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Family heirloom Gras and bayonet

Les Fusils Militaires Français, Chassepot, Gras, Lebel, Berthier et MAS 36
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burban89
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Family heirloom Gras and bayonet

#1 Post by burban89 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:49 pm

This is one of my family's oldest heirlooms and one I treasure as a milsurp collector. This Gras and bayonet were brought home by my great grandfather during his service in WW1. He served with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces as a Howitzer gunner and was at the battles of Messines Ridge and Passchendaele before being exposed to mustard gas and sent home with a medical discharge. Somewhere during his service he acquired these and kept them hidden in his bedroom closet at home as he never wanted to remember the war after he made it back. My uncle ended up with possession of them after my great grandfather passed away in 1964 and he gave them to me a few years ago as a present. About the rifle, it is a complete mixmaster of parts but the main body of the rifle came from a rifle made in 1875 with a stock accepted in 1879. The bore is like a mirror and I doubt it has even fired a round since WW1 if not earlier. The bayonet was made in 1878 and was never unsheathed until it came into my possession where upon inspection revealed that the blade was in amazing shape for its age since it had never been polished or worked on since it was brought home in 1917. I found the sling at a gun show but I might opt later on to find a WW1 vintage sling instead of this later era sling.
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burban89
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Re: Family heirloom Gras and bayonet

#2 Post by burban89 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:50 pm

Here's some pictures of the bayonet.
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SmokinTurkey
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Re: Family heirloom Gras and bayonet

#3 Post by SmokinTurkey » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:13 am

Thats an amazing rifle and a wonderful family heirloom ! Thank you for sharing

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Re: Family heirloom Gras and bayonet

#4 Post by spentprimer » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:28 am

A great uncle on dad's side had one of these rifles. Dad had possession of it for a few weeks back in the late '60's trying to find ammo for it. Having no luck on that project it went back to the uncle who has since passed. The rifle went to his son, who is now deceased and who sold it to someone.

These are really cool rifles and I sure wish and had the one the uncle had. It is nice that you have the bayonet, too. Thanks for sharing the photographs and story.
This ain't Dodge City and you ain't Bill Hickok - Matthew Quigley

retread12345678
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Re: Family heirloom Gras and bayonet

#5 Post by retread12345678 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:35 am

Great to see an intact family involved with their history Iwould put together a history of this wounded veteran to preserve the record of his service

burban89
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Re: Family heirloom Gras and bayonet

#6 Post by burban89 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:51 pm

retread12345678 wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:35 am
Great to see an intact family involved with their history Iwould put together a history of this wounded veteran to preserve the record of his service
I actually have been assembling all of the info on my Great Grandfather as I could find but since he very rarely talked about the war the family doesn't know much more than me. I do have his attesion papers so that lets me know when he enlisted and a few basic facts about him. I also have cousins who are in possession of his uniform, medals, and unit insignias who've offered to let me see them next time I'm visiting them in Pennsylvania so maybe that'll help out a bit. I also might be able to either ask for those items to better preserve them (since no one else in the family's interested in them) or maybe even buy them from my cousins if money could be a factor for them.

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Re: Family heirloom Gras and bayonet

#7 Post by Cattus Borealis » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:14 am

Thanks for posting this!

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