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'Gras' bayonets that are for something else?


trajan

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The first attached photograph is from Carl's Old Smithy site, the second is one that has appeared for sale over here. It lacks a muzzle ring adjustment screw, and so is not a regular Gras, and its precise ID is uncertain. Carl (who does know a lot about such things) says:

"Originally thought to be a Kropatschek bayonet made for France by Steyr in Austria. It was found not to be one of these but despite finding one similar in another collection and a picture mistakenly id'ing as per my first impression (early Stephens book) I have yet to positively ID it. The best guess at the moment is that the item is a variation of the Remington Nagant made by Belgium for Russia, but this has still to be confirmed. The MRD is 17.5mm not 18 as per the Gras, and there is no muzzle ring adjuster either."

Anyone have any ideas?

post-69449-0-55107600-1399232758_thumb.j

This is from Carl's web-site

This next one on auction here in Turkey

post-69449-0-35652800-1399232778_thumb.j

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Quite a cool find :D

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Quite a cool find :D

Aye, but not in the best of conditions - but there again rare and unusual enough to be worth buying, I thought!

Trajan

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Very interesting find, Trajan. Any markings still visible? Although, I'd expect not, in that shape.

I must admit, I found your title misleading! I was expecting a discussion on Coppel Gras, or the commercial contract ones.

Is the mortise size and press stud lug the same as a normal Gras?

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Very interesting find, Trajan. Any markings still visible? Although, I'd expect not, in that shape.

I must admit, I found your title misleading! I was expecting a discussion on Coppel Gras, or the commercial contract ones.

Is the mortise size and press stud lug the same as a normal Gras?

Sorry about the title! No ideas as to markings or sizes yet, as it won't arrive until Thursday, but Carl at Old Smithy has confirmed that he has found out nothing more about these ones...

TTFN,

Julian

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Been thinking over dinner about what Carl wrote - he has probably seen more bayonets than you and I have had hot dinners (or donners [kebabs] if you like, what you over there call a gyro!), and has even circulated his own example amongst French collectors, with no feed-back, although his web-page hints at the possibility that it might be a version for the Rumanian Peabody... But, if he don't know, then certainly something out of the ordinary!

If we assume that my example is the same as his, that brings the known number of these to about four, and if they all have the same MRD of 17.5mm, then they must have been to fit something... Further speculation useless though until I get my one...But here is Carl's photograph of the unknown with a Kropatschek - and note the higher position of the Muzzle-ring...

post-69449-0-35366300-1399307276_thumb.j

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Aye, but not in the best of conditions - but there again rare and unusual enough to be worth buying, I thought!

Trajan

Yes well i wouldn't really know :D I just think it looks cool...

I'm more towards the side of...artillery and those such of things.

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Been thinking over dinner about what Carl wrote - he has probably seen more bayonets than you and I have had hot dinners (or donners [kebabs] if you like, what you over there call a gyro!), and has even circulated his own example amongst French collectors, with no feed-back, although his web-page hints at the possibility that it might be a version for the Rumanian Peabody... But, if he don't know, then certainly something out of the ordinary!

If we assume that my example is the same as his, that brings the known number of these to about four, and if they all have the same MRD of 17.5mm, then they must have been to fit something... Further speculation useless though until I get my one...But here is Carl's photograph of the unknown with a Kropatschek - and note the higher position of the Muzzle-ring...

attachicon.gifcomaprison iwht unknown 2.jpg

Also little thing to what you say in the start

A donner kebab is not a gyro...ive had a gyro...they have pitta, AMAZING :D also a mintish sauce within it...forgotten its exact name

a donner kebab is a turkish kebab...which is actually more upper class traditionally...but the kebab shops sort of invaded it with low price ones...(And yes, I do have a lot more expertise in food than in WW1)

Also a little side note...i think the one on the left might not be a original...or may not date back to WW1...though im just guessing, you'd have to tell me the metal for me to be certain if it is

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Not had a gyro for 20 years so can't comment on that really...But OnTopic, we'll see, what this bayonet is when it comes, I hope! The one on the left, though, identified and owned by one of the biggest US bayonet collectors, is a French navy issue of pre-WW1 date but used in WW1, and an example is listed as such in the main catalogue of French bayonets.

Trajan

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Well it has arrived, and very annoyingly I see that the seller has sharpened it, something not visible in the carefully angled photographs he showed... :devilgrin:

I need to get it home and then I'll check everything out, but a first look suggests no markings at all anywhere, and a quick measure with a ruler suggests that the MRD is about 18 mm, so close enough to Carl's example at 17.5 mm.

Trajan

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I haven't tried a clean yet (and so no photographs) but close examination with the old MGlass reveals no kind of markings anywhere on this strange beast of the pointed kind... It is in all respects a basic 'Gras' 1874, EXCEPT from the obvious (no muzzle ring screw) AND that:

1) The mortice slot is slightly shorter at 35 mm - the Gras is 37 mm.

2) The mortice slot is exactly that at 7 mm wide - not as on the Gras, wider at the top (11 mm) of the mortice slot proper.

3) The Muzzle ring is 8 mm above the tang - the Gras is 05 mm.

4) The MRD is between 17.5 and 18 mm - the Gras is 16 mm.

5) And there is no slot at the base of the muzzle ring (see the photograph of Carl's with a Grass in post 01)

There are no indications of any modifications - what you see appears to be what was made... So, always nice for an amateur collector to have a rare beastie (3-4 known examples, apparently), even if it is in crummy condition. But even better to know who the Putin (no swearing allowed!) made it! Any ideas or comments? Carl's web-page indicates just possibly for a Romanian Peabody...

Trajan

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Hi Trajan,

The title of your post brought to mind this photo I came across a while ago... It shows Gras bayonets being used "for something else"!

These are "Fianna Eireann" - they could be described as "Irish Volunteers Boy Scouts", but the Gras's small size and sword-like shape suited them as a side arm.

post-42233-0-03255100-1399562560_thumb.j


post-42233-0-10939000-1399562658_thumb.j

Would definitely beat a scout's knife in a fight!

Dave

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What a lovely photograph! I know that Gras are often (or sometimes?) used in Scottish sword dancing, but hey, that photograph makes me reflect on the tiddly little thing we had in English boy scouts!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Time to get back to bayonets, much as I am enjoying the Yate and Le Cateau threads!

This is not the best of photographs I know, taken quickly before I depart on a 10-day field trip, but here is a top view of my 'odd' Gras-type bayonet, at the bottom, against a regular French 1877 Gras. The pommel of the odd one is a brass of some kind, not quite as goldeny-coloured as the regular French Gras, but that might change with some cleaning; the mortice slot is quite different, at about 3.40 cm maximum, and the distance from muzzle ring to inner end of the mortice slot is 9.40 maximum. The muzzle ring can be seen in the original post.

Surely somebody has one like this - and knows what it is? :ph34r:

Trajan

post-69449-0-67115500-1400309974_thumb.j

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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress is being made on this one. Friend AndyB on GBF pointed out that the mortise slot and grip/tang length are appropriate for a Martini, and these dimensions do indeed match what I have on my Turkish Martin-Peabody bayonets... He suggests it's for a Romanian-made version of the Martini-Henry. These seem to be rather rare rifles, and so the rather rare bayonets to go with them.

That does seem probable. According to http://www.collectiblefirearms.com/RiflesMartini.html this Romanian version of the M-H (or M-P!) rfifle was :- "the first rifle adopted by Romanian army after the country declared independence in 1878. The rifle was manufactured by the Oesterreichische Waffenfabriks - Gesellschaft Steyr in Austro-Hungary...".

Add to that various posts on http://6dorobanti.ro/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1313874179 One states that:- "The correct bayonet for the Mod.1879 Peabody-Martini rifle used by Romania has a T-sectioned 523mm long blade; the bayonet resembles the French M1874 Gras". Another post adds a Steyr made and marked example of the bayonet and a third post gives us an Alex Coppel marked version. Sadly for me, mine is not marked - but at least I now know what it most probably is!

Oh, and before a Mod creeps in with a red card - yes, of course the rifles and so the bayonets were in use with secondary and tertiary units of the Romanian army in WW1! :whistle:

Trajan

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