ID: 2619

French Grass Rifle Bayonet

This item has been purchased.

Description

The T-back sword bayonet mentioned here was designed for use with the 11 mm M1874 Gras rifle. The M1874 Gras rifle was a conversion of the earlier M1866 Chassepot design, modified to accommodate the 11.15 x 59 mm centerfire cartridge. This conversion was developed by Colonel Basile Gras, which is why the rifle is referred to as the "Gras."

M1874 bayonets were manufactured by various entities, including French state arms plants and government contractors, as well as commercial producers. These bayonets played a crucial role in equipping soldiers with a versatile weapon during the late 19th century. Here's a breakdown of the manufacturing origins:

French State Arms Plants:

Chatellerault
St. Etienne
Tulle
French Government Contractors:

L. Deny, Paris
Oudry, Paris
Oesterreichsche Waffenfabrik Gesellschaft, Steyr
Commercial Producers:

Alexander Coppel & Cie., Solingen
Francois Louis Henry, Chatellerault
Oesterreichsche Waffenfabrik Gesellschaft, Steyr
S.L., Saint Étienne (Sutterlin Lippmann & Cie.)
Government-issued bayonets typically featured markings on the blade spine that indicated the factory, month, and year of production, providing historical context for these items. Commercially produced bayonets may have different markings based on the manufacturer and location.

In the case of the example provided, it was manufactured in Austria by Steyr in 1879. Steyr produced a substantial number of M1874 bayonets for France and marked them in French as "Usine de Steyr" (Machines of Steyr). Steyr also produced M1874 bayonets for commercial purposes, which were marked in German as "Waffenfabrik Steyr" (Weapons Factory Steyr). This diversity in manufacturing and markings reflects the collaborative and international nature of arms production during that era, as well as the historical significance of these bayonets in equipping soldiers of the late 19th century.

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