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carbine, bolt action

Object / Artefact › History
  • Other titles
    • Gras M80 Model 1874 rifle (parts) (descriptive name)
    • musketoon
  • Description
    Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 M80 carbine
    French Gras Chassepot Model 1874 bolt action carbine with sabre bayonet, 1876
    bolt action carbin] MLE 1874; single shot [musketoon]; 11mm (.433 inch) calibre; two brass barrel bands; brass mounted; with sabre bayonet
    serial number at left rear of barrel: A11965; two manufacturer's marks
    / M80
    on body: MANUFACTURE D'ARMES / Chatellerault / MLE 1874 / M 80
    right hand side of barrel: C1876
    underside of rear sight: 85 / 95[8]
    on butt plate: 80
    on bayonet boss: A11965
    on bolt: A11965; AX4 / 30;
  • Place
  • Other Number
    1926.195, 309060, W0311
  • Accession number
  • Accession date
    27 October 1927
  • Collection area
  • Item count
  • Record richness
carbine, bolt action, 1926.195, W0311, 309060, Photographed by Richard NG, digital, 23 Mar 2017, © Auckland Museum CC BY
carbine, bolt action, 1926.195, W0311, 309060, Photographed… … Read more


  • Credit
    Collection of Auckland Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, 1926.195, W0311
  • Notes
    French Gras Model 1874 bolt action carbine (with sabre bayonet), 1876
    Collected during WW1 by Colonel Charles Ernest Randolph Mackesy CMG, CBE, DSO (1861-1925)

    This was a standard French Service rifle of the late 19th century, (a modification of the Chassepot to take brass centrefire cartridges), but was replaced by the Lebel rifle in 1886. However Gras rifles were still being used during WW1, and during the Battle of Crete (1941) the Greek Army used the Gras rifle.

    Charles Mackesy, a married man with several children, volunteered for service on the outbreak of war and left New Zealand with the rank of Lieut. Colonel, as officer commanding the Auckland Mounted Rifles. After a brief period on Gallipoli he returned to Egypt to take charge of the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade Base. On several occasions during the 1916-1918 Sinai-Palestine campaigns he commanded the Mounted Rifles. His services were honoured with the award of a Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and his appointment as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1917. During late 1918 he served briefly as military governor of Salt and Amman, and stayed on for several months as advisor to the new Arab administration. In 1919 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

    Charles Mackesy returned to New Zealand in 1919 and resumed farming near Whangarei. He died of heart failure in 1925. His collection was shortly afterwards presented to the Museum by Mrs Mackesy.

    Three of his sons also served overseas during the war, and one, Harry Mackesy, was killed during the assault on Chunuk Bair in August 1915.

  • Event
    28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918
  • Person
  • Place
  • Collection
  • Production
    Impériale de Chatellerault Arsenal (arsenal)
    Basile Gras (designer)
    Circa 1876
    World War 1, 1914-18, wars
  • Signature/marks
    11695 [?] model date: 1876 and M80  (firearm serial number)
  • Consists of
  • Dimensions
    • 0 - Whole length : 987mm
      (overall length: 987mm calibre: 11mm)
    • 0 - Whole length : 515mm
    • 0 - Whole height : 135mm
    • 0 - Whole width : 62mm
  • Classification
  • Record created
    22 December 2014

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