Military Wiki
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 France
Service history
In service 1874–1886 (France)
Used by  Chile
 Kingdom of Greece
Wars French colonial expeditions,
Sino-French War
War of the Pacific,
Chilean Civil War of 1891,
Thousand Days' War,
World War I,
Battle of Crete
Production history
Designed 1874
Manufacturer Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne and Steyr
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 magazine
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.


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 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 Greek 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 guerrilla fighters, from the various revolts against the Ottoman Empire to the resistance against the Germans, acquiring legendary status. The name entered the 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 Greek 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.

Due to firearm shortages in World War I, France sent 450,000 Gras rifles to Russia. France also converted 146,000 rifles to fire 8mm Lebel in 1914. The Gras was used by the Greek Army as late as 1941 in the Battle of Crete.


See also


External links

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

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