France WW1 M1874 Gras bayonet fighting dagger made from the “long sword” bayonet for Model 1874/1878 rifle; original cut-down matching-serial metal scabbard included. VERY rare WW1 bayonet-to-dagger conversion in great overall condition, considering the age.
Very cool and rare fighting dagger/trench knife made from the French M1874/1878 Gras rifle bayonet – this type was used by the French infantry in the trench warfare during WW1. Original “long sword” Grass bayonet blade has been cut-down to about 9″ / 23 cm, and the original “tapered T” blade re-shaped to a more practical and lethal dagger profile. In order to meet the demand for fighting knives at the frontline, these modifications were done by numerous private enterprises, as well as at the arsenals. These field-modified “bayonet daggers/trench knives” were popular with the French infantrymen as they provided to be much handier in the close-quarters fighting than the standard-issue extra-long Lebel rifle bayonet. Similar “Gras-bayonet conversion” types are illustrated on pages 43-45 of FRENCH FIGHTING KNIVES DURING THE GREAT WAR book by Christian Mery – a well-established expert and the author of a number of books on the subject of military edged weapons (see book’s page scan attached).
The dagger comes with the original matching-serial metal scabbard. The scabbard has been expertly cut-down and tapered to fit the new “short” blade. The scabbard in is excellent shape, considering the age. About 80% of the original finish remaining; minor surface rust spots are noted for accuracy. This dagger is about 14″ / 35.5 cm overall; the blade is about 9″ / 23 cm. Traces of the original engracing on the blade’s spine are clearly visible but the date has been cut-off. The dagger is in excellent overall condition, considering the age; all handle parts are solid; original curved quillion with arsenal markings is not damaged, the tip is intact; the scabbard is tight and problem-free. Very cool and very rare WW1 era French close-quarters fighting knife/trench dagger.
This old-timer is in 100% serviceable condition still, even after 100+ years. Today most of the surviving WW1 era French “Gras bayonet type” trench knives are in private collections & rarely come up for sale. Don’t miss your chance to add this original World War I era France WW1 M1874 Gras bayonet fighting dagger/trench knife to your collection!
We have a small but very interesting collection of various edged WW1 and WW2 era weapons to sell. Don’t forget to check out our Militaria section for other WW1 and WW2 era combat knives, including German WW1 era trench knives, vintage USAF WW2 Pilot Knives and a couple of rare WW2 “OSS Drop” knives we offer for sale.
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