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
TypeBolt-action rifle
Place of originFrance
Service history
In service1874 onwards (France)
Used byChile
France
Kingdom of Greece
Monaco
WarsFrench 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[1]
Greco-Turkish War (1919–22)
Spanish Civil War
Second Italo-Ethiopian War
World War II[1]
Production history
Designed1874
ManufacturerManufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne and Steyr
Specifications
Weight4.15 kg (9.15 lb)
Length1305 mm (51.4 in)
Barrel length820 mm (32.3 in)

Caliber11×59mmR Gras[2] & 8×50mmR Lebel
ActionBolt action
Feed systemSingle shot, 10 round gravity hopper
SightsIron sights

The Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 M80 or Gras was a French Army service rifle of the 19th century. The Gras was a metallic cartridge adaptation of the Chassepot breech-loading rifle by Colonel Basile Gras.

Description[edit]

Converted from the Chassepot, the Gras[3] was in 11 mm (0.43 in) caliber and used black powder centerfire metallic cartridges with a 385 gr (24.9 g; 0.88 oz) bullet over a 78 gr (5.1 g; 0.18 oz) charge. It was a robust and hard-hitting single-shot weapon. Additionally it had a triangular-shaped Model 1874 "Gras" sword bayonet. By the time the Gras rifle was replaced in 1886 by the Lebel rifle about 400,000 Gras rifles had been manufactured.

The Gras was manufactured in response to the development of the Boxer cartridge in 1866, and the British 1870 Martini–Henry rifle which used it.[4] Those were soon emulated by the Germans with the 1871 Mauser.[4] The Hellenic Army adopted the Gras in 1877, and it was used in all conflicts until the Second World War. It became the favourite weapon of Greek guerrilla fighters,[5] 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, Cao Văn Thắng, 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.[6]

Modifications during World War I[edit]

Modified rifle[edit]

In 1914, the French Army modified 146,000 rifles to fire 8 mm Lebel in 1914, by using the barrel of a Lebel or Berthier rifle. They were used by second-line troops. In 1940, after the French defeat, most of these rifles were destroyed by the German occupants.[1]

Grenade Launcher[edit]

Gras rifles and the 11x59mmR cartridges were also widely used by front line troops as converted grenade launchers, known as Bombardes DR (grenade throwers) these conversions had cut down barrels and butts of varying workmanship and fired blank cartridges to propel the grenade, and were used as a crude form of trench mortar.[citation needed]

Users[edit]

Comparison with contemporary rifles[edit]

Comparison of 1880s rifles[15]
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)

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Guillou, Luc (April 2014). "Un centenaire bien oublié : le fusil Gras modifié 14 : « le fusil des pépères »". La Gazette des Armes (in French). No. 463. pp. 32–36.
  2. ^ http://members.nuvox.net/~on.melchar/11gras/index.html
  3. ^ "11x59R French Gras" in Barnes, Frank C. Cartridges of the World (DBI, 1972), P.199.
  4. ^ a b The Tools of Empire by Daniel R. Headrick p.98
  5. ^ Jowett, Philip (20 Jul 2015). Armies of the Greek-Turkish War 1919–22. Men-at-Arms 501. Osprey Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 9781472806840.
  6. ^ Phạm Văn Sơn, Việt sử tân biên (quyển 5, tập trung). Tác giả tự xuất bản, Sài Gòn. 1963. p. 147
  7. ^ Jowett, Philip (28 Jun 2018). Latin American Wars 1900–1941: "Banana Wars," Border Wars & Revolutions. Men-at-Arms 519. Osprey Publishing. p. 5. ISBN 9781472826282.
  8. ^ Г. В. Цыпкин, В. С. Ягья. История Эфиопии в новое и новейшее время. М.: «Наука», 1989. стр. 217
  9. ^ McLachlan, Sean (20 Sep 2011). Armies of the Adowa Campaign 1896: The Italian Disaster in Ethiopia. Men-at-Arms 471. Osprey Publishing. pp. 35–36. ISBN 9781849084574.
  10. ^ А.А. Игнатьев. Пятьдесят лет в строю. том 2 (кн. 4-5). М., 1989. стр.127
  11. ^ "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
  12. ^ А. А. Маниковский. Русская армия в Великой войне: Боевое снабжение русской армии в мировую войну. М., 1937
  13. ^ de Quesada, Alejandro (20 Jan 2015). The Spanish Civil War 1936–39 (2): Republican Forces. Men-at-Arms 498. Osprey Publishing. p. 38. ISBN 9781782007852.
  14. ^ Small Arms Survey (2003). "Living with Weapons: Small Arms in Yemen" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2003: Development Denied. Oxford University Press. pp. 173–174.
  15. ^ "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.

External links[edit]

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