автоматы. М., АСТ — Воениздат, 2002. стр.587
  8. ^ А. А. Маниковский. Русская армия в Великой войне: Боевое снабжение русской армии в мировую войну. М., 1937

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Chassepot Modèle 1866
French Army rifle
1874–1886
Succeeded by
Lebel Modèle 1886