View Full Version : Need help with French Rifle
August 20, 2008, 11:17 AM
I just bought this French rifle/musket/ gun. I assume it´s a rifle because the barrel has some pretty nice lands and grooves. The bore is around .50, depending on where I measured it. I´m attaching a photograph of the gun where the name and model of the gun appear. I need help to find out what type of gun it is and the caliber. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
August 20, 2008, 11:35 AM
This is one of several versions of the Gras M1874/80 rifle/carbine, chambered for the 11x59R cartridge; the "80" part of the designation (and the "M80" stamp) shows that this rifle was modified from the basic 1874 design to make pierced primers and split cases less of a hazard to the shooter, by directing the gas away from the user. It was built at the St. Etienne arsenal sometime between 1874 and 1880.
August 20, 2008, 11:43 AM
Can you give me more information on the cartridge it used or direct me to a website where I might be able to find more info on it??
Thank you very much for your prompt reply to my query.
August 20, 2008, 11:54 AM
This cartridge is also known as 11mm Gras, but it's long obsolete; it was even used during WW1 in a version of the Vickers machine gun used for shooting down balloons, but any rounds you find today are going to be collectible. If you were desperate enough, it's possible to reform 11mm Mauser brass to 11mm Gras, and reload it yourself, but you've basically got a wall-hanger on your hands.
August 20, 2008, 12:34 PM
If you were desperate enough, it's possible to reform 11mm Mauser brass to 11mm Gras, 11mm Mauser has a base diameter of .516" vs the Gras base diameter of .544", so that would be a very risky proposition, even loaded with BP. Besides, the rim diameter of the two are too different, so even if you could get the round to fire, it would probably not extract. Even if you are good with a lathe, and you could make a few cases, then you would need dies. Clean it up, hang it on a wall, and smile when you look at it.
August 22, 2008, 11:00 PM
Here's a place that sells Bertram brass cases for the 11mm Gras. It isntr cheap, at $66 per 20, but if you really want to shoot it, there dont seem to be many options. I feel your pain, as I pay about $45 per 20 for 11.15x60R brass for my old Mauser.
here's an auction on Gunbroker for 20 rounds of loaded rounds ~$70 for 20.
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