French WW1 M1874 GRAS bayonet fighting knife made from the cut-down “long sword” bayonet for Model 1874/1878 rifle; scarce type in very good 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. In order to meet the demand for fighting knives at the frontline early in the war, these modifications were done by numerous private enterprises, as well as at some French 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. The original “long sword” Grass bayonet blade has been cut-down and re-shaped to a more practical and profile. 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).
This fighter is about 11-1/4″ / 28.5 cm overall; the blade is about 6-3/8″ / 16.2 cm. Original arsenal prof marks on the handle are clearly visible. The knife is in very good overall condition, considering the age; all handle parts are solid. Original curved quillion and protruding part of the bayonet release have been removed to reduce the knife’s profile. The blade is very sharp still, the tip is intact; the handle is nice and tight; all parts are solid with no play. The scabbard did not survive.
This interesting French WW1 M1874 GRAS bayonet fighting knife has not been cleaned or tampered with in any way, the set is in 100% original “as is” condition. These are the actual photos. I have a few more European WW1 era military knives and bayonets, as well as several scarce WW2 fighting daggers and trench knives from other countries available for sale – please take a look in the store’s Militaria section.
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